Septic System Mistakes To Avoid

Buying A Home With A Septic System? Here Are A Few Things You Should Know

by Melinda Crawford

If you are looking at new homes in a more rural location, you may be surprised at how many of them have a septic system. If you always lived in a place with a hook up to the city sewer, there are a few things you need to know about living without it. Here are a few of them.

Size and Material

When the house was first built, and the septic tank installed, the size of the tank was for right for it. However, over time, things may have changed. A new bathroom may have been added, or even a few extra rooms for a larger family. The tank may no longer be big enough to properly work for all this. In addition, if the house is older, it may have been made of a material that was used then and not something designed to last as long as the newer one. Be sure to have it all inspected so you know that the tank is right for all your needs and that it will last for many years.


While some people will tell you that you can add different substances to help keep down the solid waste in the tank so it doesn't need to be pumped as frequently, this is not a good idea. As long as you are not putting non-biological wastes into the system, only using it for human wastes it will create its own system for breaking down the solids. However, this does not mean that it will not need to be pumped. In general, your tank should be pumped and cleaned every three years, unless you have a garbage disposal under the sink in which case it should be pumped out yearly.

Drain Field

There is an area of the yard just off the tank where all the liquid flows to be absorbed into the earth for filtering. This area is called the drain field. It is important that you know where this is and that you do not park heavy vehicles on it, build a shed or garage on it, or plant large trees over it. The ground needs to be kept loose to allow for easy absorption.

Having a septic system should not make too much of a difference in your everyday life. However, if you do not take care of it (if you never have it pumped or always put trash or dirt down the drains or in the toilet) you will end up with a clogged system. This will be easy to recognize because there will be sewage backing up I n the yard or your tub. Talk with a septic system company, such as River City Septic & Excavating, before you buy the house to make sure you know what you need to do and there will be no problems.