Septic Systems

Today Cody Hoelscher dives into septic types! When purchasing a home in the country, what should you expect when you have a private septic system? What are the differences between the septic systems? What costs can you expect? All this and more!

A soil test by a licensed professional will help you understand what type of septic system your property can have. Because septic systems heavily rely on the soil composition for filtering waste water, the type of soil plays a substantial role in your septic system options. 

A holding tank is what it sounds like - all waste water and solids go into a holding tank that is pumped every 2-3 months depending on usage. The size of the holding tank can vary from 4,000 - 5,000 gallon tanks and some larger properties may have multiple tanks. Holding tanks are often the least expensive to install; however, the more frequent pumping can cause higher recurring expense (depending on usage). In our area, septic pumping costs approximately $200-$250 per occurrence. 

It’s important to note - septic systems are rated for a certain number of bedrooms and occupants. A 3 bedroom dwelling, 2 occupants per bedroom (6 occupants) is a common rating for the size / capacity of the septic system. 

A conventional septic system allows the waste water to filter through the soil through a drain field without contaminating the groundwater, while the solids are collected in a tank chamber (pumped every 2-3 years depending on county standards). A conventional system can be costly to install, and can have additional cost if an old system needs to be removed. Systems may cost upwards of $10,000.

A mound system is similar to a conventional system, although instead of the waste water going through a drainfield, the waste water is pumped through the mound of gravel / sand and is filtered through the mound components. Similar to a conventional system, the tank chamber is pumped every 2-3 years depending on county standards). A mound system can be costly as well, considering a large amount of fill needs to be brought in (gravel & sand). Systems may cost upwards of $15,000.

All in all, if you are purchasing a home in the country, understand the type of septic system that is in place and the current age. Most septic systems can last 20-30 years if maintained properly. Have your system inspected or if purchasing land, have a professional conduct a perk test so you understand what system is feasible on your property.

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