Have you gotten your septic system pumped yet in this year?
Private septic systems are the way rural suburbs like Lincoln, Weston, Concord, Carlisle, and other MetroWest communities deal with what goes out residential drain pipes. Even if you have no plans to sell, taking care of your septic system is one of the most important things you can do to preserve your investment in your home.
What is a Septic System?
In a home (condo or single family) when you flush the toilet, if you are not connected to a city sewage system, your waste water goes out a main waste pipe into a septic tank. It might have to be pushed up to the tank using an ejection pump. In the septic tank, solid waste settles down, and liquid waste travels out through an outlet. From there, it goes into a distribution box, which directs the liquid through pipes out into the leaching field.
Your septic tank and the size of the leaching field was approved for installation based on the number of BEDROOMS (not bathrooms) because it’s designed to accommodate more or fewer people. If you’re one single person living in a 6 bedroom house, you are using the system way below capacity and may not need to get your system pumped frequently. Conversely, a big, active family puts out much more waste and your septic servicer will recommend that you PUMP EVERY YEAR. Many newer septic systems have a screen that has to be replaced every year regardless of use, and if you have that, you need to pump every year.
To protect your ($50k+) investment in your septic system:
- Pump it every year.
- Limit the use of your garbage grinder/ disposal (in your sink – “In-sink-erator”)
- NEVER put fat or grease or animal products down the drain
- NEVER flush anything other than toilet paper (you may want to post a little sign for guests)
- Limit the use of bleach products that go down the drain (your waste is digested by microbes in the septic tank).
Need to get your septic system pumped? Here are some local companies (no one we love for this, but love to hear if you have a great experience—this list is just for your convenience).
PS Every time you get your septic system pumped, the company files a slip with the town, so intrepid buyers who do their research will know how frequently you pumped. It is helpful to demonstrate attentive care to this critical part of your major investment. A functional septic system is required to see your home, and if yours fails the Title V inspection, you may need to put in a new system which can cost in excess of $50k!