If you’re buying a new home with a septic tank, make sure to ask these 5 important questions to avoid any issues, damages or costly repairs to your septic tank.
When was the septic tank installed?
We would always recommend that our customers check when their septic tank was installed. Just because your septic tank is 20 years old, this doesn't necessarily mean that it will need replacing immediately or be in poor condition. If your septic tank has been correctly maintained and parts and accessories have been replaced, it may be absolutely fine. However, check nonetheless to ensure that you're able to purchase the relevant parts if needs be and don’t be put off by an old septic tank.
What type of drainage system does the property have?
Septic tanks, and sewage treatment plants in general, have drainage systems in place which direct to one of two different places: a soakaway system or drainage field, or a solid pipe discharging to a local watercourse. It’s extremely important to find out which one of the two applies to your septic tank because as of 2020, septic tank regulations are changing so that it will become illegal to do the latter of the two.
Is the septic tank shared with anyone else?
In some cases, a number of properties will share the one septic tank. In this instance, it’s important to talk to neighbouring property owners to figure out who is responsible for what e.g. who arranges for the septic tank to be emptied. Without checking this information out, your septic tank may remain without maintenance and ultimately, could become seriously damaged and ineffective. How well has the current septic tank been maintained? Contrary to popular belief, septic tanks can de easily damaged in a number of ways if they aren't maintained efficiently. Things, such as tree roots and other natural occurrences, can have a drastic effect on your septic tank system, and because of the very nature of these causes, the damage being caused isn't always evident as it happens underground. We would advise that you seek the help of a professional and ensure that your septic tank is assessed for damage and properly maintained at regular intervals to avoid any unnecessary damage and consequently, costly repairs.
Will the current system comply with the new 2020 regulations?
This is possibly the most important question to ask. With 2020 only a year away, it’s important to be prepared for the changes. The new septic tank regulations for 2020 state that it will no longer be legal for a septic tank to discharge straight into a watercourse; it will only be able to discharge to a soakaway system or drainage field. If you’re unsure as to whether your current septic tank is already compliant with these regulations, it is best to seek the advice of a septic tank specialist to ensure that you conform to the updates.