Buying a Home with a Septic System

Posted by Duane Duggan on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 at 11:56am.

Duane Duggan is an award-winning Realtor and author of the book, “Realtor for Life.” 

Over the years we’ve learned a considerable amount about the impact of septic systems in Boulder County. There is clear evidence that aging, unapproved septic systems have been leaking into our water system. As a result, Boulder County implemented SepticSmart Regulations on September 1, 2008 in order to protect our health and environment. 

Here are six important facts every home buyer of a house with a septic system should know:

  1. SepticSmart requires that a septic system be permitted, approved, and inspected before the sale of a home. Either the existing owner or the buyer will need to make any repairs that are required to bring the system to compliance.

  2. The status of the home’s septic system is as important as that of the roof, foundation, or electrical system. The condition of the septic system will be determined during the certified inspection.

  3. You can check the approval/permit status of a home’s septic system by going to 

  4. If you plan to remodel, add square footage or bedrooms to a home, you need to check to see if the septic system is able to meet the requirements for your new addition.

  5. Be sure to have a written agreement between buyer and seller as to any repairs that needs to be done, who will pay, and in what timeframe is required for the work to be done.

  6. Upon placing a home with a septic system on the market, many sellers will obtain the SepticSmart inspection and certificate.  Be sure to ask for a copy and check to make sure the certificate hasn’t expired.

Once you own the home with a septic system, you will basically be running a mini-wastewater treatment plant. It becomes your responsibility to maintain the system properly by having the system pumped and checked on a regular basis. You can go to Boulder County’s website,, to find tips on how to maintain your system. 


About Duane Duggan: Duane Duggan has been a Realtor® for RE/MAX of Boulder in Colorado since 1982 and has facilitated over 2,500 transactions over his career, the vast majority from repeat and referred clients. He has been awarded two of the highest honors bestowed by RE/MAX International: the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Circle of Legends Award. Living the life of a Realtor and being immersed in real estate led to the inception of his book, REALTOR® for Life. Also see his video podcasts about real estate topics on RE/MAX of Boulder’s YouTube channel.

For questions, email Duane at or call 303-441-5611


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