PROPERTY MAINTENANCE 101: Septic Tanks

Posted by DB Wilson on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 at 1:54pm.

It may not be pretty, but as a homeowner, keeping your septic tank in top condition is a crucial investment. Ignoring your septic tank is a disastrous mistake made by even the most cautious of homeowners. Regular septic maintenance—including pumping out and inspecting your system every handful of years—is critical to the upkeep of your property. Often, homeowners don’t really realize how their septic systems work, so they don’t look into proper maintenance for them.

A septic system works by carrying wastewater from your home to your septic tank, where it separates solids, known as sludge, from grease and oil, known as scum. The waste-water then leaves the tank and enters the drainfield, and the solids remain. The septic solids should be pumped every three to five years, or they will build up and cause major problems. If you have the tendency to flush small items down the toilet—such as cotton balls, Q-tips or dental floss—you may be contributing to future clogs that will contaminate your water, and could be so damaging they will mandate expensive repair or the complete replacement of your system. Flushing chemicals down the drain can also contaminate your water, posing risk both to you, your family, and the environment.

How often you should have your septic tank pumped depends on a variety of factors, including the climate, house size and how many people reside there. To help ensure the health of your septic tank, and avoid costly repairs, be sure to get your tank pumped every five years—or sooner depending on the volume of water use—repair any water leaks immediately, and conserve water whenever possible. If you have a garbage disposal, it’s important to minimize the grease and solids you feed it, as they will end up in your septic tank.

If you are in the process of buying or selling, be sure that you have your septic tank—or the tank of the home you are looking to buy—inspected by a professional. Are you the seller? We suggest getting your septic tank inspected and pumped before putting your home on the market.

For more information on septic systems, please contact any RE/MAX of Boulder Agent at 303-449-7000, or visit RE/MAX of Boulder, Inc.

RE/MAX of Boulder, Inc. located on the corner of Canyon and Folsom, is nationally and locally recognized as one of the most successful real estate offices in the industry. Nationally, they are one of the "Top 500 Power Brokers in the United States" as listed in National Real Estate & Relocation magazine. Real Trends ranked them #1 in the Nation for Closed Sales Volume for 2010. Regionally, for the 4th year in a row, the company has been named the #1 RE/MAX office in America for Single Office Closed Volume. They can be reached at 303.449.7000 or visit http://www.BoulderCO.com. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter, search remaxofboulder. Subscribe to their YouTube channel and see videos of all their homes for sale at http://youtube.com/remaxofboulder

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