is: If the existing system fails, how will we repair it and how much will those repairs cost? The more information a buyer can obtain, the better able he or she will be to judge the adequacy of the existing system and what will most likely be required to repair the system, when needed. In that way, the buyer will not be caught unaware when that day arrives, since it was part of the financial assessment establishing the value of the property at the time of purchase.
A few things can be done to gather data: obtain information from the present property owner. Ask for the records regarding maintenance of the system; has the septic tank been pumped at a frequency of at least 3 to 5 years? What pumping contractor was used? If the system contains a pump, how often has it been maintained? If major repairs have been made, when and to what extent? Do a Site Inspection of the Property. Try to get a sense of how natural conditions are effecting the capacity of the property to disperse water. Is the sewage disposal area located in a depression which would have a tendency to collect run-off of rain water? Go to Town Health Department to Review Property’s File. Ask about the general neighborhood, the frequency of repairs, ability to install proper size repair systems, average life of systems in the areas, etc. You may also obtain water meter readings (if the home is serviced by a municipal water supply) to determine what the present occupants of the home are utilizing.
A Potential Homebuyer’s Query of a Septic System