I'm going to tell you one of the morals to my story first. If you didn't already eat it, don't flush it down the toilet!
I have clients who rent their home out for the winter months. They only use it for the summer, it works out perfectly for them. Well, maybe not perfectly. Every year they learn something more about renting their house out, and believe me, they are not amateur landlords!
This year we learned that we needed to add an addendum to the lease regarding the septic system. I admit this is a first for me, but I believe I will be adding this addendum to any of the rentals I list that have a septic system!
Last season's tenant had young children. Mom was using "flushable" wipes, and did what the label said. She flushed them!
She moved out, my clients came back for the summer to enjoy their home. They decided before leaving for the season and turning the house over to the latest tenants that it was time to have the septic pumped. When the septic company arrived to pump the tank, the crap hit the tank!
The tank was FULL of flushable wipes. Let me explain why that is a problem. They can't be sucked out of the system, they have to be REMOVED BY HAND. It took three guys HOURS to clean the flushable wipes out of the tank before they could even think about pumping the tank.
3 men, many hours, lots of plastic bags to hold the wipes and a $650 dollar invoice.
Living in a home with a septic system means you need to be mindful at all times of your system. Years ago at a septic inspection, the inspector was trying to explain the care of the system to my buyer, who was clueless as to what he was trying to tell her. Finally he blurts out...
THE ONLY THINGS THAT SHOULD GO INTO YOUR SEPTIC VIA YOUR TOILET ARE THINGS YOU HAVE ALREADY EATEN!
Except of course, the all important TP.
Like a light on a dimmer switch, I could see the concept take hold as she realized what he was saying to her.
No wipes of any kind, no feminine personal care products, no condoms, no hair from your brush, no left over foods, no grease and no childrens' toys!
When you have a septic system you should not have a disposal. You need to keep as much food as possible from going down your drains. I make sure I wipe the grease out of any pots and pans before I wash them.
If you have a water softener, you need to make sure that the backwash goes into a dry-well, NOT your septic tank. The salt will corrode any concrete in your system. Although you may get different stories on this, currently most inspectors will tell you this, and the towns I work in have ordinances concerning this. I advise you check with the sanitation department to learn the current regulations concerning the discharge from a softener system. They do change from time to time.
Don't take your septic system for granted. If you take care of your septic system, it will take care of you. If you don't, it could run you thousands and thousand of dollars to repair or replace.
My second moral to my story? Love your septic system and it will love you!
And the last moral? It's a real easy one. Don't believe everything you read, those "flushable" wipes are so not flushable!
I always breath easier in the course of a transaction after a successful septic inspection!
Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate
2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors
2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776
© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain