For the Real Estate Buyer

In most rural areas and in many suburban residential areas, individual household sewage
treatment systems are relied upon for the disposal of household waste.

A household sewage treatment system will serve a home most satisfactorily if it is properly
located, designed, constructed and maintained.  This information is provided to explain
how your septic system works and how it should be operated and maintained.

Septic System Problems

Our thanks to John McPherson for allowing us to use his cartoon on our website.


Important wastewater treatment facts to know when buying a house.

When in the market for a home, most people form immediate opinions about a house
within a matter of minutes by:

  • its aesthetics
  • the neighborhood and school system
  • the taxes
  • the soundness of the structure

If a house passes these initial tests, the buyer inspects the house more closely.
He/she will take note of less obvious tangibles such as:

  • electric wiring
  • plumbing
  • condition of walls, carpets, fixtures, etc.

The buyer becomes aware of any flaws the house might have and weighs the cost of
repairs toward the value of the home.  He/she is able to do this because any of these
problems are visible and can be spotted if the buyer knows what to look for.  But what
to do about possible problems that may exist beyond a walk-through inspection?
How can the buyer be sure that the septic system is functioning properly and costly
repairs will not be needed after he/she buys the home?

The condition of the wastewater treatment system should be a major concern of the
prospective buyer when looking at a home.  Repairs on a failed system can easily run
into five figures, and sometimes a dye test is not the best way to determine the status
of the septic.  A dye test will only show if the system is currently working satisfactorily
or in failure to a visible location (i.e., surface ditch, storm sewer, etc.).  It can not
determine if a system is stressed and on the verge of failure.  Additional tests should
be done to evaluate the status of the septic tank and leach fields.

Before you buy a home, give us a call with any questions you might have concerning
wastewater disposal.

Call us at (845) 895-2501

Septic systems can be the most economical way of disposing wastewater from homes
provided they are installed and maintained properly.

Aerobic septic systems are environmentally friendly, and in the long term, the most
economical choice.  They are the only systems that we give a Lifetime Guarantee.

Truly Green provides affordable, dependable, quality work.  We are family owned
and operated with 55 plus years experience in servicing and maintaining septic systems.

  1. Leaking interior fixtures, especially toilets.
  2. Excessive water use.
  3. Large volume of laundry water in one day. Laundry loads should be spread out
    through the course of the week.
  4. Water conditioning equipment going through septic may harm bacteria growth
    in septic tank and deteriorate the tank itself, and may shorten the life of absorption
    facility in certain clay-type soils.
  5. Excess number of people using septic system for extended period of time beyond
    the system’s design.
  6. Metal septic tanks. Metal tanks WILL corrode and ruin the leach field. There is no
    warning for when the tank will eventually deteriorate. Once the tank does go, the
    entire septic system must be repaired (including the leach fields) which can be very
    costly to repair.
  7. Too small of a septic tank will cause a system failure.
  8. Not servicing (pumping) septic tank properly. Only use a reputable company. For
    safety, a service pumping and inspection should be done every 3 years at the very
    least. Insist on a written report with every pumping and inspection. It’s best to use
    the same service contractor for each pumping and inspection since they can spot
    changes in the system between service calls. For example, a couple buys a small
    house, with a septic system that can support two people. The couple then has
    children which means usage of water has now increased. Your service contractor
    will be able to see if the system can still handle the excess waste water imposed
    upon it. Like a family doctor, your service contractor will know if your system is
    remaining healthy.
  9. Poor landscaping. Final grading, if not done properly around and over the septic
    system, can contribute to system failure.
  10. Storm water from gutters, overland flow, footing and floor drains, etc. should
    NEVER enter the septic system.
  11. Don’t put food, paper towels, sanitary napkins, etc. into the septic system.
    It is not a landfill.
  12. Heavy use of high strength disinfectants including colored dyes harm the growth
    of bacteria in the septic tank.
  13. Don’t rinse paint brushes, rollers, etc. in sink. These types of chemicals can harm
    bacteria growth and ground water.
  14. Dirty water or suspended solids should not leave tank.
  15. High seasonal ground water (high ground water normally occurs in the spring).


Signs of a failing septic system

  • Back-up in house or gurgling noise/slow flush.
  • Dark green grass over leach field area.
  • Septage odor – inside or outside the house.
  • Septic water surfacing in yard.
  • Sludge on top of baffles in septic tank (poop don’t jump).