Septic vs Sewer

by | May 2, 2016 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:
Saturday, May 14th, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave)

Thursday, May 19th , from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know.  We understand that you have lives, and families, and work.  We will work something out that works better with your schedule.  Just let us know….
….we also have home seller classes available too…link on left on website

Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner!  😀
Happy Sunday!

Just a quick heads up that Chris Berg & I have our Spring Client appreciation events coming up!  This spring we want to try something different… so we are giving everyone an option as to what movie they want to come to…   Your choices are:  Captain America: Civil War on Saturday, May 7 from 3pm-6pm or Finding Dory on Saturday, June 18 from 3pm-6pm.  Because we are trying out both movies, we will be in a smaller theater than previous Client Appreciation events, so please RSVP early by emailing either Chris or I.  Look forward to seeing you soon!!  We have plenty of Captain America tickets left, but Finding Dory is almost full.

So, this weekend I have been at the Clark PUD Home & Garden Show all weekend, and it’s always fun to see people as you come by to say, “Hi”…and it’s always fun to people watch.  😀  Bright side is that people don’t believe I look old enough to be my oldest daughter’s mother.  That ALWAYS makes my day, and that person gets hugged and thanked profusely.  Bad side, is still…after all of these years, all the misinformation that is still out there.  Please folks….  friends don’t let friends (or family) buy or sell a home without some education.

So, this week let’s talk about septic and sewer… yep, the weather is volatile and crappy, so let’s take that one step further and talk about what people don’t like to think about in your home.   Many areas in Clark County are still on Septic systems, and not hooked up to the Sewer.  This, of course, makes sense in rural areas where you don’t expect sewer hook-up, but many places in Vancouver are still on septic as well as the sewer lines are not available there.  However, sometimes the sewer line is there, but the home is still on a private septic system.  I grew up on a septic system… both at my grandparents home that was on acreage & at my mothers home that was on a septic…in Vancouver, and by a hospital.  It is surprising to some people just how many homes in Vancouver are still on a septic.  For me, septic isn’t a big deal.  It just has to be maintained, and as a homeowner, you have to be careful what you *ahem* flush.  Homes with a septic shouldn’t have a garbage disposal as they aren’t equipped to handle that.

What is a septic system?  How Septic Systems Work A typical septic system contains two major components: a septic tank and a soil drainfield. The septic tank: ♦ Removes solids, which helps protect the soil drainfield from clogging that can result in premature failure of the onsite system. ♦ Digests a portion of the solids and stores the remaining portion. Up to 50% of the solids that remain in the tank decompose. The remaining 50% accumulates in the bottom of the tank as sludge. When the level of sludge exceeds the tank’s holding capacity, the sewage has less time to settle before leaving the tank. Eventually, the sludge level increases enough to allow solids to enter into the drainfield, resulting in damage to the field and the need for extensive repairs. The soil drainfield: ♦ Is located underground in an unsaturated soil area on your property. ♦ Further treats the effluent through physical, chemical, and biological processes. The field consists of a series of underground perforated pipes installed in a one-foot deep layer of washed gravel, or a series of plastic chamber units. Here, the effluent is distributed, stored, and ultimately applied to the soil for treatment. After filtering through the soil, the treated effluent enters the groundwater level for final disposal.

A sewer system is, of course, is a city/county maintained sewage disposal system.  The city/county is responsible for the care and maintenance of the sewage lines UNTIL it hits your property lines.  Once all pipes hit your property line, the maintenance & repair responsibility is the homeowners.  

Maintenance of your septic system?The lack of septic tank maintenance can cause sewage to back up into your house or solids to overflow to the drainfield. Once solids overflow and leave through the tank outlet, they can quickly clog a drain field to the point that a new one is required. Most septic tanks need to be pumped every three to five years, depending on the tank size and the amount and type of solids entering the tank. The inspection of the sludge and scum levels is the only way to determine when a tank needs to be pumped. This is not necessarily a pleasant task, but can be done relatively easily. Septic tank pumping firms are available to perform the inspection.  Your septic needs inspected every 2 years and that inspection on file with the Clark County Health Department.  An average septic system needs pumped every 3-5 years.

So what if you have, or buy a home that is on septic and the sewer comes in your area/street?  Do you have to hook up to it?  Actually you don’t.  If your septic system is in good working order you can decline to hook up to the sewer.  If your septic system fails though…then yes, you will need to hook up to the sewer.  So what is the cost to hook up to the sewer?  Roughly about $7,000-$15,000.  What is the cost of a new septic system?  Roughly about $7,000-$15,000.  Yes, that
is a lot of money, but there is help for it….Vancouver’s Sewer Connection Incentive Program (SCIP) extends public wastewater main lines to areas where septic systems were initially installed because sewer wasn’t available then, typically areas that were later annexed into the city. Through SCIP, we are working with homeowners to provide an easy and affordable solution to change from septic systems to safe, reliable public sewer.   

Now…just in case you haven’t noticed, I have shamelessly plagiarized parts of this email from the Clark County & City of Vancouver websites  For more information you can go to the following websites: &  

Well, that is this weeks crappy discussion!  LOL  …sorry, I couldn’t help myself.  

Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you.  Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  AND If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.  
 As always….this is just a quick overview…. please remember that your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.

If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email,  text, or facebook me anytime.  I am, as always, happy to help!

Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.

.   ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…

Upcoming Topics:  Showing Homes 101
Last Week:  Open Houses & you…

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA

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