If you are from the city or a town that has sanitary sewers, you likely haven’t given much thought to what happens when we flush the toilet, drain the bath tub or let the water out of the sink. The water just magically disappears. But if you own a property or are considering purchasing a home here in Dufferin that is not serviced by town a sanitary sewer system, then you need to be aware that you will have some type of septic system on your property to deal with waste water.
Depending on your age, you may remember the “out house” at the cottage or family rural property. This was a sanctuary where one would visit to use the facilities. In most cases it was simply a hole in the ground and once the outhouse has used up it natural life expectancy, a new site would be chosen, the outhouse was moved to this new location and the previous hole filled in. However, with the expanding population and growing concerns for protection of drinking water, government began a process to regulate a better way to manage household waste water.
Over the years there have been many different styles of septic systems developed dependant on your situation with the property you have purchased. Not only is the choice of style of septic system important, but the installation and ongoing maintenance is also critical in the long term functionality and health of the system. And the larger the home and potential number of occupants may impact the size of the septic tank capacity and the associated septic bed. In simple terms here is how a basic system works. There is a pipe that carries waste water out of the home and typically passes through an exterior wall of the home into what we refer to as a septic tank. This tank fills and solids will sink to the bottom of the tank and fluids will continue to fill the tank and pass out a pipe at the opposite end of the tank into what is known as a header. Fluids flow through this header into a series of pipes known as runs. The fluid then leaches into a sand septic bed or goes off to evaporation. It is typically a very simple gravity fed system. Issues arise when we are in a environmentally sensitive area, have unique soil types that don’t work well for leaching, if the property is located close to a river or a stream or don’t have a building lot large enough to accommodate the typical septic system and the leaching bed. There are multiple alternative styles of systems that have been developed over the years and if you have a unique situation reach out to us and we would be happy to help you gather the information you need to make an informed decision.
The one thought we would like to leave you with is simply this, if you are purchasing a rural property here in Dufferin, we would encourage you to use an agent who is familiar with well water and septic systems. The worst possible situation is to buy your dream rural property and have issues with septic that can be extremely costly. There is some truth in the saying “when the poop hits the fan…”