Country Plumbing Systems

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Being able to flush the toilet at any given time is something we generally take for granted in the city, however, in rural areas, there are some important considerations when it comes to plumbing systems. For example, do you know the difference between a holding tank and a septic with a concrete tank?

Wastewater and grey water both go into either your holding tank or your septic. The holding tank needs to be pumped out and the frequency depends on usage. The number of people using the facilities, the number of showers taken, or how much laundry is done are all factors.

Most holding tanks have an alarm that alerts you when your capacity is soon to be met and gives you time to have someone come and pump it out.

Septic tanks, however, function best when left on their own. A general rule of 3-5 years to pump out the tank is ideal to keep them functional. There are many products made to be poured down your septic tank via the toilet that keep the bacteria functioning and doing its job for you.

A heavily treed area can also pose issues when the roots (generally attracted to water) wrap their tentacles around the weeping tile beds and back things up from that direction.

If you are considering building please note that most areas require a 100’ distance between your septic and your well –hence, you need to keep that in mind when looking at the size of lot you want to purchase. As well, some jurisdictions are restricting septic beds on waterfront properties due to the increased leeching of chemicals into the lake system so it’s best to contact all of the local authorities as to the requirements of the area you are interested in prior to purchasing your dream lot. You don’t want to find out after the fact that what you want to place on that lot cannot be accommodated! Most municipalities prefer you coming in ahead of time so that they can work with you for a viable solution to please everyone rather than disappointing you after you’ve purchased it.

Be cautious when purchasing a rural property in the late fall, winter or early spring. Generally, you request to have the tank pumped out prior to possession, however, with an empty tank and a little liquid, such as a couple of showers, freezing can occur which can crack your tank and is a risk you need to keep in mind.

Wendy Hunt, Hunt4Dreams

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