Do I have a septic system?


Old 08-09-04, 10:46 AM
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Do I have a septic system?

I know this sounds like an odd question, but I am wondering how I determine if I have a septic system.

I bought the house 3 years ago. In the process of buying the home I was told by the realtor that it was county sewer.

In the process of cleaning out the yard, I uncovered a stub out pipe in the front yard. It's a light green w/ a white cap, which is broken. There is no smell or discharge from this pipe.

The county indicates they can't tell if I am on septic or their system. Is there something I can do to find out? A call to the local "Roto-Rooter" directed me to the county. The county directed me to "Roto-Rooter"..

I do pay for sewer, but the county said that is because I told them I was on county sewer.... ( Great, Huh? )

There is a marking in the road which says 22' with an arrow pointing toward the house ( in line with the green pipe ). Don't know if that helps.
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Old 08-09-04, 07:58 PM
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Do I have a septic system?

The pipe does not in and of itself mean sewer or septic as both need to have a cleanout. If you have sewer, your sewer bill should vary (at least some)from month to month depending on amount of wastewater that leaves your house. Most local governments bill will say $ and gallons of wastewater

If you have an area of your yard that is greener than the rest, may mean septic as this could be the leach field where the wastewater drains into the ground. of course, the green spot might just be a natural low point in the yard where water naturally flows to from the rest of the yard

What you may want to do is go in your basement and see where the drain pipe leaves the house and pay attention to how far below the ground the drain pipe would be. About 10 to 20 feet from the house, poke the ground with a rod (at least as long as the depth of the drainpipe) and see if you hit anything solid (which would be the septic tank). May want to hit something solid at least a few times within a 3x3 or 4x4 foot area just to make sure you are not hitting rocks
Old 08-09-04, 09:02 PM
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It may be that the only way that you'll kinow for sure is to contact a former owner(s) or hire a drain cleaning company with a video camera to determine what you have.
Normally, the only thing metered is your water, not the wastewater, and your sewer bill is based on that.
Good luck!

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