The Big Stink: Septic Systems on Your Property and How it Works
Some subjects just stink to talk about and septic systems are one of those subjects. Unfortunately, if you are in the market to purchase a home, it is essential that you have at least a barebones understanding of your future home’s waste disposal systems; if you don’t, you may end up with a very sh*tty situation on your hands.
This article will start well all good articles start, the beginning. Many people have a vague understanding of what a septic system is, but that’s the extent of their knowledge. Not everyone has, or needs, a septic system, but a septic system is an underground treatment structure for waste. If you live in a major area like Encino, Sherman Oaks, or Studio City, the area has its own sewer system so you don’t need to know about septic systems; however if you don’t get a sewer bill or don’t have a water meter on your property, it’s a good bet that your property has a septic system (if you don’t, I am going to guess that your property won’t be selling until you clean things up). The major component of s eptic system consists of a very large steel or concrete tank, which is buried under ground; they can typically hold up to 1,000 gallons f waste. From there, a drainage pipe is attached to the storage tank, and connects to all household items that carry waste from the house to the tank (toilet, washing machine, sink, bathtub, etc.).
As you would imagine, waste is transported through the pipes and into the tank; the waste generally settles into 3 distinct layers (grease and oil at the top “scum”, water, and anything heavier than water “sludge”). The water component “effluent” drains through a drain field, which is responsible for most of the water treatment on your property; as a general rule the drain field for a 3-bedroom house should be between 450 and 900 ft2.
If your property has a septic system, it is important that you perform routine maintenance on the system, unless you want a crappy situation. At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power, even when it relates to stinky subjects like septic systems. At the Chernov Team we know that whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most, and the Chernov Team always leaves the table with the most.