Salem Oregon septic system basics

By
Real Estate Agent with Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon

Anyone that wants to look at living outside city limits or on acreage property in the Salem Oregon area is going to be looking at having a septic system of one kind or another.

septicIf you are wanting to purchase a home and have never had a septic system before there are some basics that you should know during a real estate transaction.

  • Get the tank pumped and inspected. You should never purchase a home without having the tank and the drainfield inspected. It costs a lot of money to have a new drain field put in so know what you are getting into. You don't want to buy a house, wonder why your toilet backs up and your ground is squishy, only to find that you have a failed septic system.
  • Go down to the county and pull the septic records. If you are in Marion county, outside city limits, there is just a simple form to fill out and you may have to pay a few dollars. Sometimes you find out interesting things that make you go hmmm... you don't want to go hmmm when you are looking to buy a house. Permits are required for a reason.
  • If you are looking to build a house on your dream lot, and it requires septic get a site evaluation aka "perc test" done to make sure the land can support a septic. There are different types of septic systems depending on the soil. If you can't get a standard septic system installed you need to know that upfront.
  • Just because you want to build a 5 bedroom home doesn't mean that the land can support a 5 bedroom home. Make sure the septic system can support the size house you want to build.

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) gets to oversee all septic systems. They have a nice little blub about signs of a failed septic system as well as some do's and don'ts on their site.

Signs of septic system failure

  • Pools of water or soggy spots, foul odors, and/or dark gray or black soils in the area of your drainfield.
  • Water that surfaces over the drainfield during heavy rain or when doing laundry.
  • Sewage backs up into the lowest drains in the house.
  • Gurgling of drains, slow drainage (check for clogs first).
  • Soggy soil overlying the drain field.

So remember that during a Salem Oregon real estate sale, it is the buyers job to do their own due diligence...you know, to get the scoop on the poop, for the piece of property they want to buy.

 

This article was first published on The Real Estate Jumble.

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Rainmaker
255,168
Melina Tomson
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon

Erik...I don't think there is a way for you to refrain. It's not in your nature.

I did write about this because of a couple of clients last year.  We did our due diligence and there were some scary things out there.

June 28, 2009 10:52 AM
Rainer
178,990
Erik Hitzelberger
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes

We did our due diligence and there were some scary things out there.

Sorry, but I read this as "we walked into the backyard and shi feces was oozing from the ground".  If you actually sold this house, you are one heck of an agent.  I had a client walk through septic tank overflow once.  Rather than let her back in the car, I drove off and left her. 

(Ok, maybe I made that last part up, by I'm not sure that wouldn't be my solution). 

June 28, 2009 11:39 PM
Rainmaker
1,202,503
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time

Hi Melina . . . good post . . . it's 'stinks' but you do have to get it done!  I don't run into that problem too much here in Metro Portland, but there are septics to be sure!

June 29, 2009 12:00 AM
Rainmaker
255,168
Melina Tomson
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon

Erik I totally get that...I mean you don't want your car to smell like S$%t.  No there have been undersized septics.  Homeowner "repairs" to septics.  Most clients walk away. One client loved the property so much they took it with the problem septic. 

Carla-not too many septics in your area for sure...

June 29, 2009 09:56 AM
Ambassador
2,030,409
Todd Clark
Broker - Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert - (503) 524-9494
Keller Williams Realty

The home I grew up in had a septic system when I was a kid and you described the issues with them perfectly! Now, they do also have their benefits, like not having to pay sewer hook up costs and ongoing monthly bills. As long as you take care of them, they are great! Now, when they back up, it can be one bad day if you don't have easy access. Prepare to get your boots dirty and start digging.

Todd Clark - www.LivingBeaverton.com

P.S. - Give me a call Monday, I may have a lead for you.

 

July 12, 2009 11:04 AM
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Melina Tomson

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Neighborhood real estate at its best delivered to you by a Principal Broker licensed in the state of Oregon. Get a peek into my inner data geek with my extensive Salem Oregon real estate trending graphs, or stick around to see if my sarcastic wit rears its ugly head. Either way, read, hopefully enjoy and find it helpful, then you know the drill...call/email/tweet me for help with your real estate needs.