Thinking of buying a house in the country, but the thought of having a well and septic tank is a foreign concept to you? We are here to help you understand how both work. Before you buy a new home with a well and septic tank make sure your home inspector investigates the proximity of the well and septic tank to each other and that everything is working properly. A water test of the well should be taken, and the previous homeowner should notify you when the septic tank was last pumped out.
A well is a deep hole that is drilled into the ground to access the groundwater from an underground water table or aquifer. Wells are best located uphill and far from any contamination sources such as septic tanks, driveways, or livestock. Did you know that it is recommended homeowners have their well water tested twice a year? A water treatment system is also recommended to get potable water. Plumbtech typically installs a unit that combines sediment filtration, carbon filtration and U/V treatment. Even if your water tests well now, most decide to install a system as good insurance – if your water does turn in between tests, for whatever reason, how would you know? For more information about how you can have your water tested in the area check the Simcoe Muskoka Health unit’s site.
When you flush your toilet in the city, the waste flows out through the main drain and eventually ends up in your municipalities’ water treatment facility. But when you have a home with a septic tank, the waste is deposited in your septic tank, which is buried underground, with hatches at or near grade, ideally a good distance and downhill from your well.
All wastewater from your home including grey water from your dishwasher, sinks as well as toilets, drain into the septic tank. Once in the tank the waste separates into sludge and effluent. The effluent then drains (or is pumped) to a tile bed in the ground where it is slowly filtered and cleaned through the soil before returning to the water table. If you have a washing machine draining to the septic tank you should also install a lint filter – lint does not break down and is likely to shorten the life of your tile bed.
It is recommended that you pump the remaining sludge out every 3-5 years depending on the frequency of use and number of people in your household. As with any plumbing system, and especially with a septic system, make sure that you don’t flush wipes, sanitary products or anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet.
Well, we hope all this was helpful and that you feel more confident about your move to the country. If you need help with your water treatment system, don’t hesitate to contact us to assess and, if required, improve your water quality.