Real Estate: Septic Tanks – What You Need to Know Here in Coweta County
By Jess Barron, Lindsey’s Inc. Realtors
If you purchase a home in Coweta County, you will most likely be dealing with a septic tank. Other than the individual city limits and a few developments, most properties in Coweta County have septic tanks for waste treatment.
This is not something to be scared of, but you do need to be educated on the matter. There is plenty of literature you can find about septic tanks. A good Realtor will be able to guide you on the matter also as I will do so below.
One of the first things you want to find out when purchasing a property with a septic tank is the location of the septic tank (typically underground), as well as the capacity and service history. The Coweta County Environmental Health department is an excellent resource for this. They usually will have a document that provides knowledge on the above information. These documents are usually septic letters that provide a map of the tank in relation to the home, as well as a map of the drain field.
What is a drainfield? This is a designated underground area on your property where part of the waste in the septic tank, commonly known as effluent, slowly trickles out from the actual septic tank (see diagram).
These septic letters are something you definitely want to ask for when purchasing a property. We typically make them part of a buyer’s purchase and sale agreement in their due diligence period. Along with the septic map, you will also discover the capacity and when the tank was serviced last.
We typically see 1,000 and 1,500 gallon tanks here in Coweta. The size of the tank determines the number of bedrooms the tank can support. If you are selling a home, this is something you need to know and disclose to potential buyers. You may want to consider pumping the septic tank, depending on when this was last completed. The Georgia Department of Public Health suggests pumping the thank every three to five years, depending on usage. Septic letters and pumping can be provided by the local environmental health department or a septic service company.
You do want to be careful with what you put into a septic tank. You want to avoid fats, oils, grease, diapers, feminine products, etc.
Septic tanks are something we deal with every day in real estate. They are not something to be scared of and will work fine with proper maintenance. I highly recommend a septic evaluation by a professional when purchasing a property with a septic tank. They can advise you on what is needed to be done.
Jess Barron is an Associate Broker with Lindsey’s Inc. Realtors and former President of the Newnan-Coweta Board of Realtors.