October 2009 Weddings
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Septic Tanks and Well Water

The city of Indianapolis is screwed up.  Many of its suburbs fall into this boat as well.  You see, although the metro area emcompasses over 1 million people, several homes are not connected to city water and/or sewer.

Last year when we were home shopping, this wasn't an issue because all of the homes we considered were connected in both aspects.  This year, however, many of the homes are not connected to one or the other, sometimes both.  This doesn't both DH since he grew up in Indy not connected; however, this is bothering me.  I've grown up always connected and am unfamiliar with the upkeep/costs of septic tanks and wells.

Does anyone here have one or both?  What has your experience been (ie, easy to take care off, a PITA, etc)? 

Matt loves Munkii!!!

Re: Septic Tanks and Well Water

  • My parents' cabin has Septic and a Well.  Both are pretty painless to deal with.  The Septic tank does need to be periodically pumped out (it gets full and you don't want an over flow!).  Generally, you want to avoid really "plush" toilet paper - if that makes sense- because it will fill it faster.  Some folks will flush down bacteria cultures that help to break down solids in the tank as well.  My folks have a dishwasher, washing machine, and garbage disposal and we have yet to have a problem with the tank.  During inspection, have them check the integrity of the cover - you wouldn't want it cracking and making a sink (and stink!) hole in your yard.

    As for the well - I LOVE the well water at my parents cabin!  For maintenance, they do have to ensure that the pump stays warm.  If it freezes, you're outta luck.  They can be a little more prone to having minerals and coloration in the water.  Where my folks' cabin is, there are a lot of oak trees and the coloration of the fall leaves leeches into the water table and the water comes out sorta orangey at certain times of the year.  To keep the fixtures in the house looking clean - they added a house water filter. The filter needs to be replaced every month or so but you certainly wouldn't have to get something like that.   My sister drinks "princess water" up there - she doesn't like the taste of the water so they just keep a brita pitcher in the fridge for her and that takes care of any flavor she doesn't like.  It doesn't taste "off" to me at all but whatever!  The only drawback to well water that I can think of is that it isn't fluoridated which could be problematic for any future kiddo's teeth.  It is easily remedied by using a fluoride rinse at home on occasion and making sure to use fluoride toothpaste.


    One word of warning on the septic/well system though - at least here they are expanding city sewer and water to places that haven't had it before and the property owner is assessed for it.  You may want to really do your homework to find out if that might be on the horizon because it is not cheap.  

  • image wittyschaffy:

    One word of warning on the septic/well system though - at least here they are expanding city sewer and water to places that haven't had it before and the property owner is assessed for it.  You may want to really do your homework to find out if that might be on the horizon because it is not cheap.  

      I think I'll be drinking princess water like your sister.  Stick out tongue

    The fees for conversion are something I have found for the sewer conversion--according to the city website they are about $2500 for installation and $2500 for the connection fee.  They didn't mention anything else, but I always thought it was close to $10k, does that sound right to you?  I have yet to look up well info. 

    Matt loves Munkii!!!
  • I suppose it would depend on how far they're bringing pipe and stuff.  I know some folks in some of the outer burbs here that have had closer to the $10k assessment for them to bring the sewer line into the neighborhood, connect it to individual homes, and connect the water supply.  If it is more patchy near you, they may not have to bring it in as far maybe?
  • My mom and I rented a house back in my college days and the owners didn't know there were 2 old septic tanks that were no longer in use....well I don't know the actual "logistics" of the tanks but they were full, overflowed, our plumbing was shot and our basement flooded and filled up with water and floating human waste....  We had just moved into the house a month prior so we had a lot of belongings/boxes in the basememnt...all destroyed.  Then the water company came out (as well as half the town to stand outside and watch the city dig up our yard) and found a busted pipe and the 2 full septic tanks that we were hooked up to afterall and had not been emptied in god knows how long....our house smelled of human waste, so we had to break our lease and move out (huge ordeal with the owners who were really bad curse words and yelled at my mom which then led to me yelling at them etc).  Point of the story, I will never live in a house with septic tanks ever again.
  • I'd never had either until we moved into this house.  It started off ok, just usual up keep.  Then there was a shift in the water table and it has been disaster ever since. Rust to the extent that we have the highest end filters, use special salt, descaler, everything possible (have had 2 companies come out to make sure we have everything available) and still - cannot drink tap water, buy white clothes (they turn orange after a few washes, the list of issues is endless.  I don't know if I'd ever do a well again unless I LOVED the place and could afford all of the filtration bells and whistles on the market. 

    for the record though, we are at the extreme end of the spectrum according to what we've been told by the professionals.

  • These last two stories are scaring me.
    Matt loves Munkii!!!
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