Northern Virginia Real Estate: Septic Systems

Northern Virginia Septic Systems

Northern Virginia Real Estate: Septic Systems 

Northern Virginia real estate buyers considering homes in areas such as McLean and Great Falls may be encountering septic and well systems for the first time.

While the magnitude of information may be initially overwhelming, it is important to understand the design and functionality of these systems as well as how to maintain them.

About Septic Systems

Nearly 550,000 households in Virginia depend on onsite systems to take care of sewage disposal. Treated sewage is discharged into the soil or sometimes into various water bodies. Operating a septic system requires several state or federal permits.

For Northern Virginia real estate purposes, the term “septic” refers to anaerobic bacteria that develops in the septic holding tank and breaks down the waste discharged into the tank. Septic tanks can be coupled with other on-site wastewater treatment units such as biofilters or aerobic systems involving artificial forced aeration.

Why Septic?

Why does some Northern Virginia real estate utilize septic systems instead of the public sewer system? A septic system’s purpose is to dispose of sewage on a private lot in lieu of pumping it to a waste treatment facility. This is done in areas such as Great Falls Virginia and parts of McLean Virginia which do not have access to public sewer lines, either because the properties pre-dated the sewer install and never connected when it became available, or because the properties are too far removed from a public sewer line to connect.

Get the rest of the story on Northern Virginia septic systems and how they impact your NVA real estate purchase or sale.

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Comment balloon 2 commentsThe Isaacs Team llc • October 24 2011 06:11PM


Septic systems have always been a cause of concern with buyers and sellers.  It is so nice just to hook up with the sewer.

Posted by Jeff Jensen (The Federal Savings Bank/Lending in 50 states) almost 8 years ago

Ha ha, I agree, but the homes in Great Falls are so incredible... and with proper maintenance, septic systems are plug & play (perhaps a poor choice of words!).  Many buyers forget about sewer pipes, which have about a 60 year life span and can be expensive and landscape damaging to repair or replace.

So it probably evens out  : )

Check out my sewer scoping inspection video! sewer scoping video

Posted by The Isaacs Team llc, almost 8 years ago

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