There are many Northern Virginia homes that have septic fields on the property designed to allow wastewater to be absorbed into the ground. Terminology is tricky here as a septic field is a septic system, and are also known as Wastewater Systems as defined in 2010 by the Virginia Department of Health.
So, this year the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation requiring that the Virginia Residential Disclosure Statement (which must be given to home buyers) include a notice to the effect that it is the buyers responsibility to be satisfied that a septic wastewater system exists on the property. Then, the buyer must determine that it is the proper size, know what type of system it is, and how to maintain it.
Here is the new language from VARBuzz.com:
WASTEWATER SYSTEM: The undersigned owner(s) makes no representations with respect to the presence of any wastewater system, including the type or size thereof or associated maintenance responsibilities related thereto, located on the property and the purchaser(s) is advised to exercise whatever due diligence the purchaser(s) deems necessary to determine the presence of any wastewater system on the property, in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event, prior to settlement pursuant to that contract.
Virginia Home Buyers should plan to hire a Septic Guy
To me, this means it will be important to get a septic guy in to evaluate a system when you have a home inspection. I’ll have to ask my plumber pal Bob Beckwith (RLB Plumbing) what he thinks about this and if he is willing to put his name on the line. Giving a septic system an evaluation is going to be a challenge since they are underground and made of sand. They literally flood the system, stab it with a stick and watch for water to emerge.
Home buyers, keep in mind that septic wastewater systems exist in McLean, Great Falls, Vienna, Oakton, Fairfax and Clifton homes. My suggestion will be to budget $500 to $1,000 for a septic system inspection.
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