Maximum Value Mechanical Projects: Sewage/Septic

Sewage and septic systems projects -- nothing sounds more fun on a Saturday afternoon, does it? Even if the topic might be a little less than desirable, new trends and timely updates can ease the pain of entering into the world of wastewater and treatment plants.

Simply put, sewage systems are composed of residential and building pipes that run to a wastewater treatment plant. Septic systems are better suited for rural areas that are far away from a main sewage line. A private concrete or steel tank is buried in the yard, which then pumps the treated wastewater into a drain field. Once there, the water is slowly absorbed back into the ground.

By turning to energy efficient appliances and fixtures, your sewage and septic systems can lead to improved comfort and convenience and a lower water bill, making for a happier -- and healthier -- place to call home.

CURRENT TRENDS

  • Energy efficient toilet. Suitable for all price ranges, low-flow toilets use less than a gallon to flush while older models can take almost two gallons. Not only do they take significantly less water -- which is good news for your wallet -- but they are also less likely to stop up.
  • Private sewage pump. The biggest benefit for a private sewage pump is that it can open up and reduce the cost of building on lots that might not have sewage immediately available. As the sewage goes into the resident tank, the private pump then pushes it out to an available sewer line. This is perfect for homes that sit above or below a line, such as in mountainous terrain.

BIGGEST MISTAKE

According to appraisal expert Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, the bigger sewer and septic projects -- like installation and machine upgrades -- should always be left to the professionals. With improper installation, you could wind up with an unfortunate mess on your hands.

Sellers points out another problem -- one homeowners could many times overlook -- is trying to install a septic system without a permit. Almost all states have water and conservation laws that control the sewage systems, so trying to go around state laws -- even if unintentionally -- could turn your project into big ticket trouble.

EXPERT TIPS

  • All Budgets: The biggest thing you can do to help your sewage or septic system function at its best is to change out your old fixtures and appliances with newer, more eco-friendly models. Faucets, shower heads, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines are a few of the fixtures and appliances that you can trade out for a better money-saving option. These types of fixes come at almost any price point and are beneficial in all housing markets. So whether you are on a budget or have some change to spare, these types of upgrades and upkeep are the best thing you can do for your home.

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