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Looking over my transactions from the past several years, I have found that 90% of all my listings and/or sales have had issues with sewers. Many of those sales have had at least 1, 2 or even up to 3 sewer bellies.

WHAT IS A BELLY?

A sewer line belly, sag, or low area, can be identified by a pipe holding water after flow has stopped AND after other causes of pooling water such as debris build up and channeling have been ruled out.

Sewer line bellies or low areas become problems when debris collects and causes a blockage or backup.

Photo Credit: Pipelining Technologies, Inc.

Many homeowners give little thought to the intricately installed sewer lines extending from their home to the main municipal sewer collection lines.

The homeowner’s sewer lines move waste, such as dishwater and toilet refuse, down pipes for eventual treatment and disposal. However, anomalies along the sewer line, such as bellies, can cause sewage problems for the homeowner.

Tree roots can cause a couple of problems for your sewer lines – they can grow into the pipes and cause holes and blockages or they may wrap around your sewer line and crush the line. All the sludge and debris could flow back into the house should there be blockage and/or a belly.

Also, grease is a pipe’s worst enemy.  Many homeowners casually pour their old, used grease from cooking down the drain.  This is the worst thing you could do.  That grease will eventually turn solid which creates a blockage in your pipes.

SEWER SCOPE WHEN BUYING

I recommend to all my buyers when purchasing they have a sewer scope inspection. It costs around $100 for a sewer scope (costs may vary with different companies) but it is an insurance against future costly repairs.  A camera is used to detect any damage from inside the house and the outside of the property.

WHO PAYS FOR SEWER WORK?

This depends where the bellies are located.  If the bellies are located on the property, the homeowner is responsible.  When purchasing a home, after a sewer scope is performed and shows bellies, those type of repairs should be negotiated with a seller.  If the belly is on City, County or another municipalitie’s property, they should be contacted for repair.

SEWER REPAIRS

The best case scenario is to have the sewer pipes lines replaced.  However, some homeowners are opting to have their sewer lines hydro jetted instead at a much lower cost. Sewer line replacement can be quite costly running into the thousands of dollars.

The principle of hydro-jetting sewer lines involves the use of extremely high-pressure water to obliterate blockages. Threaded deep into the sewer pipe at the end of a thin, flexible water line, the head contains tiny jets that dispense hot water at knife-like pressure up to 4000 p.s.i.

Hydro jetting is similar to power washing to clean dirty and clogged pipes. It uses streams that are as strong as 60,000 PSI to dislodge and carry away the debris.  Hydro jetting has proven to be significantly effective in residential housing by removing silt within home plumbing pipes.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD SEWER LINES BE CLEANED?

Plumbing experts say as a good preventive measure, you should have your sewer lines cleaned every 18-22 months.  If you are experiencing problems more often than that, you may need to call a plumber and schedule a sewer scope of your pipes.

A sewer repair may be something that you as a homeowner or homebuyer will be facing.  However, one of the only ways to determine if there is an issue in your sewer line is to pay for a sewer scope.

With our aging housing supply, it will not be unusual to see more sewer bellies.  In fact, the house doesn’t even have to be very old to find blockages.  There have been several sales that I have had where the homes were not that old.

Don’t wait until costly repairs are needed.  If you think there may be an issue with a sewer line, get it taken care of sooner rather than later.  I recently had an inspection of my own sewer line and had no damage.

Photo Credit: Pipelining Technologies, Inc.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are still increasing in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are low and there is still buyer demand. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  Or check out my website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2019. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is a violation of Federal copyright laws.

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Lake Oswego Real Estate Septic Systems-Updated 5/25/2019Lake Oswego Real Estate Septic Systems.lakeoswegorealestateblog.wordpress.com

There have been sink holes, collapsed cesspools and problems with septic systems in our Portland real estate market. Lake Oswego also has areas with homes that have septic tanks.

Lake Oswego Building Permit And Septic Tanks

If you are building a new home it will require getting a Lake Oswego building permit.  The process is not terribly complicated. A survey of the location and an outline depicting the placement of the structure is needed. Prior to putting in a septic system at a location that is connected to city water but not city sewer, a perk test must be submitted. A perk test evaluates the amount of time needed for dissolution of water into the soil of the property. The test result aids in determining the proper place to put the septic system.

If you have a question about whether you are currently connected to the City sewer or a septic tank, the City of Lake Oswego is able to check their records for you. If they are unable to find a record, they can perform a dye or smoke test for verification. Call the Wastewater Department at (503) 635-0280 to arrange an appointment.

This service can only be requested by the homeowner. All other parties requesting a dye or smoke test will be charged a fee of $60.00 per transaction.

If you are currently on a septic tank and would like to speak with someone about connecting to the City’s Wastewater Collection System, please contact Todd Knepper, Planning Services Division – Engineering Department, at (503) 675-2534.

Changes In Oregon Law Regarding Septic Tanks

Septic systems can effectively treat household sewage for a long time if they are properly maintained and operated. However, you may not be aware that there have been some recent updates to Oregon’s septic system regulations that affect our entire state and not just the Portland or Lake Oswego real estate markets.

  • Owners of sand filtration septic systems installed after January 1, 2014, are now required to maintain a service contract with a certified on-site wastewater maintenance provider, and are required to inspect their sand filter system at least once a year. A report of the inspection findings must be submitted to DEQ with all required fees. A service contract, along with manual inspections and reports, are also required for alternative treatment technology systems.
  • Mandatory inspections of septic systems are no longer required when a home is bought or sold but the DEQ highly recommends an inspection prior to transferring title.

You can access the entire on-site wastewater treatment system rule here  (OAR 340, divisions 071 and 073). In addition, each city or county have their own special requirements requiring installation of septic systems.

Information About Septic Systems

The owner of a septic system is 100% responsible for the operation and maintenance of their septic system.  If you currently own a septic system, or are thinking about buying a home with a septic system, there is plenty of  information available.  By taking advantage of this information, you can avoid thousands of dollars in expensive system repairs or a system replacement.

The State of Oregon has lots of information at their site regarding maintenance, inspection, repair, etc. of septic systems.  For a list of septic system inspectors in your area, you can find that information on the State’s website.

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low and there is a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1975 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2016. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is a violation of Federal copyright laws.

Contact Betty Jung

Betty Jung, Broker
REALTOR®
CRS, GRI, ABR, SRES, CNHSS

MORE Realty, Inc.
14945 SW Sequoia Parkway, #150
Portland, OR. 97224

503-804-9685 Cell

or email:betty@bettyjung.com

"Selling Real Estate Since 1978. There Is No Substitute For Experience!"

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