Property Owners Must Now Disclose Septic System Status to Buyers

By Scott Sarvay

Property Owners Must Now Disclose Septic System Status to Buyers

March 9, 2012 Updated Mar 9, 2012 at 11:14 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Allen County Department of Health says new sewage system ordinance will help protect home buyers from future costly repairs.

The health department wants the seller to notify any prospective buyer that the property for sale has a septic system. This allows the buyer to request an evaluation of the system by a qualified evaluator at the seller’s expense.

There are approximately 15,500 properties in Allen County which are not connected to sanitary sewer and instead use other means to treat and discharge wastewater. Of those properties, it is estimated that as many as 70 percent have systems that may be failing, non-existent or below current standards. Failing or inadequate septic systems are a threat to public health and the environment and can cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace.

“This ordinance will provide homebuyers some protection against making an ill-advised purchasing decision, but it’s still up to the buyer to request the septic evaluation,” says Gary Chapple, director of Pollution Control with the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health.

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