1. Septic Systems are more common than you think. While many people, especially those in large cities assume that public sewers are the only option for most single family homes, the reality is that most of the world is on some form of septic and even here in America, it is quite common in a number of cases:
- rural areas or cities where average lots are quite large: in many of these cases, it may
not have been economically feasible for either the city/municipality or the original
builder/home owner to invest in infrastructure costs to connect to the city sewer sytem
, - cities that have experienced rapid growth - in places like Atlanta where the last real
estate boom drove lots of expansion, homes may have been built before the city had
sufficient time to extend the sewer infrastructure, so septic may be the only option
2. Septic Systems can be much more economical. By not having to utilize the sewer system, in many cases, homeowners can save quite a bit of money from their monthly water bills. Now the trade-off is that there will be some ongoing maintenance costs associated with periodic emptying of the tank and other maintenance to ensure system operations, but even with those infrequent costs included, the overall savings can be quite substantial for many large homes (20-25% less/yr in some areas).
3. Septic Systems can also be more green. While the idea of "leach fields" and liquid waste draining into the ground beneath your backyard may not be the most appealing, the reality is that it can be just as hygienic and effective. In many regards, it's not that different than what a sewerage treatment plan would do but without requiring as much chemicals or energy in the process, so for those who want to reduce their impact on the environment, this can be an interesting option.
At the end of the day, for most people, this is likely not an option that you would select when buying a home unless you are building a custom home on an individual lot, however, my conclusion is to not necessarily eliminate homes with septic systems if you are a prospective home buyer and to potentially consider it if you are doing some major renovation of your home.