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Sail Through Your Country Home Purchase With Our Water and Septic Tips

Unlike the “similar-style” homes found within many urban developments, no two rural properties are the same – especially when it comes to water sources and septic systems. That’s why it’s important to work with a lender who understands the unique features found on farms and acreages. Our tips will help you evaluate water sources and make a sound decision about your move to the country.

Check Availability:  Before buying or building in the country, one of the most important factors to consider is water service to the property. Some rural properties have the advantage of being hooked up to municipal utilities or rural water districts, but many rely on private wells and septic systems.

For properties that already have a well and septic system, determine if the water source is available year-round, including during periods of drought. It’s also important to know the exact location of the water pump, pressure tank and control switch, septic tank and drainage field.

For properties that do not have a well or septic system, consider how drilling and installation fees will add to the total property investment. 

Inspect for Quality and Quantity:  Groundwater quality and quantity can differ greatly over short distances. A well’s output can change over time, too. Performing a well potability test to determine if the water is safe and free of contaminants, and measure the well flow rate and recovery rate to ensure there is sufficient water pressure and supply. 

Existing septic systems should be evaluated based on condition, age and size to confirm the unit is in good working order and can support the number of people living on the property.

Minimum distances between wells and septic systems should be verified to avoid contamination, and the absence of tree roots in the drainage field confirmed to prevent future damage to the system.

Click for more information about buying or building in the country.


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FCSAmerica serves farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. For inquiries outside this geography, use the Farm Credit Association Locator  to contact your local office.