Our clients wanted to purchase a property is a subdivision that happened to have a private water and sewer system. The MLS record for this property, and indeed for every property for sale in this subdivision, lists Private Sewer, and says nothing about septics. We were quite taken aback when the sellers disclosure mentioned an alternative septic system. We further researched the property, and found a septic permit for the property. We ordered the permit from the County and it showed that there was a 1,000 gallon tank with a line running from the tank to the private sewer. The list agent was adamant that there was no septic, but we continued our research anyway.
We called our regular septic folks and they gave us the number of an alternative septic system inspector. Upon talking to him, we found out that there are two types of systems in this subdivision. One type simply grinds the waste and sends it directly into the sewer line. The other type sends the waste into a holding tank and a pump pumps out the liquids into the sewer line. Our client's house was of this type, and Arizona law dictates that the tank must be pumped and inspected. We had our clients fill out the appropriate addendum and we sent it to the list agent along with our supporting documentation. The list agent spoke to the septic people and agreed that the tank had to be pumped and inspected.
Had we not done our research, the tank would have eventually filled with solids, the system would probably have clogged, and there would have been a crisis one day when the toilets would no longer flush.