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Do All Houses Have A Septic System?

Often times first time home buyers or people looking to buy a new residence come across properties with Septic Systems. This can often lead to lots of other questions. For instance, you may be wondering does every house have a septic system?

So, does every house have a septic system/tank? No, not all houses have septic systems. Every home needs a waste management system to take care of household sewage, but those systems vary depending on the home. The two most popular waste management systems a home may have are septic systems or public sewer system.

Keep reading this article to understand why certain homes have Septic Systems and why others do not.

Why Do Some Homes Have A Septic System?

Ultimately, whether or not a certain property depends on a septic or public sewer system depends on the location of the home.


If your home is based in a municipality that offers public sewer and has the infrastructure built throughout the city, then the home will have a public sewer that is maintained by the town.

These homes will often have an additional sewer tax they need to pay to help maintain the public sewer system.

If your home is in an area where the municipality hasn’t established the infrastructure for a public sewer system, then you will need to have your own independent waste system.

If your home is an such an area, then you most likely have a septic system.

If you want to learn more about the difference between septic and public sewer systems– read this article.

How Do I Know If My House Has A Septic Tank?

Here are few tips to help you figure out if your house has a septic system.

If you’ve recently purchased an older home you may be wondering the best way to figure out if your home has a septic, public sewer, or cesspool.

  1. Contact your real estate agent if you’ve recently purchased the home or if you are looking to purchase a home and ask them to look up the property records. Your waste removal system is a major system in any home and needs to be part of the property record.
  2. Call your local municipality and ask them if the home is zoned for public sewer or septic
  3. Ask the previous owners or have your realtor reach out to them to see if the house has a current or decommissioned septic system on the property.
  4. Look for signs of a septic system on the property, like access points or risers and lids, or septic vents coming out of the ground.
  5. Ask a neighbor, if you live on a block with other houses, you can ask a neighbor what sewage system the block uses. (caution, sometimes homebuyers can pay extra to hook into public works, so make sure they haven’t just paid to bring their home to the public sewer while other homes still use septic.
  6. Check your property survey or engineering plans to find out where the septic is.


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