If you are looking for a country residence, you have probably noticed that in the majority of cases, this type of property does not benefit from municipal water and sewer services.
“We can’t say that it’s an obstacle to selling or buying from the moment there is no other option, which is often the case in the regions. Since people are far from each other, it would cost far too much to carry out infrastructure work,” remarks Marc Lacasse, real estate broker and president of the board of directors of the Association professionnelle des courtiers immobiliers du Québec (APCIQ).
That said, you should make sure that the equipment is working well, that it is in good condition and that it is located within legal distances before buying the property in question.
Without going into technical details, the artesian well provides a source of drinking water drawn deep in the ground. It must meet two fundamentals: provide good quality drinking water, and then provide sufficient water quantity and pressure to meet the needs of all the occupants that the house can accommodate.
To be sure, you will need to have a water test and a well inspection by a qualified home inspector.
You can also carry out the sampling without going through a professional and then deposit it in a laboratory which must be accredited by the Ministry of the Environment in bacteriological analysis, but find out beforehand about the protocol to follow. Please note: as real estate brokers are involved, they should never take samples or have them analyzed for you.
Even if the water is odorless, colorless and good tasting, it may contain elements that have adverse health effects. The Ministry of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks (MELCCFP) therefore recommends carrying out tests several times a year; this test is also required by the financial institution before a real estate transaction.
As an owner, keep the physico-chemical analyzes of the water so that you can provide a history to the buyer when you decide to sell.
In addition to the quality of the water, the quantity, the flow rate as well as the pumping capacity and the condition of the equipment deserve your full attention. It is therefore essential to call on a building inspector before committing to buy so that he can carry out precise checks. The result of this inspection will ensure (or not) you a certain comfort and will let you know if you risk running out of water or pressure.
A septic tank is used to receive sewage and organic waste through a pipe connected to your house. After the waste is broken down, the wastewater is usually directed to a leach field for further treatment and then to receiving soil.
There are several septic tank systems. That said, whatever it is, it is imperative to have it checked by a qualified building inspector who is used to this kind of expertise before buying, as for the artesian well.
It is essential to comply with them to avoid annoying inconveniences. Marc Lacasse gives the example of a chalet with three bedrooms and an unfinished basement.
“If the owner decides to add two bedrooms to the basement without asking for a permit, we have five bedrooms when the chalet is sold and the septic systems are no longer compliant. Another reason to inspect!
In order to avoid problems, each owner has the obligation to have their septic tank emptied generally every two years. Depending on the region, it is the owner or the City who takes care of emptying.
As long as the equipment complies with the regulations and you carry out the regular maintenance required to keep it in good condition, there is no need to worry. And if the inspection reveals that major changes are to be made, you will certainly have reason to negotiate the price with the seller.