Septic Systems 101:

Let’s Talk About Poop


The Cape House Show: Episode 25

I think we can all agree that poop is funny. Am I right? So that’s why I thought today would be a good day to talk about septic systems. So we’re going to talk about Septic Systems in a couple of episodes here, because there is a lot to know! Poop is very interesting!

We all know when you’re going real estate, you get the septic inspection.
“Oh, the septic didn’t pass!”
“Oh, I have to get a new D box!”
“Oh, we need risers!”
“Oh, how’s your leach field?”
Ahhhh! What is all that? Well, let’s start with the basics: 


What is a septic system?

Alright, most people in – well, not most people – but in more populated areas have sewer systems. All of the effluent from houses goes to a large plant somewhere far, far away and you never have to deal with it. In “rural” areas like Cape Cod, (which is getting less and less rural), we have our own littlw sewage treatment plants in our houses and those are called septic systems.

How do they work?

Basically what happens is all of the waste water from your kitchen, your bathroom, and your laundry goes out one pipe and into the tank of your septic system. So in the tank, everything goes there and the fecal sludge (you know what that is) sinks to the bottom, and the greasy oily things rise to the top (this is so gross). And then, in the middle, a pipe lets out the effluent into a leaching field. That waste water leaches into the soil of your yard, our community, and our aquifer.

Why should anyone care?

This process wouldn’t be such a big deal if we didn’t have so many septic systems here on the Cape, and if they didn’t get so hammered on during the summer season. But we’re starting to have a little issue. We only have ONE aquifer here to work with on the Cape and the nitrogen that’s coming in from these septic systems are causing issues. High nitrogen can cause some really scary, terrible things particularly for little babies.

What can you do?

In the meantime as we work to try to solve that issue, get your septic system inspected. That’s part of keeping our water safe and your water safe. I mean, jeez, f you have a well on site, you have to be conscious of that too! Septic systems are disgusting and gross, but they’re super necessary. If you have one, it’s really important that that you make sure that it is working well and doing what it is supposed to be do. Even when they’re working the best they can, they’re still putting nitrogen into our water system, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re not making it any worse than it already is!


Tune in next time because, believe it or not, there’s even more to know about septic systems and how they impact your real estate dealings and your day-to-day here on Cape Cod!

And remember: we are here for YOU! We can set you up with inspectors, installers, and anything you need to know! Contact us if you need help!



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Meet Katie

Picture of Katie Clancy, Agent and CEO of The Cape House in Cape Cod MAMother. Singer. Runner. Dog Parent. Realtor. Speaker. Cape Cod Local Expert. When I want the freshest oysters, I don’t go to the fish counter at the grocery store; I go to John, the East Dennis oyster guy. When my husband wants a perfectly tailored suit, we don’t go to the mall; we go to Puritan Clothing in Hyannis. When I want the best chocolate this side of the Alps I don’t go to the candy store, I go to The Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans. A Cape Codder since I was a kid, I can find you the right house, bank, builder, school, auto mechanic, and yes, even the right oyster guy.