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More !@#y Portland Sewer Situations

Sewer Scope Reveals Gas Line in Pipe
The yellow pipe is a natural gas line.

If you are a regular reader of the Portland Real Estate Blog then you should see a theme developing: scope your sewer! We’ve come across yet another sewer issue that would have been discovered with a $95 scope: the sewer line is not connected to city sewer but to a (now very full) septic tank, which is under the garage (we were not involved in the transaction).

The scope we had done this week on a new construction revealed a large belly (low spot) in the pipe so that it does not drain properly.  Another clearly shows tree roots blocking most of the flow.  We’ve also seen failed connections between new and old lines, the neighbor’s new gas line burst through the sewer line (picture above), offset pipes, crumbled pipes, crushed pipes, party sewers, and nearly flawless pipes.  Problem is if you don’t look, you won’t know.

There’s a long list of possible inspections when you buyer a house, in fact, the Oregon Real Estate agency publishes the Oregon Property Buyer Advisory.  The section on sewers:

Whether the property is connected to a city sewer, septic system or other on-site wastewater treatment system is important information. Even if the MLS data sheet or Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement indicate that the home is connected to the city sewer, the buyer should have their home inspector, or a licensed plumber, verify the connection and its condition. Real estate licensees are not licensed to do plumbing or septic inspections. If the property has a septic system or other on-site wastewater treatment system, the system should be inspected by a licensed septic system installer or other on-site wastewater treatment system professional hired by the buyer. Information about on-site wastewater treatment systems, and licensed installers and pumpers, can be found on the website for the Oregon Department of  Environmental Quality (DEQ) at: http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/onsite/onsite.htm. Buyers should check with the appropriate county department for specific information on a particular property.

You have a long list of inspection options but please don’t consider a sewer scope as optional when you are buying Portland real estate.

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