Realtor’s® Guide to Well Septic Part One
- There is no Virginia law or regulation that requires septic systems or wells to be inspected at the time real property is bought or sold. 2.
Are septic inspections required in Virginia?
There is nothing in the law or regulations that requires a septic system to be inspected or pumped prior to the sale of a property; however, some localities may require evidence that the septic tank has been pumped within the past 5 years and some lenders may require a septic inspection prior to approving the loan.
Who pays for septic inspection in Virginia?
In Central Virginia, the standard purchase agreement contract states that it’s the home seller’s responsibility to get the septic inspected within 30 days of the closing date.
Can you sell a house with an old septic tank?
If you’re selling a property with a septic tank, then you must be transparent with buyers about the fact the property uses a one and provide a detailed specification of the system. In fact, You are required by law to inform a buyer in writing about the presence of a septic tank.
Are septic tank locations public record?
Contact your local health department for public records. These permits should come with a diagram of the location where the septic system is buried. Depending on the age of your septic system, you may be able to find information regarding the location of your septic system by making a public records request.
Can a homeowner install a septic system in Virginia?
Q: Can I install my own septic system or well? A: No, you must use a licensed well or septic driller, or installer.
How far does a septic tank have to be from a house in Virginia?
Sewage disposal system or other contaminant source (e.g., drainfield, underground storage tank, barnyard, hog lot, etc.) Private wells shall not be constructed within 50 feet of a house sewer line except as provided below.
Do I need a certificate for my septic tank?
The General Binding Rules were designed to simplify the regulation of small sewage discharges. Septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants no longer need to be registered and there is no legal requirement to keep records of maintenance (although this is advisable).
Should seller pump septic tank?
Typically, septic systems only have to be pumped every 3-5 years. Despite this, however, county law mandates the system to be cleared out before the sale of a home. Thus, it’s in the best interest of the seller to wait until there’s a prospective buyer to begin the process.
What is the alternative to a septic tank?
Mound systems work well as alternatives to septic tanks when the soil around your home or building is too dense or too shallow or when the water table is too high. Although they are more expensive and require more maintenance than conventional systems, mound systems are a common alternative.
Do I have to replace my septic tank by 2020?
Under the new rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.) you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.
Do septic tanks lower property value?
The research shows that having a septic system as opposed to a standard sewage system does not increase or decrease the value of your home, although there are some things about that septic system that can affect resale.
Is my septic tank illegal?
No, septic tanks aren’t going to be banned. Septic tanks do a good job of holding back solids and separating solids from liquid, they also offer a small degree of biological cleaning, however the waste that is discharged from them is still very high in ammonia and requires treatment before entering the environment.
How do I know if my house has a septic tank?
A surefire way to confirm whether or not your home has a septic system is to check your property records. It is likely that the building permit and blueprints for your home and property will contain information about the presence (or lack) of a septic tank.
How do I find out if my septic tank is registered?
Check if your septic tank is already registered You can check if your tank has already been registered by contacting your environmental regulator. If you are unsure then it is best to check and avoid making an unnecessary payment. The NIEA and SEPA have records of all registered septic tanks.
How do you find a septic tank in an old house?
Look for the 4-inch sewer that exits the crawl space or basement, and locate the same spot outside the home. Septic tanks are usually located between ten to 25 feet away from the home. Insert a thin metal probe into the ground every few feet, until you strike polyethylene, fiberglass or flat concrete.
Septic Systems: What is Required?
The Legal Hotline has received an increase in the number of questions about what sellers are expected to provide in terms of septic systems, so we wanted to take this opportunity to go into greater detail about what is required by law and by the Virginia REALTORS ®contract, as well as what you can do in order to keep your transactions moving forward smoothly. A septic system is not required to be tested or pump prior to the sale of real estate; however, some municipalities may require proof that the septic tank has been pumped within five years of the sale of the property, and some lenders may require a septic inspection prior to the approval of a mortgage loan.
Home inspection contingency addendum (Form 600D), as well as paragraph 17 of the Virginia REALTORS ®sales contract (Form 600), address septic system difficulties in two places: the Home Inspection Contingency Addendum (Form 600D) and the Home Inspection Contingency Addendum (Form 600).
Septic system inspections are included in the addendum, which gives a non-exclusive list of the types of inspections that may be performed.
The septic inspection, like other inspections, must be performed by someone who possesses the necessary credentials.
Something that is extremely essential to notice is that the Virginia REALTORS ®Home Inspection Contingency Addendum makes it crystal clear that any damage produced as a consequence of an inspection is the buyer’s responsibility.
In addition to the Home Inspection Contingency, paragraph 17 of the Contract discusses septic systems and their installation.
According to the Contract, this certificate must be issued by an appropriate governmental entity – such as the Virginia Department of Health or a local health department – or by a private organization that meets certain criteria.
It is not required by this paragraph that a specific type of inspection be performed, but we have heard more and more that there are few licensed or accredited professionals who are willing to provide a certificate of any type without first conducting an inspection that is more extensive than a “walkover,” and that the cost of these more extensive inspections is significantly higher than buyers and sellers, or their agents, had expected.
In response to the concerns we’ve been hearing about, the Virginia REALTORS®Standard Forms Subcommittee is evaluating possible remedies to the problems.
If you are representing a buyer in a transaction in which this paragraph has been removed, and you are using the Home Inspection Contingency Addendum as part of your contract, the buyer will still have the option of obtaining a septic inspection at their own expense, based on the inspection language included in the Home Inspection Addendum, even if the paragraph has been removed.
Make sure to clarify the need of a septic check with your customer in order to guarantee that they are properly safeguarded from harm.
What You Should Know When BUYING A HOUSE WITH AN ONSITE SYSTEM
There are no requirements for actions associated with the purchase or sale of property with septic systems, according to the Virginia Department of Health. However, when it comes to real estate transactions involving homes with septic systems, inquiries from buyers, sellers, and lenders are frequently raised by all parties involved. To begin, it is important for everyone involved to understand how septic systems function as well as what the property owner’s duties are when it comes to septic systems.
More information on the obligations of the property owner may be found HERE.
On request, you may obtain septic system records from your local health department by contacting them.
The design capacity is expressed in gallons per day, and it is an important consideration to consider when purchasing a home or building.
Residences are developed using a peak design flow of 150 gallons per day per bedroom as the basis for their design.) The use of the system at a rate greater than the peak design flow may result in the system failing prematurely.) It is possible to find out if the system has been fixed or updated in the past by receiving copies of the permits on file.
- When acquiring commercial property, the waste strength is an extremely significant issue to consider since the waste strength for the anticipated use may be more or lower than the waste strength that the system was built to manage, depending on the situation.
- EXAMPLES: Construction Permit for On-Site Construction Onsite Construction Permit (2) Older Construction Permit (Example) Permits from the past should be examined.
- The inspector will make a note of any modifications made to the original design, as well as the types of particular building materials utilized (for example, Sch 40 PVC for the conveyance line), as well as any faults discovered and the steps taken to repair such shortcomings.
- Among the information contained on the operating permit is the system’s permissible capacity (for example, 450 gallons per day for a three-bedroom home), as well as any ongoing operational needs (e.g.
- As an illustration, consider the following: AS-BUILT DRAWINGS “Drawings of the structure as it will be built It depicts the placement of critical system components as they were originally put on the as-built design.
- The as-built will help you to locate the component in a short period of time.
Example Manuals of operation and maintenanceReports on the operation and maintenance of equipment “Consider the purchase of a vehicle: > OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE MANUALREPORTSThink about it: When you acquire the vehicle, you should obtain the operator’s handbook so that you will be aware of when the manufacturer suggests that maintenance be conducted on important components.
- When you purchase a system, you should get and examine a copy of the system’s manual so that you can determine when and what sort of maintenance the manufacturer suggests.
- The same may be said for septic systems as well.
- Traditional onsite sewage systems located inside the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area are actually required to have pump outs performed on a regular basis.
- You may find out more about those criteria by visiting this page.
- ACTION RECORDS FROM THE ENFORCEMENT “> ACTION RECORDS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT Also ensure sure there aren’t any outstanding enforcement actions against the property related to the septic system, such as a Notice of Violation asking the property owner to replace a failing system, on the books.
- Among the most important documents are those for alternative onsite sewage systems, which include conditional permits, waivers, easements, and notices of recordingation.
The issuance of conditional construction permits authorizes the installation of systems that do not fully comply with certain parts of the Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations, provided that conditions are placed on the permit to ensure the system will function without putting the public’s health in jeopardy.
- It is essential to understand these criteria and limits before to acquiring a property in order to verify that they are compatible with the usage of the property for which you want to use it.
- Waivers given under Virginia Code Section 32.1-164.1:1 to repair a failing system are not transferable (with a few exceptions) and become null and invalid upon the transfer or sale of the property in which they were granted.
- A bill passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 2011 that altered Va.
- Code Section 32.1-164.1:3 to allow for the voluntary upgrade of onsite sewage systems and alternate discharge sewage systems passed by the state legislature.
Code Section 32.1-164.1:1 has been amended to allow system owners who voluntarily upgrade their system to request a waiver from requirements for treatment levels greater than those provided by the existing system, or requirements for pressure dosing, in a manner similar to the waivers granted to system owners who repair failing systems.
- The waiver listed on the deed of the property you are interested in purchasing must be for a repair or a voluntary upgrade.
- Easements An easement in perpetuity is required to be recorded under Section 700.E.2 of the Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations when all or part of an on-site sewage system is proposed to be installed on property other than the owners’ property, as defined in the regulations.
- It is possible that the system predates the necessity for recording, or that the property owner possessed both properties at the same time, in which case an easement is not necessary.
- Preliminary Notice of Recordation Owners of alternative onsite sewage systems are required to record a letter with the deed of their property notifying future owners that their property is served by a backup system prior to receiving an operation permit for the system.
- INSPECTIONS OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY “> INSPECTIONS OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY Inspection PurposeVDH does not mandate that onsite sewage systems be examined prior to the transfer of ownership of a property.
- While it is not mandatory to have the system examined, VDH suggests that you do so in order to ascertain if the system is in good operating condition and to prevent future problems.
If the inspection reveals significant flaws in the system, the owner may be required to do the following: hire a private sector consultant to design a system repair; obtain a construction permit from VDH to repair the system; have a licensed service provider install the repairs; have the system inspected by the designer; and submit all necessary paperwork to VDH in order to receive a new operations permit from the agency.
- This process can take several weeks to complete, which might cause a delay in the closing process if the inspection is undertaken late in the process of transferring ownership.
- The sort of inspection that is done is determined by a variety of parameters, including the age of the system, the type of system, and so on.
- It is also possible that your service provider will perform a loading test by injecting a predetermined volume of water into the system to check for signs of a blockage or failure.
- In the case of alternative systems, the owner is required to have the system inspected at least once a year by a licensed operator.
- What should you do if your system does not pass inspection?
However, for more important repairs, the owner will be required to have the repair planned by a qualified designer and acquire a construction permit from your local health authority before the repair may be completed.
Realtor’s® Guide to Well & Septic Part Two
S. Michael Lynn contributed to this article. As previously stated in Part One of this article, which appeared in the May/June 2013 edition of Update magazine, there are no guidelines or procedures for well and septic inspections in the Commonwealth of Virginia. What should real estate agents expect? Identifying the criteria for a pass or fail grade on a well or septic inspection is sometimes the most challenging component of the process. Regulators have different criteria for traditional and alternative energy systems, for example.
- Alternative energy systems are held to a higher standard than traditional energy systems in that the owner is expected to have the system run and maintained by a licensed energy provider.
- The majority of inspectors are concerned with making sure that all of the necessary input and output tees, filters, and water stops are in place.
- The majority of inspectors are also looking for indications of structural integrity.
- Problems that occur often and their solutions The NVAR WellSeptic Addendum does not specify what constitutes a septic malfunction, in order to provide for some wiggle space for interpretation by inspectors and discussion between buyers and sellers throughout the transaction.
- According to the Virginia Department of Health, these criteria were drawn from a draft policy that was just published.
- It does not presently and will not in the future pose a threat to public health or groundwater resources, provided that periodic maintenance and repairs are carried out on it.
- An operation permit or other approval has been granted for the system by the local health department, or there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the system was installed in compliance with the law.
Safe: Based on the results of the inspection, the inspector is reasonably confident that if the car is driven down the road, it will move when the accelerator is pressed, stop when the brakes are pressed, and that when the car is driven at a normal speed, the engine will not explode and the wheels will not come off.
- A safe septic system is one in which the owner may flush the toilet, take a shower, and potentially face certain maintenance requirements, but in which sewage is not likely to come to the surface, damage the environment, or backup into the home within a reasonable amount of time.
- Even carrying a group of ten people in it on a regular basis is not a practical option.
- If the homeowners are a family of four who will not be utilizing the six bedrooms on a regular basis, an inspector may determine that the system is adequate for the situation.
- Proper: Is a car’s title free of blemishes?
- Was the automobile manufactured in accordance with United States standards, or was it assembled in a garage?
- A appropriate system shall be deemed so by an inspector only if the inspector is fairly certain that the system was allowed by the health department, that it was installed by a licensed contractor, and that it has been thoroughly examined and approved.
- When an application for a building permit for a deck, pool, addition, or garage is submitted, inspectors frequently adhere to the stricter standards of Safe, Adequate, and Proper, which are more stringent.
According to Virginia laws, systems must be built to accommodate two full-time inhabitants per bedroom.
In this case, both the buyer and the seller may agree on the capacity disparity and comprehend the system’s constraints.
Owners may be able to get a conditional operations permit from the local health authority if they can demonstrate that the disparity exists.
However, if the system needs to be expanded to accommodate more bedrooms, the cost might reach $10,000.
• Leaks in tanks can cost between $100 and $1,000 to repair, depending on the severity of the leak.
Distribution boxes that are in poor condition: Lids that are cracked, boxes that are not level, and boxes that have deteriorated.
• Repair costs range from $750 to $1,200 per box.
Intrusion into distribution boxes and headers from the root cause.
• Repair costs range from $500 to $3,500 if boxes and headers need to be replaced5.
When a septic tank does not get pumped frequently enough or when it is used heavily, sludge is forced to move through it and into the distribution box and headers.
The Worst-Case Scenario is as follows: With sewage on the ground, the system is failing; it is not working in a forward flow way; and the inspector does not believe the system will function normally if an empty property is re-occupied.
There are now choices available that can alleviate both short- and long-term problems without requiring a complete system replacement, thanks to the evolution of alternative systems: Incorporating therapy into a system to aid in its recovery; constructing new trenches in between failing trenches; and installing a drip system over the top of failed trenches However, in other cases, the existing system will have to be removed and a new in-ground or discharge system will have to be built.
What is the cost of correcting a mistake?
Firms, inspectors, and officials from the Department of Health and Human Services may all have distinct perspectives.
Michael Lynn, president of SES Mid Atlantic, LLC, is a well-known figure in the industry.
Virginia Passes Septic Tank Law; Could Impact Appraisals
The 27th of July, 2004
Virginia Passes Septic Tank Law; Could Impact Appraisals
The Virginia General Assembly enacted a bill on April 15 that will require renovations to malfunctioning septic tanks before a property can be sold. This would have a significant influence on the disclosure and pricing of properties that are in need of such modifications. Among the provisions of the act, which amends and reenacts sections of Virginia law relating to the validity of certain septic tank permits, is the provision that whenever an onsite sewage system fails and would necessitate improvements under existing law, the owner may request a waiver from the requirement to upgrade.
In addition, the act states that “the owner of the relevant property shall disclose, in writing, to any and all potential purchasers or mortgage holders that any operating permit for the onsite sewage system that has been granted a waiver will become void at the time of transfer or sale of the property, and that the Board’s regulatory requirements for additional treatment or pressure dosing will be required before an operating permit may be reinstated.
Stephen Salmon, SRA, of Richmond, Virginia, is disappointed that the statute does not include a grandfather clause.
Even though the home sold for $120,000, the cost of an engineered septic system might range from $15,000 to $20,000, despite the fact that the repairs were completed less than a year ago.” Because the law requires an owner to disclose a defect to a buyer and the mortgage lender, he said that having to pick between disclosure and a $20K repair and nondisclosure is a no-brainer.
- Among the options considered by the county were: 1) not selling the property and fixing the septic, 2) leaving the property unoccupied, 3) filing a claim with homeowner’s insurance, 4) paying around $25K to connect to public water and sewer, or 5) installing the $20K designed system.
- “I was unable to raise the price by $20,000.
- “The homeowner is responsible for the expense,” he explained.
- The fact that this represents 20% of the entire value of the property makes it doubtful that they will be able to return their investment.
- A building permission has been acquired or building construction has begun, however, the permit may be extended for a further 18 months provided the necessary paperwork has been completed.
Michael Campbell, Environmental Health Manager, Henrico County Health Department, Commonwealth of Virginia, can be reached at 804-501-4530 for further information on this subject matter.
Buying A House With A Septic Tank: Pros And Cons
Do you want to buy a house, but it has a septic tank, and you’re not sure what to check for when you go looking? Several considerations should be made while looking at a house that has an underground septic system. Here’s what you should do to make sure your septic system is in working order before purchasing a home. Learn about the laws in your area. Septic systems are custom-designed to compliment your property and meet local building codes. These local ordinances may include requirements for septic tank inspection, maintenance, and replacement, among other things.
- If you decide to expand your home and add plumbing, they may also need you to install a larger septic tank to accommodate the additional waste.
- Septic systems must be inspected and maintained on a regular basis in order to avoid complications.
- Their job will be to search for leaks and blockages, identifying possible problems before they become major ones.
- It is recommended that you ask to examine the tank’s inspection history before purchasing a house with a septic tank.
- You must have a general understanding of the septic tank’s technical parameters.
- Additionally, you must be aware of the date it was installed, because septic tanks may need to be updated every 20-40 years.
- Make Preparations for Routine Maintenance A septic tank must be examined, maintained, and emptied on a regular basis in order to avoid problems.
Depending on the size of the tank, this can cost anywhere from $300 to $600 on average.
The distinction is that if you flush something down the toilet that shouldn’t be there, it becomes your responsibility on a septic system.
Pipes that are clogged can leak and sewage can back up into your home as a result of these obstructions.
Understand what may go wrong.
It is possible to create a large amount of mess when there are leaks, broken and clogged pipes, and flooding in a drain field.
Due to an excessive amount of liquid present either within the tank or within the drain field, a tank may fail to drain properly – or at all.
Spot Potential Problems As Soon As They Appear You must be able to recognize a possible problem before it manifests itself as a genuine one. Peculiar scents, unusual plumbing indicators, poor drainage, and backflow into your drains are all indications that your septic tank needs to be inspected.
Who Pays for Repairs After a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is one of the last barriers that buyers and sellers must clear before the sale of a property can be finalized and closed. It’s also one of the most crucial of the bunch. During the inspection, a buyer will have one final opportunity to identify any issues with the house that they are considering purchasing, including any areas that are in need of repair. And it’s rather usual for homeowners to require a handful of fixes following a home inspection—especially in older properties.
When determining who is responsible for house repairs following an inspection, it turns out that there are several factors to consider.
We’ll break everything down for you below so you’ll have a better understanding of what to anticipate.
- Buyers and sellers must pass through a home inspection as one of the last barriers before the sale of a property can be finalized and closed. Furthermore, it is the most significant. When a home is being examined, a buyer has one final opportunity to highlight any issues with the property that they are considering purchasing, including any places that require repair. After a house inspection, it’s very uncommon for a homeowner to request a handful of repairs, particularly in older homes. But who has the financial responsibility for them: the buyer or the seller? When determining who is responsible for house repairs following an inspection, it turns out that there are a lot of factors to consider. Among these are the terms of the offer contract, the sorts of repairs that are required, and the laws that apply in your jurisdiction. Listed below is a breakdown of what to expect during the course of the program.
Scheduling a Home Inspection
If at all feasible, arrange a home inspection as early in the sales process as you can. This will give you plenty of time to negotiate and make any necessary repairs before the closing date. Home inspections should be handled by an expert home inspector, which should be recommended by the buyer’s real estate agent. During the inspection, it is assumed that the sellers would be absent from the property. This allows the buyer and their inspector to speak freely about the home and to conduct as comprehensive an examination of all of the important systems as possible before making an offer.
Negotiating Repairs After a Home Inspection
When it comes to post-inspection repairs, both buyers and sellers have a number of alternative options available to them. Some purchasers request that the seller take care of the repair on their behalf, which may include arranging for the repair and paying for it to be completed. Others seek for a price reduction in order to offset the amount of money they will have to spend on the repair themselves. An additional typical arrangement between buyers and sellers after an inspection report is for the buyer to request a house warranty from the seller.
- For the average house warranty, the annual cost is somewhat more than $600.
- Whether a seller refuses to pay for any or all repairs, it is up to the buyer to determine what they wish to do in this situation.
- The buyer may be required to forfeit the earnest money that has already been placed in escrow to the seller, which is typically between 1 and 10 percent of the total transaction price of the house, depending on the conditions that have been agreed upon prior to the sale.
- Some jurisdictions (such as New Jersey) demand that the seller complete any agreed-upon repairs within seven days, or else the buyer has the right to terminate the deal without forfeiting their earnest money and retain their earnest money.
- This avoids any miscommunications from occurring, which may result in dissatisfaction, and it also assures that everyone is entitled to receive what they have agreed to in the first place.
However, if both the buyer and the seller are determined to complete the transaction, there should be no difficulties in ensuring that everyone is satisfied with the final terms of the transaction.
Virginia Septic Service LLC Septic Inspections, service & maintenance
Service Agreement for Operation and Repairs (one year): This agreement covers an annual state-approved septic system inspection, cleaning filters, providing maintenance as needed, and if equipped, active online monitoring of the system’s operation and performance. The client is given a copy of the inspection report when it has been completed, and the reports are submitted with the proper government and state agencies. A normal inspection takes 4 hours total, which includes inspection time and driving time.
Any time spent in excess of 4 combined hours, including return drive time, during a regular routine scheduled inspection, or if we discover that additional repairs are necessary during the examination, you will be invoiced at parts+15 percent and time at $120/hr in addition to the agreed inspection fee.
We shall add a minimum of 15% to all bills we receive for subcontracted work in order to cover any liabilities and time involved per hourly rate, as well as any additional costs.
Typically, the cost ranges from $120-$250, depending on the type of tests performed and the availability of a laboratory.
An “in the field” cost of $100.00 for on-site sampling and testing is charged for one time use.
Initial inspections, first-time visits, and new installations are all possible.
This charge is $500, plus $120 per hour on-site, in addition to other fees.
Continual Online Surveillance If your septic system is equipped with Online Monitoring (such as an Advantex Orenco AX20, AX-20 AX-RT, AX20-RT, or AX25-RT), you will need to pay $50 to your annual cost of operation and maintenance.
Enhancing an Advantex system with online monitoring There are several methods available for adding internet monitoring to an existing Advantex system.
Older computers will require a motherboard update as well as the installation of an extra router.
You may need to have your internet provider provide cat 5 cable to the septic control box if it is located a long distance away, or you may need to install a wireless access point router to deliver a lan-based wifi signal to the box at its position if it is located close by.
We recommend using a hard wired LAN connection (cat5 or cat6).
This finished project cost around $1000, including labor, but the final cost may vary depending on distance and any connectivity issues.
Additionally The cost of monitoring your system will be $50 per year for you.
Rootx is a safe and cost-effective method of treating or preventing roots in a system that we recommend to our customers.
Using a 2lb treatment of Root X every few months to keep your system pipes free is a good option if you suspect roots are coming into your system or have trees on or near your sewage line.
If we do this service during an inspection, there will be no additional charge.
It is recommended to use one treatment for tiny root intrusions and to renew treatments as needed, or to use four pounds or six pounds for bigger root difficulties.
The roots that have been destroyed may potentially clog the septic pipes.
RAIN (Rain Water Intrusion / Rain Infiltration)Water flowing into a drain field is a common problem with any septic system, and it may be quite costly.
Toilets that leak are a common cause of problems.
By using standard cake food coloring, you can see how well the toilets work.
Any evidence of color indicates a leak, and the amount of color leak reveals how big of a leak it is.
Rain can get into the fittings, the tank, and the lids. All runoff and water should be diverted away from the septic system, which should never be dug up and used as a funnel for any other purpose. This will entice water to inundate the area. Homes without an alarm system will never know.