How To Inspect Septic Tank Slo County? (Best solution)

  • To schedule an inspection, please use the Department of Planning and Building’s Citizen Self Service Portal (CSS) portal or fill out an online form available through this link. You can also call (805) 788- 6602 or email [email protected]. All requests must be received before midnight for an inspection the following business day.

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.

What should I look for when inspecting a septic system?

There are three things a septic system inspector will check during an inspection including the integrity of the septic tank, the proper function of the distribution box, and a leach field that is working as intended. If all three of these components are working correctly you will have passed the septic inspection.

How do I make my septic tank run smoother?

9 Tips to Keep Your Septic System Running Smoothly

  1. Have your Septic System pumped regularly.
  2. Divert all access runoff away from your septic tank.
  3. Make sure all access lids and ports are sealed tight.
  4. Have your Septic System inspected routinely.
  5. Have the proper drawings and sitemaps for your system.

Can you flush food into a septic tank?

Food. Food scraps will clog your septic system. It doesn’t matter whether you’re putting vegan sausage and kale or leftover bacon grease and Funyuns down your garbage disposal. “Putting any kind of food into a septic tank can lead to buildup in your pipes,” Monell says.

How do I find out where my septic tank is located?

Follow the Main Sewer Line Look for a pipe that’s roughly four inches in diameter that leads away from your house. Remember the location of the sewer pipe and where the pipe leaves your home so you can find it outside. The sewer pipes will lead to where your septic tank is located.

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.

What are signs of septic tank problems?

7 Warning Signs Your Septic System Is Failing

  • Gurgling Pipes. They would occur when you run water in the house (e.g. when using the sink or shower) or flush the toilet.
  • Bad Odours. It’s never a pleasant experience when this occurs.
  • Water At Ground Level.
  • Green Grass.
  • Slow Drainage.
  • Blocked Pipes.

How do you know when your septic tank needs pumped out?

Common Signs You Need Septic Tank Pumping Services

  1. Slow or Frequently Clogged Drains. Since your septic tank is connected to the entire network of drains throughout your home, your sinks, showers, and even toilets can exhibit signs of a problem.
  2. Sewage Backup.
  3. Regular Gurgling Noises.
  4. Strong and Pungent Odors.

How often should a septic tank be pumped?

Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.

How do you tell if your septic tank is full?

How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying

  1. Pooling water.
  2. Slow drains.
  3. Odours.
  4. An overly healthy lawn.
  5. Sewer backup.
  6. Gurgling Pipes.
  7. Trouble Flushing.

How do I keep my septic tank healthy?

Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system

  1. Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
  2. Pump your septic tank as needed.
  3. Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
  4. Be water-wise.
  5. Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
  6. Landscape with love.
  7. Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.

How do I clean my septic tank naturally?

You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!

What happens to poop in a septic tank?

The inlet pipe collects the water waste in the septic tank, long enough that the solid and liquid waste is separated from each other. Inside the tank bacteria from the wastewater breaks down the solid waste. These bacteria decompose the solid waste rapidly allowing the liquids to separate and drain away more easily.

Are long showers bad for septic systems?

Washing frequent, small loads of laundry or taking exceptionally long showers every day is all it takes to overload your septic system with too much water. The primary treatment tank needs time to break up solids before partly-treated water can enter the drain field.

Does hair break down in a septic tank?

Why Hair is a Such a Problem It’s composed of tough strands of proteins similar to those in your fingernails, and it’s not easily broken down by bacteria. Even if it doesn’t for years in your septic tank, it’ll almost certainly last for longer than the 24-48 hours that it sits in your septic tank.

Septic systems

All options are available. Septic system questions should be directed to your local municipality if you live in one of these cities: Phone number in Dayton: 763-427-4589 Hopkins’ phone number is 952-935-8474. Phone number for Independence: 763-479-0527 Loretto’s phone number is 763-479-4305. Call Medina at 763-473-4643. New Hope’s phone number is 763-531-5100. The phone number in Orono is 952-249-4600. Richfield may be reached at 612-861-9700. St. Louis Park phone number: 952-924-2500 952-474-4755 Woodland, Texas

Residents of these cities should contact Hennepin County for septic system questions

  • Among the cities and towns in Minnesota are: Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Corcoran, Crystal, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Hanover, Long Lake, Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Medicine Lake, Minneapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minnetonka, Minnetrista, Mound, Osseo, Plymouth, Robbinsdale, Rockford, Rogers, Shorewood, St. Anthony,

Printable map

Map of the septic system in Hennepin County (PDF)

Properly disposing of a septic tank (abandonment)

  • There is no new construction in the abandoned (it is a stand-alone abandonment). The county is in charge of regulating septic systems in your city.

Inspections and required steps

Along with the payment, you must submit an application for an aseptic abandonment permission (PDF). Once you have been issued a permission, you must do the following:

  • Inspect and maintain the tank with the help of a qualified pumper/maintainer Take photographs of the tank after it has been smashed, filled with stones, or removed. Obtain and complete the abandonment reporting form.

Send the following papers to the address below within 90 days of completing the preceding steps:

  • Invoice from a certified pumper/maintainer demonstrating that they pumped the tank before it was abandoned
  • And Photographs of the tank after it has been smashed, filled with stones, or removed from use
  • Form of abandonment reporting (DOC) that has been completed

Send papers to [email protected] and [email protected], or drop them off at the addresses above. Generally speaking, if you follow the recommendations above, we will not do an onsite inspection.


Terry Hamal may be reached at [email protected] or 612-543-5249. The sale of a home in Hennepin County is not subject to a septic system inspection requirement. According to state law, you are required to provide the buyer with accurate information on the septic system. A buyer who is well-informed will demand a comprehensive inspection. Before issuing a mortgage, many lenders need a compliance examination to be completed. Find a qualified inspector to assist you.

County inspections

  • New septic systems
  • New septic tanks or holding tanks
  • New septic tanks or holding tanks There is now an examination of current septic systems as a result of a complaint
  • The county does not inspect septic systems that are required to have a compliance inspection report completed. You will need to hire a private septic specialist to complete this task.

Certificates of compliance

  • Inspection report on compliance for existing systems that is valid for three years. New systems: a five-year certificate of conformity with applicable regulations.

Notice of noncompliance

  • Upgrades to septic systems can take three years
  • An acute health concern must be addressed within 10 days and resolved within 10 months. The presence of an impending health concern indicates that sewage has surfaced to the ground or has returned into the dwelling.

Building permits

Septic permit approval or compliance inspection are required for the following:

  • Obtaining any and all building permits for new business or new residential construction
  • Any permits for bedroom(s) expansions, any additions or modification of commercial buildings where water use is expected to rise
  • And If the drainfield is located inside the shoreland or wellhead protection area, any permits for a substantial addition or redesign of a dwelling or structure on the property will be required to be obtained. Check with your city to see if there are any shoreland and wellhead protection areas.

Older septic systems

Septic systems installed before January 23, 1996 are considered compliant provided they fulfill the following two requirements:

  1. There is two feet of dirt buffer given, and it is not considered to be a health hazard at this time. This indicates that sewage has surfaced above ground or has backed up into the residence.

This clause does not apply to:

  • Beaches and sand dunes
  • Food, beverage, and hotel establishments Protection zones around wellheads
  • Construction of a new building

Wetland requirement

Septic drainfields or mounds must be at least 50 feet away from a wetland of category three or above in order to be permitted.

Warrantied systems

The use of warrantied systems is not permitted. See MN Statutes Chapter 115.55 for information on warrantied systems. All options are available.

Best septic service in Paso Robles

When it comes to septic services in and around Paso Robles, there is no better place to turn. Septic tank services are provided by a number of high-quality firms in the region. In Paso Robles, here are some of the most reputable septic services:

Ingram and Greene Sanitation– (805) 466-0462

The septic tank service Ingram and Greene Sanitation in Paso Robles provides a comprehensive range of services from all areas of the trade, some of which include septic and grease trap pumping, repairs and installations of leach fields and septic tanks, city sewage hook ups, hydro jetting sewer lines, electronic tank and line locating, certification and escrow inspections, power snake line cleaning, underground utilities, video line inspections, poly lock septic risers, installation of poly lock See what people have to say about them on Yelp.

They are the best septic tank pumping service in the area.

Romo Septic Service– (805) 835-6040

Romo Septic Service is a family-owned and operated full-service septic provider and licensed grease trap handler in the greater Los Angeles area. Service options include septic tank and baffle repair, certified grease trap hauler service, FHA/VA escrow inspections and certificates, in-pipe video inspections, winery waste dewatering, electronic tank finder, and leach field treatment.

Septic tank and baffle repair are among the services offered by this company. See what people have to say about them on Yelp.

North County Septic Service– (805) 239-3838

North County Septic Service is capable of repairing or replacing any component of your septic system. Septic tanks, leach fields, baffles, sagging or damaged lines, filters, lift pumps, float controls, alarm systems, and other similar devices are all available for purchase. We have electronic locators, video inspection equipment, a mini-excavator and a backhoe, as well as the knowledge and experience to get your system up and operating quickly and efficiently.

Service areas

These recommended businesses, which provide the best septic services in Paso Robles, Atascadero, and Templeton, serve the entire North San Luis Obispo County area, including nearby towns such as Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, San Simeon, San Miguel, Shandon, Santa Margarita, Creston, and the Lake Nacimiento communities of Heritage Ranch and Oak Shores, as well as the Lake Nacimiento communities of Heritage Ranch and Oak A septic tank is depicted in this diagram. — Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Best of Paso Robles series

Editor’s note: TheBest of Paso Roblesis a unique feature of the Paso Robles Daily News that highlights the best of the community. Local companies recommended in the series are those that the authors and editors have personally met and found to be dependable and trustworthy in their own lives. The businesses on this list have proven themselves to be great providers of products and services in their respective communities. Contact the Paso Robles Daily News by clicking here, or call Access Publishing at (805) 226-9890 if you would like to nominate a local company for consideration for inclusion in the Best of Paso Robles series of articles.


Fees have been increased. BE ADVISED:Due to an increase in the number of Property Transfer applications, BCPH may need up to 15 business days to complete and issue a property transfer certificate. We do not provide certificate expediting services.

Onsite Wastewater Treatment SystemsCOVID-19

In spite of the fact that our office is temporarily closed to the general public, we are continuing performing inspections of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS). In order to schedule an inspection, please phone 303-441-1564 and leave a message on the answering machine. The majority of applications and fees may now be completed and submitted online. Applications can also be mailed or dropped off at 3450 Broadway, in the mailbox slot to the right of the front entrance, at the Department of Public Health.

In Person

The application for a Permit or Property Transfer should be dropped in at 3450 Broadway St., Boulder, CO 80304, in the mailbox slot marked “Permits and Property Transfers.”

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By Mail

Applicants for Permits or Property Transfers should send their application together with any applicable documentation to the Boulder County Public HealthWater Quality Program, 3450 Broadway St., Boulder, CO 80304.


Make a submission for your property transfer The submission of applications for property transfers and permits is now possible over the internet. Payments can be made using the following methods:

  • Electronic check ($1.00 fee)
  • Credit card ($0.75 fee plus 2.25 percent of the entire cost)
  • Debit card ($0.75 fee plus 2.25 percent of the total cost)

If you have any queries concerning the sort of permit you need to apply for, please fill out the questionnaire.

Thank you. Additional criteria and information may be found on theProperty Transferspage and theForms and Applicationspage, respectively.

Tips for Applying Online for a Property Transfer

  1. In order to submit an online application for a Property Transfer, you must first create an account. Sign in with your username and password that you generated after completing the registration process. At the top of the screen, select “Environmental Health” from the drop-down menu. Create an application by clicking on “Create an application.” It is necessary to get a Land Transfer Certificate for each septic system on the property, and each one demands a separate price
  2. Attach all of your paperwork, just as you would if you were submitting your application in person, including a copy of the Property Transfer Application Inspection Report.

Applications for a Conditional Property Transfer need the uploading of a completed and notarized Repair Agreement Form as part of the process.

Tips for Applying Online for a Permit

Instructions for using the OTWS Permit Online Application Database may be found here.

Social Distancing Guidelines

While conducting inspections, we shall adhere to social distancing rules, and we ask for your assistance in putting these guidelines into action. We urge that you adhere to the 6-foot guideline and avoid unnecessary contact. During this period, you and others should take the following precautions:

  • Maintaining close touch with unwell persons is discouraged. Prevent unclean hands from coming into contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth. Hands should be washed often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily accessible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. When you are unwell, you should stay at home. Using a tissue, cover your coughing or sneezing and then throw the tissue away Frequently touched objects and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected.

Learn more about septic experts and COVID-19 by reading the following articles.

Septic Professionals

Submit an application for a Septic License

Groundwater Contamination

Among the most commonly mentioned sources of groundwater contamination in our country, septic systems are the second most frequently reported. Septic systems that are not permitted, are old, or are malfunctioning have a significant influence on the quality and safety of our water supply.

Risk Factors

Many factors contribute to the risk of septic system failure in some areas compared to others, including the age of the system, the number of other systems in the vicinity, the type of soil and slope of the ground on which the system is located, and the distance between the system and drinking or ground water.

Septic System Approval

To ensure that septic systems in Boulder County are designed properly and are in appropriate functioning condition, water quality personnel from Boulder County Public Health must inspect and approve all septic systems in the county. To be certified, systems must be in operation by December 31, 2023 if they are not already in operation. For septic systems in locations where there is a larger danger of pollution of drinking water supplies, the deadline may be sooner. The application for a permit, soil study, and a site inspection are all required steps in the process of obtaining final approval for a septic system.


Requiring a septic system examination at the time of a property sale or transfer is one of the most effective tactics for ensuring that systems are in proper functioning order and that they are safe to use. Boulder County implemented a property transfer law in 2008 to guarantee that any faults with the septic system are communicated to the new buyer and that the present owner or new buyer would make the necessary repairs within one year of closing the sale of the property.


  • A fee of $.75 + 2.25 percent of the total cost will be charged if the payment is made by credit card, in addition to the regular price.

County holds its nose to proposed state septic rules

Proposed septic standards for the region might result in higher costs for individuals and businesses, additional regulation, and increased workload for local governments. Officials in San Luis Obispo County and Atascadero are concerned about a new state proposal that focuses largely on the installation of new septic systems throughout much of California. The new guidelines include requirements for thorough monitoring programs to determine whether or not nitrates are entering groundwater, as well as other obligations.

The county anticipates that developing a monitoring plan will cost $500,000 to complete.

The subject was argued in San Luis Obispo last week, when the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board stated that local agencies in charge of regulating septic users must take a closer look at how septic discharge impacts groundwater quality in order to prevent groundwater contamination.

  1. “We are dissatisfied with the manner the decision was reached,” Atascadero City Councilwoman Roberta Fonzi expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome.
  2. According to those research, there are safe amounts.
  3. The water company in Atascadero tests its wells for nitrates on a yearly basis, and the results show that the average level is below the state’s drinking water regulations, according to utility officials.
  4. Septic systems are used by 24,000 people in the county, including commercial, agricultural, and residential customers.
  5. The sewage systems that serve its companies are in place.
  6. The requirements apply to septic systems that have been installed under new permits.
  7. It also forbids the construction of secondary houses, such as granny apartments, on parcels with less than 2 acres of land unless the agency can demonstrate that the discharge is not harmful to humans.
  8. As a result, there is no income to support the studies that the board desires.

According to Packard, “we are saying let’s get that down on paper and legally empower the (agency) to make those personalizations official.” Still, county officials stated in a statement to the board opposing the revisions that focusing on the increased monitoring chores would cost the equivalent of five full-time workers.

“The county is very worried about your agency demanding the expenditure of such a huge sum of money during this time of financial difficulty,” Environmental Health Specialist Barry Tolle said in a letter to the county administrator.

Home Buyers Guide

Important Information to Consider Before Purchasing A Septic-System-Served Home I. OBJECTIVES Prospective homebuyers of single-family dwellings frequently have several questions about the septic system that serves the residence, including the following: What exactly is the structure of the present septic system? Is it up and running properly? How long do you think it will last? What will the cost of a replacement system be if this one fails? Our goal is to provide purchasers with information that will alleviate their fears.

  • II.
  • This is accomplished through the use of septic tanks.
  • A well running septic tank will lower pollutant levels and create effluent that is of a relatively consistent chemical composition.
  • The new tanks (which have been in service since January 1991) are divided into two compartments in order to achieve the aforementioned goal in an even more efficient manner.
  • In most cases, “gravity” systems are used to transport sewage via pipelines and distribution boxes without the need of any mechanical devices like as pumps or siphons; and 4) a drainage (leaching) system to distribute sewage effluent into the surrounding natural soils.
  • The precise type of concrete that is used on a particular property is typically determined by the soil conditions that present on the land.
  • In order for a drainage system to work correctly, it must meet the following requirements:
  1. Provide a sufficient amount of application space. The application area is defined as the amount of soil surface area given by a specific drainage system (sides and bottom area of leaching units) where sewage effluent is applied to a specific location (referred to as “wetted” area). An individual house’s application area need is determined by the soil properties of the site as well as the daily flow rates (measured in gallons) generated by the house’s plumbing system. Ordinarily, the projected flow from a property is determined by the number of bedrooms in the residence. Natural soil conditions must surround the septic tank so that the effluent discharge may be dissipated and dispersed without getting over saturated. Provide sufficient capacity to hold effluent during periods of abnormally high usage or when rainfall or subsurface flooding impairs the system’s ability to disseminate the liquid
  2. And

Note: Drains/groundwater interceptor drains are occasionally placed as part of a drainage system update in order to reduce the risk of excessive groundwater levels. It is critical to understand that, after a system has been implemented, only one of the elements listed above may be modified by the homeowner. The amount of water that is actually released into the system may be controlled by the homeowner.

Because each system has a specific maximum capacity, it is in the best interests of the homeowner not to exceed that limit. What are some of the most prevalent signs that a system may exhibit when it begins to suffer difficulties?

  1. It is possible that plumbing fittings will have trouble discharging their contents (slow draining, bubbling, backups, etc.). This condition might be indicative of a systemic problem, but it could simply be caused by a blockage in the inner plumbing or sewage line. Before starting with an assessment of the sewage disposal system, you should have the inside piping examined. Large-volume discharges (such as those from washing machines, dishwashers, and bathtubs) can result in either a backlog, as described above, or an overflow of sewage above the septic tank or leaching field, depending on the situation. It is most common for this condition to be at its worst after and/or immediately following a severe rain storm. It is possible that foul septic odors are coming from storm drainage piping, catch basins, footing drain pipe, or curtain drain discharges, indicating that sewage from your home or a nearby property is getting into these groundwater systems.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION (PART III) What can a prospective home buyer do to ensure that they have as much information as possible about the current state of the septic system and any potential future expenditures related with it? Here are some ideas to get you started: 1. Obtain information from the current owner of the property.

  • Inquire about any drawings that show the exact position of the existing septic system (also known as a “as-built” drawing). Alternatively, the health department of the town (see Paragraph 3 below) might be consulted. Inquire about the documents pertaining to the system’s maintenance. Has the septic tank been drained at least three to five times in the last five years? What type of pumping contractor was employed
  • If the system is equipped with a pump, how frequently has it been serviced? If extensive repairs have been completed, when and to what degree have they been completed
  • Inquire about the system’s prior performance by calling the company. Have any of the symptoms listed in Section II showed themselves during the course of the system’s operation?

Make a site inspection of the property before purchasing it.

  • As soon as you’ve determined the position of the septic tank and drainage fields, take a stroll around the entire area and look for any signs of a sewage overflow situation. It is possible that greener grass in the drainage region does not always imply a problem with the system. If the region, on the other hand, is entirely soaked and odorous, you should be really worried. It is most likely indicative of a failure in progress. Try to obtain a feel of how the natural environment is affecting the property’s ability to distribute water by walking about it. It is possible that the sewage disposal facility is positioned in a depression that has the potential to absorb runoff from rainwater. Is the property level? Is there a watercourse or wetland (swamp) near the drainage system, and is the drainage system and the watercourse or wetland (swamp) at nearly the same elevation? Are there any steep slopes and/or ledge outcrops that would limit the amount of usable area for leaching? If so, what are they? Everything mentioned above might point to difficulties with the present system, as well as a lack of suitable extra land for sewage disposal on the property in the event that it becomes necessary in the future.

3. Visit the Town Health Department to have the property’s file reviewed.

  • Inviting the local sanitarian to review the paperwork with you is a good idea. If so, does it contain enough information for him or her to offer you an opinion on whether the existing system and/or lot complies with current health code requirements? Your objective is to validate and complement information provided by the property owner. Find out how to properly maintain a subterranean sewage disposal system by reading the following: If you are considering building an addition to your house or refurbishing an unfinished basement, consult with a sanitarian about the options and the processes you would need to follow in order to complete your project. Occasionally, it will not be able to “additionally expand” an existing home. Question the general neighborhood, such as the frequency of repairs, capacity to build appropriate-sized repair systems, and average life of systems in the region, among other things.
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4. Obtain further information from non-governmental organizations.

  • At the moment, many house transactions are conditional on the completion of a home inspection. Opening up and checking essential components of an existing sewage disposal system is the most reliable method of determining the current status of the system, depending on whether or not the current owner of the land will allow it. It is possible that an inspection of the inside of a septic tank(s) and distribution boxes will reveal that the system is having difficulty spreading the volume of sewage generated by a residence. When access to an existing system is not possible, home inspectors may resort to other techniques of determining the condition of a system that is already in place. Unfortunately, some of the individuals responsible for conducting these tests do not have a thorough grasp of how a system operates. As a result, the findings made as a result of these tests may be incorrect. As an example, testing a system during the summer months may suggest that the system is operational while the system is really submerged in groundwater during the spring months and unable to work as intended.

The following are three frequent tests that are done during a house inspection:

  1. Septic tank effluent is traced into the leaching system with the use of the Dye-Test method of analysis. A common belief is that when dye “surfaces” to the ground or emerges in a stream or catch basin, the system is in peril. However, even while this is true, the opposite outcome does not always imply that the system is operating well or that it will continue to function effectively in the future. It is necessary for the dye to pass through the septic tank and leaching fields before reaching the breakout point in order for it to become visible. This would normally necessitate a significant amount of water and a significant amount of time, and most house inspections do not last long enough to meet this criterion. The Probe-Test is a procedure in which the inspector attempts to locate the “key” elements of the system (septic tank and drainage fields) and determine if they are experiencing overflow conditions. This type of test would only detect severely failed systems (those that have a direct discharge of sewage into the environment)
  2. (meaning the septic tank and fields are flooded). As a result, this test is essentially incorrect since it just takes a single “snapshot” of the system’s current state. A Flooding Test (also known as a “push test”) is actually the process of discharging a substantial quantity of water into an existing septic system in order to simulate a typical “peak” use of water by the homeowner. It may be a “good” day for the system (very little water was used by the homeowner that day
  3. The house may have been empty for some time
  4. It may be the middle of the summer when soil conditions are at their best)
  5. And a judgment is being made with very little Aiming to identify systems that have lost their capacity to spread “peak” flows and, as a result, may not be suitable to meet the expectations of prospective purchasers, the test is designed to reveal such systems. A particular quantity of water has been “flushed” down sinks, tubs, and toilets, and the inspector investigates the leaching area to see if there are any symptoms of a “overflow” situation. An “overflow” indicates that the system is not operating properly, and the inspector comes to the conclusion that the system is not operating properly. But it should be remembered that simply passing the test does not necessarily imply that the system is operating effectively. Many inspectors do this sort of test because they believe it would be a disservice to their clients if they did not gather information on the current state of an existing system. But we are concerned that if this test is not carried out in a responsible and site-specific manner, it might cause damage to the present system or result in incorrect results. If this test is done, we recommend that the following considerations be taken into consideration before reaching any conclusions:
  • Occupancy of the house at the time of writing
  • The possibility of water consumption by the inhabitants within the previous 24 hours prior to completing the tests
  • Soil conditions in the leaching region, including the degree of saturation caused by groundwater levels, rainfall events, and the time of year
  • And Water should be applied to the system in a gradual, consistent way (for example, by flowing water through the plumbing fittings) to avoid a “slug” of water entering the septic tank and disrupting the contents. In light of the information provided above, the process should restrict the amount of water used for the test, although it should not exceed 50 gallons per bedroom in a fully inhabited (two persons per bedroom) residence.

To reiterate, the above-mentioned testing is intended to identify septic systems that are clearly in need of repair. None of the tests mentioned above can provide an assurance that a home’s present sewage disposal system will continue to function effectively in the future. You can use County Maps from the Soil Conservation Service (which you can get from the local sanitarian) to try to identify what type of soil is most likely present on the site and forecast the feasibility of future repairs to the existing leaching system by looking at them.

However, this is only recommended for people who are “comfortable” with approaching this issue with “strangers” and who are aware that the information received may not be completely factual for a variety of reasons, as previously stated (devaluation of their own property; not wanting to “spoil” the sale of a friendly neighbor, etc.).

  • They can provide you with information on the soil and septic system conditions in the area, as well as what may be expected (particularly in terms of expenditures) if you have difficulties with the existing system.
  • Afterwards, you may compare the results to what your family is currently utilizing.
  • 4.
  • Assuming that proper soil test data is not accessible through the local health department, the only way to definitively answer this issue is to actually undertake all of the deep hole testing and percolation tests that are mandated by code.
  • Consequently, the more information a buyer can gather, the better equipped he or she will be to assess the suitability of the present system and to determine what will most likely be required to fix the system if and when it becomes necessary.

So that the buyer is not taken off guard when that day occurs, because it was included in the financial evaluation that determined the property’s current market worth at the time of purchase.

Thurston County

Questions and Answers about Septic Systems

General Questions

  • The design of septic systems is such that they may provide long-term, effective treatment of residential waste if they are properly handled and maintained. The majority of systems that fail prematurely, on the other hand, are the result of poor maintenance. Plumbing issues are often of a less serious nature (such as pipe blockages from tree roots growing into the pipe). Even while septic tanks are quite resilient, they can decay or develop other structural issues from time to time. Having a blocked drainfield is one of the most dangerous problems you may have. Unfortunately, this is the most expensive of the repairs to complete. Once the absorption field becomes blocked, it must be changed, which may be quite expensive, costing thousands of dollars. Detailed instructions may be found atSeptic System Operation and Maintenance.
  • We offer a large number of booklets and brochures available for download or to be mailed to you (Thurston County residents only, please). In addition, we provide free septic seminars in the autumn. Please contact us through email or phone at 360-867-2626 if you require more information.
  • Is it possible for my septic system to poison my well? Alternatively, neighboring streams and water bodies might be used.
  • It is possible, especially if the effluent is not effectively treated, as in the case of a failing system. Untreated effluent is a health issue that has the potential to cause a variety of human ailments. If this untreated effluent gets into the groundwater, it has the potential to poison your well and the wells of your neighbors. It is also possible that shellfish beds and recreational swimming places will be affected if this sewage reaches neighboring streams or water bodies.
  • Can you tell me whether there is financial assistance available for failed systems or repairs?
  • In order to assist individuals who live in shellfish protection zones or who require financial assistance to maintain or repair failing septic systems, Thurston County Environmental Health offers low-interest loan and grant programs. To obtain a summary of the services that are available, visit Septic System Financial Assistance.
  • What is the best way to determine if a home’s septic system is in excellent functioning condition when purchasing a home?
  • The Thurston County Health Department must provide a Time of TransferEvaluation Report prior to the sale or transfer of a property with an on-site sewage system (septic system) in accordance with county laws before the property may be sold or transferred. Protection of public health is a priority, as is evaluation of all septic systems, identification of and repair of malfunctioning systems, as well as making records available to the general public. In accordance with this criteria, it became effective on September 1, 2010. A septic system review may be conducted by a professional who is knowledgeable in septic systems. Thurston County is also able to provide this service for an additional cost. In the assessment, you may find information such as a system record sketch, the size and age of the system, maintenance history (if available), and the status of system components, such as the tank and drainfield.
  • What information do I need to know before purchasing a construction lot for a new home?
  • Setbacks and other restrictions for septic tanks and drainfields should be checked with the Thurston County Building Development Center, 360-786-5490, before construction. Ascertain whether the septic system, replacement area, and drinking water well, if any are required, will fit within the confines of the property. The soil parameters must be determined since the quantity of sand, silt, and clay present in the soil has an influence on the drainfield. Because there are other additional concerns, such as the slope of the ground, the risk for flooding, if the property is in a wetlands region, and its proximity to water bodies, it may be essential to seek the assistance of a specialist.
  • Do you know how to educate your tenants if you have a rental property?
  • A strong emphasis should be placed on water conservation and the correct usage of septic systems, particularly in properties located near streams and other bodies of water. Thurston County provides specific posters and handouts for tenants, which may be obtained by contacting 360-867-2626. For more information, see their website. If you have any questions, please contact us. You may also supply your tenants with one of our booklets (see Publications and Brochures) or urge them to attend a free session (available during the spring and fall, see Septic System Workshops).
  • Are there any further conditions of usage that I should be aware of? Similarly to a holiday rental
  • Vacation houses and other places where people only visit once or twice a year may not generate enough garbage to provide the bacteria with adequate food to survive on. Prior to washing laundry or engaging in other high-water-consumption activities, flush the toilet a few times to give the microorganisms adequate time to reestablish their colonies. Other circumstances that place additional strain on the system include the birth of a child or lengthy visits from family or friends throughout the holiday season. Reduce the amount of water you use during these periods.

Maintenance Questions

  • Septic tanks should be drained every 3-5 years, according to our recommendations. When pumping is required, however, it is determined by the quantity of scum and sludge that has accumulated over time and has refused to disappear without the use of a pump.
  • Septic tanks should be flushed out every 3-5 years, according to our recommendations. Rather, the quantity of scum and sludge that has accumulated over time and that has refused to disappear without pumping is used to determine whether or not pumping is necessary.
  • Is it possible to detect if a tank needs to be pumped without having to dig it up?
  • If you do not have risers placed, you will have to dig up the ground above the septic tank in order to check it properly. Risers provide for simple access to the septic system while minimizing disturbance to the soil surrounding the tank. Additionally, by keeping maintenance records, you may have it pumped on a regular basis depending on the rate of solids accumulation in the previous year’s records. An 1150-gallon septic tank utilized by a household of four with little rubbish disposal has to be pumped approximately every three years.
  • Alternatively, you may look for a list of countycertified pumpers and monitoring specialists on our website or in your phone book under the heading “Septic Tanks Systems – CleaningService.”
  • Pumping might cost anything from $350 to $1,500. Because rates vary, obtain quotes from a number of different pumpers, being careful to inquire about the amount of gallons included by each estimate. IMPORTANT: An average tank holds 1150 gallons.
  • Depending on the size of the pump, it can cost up to $350. Get quotes from several pumpers to compare prices, and make sure to inquire about the number of gallons covered by each estimate. An average tank holds 1150 gallons of liquid
  • Maintenance, maintenance, and more maintenance! You are responsible for the rest of the process if your system has been correctly planned, sited, and installed. Pump on a regular basis, limit your water use, and be mindful of what you flush down the toilet and down the drain. Septic System Operation and Maintenance is a good source of extra information.
  • What happens if a septic system fails to function properly? In what ways can I know if my system isn’t working properly?
  • Typically, when a septic system fails, it is because the drainfield is not operating correctly. Septic tank overflows can cause the effluent to pour into the drainfield, which can cause the pipes to get clogged. Sinks and toilets in the house become backed up as a result of this. Among the other indicators include slow-draining toilets and drains, a foul smell emanating from the drainfield, a puddle on or near the drainfield, and tainted well water. Contact Thurston County Environmental Health at 360-867-2673 for assistance if you believe your septic system is failing
  • Septic tanks are mostly comprised of settling chambers. They provide sufficient time for particles and scum to separate from wastewater, allowing clean liquid to be properly discharged to the drainfield. Over time, the scum and sludge layers thicken, reducing the amount of space and time available for waste water to settle before it is discharged into the drain field. Septic systems are limited in their ability to treat a given volume of water. Because for every gallon of water that enters the tank, one gallon of water is forced out into the drainfield, an excessive amount of water may back up into your home or overwhelm the drainfield and surface in your yard. The concern is that enormous volumes of water may not provide sediments with adequate time to settle before being taken out to the drainfield, resulting in blockage of the pipes. Indoor Water Conservation and Every Gallon of Water You Save, Saves You Money are two resources for water conservation advice.
  • It has been brought to my attention that I should not use a waste disposal. What is the reason behind this
  • The regularity with which garbage is disposed of has a significant influence on pumps. Food particles are typically not digested by the bacteria and instead build as scum in the tank. If a high volume of water enters the tank, it may drive the food particles into the drainfield, resulting in blockage of the drainfield. If you must use a waste disposal, you should have your tank pumped on a more regular basis.
  • Is it necessary to be cautious about what I flush down the toilet?
  • The answer is yes, many of the items that are flushed down the toilet do not degrade and remain in the toilet tank. In addition to using a trash disposal only when necessary (see question above), avoid pouring grease, fats, and oils down the drain, as well as placing coffee grounds and egg shells in the disposal or down the sink drain. Prevent chemicals from entering your system. Minimize Garbage Disposal (SOLID WASTE) – What you flush down the toilet can have a significant influence on the performance of your septic system. Many things do not breakdown properly, and as a result, they accumulate in your septic tank. If you have the option of disposing of it in another manner rather than putting it into your system, do so.
  • Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet
  • Do not flush dental floss, cat litter (including “flushable” varieties), hair, Kleenex, cigarette butts, cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products, condoms, paper towels, static cling sheets, diapers, or disposable wipes
  • And do not flush any other items.
  • It is not essential to add a stimulant or an enhancer to a septic tank in order to assist it in functioning or “to restore bacterial equilibrium.” Human feces already include the naturally occurring bacteria that are required for the proper operation of the septic system. As stated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, none of these items completely eliminates the need for periodic maintenance and pumping.
  • Is it necessary to obtain a permit in order to make repairs to my septic system
  • And
  • Minor repairs such as repairing baffles, sealing fractures in the tank, and removing roots do not necessitate the acquisition of a permit. For further information, contact your septic specialist or call our office at 360-867-2673 or 360-867-2626. Yes, it is possible. A permit will be necessary for major repairs such as the replacement of a septic tank and/or drainfield, as well as the replacement of a d-box. For further information, you may either download the permit application from Development Services (both aMaster Application and aSupplemental Application are required) or call the Thurston County Building Development Center (BDC) at 360-786-5490 for assistance. The Olympia Business Development Center is situated on the second floor of Building 1 at 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW.
See also:  Why Can I Smell My Septic Tank A Month After Its Pumped? (Solved)

Drainfield Questions

  • In this location, there is potential for the replacement or expansion of the drainage system. It must fulfill the same requirements as a typical drainfield, such as suitable soils, setbacks, and so on, and it must be covered in the same manner as a regular drainfield. Additional information can be found at The Drainfield.
  • What can I plant over my drainfield and septic tank to make them more effective?
  • Drainfields benefit greatly from the presence of grass. Grasses can be used as a decorative plant, groomed in a standard lawn, or left unmowed in a meadow setting. Alternatively, groundcovers and ferns can be used (for specific plants, seeLandscaping Your Drainfield). Choose shallow-rooted plants that require little upkeep and require less water to thrive. Keep in mind that if you have plants over septic tanks and do not have risers placed, you will need to dig up the ground to access the tanks for inspection and pumping – which should be done every 3 to 5 years on average.
  • What is the maximum distance that trees and plants can be from the drainfield
  • A minimum of 30 feet between your drainfield and any trees or large plants should be maintained. Keep in mind, however, that particular soils may necessitate plants to be further apart than others. If you want to plant trees near a drainfield, speak with an expert who can decide the best sorts of plants to use and the appropriate spacing between them based on your soil. In most cases, trees and bushes have vast root systems that seek out and develop into moist regions, such as drainfields
  • However, this is not always the case.
  • Is it permissible to grow a vegetable garden over my drainfield?
  • No, it is not advisable to grow vegetables over a drainfield. Watering vegetables is necessary, because too much water in the soil diminishes the soil’s capacity to handle wastewater. Some plants have strong roots that might cause damage to drainfield pipes. In addition, bed preparation techniques such as rototilling and extensive digging can cause pipe damage. Additionally, there is the possibility of sewage polluting food crops.
  • No, it is not suggested to grow vegetables over a drain field. Plants require water, yet excess water in the soil decreases the soil’s ability to process wastewater. Some plants, with their deep roots, may cause harm to drainfield pipe systems. Bed preparation techniques like as rototilling and extensive digging can potentially cause damage to pipelines and underground utilities. Aside from that, there’s the possibility of sewage infecting food crops.
  • No, since plastic decreases the amount of air exchange required in the drainfield soil. Even spreading mulch or bark over the drainfield is not suggested due to the fact that it hinders air circulation and absorbs moisture.
  • Is it possible to construct a carport or camping pad over the drainfield? Consider adding a tennis court or a hot tub to your property.
  • No, for a few of reasons. It is important to avoid driving over the drainfield since pressure from automobiles and heavy equipment compacts the soil and can cause pipes to get damaged. Second, impermeable materials such as concrete and asphalt restrict the amount of water that evaporates and the amount of oxygen that is available to the soil. The proper decomposition of sewage by soil microorganisms is dependent on the presence of oxygen.
  • Is it possible to construct a carport or a camping pad over the replacement area? Consider adding a tennis court or a hot tub to your property.
  • If you need to repair or replace your drainfield in the future, you should leave the designated drainfield replacement area (reserve area) undeveloped and protected from compaction.
  • Is it okay for cattle to graze on the drainfield? Let’s say you just want one horse.
  • It is recommended that livestock be kept away from drainfields. During the winter, cattle tramples and muddy the soil
  • During the summer, they compress it even further. As previously stated, this is detrimental to the soil’s ability to exchange oxygen. Please accept my apologies
  • Even one horse is not suggested.
  • Are there any issues with the rainwater being routed onto my drainfield
  • ​Yes. Whenever possible, rainwater from hard surfaces such as driveways and patios should be directed away from the septic tank and drainfield. A shallow trench uphill from a drainfield can assist in diverting water away from the drainfield.
  • Is it possible to construct a sprinkler system in close proximity to the drainfield?
  • It is recommended that water lines be at least 10 feet away from all components of the septic system. Make certain that all sprinkler lines are equipped with backflow protection devices that have been authorized.
  • Can I install a retaining wall and drains in that area as well
  • If you plan to install drains (interceptors, French drains, or curtain drains) or retaining walls within 30 feet of any section of your septic system, you must first obtain permission from the Thurston County Environmental Health Department (360-867-2673). Drainfields should never be cut through for the purpose of installing drains, walls, or irrigation lines. French drains are known for transporting sewage pollution from septic systems onto bodies of water or public roads.

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Costly new rules for septic tanks?

According to new regulations that will be considered by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board on May 9, flushing garbage into a domestic septic tank may become a more costly act. According to comments filed by county staff planner Barry Tolle, the proposed additional restrictions, which are included as part of the water board’s Basin Plan, place “a significant financial burden” on property owners as well as on the county government of SLO County. To comply with the water board’s proposed changes, communities that rely on septic tanks would be required to prepare wastewater management plans and form septic system maintenance districts.

Water quality monitoring and inspections would also be required of homeowners, who would be obliged to have their septic tanks tested and pump out every five years.

The installation of municipal sewage systems in areas with a high groundwater table, such as Santa Margarita and Garden Farms, may be essential to prevent septic tank pollution of drinking water supplies.

When the county raised its concerns with the water board, they were dismissed, as detailed in the staff report for the May 9 meeting.

The Los Osos Community Services District, as well as the city of Atascadero, both sent a letter outlining their objections to the proposed new rules, which were both accepted.

The water board meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. at 895 Aerovista Place in San Luis Obispo, which is close to the airport. The audio recordings of the meeting will be made available on the board’s website a week after it takes place.

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