Septic Tank Inspection When Buying A House North Carolina? (Solution found)

  • Although in North Carolina it is not required to have a septic inspection done when buying a new house, it is highly recommended. Schedule a Septic Inspection EVERYWHERE

Are septic inspections required NC?

Septic system installers and inspectors MUST now be certified by the North Carolina On-site Wastewater Contractors and Inspectors Certification Board (NCOWCICB) in order to install or inspect septic systems in NC. The legislation does NOT require a septic system inspection as part of a real estate transaction.

Who pays for septic inspection in North Carolina?

Unless negotiated otherwise, all inspections are paid for by the buyer. (One exception to this is if the buyer is using a VA loan, in which case the buyer is actually prohibited from paying for the termite inspection in all but nine states.)

How much is a septic inspection in NC?

The fees for this inspection will range from $200-$500, depending on if the tank is pumped or if the pumping process is waived, as well as the type of system installed.

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.

Can you sell a property with a 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. The age of the system.

Can I install my own septic tank in NC?

QUESTION: Is a homeowner allowed to install his or her own system? ANSWER: A homeowner may install the system for a property that will used as his or her primary residence as long as the system is gravity fed, pipe and gravel system and is limited to two systems within a five year period.

Do you have to be licensed to install a septic system in NC?

(a) Certification Required. – No person shall construct, install, or repair or offer to construct, install, or repair an on-site wastewater system permitted under Article 11 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes without being certified as a contractor at the required level of certification for the specified system.

How long do septic systems last?

Septic systems can last for 15-40 years and the lifespan depends on various factors, including those mentioned above. Does your Sand Filter Septic System need servicing? Let our septic system experts help you.

How far does a septic tank have to be from a well in NC?

How far away should my well be from my septic system? The state’s horizontal separation distance (setback) mandates a minimum of 100 feet. However, if you have a well that serves a single family dwelling and due to lot restrictions, you cannot achieve 100 feet, the setback may be reduced to a minimum of 50 feet.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.

How long does a septic permit last in NC?

New Construction An Authorization for Wastewater System Construction Permit (New Septic Permit) allows construction of a septic system. It’s required before a building permit can be issued, and is valid for five years after the date issued.

How long is a septic permit good for in NC?

If a septic permit has been issued, the permit is good for 5 years.

How much does it cost to put in a well and septic in NC?

On average, a well costs around $6500-$7500. This includes all costs pertaining to drilling and the installation of the pumping system. Conditioning equipment is required in some cases and typically ranges from $1500-$3000.

Point of Sale Inspection Requirements — MARLIN – Septic Tank Cleaning, Inspection, Installation, and Repair

On-site wastewater system inspectors and contractors are not permitted to: (1) offer or perform any act or service that is contrary to Article 5 of G.S. 90A or the rules of this Chapter; or (2) offer or perform any job function requiring an occupational license in the jurisdiction where the inspection, installation, or repair is taking place, unless the on-site wastewater system inspector or contractor holds a valid occupational license in that jurisdiction. Inspecting companies are not required to report on the following items: (1) the life expectancy of any component or system; (2) the causes of the need for a repair; (3) the methods, materials, and costs of correction; (4) the suitability of the property for any specialized use; (5) the market value of the property or its marketability; (6) the feasibility or impossibility of purchasing the property; or (7) normal wear and tear on the system.

Among the responsibilities of inspectors are: (1) identifying property lines; (2) providing warranties or guarantees of any kind; (3) operating any system or component that does not respond to normal operating controls; and (5) moving excessive vegetation, structures, personal items, panels, furniture, equipment, snow, ice, and debris that impede access to or visibility of the system and any related components.

Homebuyer’s Guide to Septic Tanks & Inspections

It’s critical to understand the difference between a city sewer system and a septic system in order to properly maintain your home. When a residence is linked to “city-sewer,” the only thing that needs to be remembered is to pay your utility bills on time and to ensure that your connection to the sewer system is properly maintained. When a property is equipped with a septic system, there are a number of other factors to consider. When acquiring a property with a septic system, there are several crucial considerations to keep in mind.

Is there an Improvement Permit or Septic Permit for the Property?

Some permits may be more difficult to locate than others, depending on how well the local health agency maintains its records. If you are able to locate the permit, it will provide you with the majority of the information you want to understand the construction and placement of the system in question. Once you have this information, you should contact your real estate agent to arrange for a septic system examination (more on that later). In the event you are unable to locate a permit, don’t panic; you can still arrange for a septic inspection in order to clarify any questions you may have regarding the system.

Inspecting professionals will identify the septic tank, remove the lid, examine the quantity of fluids in the tank, and locate the drain field during the examination.

What are Septic Systems?

Some permits may be easier to locate than others, depending on how well the local health department maintains its records. The permit will provide you with the majority of the information you require about the system’s construction and location if you are successful in locating it. As soon as you’ve obtained this information, you should contact your real estate agent to arrange for a septic inspection (more on that later). It is not necessary to worry if you are unable to locate a permit because a sewer inspection can still be scheduled in order to answer any pertinent questions regarding your sewage system.

In the High Country, there are a number of licensed septic inspection businesses. On this visit, technicians will locate the septic tank, uncover the lid, check the level of fluids in the tank, and locate the drain field. They will pump the tank once they have completed their previous tasks.

The Drain Field

There are several lines or ditches in the drain field that allow liquid (effluent) from the tank to percolate into the soil in a natural and safe manner. The field is created using a specific design and formula that is dependent on the number of bedrooms in the residence (use), the soil quality, the closeness to water sources, and the presence of permanent structures. Following completion of those activities, the technician will pump the whole tank and inspect the tank itself for any damage. During this period, the technician will be able to properly assess whether or not the tank is in excellent functioning order.

The customer will receive a written report that contains all of the information necessary for him or her to comprehend the system in question.

Is the thought of going through the house purchasing process making you feel overwhelmed?

For more information about house inspections in the High Country of North Carolina, please get in touch with us.

Inspection Report Requirements, NC Mortgage Experts

As a result of your home purchase, you may find yourself in the position of needing a Pest Inspection (to search for termites), a Septic Inspection, or a Well Inspection. These charges can sometimes be included in the agreed closing costs provided by the Seller, and in other cases, they may not be necessary at all! In most cases, the requirements for the Inspection Report are defined by the loan type. These sorts of inspection reports are distinct from those produced during a home inspection.

It is money well spent if the inspection is performed by a licensed home inspector (ASHI Certified).

The simple fact is that it makes good sense to get it looked out by someone who is more knowledgeable about the operating components of a house than the majority of us.

It is impossible for an Underwriter to “unsee” problems with a house once they have identified them.

Community Well and Septic System Inspection Report Requirements

In many North Carolina communities, there is a community well and septic system, and those systems are routinely inspected by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. It is mandatory that we get the most recent Letters of Convenience and Necessity demonstrating the compliance with the local health authority standards in order to receive any government loan funds.

When it comes to Conventional Loans, we are not compelled to get them, but I would like to see one if I were a Home Buyer to ensure that everything was functioning properly.

Inspection Report Requirements For Conventional Loans

Whenever the appraiser specifies that a pest inspection is necessary in the appraisal report for a conventional loan, it is always required. A termite report, for example, will be requested if the appraiser notices that the wood has rotted. When it comes to the Lender, we do not have to see the Pest Inspection, even if it is specified in the Contract that one would be performed. Pest Inspections are valid for 120 days if the loan is for a conventional home. Whenever the appraiser requests one in the appraisal report, a septic inspection for conventional loans is always needed to be performed.

  • If this is the case, the Lender may request an inspection of the Septic System by an independent professional.
  • We only require one if the Appraiser makes a note of it.
  • The appraisal report will always include a request for a well inspection for a conventional loan if the appraiser specifies it is necessary.
  • As the lender, we are not required to witness a well inspection, even if it is specified in the contract that one will be performed.
  • The Septic Inspections are valid for 120 days if you are applying for a Conventional Mortgage.
  • If I were acquiring a home, I would insist on having one performed.
  • Purchasing a house and then discovering that the water seems to be discolored or tastes strange after moving in is not the kind of surprise you want.
  • coli bacteria?
  • The same would be true for a Septic System; however, in this case, if the Buyer were to undergo a Home Inspection, the Home Inspector would typically run the water for a significant amount of time in order to test the Septic Systems.

A Home Inspector, on the other hand, is not a Septic Inspector, and he or she may fail to discover anything that is not evident to him or her but would raise suspicions in the eyes of a Septic Inspector.

Inspection Report Requirements For FHA and USDA Home Loans

Inspection reports are required for all government-backed loans, including FHA and USDA home loans, which are similar in nature. If a pest inspection or a septic inspection is requested by the appraiser in the appraisal report for an FHA or USDA home loan, the inspections are always necessary. A termite report, for example, will be requested if the appraiser notices that the wood has rotted. As the lender, we are not required to witness a pest or septic inspection, even if it is mentioned in the contract that one is to be performed, unless the Appraiser specifies that one is required in the appraisal.

  1. If the appraiser requests a well inspection as part of the appraisal process, the FHA will require one.
  2. Having worked in the mortgage industry for many years, I’ve never encountered an appraiser who could verify that the water matched County Health Requirements (you have to chemically analyze it in order to be sure), therefore we always order a Water Test on FHA Loans.
  3. The fact that the well and septic system are less than 50 feet-0′′ away, as well as a specific exception from FHA, is nearly always a surefire method that a well inspection will be required on an FHA loan.
  4. These reports are valid for 120 days after they are generated.
See also:  How Much Does It Cost To Dig Out A Septic Tank?

Inspection Report Requirements For VA Home Loans

Veterans Administration standards and Inspection Report requirements are established by the Veterans Administration. As a result of the moderate to high chance of possible Termite Infestation in North Carolina, pest inspections for VA Home Loans are usually necessary in this state. Pest inspections for VA loans are only valid for 90 days after they are performed. VA borrowers are not permitted to pay for these Pest Inspections, as well as any testing or repairs that may be required. A primary goal of the VA home loan program is to assist service members, veterans, and military families in obtaining “move-in ready” houses that are structurally sound and hygienic.

  • We do not demand a Septic Inspection unless the Appraiser specifies that one is required in the appraisal.
  • When a private well is present, a water test is always required for VA home loans.
  • Inspections for VA home loans are valid for 90 days from the date of the inspection.
  • When there is a well and you want to apply for a VA loan, we are obligated to do a Bacteria test on the well.
  • This will ensure that no lead or magnesium is introduced into your water supply.
  • The cost of the Water test is often between $125 and $150.
  • Check the structure to ensure that the components have an acceptable “remaining economic life,” which is defined as the amount of time they may be used before they become obsolete.
  • They also do not want to issue a loan in a situation where the property is set to be included in an area that is clearly becoming commercial, or in a neighborhood that has poor construction and a high risk of foreclosure.

When you are knowledgeable on the house purchasing process before you purchase your first home, we feel you will have a more positive experience!


Septic Inspection Regulations in North Carolina for 2008 Septic systems and real estate transactions are addressed in this paper, which is intended to provide information on the new law that took effect on January 1, 2008, and which applies to both. Any private waste disposal system that necessitates testing and a report must be performed by an individual who has been certified by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. There is no other licensure that replaces this, including that of general contractors, licensed plumbers, or septic pumpers, among other things.

  • Elite Home Inspections works directly with professionals in the septic business that are certified by the state of North Carolina to examine and report on any Private Waste Disposal System that is required to be inspected and reported on by a lending institution.
  • For more information on whether this inspection is necessary and how much it will cost, speak with your Real Estate Agent or Loan Officer or Loan Underwriter now!
  • It is recommended that this certification be performed after the house inspection findings are disclosed in order to prevent the customer from the waste of unneeded time and money.
  • A contractor’s license is required for the construction, installation, or repair of an on-site wastewater system in the State.
  • (a) Certification Required – No person shall construct, install.

The final rules for the procedure are still being finalized, but our information as certified inspectors is that:*Supporting documentation should include the current owner, the address of the property, and the name of the person who is requesting the inspection*A copy of any operations permits should be included if applicable/available*A copy of any construction permits should be included An excavation of the tank area will be carried out in order to disclose the intake pipe, output pipe, and any appropriate lids*.

  • While pumping of the tank is not required, the customer will be required to sign a release if he or she does not wish to have the tank pumped at the time of the inspection.
  • Depending on whether or not the tank is pumped or if the pumping procedure is waived, as well as on the type of system that has been built, prices for this inspection will range from $200 to $500.
  • This procedure can serve as an early warning system for possible problems with the waste disposal system.
  • However, this cannot be utilized in a real estate transaction as a visual “Septic Inspection” because it is prohibited by law.

As previously stated, this process is included in the house inspection as part of the plumbing examination. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office or visit our website. You may also call our office directly at 888-435-2329.

What Realtors and Homebuyers MUST Know About NC House Bill 688

House Bill 688 in North Carolina is a new piece of legislation that becomes effective on January 1, 2008. Septic system inspectors and septic system installers are the primary targets of this law. The North Carolina On-site Wastewater Contractors and Inspectors Certification Board (NCOWCICB) has mandated that all septic system installers and inspectors must be certified in order to build or inspect septic systems in the state of North Carolina. A certified septic system inspector must now do any septic system inspections in North Carolina as part of a real estate transaction if the inspection is required by the NCOWCICB.

When a septic system inspection is performed as part of a real estate transaction, it is required that the inspection be conducted by an NCOWCICB certified inspector, however.

Certified inspectors should carry a wallet card, and their names and contact information may be found on the following website: Jeff Vaughan, NCOWCICB Certified Inspector and NC L.S.S.

The Importance of a Septic Inspection

The septic system is a home’s most costly feature. Before you purchase or sell a house in Asheville, you should get your septic system inspected. Recent discussions have centered on the many types of home inspections that should be undertaken prior to the purchase or sale of a house. Apart from the “usual” house inspection, we’ve looked at radon and pest inspections as well. We’ve even talked about how important it is to get water tested. It’s time to take a look at a system that is frequently disregarded but is critical to the functioning of many rural properties — the septic system.

Septic tanks are generally used in rural regions where residences are not linked to municipal sewer systems.

Liquid waste is separated from solid garbage in two compartments.

When it is functioning correctly, a septic system is virtually undetectable.

An significant question arises as a result of this. Is it required to have a septic system examination performed when purchasing or selling a house in Asheville? The answer is a resounding affirmative.

Why you need a septic tank inspection

The septic system is the most costly piece of equipment in a property. Before you purchase or sell a house in Asheville, you should get your septic system checked out. A number of different types of house inspections have been discussed recently, including those that should be undertaken prior to purchasing or selling property. Our investigation has included radon and insect testing in addition to the “usual” house examination. Even the relevance of water testing has been debated. It’s time to take a look at a system that’s frequently ignored but is critical to the functioning of many rural homes: the septic system.

  1. Septic tanks are usually used in rural regions where residences are not linked to municipal sewer systems.
  2. Separate liquid and solid waste are stored in separate compartments.
  3. When functioning properly, a septic system is virtually undetectable.
  4. An significant question is raised as a result of this.
  5. The response is an unequivocal affirmative.

Septic tank maintenance tips

Because septic tanks are placed underground and out of sight, they are frequently overlooked. Here are a few pointers on how to keep your septic system in good working order. It is recommended that only bath tissue be flushed down the toilet. Tampons, paper towels, cigarette butts, or anything else should not be flushed down the toilet. Never flush or pour home chemicals down the toilet or down the sink. In little doses, detergent and bleach can be used to clean the clothes. Every few months, apply a helpful bacteria booster, such as Rid-X, to your skin.

Every three to five years, you should get your system pumped out.

Contact us to arrange an Asheville septic system inspection

If you are in the process of purchasing a property, a septic system examination is well worth the money. The inspection will give you more confidence in your prospective purchase, and if any faults are discovered, you may be able to use this information to your advantage in lowering the home’s buying price. Never try to access, check, or repair your septic system yourself. Septic tanks are extremely unclean, and the methane released by them may be lethal. When inspecting, pumping, or repairing your system, always consult with a licensed specialist.

Do you require an appointment? Septic system inspections in Asheville and the surrounding areas of Western North Carolina may be scheduled by calling 828-808-4980, which is operated by Peter Young Home Inspections. Alternatively, you may arrange an appointment by clicking on the icon below.

Avoiding Misrepresentation: Disclosing Your Home’s Septic System in North Carolina

An approved septic system in North Carolina is required by law to verify that it has been built and constructed correctly, as well as that it is currently operating in accordance with the county’s Health and Environmental laws. Valid septic systems guarantee that the structure satisfies the demands of the individual homeowner as well as those of the surrounding community’s health-care needs. They are also environmentally friendly. So, what exactly is a septic system? Despite the fact that the bulk of Mecklenburg County residential properties are served by a common municipal sewage system, some households rely on their own septic systems for waste disposal.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), septic systems are underground wastewater treatment mechanisms that use both nature and technology to effectively manage wastewater from residential plumbing systems, which is most commonly produced by bathrooms, sink drains, and laundry systems, among other things.

  1. What is the rating system for septic systems?
  2. Bedrooms are a good indicator of how many people will live in a house, and it is thus more logical to build a septic system around the predicted day-to-day consumption rather than the number of bedrooms.
  3. Legal Difficulties: When a seller makes a misrepresentation, whether intentionally or negligently, the seller (and their selling agent) may find themselves in legal trouble.
  4. Providing crucial information to a potential buyer about the history, quality, and condition of the property, this document must be provided no later than the time the buyer submits an offer to acquire the property.
  5. It is possible that failure to appropriately record septic tank capacity would result in overuse and eventually system breakdown.
  6. In this situation, the new homeowner is fully within his or her legal rights to launch a civil complaint against both parties for misrepresentation on the part of the sellers.
  7. In the context of home plumbing systems, septic systems are subterranean wastewater treatment mechanisms that use both nature and technology to properly manage wastewater from the plumbing systems, which is most typically generated by bathrooms, sink drains, and laundry systems.
  8. Unfortunately, when a buyer finds this sort of information after the fact, there are limited recourse options available, and in some cases, it is just too late to recover.
  9. Additionally, the new owners may discover that they are unable to make improvements to the property in accordance with their initial plans for the home, such as installing an in-ground swimming pool or concrete patio.
  10. If it is discovered that the septic system has been overworked, it may ultimately break down and require replacement.
  11. Let’s bring everything to a close.

Regarding previous conditions, it is always in your best interests to be completely upfront with your real estate agent as well as with any possible purchasers when dealing with them.

Septic System Owner’s Guide

What kind of computer system do you have? In North Carolina, there are many distinct types of septic systems in use, but the vast majority of the over 2 million systems in use throughout the state are minor variations of the typical septic system. This system includes a septic tank as well as a drainfield that is filled with gravel (usually two to six trenches). Since the mid- to late-1990s, classic gravel aggregate trenches have been phased out in favor of innovative gravel-less trench designs, which have become increasingly popular.

  1. Some of the most often used gravel-free trenches nowadays are either long and narrow, tunnel-shaped chambers in the trenche, or gravel replacements such as expanded polystyrene aggregate.
  2. A booklet from the Cooperative Extension Service, AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, outlines the typical system, easy adjustments to it, and the most significant maintenance requirements.
  3. The application of these technologies is now widespread, whether in new housing projects or in the replacement or repair of malfunctioning septic systems in residences and businesses.
  4. In order to address this, state regulations provide specified maintenance requirements for a number of these more advanced technology.
  5. Furthermore, state regulations mandate that the health department examine these systems on a regular basis.
  6. Are you familiar with the location of your septic system and repair area?
  7. If you do not have a copy of your septic system permit or a soil evaluation document, contact your local health department.
See also:  How Is Inlet Setup On A Septic Tank? (Question)

This Septic System Owner’s Guidefile folder should contain the following items: It is normally possible to establish the location of a septic tank and drainfield by looking at a copy of the permit and consulting with a septic contractor, a consultant, or the local health department A “repair area or replacement area,” in which a second drainfield might be constructed if necessary, has been required on nearly all home sites approved since the early 1980s, according to state law.

It should be noted on your septic system permit that this repair area was designated by the health department when the site was allowed.

Some Important Facts to Understand About Your Septic System

  • In what form of septic system do you have
  • Where is it situated
  • And where is the repair area situated? Is the septic system up and running? In the past, has it been kept up to date? What can you do on a day-to-day basis to ensure that your system continues to function properly? What kind of maintenance will be required in the future

On the grid labeledSeptic System Layout, draw a rough sketch of your home, septic system (including both the tank and drainfield), repair area, and any other essential features (such as your driveway). The distance between the home and the access port on the septic tank should be measured and recorded when having your septic tank drained. This will assist you in locating it again. You may also want to indicate the position of your tank as well as the limits of your drainfield in your yard. If you do not have a riser installed over the access port for your septic tank, you may want to consider having one put in.

  • Even when properly maintained, septic tanks can contain harmful gases and pollutants, as well as bacteria and other germs that can cause major health problems if not addressed.
  • Is your septic system in proper functioning order?
  • Many individuals are unaware that untreated sewage that has accumulated on the surface of the ground might be a health threat.
  • Before fixing a malfunctioning septic system, you must get a permit from the local health authority, according to state regulations.
  • What kind of upkeep has been carried out?
  • If you are purchasing an existing house, you should ask the seller a few critical questions, such as the following:
  • What is the age of the system
  • What is the location of the tank and drainfield (they may or may not be on the same property or even on the same parcel of land)
  • When was the last time the tank was pumped
  • What is the frequency with which it has been pushed
  • Is it necessary to clean the “effluent filter” in the septic tank on a regular basis (effluent filters are required for systems established after 1999)
  • Has there been any indication of a likely failure? In what location can I get a copy of the permit and documentation proving how effectively (or poorly) the system has been maintained
  • Do you know whether any improvements have been made to the house that would necessitate expanding the capacity of the system? Is the system still operational, and if so, when and by whom was it repaired?

If the house has only recently been constructed, request that the septic system contractor give you with a “as built” schematic, which may include elements that were not included in the permit. If the house is equipped with a pump, request that the contractor and the local health agency supply specifics on how the pump was initially installed. In order to properly care for your septic system, you must manage it on a day-to-day basis as well as perform periodic maintenance and repairs. Layout of a septic system.

  • However, the drainfield does not have an indefinite capacity. The average daily water use per person is 50 gallons. Even for brief periods of time, the soil drainfield has a maximum daily design capacity of 120 gallons per bedroom, which is routinely exceeded. Overloads can occur at any time of year, on a daily basis, or on weekends. Fix any leaky faucets or toilets you may have. Water conservation will help you get more use out of your system.

Keep waste disposal to sewage alone.

  • It is not acceptable to utilize your septic tank as a garbage can for items such as cigarette butts, tissues, feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, cat litter, coffee grinds, or disposable diapers. Reduce the amount of time you use your garbage disposal. These contribute a significant amount of additional solids. It is not recommended to throw fat or cooking oil down the drain. You should avoid putting toxic chemicals into your system, such as solvents and oils. You should avoid using paint thinners and paint thinners that have been dumped. You should avoid disinfectants and pesticides. Conserve your funds. Most of the time, commercial septic tank additives are not required.

It is not acceptable to utilize your septic tank as a garbage can for items such as cigarette butts, tissues, feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, cat litter, coffee grinds, or disposable diapers; Use of your waste disposal should be limited. Solids are significantly increased as a result of these additions. It is not acceptable to throw fat or cooking oil down the drain. You should avoid putting dangerous chemicals into your system, such as solvents and oils. You should avoid using paint thinners and abandoned pharmaceuticals.

Conserve your resources by cutting back on expenses.

In most cases, commercial septic tank additives aren’t required.

  • Maintain a layer of plants on the soil over the drainfield to prevent soil erosion from occurring. Don’t drive your car above the system’s limits. Try to avoid building over the system or in the repair area. The natural shape of the terrain immediately downslope of the system should be preserved, and this region should be protected against excavation (cutting and filling). Neither asphalt nor concrete should be used to cover the tank or drainfield.

All wastewater should be disposed of in a system that has been authorized.

  • You shouldn’t install a separate pipe to transport washwater to a side ditch or into the woods. This is against the law

The house and the yard (site maintenance)

  • Conserve and preserve the area where your septic tank and drainfield are located
  • Trees that thrive in moist environments should be cut down and removed. Willows, elms, sweetgums, and certain maples are examples of such trees. Surface water should be diverted away from the tank and drainfield by landscaping the yard. Inspect the system to make sure that water from the roof, gutter, and foundation drains does not overflow
  • It is recommended that if your system is located at the base of a slope, you build a french drain to channel subterranean water. Ensure that drainage ditches, subsurface tiles, and drainage outlets are kept in good condition so that water may readily flow from them.

Sewage treatment system (Septic tank)

  • Tanks should be elevated if they are 6 inches or deeper below the surface. They offer quick and convenient access for solids measurement and pumping, as well as for cleaning the effluent filter. The rate at which sludge and scum build in the tank is measured. Make a note of this information and provide it to your expert pumper. Solids should be pushed out of the tank as necessary. Most septic tanks have two sections
  • It is necessary to have them drained out. More information about pumping frequency can be found in the Cooperative Extension Service document AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, which is available online. It is not necessary to wait till your drainfield collapses before having your tank pumped. By that time, the drainfield may have been completely destroyed. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to septic systems.
Preventive Maintenance Record
Date Work Done Firm Cost
Your Septic System Installer
Date System Installed:
  • If sewage is backing up into your toilets, tubs, or sinks, call a plumber. Slowly draining fittings, especially after it has rained
  • Slow-draining fixtures A foul odor associated with damp soil or sewage dumped onto the ground or into neighboring ditches or wooded areas
  • Please keep in mind that sewage from pump systems may rise to the surface of the ground when the pump is switched on and then disappear when the pump is turned off. This is still a failure of the system, and it must be fixed. a red light blinking or beeping in the home or in the yard, signaling that a pump is not functioning correctly or that the water level in a pump tank is excessive and on the verge of failing
  • A rise in the number of diseases or illnesses related with swimming in nearby lakes or rivers

Regulations and safeguards are necessary.

  • Any system that includes a pump should be operated by a state-certified subsurface system operator. In the case of low pressure pipe (LPP) systems erected or repaired after July 1, 1992, as well as underground drip irrigation systems, aerobic treatment units (ATUs), peat biofilters, sand biofilters, textile biofilters, and other sophisticated systems, a permit will be required by law. Those interested in obtaining a list of state-certified subsurface system operators should contact the North Carolina Water Pollution Control System Certification Commission at 919-707-9089. Between planned maintenance visits, check to see that the pump and electrical components are still in proper operating order. Germs found in sewage have the potential to cause disease. Never go into a septic tank unless absolutely necessary. Toxic and explosive gases are present in the tank, posing a threat. Tanks that are more than a decade old may collapse. Electrical controls provide a risk of electric shock and sparking. Children should not be able to open the septic tank lid, hence it should be secured. Do not attempt to repair a malfunctioning system on your own time. Obtain a repair permit and employ a contractor with extensive expertise

For further information about septic systems, speak with an Extension agent in your county or the local public health agency. This paper is an updated version of a previous publication. It is with gratitude that we acknowledge Tom Konsler (Orange County Health Department), Deanna Osmond, Mitch Woodward, and Grace Lawrence (North Carolina Cooperative Extension) for their contributions to the document’s peer review, as well as Debra Ireland for her work on the document’s graphic design, layout, and editing.

Septic Permits – A Refresher

By Jean Wolinski-Hobbs, Auditor/InvestigatorDespite the fact that the subject has been covered in Updatecourses and Bulletinarticles, the Real Estate Commission continues to receive complaints about misrepresentations about bedrooms and septic permit declaration. The provision of a willful or negligent misrepresentation, whether in listing advertisements or other representations, can result in disciplinary action against a broker. This article reviews four types of septic systems: municipal, community, on-site, and the combination of on-site septic and municipal, and outlines considerations for brokers when preparing advertisements or disclosures.

  • Municipal Water or Septic System – A real estate broker should be able to precisely verify whether a property is linked to municipal water or is serviced by a septic system before listing it. There are many older neighborhoods in cities where homeowners may not have linked to the city system if they had the chance. Brokers in municipalities should not think that septic concerns are just a problem in rural areas.

The seller may claim that the home is supplied by the municipal system, but if the property is in an older area or there are red signals like as a dip in the yard or stones marking a tank, a broker should confirm that information. In most cases, even though a property is linked to a municipal system, the homeowner is responsible for the sewage line that runs from the street to the property boundary. Damage to this line caused by tree roots or other causes is typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance policies.

If the property is completely served by the municipality, the broker’s inquiry will be complete and the transaction will be completed.

  • Community and Combination Systems — A combination system is one in which the house’s septic system is connected to a municipal system, but the house’s water supply is not. It is common knowledge among property owners whether they are connected to a community system that is regulated by the state (the Environmental Health Section, a division of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services) in conjunction with the county health department, which keeps track of permit data. Drain fields for the community system are normally owned by the homeowners’ association of the neighborhood (HOA). It is important to discover the location of the drain field through the seller, homeowner’s association, or the county health agency because it may be hazardous depending on its position.

There may no longer be a permit on file for combination systems that link to the municipal water and sewer system. Brokers should be aware that the obligation of the city or county ceases at the point at which the septic system links to the municipal system. Troubleshooting a septic tank pump, root damage to pipes in the yard, or any other problem that arises on the owner’s property will be left to the homeowner, who may be saddled with a significant financial burden.

  • Upon learning if a property is equipped with an on-site septic system, a contact to the county health department should often result in the broker being provided with the necessary septic permit information. Permits establish a maximum occupancy capacity (usually two persons per bedroom) that cannot be exceeded in the design specification of the building. However, brokers should be aware that a permit may also have other conditions that restrict their ability to operate certain appliances, such as a dishwasher or waste disposal.
See also:  How Much To Put A Septic Tank In Arkansas? (Solution)

A real estate broker should use caution when advertising a home as having more bedrooms than the number of bedrooms authorized by the septic system permit. Despite the fact that state law mandates that on-site septic permits be kept on file until they are no longer in use, there are a few counties in which the records were not initially kept on file. When the original septic permits were registered under the name of the original builder or owner, and that information is not available, difficulties in retrieving the documents might occur.

If the house looks to have four bedrooms, but the tax records only show three bedrooms, this might imply that the septic permit has a maximum number of bedrooms allowed.

After all is said and done, in circumstances where the permit cannot be identified, brokers should state what they know, which is that the property has an on-site septic system, but that the system permit could not be obtained.

  • Advertising – When a septic system permit is available and specifies that the property has a capacity of three bedrooms, the broker is only permitted to promote the property as a three bedroom house. Consciously advertising more bedrooms than are legally authorized would be intentional deception.

One risk with misrepresenting a house as having more beds than the system allows is that the system may get overworked and finally stop working altogether. The health department might then ban future use of the system in order to prevent probable groundwater pollution and to preserve the public’s well-being. Depending on whether or not the system is repairable, reduced occupancy limitations may be applied. The Commission often evaluates situations in which real estate agents deliberately market residences as having more beds than the permit permits while simultaneously attempting to qualify the claim with a qualification.

Such advertising is still misleading and encourages misuse of the septic system by implying that a greater number of people can be accommodated than the septic system was meant to accommodate.

  • Customers regularly submit complaints with the Commission when they believe a broker has misrepresented either the kind or the capacity of a system. In such cases, customers may pursue the broker in civil court for their losses. Complaints from buyers have included septic system problems and the realization that their land is not useable in the manner in which they had intended, which means that certain upgrades, like as in-ground pools and building extensions, are disallowed. It is common that when a buyer wants to sale the house, the mistake is discovered by a new listing agent, and the originally marketed three-bedroom home is now being sold as a two-bedroom home. As a result, the owner may see a decrease in the value of his or her home and problems attracting possible purchasers. It may be possible to resolve these issues by increasing system capacity (provided there is adequate space) or by connecting to a municipal system (if one is accessible and feasible), but this will come at a cost that the buyer did not foresee when purchased the property. The difficulty is that, all too frequently, there is no way to rectify it because connection to a municipal system may not be available or because there may not be enough space for an extension.

When advertising a home, real estate agents should take reasonable efforts to verify that they are identifying and reporting the right sewage system that is being used by the property. It is recommended that if the residence is linked to an on-site septic system, the property be represented as having the number of bedrooms that is specified on the permit document. Buyer’s agents should be on the lookout for any red flags and should do their own due diligence if they have any reservations about the statements made by the seller.

Don’t Forget The Septic Inspection When Buying a House

Septic system inspection is mandatory if you are planning to purchase a property that contains a septic tank. There are several things that may go wrong with septic systems, and with any sort of system, there is the potential for various problems to arise. Is it necessary to have a septic examination performed before purchasing a home? Before closing on a home, you should find out if there is an issue with the septic system that has to be addressed. The problems that might arise with a septic system can range from basic repairs to extremely sophisticated replacements that can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more.

How The Septic System Works

A septic system installed on a home property can be used in place of a municipal sewer system in some cases. In the United States, 25 percent of residences have decentralized systems, also known as septic systems, which are permanent components of our nation’s wastewater infrastructure, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. It all starts with the sanitary pipe that runs from the home and delivers waste water to the septic tank at the bottom of the hill. This big container is normally composed of concrete, fiberglass or steel, although it can also be made of plastic or aluminum.

  1. This tank collects wastewater from the home and allows particles to settle to the bottom of the tank, where they form a “sludge” layer that can be seen on the bottom of the tank.
  2. This scum layer forms a seal, which helps to keep air out of the tank, allowing bacteria to grow in the tank below.
  3. The area between the sludge and the scum is referred to as the effluent area.
  4. A T-shaped outlet is located inside the tank, which allows effluent to flow into the leach field by gravity, while baffles prevent scum and particles from passing through the tank and into the leach field.
  5. This box permits the effluent to flow uniformly into the proper chambers of the leach field, therefore reducing the risk of contamination.
  6. The final outcome is the same regardless of the method employed: the delivery of effluent into the leach field.
  7. There are a variety of various alternatives available when it comes to the sorts of chambers that may be employed.
  8. Leaching’s ultimate goal is to enable effluent to trickle down into the subsoil, where microorganisms in the top layers of soil continue to break down elements from the tank.
  9. Leach Field in a Residential Setting As you can see, a septic system is involved in a great deal of activity.
  10. A large number of homeowners are completely unaware of the importance of providing continuous maintenance, care, and cleaning for their septic systems.
  11. The results of the examination will be used to decide whether or not the tank needs to be emptied.

The cost of inspection and pumping might range between $300 and $500, depending on the location and size of the tank. The cost of maintenance is substantially less than the cost of repair or, in the worst case scenario, replacement of the equipment.

The Septic Inspection

If you’re doing the inspection as part of a house purchase, you’ll want to synchronize the scheduling of this test with the date of your regular property inspection to ensure that both tests are completed at the same time. Thus, if there are any issues with the plumbing systems of the home, these may be brought to the notice of the home inspector and documented in the inspection report. Additionally, grouping these inspections together will help you stay on schedule for any inspection contingency-related deadlines that you may be up against in the future.

At this point, you’ll be gathering documentation and obtaining answers to any queries you may have in preparation for the real inspection.

Because the system is underground, no examination can locate everything without excavating, which is unfeasible given the system’s location.

Here is a list of questions you should be prepared to answer before the inspection begins:

  • Is it possible that the system has ever been pumped? This one is significant since it is the only genuine maintenance issue that the seller would be required to have completed
  • It is also the most expensive. The seller’s knowledge of the location of the septic system is critical because if the seller does not know where the septic system is located, it is doubtful that they have performed continuous maintenance. Septic System Location Map – Regardless of whatever institution is in charge of supervising septic systems in your region, they should have a map of the septic system location given by the original home builder on hand. This is a critical piece of documentation for the septic inspection. It should not only display the position of the tank, but also the location of the leach field and the number of leaching Chambers
  • There should be any available history on the system’s upkeep -things like:
  • The frequency at which the system has been pumped
  • What type of contractor was employed
  • Obtain any maintenance records that may exist
  • Have there been any issues
  • If so, have they been resolved?

Where have all the covers gone? -Manhole coverings should be installed over the tank’s chambers to prevent water from entering the tank. This will be the method through which the technician will get access to the tank in order to test and/or clean it. Putting together this information will serve two purposes: first, it will assist the technician who will be inspecting the system in knowing what to check for, and second, it will provide you with an understanding of how the house seller maintained the system.

The On Site Inspection

After arriving at the residence, the technician will attempt to determine whether or not the sanitary pipe used to transport liquid to the system is functional and in good working order by conducting a flow test on the pipe. As part of this test, you will need to turn on all of your water faucets in your home to add or charge your system with enough water to sustain as many people as the system was designed to support for 24 hours, which is often several hundred gallons. If there is little or no water flowing into the tank, it is likely that there is an issue with the plumbing in the residence or with the sanitary line that has to be addressed.

If this is the case, an asewer line inspection may be required for the line.

The opposite is true if the water in the tank rises rapidly, which indicates that a problem is occurring downstream.

The flow test is the most important phase of the septic system inspection because it examines so many different parts of the system and ensures that the liquids are going through the system in the proper direction as intended.

A significant percentage of those solids will convert into sludge and settle at the bottom of the tank, even though it is intended that they remain in the tank until they are pumped out.

Once this is completed, they resume pumping the tank until they reach the underlying sludge layer, at which time they take another reading.

If this is not the case, the technician will be on the lookout for larger difficulties in the leach field at a later stage.

It is critical to keep the sediments and scum out of the distribution area and leach field to avoid contamination.

The leach field will be the final place that the technician will inspect.

They will be looking for any moist locations where water may be lingering, as well as smelling for any nasty orders that may have been generated by difficulties.

if the probe holes rapidly fill with water, it is quite likely that there is a malfunction with the system The distribution box of a septic system is another location of possible failure in a septic system.

Settlement or blockage of the distribution box are the most common causes of distribution box problems.

As you can see, there is a vast range of possible issues that might arise with a private home septic system, which you should be aware of.

Over 10% of all systems back up into homes or have wastewater seeping through the ground surface, according to data from the United States Census Bureau collected in 1995.

The United States Census Bureau conducted a survey in 1995.

You want to find out if there are any possible concerns with the property before you close on it. Including the testing of the septic system in the inspection process gives you the opportunity to engage the house seller in any later repairs through the use of an inspection objection contingency.

Additional Resources

  • Bill Gassett discusses the Massachusetts Title 5 Septic System Law
  • Luke Skar discusses home inspection tips for buyers. Learn How To Analyze Home Inspection Priorities-Shelhamer Group
  • The Ultimate Home Buyers Timeline – Danny Margagliano

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *