The inspector may use a dye test during this part of their inspection. In a dye test, the inspector will introduce dye into the water that is being drained to see how much of it enters the septic tank. From there, the septic tank will get pumped and the inspector will check for any backflow from the absorption area.
- A professional contractor performs a septic inspection, and he can also do both the tasks, i.e., pump the tank and inspecting the whole septic system. When you are buying a new home or selling your current home, you must hire an expert to do it so you can be confident about the well-being of the septic system.
What happens if your septic tank overflows?
If the tank overflows, you’ll notice that the ground is very wet above this drainage area. If tree roots grow through pipes, the walls of the pipe could collapse and prevent proper drainage. Clogged or broken pipes can also cause overflow. Some septic system overflow happens because of improper design.
How do you tell if your septic tank is full?
How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying
- Pooling water.
- Slow drains.
- An overly healthy lawn.
- Sewer backup.
- Gurgling Pipes.
- Trouble Flushing.
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.
Should a septic tank be completely emptied?
Septic tanks are never completely emptied. The EPA recommends that you have your septic tank inspected every three years and de-sludged according to the inspector’s assessment and maintenance suggestions. Most households find that their septic tank needs to be de-sludged once every 1-3 years.
How do you fix a septic tank that backs up when it rains?
After a major rain event, the only way to relieve pressure on the system is by using it less. If possible, reduce or eliminate water going down the drains until the drainfield dries out. An emergency septic service cleaning can provide temporary relief, but this is often a futile exercise in battling mother nature.
How do I stop my septic tank from overflowing?
Here are a few tips.
- Take It Easy on the Chemicals. Septic tanks naturally break down waste with bacteria that’s present inside of them.
- Other Items to Keep Out of Your Pipes.
- Prepare for the Holidays.
- Keep Your Tank from Freezing.
- Watch Out for Roots.
- Keep it Cleaned and Maintained.
How do I know when to pump my septic tank?
If the bottom of the scum layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet, your tank needs to be pumped. To keep track of when to pump out your tank, write down the sludge and scum levels found by the septic professional.
How do you know when your septic tank needs to be emptied?
Here are some of the signs for which you should look.
- Water puddling above the septic tank. So you noticed a small pool of water but it didn’t rain?
- Drains moving slowly. If the drain is moving slowly when you flush the toilet, it could be due to a clog.
- Bad smells coming from the septic tank.
- The sewer has backed up.
Can a septic tank never be pumped?
What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.
Can you sell a house with a septic tank?
If you currently have a septic tank that discharges to surface water then the sale will trigger the requirement to replace or upgrade the system. Buyers should satisfy themselves that any system is in good working order and does not cause pollution.
What is a septic RSS?
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) requires all real property with an on-site septic system to have a Report of System Status (RSS) inspection done prior to transfer of property. Expect a visit from Health department staff to inspect OSS and to ensure your system complies with requirements.
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.
How long does a typical septic system last?
Septic System Basics Because it is expensive to replace a septic system, proper maintenance is important. The more proactive you are in maintaining your system, the longer it will last. In fact, septic tanks can last as long as 30 years or more.
Why do septic tanks need to be pumped?
To prevent your septic system from failing, it should be pumped out before the solids accumulate to the extent that they start to flow out of the tank with the effluent to the drain field. If the layer of sludge is greater than a third of the tank’s volume, it is time to have the tank pumped.
How often should a septic tank be Desludged?
Both septic tanks and sewage treatment plants do require desludging or emptying. The frequency of which varies depending on the system in place and the usage. The general recommendation is every 1 to 5 years.
Septic System Inspections
Nick Gromicko, CMI®, and Kenton Shepard wrote this article. A septic system is a system that collects, processes, and disposes of waste water and solids that are generated by a building’s plumbing system. When the solids are partially broken down into sludge, they are separated from the liquid effluent (water) and scum in a septic tank (fat, oil and grease). Effluent is discharged from the tank on a regular basis into a drainfield, where it is naturally filtered by microorganisms and re-enters the groundwater supply.
The septic system should be tested at least once a year, and it should be done immediately before putting the house on the market for sale.
Prospective home buyers who have not recently had their septic system checked should insist on having the system checked before they acquire the property, since it is in their best interests.
When it comes time to examine or pump the tank, this is typically not a problem.
- The placement of the tank should be depicted on a “as-built” design of the home. These designs are frequently kept on file by municipal health and zoning departments. It is possible that older systems do not have such a record. It is possible to get in touch with the prior owner
- Modern tanks are equipped with risers that protrude clearly above the ground surface. It is possible to probe a suspicious location using a thin metal rod that has been placed into the soil. It is critical to do this carefully and only on soft, damp soil in order to prevent harming the tank and its accompanying pipelines. Another option is to use a shovel, although this will need a little more effort. If a sufficient number of tank components are made of metal, a metal detector can be utilized. A tiny radio transmitter that can be flushed down the toilet and followed by a receiver can be used to communicate. The grass that grows the most lushly in a yard is frequently seen just over the sewage tank. Snow melts more quickly above the tank than it does in the rest of the yard. While they are not failsafe techniques of finding a place, they have been shown to be beneficial in the past.
What kinds of things may InterNACHI inspectors be looking for?
- Find out when the tank was last pumped by looking at the date on the tank. The sludge level should ultimately indicate if a tank has to be pumped, although having a record of past pumping dates might be useful as a reference. Using a “sludge judge” or a similar instrument, determine the amount of sludge present. It is normal for sludge to collect on the tank bottom, but it should not take up more than one-third of the tank’s total capacity or climb to the level of the baffles. The septic tank and drainfield should be located far away from wells and streams, for obvious reasons. Make certain that the system is large enough to accommodate the household it serves. A 1,200-gallon tank is normally required for a four-bedroom house, for example. The number of people that live in the house determines the size of the tank that is necessary. The tank’s capacity in gallons may be computed based on the size of the tank. For rectangular tanks, the capacity in gallons is equal to the product of the length, breadth, and depth in feet multiplied by 7.5. For circular tanks, the capacity in gallons is calculated as 3.14 times the radius squared x the depth in feet multiplied by 7.5. Check the ground surface for any liquid waste that has found its way to the surface. This is an unclean state that signals that the system is overburdened and needs to be repaired. In order to prevent wastewater contamination of groundwater and groundwater from flowing into the tank and causing it to overfill, make certain that it is waterproof. The presence of a riser lid should be checked for cracks and the integrity of the lid should be checked as well. Check to see that the baffles are securely attached to the tank’s inlet and exit pipes. It is recommended that each drain line receives the same quantity of wastewater. By opening the distribution box, you will be able to see what they are made of. If the box becomes tipped or blocked, it will distribute effluent in an excessively large amount, and it may even flood areas of the drainfield.
In a septic tank, baffles are components that restrict wastewater entry to a sufficient degree to guarantee that particles are distilled and that solids (as well as scum) are not discharged into the drainfield. It is via this process that they are able to protect the soil’s absorptive quality and hence extend the life of the entire system. They are often constructed of the same materials as the septic tank, which might be fiberglass, steel, or concrete in construction. Inspectors should look for the following things in baffles:
- The baffle is covered in solids. This should be reported as soon as possible because it implies overflow. There is evidence of prior overflow due to chemical and water erosion. Ideally, the sewage level should be several inches below the baffle top of the drain. A lower level implies leakage, whereas a greater level indicates obstruction.
Inspectors should be familiar with the following facts so that they may advise their clients about the various ways in which they might cause harm to their septic system:
- The only thing that can be flushed down the toilet is bath tissue. Tampons, paper towels, cigarette butts, and diapers should all be disposed of in the garbage. In order to prevent microorganisms in the septic system from being damaged by household chemicals such as gasoline, paint, medicine, antifreeze, or pesticides from being flushed, they should never be put down the toilet or down the sink. In little volumes, detergents and bleach can make their way into the plumbing system. There should be no driving on or near the drainfield unless absolutely necessary. Their weight might cause damage to subsurface plumbing without them realizing it. There should be no other vegetation grown over the septic tank and drainfield. Roots from trees and huge bushes can create harm that is not visible. People are not permitted to excavate or construct structures on top of a drainfield. Ensure that any water drainage from rains, sump pumps, or any other source of surface water is routed away from the drainfield. An over-saturated drainfield can cause the water treatment process to be slowed down and plumbing fittings to get clogged. Fixing leaking faucets and toilets as soon as they occur is a simple method to extend the life of a septic system and avoid having to pay for an expensive replacement. Any waste of water in the home should be avoided at all costs. Taking shorter showers and avoiding using the garbage disposal are two examples of strategies to conserve water.
- It is not recommended that inspectors enter the septic tank to search for cracks. Tank interiors are extremely filthy, and entering should be avoided at all costs. The crack will most likely be located at the level of the effluent, which will have drained from the tank through the crack if one is present. An effluent level that is significantly lower than the level of the tank outlet is a strong indicator of the presence of a crack. A tank that has cracks that allow effluent to leak into the surrounding soil is essentially a cesspool and should be replaced as soon as possible
- If the water comes from the tank, it indicates that the septic system is overburdened and needs to be repaired. Sometimes, inspectors will use a dye that is flushed down the toilet to confirm that the water is coming from the house and not from somewhere else. Despite the fact that this measure can be beneficial, it is not an acceptable method of testing the functionality of a septic system. A faulty septic system will be confirmed if dye from the flushed dye appears in the puddle
- However, a working septic system is not guaranteed if dye does not appear. It may take several days for the dye to appear, and it may be too diluted to see clearly
- It is outside the scope of a standard house inspection to evaluate a septic system, and this needs specialized skills. Laws differ from one jurisdiction to the next, and inspectors should be well-versed in them before providing this job. They should disclaim any responsibility for any part of the septic system inspection that they did not perform
Septic systems are meant to manage hazardous waste, and they may pose major health risks to both residents and inspectors if they are not properly maintained. Precautions include the following, in no particular order:
- Solid waste should be removed from septic tanks by a professional septic tank pumping service, not by an inspector. No one else should be allowed to enter a tank unless they are a licensed and properly equipped professional. Noxious fumes such as methane can cause asphyxiation and death in a matter of minutes. When a septic tank begins to exhibit indications of fragility, proceed with extreme caution! Collapse has the potential to be deadly. Keep an eye out for tanks with rusted metal, improvised lids, or anything else that seems to be in unsafe condition.
In conclusion, septic system inspections should be conducted on a yearly basis to verify that the system is operating properly. The septic tank is the most expensive household fixture, and it will have a much shorter lifespan if it is not properly cared for and maintained.
Buying a House? Make Sure You Get a Septic System Inspection!
If you are in the process of purchasing a home, you are aware that there are several phases involved in the process. You put money together for a down payment, go to open houses, chat to sellers and real estate agents, and ultimately discover a place you love to call home. The exciting part is about to begin. There are several steps involved: making an offer, getting pre-approval, scheduling a home inspection, and eventually, after heaps of paperwork, claiming ownership of the property. But hold on a minute!
- You might be asking why you would need to get your septic system inspected.
- Septic systems that are in poor working order can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair or replace.
- When a roof leak occurs or a break in the foundation occurs, you would want to be aware of the situation.
- “All OK, but I’ve already completed a house inspection and a dye test.” “Doesn’t that suffice?” While these inspections may be sufficient to meet the criteria of a lender, they are insufficient to provide a full evaluation of a septic system.
A septic system examination performed by a Pennsylvania Septage Management Association-certified inspector is the only method to determine the exact status of a septic system.
What is a septic system inspection?
Performing a septic system inspection entails a thorough examination of all of the components of a septic system. The inspector will determine the location and condition of the septic tank, distribution box, and absorption area and make recommendations. In this process, he will uncover and evaluate all of the mechanical and electrical components of the system, including septic lines, baffles and filters, pumps and floats, alarms, and so on. During the inspection, he will open the septic tank (digging up the lids, if required) in order to check the wastewater sources from the home to the septic tank and physically inspect the septic tank at its operational level, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
If the home has been vacant for an extended period of time or if the number of people living in the home is expected to increase, the inspector will conduct a hydraulic load test to determine whether the septic system’s absorption area is capable of handling the anticipated daily wastewater volume of the home buyer’s family.
- For septic systems in Pennsylvania, this implies that the inspector must have received training and certification from the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA), which has created a set of requirements for an objective septic system assessment.
- Each PSMA septic system inspection finishes with the delivery of a thorough report.
- However, while this analysis does not provide a guarantee, the findings drawn from it may be able to save you thousands of dollars in septic system repairs or replacement.
- If you do not have a PSMA inspection and report, you run the danger of inheriting the financial burden of substantial septic system repairs or perhaps the installation of a whole new system completely.
Septic System Inspection vs. Home Inspection
Inspections of the inside and exterior of a home are performed by professionals who are well-versed in the identification of typical faults. They will inform you if there are any evident issues with the roof, windows, electrical system, interior plumbing, foundation, or any other visible components of the house. A house inspection, on the other hand, is just a visual assessment that is non-invasive. Consequently, house inspectors only report on the components of the home that they can physically see, and nothing else.
- This implies that the septic system is not included in the scope of a standard house inspection.
- There is a good chance that they may flush the toilets a few times to ensure that the system is not actively backing up, and they may even remove the cover from the septic tank (if they can find it).
- How can a home inspector tell you what condition your septic tank is in if there isn’t a pump truck available to empty it?
- Despite the fact that home inspectors are well-versed in many aspects of the property, they are neither equipped nor prepared to conduct a thorough examination of a septic system.
Therefore, a house inspection is insufficient for determining the condition of a septic system. Rely on a PSMA inspector that specializes in septic systems to provide you with the most thorough and insightful septic system inspection available.
Septic System Inspection vs. Dye Test
Dyes are used in a dye test to check that wastewater is appropriately routed into the septic tank and not elsewhere on the land. Dyes are brightly colored and non-toxic, and they are safe to use. In layman’s terms, a dye test demonstrates that water can travel from point A to point B. At the time of a dye test, a technician will flush dye tablets down the toilet and down the drain, check to verify that the right wastewater sources are entering the septic tank, and walk about the property looking for dye.
- In the absence of a dye test, it is impossible to determine the size or condition of a septic tank.
- Dye tests provide little information on the operation of critical septic system components such as baffles, pumps, floats, and alarms, among others.
- When purchasing a property, don’t take a chance on a future filled with septic system failures and expensive repairs.
- to conduct the work for you.
Septic Inspections: 6 Questions You Need to Ask
You might be wondering why you would need a septic check before you put your house on the market. Alternatively, are you purchasing a new home that has a septic system? Get professional information on septic systems and collaborate with a seasoned real estate agent throughout the process. Prospective home buyers typically engage an inspector to do a thorough assessment of the property before making an offer on it. The examination will typically involve a visual evaluation of the house’s structure as well as a search for pests.
Septic inspections are extremely important for your health and the health of anybody else who lives in your house, so homeowners should make a point of scheduling them on a regular basis.
In case you are buying or selling a home, the septic inspection will be an important part of the process.
Need help in the home selling process?
An experienced Partner Agent can assist you in navigating the choppy waters of business.
What is a septic system?
One in every five homes in the United States is equipped with a septic system, yet you’d be shocked how many people are unaware of what they are. A septic system is a system that is designed to remove waste from a home or building. During normal operation, it collects and filters water and garbage from the washer, sinks, showers, and toilets before returning it to the sink. The mechanism then re-distributes the energy back into the earth. The entire procedure contributes to the reduction of water and soil pollution.
The septic tank is where the water and trash from the residence are disposed of.
The liquid rises to the top of the container and passes through an absorption zone.
A layer of gravel serves as a drain field, allowing water to pass through it before entering the soil. During the passage of water through the gravel and soil, minerals present naturally in the ground filter the water, making it suitable for use once it reaches the groundwater table.
How often should you get a septic inspection?
The average American house has a septic system, but you’d be amazed at how many people are unaware of what they are or how to use them properly. When it comes to waste removal, a septic tank is an underground system that is installed in your home. When it is in good operating order, it collects and filters the water and waste from the washer, sinks, showers, and toilets. Afterwards, the mechanism distributes the energy back into the ground. The entire procedure contributes to a reduction in water and soil pollution, which is beneficial.
Into the septic tank goes the water and garbage from the home.
Eventually, the liquid reaches the surface and passes through an absorption zone.
An underlayment of gravel serves as a drain field, allowing water to pass through it without being filtered.
How is a septic inspection done?
Septic inspections may be divided into two categories.
If you are buying or selling a home, the home inspector will most likely do a visual assessment of the property. In order to do a visual examination, a few questions must be asked, such as the age of the house, how often the owner pumps the septic system, and when the previous inspection was performed. The inspector will next flush all of the toilets in the house and run all of the water in the house to ensure that the water pressure is enough and that everything is draining correctly. At the end of the inspection, the inspector will walk out to the drain field to ensure that there is no standing water, which might indicate the presence of a cesspool.
A thorough inspection contains all that a visual inspection does, but it also goes above and beyond that level of service. This is the inspection you’ll want to have done every three to five years, at the absolute least. Inspectors will remove the lid from the septic tank and assess the amount of water in the tank during a comprehensive examination. The level of the water might indicate whether or not the water is draining adequately. The inspector will next run water through the home to ensure that it is correctly draining from the house to the septic tank and that the water level within the tank does not rise as a result of the additional water being introduced into the system.
Dye tests are conducted to determine how much dye is incorporated into the water that is draining and how much of it makes its way into the sewage treatment plant.
Inspecting the backflow level will reveal whether or not there is an issue with your drain field. It is therefore necessary to check the flow level once again to ensure that every part of the septic system is functioning properly and that there are no obstructions.
How much do septic inspections cost?
A thorough inspection encompasses all that a visual inspection does, but it also goes above and beyond that level of examination. Ideally, you’ll want to have this examination performed every three to five years. Inspectors will remove the lid from the septic tank and assess the amount of water in the tank during a thorough examination. The level of the water might indicate whether or not the water is draining correctly. The inspector will next circulate water through the home to ensure that it is correctly draining from the house to the septic tank and that the water level within the tank does not rise as a result of the additional water being introduced into the house.
Dye tests are conducted to determine how much dye is incorporated into the water that is draining and how much of it makes its way into the sewage treatment facility.
The backflow level indicates to the inspector whether or not there is an issue with your drain field.
How long do septic systems last?
Septic systems may endure for up to 25 years — and in some circumstances, indefinitely — depending on the conditions. Maintaining the system is critical to its overall performance and reliability. If you get your concrete septic tank inspected on a regular basis and make repairs as needed, it can endure for a lifetime or even longer.
Should I repair or replace my septic system?
Here are a couple of things to keep an eye out for.
Puddles in Your Yard
A smart option is to have an inspector come out and assess your septic system if there is any standing water in your yard over your septic system. Take precautions to keep yourself and your animals away from the water, since it may be contaminated with hazardous substances.
Having a significant number of plumbing backups is a symptom that something is wrong with your septic system. It might be anything as simple as a small repair or as complex as a complete tank replacement, among other things. In either case, an inspector will be required to determine the situation.
If the grass over your septic area is greener than the grass in other sections of your yard, it’s time to get your septic system inspected and cleaned. In the event that a septic system begins to fail, it releases more water into the ground, which might benefit your plant life but can also be hazardous to human health.
Results of an Inspection
Unless your assessment reveals tainted well water or irreversible damage to the septic tank itself, you will almost certainly need to replace your system.
How to Maintain Your Septic System
Tampons, paper towels, baby wipes, and any other foreign materials that cannot break down readily in your septic system should never be flushed down the toilet to ensure that your septic system lasts as long as possible. If you have a garbage disposal, use it to help break down any food that would otherwise block the pipes in your home. Make sure you never throw oil down the sink since it might clog up the septic tank and cause it to overflow. Try to choose a laundry detergent that is also safe to use with septic systems.
You should make certain that your sump pump is not connected to your septic system before starting. Sump pumps discharge an excessive amount of water into the septic system, which can have a negative impact on the system’s ability to break down waste.
Selling a House with a Septic System
Some counties do not need a septic examination prior to a home sale, however others demand a thorough investigation before a home sale. Check with your county’s health department to see whether you are required to have a septic examination performed prior to selling your home. Completing your own pre-inspection might also assist you in identifying any potential problems. If the seller is aware of any concerns with the septic system, the law compels them to provide this information to the buyer before closing.
Both sellers and purchasers are perplexed as to who is ultimately responsible for repairing damage to the septic system.
Buying a House with a Septic System
Purchasing a home with a septic system necessitates answering a few questions. Here are some of the most important:
- What is the age of the house
- When was the last time you had your septic tank examined and pumped? Have you had any septic tank back-ups or standing water problems? Whether or if the septic tank has been repaired is unclear.
In addition, you’ll want to make certain that a third-party inspector does a comprehensive examination. When hiring an inspector, it may be tempting to hire someone who will go through the inspection fast and sign off with a gold star. However, you may end yourself acquiring a property that has a slew of issues down the future as a result of this decision. If you want assistance in locating a reputable inspector, your realtor will most likely be able to provide suggestions. In general, septic systems are quite efficient, as long as they are properly maintained.
You may also keep it in good condition by not flushing any non-biodegradable or harmful substances down your toilet.
Instead of doing it yourself, why not consult with a professional?
To get started, please call us at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form today.
Visual examinations have previously been discussed, as well as the dangers associated with them. Consider a comprehensive examination, which comprises both a visual check and the pumping of a tank performed simultaneously.
Full inspections 101
Inspection of conventional/standard septic systems and low pressure dosing systems is the most complete available. The tank is opened and the liquid level is measured, which might reveal whether or not the tank is leaking or whether or not it is overfilled. Providing the level remains normal, water is supplied into the system to ensure that water flows from the home to a storage container before being transported to an absorption area. The amount of liquid in the tank should not rise, and there should be no surface effluent over any section of the system, including the tank.
During the inspection, it is necessary to examine the flow from the home to the tank in order to ensure that everything is linked to the system. This can also reveal whether there are any obstructions in the house plumbing or in the sewage line that connects the house and the tank.
Pumping can uncover other problems
In most cases, the entire tank is pumped during the inspection since septic tanks should be pumped every three to five years (on average). However, there are a handful of exceptions:
- If the tank has recently been pumped and there are no solids in the tank, the tank is considered clean. In this case, a thorough inspection can still be performed by pumping the liquids down past the outlet baffle so that it can still be monitored for backflow from the absorption area
- If the system fails the inspection before the pumping is performed (leaking tank, overfilled tank, backup while running water in the house, etc.)
- If the system fails the inspection after the pumping is performed (leaking tank, overfilled tank, backup while running water in the house, etc.)
Your inspector should have questions
The inspector should ask several questions when a septic inspection is planned in order to have an understanding of the system’s history, current, and prospective usage, as well as any previous maintenance performed. These factors can have an impact on what is observed during the inspection and assist the inspector determine whether there is a problem or not. For example, when the inspector opens the tank, he or she finds that the liquid level has dropped significantly. Is the low liquid level due to a leak in the tank, or is it because the tank was recently pumped while the property was unoccupied and no one has been living there to replenish the tank to a regular level?
Regulations knowledge is critical
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) establishes minimum criteria for the state of Texas; however, any county or municipal government may impose more strict laws. For example, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s buffer requirement from an absorption area to a well is 100 feet; however, the standard in Bexar County is 150 feet. However, each county may interpret TCEQ requirements differently, which is why Comal and Kendall counties for the most part follow the same set of rules.
It is critical that the inspector understands the requirements specific to each property in order for suggestions to be consistent with local regulations and for discussions to be conducted on the basis of correct information.
Choose the experts
Each county/local authority can impose more strict requirements than those set out by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the setback required between an absorption area and a well is 100 feet; however, the standard in Bexar County is 150 feet. However, each county may interpret TCEQ laws differently, which is why Comal and Kendall counties for the most part follow the same rules. Depending on the jurisdiction, one county may allow the replacement of an old tank, but another county may necessitate the installation of a whole new system.
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.
- 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.
- This scum layer forms a seal, which helps to keep air out of the tank, allowing bacteria to grow in the tank below.
- The area between the sludge and the scum is referred to as the effluent area.
- 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.
- This box permits the effluent to flow uniformly into the proper chambers of the leach field, therefore reducing the risk of contamination.
- The final outcome is the same regardless of the method employed: the delivery of effluent into the leach field.
- There are a variety of various alternatives available when it comes to the sorts of chambers that may be employed.
- 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.
- Leach Field in a Residential Setting As you can see, a septic system is involved in a great deal of activity.
- A large number of homeowners are completely unaware of the importance of providing continuous maintenance, care, and cleaning for their septic systems.
- 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
- If there is any available history on the system’s maintenance – for example, something like:
- A re-pumping of the system has occurred. This one is significant since it is the only true maintenance issue that the seller would be required to have completed
- Yet, it is not the most critical one. In this case, it is critical that the seller knows where the septic system is located since if they don’t know where it is, it is doubtful that they have performed continuous maintenance. An accurate map of the septic system’s location should be kept on file with the agency in charge of supervising septic systems in your region. This map should be given by the home builder. This is a critical piece of documentation for the septic tank inspection process. This diagram should depict not only the placement of the tank, but also the location of the leach field and the number of leaching chambers. Everything that is known about the system’s maintenance history -things like:
- 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 wet areas where water may be lingering, as well as smelling for any foul orders that may have been generated by problems.
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.
- Bill Gassett discusses the Massachusetts Title 5 Septic System Law
- Luke Skar discusses home inspection tips for buyers. Find out how to analyze home inspection priorities with the help of the Shelhamer Group. The Ultimate Home Buyers Timeline – Danny Margagliano
- The Ultimate Home Buyers Timeline
Point of Sale Septic Inspections
When you make the decision to have an aseptic system inspection performed as part of your real estate transaction, it is critical that you understand what to expect. When it comes to this procedure, one of the most important considerations is the employment of a competent septic specialist rather than a typical house inspection. A septic contractor will be able to provide you with an honest and complete inspection of your septic system, as well as guidance on how to best understand the state in which it is currently operating.
- Locate, Map, and Identify Tank’s identity is revealed. Unless the system has previously been mapped, the expert will need to find the septic tank and the entry point to the tank. Remember that if you do not know where your tank is located, some professionals may charge you an extra cost for the location and mapping of your system, so keep that in mind. The drainfield and tank will be searched for during this time by your inspector, who will insert a tool into the ground to locate the drainage system. Aside from looking for signs of leaks or drainfield difficulties, your inspector will also look for indicators of leaks or drainfield issues, which are often indicated by dark green grass or changes in the sort of weeds that are growing. Pumpout Tank Conditions Should Be Monitored At the bottom of a tank that is operating properly, there should be a layer of scum separated from the gray water and the sludge, and the tank should be operating at the right levels for the conditions. Following confirmation of the operational levels and layers, your inspector will begin the process of draining out the tank. After the tank has been pumped, the inspector will beam a light into the tank to examine the interior of the tank for signs of corrosion or other damage. At this time, the septic inspector will also inspect and clean the effluent screen to verify that it is effectively filtering any particles and preventing them from entering the drainfield. When the inspector does this section of his examination, he looks for signs of cracks and checks to see if the tank is watertight. Water lines that are higher than the acceptable level might occasionally signal a problem with the drainfield.
- Your Drainfield (Note: If the liquids are not at the required operating levels, then additional inspection of the system is necessary.) Unless your inspector notices evidence that your drainfield may be faulty, it is unlikely that they will delve into your drainfield to investigate. If there are evidence of weed growth, such as brilliant green grass or certain species of weeds, a simple soil test or probing the ground may be sufficient. Parking cars on top of the drainfield site or trees in the area surrounding the drainfield are two more examples of things that might result in the need for drainfield repair. Most of the time, drainfield repair is only necessary when systems have not been adequately maintained. Replacement of Soil and SodIt is critical that the septic specialist communicates exactly how they will dig to gain access to the tank and how long they will be digging. The sod should be cut out properly, and any dirt should be collected and placed on a tarp. The examination should be followed by a complete replacement of all soil and sod in the same location to ensure the least amount of surface effect.
There are several steps involved in the inspection process, which might take up to six or eight hours to complete. This inconvenience should be considered modest because septic inspections disclose a great deal of information about your system and provide you with the piece of mind that your system is properly maintained and suitable for your water usage. Crews Environmental has been inspecting septic systems for more than 25 years.
What is a Septic Tank Inspection? Do I Need It?
Everyone has probably heard the expression “it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.” After all, failing to regularly inspect and maintain your septic tank will result in a slew of unpleasant tasks to complete – and that’s not at all pleasant! Now, let’s take a look at what aseptic system inspection entails and why it’s necessary.
The reasons for needing a septic tank inspection
Everyone has undoubtedly heard the expression “that’s a filthy job, but somebody has to do it.” For starters, failure to do routine maintenance on and inspection of yourseptictank may result in a slew of nasty duties, none of which are very enjoyable. Let’s take a look at what aseptic system inspection comprises and why it’s so crucial to do.
The types of septic inspections
Septic inspections may be divided into two categories:
- Visual inspections– These are normally performed by a home inspector when a house is being sold or purchased, and they include asking questions about the property and the house, such as when the previous inspection was performed, and so on. By running water and flushing all of the toilets in the property, the inspector may determine whether or not the water pressure in the house has been compromised. Cesspools, standing water, and the drain field will all be checked by the inspector as part of his inspection. This form of examination is quick and convenient, but it cannot tell you much about the condition of your septic tank, including whether it is healthy and safe. Full inspection is nearly identical to visual inspection, with the exception that it involves a considerably more extensive inspection. This is carried out by professionals and highly trained specialists who are equipped with the necessary equipment and tools for the job. The time period during which inspectors examine the water level in your septic tank to assess whether or not the water is draining properly. Additionally, they will do a few of checks to ensure that everything is in working condition before they proceed with the pumping.
The importance for frequent septic tank inspections cannot be overstated, as these checks not only save you money, but they also help to keep you and your family, as well as your property, healthy and safe. Get in touch with us right now for additional information or to schedule your next septic inspection.
What To Expect During Your Septic Inspection – Septic Services
What exactly is going on beneath at your location? When you flush the toilet, wash the dishes, and do the laundry, all of the water and waste simply magically disappears. well, not quite. As long as your septic system is operating correctly, it will take care of it for you! It’s difficult to tell whether or not something is operating well when everything is underground and out of sight. We’re on our way to provide a hand if anyone needs it.
There are two main types of Septic Inspections
A septic inspection is vital to understand the difference between a “Routine Septic Inspection” and a “Point of Sale Septic Inspection” when discussing septic systems. Let’s get right into it and speak about each of them.
Routine Septic Inspection
Effective septic system maintenance and monitoring is the most effective technique to ensure that the system is operating well now and will continue to operate for the longest period of time. Establishing a consistent schedule of Routine Septic Inspections with a trained service provider is the most straightforward approach to acquire confidence that your system is being properly maintained on a constant basis.
A service contract with Aeration Septic includes two Routine Septic Inspections each year, as part of the overall service package.
During a Routine Septic Inspection we will:
- Take a look at the control panel. Check to ensure that the switch operations are working appropriately. Check to see that the alarm system is in perfect working order. Check the voltage that is being provided to the aerator. Pull the aeration unit and do maintenance on it. Make sure the aeration unit is clean and clear of any dirt before using it. Check to ensure that the aeration device is drawing the proper amount of current. Examine to see that the aeration unit is delivering the proper quantity of air into the system
- And Check to see that the aeration unit is properly ventilated and has enough breathing room. Examine the bumpers and brackets for signs of excessive vibration caused by wear. Check to see that the plug/connector is completely waterproof. Maintain the cleanliness and proper functioning of the foam restrictor and the aspirator tip. To determine the contents of the tank and to create pumping recommendations, do a sludge judge test
- Provide a pumping suggestion
- Inspect and clean the filter unit of the system, making sure it is correctly installed
- Examine and ensure that all of the inlet and outflow tees are free of obstructions. Observe the condition of the risers and cover for the risers. Inspect the UV disinfection system (if one is installed)
- Inspect the outfall to ensure that everything is going through the system as it should be.
After the inspection is complete, a Routine Septic Inspection Form is completed. Here is an illustration of this type of form: Septic Tank Inspection Report for Preventative Maintenance It takes around thirty minutes to do a routine septic inspection, and you do not need to be present to complete the inspection. In order to determine whether or not you are home, our service expert will knock on your door first. If you are not home, our professional will proceed to do the Routine Septic Inspection.
If it is discovered that any repairs are required during a Routine Septic Inspection, our office will contact you to schedule a service call at a time that is convenient for you to get the repairs completed as quickly as possible.
Point of Sale Septic Inspection
It is considerably more comprehensive to investigate the status of the system at the time of the sale than it is to do a Routine Septic Inspection on a property. In order to complete the house sale transfer procedure, most county health departments need a Point Of Sale Septic Inspection to be completed. As one of the most expensive components of a property to replace, it is vital that purchasers have a reliable service provider do this inspection so that they may learn everything they can about the status of the septic system before purchasing a home.
Contact us now for more information.
During a Point of Sale Septic Inspection we will:
- Check the plumbing in the house with a magnifying glass
- Check for septic system leaks outside the home to make sure they are not a problem. If you have an Aeration System, look for and check the control panel. Locate the septic system (using the information and drawings provided by the health department)
- When feasible, remove the lids from the systems for visual examination. Determine the contents of storage tanks (by reviewing available pumping records)
- Examine the condition of the risers and tanks. Calculate the flow from the home through the main line to the tank. Hydraulic Load Testing should be done. Carry out a Dye Test. Inspect the area for Distribution Boxes or Sump Pump Chambers. Is the Sump Pump operational if it is present in the system? Review of the leach system for wells, lines, and filter beds in order to establish capacity and condition
- Investigate the site for indicators of Tracing Dye, like as streams, storm drains, and other waterways
- If there are no system maps available, we will design one.
Point of Sale Septic Inspections take around three hours to perform, and we do ask that someone be present at the property because we will need access to the interior of the home throughout the inspection. An inspection report is generated and distributed to all parties involved in the transaction once the Point of Sale Septic Inspection has been successfully conducted. As a result, we endeavor to provide the quickest turnaround time possible in the industry to eliminate any delays in the house transfer process.
Septic Inspections Save Money
Septic systems are one of the most costly components of a property to replace, costing upwards of $100,000. The most effective way to extend the life of your system and avoid costly repairs is to maintain a regular schedule of routine septic inspections. A POS (Point of Sale) system The only way to know what you’re getting underground is to have a septic inspection performed throughout the house selling process.
When you consider that the average cost of replacing a septic system is more than $15,000, you can clearly see what is at risk. Thank you for contacting us about scheduling your septic inspection! We look forward to assisting you in saving time, money, and frustration!