How Do I Get My Septic Tank Inspected?

If at any time you are concerned about your ability to safely inspect or maintain your septic system, you should stop what you are doing and hire a licensed professional to perform the work. Contact your local health jurisdiction for a list of licensed professionals working in your area.

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  • Typically, a septic system is permitted and inspected by your local permitting authority (i.e., local health or environmental department). You can contact these entities to obtain a copy of your property’s septic record drawing (the “as-built” design) and copies of the permit (s).

What are signs of septic tank problems?

7 Warning Signs Your Septic System Is Failing

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

How often should a septic tank be serviced?

As a general rule, you should only need to empty your septic tank once every three to five years. That being said, the actual frequency will vary depending on your usage and how many people are living in your home.

What should I look for when inspecting a septic system?

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

How do you tell if your septic tank is full?

How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying

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

What is the most common cause of septic system failure?

Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.

How do I keep my septic tank healthy?

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

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

Can I shower if my septic tank is full?

Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.

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.

How far is D box from septic tank?

The D-box is normally not very deep, often between 6″ and two feet to the top of the box. You may also see a pattern of parallel depressions, typically about 5 feet apart, that mark the individual drainfield leach lines. The D-box will at or near end of the drainfield area that is closest to the septic tank.

What to do after septic is pumped?

After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.

  1. 1) Get on a Schedule.
  2. 2) Take Care of the System.
  3. 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
  4. 4) Check Other Possible Issues.

How do I check my septic tanks sludge level?

To measure the sludge layer:

  1. Slowly lower the tube into the septic tank until it touches the bottom of the tank.
  2. As the device is slowly pulled out of the water, the check valve closes capturing a liquid/solid profile of the septic tank water. The thickness of the sludge layer can be measured.

How long can a septic tank go without being pumped?

You can wait up to 10 years to drain your tank provided that you live alone and do not use the septic system often. You may feel like you can pump your septic tank waste less frequently to save money, but it’ll be difficult for you to know if the tank is working properly.

How do you know when your septic tank needs to be emptied?

Here are some of the signs for which you should look.

  1. Water puddling above the septic tank. So you noticed a small pool of water but it didn’t rain?
  2. Drains moving slowly. If the drain is moving slowly when you flush the toilet, it could be due to a clog.
  3. Bad smells coming from the septic tank.
  4. The sewer has backed up.

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.

Septic Inspections When Buying or Selling a Home

You could be perplexed as to why you might want an aseptic examination before selling your house. 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.

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.

How often should you get a septic inspection?

The majority of specialists agree that you should get your septic tank examined at least once every three to five years. The examination normally takes place around the same time that you should have your septic tank pumped by a professional septic tank cleaning provider. In order to keep your septic tank healthy and in excellent functioning order, it is required to pump it regularly. Even though professionals recommend that homeowners get their septic tanks tested every five years, many homeowners wait considerably longer than this period.

At that point, inspectors will frequently recommend that you repair or replace your septic system, which can cost thousands of dollars if not done properly.

How is a septic inspection done?

Septic inspections may be divided into two categories.

Visual Inspections

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.

Even though a visual examination is convenient and quick, a comprehensive inspection may provide you with a more complete picture of the overall condition of the septic system.

Full Inspections

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.

Morse Engineering and Construction can provide you with further information.

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.

Find out when the tank was last pumped by entering the date in the search box. While tank pumping should be determined by sludge level in the end, knowing when tanks have previously been pumped might be beneficial as a reference. Using a “sludge judge” or a similar instrument, determine the amount of sludge in the tank. In the tank bottom, sludge builds up, although it should not take up more than one-third of the tank’s entire volume or climb to the level of its baffles. The septic tank and drainfield should be located far away from wells and streams, for safety reasons.

  1. A 1,200-gallon tank is normally required for a four-bedroom house, for example.
  2. Using the tank’s measurements, it is possible to determine its capacity in gallons.
  3. For circular tanks, the capacity in gallons is equal to 3.14 x the radius squared x the depth in feet x 7.5.
  4. A hygienic situation is present, and the system is overburdened as a result.
  5. The presence of a riser lid should be checked for cracks and the integrity of the lid should be ensured.
  6. By opening the distribution box, you will be able to see what they are made up of.
  • 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 fracture will most likely be located at the level of the effluent, which will have drained from the tank via the crack if one is there. An effluent level that is much lower than the level of the tank outflow is a clear indicator of the presence of a fracture. A tank that has flaws that enable sewage to escape into the surrounding soil is effectively a cesspool and should be removed as soon as possible
  • If the water comes from the tank, it indicates that the septic system is overburdened and has to be repaired. Sometimes, inspectors will use a dye that is flushed down the toilet to confirm that the water is coming from the residence and not from somewhere else. Despite the fact that this metric might be beneficial, it is not an accepted means of testing the operation of a septic system. A malfunctioning septic system will be confirmed if dye from the flushed dye shows in the puddle
  • However, a working septic system is not guaranteed if dye does not appear. It may take many days for the dye to develop, and it may be too diluted to see properly
  • 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 all responsibility for any component of the septic system examination that they did not do
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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 gasses such as methane can induce 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.

Rather than an inspection, solid waste should be removed from septic tanks by a professional septic tank pumping company. No one else should be allowed to enter a tank unless they are a licensed and well trained professional. Gaseous toxins such as methane can induce asphyxiation and death in a very short period of time. In the event that a septic tank exhibits indicators of fragility, exercise extreme caution! In certain cases, collapse is deadly. Precaution should be used while dealing with tanks that have rusted metal, improvised covers, or anything else that seems unstable.

How to Care for Your Septic System

Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently.

The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:

  • Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
  • Conserve water
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • And keep your drainfield in good condition.

Inspect and Pump Frequently

Make frequent inspections and pumps; save water; dispose of waste in a proper manner; and keep your drainfield in good condition.

  • Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
  • Conserve water
  • Properly dispose of waste
  • And maintain your drainfield.

Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.

When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge 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 bottom of the outlet.

In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.

An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.

Use Water Efficiently

In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.

  • Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
  • Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.

Properly Dispose of Waste

Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.

Toilets aren’t trash cans!

Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:

  • Cooking grease or oil
  • Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
  • Photographic solutions
  • Feminine hygiene items Condoms
  • Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners

Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.

Think at the sink!

Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:

  • If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
  • Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.

Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?

If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.

  • The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.

Maintain Your Drainfield

It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:

  • It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that exits your septic tank. You should perform the following to keep it in good condition:

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?

It is possible to negotiate murky seas with the assistance of an experienced Partner Agent.

How often should you get a septic inspection?

A septic tank inspection is recommended at least once every three to five years, according to the majority of professionals. The examination normally takes place around the same time that you should have your septic tank pumped by a professional septic tank cleaning provider. In order to keep your septic tank healthy and in excellent functioning order, it is required to pump it regularly. Even though professionals recommend that homeowners get their septic tanks tested every five years, many homeowners wait considerably longer than this period.

At that point, inspectors will frequently recommend that you repair or replace your septic system, which can cost thousands of dollars if not done properly.

It can cost as much as $25,000, depending on the location of the system and the terrain of the land where the new system is being installed on the new system.

How is a septic inspection done?

Septic inspections may be divided into two categories.

Visual Inspections

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.

Even though a visual examination is convenient and quick, a comprehensive inspection may provide you with a more complete picture of the overall condition of the septic system.

Full Inspections

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.

How much do septic inspections cost?

The cost of a septic inspection varies based on the level of detail with which they check the tank and the size of the tank, but for a 1,000-1,500 gallon tank, a comprehensive examination normally costs $300 to $600. Remember to inquire with your local health department to see if they provide inspections at a reduced rate. Keep in mind that the cost of evaluating your septic system may vary depending on who or what firm is doing the inspection. In certain areas (such as Texas), you are not need to obtain a license or certification order in order to examine sewage treatment plants.

A license in a number of sectors, both within their state and on a national level, will be held by the most competent inspectors.

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

Some things to keep an eye out for are as follows.

Backups

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.

Healthy Grass

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

If your investigation finds up tainted well water or irreversible damage to the septic tank itself, you will probably require a new 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.

Selling a House with a Septic System

Some jurisdictions don’t necessitate a septic check before a sale, while others require an in-depth assessment. To find out if you need to get a septic examination before a sale, check with your county’s health department. Completing yourown pre-inspection might also help you detect any concerns. 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. If the seller doesn’t reveal the information and the buyer finds out, an expensive lawsuit might be in order.

It normally rests on the seller’s shoulders to fix the septic system, but you can negotiate prices as part of the purchase.

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.
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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 preserve it by not dumping any non-biodegradable or toxic products down your drain.

Instead of doing it yourself, why not consult with a professional? Expert real estate brokers can make the selling process operate smoothly for a reasonable flat cost. To get started, please call us at 1-833-2-CLEVER or fill out our online form today.

Related Articles

If you live in the Northeast or the Southern portion of the U.S., chances are when house looking, you may come across a home that has septic instead of sewer. In reality, 1 in 5 homes have a septic. In order for a home with a septic system to sell, refinance, or be purchased by someone, it must pass an inspection before being put on the market. This is one thing in the home that you don’t want to fail on your watch. Septic will pass inspection if the tank is empty of sludge, no indication of scum, and everything is moving freely through the septic tank.

You should also be aware of what else you need to know in order to pass inspection, such as what is tested, how septic systems fail inspection, the cost, and upkeep.

Why a Septic Inspection is Important

If you reside in the Northeast or the Southern portion of the United States, there is a good possibility that you will come across a home that has a septic system rather than a sewer system. In reality, one out of every five homes is equipped with a septic system. In order for a home with a septic system to sell, refinance, or be purchased by someone, it must pass an inspection before closing. This is one area of the house where you don’t want anything to go wrong on your watch. If the septic tank has been completely emptied of sludge and there is no trace of scum, and everything is moving freely through the septic tank, the tank will pass inspection.

You should also be aware of what else you need to know in order to pass inspection, such as what is tested, why septic systems fail inspection, the cost, and upkeep.

State Rules on Septics

Septic tanks on state government property are subject to specific laws and restrictions in every state. This is where you’ll find it in Texas. You may learn more about what is permitted as well as guidelines for septic system maintenance and upkeep. Septic inspections are performed by an aseptic inspector, who is certified and trained in this field. It is critical to know the location of your septic system before the examination.

How to Prepare for the Septic Inspection

  1. Septic inspections should be carried out by a professional septic inspector who comes to your home. Some home inspection businesses are also licensed to perform septic inspections, which makes them an excellent choice
  2. If you are the homeowner, you should be aware of the septic system’s history, as well as the date and time of the previous septic inspection and pumping. Recognize the location of the septic system on the property
  3. Prepare a list of concerns and questions to provide to the inspector before the inspection.

Short on Time to Prepare for the Septic Inspection

Even though you are short on time to prepare for the inspection, you should have a look at the section on maintenance ideas below to see if you have enough time to do any of them before the inspection. It’s a good thing to be conscientious about maintaining your vehicle. If you don’t, you might find yourself in serious danger.

How to Pass Septic Inspection

Solid waste that has settled to the bottom of the tank is referred to as sludge. If you don’t empty the tank regularly, it can build up and produce excessive levels, as well as blockage and flow into the drain field, among other problems.

Pumping it out on a regular basis will help to empty it. In order to determine the level of sludge in the tank, an inspector might lower a stick into the tank during the inspection. It should not take up more than one-third of the total tank volume.

Scum

Scum forms when oil or grease is introduced into the tank. With the intention of allowing it to flow out, the beneficial bacteria can typically take care of things. If the scum is still present in the tank, it is necessary to solve the situation.

Flow

A natural flow should be present in the septic tank. It is possible that there are no blockages or backups causing harm to the systems if this is the case. The three primary areas that are inspected are sludge, scum, and flow, but each state has its own set of rules, so check with your local government for specifics.

What if the Septic Inspection Fails

The inspector will provide recommendations on what needs to be repaired or replaced. You will be able to have another inspection when you have addressed these issues. If you are having an inspection done in order to acquire or sell a house, talk to your realtor about how much time you have to have it done. Unfortunately, for many, this is a deal-breaker unless the problem can be quickly resolved or replaced. Also, inquire with the inspection business about the cost of repair or replacement and determine whether or not this is negotiable with the buyer or seller.

Cost of the Septic Inspection

The cost of an inspection will vary based on the size of the tank, the depth of the tank, and any other concerns that may be discovered during the examination. Ours cost around $350 here at All Coast. Low-flush toilets aid in the preservation of the environment.

Maintenance of the Septic System

Keep the septic system in good working order to ensure that it passes septic inspection and that the tank is in good condition. Here is a list of options to get you started. You may also make use of these when preparing for the examination.

  1. As previously stated, septic tanks should be pumped every 2-3 years. Every year, check the area around the pump for leaks or other problems. Maintain detailed records of all maintenance and pumping
  2. Low-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads should be used. Remove lint from the washing machine on a regular basis
  3. Check the area around the septic tank on a regular basis and make note of anything that doesn’t appear to be operating properly
  4. Only human waste and one-ply septic-approved toilet paper should be flushed. Keep an eye out for leaks and have them repaired as soon as possible. What appears to be a little leak may actually be the beginning of a larger catastrophe. Make a mental note of it. Spread out your washing over many days to avoid wasting a lot of water in one sitting. Water waste can cause drains to back up and cause the inspection to fail when there is an excessive amount of water used. Shrubs and landscaping – keep an eye out for any trees or shrubs that may be growing near the septic tank. Regardless of whether there is one, roots can grow into it and make holes. Trees are attracted to the nutrients in the drain field and will grow if given the opportunity, so keep a watch out for them and remove them before they do damage. Finally, the tank should be the appropriate size for the amount of people that will be living in the residence. If it is too little, it will be necessary to pump more frequently.

List of a Few Don’ts for Maintaining the Septic

  1. In addition to pumping septic tanks every 2-3 years, Every year, look for leaks or other problems in the area around the pump. Maintenance and pumping should be documented. Showerheads with low flow rates should be used. Rinse off the washing machine lint on a regular basis
  2. On a regular basis, go over the area around the septic tank and make note of anything that does not appear to be operating properly
  3. Only flush human waste and one-ply toilet paper that has been certified for use in a septic system Pay attention for any leaks and get them repaired as soon as possible. An apparent little leak might quickly escalate and cause significant damage. It’s important to keep track of it. Washing and drying clothes should be spread out over several days to avoid wasting water. Water waste may cause drains to clog and inspections to fail when there is an excessive amount of water consumed. Shrubs and landscaping – keep an eye out for any trees or shrubs that may be growing near the septic system. Regardless of whether there is one, roots can grow into it and create holes. Keeping a watch out for trees in the drain field and removing them before they cause harm is important
  4. Trees enjoy the nutrients in the drain field and want to grow
  5. The tank should have the appropriate size for the amount of people who will be residing in the house. The necessity for frequent pumping will increase if the size of the hole is too tiny.

Maintenance is critical since replacing a septic system may cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. If properly maintained, a system can endure for 25-30 years or more.

Conclusion

Are you shopping for a house and have concerns regarding septic systems, or do you have issues about the septic system on the property you now own? Send us a message using the form below and let us know what queries you have! We are here to assist you!

Inspecting Your Septic Tank

Version that can be printed Septic tanks are mostly comprised of settling chambers. They provide enough time for particles and scum to separate from wastewater so that clean liquid may be properly discharged to a drainfield without contamination. Increasing the thickness of thescum and sludge layers over time results in less space and time for wastewater to settle before it is discharged to the drainfield. In the tank, one gallon of water is pumped out into the drainfield for every gallon that enters.

Septic tanks should be inspected for accumulation every one to three years until you can establish a regular pumping plan for your system.

The frequency with which particles are removed from the tank is determined by the size of the tank, the number of persons in the household, and the amount and kind of solids entering the tank.

The “stick test” process will walk you through the steps of assessing the quantity of scum and sludge in the tank, establishing the tank’s functional capacity, and determining whether or not the tank requires pumping.

A more thorough check will look at the condition of the baffles as well as the pipe seals leading into and out of the storage tank (seeStep 4).

What You Need to Do the Stick Test

  • Version in PDF format A settling chamber is the most important part of a septic tank. Sediments and scum are separated from wastewater during this period, allowing clear liquid to pass through to the drainfield without being contaminated by solids. Increasing the thickness of thescum and sludge layers over time results in less space and time for wastewater to settle before it is discharged into the drainfield. In the tank, one gallon of water is pumped out into the drainfield for every gallon that comes in. In order to avoid scum and sludge accumulation at the inlet or outflow baffles, where it may clog them or be taken out to the drainfield, it is critical to limit the level of scum and sludge from building up and approaching them. Once a year to three years, examine your septic tank for accumulation of waste until you can establish a regular pumping plan. Every 3 to 5 years, most septic tanks require pumping. Depending on the size of your tank, how many people live in your house, and what kind of solids you have entering your tank, you may need to empty it more frequently. Septic tank inspection can be done by a professional or by the homeowner. The “stick test” process will walk you through the steps of assessing the quantity of scum and sludge in the tank, establishing the tank’s functional capacity, and determining whether or not the tank requires a pump. The condition of the baffles and the pipe seals into and out of the tank are examined as part of a more comprehensive examination (seeStep 4).

The slime stick to the right measures 6 feet in length and has a 6-inch leg. The sludge stick is made up of two 5-foot portions that have been fastened together. Scum and sludge sticks can be any length up to 10 feet in length. (NOTE: To learn how to make the scum and sludge sticks, check Step 2 – Measuring the Scum Level andStep 3 – Measuring the Sludge Level in the following sections: Continue to Step 1 – Locate the Tanks. Additionally, see: Step 2 – Determining the Scum Concentration Step 3 – Determining the Sludge Concentration Check the baffles in step four.

Don’t Forget The Septic Inspection When Buying a House

It is 6 feet long and has a 6-inch leg, as shown at right. There are two 5-foot portions that are fastened together to make the sludge stick overall length. NOTICE: Scum and Sludge sticks can be any length up to a maximum of ten feet in length. Follow the steps in Step 2 – Measuring the Scum Level and Step 3 – Measuring the Sludge Level to create the scum and sludge sticks. Continue to Step 1 – Locate and Disclose the Storage Tanks. See also: Taking the Scum Level is Step 2 of the Process. Measurement of the Sludge Concentration in Step 3 Measure and inspect the baffles.

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.

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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:
  • 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.

Are the covers no longer available? -Manhole coverings should be installed over the tank’s chambers in order to prevent leakage. In order to test and/or clean the tank, the technician will need to get access to the tank.

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

  • When the technician initially arrives at the residence, he or she will attempt to determine whether or not the sanitary pipe used to transport fluids to the system is functioning and undamaged by conducting a flow test. It is necessary to turn on all of the water in the house in order to charge or feed the system with enough water to support the number of people the system was meant to serve for 24 hours, which is often a couple of hundred gallons. If there is little or no water flowing into the tank, it is likely that there is a problem with the plumbing in the home or with the sanitary line that has to be repaired. Similarly to the sanitary line on a standard municipal sewer system, this pipe has the potential to become misplaced or fractured, allowing tree roots or other debris to block the pipe and cause flooding within the home. As a result, the line may need to be inspected by a professional. If an issue like this occurs at the tank’s input line, the technician will most likely have to go back through the home’s plumbing system, inspecting each individual water supply, until the problem is identified and corrected. A rapid rise in water level in a tank indicates that there is most certainly a problem farther downstream, on the other hand. Water entering the system should drive effluent out through the baffles and into the leach field during this test, which is what should happen during the procedure. A septic system’s flow test is the most significant component of the inspection since it examines so many different parts of the system and validates that the liquids are passing through it in the proper direction. This should be followed by an examination of the tank itself and the amounts of scum, wastewater, sludge and sediments that have collected over time. 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 there until they are pumped out. The technician will begin by measuring the depth of the scum layer on the surface of the water tank. Then they proceed to pump the tank until they reach the underlying sludge layer, at which time they take measurements of that layer as well. The depth of these two levels should be identical, with each layer accounting for around 30 percent of the total tank volume
  • The remaining space should be allocated to effluent collection and treatment. If this is not the case, the technician will be on the lookout for larger problems in the leach field at a later point. Because the particles in the tank require time to settle, the effluent area must account for a greater proportion of the system’s total area. Maintaining a clear separation between the distribution area and the leach field is essential. Because of this, the field may get clogged and fail, necessitating an extremely costly repair. The leach field will be the last location that the technician will inspect. An initial visual check is carried out to accomplish this. They will be on the lookout for any moist spots where water may be lingering, as well as any unpleasant odors that may have been generated by the situation. Finally, the technician will use a probe to check the leach field for hydraulic stress, which basically implies whether or not the leach field has been inundated. If the water in the probe holes fills up quickly, there is most certainly an issue with the system itself. In a septic system, the distribution box is another site of possible failure. The distribution box, as its name indicates, is in charge of dispersing wastewater equally around the leach field and into the surrounding environment. Clogging or settling of the distribution box are the most common causes of distribution box issues. If this is the case, the technician will need to dig the box in order to determine the source of the problem. According to what you have just learned, there is a wide range of possible difficulties that might arise with a privately owned residential septic system. A pre-purchase check is recommended, even though most systems continue to function well for years. According to 1995 U.S. Census data, more than 10% of all systems back up into homes or have wastewater seeping through the ground surface, and more than half of all systems in the United States were installed more than 30 years ago, when onsite rules were either non-existent or poorly enforced, respectively. The United States Census Bureau conducted a survey in 1995 that revealed If there are any possible concerns with the property, you should find out about them before you close on the deal. Including the results of the septic testing in the inspection process gives you the opportunity to include the house seller in any later repairs through the use of an inspection objection contingency.

Buying a House? Make Sure You Get a Septic System Inspection!

Beginning at the residence, the technician will attempt to determine whether or not the sanitary pipe used to transport fluids to the system is functioning and undamaged by conducting a flow test. This test is turning on all of the water in the house in order to add or charge the system with enough water to support the number of people the system was intended to serve for 24 hours, which is often a couple of hundred gallons. If there is little or no water flowing into the tank, it is likely that there is a problem with the plumbing in the home or with the sanitary line that has to be fixed.

  1. If this is the case, a sewage line check may be required.
  2. The opposite is true if the water in the tank rises rapidly, which indicates a problem farther downstream.
  3. A septic system’s flow test is the most significant component of the inspection since it examines so many different parts of the system and validates that the liquids are going through it in the proper manner.
  4. 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 away.
  5. Once this is completed, they proceed to pump the tank until they reach the underlying sludge layer, at which time they take measurements of that as well.
  6. If this is not the case, the technician will be on the lookout for worse problems in the leach field later on.
  7. It is critical to keep sediments and scum away from the distribution area and leach field.

The leach field will be the last spot the technician will inspect.

They will be on the lookout for any moist spots where water may be lingering, as well as any unpleasant odors caused by issues.

If the water in the probe holes fills up quickly, there is most certainly an issue with the system.

The distribution box, as its name implies, is in charge of dispersing wastewater equally over the leach field.

If this is the case, the technician will need to dig the box in order to figure out what the problem is.

While the majority of systems continue to function properly for years, having them inspected before to sale is a prudent decision.

Census statistics, more than 10% of all systems back up into residences or have wastewater seeping through the ground surface, and more than half of all systems in the United States were constructed more than 30 years ago, when onsite standards were non-existent or badly implemented.

By include septic testing in the inspection process, you have the opportunity to involve the house seller in any later repairs through the use of an inspection objection contingency.

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.

  1. This implies that the septic system is not included in the scope of a standard house inspection.
  2. 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).
  3. 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?
  4. 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.

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