Septic System Inspections
A septic system receives, treats and disposes of unwanted wastewater and solids from a building’s plumbing system. Solids are partially broken down into sludge within a septic tank and are separated from effluent (water) and scum (fat, oil and grease). Effluent regularly exits the tank into a drainfield where it is naturally filtered by bacteria and reentered into the groundwater. Scum and sludge must be pumped periodically and should never enter the drainfield.
When should a septic system be inspected?
The septic system should be inspected once a year, including as soon as the house is put on the market for sale. This will enhance the home’s value and avoid any liability issues that might result from a malfunctioning system. It is in the interest of a prospective buyer to insist that the septic system be inspected before they purchase the home if it has not been done recently.
How to locate the septic system:
Since they perform their essential functions underground and out of sight, it is not uncommon for a homeowner to not have any idea where the septic system is located. This is usually not an issue except for when it comes time to inspect or pump the tank!
The following suggestions can be used by inspectors to locate a septic tank if the homeowner does not already know where it is:
- An “as-built” drawing of the house should include the tank’s location. These drawings are often held in local health and zoning agencies. Old systems might not have any such record.
- The previous homeowner can be contacted.
- Newer tanks contain risers that rise visibly above the ground surface.
- A thin metal rod can be inserted into the earth and used to probe a suspected area. It is important to do this gently and only in soft, wet soil to avoid damaging the tank and associated pipes. A shovel can also be used but it requires a bit more work.
- A metal detector can be used if enough tank components are metal.
- A small radio transmitter can be flushed down the toilet and followed with a receiver.
- The greenest grass in a yard is often directly above the septic tank. Snow also melts faster above the tank than the rest of the yard. While these are not foolproof location methods, they have been known to be helpful.
-We are fully trained and certified to perform an inspection on your Private waste water treatment system. We can also provide maintaince inspections and offer combined pump out services with one of our affiliates to make sure that your inspection is convienient and complete.