Septic inspections are essential for homeowners to ensure their septic system is functioning properly. Septic inspections can help detect any problems that could lead to costly repairs or even system failure. Regular inspections can also prevent environmental damage from leaking septic tanks and help ensure the health and safety of homeowners and their families.
What is a Septic System?
- A septic system is a wastewater treatment system used for homes or businesses that are not connected to a municipal sewer system.
- It collects, stores, and processes wastewater, or sewage, from toilets, showers, and other fixtures.
- The processed wastewater is then released into the environment, typically through a drain field.
Why Septic Inspections are Important
Avoid Expensive Repairs
- Regular septic inspections help prevent expensive repairs by ensuring the system is functioning properly.
- Inspections can identify issues with the septic tank, drain field, pipes, and other components before they become serious problems.
- Inspections can help identify and fix problems before they become costly.
Prolong Lifespan of System
- Regular septic inspections can help prolong the life of the system by ensuring that it is working properly.
- Septic Inspections can identify issues that may need to be addressed in order to keep the system functioning optimally.
- Properly scheduled septic Inspections can help identify any components that may need to be replaced or repaired.
- Regular septic inspections can help avoid seepage of the effluient into the surrounding soils by ensuring that the system is functioning properly.
- Septic Inspections can identify any problems that could lead to wastewater leaking into the environment, which can cause contamination.
- Septic Inspections can help prevent polluting of groundwater, rivers, and other bodies of water.
How Often Should Inspections Take Place?
- Septic system inspections should take place at least once every three to five years, or more often if the system is used heavily.
- Septic Inspections should also be done if there is a change in the system, such as a new septic tank or drain field.
- Septic Inspections should also be done after any major repairs or renovations.
What Happens During a Septic Inspection?
- A general inspection includes a visual inspection of the system to assess its condition and identify any potential problems.
- The septic or home inspector will also check for signs of leaks or clogs, as well as check the levels of sludge in the tank.
- The septic or home inspector will also look for any signs of damage or wear and tear on the system.
- Septic tanks will not need to be pumped or cleaned during an inspection if the system has been properly maintainened and serviced regulary. Although to fully evaluate a system is should be serviced, pumped and cleaned as the structural integrity of the side walls of the tank will not be visible during the inspection if not.
What inspectors look for
Septic tank inspectors check for a variety of potential problems, including:
- The sludge level in the tank, which should not account for more than one-third of the tank’s total volume.
- The distance of the tank and drainfield from wells and streams.
- The size of the tank, which must be large enough for the home; for instance, a four-bedroom home requires at least a 1,200 gallon tank.
- Any liquid waste that has leaked into the ground surface, an unsanitary condition that indicates an overloaded system.
- The amount of wastewater flowing through drainlines into the drainfield.
Dye Testing (This practice is not widely used today)
- Dye testing is used to identify any leaks or breaks in the pipes or tanks that may be causing wastewater to leak into the environment.
- The inspector will add a dye to the wastewater and then check the system for any signs of the dye.
- If the dye appears in any unexpected places, it could indicate a leak or break in the system.
- Flow tests measure the rate at which wastewater is entering and leaving the tank.
- The inspector will measure the flow rate of the wastewater to ensure that it is within the acceptable range.
- If the flow rate is too low, it could indicate that the system is blocked or damaged.
Preparing for an Inspection
- When preparing for a septic inspection, it is important to ensure that the access to the tank is clear and that any buried components, such as the distribution box, are accessible.
- Additionally, make sure to keep a record of any maintenance or repairs that have been done on the system.
- It is also recommended to have the inspector locate the drain field and perform an inspection of it as well.
- Finally, be sure to schedule the inspection with a reputable and licensed inspector.
- Remember that regular septic inspections are important to ensure that the system is functioning properly and to avoid expensive repairs, prolong the lifespan of the system, and avoid contamination of the environment.
Cost of a Septic Inspection
- The cost of a septic inspection varies depending on the location and the complexity of the system. However, on average, homeowners can expect to pay between $300 and $500 for a standard septic inspection. It’s important to note that the cost of any necessary repairs or maintenance identified during the inspection will be additional to the inspection cost.
Regular septic inspections are important to ensure the system is functioning properly and to avoid expensive repairs, prolong the lifespan of the system, and avoid contamination of the environment. Inspections should take place at least once every three to five years, or more often if the system is used heavily. During a septic inspection, the inspector will conduct a general inspection, possible dye testing, and flow tests.
To find a septic inspector in your area, search septic inspector near me. Google or Bing should provide you with a number of contractors that you can call and interview for expirence, pricing and availability.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in the United States, 25% of homes depend on a septic system.
Those homeowners should have their waste management systems inspected every one to three years, according to the U.S.