Identify Issues Before They Become a Problem
What does a Septic System do?
Septic systems are most often found in rural areas where homes do not have access to a municipal sewage system. A septic system receives, treats and disposes of unwanted wastewater and solids from your home’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?
Septic systems should be inspected annually as well as anytime the home is put on the market to sell. It is in the buyer’s interest to ensure that a septic inspection is completed prior to the sale to avoid the possibility of liability issues that might arise from a malfunctioning system.
Why should a Septic System be inspected annually?
Septic system inspections should be performed on an annual basis to ensure proper function. The septic tank is the most expensive household fixture and its lifespan will be shortened significantly if it is not maintained.
Types of Septic System Inspections
Septic System Inspection
During a septic inspection, the first step is to locate the septic system and remove the lid. The condition of the inside of the septic tank is evaluated and both inlet and outlet baffles are checked for proper functionality. While the tank is still full, a hydro test will be performed. During the hydro test, water is added to the tank to ensure that it will exit the outflow baffle. If the liquid drains back into the tank from the outflow baffle, that is an indication of an issue with the drainage field. Next, the drain field will be visually evaluated and assessed for any spots of oversaturation. Finally, if the septic tank is to be pumped, we will evaluate the structural soundness of the walls of the tank. The sludge level of your tank will ultimately determine if the tank needs to be pumped. Sludge accumulates on the tank bottom and should not occupy more than 1/3 of the tank’s total volume or rise to the level of the baffles.
Your inspector will attempt to discover when the tank was last pumped/serviced. Your inspector will check to ensure your septic field is not located near wells or streams. Your inspector will also determine if the septic system is large enough for the home it is servicing. He will also ensure that the wastewater from your septic system is not making its way to the ground service. He will inspect any riser lids for cracks and ensure they are secure.