Septic System Inspection: The What and Why
Septic System Inspection is useful in a variety of settings. As mentioned in my previous blog Franklin County accepts inspection reports for their mandatory Pump-Out Program. This program affects all Franklin County septic systems within 500 foot of Smith Mountain Lake. However, septic inspections aren’t just for people with waterfront properly. Real Estate septic inspections allow you to peek into your system, verifying that it is in fact in good working order.
The Short and Sweet Version:
The process of inspecting a septic system can be as superficial or as detailed as desired. The simplest form of septic inspection requires accessing the tank, and inserting a “sludge judge.” This will provide a percentage of solids level in the tank. For the Pump-Out Program Franklin County accepts anything below 33%. Tanks can either be accessed through digging to the tank door or through riser access. Some people have tanks that are equipped with an inspection port (4 inch diameter PVC pipe) which provides access for this specific purpose.
Real Estate Inspection
Real Estate Septic Inspections are typically a little more detailed. We visually inspect as many septic system components as are accessible, and check for puddles that may indicate drain field issues. A visual inspection usually involves walking over the drainfield area, and checking for soggy ground, or surfacing sewage water. Following the visual inspection we can flush water through the system and perform another visual inspection. This allows us to determine whether water is backing up anywhere in the system.
Septic Inspection With Video Camera
Additionally, we have a video inspection system which allows us to check for malfunctions underground. Normally these issues would go undetected in a walk over visual inspection. Our video camera allows us to see footage of what is going on subsurface in real time. It is also possible for customers to hook to the system and view footage as well. We have the capability to send pictures of problems for documentation and future reference. We recommend a video inspection of:
- Conveyance line (the pipe going from the septic tank to the distribution box)
- Sewer line (line running from house to septic tank),
- Header Lines
- Field Lines
We also recommend:
- Uncovering the distribution box for visual inspection
- Visual Inspection of the septic tank itself
The Bottom Line:
Septic system repairs and replacement can cost into the tens of thousands of dollars as government regulations evolve. We want you to have the details that you need in order to make an informed decision on your home investment.