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8 min read Feb 16, 2023

Septic Tank Inspection: What Makes it so Important?

Septic Tank Inspection

A regular septic inspection is crucial to your family’s health, so you must ensure the system receives regular checks. However, because these systems lie underground, most individuals are unaware of their existence until something goes wrong. 

septic tank is a system that collects and processes waste solids and wastewater from a building’s or facility’s plumbing system. During septic tank treatment, these materials partially decompose, followed by separation from scum (oil, fat, and grease) and effluent (water). 

Before entering the groundwater, wastewater undergoes natural filtration in a drain field. Sludge and scum, on the other hand, should be pumped regularly and kept away from the drain field.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a non-invasive visual examination of a property. Home inspections reveal significant defects in the property that an untrained eye can miss. Inspections paint the real picture of the true condition of the property.

A home inspector will assess your house and provide valuable insights into the property’s interior and exterior, electrical systems, and more. Specialty home inspections, like radon, mold, and asbestos, are also done. One such inspection is the Septic Tank inspection.

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What is Septic Tank Inspection?

Septic tank systems clean and dispose of wastewater in homes, businesses, and facilities that do not have public sewers. A septic tank necessitates a significant financial commitment. 

A well-designed, constructed and maintained septic tank will provide years of low-cost, dependable service. On the other hand, a failed septic system becomes a source of pollution, putting public health at risk. Furthermore, it can cause property damage and surface and groundwater contamination. 

It may also result in the spread of other illnesses. If your septic tank ceases to function correctly, you must replace it as soon as possible. It can be costly. Furthermore, if you sell your property, you must verify that your septic tank is in good operating order. 

As a result, you must maintain your septic system at all times. Septic tanks come in several designs to accommodate a wide range of site and soil conditions. 

Some of the septic tank’s components are:

Septic Tanks

It removes wastewater from particles, stores it, and partially decomposes it. The effluent or liquid, on the other hand, is discharged into the drain field.

Drainage Field

Septic tanks dispose of solids into the drain field, sometimes called the absorption field or leach field.

The Ground

The dirt under the drain field serves as a dumping and ultimate treatment site for septic tank effluent. When wastewater reaches the soil, organisms remove it before it percolates downward and outward, eventually becoming surface or groundwater.

Why Septic Tank Inspection?

If you are in the process of purchasing a home, you are aware that several steps are involved. You put money together for a down payment, go to open houses, chat with sellers and agents, and ultimately locate a property you adore. Now comes the exciting part. 

You must make an offer, obtain financing, schedule a home inspection, and ultimately, after mountains of paperwork, the house is yours. But hold on! If the home you’re buying has a septic system, there’s one more thing you should do: have a septic tank inspection.

You may be asking why a septic system examination is required. One of the most expensive and complex components of a typical home is its septic system. Replacing a faulty septic tank can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Furthermore, a defective septic tank can cause frequent backups and foul odors. 

You’d want to know whether there was a roof leak or a foundation fissure. In addition, it is vital to understand the condition of a home’s tank system. “All well, but I’ve already done a house inspection and a dye test.” Isn’t that sufficient?” While these inspections may fulfill a lender’s criteria, they are insufficient to analyze a septic tank thoroughly. 

When Should You Have Your Septic System Inspected?

  • The moment you notice a problem, such as unique smells surrounding your toilet drains, sluggish flushing or slow draining toilets, damp spots over your drain field, or a lush plant growing on top.
  • When adding on to or remodeling your home, you must verify that your septic system is in good working order. You must, however, avoid any construction work above your drain field or septic tank.

Septic Tank Working

In a septic tank, wastewater from restrooms and kitchens separates from water by bacterial action. As the solids sink to the bottom of the tank, they decay by bacteria.

Water is passed through the gravel in the drain field before entering the soil. Water from the tank will travel through pipes to this field. Upon reaching groundwater, the surface filters the water further, ensuring it is not contaminated.

A distribution box also appears in many septic systems. By distributing the water to the yard, the water can flow out to the leach bed.

What Does A Septic Inspection Entail?

Before transferring a property to a new owner, insurers or banks may request a septic check. In some circumstances, when the system is not functioning effectively, an examination is required to find the problems before they do more harm.

A regular septic examination covers the following items:

  • Finding the septic tank
  • Taking off the coverings
  • Examining the intake, output baffle, and partition wall
  • Inspecting the sewage system’s functioning state
  • Locating the pump chamber (if necessary), CK pump, alarm functioning, and float

Test holes in the septic area cover the following:

  • Evaluating sewage below-grade effluent levels
  • Examine the condition of the trenches

Who Performs the Septic Tank Inspection?

Septic tank inspections take place by professional inspectors who can both pump the tank and inspect the entire system. When buying a new home or selling your current one, you should hire an expert to ensure the septic system is in good working order.

Septic Inspector Looks for What?

The following are some of the things a septic inspector may check for:

  • When the last pumping of the tank took place? The sludge level determines whether the tank requires pumping or not. However, if you remember when you last pumped the tank, you may use it as a reference.
  • Check the sludge level with a sludge judge or anything similar. Sludge accumulates at the tank’s bottom and must not take up more than one-third of the tank’s overall volume. It must also not rise to or over the level of the baffles.
  • The drain field and septic tank must lie as far away from streams and wells as possible.
  • Check to see if the septic system is adequate for the size of the home. Larger the tank, the more people in the family. For rectangular septic tanks, multiply length x width x depth (in feet) by 7.5 to determine the capacity (in gallons). 3.14 x radius squared x depth (in feet) x 7.5 Equals capacity in gallons for circular tanks.
  • Examine the ground for any liquid waste that has made its way to the surface. It shows that the septic system is overburdened, a situation known as unclean. 
  • The tank must be waterproof so that effluent is securely packed within and does not contaminate groundwater. Furthermore, groundwater must not enter the tank since it would overfill it.
  • It is vital to check the riser lids for cracks and make sure they fit tightly.
  • Ascertain that the baffles are securely attached to the tank’s exit and input lines.
  • Each drain line must receive the same quantity of wastewater.
  • Remove the distribution box for the examination. If it becomes blocked or tilted, it will undoubtedly allocate wastewater disproportionally, resulting in flooding in areas of the drain field.

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How Much Does a Septic Tank Inspection Cost?

The price of septic tank inspections varies depending on the home and circumstances. Typically, septic tank inspections cost $200 to $500. Nevertheless, a home septic tank inspection should ensure your home’s integrity. It is easier to implement a solution when you detect a problem early.

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