Septic System Inspections

/Septic System Inspections
Septic System Inspections 2016-12-26T20:16:51+00:00

A full septic system inspection is crucial when looking to purchase a new house or determining if you need to repair your current system. Advanced Septic Services of Clermont, Fl offer a full Inspection service exploring all areas of the septic system. At a minimum, an evaluation will examine these things:

  • The location, age, size and original design of the septic system
  • The soil conditions, drainage, seasonal water table and flooding possibilities on the site where the septic system is located
  • The history of the system if records are available
  • The condition of the plumbing fixtures and their layout to determine whether structural changes have been made to the plumbing that would increase flow to the septic system above capacity.
    System components that could affect the system — for example, water softeners draining to the septic tank or the presence of footing drains — should also be inspected. Slow flushing toilets and slow drains may indicate a failing system
  • The date the septic tank was last pumped
  • The sludge level in the septic tank if it has not been recently pumped
  • The condition of the absorption field. Look for evidence of liquid waste reaching the soil surface, draining toward nearby lakes and streams, or clogging the soil and gravel beneath the field. (This usually requires digging up a small portion of the field). Look for evidence that heavy equipment has been on the drain field, causing compaction and possible damage.

Levels of Septic System Inspection and Testing

LEVEL-0 Septic Inspections – Basic Visual, Loading & Dye Test – Home Inspection Procedures

* This level of inspection is typically provided during a “home inspection” for real estate transactions.

* A VISUAL ONLY Septic System Inspection Includes: Basic visual inspection and reporting of information (Performed by home inspector or other expert) (Some municipalities require this test be performed only by specifically licensed septic contractors or engineers.)

* A VISUAL PLUS LOADING DYE TEST Septic System Inspection Includes: – Visual + Dye test and system loading. Warning: using an inadequate amount of tracer dye or an insufficient volume of water for this test will make it meaningless.

Therefore ordering a “stand-alone” septic loading and dye test of a system should be expected to cost considerably more than such a test which can be performed overlapped in time with other Building inspection services. Beware of quick, minimal tests which place only a small volume of liquid into the system (perhaps 50 gallons over 10 or 15 minutes).

ADDITIONAL LEVELS OF INSPECTION for real estate transactions and for problem diagnosis and bidding prior to actual repair work.

Level 1 Septic System Inspections – Visual, Open Covers, Inspect Equipment, Loading & Dye Test

A Level 1 Septic System Inspection is comprised of the following:

1. The steps in a Level 0 inspection which we described above

2. Additional visual inspection steps to open accessible covers & inspect equipment.

3. Septic Dye Test: This inspection usually include a septic loading and dye test. If a dye test is to be performed it must be done before the system is pumped or further inspected – otherwise the loading test cannot test the absorption system.

4. Septic Tank Pumping: In some states such as Pennsylvania, a Level-1 Septic Inspection may include requiring tank pump out and inspection.

A level 1 Septic Inspection can be performed by a home inspector or other expert. Some municipalities require this test be performed only by specifically licensed septic contractors or engineers. This is the Pennsylvania PSMA definition for level-1.

If septic tank pumping is required, such as in PA, the inspector should be present before, during, and after tank pumping in order to observe important indications of septic system condition such as damaged or missing baffles, baffle overrun, abnormal septic tank levels, or backflow into the septic tank during pumpout.

Level 2 Septic System Inspection Includes – Visual, Open, D-Box, Pump & Inspect Septic Tank

A Level-2 Septic System Inspection is comprised of:

  • The steps in a Level 0 septic system inspection and
  • The steps in a Level 1 septic system inspection and also
  • Septic Tank and D-boxes: The following additional steps to:
  • Inspect the septic tank: locate, excavate if needed, open, inspect the septic tank
  • Determine the septic system capacity & tank conditions, scum thickness, baffle condition, etc.
  • Pump and inspect the emptied septic tank and septic tank baffles
  • Distribution Boxes: locate, excavated if needed, and inspect the distribution boxes

A level-2 septic inspection is performed by septic pumping contractor since tank pumping is needed, or another septic expert may order the tank pumping and should be on-site to inspect the conditions described above

Some municipalities require this test be performed only by specifically licensed septic contractors or engineers.

Because a Level-2 septic inspection requires septic tank pumping, the inspector should be present before, during, and after tank pumping in order to observe important indications of septic system condition such as damaged or missing baffles, baffle overrun, abnormal septic tank levels, or backflow into the septic tank during pumpout.

A Level-3 Septic System Inspection is comprised of:

  • The steps in a Level 0 septic system inspection
  • The steps in a Level 1 septic system inspection
  • The steps in a Level 2 septic system inspection
  • Drainfield or Leachfield Evaluation & Soil Conditions: Additional site excavation to make test openings in leaching area, other test holes to observe soil conditions, test the soil percolation rate, and if needed, perform other engineering work necessary to certify an existing system or to permit specification of system replacement.

Performed by septic pumping contractor, engineer, or other expert.

Some municipalities require this test be performed only by specifically licensed septic contractors or engineers.