Septic System Inspection
NAWT has created a successful national certification program for individual sewage treatment system inspection that uses five US EPA proposed management levels as the basis for inspecting onsite wastewater treatment systems.
Some home inspectors take additional classes about septic systems; however, not all home inspectors carry the NAWT certification to perform a proper septic system inspection.
Vanguard Property Inspections hold the NAWT certification for Septic System inspections and stays up to date on the latest information provided to better serve our clients.
We are trained to inspect all forms of septic systems: anaerobic (standard) system, aerobic system, and low-pressure system.
What Is Involved In Septic System Inspection And Maintenance?
If you decided to get a buyers inspection or a sellers inspection, the septic system should be included in the list of those things that need to be checked and evaluated.
Since septic systems are buried, we cannot see them. Many of us do not even know it exists till there is a problem, but the truth is the septic system is a crucial component of a home.
It is designed to take all of the waste matter from home and get rid of it efficiently in such a way that it does not affect either the residents of the home or the surrounding landscape.
Typical septic problems
Most of the time the septic system works unnoticed in the background. We only become aware of it when there is a problem, and it fails. Some of the more common reasons for failure may include all or some of the following:
- Using more water than the septic system can handle
- Flushing large solid objects such as papers and sanitary pads
- Throwing too many solid food particle down the kitchen sink
- Using toxic chemicals to clean the drain
Why regular septic inspection maintenance are necessary?
However, after a period, all of this stuff starts to build up, and the drain pipes can get blocked. Also, the excessive effluent water is unable to seep into the lower layers of the soil quickly enough and starts to ooze out into the drain field.
Not only does it begin to emit a foul smell but this is also unsanitary and even toxic.
Regular septic inspection and maintenance will help prevent these problems from happening.
What do septic inspection and maintenance involve?
You should get a professional plumber for this if you do not have the necessary expertise as you could cause further damage.
An experienced worker will use professional tools to inspect the drain pipes without creating any harm to the surrounding drain field. They usually use long snake tubes and specially designed cameras to check everything out and ensure that there is nothing blocking the free passage of effluents. They also check that there are no tree roots that are growing into the pipes causing them to crack and also blocking the path.
Should they discover any problems, they will take immediate action to minimize the damage and restore the efficient functioning of the system.
The Importance of a Septic Inspection
Buying a home?
This might mean that you’re buying one that has a septic system. As part of the home inspection process, we always recommend that the buyers order a septic early in the option period of the contract.
A septic system inspection isn’t inexpensive, but it can prevent future headaches.
There are several types of inspections that a septic company can do.
A walk-over is a very simple inspection and doesn’t tell you much.
When the inspector is satisfied that the system has water flowing from through the septic tank to the drain field, he walks over the drain field to see if there is any visual evidence of sewage at the surface.
At Vanguard Property Inspections we strive for a more detailed septic inspection.
Standard system-It is buried underground and has lateral lines
We try to locate the tanks and if the ground isn’t too hard and the tanks are not too deep, we dig them and open the inspection port on the lid to see inside the tanks before we do any of the plumbing inspection. Once we get to the plumbing inspection, we are going outside to see what the water is doing in the tanks. We will run additional water through the system after the plumbing inspection to put the system under load. We will also walk the drain field to make sure we don’t see anything coming up from the ground.
Aerobic system-tank risers are at ground level and the system had sprinkler heads
We open up the lids to see inside the tanks before we do any of the plumbing inspection. Once we get to the plumbing inspection, we are going outside to see what the water is doing in the tanks. We will test all the components throughout the system, such as the aerator, pumps, high water alarm, and sprinkler heads.
Low Pressure system-usually buried, but do have a pump as well
We open up the lids to see inside the tanks before we do any of the plumbing inspection. Once we get to the plumbing inspection, we are going outside to see what the water is doing in the tanks. We verify the pump is working and walk the drain field to make sure we don’t see anything coming up from the ground.
If something is discovered about the septic system that isn’t in good condition, the buyers can get an estimate of what it will cost to make repairs from a septic company. This can then be used to negotiate the contract or you can walk away from the sale.
If the septic system is close enough to a body of water, an authority determined by the state may require an inspection so that the new owner can obtain a license to operate the system. A Buyer’s agent should be able to assist buyers with this in addition to the regular inspection.
Repair or replacement of a septic system can be very costly. This is exactly why Vanguard Property Inspections recommend that buyers order a full inspection.