What An Inspector Might Look For When Performing A Septic Tank Inspection

Posted on: 23 November 2020

It's important to have a septic tank inspection periodically to rule out any problems that might be a health hazard due to leaking sewage. You'll want an inspection when you buy a house with a septic tank and every few years after that. Local codes may stipulate how often an inspection is necessary. Here's a look at what the contractor may look for when inspecting your septic system.

Look For Damage In The Tank

When you have your septic tank pumped out, the contractor will do a quick inspection then. However, a scheduled inspection is usually more detailed. The inspector may look inside your septic tank with a camera to look for leaks and signs of damage.

The level of sludge, water, and fats may also be measured and watched while water from a drain indoors empties in the tank. This information can help the inspector know if the tank is working properly.

Pump The Tank To Watch For Problems

The tank may also be pumped out at the time of the inspection. With waste out of the way, the inside of the tank can be seen more easily, and the contractor can look for signs that the drainfield is backing into the tank after it has been pumped out.

Check The Yard For Sewage Leaks

It's often possible to find problems with the tank by checking the yard around the tank and drainfield for signs of a leak. A leak might have a foul odor, leave puddles of sewage in the yard, or provide nourishment so the grass in the area is bright green and lush.

Test The Drainfield For Absorption

The septic tank empties in the drainfield so the inspector may check the field to make sure it is draining properly. This might be done with a percolation test that measures how fast water is absorbed in the soil. When the drainfield goes bad and can't absorb wastewater from the tank, the tank will back up and sewage might eventually spill over or back up a drain in your home.

Provide Documentation For Your Records

Once the inspection is complete, you'll obtain a report for your records, and the contractor might submit a copy to the health department if that's required in your area. If a leak is found, the health department might require you to have repairs done within a certain time period and then repeat the inspection to prove your septic tank is safe and not contaminating the soil or groundwater.

However, if your tank and system are in good shape, then you won't need an inspection for a few years except for the quick inspections you get when you have the tank pumped out. Check out this website, http://sullivanseptic.net, or similar websites for more information.