Why are Septic Inspections so important?
Do you know where your septic tank and leach field are located?
If you are moving home, you may not know where the septic system is in a new property. As most leach fields cannot be built on or heavily landscaped, it is vital to know where it is, and what state it is in.
Do you know what condition your septic system is in?
A failing leach field or malfunctioning septic system can cost $000s to put right. If used incorrectly, septic systems will fail and can badly impact public health and the local environment. If you are not sure whether a system has been misused, you should consider an inspection before agreeing to buy a property with an on-site sewage system.
Do you know how a septic system should be treated?
- Septic systems are not garbage disposal systems! They are not designed to handle food wastes, fats, disposable diapers, sanitary products, condoms, dental floss, cotton swabs, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, or waste chemicals such as paint thinners and motor oil.
- Excessive use of water could lead to solids overflowing from the septic tank to the disposal field, greatly reducing its life expectancy and potentially ruining the field.
- The running of water in winter to prevent water lines from freezing can seriously overload a system, as well as lowering the water temperature in the septic tank to a point where both the tank and disposal field can freeze.
- The area above a disposal field should have a good grass cover, but the planting of trees and shrubs is not recommended as tree and shrub roots plug the field and trees will tend to shade the area, lessening evapotranspiration.
- Commercial systems in facilities such as restaurants must have grease chambers. These should be properly sized, placed ahead of the septic tank, and cleaned regularly. Poorly maintained systems can back-up, leading to an unpleasant and unhealthy public environment.
Ready for an Inspection? Get in touch with the team at Clarity today
If you think your system may have been misused, contact Clarity to find out more about a Septic Inspection.
- Clarity Inspectors are fully trained and certified by Internachi, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. We are qualified in inspecting all types of septic system, safely, thoroughly and professionally.
- Septic Inspections lead to an Inspection Report, giving you detailed, unbiased information on the condition of your system with recommendations for further evaluation or corrective action.
- Septic tanks should be inspecting every year and pumped when necessary. Do not wait until the system fails before thinking about maintenance; annual inspections are very useful in preventing winter malfunction.
- Septic Inspections combine physical inspection, local knowledge, and information on the property, plumbing and system use - to give you the most comprehensive view of the system status.
- Clarity Septic Inspections can save you money and protect your environment and community. We can help you manage leaks, bacteria growth, pipe failures, capacity issues and odour problems - keeping your system in top condition for years to come.
What happens at a Clarity Septic Inspection?
An inspection of an average residential system can vary significantly in time. You are very welcome to be present at the inspection and ask questions during the process. However, septic inspections can be dangerous, particularly when accessing the septic tank. You must stand clear when asked and follow instructions at all times.
Before we undertake the physical and visual inspection, there are a series of observations and questions we need to seek answers to:
Weather plays an important part in the inspection process. If there has been dry weather the soil moisture levels will be low which can cause the system to appear more favourable. On the other hand, excessive rain may affect the water level in the absorption area.
System age gives us clues to its likely performance. Systems older than 20 years are likely to be beyond their life expectancy and could require correction, major repair or replacement,even if it is functioning at the time of inspection.
Size of property or premises
The number of bedrooms or occupancy level of a premises indicates the system usage. We check to see if there have been changes in occupancy during the life of the septic system and how this might have impacted the system performance and therefore its likely need for maintenance. We will also need to understand the occupancy level at the time of inspection.
Commercial activities or high impact use
Commercial use and certain hobbies can place excessive hydraulic loading on the system, which may result in discharge of damaging substances into the septic system.
Repair and maintenance history
There may have been significant alterations made to the system over time which might not be consistent with existing records. We will need to satisfy ourselves as to the adequacy of existing repairs and their impact on the future performance of the system, as well as have knowledge of the system maintenance history if possible.
Additional discharging equipment
Kitchen equipment such as washing machines, water softeners and garbage disposal systems will need to be listed in the inspection to allow us to understand the full extent of water and solids discharge that may impact the septic system.
We need to know when the system was last pumped to allow us to duplicate normal hydraulic loading. Recent tank pumping will impact this process.
Contact with related parties
We will, where possible, contact local authorities to review records, data, and permits. We can also contact previous owners where possible to fill any information gaps. Maintenance providers and contractors who have worked on the property can also provide useful information to help us complete a full assessment.
Questions? Talk to our trained Septic Inspectors, for no-nonsense advice and guidance.
What does the physical inspection include?
Location and opening of the main lid(s) of the septic tank
- Confirmation that all fixtures flow from the house to the treatment tank
- Measurement of the tank liquid level
- Confirmation of water flow to the drainage absorption area
- Pumping of the tank(s)
- Inspection of the interior walls of septic tank and baffles
- Location drainage area inspection
- Inspection of drainage absorption area via probing and/or soil boring
- Identify areas of sewage breakout, lush vegetation and odours
- Sketching of the site system and other items and component including location measurements
- Detailed inspection report describing the condition of the onsite septic system
Whether you are a homeowner, a restaurant owner, commercial customer, or a realtor, Clarity can inspect your current septic system or evaluate a system to help support a property purchase or sale. We provide detailed information on its status which can help you manage problems and remedy vulnerabilities before system failure occurs; giving you the knowledge to make decisions.
Where we find sewage breakout onto the ground surface, sewage seeping into the property, or sewage backup not caused by a blockage, pipe or distribution box leakage, we will notify the local municipality Health Department in a timely manner - to ensure any community impact is minimized. Understanding the difference between a minor failure and a significant failure helps the property or land owner take effective and swift remediation action.
Regular inspection saves money
The septic system should be inspected once a year. A well-maintained septic system helps improve the value of a property and avoid any liability issues that might result from a malfunctioning system. It is in the interest of a prospective buyer to insist that the septic system be inspected before they purchase the home if it has not been done recently.
The difference between a failed system and a functional system is the implementation of an effective wastewater maintenance and inspection program! Good Septic Inspections help save money, protect public health, preserve valuable water resources, and maintain economic vitality in a community.