A septic system is installed in homes that are not served by a local public sewer department. These homes depend on individual septic systems to dispose of wastewater. Financially, septic systems are a substantial investment, thus a high quality, reliable, and cost effective servicer is required. If not properly and promptly treated, the system may become a source of pollution and a possible public health issue.  Damaged and untreated septic system causes property damage, ground and surface water pollution, and potential disease. Proper maintenance in the short term will reduce the financial cost in the long term.

What is a septic system?

Simply put, a septic system is a waste removal system.  The system receives, treats and disposes of unwanted wastewater and solids from a building or a home.  Scum, which is fat, oil and grease, along with solids are separated and build up in the septic tank. Regular pumping is required to maintain proper filtering.  Effluent , or water, is evacuated into a drainfield so it can be naturally filtered.

Parts of a Septic System

Septic Systems come in multiple types and cover a wide range of location and soil conditions. The typical septic system has three major parts:

  1. The Septic Tank
  2. The Drainfield
  3. The Soil

Septic System Inspection

There are two basic industry standard times that are recommended to have your septic system inspected: once a year or when selling your home.

Items Inspectors Look For:

  • Date of last pump.
  • Sludge level check to make sure it does not surpass the one third tank volume maximum level.
  • Location of septic tank and drainfield in respect to wells and streams.
  • Verify home and system volume / size ratio.
  • Check for surface liquid waste near the tank.
  • If present, riser lid inspection for cracks and security.
  • Verify proper baffle connections.
  • Ensure equality of drain line distribution.

Remember, septic system inspections are separate from home inspections and should be performed by specifically licensed inspectors. Insure inspectors are well versed in your local ordinances and laws governing septic tanks and systems.

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