What is a septic system?
A septic system is a self-contained, underground wastewater treatment system consisting of the septic tank and a soil absorption field. It treats and disposes of unwanted wastewater and solids from a buildings plumbing system.
A Level 2 Onsite Limited Visual Septic Inspection includes an assessment of each observed component of the system, in addition to a concluding opinion about its condition.
Why should I have my septic system inspected?
The septic system is one of the most costly components of a home to replace. A septic system that has been adequately maintained can provide long-term, effective treatment of household waste. However, if it has been neglected it can fail at any time. While having your system inspected does not warranty it, it can provide you with a good understanding of the size and condition of the system. Your regular home maintenance should include a septic inspection, especially if your system is over fifteen years old.
What is involved?
A Septic System Inspection is a fee based service that can be offered as an individual inspection or as part of your home inspection. It is not an insurance policy, guarantee, or warranty that the system will function properly for any period of time in the future, nor is it a certification of the system’s installation or current performance.
Similar to a home inspection it is a visual, non-invasive examination. If a septic inspection has been requested, it is the responsibility of the home owner to ensure all hatches to the treatment tank are visible and accessible. From there I will perform a visual inspection of the entire bed and mantle of the septic field. All of the visible components of the septic tank are inspected for their structural integrity.
At the end of the inspection all findings are documented in a report provided directly to you within 24 hours, if not the same day.
What does a Level 2 Onsite, Limited Visual Septic System Inspection include?
The following components will be inspected:
- Observe and identify any visible signs of existing malfunctions of the system or components that are at risk of malfunction;
- An evaluation of setbacks of the septic system to wells, bodies of water, buildings and property lines;
- Verify that sump chamber is not draining into the septic system.
- Observe and record the use of household waste disposal systems, water softeners, or other specialty filtration equipment that may affect the good working order of the septic system;
- Observe the size of the building, number of bedrooms and the number of plumbing fixtures to verify the system is large enough for the home it serves;
- Check for leaking plumbing fixtures and faucets within the house;
- Location of tank and soil absorption field;
- Type of tank, size and material;
- An evaluation of the condition primary and secondary chambers (above the level of effluent), hatches/lids, baffles and barrier;
- An evaluation of surface scum and depth of sludge in the septic tank chamber;
- Verify that inlet and outlet piping is free from blockages;
- Ensure that run-off water is not flooding the septic system;
- Examine around the bed for areas of sewage leakage;
- An evaluation of the condition of the weeping tile bed is conducted by running water through the system.
- Verify that the soil absorption field is free from building additions, decks/patios, outbuildings, garages/driveways, pools or hot tubs, trees or other deep rooting vegetation, or any other construction that would disturb the area.
Your detailed report will outline the findings of the inspected components listed above. You will also receive recommendations on how to maintain the system.
As a member of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI), I have made a commitment to adhere to the OAHI Code of Conduct for the Home Inspection Profession. For more details on my home inspections, please view the OAHI Standards of Practice by which I abide.