Septic System Reports

Septic System Reports With Dallas Home Inspections

We offer Septic System Inspection services in addition to Dallas Home Inspections. A properly functioning waste water system is essential to good health, property value, aesthetics and the ecology. If a property has one, lenders will require that it be inspected by a certified, licensed inspector and that a report be completed.

The purpose of a septic system (also called a waste water treatment plant) is to dispose of the waste water in such a manner that the soils on the property can disperse it without causing an adverse effect on ground water and, in turn, on public health and the environment. The simple fact is that a residential waste water system will become blocked, it will have an obnoxious order, it will overflow and it will contaminate and pollute when not properly maintained. If a waste water disposal system is present, it is highly recommended that it be inspected regularly. Learn more from our Homeowners Guide To Septic Systems.

How Do Septic Systems work?

Dallas Home InspectionA septic system receives, treats and disposes of unwanted wastewater and solids from a building’s plumbing system. Solids are partially broken down into sludge within a septic tank and are separated from effluent (water) and scum (fat, oil and grease). Effluent waste water regularly exits the tank into a drain field where it is naturally filtered by bacteria and reentered into the groundwater. Scum and sludge must be pumped periodically and should never enter the drain field. Learn more from our Homeowners Guide.

When should it be inspected?

As soon as a house is put on the market. This enhances the home’s value and helps avoid any liability issues that might result from a malfunctioning septic system.

In the interest of a prospective buyer, insist that a Septic System Inspection be performed before purchasing a home.

A new inspection is needed if prior inspection documentation is not available or more than 6 months old.

Depending on your county, some are required to be inspected quarterly.

Possible Dangers

Residential waste water plants are designed to handle dangerous household waste and can pose serious health hazards to homeowners and inspectors. System inspection, repairs and maintenance should be left to certified, licensed professionals. The following are a few important precautions:

A professional septic tank pumping service, not an inspector, should remove solid waste.

No one besides a licensed, equipped professional should enter a tank. Noxious fumes such as methane can cause rapid asphyxiation and death.

If a septic tank shows signs of weakness, tread with caution! Collapse can be fatal. Beware of tanks with rusting metal, homemade lids, or anything else that appears unstable.

In summary, a septic system or waste water treatment plant inspection should be performed on a quarterly basis by a service company and by a Dallas Home Inspections Company with each change of ownership. Knowing the condition of the septic system in a home you intend to buy is important and should be professionally inspected.

What gets inspected?

  • If available, we would like to find the date that the tank was last pumped. Ultimately, sludge level should determine whether a tank should be pumped, but knowledge of previous pumping dates can be a helpful reference.
  • Check the sludge level with a “sludgejudge” or a similar device. Sludge accumulates on the tank bottom and should not occupy more than 1/3 of the tank’s total volume or rise to the level of the baffles.
  • Tanks and drain fields should be far from water sources such as wells and streams.
  • We check for liquid waste that has made its way to the ground surface known as ponding. This condition is unsanitary and indicates that the system is overloaded. It is important to make sure that the tank is watertight so that waste water does not contaminate groundwater, and groundwater does not flow into the tank and cause it to overfill.
  • If riser lids are present, they should be inspected for cracks and made sure they are secure.
  • Make sure that the baffles are firmly connected to the tank’s inlet and outlet pipes when accessible.
  • Check that drain lines appear to be receiving the same amount of wastewater.Check for solids covering the baffle. This should be reported immediately, as it indicates overflow.
  • Check baffles for erosion from chemicals and water flow.
  • Check for signs of previous overflows, repairs or potential system failures.
  • Check sewage levels which should be well below the baffle top. A lower level indicates leakage and a higher level indicates blockage.
  • Water dispersal heads or ejectors should be purple in color which indicates non-potible water.