House with Septic Tank....

Hi Everyone,

I have my first inspection this coming Friday on a house with a Septic System. I know the SOP says we don’t inspect septic systems, but what do you guys do when inspecting a house with a septic system? Anything in particular I should look for? Anything special you guys do when inspecting a house with a septic system? Any hints, or tips would help, especially if you live in Colorado!:eek: Thanks in advance.


Dont forget to add to your inspection fee if you are going to do a septic inspection. Here in Florida we are prohibited by law from doing them. The typical fee by a licensed company is about $300.00.

If you are going to look at the system, you should pull the cover and inspect the tank. Most times you will not be able to do this without pumping the tank. You then have to be able to check water flow and the drainage field. Use ur senses. If you smell anything that does not seem right, the field is probably bad.

Remember, the entire system is about $7000.00. Personally, I would hire a licensed septic company or master plumber to inspect the system.

Don’t touch it!!!

Disclaim it as a specialty item, unless you are qualified to inspect it

My verbage is:
" This home is on a well and septic system. Due to the inaccessible nature of these systems, inspection of the well and septic systems are not within the scope of this report.

Buyer is urged to review any maintenance records as well as have a water sample test carried out to ensure potability."

Hope this helps and good inspecting!!!


I presently offer septic inspections, and the way I conduct it is

  1. when asked to do a spetic inspect, got to house the day before and locate tank to see if access cover needs to be unearthed (additional fee)
  2. call and have a pumper on schedule for that day
  3. arrive the next day for inspections and run water down the drian ( like in a tub) for about 30 mins to 45 mins
  4. take lid off holding tank (s) and see if water level or scum line on top rises or stays the same to ensure at time of inspection that the field is taking the water at suitable rate.
  5. I probe drain feild area digging to see if water is coming to the surface (ensuring the feild doesn’t become saturated.
  6. Tank is then pumped and I inspect with mirror to see condition of baffles and any tank cracks

This is only a what I can see inspection,

This is what I found in 3 isolated situations during a septic inspect:

  1. tank have large settlement crack on bottom ( can be seen only after pumped) ( leaking didn’t appear to be because of water level observed ) but I called the local SOP and they require replacement not repair. Had to put this on my report. What the buyer and seller did ???

  2. opened holding tank and then went to pump take (for sand Mount) and observed the pump running along time, noticed water coming back in around outlet pipe to field, either his drain field pipes were clogged or a pipe or joint cracked. Found out later it was a elbow in the piope to the feild had cracked under the ground.

  3. Is this is where you have to be carefull, had a situation where everything appeared ok at time of inspection, but it appeared that the tank was not big enough to handle the larger family load. Before it was 2 people that lived there all there life (2 bedroom) and when a 5-6 people family moved in the capacity grew and the tank didn’t thus they want to come after me to help correct the sistuation, feeling that I should be all knowing of how to design systems for any usage. got to run

I take the simple approach…

I hire a licensed Septic Professional to meet me on site, at a specified date. I charge my client accordingly and tack on my fee of $40.00.

My Septic inspector has located Septic systems that were only 10 years old and have failed. Replacing leaching fields and D-boxes is very expensive, so I do not want the responsibility of any Septic inspection.