Ok how many out there do septic inspections? I’ve learned to perform steps 1-6 but when it comes to the drain field, 99% of the time you have no way of finding the distrubution box. I dig and or probe down into the drain feild, but outside that, what they state here is to do an inspection we should determine the square footage of the drainfeild to ensure it can handle the modern day load capacity. (I am assuming)-My inspection is to asset the components of the exsisting system and its operation at time of inspection, not to determine if it meets todays codes or designed to meet todays life style standards. But I am concerned that if down the road the system starts to fail or needs repairs due to larger volume or other factors, that the costs to bring it up to modern codes could be alarming. What should I be doing to protect my client and myself from a septic inspection.
Blanket statement: System functioning as intended per installation at that time of installation. (what should I be doing or what may I put in my inspection report about any septic system I inspect, even cesspools?)
1. The contractor will first do a visual inspection looking for signs of surfacing effluent around the drainfield.
2. They will then dig up the manhole cover to check the liquid level in the tank. If it is low then the tank either has a leak or was recently pumped…watch out. Note: Some tanks do not have a manhole cover. Instead they are 3 or 4 flat slabs and they lift one off. A real cover can be installed for easier future servicing.
3. They will look at the contents of the tank, if there are condoms, kotex, paper towels, etc. in the tank this will indicate the system has been abused. If the toilet paper products are not breaking down this will indicate an over-use of chemicals hindering the bacterial process in the tank.
4. Assuming the tank is full, they will then run 100-200 gallons of water into the system, then start pumping the tank. If this 100-200 gallons of water begins coming back into the tank from the drainfield it will mean the drainfield is slow or failing.
5.When the tank is empty, they will estimate the size of the tank in gallons and visually check to see if the in-let and out-let baffles are in place and of the proper size.
6. They will then dig-up the distribution box to check for a high content of sludge and the number of drainfield lines.
7. From there they will check the length of the drainfield runs by running a line into each pipe and using a probe to get the depth of the trenches. With this information they can estimate the square footage of the drainfield. In some cases they may have to dig into a trench to get this information.
8. They should then take a soil boring to ascertain the depth of the seasonal water tables