Septic Dye Testing Question

Going to start offering septic dye testing. For those inspectors that do offer this service, what is the best way of determining the amount of water that is being introduced into the septic system. Any help is much appreciated.

Do a lot of research before you decide to do the septic dye test. Make sure your insurance E and O will cover the inspection/test. I don’t do it because it is terribly inconclusive. I’ve been an inspector for 4 years and only miss out on 6 inspections this year because I won’t do the dye test. I figure if I have one major septic problem every 50 inspections, then it wasn’t worth the inspection fees. Having said that, there are several inspectors and health departments that will do it.

When my client’s ask, I ALWAYS verbally recommend my clients to have a septic company inspect the system. They see septic tanks and leach fields everyday. They know what the problems look like. They know what a good system looks like. There is so much under ground and if the house has not been lived in for even a couple of weeks, then the dye test is worthless unless it is going straight to a ditch.

Start your education here –

Good Luck!

Good post I agree and you do the same as we did hand it to the expert

I don’t completely agree.

True, if you don’t find dye. It’s a 100% conclusive test if you do find the dye.

No different than meth testing.

I understand your point, but there is too much uncertainty for me to offer as a service. People are too quick to sue and I am not interested in opening myself to litigation on a service for $50. Which is what most inspectors in my area charge for this service.


This can be a high liability service so check to make sure your E&O covers this. Second look into joining the PSMA ( and get the straining and more importantly use their SOP. This will help you in court if you have legal issues.

I’m a Boulder County licensed and insured wastewater treatment system installer. There are so many ways a septic system can have an issue that I have trouble seeing how one could ever deem a septic system as defect free or “certify” it or “pass” it. I think there are only two options: I found a problem or I didn’t, but there might be one.

Chris, curious why only when they ask and only verbally?

Septic inspections have no more liability then any other auxiliaries.

Have you ever inspected a home and thought, there is no way this house has a septic system, only to find out it did have a septic system? I have. Fortunately for me I was still on site when the client proved to me that it did have a septic system. To add insult to injury, at some point along the way the homeowner built a garage on top of the leach field. You could have knocked me over with a feather. From that point forward I decided I would never assume that the house had or did not have a septic system. That is what the MLS is for.

Based on Joe Ferry’s legal advice, my reports are about coloring within the lines. That is why septic systems are not in my report.