Septic Inspection Bill

Here is an article on the law which Charlie (I want to be a Senator no matter what) Crist signed into law earlier this year. I would like your opinions on this piece of legislation.
Just follow the link

Why did the Republican majorities here in Fl. vote to pass such a bill?

What is wrong with having your system inspected and pumped ever 5 years? It isn’t going to effect home inspectors.

About time someone stepped in .

You betcha! :smiley:

How much does a septic inspection cost in Florida?

I wish they did it around here, i always hear ,( been here 20 years never had it pumped and i do not have any problems
What i have found around here
tanks dumping into ditches
tanks dumping out in the woods
tanks dumping in a lake
drain to storm drain
Sludge all over the back yard
Tank under a home ( open Lid) crap coming out
Just a few

This has been the case in some states/municipalities for years. I hear of some counties that now require it every 3 years.

we are lucky in some counties to have a building inspector.

I believe the intent of Aubrey’s post was to express dissatisfaction with any legislation that costs us money. We’ve had tanks pumped and declared sound along with drainfields for as low as $165. Septic companies have suggested to me pumping every 3-5 years. I don’t necessarily believe that. When they work, they work for a long time with or w/o pumping. When drain fields stop working pumping the tanks is a very short term fix. If asked I suggest people pump them every 3-5 years. I’m not going to tell them don’t have them pumped.

It’s been every 3 years in my county for a very long time.

I hear ya Wayne. And just because some counties have them, doesn’t mean they’re worth a damn. :wink:

Do you have any info, as to if the 3 year program has reduced the failure rate of systems in general, or more specifically older systems?

Last weeks inspection…
Single lady in her mid twenties. 9 year old home on septic. After the inspection, I took the time to show her where the tank was located, where the drainfield was located, explained the basic operation and care of the system. What NOT to flush down the toilet, etc… She had absolutely no clue, and thanked me profusely for taking the time to explain it to her. If I hadn’t, I presume she would not have learned of these things until she had a problem. Less and less younger people know anything about septic systems. Today’s mentality is… flush it!

Sorry, no. Here is the requirement for St Croix County Wisconsin



a. All existing POWTS shall be visually inspected and the components pumped within 3 years of the date of installation and at least once every 3 years thereafter.**** If upon inspection by a Master Plumber, Master Plumber-Restricted Service, POWTS inspector, POWTS maintainer, or a certified septage-servicing operator under NR 114, the anaerobic treatment tank is found to have less than 1/3 of its volume occupied by sludge and scum, pumping is not required.
b. Pumping of a septic tank shall be done by a certified septage-servicing operator in accordance with NR 113 and NR 114.
c. A Master Plumber, Master Plumber-Restricted Service, POWTS inspector, POWTS maintainer or a certified septage servicing operator under NR 114 may conduct visual inspections of POWTS to determine whether wastewater or effluent from the POWTS is ponding on the surface of the ground.
d. The owner of a common system shall operate the common system(s) in accordance with the State approved management plan.

Okay, I can agree with that. Pump only required if more than 1/3 buildup. Makes sense as if more than 1/3 buildup in 3 years, the system is not working properly, and pumping helps reduce immediate failure of the entire system.


You are still required to have it inspected by a licensed person every 3 year and in some counties you MUST contract with a provider in advance and have a copy of the contract on file with the county. You also have to give the county the right to pump it if you don’t at teh smae time you file the contract.

Here is a little history of POWTS regulation in WI

It’s good to see the opinions of my fellow inspectors. I have no opinion either way except to say that this kind of legislation should not be instituted in today’s climate. My home is 21 years old, I bought it 12 years ago, and maintained my system by ensuring the bacteria stayed healthy. I had it pumped for the first time after living in the house for more than 10 years and the whole system is still in perfect condition. Now I agree, most people don’t look after their system and it should be pumped every 5 years but don’t legislate it during these tough economic times.

No arguement, just discussion…

Would you rather pump your system, or, replace the system because it failed?

Does the system care what the economic times are?

The system can fail at any time, for many reasons. The potential hazard of a failed system affects the general public’s health. How would you feel if a neighbors septic failed and contaminated your private well?

Only way homeowners will know if their tank is more than 1/3 filled with solids is if they’re willing to have it examined of course. About $100 here. More than half what a pumpout costs(here). May as well just pump it. That 1/3 rule isn’t here in Fl. anyway of course. Inspections of the tank are to determine if it’s sound. That’s required when drainfield is replaced too. Homeowners may have no problem with drainfield and think their system is working well but that’s only because the tank leaks and the stuff rarely reaches the drainfield. Drainfiields fail many times more often than tanks. I’d bet most people against this law now, would be against it at anytime including during booming economic times. BTW, homeowners having their tanks pumped doesn’t prevent roots and sand from clogging, damaging and destroying DF’s nor can anyone be sure if their 21 year old septic system is in perfect condition. I too would like to know the degree of pollution caused by septic systems and if worse in some areas than others perhaps concentrate in those places first including connecting public sewers there(expensive) as has been done on barrier islands. Too bad simply pumping your tank isn’t going to necessarily make your drainfield last longer and every septic guy I’ve dealt with says they can tell if drainfield is working w/o pumping tank.