Septic Inspections

I have been kicking around the idea of adding septic inspections to my services afford. Any thoughts on septic inspections? Profitable? And, anyone know of any certifications needed in Ohio for septic inspections?


Here’s what I know about septic systems - the tank needs to be opened up and pumped out before you can properly inspect it. At that point, you can lower your camera in there and take pictures!:smiley: :mad:
Proving the quality of the drain field is a different story. How will you be able to say the leach field is going to be alright and for how long? Some people describe flooding the system with umpteen gallons of water and then checking for wet spots, but I don’t think there is any satisfactory way to prove the field for all times of the year in areas where the ground water table fluctuates with the seasons.
If the tank has just been pumped, how will you flood the system? The other variable is the amount of use the system has seen versus use by the new owners. Your one time inspection would be superficial at best, IMO. Check for wet spots and smell, flush the toilets, report observations.:cool:

I sub them out. I don’t want to dig up the grass to pull tank lids, it’s just a crappy business…:wink: :smiley:

Back in the 90s I did many septic inspections by flooding the field as John mentioned.

I would flush dye down the toilet and flood the system, I would then use a long fiberglass rod, which is used for septic inspections, and probe the field.

You would be surprised at the number of systems that I failed, many we so saturated that you can feel it as you twist the rod into the field. I have even seen the dye come up the field and onto the grass. One time I poked the field and black juice shot out.

But as John said there are many variables to consider and in my area most of us recommend they have a septic company come out and pump it with an evaluation of the condition.

Flooding a septic system is not a good idea since it was not designed for that type of abuse. A toilet with a small constant trickle into a septic system can kill one too. The field needs rest periods as it normally gets.

Its underground, can’t see it, let a tank pumper do his job and comment further. Its just one of the many risks of purchasing real estate.

I sub out all my septic inspections. Leave the professional work to the professionals.

the guy I talked to from the Lorain county health department said you had to be a liscensed sanitarian to inspect them here…I believe that it varies from city to city in Ohio, but in Amherst it is covered by the Lorain county health department…they are pretty helpful regarding questions…jim

I wouldn’t flood the system as Bruce pointed out. You may have inadvertently flushed solids in to the field from the tank. Whose responsible for that?

Like I said before, I did these inspections back in the 90s and never had a liability issue in at least 100 septic inspections, That said, would I do one now? Nope.

Darn, here in Florida we are not allowed to do them. Only licensed septic companies and master plumbers can do them

Actually, if the tank is draining properly you can lower the camera far enough into the tank to take a few pics of the inlet and outlet baffles checking to make they are present and what condition they are in.

To check the field you need to actually dig up the wash stones to inspect (an ice auger works great for this). You can tell a lot by the condition of the stones…for example, a black sheen on the stones indicates the field is not operating as designed and requires further evaluation.

If you are considering this as an ancillary service, learn all you can from the septic system installers in your area.

Good luck!


Living in a metro area I only get about 10 a year.
My buddy and I, where are you Butters, took a course offerd through NAWT and received certification which is more than what is necessary in Texas right now. He lives outside the metro area and sees many more OSSF systems. Maybe he’ll see this and comment further.

I don’t flood either, just check each and every fixture for proper drainflow back at the tank and walk the field looking for evidence of malfunction. Aerobic is a whole 'nother story.

Get educated and follow local/state regs. add-on services may set you apart from others.

I’ve made alot of extra cash from doing these septic inspections in Texas. It’s not that much extra work and I always recommend that the system be pumped and inspected further. Get out there and do some with the right training you can do well.

I’m also glad I made Barry’s buddy list. I hope it’s not the same as a “bucket list”.