water and septic inspections

I recieved a call for a well and septic inspection and am wondering what the finance companies are needing as far as a report goes. anyone have the answer?

Hi Michael,

In Florida you need to be a state licensed septic contractor to inspect septic systems. I always recommend that they call a septic company.

same here, plus i don’t have a “cucu sucka” and don’t believe anyone can realy “inspect” a septic without that and a pressure washer. as for the well, i differ anything underground. i can’t inspect it if i can’t get to it, and calling Dig Safe or other co. isn’t part of a home inspection for me.

ya thats what I figured guys, I didnt really want to dig in where i really didnt want to go, but talking to this finance lady there is a demand for the service there, but I just want to visually inspect, not dig in. thanks for the input

I get a few calls a year to do septic mapping. This is mostly for FHA loans.

Septic Inspections are risky legally, according to a local Indiana Septic Service provider. To pump the system and inspect the tank visually would be advisable for a buyer. However, the septic company will not be able to give any assurances that the new owners will “fit” this septic tank because of differing household water use habits as well as factors like the soil type and compaction affecting the leach fields ability to safely process liquids above certain volumes. So if you provide this service or even subcontract it out, be well versed on the subject and be prepared for potential legal problems.

The National Association of Wastewater Transporters (NAWT) offers a 2-day certification course in inspecting septic systems which is considered to be very good by the county and state people I’ve talked to (Colorado).

There appears to be a lot of misinformation about inspecting septic systems floating around out there. It’s a high-liability business. Doing some online research and then going for it is liable to get inspectors into a lot of trouble since they can cost $20,000 to replace. Load and dye tests are not considered valid by a lot of very knowledgable people.

This is an inspection about which you really want to be confidant about your training.

The Florida law has already been stated and frankly I like it that way. I am not interested in looking through anyone else’s “peas and carrots” for a few dollars. Also stated is the level of misinformation and understanding of the process and protocols for an effective inspection. One of the counties we service it is required to pump out and visually inspect the interior of the tank. The dye tests have been debunked by many in the business of septics and state that several hundreds of gallons of water have to be pushed through the system for the dye to reach the drain fields and then reach the surface. Good subject though for discussion (only not at the dinner table) especially for those just entering the profession.

In Ontario you have to be licenced to inspect wells and septics. And you have to licenced to work on or install same.

Fwiw in my area the minimum flow test results that are acceptable are 3-4 gallons per minute.

I have little faith in dye tests. Purchasers should endeavour to ask the vendor as to the status of the septic, when it was last pumped, tile field, et ceteras. If there are several occupants in the house the septic should be pumped more often. There are many things that can contribute to premature failure, ranging from installation, age, location, soil conditions, load, what is going in is anyones guess, grading, et ceteras.

In these case many of the components are buried, just because there are no visible clues on the surface is no assurance things are correct either. The system could be functioning normally during test and a month later there are problems. I always recommend my clients entertain the services of the previous honey wagon operator because they have the best historical evidence, and may even know who installed the system.

Water testing should be conducted before closing and a clean bacteria test should be the result. After that puchasers should take 3-4 more samples over the year to ensure there are no problems (bacteria wise) and establish a baseline.

When I do rural properties if at all possible look at well heads and try and walk the tile field. Although not licenced it is not surprising to find tile bed problems, well issues. At that point the clients are well advised to seek proper assurances that everything is ticky boo. Often it is not, and I am glad that as a generalist I was able to bring it to their attention.


That would be 3-4 gallons per minute over a span 30 minutes.

Actually thats 3-4 gallons per minute for the duration of a hour.


I was asked by Realtor if I was Septic System certified, I told him I was not. He explained there are a lot of septic systems in southern Missouri (lead belt area), suggested I should get the schooling. What is needed to be certified?

2-day National Association of Wastewater Transporters (NAWT) training and certification class in Boulder colorado, April 24 & 25. NAWT does these classes all over the country. Listed on their website.


Roy call or email member Dave Bush, he has just gone through the classes, I believe it was 2-3 days





PSMA is the Only Recommended way in Pennsylvania.

Soon to be required by contract for On-Lot Systems.

Stay Tuned…

Question. If the tank is full, how can you inspect it?
Would it not be in the best interest of the purchaser/client, to have the system pumped and inspected at the same time?

I pass on all of these calls dont need the mess … to nasty to many legal problems to little cash

i did an ispection last week on a split, and the client asked me if i test the septic. and i said no, you’ll need to call a sewer co. so they did, he drove out, met us all there and didn’t even dig a hole or anything. he has serviced this perticular one several times in the last few years. the tank was fine but the leach feild was junk, and needed about $5000 worth of work. even if i did check the tank, i’d never have been able to test the leach feild on one visit. just one more reason i don’t even try it, plus up here you need to be cerified for septic.

I called a local home inspector that said he did septic inspections. I called as a buyer not as me and he gave me this bull about he doesnt need to pull the lid and he knows how much water to run in each sink to test it. then he says he walks the grass area probing for water. what a rip off for extra 250.00 he does what we all do run the water and check yard. he will get his soon, he says he also offers home repairs and can fix anything he finds broken for extra cash. what a no no this *** needs outed.