Septic systems fall outside the scope of a home inspection. However, upon request, we will gladly perform a limited general evaluation of the system. This entails: 1) visually evaluating above-ground and accessible components and removing above-ground access covers 2) for conventional systems, introducing tracing dye and running 150 to 200 gallons of water through the system 3) evaluating the home for leaks, slow drains, & backups and 4) walking the drain field to look for surfacing effluent.5) providing you a professional report. We will also obtain septic installation records with maps (if available) and provide them to you.
A dye test is a relatively low cost, non-invasive method for testing of private sewage treatment systems. It is a limited, performance based test. This test does not provide a guarantee of the present, or future, performance of the system. It is not a full evaluation of a sewage treatment system, but nonetheless provides valuable information regarding the present performance of the system. A septic dye test is ideally suited for evaluation of septic systems for real estate sales purposes, since the test does not result in damage to the property, as would any excavation, and provides minimal disruption of the occupant's use of the home during the test. More comprehensive testing and evaluations are possible, and may be desirable, if greater assurance is needed.
It is important to remember that this service is not a "septic inspection". The septic system is underground. We do not dig for septic covers, locate tanks, measure sludge, probe the drain field, map the system, etc.. We provide a general visual assessment as to the function of the system on the day of inspection during the limited time we have access to the property. Because much of the system is hidden, there still could be deficiencies even if no problems are found during our evaluation. Our evaluation is only for clients in a real estate transaction who simply want a basic assessment and who plan on getting a thorough septic inspection by a full-time septic professional at a later date.