There are two primary reasons to inspect a septic system:


Want to know what we look for during a septic inspection?  Check out the videos below to find out.

Some of your questions may be answered below:

Septic Inspection

Under what circumstances should a hydraulic load test be performed in addition to a standard septic inspection?

A hydraulic load test should be performed if:

  1. The home has been vacant for more than 7 days or
  2. If the number of people moving in is greater than the number of people moving out of the home.

*A hydraulic load test is a 2-day test to determine the absorption capacity of the absorption system.

When will it be required that a septic tank has to be cleaned in order to pass a septic inspection?

When the thickness of the floatable solids and the depth of the settled solids are equal to or  greater than 20% of the total depth of the tank.

Does a septic tank have to have a cleanout pipe in order to pass a septic inspection?

In order to pass a septic inspection, the system must meet all the regulations that were in affect when the septic system was installed.  All tanks installed after 1983 are required to have main access risers no deeper than 12 inches below grade.  Therefore, if the system was installed prior to 1983 a riser will be recommended, but not required.  After 1983 all tanks are required to have main access pipes if the septic tank is more than 12 inches deep.

Can a cesspool pass a septic inspection?

It is possible that cesspools can pass septic inspections.  The problem is that cesspools have not been installed since 1969 and therefore they are at least 34 years old.  Most septic system have a life expectancy of 20 – 25 years.  We have, however, seen 50-year-old systems that are still working fine.

If a homeowner has never had their septic system pumped, can we assume everything is fine?

No.  Just the opposite is true.  A septic tank that has never been cleaned is like a car that has never had its oil changed.  A septic system will fail   prematurely if it is not properly maintained.

Can a septic system pass an inspection if the washing machine water has been removed from the system?

No.  The washing machine water will have to be put back into the septic system.  However the septic system will have to pass a hydraulic load test first.

What factors are important when inspecting a septic tank?


These factors are important when inspecting a septic tank:

  • The structural integrity of the tank.
  • The liquid level of the septic tank.
  • The amount of accumulated solids in the septic tank.
  • The condition of the baffles.
  • The inlet inspection port, as well as the main access clean out pipe.

How often should I have my septic tank or cesspool cleaned and inspected?

Septic Tanks:

If there are 4 or More Residents the System should be Cleaned/Pumped and Inspected on a Yearly Basis.

If there are 3 or Less Residents the System should be Cleaned/Pumped and Inspected every Two Years.


If you have a Garbage Disposal, Filter, Cesspool or Seepage Pit the System should be Cleaned/Pumped and Inspected on a Yearly Basis. Having your System Serviced on this Schedule Will Make Your System Last Longer.

Should the septic tank be pumped before an inspection?

No!  If the tank is pumped before the inspection, we will not be able to properly evaluate the system, costing your client time and/or additional money. 

Will you do an inspection or hydraulic load test when it is raining?

We would prefer it not be raining. If it is a heavy rain event we have to wait 48 hours before we can do a credible inspection.

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