Septic systems are a vital system on many homes – especially those located outside of a city or town. A problematic septic system can be messy, unhealthy and very expensive. Unfortunately, many septic systems fall into the category of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. If I had a nickel for every time a homeowner has told me, “I’ve never had a problem with the septic, so I’ve never pumped it……” This is just like saying, “I’ve never had engine trouble on my car, so I’ve never changed the oil.” Just like you change the oil in your car to avoid engine problems, a septic tank should be maintained to prevent septic system problems.
We offer septic system inspections in the central Texas area, where the tank needs to be pumped and/or where the system is performing sluggishly. If a neglected septic system just needs the tank to be pumped, then consider yourself lucky. If the system has been neglected for too long, it is very possible that it will be performing sluggishly. This is often a much more complicated and costly problem than one that just needs to be pumped. A sluggish septic system will often result in backups in the yard, or even in the home. The sluggishness is often caused by the lateral lines or drainfield failing. The fix for this is often quite costly. Septic system failure can often be prevented by regular maintenance such as regular pumping of the tank to minimize the introduction of solid matter into the drain-field. (At times, we are not able to locate the tank or open it up. In those cases the inspection routine will be modified.)
Our normal septic system inspection procedure is as follows:
1. We locate the septic tank.
2. We dig down to the top of the tank, then find and remove the clean-out plug in order to open the septic tank.
3. We inspect the visible part of the interior of the tank for cracks, root buildup, and any other problems that we observe.
4. We probe the septic tank to determine the amount of sludge, scum, and liquid in the tank.
5. We perform a water flow test to determine how well the lateral lines are functioning.
6. We inspect the drainfield area for indications of surfacing water.
7. We attempt to determine the proximity of the septic tank and drainfield to wells, bodies of water, etc.