What is a Septic System?
A traditional residential waste-water system, or otherwise known as a “Septic System” is a single, separate waste-water treatment system. The “Septic System” uses the onsite soil to treat small waste water flows. Most times “Septic Systems” are found where public sewers are not available, such as rural areas, However, “Septic Systems” can be found in residential areas serviced by public sewers, where the public sewers were installed after the home was originally built. While each “Septic System” is individually designed for the specific site, they are mostly based upon the same principles.
A traditional “Septic System” is made up of a septic tank, a distribution box, a drain field which provides soil absorption, connection pipes and distribution pathways.
The septic holding tank provides an environment where the lighter, gray water scum and the heavier solids in the waste-water separate leaving liquid material. Primarily, the Septic Tank “holds” the heavier waste material and prevents it from reaching the drain field. In a functional Septic system, only the liquid material is carried to the drain field and thereby absorbed by the soil.
The heavier waste material, contained inside the holding tank, are in part, broken down by bacteria in the holding tank. Any remaining heavy material, (not broken down by the bacteria), is periodically, (every 2-4 years), removed or “Pumped” out of the Septic Tank by a qualified Septic Service. Treatment of the waste-water occurs in both the septic tank and the absorption field.
A breakdown of the Septic System can cause sewage to back up into the house, drains to empty slowly or appear “plugged”, Wet spots and or unpleasant or noxious orders in the grass or vegetation on the property to name a few.
What is a Septic Dye Test?
In our opinion, the best method to determine the condition of the Septic system is to have a septic services company perform a complete evaluation of the septic system. This usually requires the septic and possibly distribution tank covers are opened, the septic tank is pumped and a camera/video inspection of the system is performed. This type of testing is somewhat destructive (as landscaping maybe damaged as covers are opened, equipment is placed on-site etc.) and is much more expensive than a Septic Dye test. Contact a septic services company to understand this type of inspection, its value to you and cost to perform. Should this type of testing not be an option for your real estate transaction, then a Septic Dye Test maybe a viable option for you.
A Septic Dye Test is a low cost, non-destructive way of testing Septic treatment systems. It is not a full evaluation of a sewage treatment system, but does provide valuable information regarding the present performance of the system. The Septic Dye Test is a “point in time test” and does not provide a guarantee of the present, or future, performance of the system.
The septic dye test is suited for the evaluation of septic systems in real estate transactions as the test does not result in damage to the property and creates little disruption to the current homeowners while the test is being performed.
The Septic Dye Test is carried out by placing a harmless fluorescent dye into the waste-water in the home. In addition, a prescribed amount of water flow is placed in the homes waste system over a period of time. Visible components of the home waste system and Septic System are then observed for evidence of dye or sewage liquid waste.
At the conclusion of the test, a written report of the Septic Dye Test results is provided to the client.
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My husband and I recently had Bob come and inspect a home that we just purchased, and we cannot say enough good things about him! Bob is extremely thorough, and examined every square inch of our new home. He was there for 4+ hours, answered all of our questions and took many detailed photos of the house. He is also extremely personable, so the time just flew by. My husband is an engineer, and he was extremely impressed by Bob’s extensive knowledge of all things mechanical/electrical. Additionally, Bob provided a comprehensive report of everything we discussed during the inspection (in a very timely manner), and stated that we could call him at any time with any questions we may have. Bob is worth every cent, and is fantastic at what he does. We HIGHLY recommend him.
Bob was INCREDIBLE. I would recommend him to anyone who is looking for a good quality home inspection. He is extremely thorough and knowledgeable. If you are in the market for a home, this is the guy you want.
Bob exceeded our expectations with our home inspection. He is readily available, and very accommodating to working with everyone’s schedule. Bob was extremely thorough during the home inspection and explained everything to us along the way of anything he found wrong. Our home inspection report came the same day. The report is very detailed and easy to read/understand for anyone. If there is something in the report that you don’t understand there are also links to click on that will explain everything in even greater detail. He also accompanies detailed photos with the report of any issues that he finds with the home. The inspection itself took roughly 4 hours. Overall, I strongly recommend Bob to anyone in need of a home inspection, worth every penny. Thanks again.