Septic systems come with unique requirements for keeping them cleaned and maintained properly. Whether you’re buying a new home with a septic system for the first time or if you’ve dealt with them all your life, it can be challenging to keep up with the regulations.
You may need a required O & M inspection, or you may be looking to get a clean bill of health for your septic system before buying or selling a home. No matter the specifics, there are plenty of reasons to have your septic system inspected and maintained.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, the inspection schedule depends on the type of septic system you have. If your system is made up of just a septic tank and drain field (otherwise known as a gravity system), you’re required to have it inspected at least once every three years. Any other types of septic systems must be inspected annually (once per year).
The state allows for you to hire a qualified professional of your choice to perform the inspection. However, keep in mind that there may be other local requirements that you have to follow, so it’s a good idea to check with your local department of health.
There are many reasons you may need to have your septic system inspected. In addition to the legally required periodic inspections, it’s also a good idea to ensure that your system is working correctly.
Professional inspections can identify potential issues early before they cause big problems that will be more difficult and expensive to deal with. Inspections also ensure that your septic system is operating safely and effectively, which protects your property, family, and community.
If you’re selling your home, you may be required to have your septic tank pumped and perform an Operational and Maintenance (O & M) inspection. It’s vital to hire an experienced and qualified professional who is familiar with the legal requirements for your county. For example, Tacoma-Pierce County requires an inspection and service report to be filed with the county in order to obtain a Report of System Status Report (RSS) before you can proceed with the sale.
If you’re buying a home, it’s equally (if not more) important to know the status of the property’s septic system. Again, depending on which county you live in, you should be sure to understand whose responsibility it is to perform the septic tank inspection. And, it’s important to verify that the system’s inspection was completed by a reputable and qualified professional.
During a septic system inspection, the septic tank should be pumped and a thorough visual inspection completed. The inspector will check the tank’s capacity and look for signs of leaks, cracks, and other evidence of damage or defects. The inspector will also check any devices, inspect the lid, and ensure the access ports are in good condition.
The inspector may also inspect and probe the drain field, looking for signs of failure or any other concerns. They’ll check the drain field’s size and what kinds of materials were used. They’ll also look at any extra components like pumps or alarm systems. The technician will also inspect the distribution system.
Depending on the type and purpose of the inspection, the technician may do a more detailed examination of the various system components. For example, they may check the plumbing inside the home, check the flow from the home to the tank, or perform various tests.
Your home is probably the biggest investment you’ll make during your lifetime, and the septic system is one of the most expensive components to replace. Ensuring that your system is working properly and operating effectively is essential to keeping your family safe and healthy.
The trusted professionals at All Septic & Sewer know exactly what’s required in King, Pierce, or Thurston County when it comes to inspections. That’s why they’re approved to do septic system inspections and submit RSS reporting as required.
Whether you’re purchasing a new home, selling yours, or if you just need assistance keeping up with required inspections and maintenance for your septic system, our team is ready to help. Call us to schedule an appointment, or use the contact page on our website to request a call from one of our knowledgeable team members.
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