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Septic System Planning: What to Know When Buying a Home

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If you’re in the market for a home that has a septic system, don’t think a one-size-fits-all septic inspection exists. Every home is subject to a different level of inspection based on the type of system previously installed.

Research is key

For a thorough inspection, a septic inspector has to complete a tremendous amount of homework. In fact, many times it takes our team longer to prepare for the inspection than the actual inspection itself.

One major step in the inspection process is to get septic records and permit information from the local authority. Not only will this help determine the system type; it will also tell inspectors if a permit was previously issued for the system, and if the house was added onto after the system was installed.

Why does the home addition matter?

An addition can dramatically affect the overall system sizing. It’s also possible that multiple tanks exist to accommodate the additions. This can also mean the previous homeowner unknowingly built over the tank.

Other factors that can determine the right inspection for each property include:

  • Maintenance history
  • Current occupancy or vacancy
  • Number of people moving in
  • The reason the inspection is needed
  • Mortgage requirements

Note: Different loan types (VA, FHA, Conventional, etc.) have specific, unique requirements. To avoid paying for two inspections, it’s important to understand if what you are ordering is required for your loan.

Some inspections require you to pump the tank, while others don’t. It all depends on the factors mentioned above. Pricing for quality inspections can range by several hundreds of dollars. If you get a one-size-fits-all quote, it’s possible you will experience a limited inspection.

Buyer beware!

Texas does not regulate septic inspections. This means anyone can do a septic inspection. It’s extremely important to make sure you hire a qualified and experienced septic inspector.

If you are looking for a knowledgeable inspector, Van Delden Wastewater Systems sets the bar for septic inspections. Each of our three inspectors have 10 plus years of experience. All are certified by the National Association of Wastewater Technicians (NAWT) for septic inspections, and are also TCEQ licensed installers. We also teach continuing education for the NAWT renewal certification and present at local and state conferences.

Pam Van Delden was recently awarded with NAWT’s Excellence in Service Award – a prestigious national award!

Even if you don’t know anything about the system at the home you are looking to buy, we can get you started in the right direction. Give us a call today!


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