Recently I was called to perform a real estate inspection for a buyer who was considering purchasing a home in San Antonio. Upon speaking with the seller, I was informed that the current owners had poured a concrete patio over the tank, but that it was still accessible for inspection and pumping. This turned out to be only partially true.
This home has a two-compartment septic tank — a single tank with a dividing wall in the center and two lids; in order to gain access to both sides of the tank for pumping and inspecting, both sides of the tank needed to be accessible.
The owner said he’d had the tank pumped before, and that the previous company told him the first lid was the only one they needed to pump from.
So not only had the homeowner poured concrete over his second lid, unbeknownst to him his previous septic maintenance provider had not been properly pumping his tank.
(Want to make sure your provider is honest and reliable? Here are questions to ask when getting your septic tank cleaned.)
You may have guessed where this story is headed, but in the end we had to cut through the concrete deck and excavate the dirt in order to gain access to the second side of the home’s septic tank and perform a proper inspection and pumping.
The image at the top of the page shows one of our technicians standing over where the second lid should be located — the other technician (you can barely see his head sticking out of the hole) is standing on the septic tank.
The pictures below give you a better idea of how much concrete needed to be cut and how much dirt we had to dig through to reach the septic tank’s second lid.
Just like with the buyer who lost a home because of a last-minute inspection, we would never have learned about this home’s septic problems if all I did was perform a visual inspection.
Don’t depend on a visual inspection to see you through to closing. Contact Van Delden today to schedule a full inspection for your septic system.