We have covered the differences between “visual” and “full” septic inspections, and I wanted to share this example of how a septic tank’s location may not be verified by a visual inspection.
The other day I performed a septic inspection for potential buyers who requested a full inspection (exposing tank lids, pumping, etc.).
When I arrived, the homeowners pointed to the concrete circle pictured at right as the location the home inspector indicated when they purchased the house.
Sure, this round concrete circle was about the size of a septic tank top — but if this was the actual tank, someone had tiled over the top and placed a large fountain over it.
The septic system’s PVC cleanout was located on the other side of the front yard, so we used a transmitting locator to verify if this concrete circle was the tank (since we could not see any lids on the surface).
The transmitter was flushed into the tank through a commode, and we picked up its signal over the ground just a few feet from the PVC cleanout we located. So, we began to dig. Sure enough, there was the tank located three feet deep — with a two-compartment tank too!
The owners had placed a small pond over the first compartment lid — unknowingly, because their home inspector told them the tank was in a different location. Needless to say, the owners were very unhappy that the pond had to be removed for inspection and pumping of the septic tank.
Even though the concrete circle looked like the septic tank, no one actually checked to make sure until our inspection. This goes to show that the tank location cannot always be verified through a visual inspection.
Not sure where your septic system is located? We can conduct a full inspection to help verify the correct location — contact us today to set up an appointment!