International Association of Certified Home Inspectors
 

New Jersey Association of Licensed Professional Home Inspectors

WHAT IS A SEPTIC SYSTEM?

A septic system is usually a gravity flow system designed to safely dispose of domestic waste and effluent.  Configurations of these systems depend on factors such as terrain, soil percolation rate, size of lot, etc.  Tanks have been constructed of many materials.  Concrete is generally considered the best.  Effluent from the tank may flow into a distribution box then equally into lateral lines (long perforated pipes).  It will then disperse into the gravel and soil.  This area is the disposal bed.  Smaller lots may require a seepage pit (large perforated tank filled with gravel) instead of lateral lines.

HOW DO YOU TEST A SEPTIC SYSTEM?

Open Pit testing is the preferred method of diagnosing a septic system. Dye traces alone are ineffective and do not reveal many present problems or failures. Open pit testing includes: locating and hand digging up the tanks' lid; assessing the function of the inlet and outlet baffles; assessing the levels and separation of the scum, effluent and solids; utilizing cameras to determine proper function, proper installation or if there are blockages; probing the septic field or disposal area; running water into system as needed, etc.

A visual exam is also performed. Some signs of aging or saturation to consider may include lush vegetation; excessive surface moisture; barren areas; pumping that exceeds tanks' capacity; sewage bleedout (odor), etc.

Confirm with the seller the exact location and age of the system. Ask seller when it was last pumped, the recent pumping intervals (receipts would be nice) and for permission to hand dig up the lid. Inform us if the septic system has not been used for seven days or more prior to the inspection. Please keep in mind some septic systems exceed $20,000 so the more information you can provide us, the better we can serve you. Septic insurance is available, affordable and recommended. Call us today and Polo & Associates will discount your septic inspection (when included with a full home inspection) and also arrange for your septic inspection to coincide with the home inspection! 

 

Section View of Septic Tank

   
   
   
   
   
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Testimonials

We were very happy with your services. Sorry to be so broad in my comments but we have no complaints. We would definitely recommend you and or use your services again.

Thanks,
John M. - Verona

I hired David Polo to conduct a mold inspection in my unit. David was very professional and knowledgable. He also followed with very thorough reports just as he had promised. I would definitely call on him again should the need arise.

Heidi W. - Wanaque

Many thanks for your time in coming by to inspect our home. While the process itself was short, the peace of mind you've given my family runs long and is much appreciated. Nothing but good things to say regarding all aspects of your business.

Mark, Carolyn and AJ R. - Riverdale

I really appreciate the complete inspection performed on the home I just purchased! You highlighted some issues that need to be addressed, yet gave me comfort that the home is largely in good condition. I was also very pleased with your choice of professionals to perform the lead-based paint and oil tank scan tests. All of you were thorough, professional & on time, and you have my sincere thanks !

Sheila K. - Warren

I was very pleased with your service, the professionalism and thoroughness of your inspections. I’d be happy to serve as a reference for you.

Regards,
Monica F. - Howell

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