If you’re new to owning a septic system, just installed a new tank or just bought a property in Dakota County with a septic system, you might not realize you’re subject to septic compliance inspections. Not only is this the law, but it will help ensure your new septic tank is in great working order.
Luckily, this is nothing to worry about, especially if you know the tank has been well maintained or was installed by expert septic contractors. Here’s what you need to know about septic compliance inspections.
Who is subject to an inspection?
Not sure if you need a septic compliance inspection? Here are some situations in which this step is a must:
- Newly-installed septic systems: If you’ve just had a new septic system installed, you’ll need to call a licensed septic inspector to come out and inspect your property. This will usually be an “as built” inspection, which involves a drawing and documentation form. The documentation will say where the final, in-place locations of all the septic system components are. It will also say which size and types apply.
- New bedroom additions: Building a new bedroom on your property? If so, the septic inspector will need to come out and ensure your septic system is large enough for the added load. This includes both the tank and the soil absorption area (usually referred to as a drain field or leach field).
- Property transfers: When you buy or sell property, you’ll need a septic inspection. Not only is this good practice—after all, no one wants to buy a lemon—but it will save you repair costs if the buyer is at fault. Your septic inspector will come out to check on the system, ensuring the tank is watertight, there is no sewage discharge in the house, ground or surface and there’s enough vertical separation between the water table and bedrock. There are certain exceptions if you’ve had a passing inspection within the last three to five years.
What will the inspection include?
When you get a county septic compliance inspection, your inspector will basically check to ensure your system isn’t leaking into the ground. As you may know, septic systems separate wastewater from solids within the tank. Then the water is pushed out into the drain field, where the bacteria in the ground treats the water before it reenters the groundwater system.
If there’s a sewage leak in your system, it can negatively affect the groundwater, your land and your health. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your system is working properly at all times.
What constitutes a “failing” grade?
A failed septic compliance inspection usually includes leaks of some kind. If the tank and plumbing aren’t watertight, or there’s not enough vertical separation between the water table and bedrock, it will need to be repaired. Whose responsibility this is usually depends on who owns the property at the time of the inspection.
When you need a septic compliance inspection for your new septic system or new property, call Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services. We’ll make sure everything is up to code.