Septic Ststem Inspections
Complete inspections are done for a number of reasons, most often relating to real estate (property) transfers. For home buyers, a thorough inspection can point out the need for repairs, maintenance or even a full replacement. For home sellers, a pre-listing inspec-tion can ensure that there are no surprises once their home is put on the market. For other sellers, a second-opinion (or follow-up) inspection might offer a confirmation (or contradiction) of “facts” found by a buyer’s inspector. Inspectors from New Jersey Septic Management Group (NJSMG) conduct every inspection according to the highest standards, as set by the NJDEP.
- Our thorough inspections and reports give conclusive results.
NO FOLLOW-UP IS NECESSARY!
- NJSMG has invested in the latest equipment and technology in order to give the most accurate information possible.
WE MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS AND DO NOT JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS!
If You Are Buying A Home:
- Don’t try to save money by using a less qualified, cheaper inspector. It may end up costing you a lot more, afterward.
- NJSMG can give you peace of mind, by determining whether the septic system in question will be able to serve the future needs of your family.
- If requested, estimates can be given for needed repairs and for recommended up-grades (which are typically done by the new owner, after the closing).
If You Are Selling A Home:
- A Pre-Listing Inspection can tell you about the “health” of your septic system.
- Second Opinion (or Follow-Up) Inspections can confirm previous information or offer alternative, professional conclusions (based on a more complete picture). If requested, estimates can be given for needed repairs.
- A property may have a newer septic system or an older one, a conventional system (with or without a pump and with or without a mound), or there may be a system which involves Alternative Technology (see diagrams that follow for examples of each). Whatever the case, our goal is to determine the type of system, locate and inspect each component and evaluate the ability of the overall system to function, as designed.
- Because septic systems are buried underground, most components are not visible or easily accessible. Problems with the septic system may be present without obvious signs on the ground surface or during normal operation of internal plumbing fixtures. NJSMG works with an in-line camera which can visually show internal conditions of buried components while a radio signal from the head of the camera pin-points the locations of individual components. Once located, limited excavations can be done to allow close-up evaluations and visual confirmation of underground conditions.
A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTION SET-UP, AS CONDUCTED BY New Jersey Septic Management Group
Call to Mark-out Underground Utilities: This is one of the most important first steps to take on the property in question (as required by law). This ensures that no buried wires, cables or pipes will be damaged and no utilities (gas, electricity, cable or telephone) will be disrupted, whenever digging is involved. The under-ground utilities must be marked out, whether digging is done with a shovel or a machine.
- Review of Health Department Records: NJSMG always reviews the available records on file in the local or county Health Dept., in order to find out what kind of septic system exists, when it was built, if problems were noted or if any repairs were permitted, inspected and approved. Copies of past inspection reports are also reviewed.
- Homeowner Authorization: NJSMG submits to the homeowner (or their agent) a written request for authorization to enter the property, for the purpose of conducting an inspection of the septic system. The same page also serves as a homeowner questionnaire, in reference to past maintenance history.
- Site Conditions: Once on the property, we conduct an overview of the site, to determine if there are conditions which might have an impact on the operation of the septic system. Issues such as grading, presence of active water courses, proximity of trees and other excessive vegetation, impermeable surfaces such as driveways or walkways, down-spout extensions or the terminal end of a sump pump discharge line could all have negative effects on the septic system.
- Visual review of interior plumbing connections: Upon gaining access into the interior of the home, conducting an overview of the plumbing connections is important. It has to be determined whether or not all wastewater empties into one common septic system or if any individual plumbing fixtures discharge independently of main sewer drain line(s). For instance, the washing machine may discharge into a nearby slop- sink, which then empties into a sump-pump pit or possibly into its own exterior drywell.
There may be a complete separation of Greywater (soapy wastewater) from Black-water (sewage) and each may discharge into separate tanks with a common disposal area or entirely separate septic systems. The interior plumbing review will determine whether there is a garbage disposal unit under the kitchen sink (which is not recommended for septic systems). It may also make note of a water softener device that discharges its back-wash into the septic system (which is very salty and highly corrosive to concrete components). If there is a finished, lower level, full bathroom or simply a wet bar, there may be an associated grinder / ejector pump which may require changes in the septic system. All found items, conditions and situations are recorded and related recommendations become part of the report.