SEPTIC & WELL INSPECTION
Water well testing
The inspection of the well system includes: the water pressure is measured to verify the ability of the well to meet the needs of the home. The amp draw of the well pump is taken during pump operation to determine the approximate GPM (gallons per minute) and horsepower of the pump. Overall physical observation of fittings, equipment and water flow is performed during inspection.
A septic system receives, treats and disposes of unwanted wastewater and solids from a building’s plumbing system. Solids are partially broken down into sludge within a septic tank and are separated from effluent (water) and scum (fat, oil and grease). Effluent regularly exits the tank into a drainfield where it is naturally filtered by bacteria and reentered into the groundwater. Scum and sludge must be pumped periodically and should never enter the drainfield.
When should a septic system be inspected?
The septic system should be inspected once a year, including as soon as the house is put on the market for sale. This will enhance the home’s value and avoid any liability issues that might result from a malfunctioning system. It is in the interest of a prospective buyer to insist that the septic system be inspected before they purchase the home if it has not been done recently.
Sludge is the layer of solid waste that accumulates at the bottom of a septic tank. Scum or buoyant waste are technical terms for the lighter solids that float to the top of the tank.
Septic systems are common in rural areas that aren't serviced by municipal sewers and in areas where the costs of running a sewer line are prohibitive.
They consist of the following:
A septic tank. This is a large, watertight container made of concrete, steel, fiberglass, or polyethylene. A septic tank is always placed underground and can be rectangular or cylindrical. It is connected to your home's sewer line and collects all water and waste from it. Heavy and solid materials settle to the bottom of the tank as sludge while lighter solids, such as hair, soap suds, fat, and grease, also called scum or buoyant waste, float to the top. In the middle is a layer of wastewater. Baffles inside the tank prevent scum from leaving thetank. Pumps are sometimes used to move wastewater out of holding tanks, especially if the tank is lower than the drain field.
A drainage system. This consists of an outflow pipe, a distribution box, a network of perforated pipes, and an absorption (also called leach or drain) field or mound. When liquids inside the tank get high enough, they flow out of the tank into the outflow pipe, which connects to the distribution box. The distribution box channels wastewater into the perforated pipes. The pipes distribute the waste through the absorption field, where bacteria and other organisms in the ground provide additional waste treatment. Some septic systems are designed with two or more smaller drain fields instead of one large one. A diversion valve switches flow between the fields. Instead of septic fields or mounds, some systems have seepage pits, also known as dry wells. They work in much the same way.
A typical septic-system lay-out, showing tank, pipes, and leach or absorption field. Some septic systems use mounds instead of fields.
A well-built, well-maintained septic system can do an excellent job of treating household wastewater for a long time. If maintained properly, they can last between 25 to 35 years. However, it's easy to forget there's a private sewer system under your turf. And that's when problems set in.