Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSTALL REPAIR
SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE
SEPTIC FAILURE SIGNS
SEPTIC INSPECTION & TEST GUIDE
SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
SEPTIC SUPPLIES & PARTS
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
SEPTIC SYSTEMS, HOME BUYERS GUIDE to
SEPTIC SYSTEM SAFETY WARNINGS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Difficult site septic systems design, inspection, repair: this document describes how to look for visual evidence of septic failure without or before testing a septic system and also difficult site conditions that may require special measures to install a working septic system.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Our page top photo shows a fresh pile of rock and soil pushed over the edge of a steep rocky embankment near where we understood a septic tank to be located. Even before beginning our inspection we were concerned about what we might find since this was a difficult septic site.
[Click to enlarge any image]
Looking for these conditions can give key information about the condition of the septic system before (and perhaps without) performing a septic loading and dye test and also before (and perhaps without) invasive septic system inspection measures such as excavation.
Septic System Near a Stream exposed to flooding: at homes along Wappingers Creek in Dutchess County, NY, many septic tanks and drainfields are close to the waterway. Seasonal flooding such as shown in this photo make drainfield floods likely.
Septic Loading & Dye Tests for Properties Close to Rivers, Lakes, Streams, Ponds & Drainage Ditches
Dye tests of septic systems close to a lake or stream like this will sometimes discover that a property owner having a failing septic system succumbed to the temptation to simply run an effluent discharge line right from the end of a bad drainfield into the stream. Remember to look both above and below the water line for unexplained pipes in the area.
Flat septic site near a lake: The land shown in this photo was a new home site which not only had standing water, but had only a few feet
of elevation between the yard top grade and the top of the nearby lake also shown in the photo.
Here is a photo of the septic tank being installed at this property. That downspout you see spilling by the foundation needs to be extended away from the home, but not where the roof drainage will simply enter the septic tank and flood the leach field.
Here is a photo of the end of the home footing drain, higher than where
the bottom of a leach field trench needs to go, and spilling into the lake.
Vehicle areas near Septic Tanks or Fields: Is there evidence of driving or parking on the leachfield or over a tank? (Risks damaging the system or dangerous collapse.)
The rock pile shown at the top of this page was behind this truck and pushed over the embankment to cover a failed seepage pit - there was no working drainfield at this site.
[Click to enlarge any image]
Soil conditions before septic test start: What are soil and site conditions before start of the test: are there wet areas, evidence of surface discharge of effluent or sewage, green grassy or soft, suspect areas?
Odors? It is important to be able to record
these conditions and their extent before and after testing.
These pages are part of our SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE for testing septic system function. Technical review by industry experts has been performed and is ongoing - reviewers are listed at REFERENCES. Comments and suggestions for content are welcome.
Continue reading at RECENT SEPTIC WORK or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Questions & answers or comments about septic systems installed on difficult, rocky, or steep sites
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References