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SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSPECTION
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
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Septic loading & dye testing, step 1: this article provides details the first step of the Septic Loading and Dye Test procedure for testing the function of septic systems, focused on condition of the effluent disposal section, also known as a leach field, seepage pits, drainfield or drainage field.
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Also see The Septic Information Website - and see Septic Systems Inspection, Testing, & Maintenance online book on inspecting and maintaining septic systems, of which the document is a chapter. Technical review by industry experts has been performed and is ongoing - reviewers are listed at "References." Comments and suggestions for content are welcome.
Our photo (left) shows a home-made septic tank abutting the building wall (upper left in the photo). We saw a septic effluent pump on the ground, above ground piping, and concluded that the entire system was home-made and very doubtful.
On flushing a toilet in the home, the effluent pump sprayed sewage through the air and on bystanders - needless to say this was an unsanitary event and not much of a septic system.
It was evident that the system was not functional, not sanitary, and really unsafe for bystanders. A system like this should not be tested nor operated without taking steps to protect the inspector and others.
Helpful information is provided by answers to septic system questions, even if the answer is "I don't know"
The septic information questions about the history of a septic system we list above are deliberately a bit vague and open ended to permit a property owner to volunteer what information they may have about the condition of the septic system.
Our photo (left) shows a home with a septic system very close to a river - you can see the river in the center of the photo. The property owner had no idea where the septic tank nor drainfield were, and we couldn't see much space for these components on the small lot that was mostly driveway and parking area.
We inserted septic dye into the system and began running water, running down to the river to watch for our dye appearing in that body.
Our septic dye never made it to the river, and we were quickly called back up the bank by our clent who pointed out the red dyed sewage effluent that came flowing out of the driveway and towads the basement entry door.
Because an owner may not recall the septic system maintenance history or may not be familiar with onsite waste disposal terminology, the inspector and client should obtain and consider but should not blindly rely on simple oral statements about the type of equipment installed.
These questions can be given to the inspector's client well before the site inspection, to permit the client or real estate agent to present them to the property owner, particularly if the owner is not going to be at the site at the time of the inspection.
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Technical Reviewers & References
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