Septic System Inspection

10-Point Septic System Inspection
By Amanda Furmage-Deck

Replacing a septic system can cost thousands of dollars. In fact, a new septic system costs an average of $15,000 in the United States. Therefore, when it’s time for your next septic system inspection, choose an experienced engineer. Consider hiring Greg Mayfield and the highly trained experts at Southern Water and Soil, Inc.

Mayfield—a past Florida Department of Health septic tank inspector—has the solid science, educational, and career experience necessary to do the job right the first time. Southern Water and Soil will perform an extensive 10-point inspection to ensure each aspect of your septic system is working properly.

The SWS 10-Point Septic System Inspection:
Depth of Lid- A typical septic tank lid is buried less than a foot below the surface, right below the top of the soil. However, due to certain factors, lids are sometimes buried deeper than one foot, which can result in extra digging and locating charges—more money coming out of your pocket. In order to cut these costs, SWS will help you consider installing a riser or elevated access cover to make your septic tank more accessible in the future.
Condition of Lid- The septic tank lid plays a crucial role in the maintaining the health of your wastewater system. If the lid is damaged, dirt, rocks, and other foreign matter can enter the tank and cause significant harm to your system—even potential collapse.
Size of the Opening- SWS will inspect the size of the large main opening to your septic tank.  If the opening is not large enough to provide adequate access, then a thorough inspection may not be able to be performed.
Scum Blanket Depth- The scum blanket is the accumulation of floatable solids in your septic tank, which includes oil and grease. If the scum layer is too thick, these solids can potentially exit the tank and enter the drain field. If your septic tank’s scum blanket level exceeds 6” in depth, SWS will advise you to increase your tank pumping frequency.
Sludge Depth- The sludge layer within your septic tank consists of heavy, sinking solids. Like the scum blanket, thick sludge layers can damage your entire septic system. If your septic tank’s sludge level exceeds 10” in depth, SWS will advise you to increase your tank pumping frequency.
Water Run Back from Drain Field- SWS will observe the amount of water flow into your drain field. If water from the drain field reenters the septic tank, further investigation must be performed by the inspectors as this is an indication of a damaged drain field.
Water Flow from House/Building- During the inspection, the SWS team will ask you to flush a toilet to ensure water from your house/building is flowing to the septic tank unimpeded. Slow flow can indicate a clog.
Sewage Over Drain Field- If sewage is rising onto the surface of your lawn, you may be experiencing an oversaturated drain field. This will result in a more in-depth investigation of your septic system.
Inlet Baffle- The inlet baffle connects household plumbing lines to your septic tank and directs sewage downward below the liquid level. If the inlet baffle is damaged, the liquid layer may become disrupted, allowing solids to enter the drain field.
Outlet Baffle- The outlet baffle connects the septic tank to the drain field. If the outlet baffle is damaged, scum and sludge may enter the drain field. 

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