Just 5 - 10 years ago, it was almost unheard of to do an inspection on a septic system, and for some time it was thought of as a septic tank inspection, done by pumping the tank, shining a flashlight around and giving a verbal or sparsely written report indicating the tank's condition.
These inspections and reports are now much more thorough. Standards for the process of septic inspections have been created by the industry's governing body-ASTTBC. Only Registered Persons with a Private Inspector (PI) endorsement are allowed to do inspections and they are instructed to use standard phrases and standard terminology to explain common items found.
A variety of tools and technologies are used to evaluate the system based on how it is expected to perform.
Expected Performance - The provincial requirements for the size and features used in a sewage system have changed over the years but the expected performance of a system has not. Wastewater should be securely collected in the tank without leakage, backup or damage, freely travel through each component and be distributed through each dispersal pipe in the field in a uniform manner without interference from soil, roots, sewage sludge, groundwater or other damage. Wastewater entering a dispersal area should freely seep out and down into non-saturated soils below the pipes.
Regardless of the type of system or the rules and regulations of its day, the goal of the inspection is generally the same: to locate & assess how the system is performing based on the intention of its design and to offer an opinion as to its suitability for a home buyer’s future needs.
If deemed necessary - maintenance, repairs (remediation) and improvements are recommended.