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Septic System


A standard home inspection does include inspection of the basic functions of a home's sanitary sewer system. This inspection is generally associated with the functionality of the sanitary sewer system as well as associated accessories. It generally includes all visible components of a home's sanitary sewer system and ends where the system exists the home at a visible location. This inspection specifically excludes buried and/or non visible portions of the sanitary sewer system. This exclusion specifically pertains to sanitary sewer line laterals which typically run from where the sanitary sewer system exists a home to where the line connects with the municipal sanitary sewer system. Additionally,  this exclusion specifically pertains to private sanitary sewage treatment systems which may include; but, not be limited to septic tank style systems.


A septic tank or septic system inspection is not an inspection criteria currently required by the Standard of Practice (SOP) of The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). As a result, this type of inspection is not performed as a part of a standard home inspection.


Alabama is a Caveat Emptor ("let the buyer beware") state in terms of real estate transactions and there are no state legislated provisions which require an owner to disclose real-estate condition issues other than those issues which are federally mandated to be disclosed if known such as Lead Based Paint (LPB).


As such it is up to the buyer to determine if the real estate that they are considering has a functioning and properly maintained private sanitary sewage treatment system if the real estate is not serviced by a municipal system.


At the current time the industry consensus in relation to septic tank style private sanitary sewage treatment systems includes the following recommendations:


  • A properly designed and installed septic system should last at least (approximately) 20 to 30 years if routine maintenance is performed.
  • Routine maintenance should include a pump out every three (3) to five (5) years.
  • Routine inspections should be performed every three (3) years.
  • If you utilize a garbage disposal, inspections should be performed every one (1) year and pump outs should occur every three (3) to four (4) years.
  • Maintain and protect the ground area above the drainage field. Maintain a grass ground-cover in this area if at all possible. (We would also stress not to drive heavy equipment or vehicles on either the tank areas or the drainage field area.)
  • Reduce solid waste entering into the septic tank (paper towels, bay wipes, sanitary hygiene products, etc.)
  • Reduce food waste entering into the septic tank (cooking oil, grease, etc.)
  • Do not place household chemicals into the systems. These chemicals can kill the bacteria necessary for the proper function of the system.
  • Conserve water to prevent overflows.


The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) generally regulates the design and installation of private sanitary sewage treatment systems. The ADPH, your local municipality, or your local county extension office can generally provide additional independent information in relation to private sanitary sewage treatment systems.


We do not currently perform septic tank inspections as a part of our inspection services. However, if sufficiently advanced notice is provided we can arrange for a septic system inspection, to be performed generally, at the same time as a standard home inspection. This inspection will be performed by licensed third (3rd) party and will entail a pump out and an associated system inspection. While inspections can be performed without a pump out we currently believe that a more through inspection is possible when the tank is pumped. This is especially prudent if the system has not been properly maintained. This type of inspection must be coordinated in advance with the home owner and generally must include a discussion about the system with the owner.


Information pertaining to our septic system design services is available on our Percolation (Septic) Page accessible, from the menu, on the left-hand side of this page or by utilizing the following hyper-link: Percolation.


Additional information is available in regards to this subject by viewing our FAQ, Links, and Information Page accessible, from the menu, on the left-hand side of this page or by utilizing the following hyper-link: FAQ.


It should be noted that the fastest way, to obtain a quote, for services is to complete the inspection scheduling process. This process does not commit you to services; but, it does allow us to collect important information which is utilized to provide an accurate service quote. Our service rates are competitive and within industry norms. The scheduling process can be started by following the home icon links throughout our site or by utilizing the following hyper-link: Quotes.


If after reviewing our web-site you would like more information about a specific offering we would be glad to speak with you. You can reach us through our contact forms which are accessible, from the main menu, at the top of this page, you can Email us at, or you can call us at 1-205-746-7567.


P.O. Box 197 Chelsea, AL 35043, USA +1-205-746-7567


Al Mansour 611/18/6 Baghdad, Iraq +964-770-271-4691


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