Septic System Inspection

Septic Inspection Colorado Springs

The purpose of the treatment tank or “Septic Tank” is to contain solid waste and to permit the beginning of bacterial action to process sewage into a combination of clarified effluent, settled sludge, or floating scum in the tank.

An intact, un-damaged septic tank is normally always filled with these materials.

However, the inspector performing a “visual” check of the septic system needs to be alert for some important findings.

How to Inspect the Septic Tank

Before & After Pumping

Photograph of a septic tank interior inspection tool using a pole, mirror, and flashlightOur Photograph Illustrates A Simple But Effective Septic Tank Inspection Tool: An Extension Pole That Sports An Adjustable Mirror And A Bright Flashlight.

The Septic Tank Mirror, Set To An Appropriate Angle, Combined With Light From The Flashlight, Permits Inspection Of The Interior Of The Septic Tank After It Has Been Emptied.

We May Check The Condition Of The Septic Tank Baffles, The Cleanliness Of The Septic Tank, And Will Look For Cracks, Breaks, Or Damage That Might Explain A Septic Tank Leak.

We Use A Septic Tank Inspection Checklist

PHOTO of an unsafe septic tank cover placed over collpasing concrete blocks

Inspecting the Septic Tank and Septic Tank Area BEFORE Opening the Septic Tank

  • Subsidence (Depressions Or Low Areas In The Soil) At The Septic Tank Location – May Risk Dangerous, Potentially Fatal Collapse
  • Recent Work, Excavation, Modifications: Evidence Of Recent Work Which May Need To Be Investigated To Understand The Condition Of The Septic System
  • Evidence Of Backup Or Effluent Breakout At The Surface In The Septic Tank Area.
  • We Inspect The Condition Of The Septic Tank Covers:

Inspecting the Septic Tank AFTER Opening the Septic Tank but BEFORE Pumping

PHOTO of the septic tank muck raking tool used to break up scum and sludge layers during pumping.When A Septic Tank Has Been Located And Uncovered For Pumping, Additional Critical Details May Be Observed Before The Pumping Operation Begins.

After Opening But Before Pumping The Septic Tank: When The Septic Tank Is Opened Before It Has Been Pumped Out Or Cleaned, We Also Look For Important Information About The Condition Of The Septic System Is Available:

  • Thickness Of Scum And Sludge Levels: We Look For Septic Tank Maximum Scum And Sludge Buildup Prior To Pump Out, And Measure The Floating Scum Layer Thickness And Settled Sludge Layer Thickness In A Septic Tank.
  • We Then Explain The Meaning Of Thick Or Thin Scum Or Sludge Levels And High Or Low Levels Of Sewage In The Septic Tank.
  • We Look At The Back-Flow Of Effluent Into The Tank During Pumpdown – An Indicator Of Flooded Leach Fields
  • The Condition Of The Septic Tank Baffles Are Important: Damage Can Be Evidence Of A Broken Concrete Septic Tank Baffle Or A Rusted-Steel Septic Tank Baffle.
  • Liquid And Waste Level In The Tank: Evidence Of Waste Passing Over The Baffles – A Flooded System, Is An Indicator Of Septic System Failure.
  • Unusually High Levels Of Sewage In The Septic Tank – Suggesting A Blocked Outlet Or Drain Field. The Drain Field May Be Failing Due A Damaged Or Clogged Pipe, A Clogged, Failing Drain Field, Or Due To Groundwater Leaks Into The Septic Tank Or Groundwater That Saturates The Drain Field.
  • Unusually Low Levels Of Sewage In The Septic Tank – Suggesting That The Septic Tank Has A Leak, Can Have Several Causes Depending On The Tank Age And The Material From Which It Was Built.

Septic Tank Inspection During Tank Pumping

PHOTO of an septic tank during tank pumping.

During Septic Tank Pumping: If We Observe (Or Hear) Septic Effluent Flowing Back Into The Septic Tank From The Tank Outlet Pipe This Is A Sure Indication That The Drain Field Or Soil Absorption System Is Waterlogged, And Indicates A System Failure Needing Further Investigation.

As The Effluent Level Dropped Below That Of The Bottom Of The Tank Baffles, We Stopped Pumping Briefly To Listen For The Sound Of Effluent Flowing Back Into The Tank From Its Outlet.

Septic Tank Inspection AFTER The Septic Tank Has Been Pumped Out

PHOTO of an septic tank when pumping out has been nearly completed.

After The Septic Tank Has Been Pumped Out We Find It Useful To Inspect Its Interior For Evidence Of Cracks, Settlement, Or Damage To Its Baffles, Or Perhaps To Confirm The Tank Size If Most Of The Tank Has Remained Buried.

If A Septic Tank Has Been Serviced By Removing A Cover Over The Entire Tank All Of These Conditions Can Be Seen Easily. But More Often We Pump Out The Tank By Access Through A Center Cleanout Port.

If There Is No Center Cleanout Port On A Septic Tank (Some Older Concrete Tanks) It Is Pumped Preferably At The Outlet End Of The Tank But Possibly At The Inlet End.

Contact Uneek Septic Services Today

Interested in learning more about our septic tank inspections services? We currently offer septic services in Colorado Springs, Monument, Palmer Lake, Falcon, Security, Fountain, Manitou Springs, Green Mountain Falls, Cascade and the greater El Paso, and Douglas Counties. Give us a call at 719-481-6466 or contact us online today for more information.