What to Know About Septic Inspections when Selling a Home in El Paso County, Colorado

What to Know About Septic Inspections when Selling a Home in El Paso County, Colorado

Real Estate Septic Inspection Services

There are many aspects to selling a home–from cleaning, listing, showing, negotiating, and passing inspections before the sale. Many times during the inspection process, homeowners are faced with additional steps, such as termite or radon treatment, roof repair and more. Local regulations in El Paso County require homeowners with septic systems to have them inspected by a certified inspector as part of the pre-sale process.

Employing the services and expertise of a trusted, licensed and insured septic system professional is the very best way to ensure a septic system is working properly. Uneek Septic Services has a proven track record of reliability, honesty, and experience and has inspected and pumped out thousands of septic systems in its 25-year history. When you need your septic system inspected, rely on Uneek, as we process all the paperwork with the inspections and file all of it with the county.

Septic system operation, maintenance and disclosures at sale time

There aren’t a lot of parts to a septic system, but each component is important to make it work smoothly. There is a main line from the house to the septic tank, then lines that run out into a drain field, made up of perforated pipes and gravel trenches. Inside the actual tank, there are three levels: solids at the bottom, then a liquid called “effluent,” then scum at the top. Microorganisms work on the bottom solid layer to break it down for decomposition. It’s best practice to have a septic system inspected every three to five years at a minimum and pumped out when necessary. The investment in regular maintenance is the best insurance against major repairs.

First and foremost, everyone who uses any of the facilities in a house with a septic system need to be aware that what they attempt to flush could cause major problems down the road. People familiar with the show Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe may have seen him a few years back working alongside a trained septic tank technician emptying a septic tank. The show was a funny way to highlight the “dirty” jobs that have to be done by America’s unsung heroes.

The technician told Rowe that “If you didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t flush it.” He then inserts a large hose down into the septic tank and literally “vacuums” it out, while agitating the contents to get everything off the bottom. After the tank is empty, it is inspected to ensure the outlet baffle looks good and there are no cracks or tree roots invading the tank.

To most people, their dream home doesn’t include a broken septic tank system or a drain field holding mucky brown water. By law, sellers must provide buyers with a completed questionnaire about all aspects of the house. They will need to provide the date the septic system was installed and any issues they’ve had with it or the drain field. In addition, local regulations require inspections and yes, a little paperwork.

EPCPH regulations on OWTS for the transfer of title

El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) department regulations require a property owner with a septic system, defined by them as an “on-site wastewater treatment system” (OWTS), to have an inspection showing it is functioning properly prior to the transfer of title to the property. It is critical for sellers to find a certified septic system inspection company that is familiar and experienced with these regulations. A current list of certified Transfer of Title inspectors can be found on www.elpasocountyhealth.org, which includes information on Uneek Septic Services in Colorado Springs. 

Once an Acceptance Document Application has been submitted, along with a septic inspection report from a certified inspector, the health department will review the application, and should all be in order, issue an Acceptance Document. OWTS inspection reports need to be submitted electronically within three working days of the inspection date. After acceptance, the documents are valid for a period of one year, or until the date of the real estate closing, whichever comes first.

Why home sellers need a full septic inspection

Visual inspections don’t tell a complete story. Just observing the toilets flush and that the drain field is in good shape could be misleading. A more thorough inspection is required to ensure the integrity of the system. One of our septic system professionals from Uneek Septic Services will begin a full inspection by physically removing the cover of the septic tank to measure the water level inside. When they run water in the house, they will observe to make sure the water level doesn’t rise. Observing any backflow will reveal a potential problem with the drain field. Our professionals provide a complete inspection as required by law, and homeowners can rely on our expertise to cover all aspects of the process.

Rely on Uneek, the septic inspection professionals

Some homeowners, wanting to be proactive, think they should go ahead and have their septic tanks pumped out when they are getting ready to sell. Uneek Septic Services does not recommend this because the closing process requires a pump out and inspection. Pumping out the septic tank before it is inspected doesn’t help, and may even impede the inspection. In some cases, local regulations require the system to be inspected within a certain time period—and if done before that time, will have to be done again to be in compliance.  The system should be pumped out at the same time as the inspection to save on costs.

When it’s time to sell your home in El Paso County, Colorado, rely on the expertise of Uneek Septic Services, your knowledgeable and experienced septic system company. We are here to help you navigate the septic inspection and pump out process.