Inspection - What is Required
The requirements for septic system inspections vary by state, county and city. Generally, a septic system inspection is almost universally required prior to the sale of a property, though there are exceptions to this rule. Many jurisdictions have imposed more timely inspections (e.g.annual, bi-annual or longer periods) in response to perceived risk to environmental health and safety. For example, lake communities, or communities that rely on a public groundwater supply may often impose more frequent septic system inspections in order to protect public health. More frequent inspections may also be imposed for systems with more complex components; e.g. pump systems, advanced treatment systems, etc.
Use the Septic Advisor Tool - Find Health Agencies to contact your city, county or district "Environmental Health" program to learn what is required where you live. OR you can view our blog-forum to participate in a discussion regarding inspection requirements in your state.
Most states also specify the details of what is required by the septic system inspector and the report for a septic system inspection. See our brief description of a typical septic system inspection. The inspection of a septic system generally seeks to determine if any of the components are clearly failed. The inspection also tries to identify evidence of stress on the system. The system inspector may observe and note evidence of "stress" on the system, but exercises professional judgement as to whether that stress amounts to a failed system.