Photograph of septic tank being pumped.

Supplemental Checklist & Worksheet for Level-0 Septic Tank & System Inspection & Test

Septic system inspection field data checklist & worksheets - part 2: here is the second of three detailed septic system field inspection and test worksheets to assist in inspecting and documenting the condition of septic systems. This article is part of our series: Septic Systems Online Book procedures, defects in onsite waste disposal systems, septic tank problems, septic drainfield problems, checklists of system components and things to ask. Septic system maintenance and pumping schedules.

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SEPTIC INSPECTION WORK SHEETS - Septic System Inspection and Testing Worksheets

Here we provide the second of a series of field worksheets useful during the conduct of septic system inspections for investigations of the condition of a septic system using level 0, 1, and 2 septic inspections.

Additional Worksheet for Level 0 Inspection - Find, Pump Out, Clean, & Inspect the Condition of the Septic Tank

Photograph of septic tank being pumped. Photograph of septic tank interior after pumping.

Septic tank pumping, which should not be performed until after any loading and dye testing, can provide additional key information about the condition of the septic tank and even, indirectly, the condition of the drainfields. These photographs show a septic tank being pumped and then the interior of the concrete tank after septic tank cleanout.

 TANK LAST PUMPED: _________________  Information Source: Seller/Realtor/Other
 Reason for Pumping: Regular Service, Inspection, Diagnosis, Other:_________
 Components inspected when last pumped: Y/N   Volume Pumped Out: _______
  Damage/Defects Observed:________________________________________________
  Site-built tank, not water tight; missing/damaged baffles; damaged cover;
  tank settling, dislocating piping; bottom of scum within 3" of outlet bottom;
  top of sludge within 8" of outlet baffle (need pumping).
  WARNING: Tanks not pumped regularly are at extra risk of hidden, potentially
  costly damage to the Absorption system. Tanks pumped immediately prior to the
  inspection may prevent normal system testing (by loading with water) and may
  indicate a history of recent problems or failures.
  OVERLOADED SYSTEMS: If the system is overloaded or you see sludge at or over
  the exit baffles, do not recommend immediate pumping until the root
  cause of the problem has been determined and corrected. Otherwise an
  objective second opinion may not be possible.

PUMPING EQUIPMENT:     (Locate on site plan)
  PUMP-Mound  Not Visible.   Reported/observed at:________________
   Operating Satisfactorily  Y/N   Information Source: Seller/Realtor/Other
   Single Pump/Duplex Pump   Pump Alarm System Installed Y/N
   Electrical Wiring: Not Visible  Exposed/Unsafe/Needs Repairs
   Depth of flooding in pump tank from bottom of lid to water surface _____in.
   Depth of sludge in pump tank _________ in. Tank Pumped  Y/N  Date_________
   Pump cycle/drawdown time: _____________ minutes
   Alarm installed  Y/N   Tested Y/N   Working Y/N  Separate Circuit Y/N
   Pump Chamber Capacity  Not visible  Capacity________________________
  PUMP-Ejector   Not Visible.   Reported/observed at:________________
   Operating Satisfactorily  Y/N   Information Source: Seller/Realtor/Other
   Electrical Wiring: Not Visible  Exposed/Unsafe/Needs Repairs
   Pump cycle/drawdown time: _____________ minutes
   Sludge in pump tank Y/N
  WARNING: pump systems require a special sewage pump; use of sump pumps
  or other improper pumps will result in short, unreliable system operation.

     Not Identified.  Reported/observed at:________________
          Information Source: Seller/Realtor/Other
  Damage/Defects Observed: Solids from tank, leaks, out of level, clogs___

DOSING TANK with pumps or siphons:
     Not Identified.  Reported/observed at:________________
          Information Source: Seller/Realtor/Other
  Damage/Defects Observed: Solids from tank, leaks, pump defects, ________

ABSORPTION SYSTEM:      (Locate on Site Plan if possible)
   None Present: Comments:____________________________________________________
   Elevated Sand Mound Absorption Area:___________________________
   Seepage Bed   Absorption Area:___________________________
   Trench System Absorption Area:___________________________
   Cesspool   Capacity:_____________________________ Used for Overflow Y/N
   Other:_______ Absorption Area:___________________________
   Leaching Pits/Chambers/Galleries: Number:__________________________________
   Leach Trenches: Number:_____ Length:________________ Separation:___________
   Leach Fields:   Number:_____ Dimensions:____________
   Design Defects: trench/piping at excessive slope (>25%); surface water
       flooding; flood-prone area; rocky soils;
       less than 10ft from property line;
       less than 100ft from well;
       less than 50ft from pond/stream;
   Damage/Defects Observed: Solids from tank, hydraulic failure, ponding,
 (Most    effluent, dye, odors; surface defects: grading, settlement,
  systems)   slope failure, erosion, ruts from vehicles; inspection ports
       show uneven effluent levels in individual trench/bed;
       encroachments onto area by drives, buildings, pools, etc.
       exposed to runoff, roof drainage, water softener, etc.
       vegetation, trees, ponding, other signs of failure
   Damage/Defects Observed: hydraulic failure, cover damage, inlet pipe
 (Cesspool)  damage, ground subsidence, structural collapse, plus others
       listed above


 SLUDGE EXITING TANK  Y/N  (Indicates serious damage to absorption system)
  WARNING: Damaged tank baffles is a strong indication of serious, potentially
  costly damage to the Absorption system. Additional inspection and possibly
  excavation will be necessary to evaluate this system.

 Number and configuration:______________________________________________
 Dimensions: ___________________________________________________________
 Depth, top of liquid to inlet invert:_______________
 Depth, solids layer: _______________________________
 Depth, scum layer:   _______________________________
 Damage/Defects Observed: groundwater inflow, __________________________

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