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Unsafe septic tank  cover Recent Septic System Repairs May Give Key Information About Septic System Condition

  • RECENT SEPTIC WORK - CONTENTS: How evidence of certain septic system repairs, excavation, or disturbance can give clues about the condition of a septic system. Why some septic "repairs" indicate a lurking problem or failure of the system & where to look outside for evidence of septic failure, difficult sites, or clues indicating a septic problem
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to spot recent work on a septic system & what that may mean for septic system testing & evaluation
  • REFERENCES
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Septic system test procedure: outside inspection for prior or recent repairs: this document describes how visual evidence of septic repairs such as recent excavation or dirt piles can indicate a septic system failure.



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How to Inspect for Evidence of Recent Work on a Septic System

LARGER VIEW of
evidence of recent work on the septic system - abandoned pipes on the ground.

The observations described here can be performed regardless of whether or not a septic test is planned at a property.

Anyone buying a property or owning a property and needing to assess the condition of the septic system should first perform a simple visual inspection of the site, as we are discussing in these articles.

Simply paying attention to a building site's shape, slope, size, and evidence of recent work are clues about septic system condition.

LARGER VIEW of
evidence of recent work on the septic system - new dirt pile pushed into woods.Evidence of recent work:Is there evidence of recent pump-out such as a maintenance record, information from the property owner, or evidence of recent excavation that could mark an access to a septic tank?

In the photo shown here, discarded waste pipes left on the property surface were a strong indication of recent septic work.

In this photo of freshly piled soil, dirt had been pushed over septic system components located at the top of a steep slope, suggesting possible system operating problems which the contractor hoped to "correct" by burying a wet area.

If he/she had gotten off of the backhoe to walk into the woods and look at the far end of this new dirt pile, s/he'd have seen that the dirt push was inadequate even to disguise a problem much less fix it.

These measures are disappointing in their ineffectiveness and on occasion are suggestive of malfeasance too.

The straw bales distributed by the property owner around the septic tank and over the area of effluent break-out were an ineffective prior attempt to ameliorate the effluent flow out of this system. [Giving the benefit of the doubt].

The photo below shows a different but very unsafe septic tank condition observed during a septic inspection:

Unsafe septic tank  cover

The septic "pumper" or homeowner had tried to "fix" this collapsing septic tank access by piling up concrete blocks helter-skelter over the septic tank, covering these with a round concrete septic tank access cover.

This was a very dangerous condition, risking septic tank collapse. The area was immediately roped-off and covered pending repairs.

These pages are part of our SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE for testing septic system function. Technical review by industry experts has been performed and is ongoing - reviewers are listed at REFERENCES. Comments and suggestions for content are welcome.

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