We are so frequently contacted by people who are either selling a property or buying one and have been advised – rightly so – by their solicitors to “have a survey done” on the “septic tank” that we’ve put together the following list of questions to help you.
It’s very easy for solicitors to say “have the septic tank surveyed” but, unlike a house, practically nothing of the sewage treatment system can be seen above ground. A septic tank is always full to the level of the outlet pipe, so the internal structure cannot be seen unless the tank is empty. If the septic tank is fibreglass or plastic it may not be possible to see into the tank even when it’s empty because of internal baffles or a long extension neck. The treatment/drainage field that should come after the septic tank is underground, so to see its condition it has to be CCTV-ed. Unless there is an access point like a manhole or a rodding eye then you have to dig and break in to the tail drain leading to the treatment/drainage field. It may not be possible to CCTV the whole system as the CCTV camera head cannot be steered down one side or the other of any junction – it goes where it goes.
Before spending money emptying the septic tank, breaking in to the treatment/drainage field pipework and CCTV-ing it, all of which might cost £1000 or so plus VAT, getting the answers to the following questions from the property’s current owners and neighbours will tell you, and us, a lot.
Once you have answers to these questions call us and we can arrange to do a visual inspection when we’re next in the area.