Septic Tank Surveys & Inspections
Septic Tank systems are complicated. Things often go wrong or completely fail. If you would like an inspection of your system please get in touch. Call us on 0800 3101092 to arrange a survey. Please see below for our fixed cost solutions.
Homeseptic’s Septic Tank and Home Buyers CCTV Drainage inspection surveys. We are based in the New Forest but also cover Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset and West Sussex. Specialising in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty such as the Chalk valley and Cranbourne.
Septic Tank Inspections and Surveys
Septic tank inspections including a CCTV survey of the pipework are now essential when buying a new property. This is just as important for existing owners of septic tanks to ensure their system is compliant with the General Binding Rules. This will help avoid large fines from the Environment Agency. It will also highlight any issues with a system before they become unrepairable.
Septic Tank CCTV Drainage Inspection Surveys
Why should I have a Septic Tank Survey?
If you have always lived in a property connected to mains drainage then moving to a property with a private drainage system is different. With a private system, cesspit, septic tank or sewage treatment plant, you will find yourself responsible for far more. You will need to maintain the system, ensure it works adequately and that the effluent is of sufficient quality.
If you go back 20 years a septic tank in the garden was an easily forgettable aspect of buying a house. Regulation on effluent output was weak and if you did not mind a bit of a whiff and regular emptying. Then you could likely get away with pumping out really polluting effluent.
However, fast forward to today‘s regulatory environment with further legislation landing in 2020 and the picture is vastly different. Regulation on where and what quality of effluent can be discharged is in place. Failure to comply can result in prosecution. It is now also a statutory requirement to have a tank annually serviced and to maintain records of this.
So what is the worst case? You buy a new house that does not meet regulatory standards, you will be prosecuted. You will also likely have to get the system to meet the required standards which can be very costly, especially if you have not factored the spend in.
A survey also gives you an idea of what condition the system is in. A new sewage treatment plant and drainage field will likely cost over ten thousand pounds. Our surveys will tell you what condition the current system is in and the cost of any works needed to remedy issues.
As a default please see our regulation guide to get you up to speed.
We have created the following guide for Buying a house with a Septic tank, Cesspit or sewage treatment plant
Does a Building survey include a drainage survey?
The answer to this is yes and no but ultimately no. Generally, the purpose of a normal building survey is to check the structural integrity of the house. It may include a cursory viewing of the system but certainly not to the extent that is necessary.
We have also noticed over the past year that solicitors are insisting on a Drainage survey for any property with a fully private system. This is driven by the changing legislation detailed above.
Septic Tank Inspection cost?
A formal home buyers or pre-purchase report costs £500 + VAT . This gives those buying a house with an old septic system, cesspit or sewage treatment plant the comfort and assurance they need. If you would like us to just pop in and give the system a once over and verbally let you know the condition of the system we can do this for £250.
How does a Home Buyers Drainage Survey work?
Our primary goal when we arrive to survey and investigate the system is to simply identify how it currently works. We normally start with the tank, is it a Cesspit, a Septic tank or Sewage treatment plant. We will then access the tank to get an idea of its current condition. You can tell a lot about how well a system is working by looking at its working state. Only at this point would we empty the tank, if necessary, to look at the structural integrity of the tank. From here we map and inspect all of the pipework, chambers and outflows before giving a conclusion on the condition of each individual component. Our other core goal is to ascertain where the system is discharging to and how effective this is.
Once we have thoroughly mapped, inspected and documented the system we look to conclude on it. The key elements we want to conclude are firstly; is the system compliant with the upcoming legislation changes. If you are selling a house the law that comes into general effect on the 1st of January 2020 immediately applies to you. We then look to conclude on whether the system would be compliant with current building regulations. From here we talk about the general condition of the tank and any points of note.
The main body of the report then looks at each key section of the system. For each section, we give a situation report and conclude on its functionality.
We try to give a good summary of the tanks current condition, how it works and any points to note. For example, the adjacent tank had clearly not been annually serviced as required and had some severe root ingress. Our conclusion was that the tank needed to be serviced with the medium section potentially needing replacement. The tank in the condition it was would not have been meeting its effluent quality requirements. This would likely lead to prosecution or a fine if discovered.
A system will have any number of chambers serving it. A chamber normally exists where multiple sections of drain meet. For instance, the drainpipe serving your kitchen meeting the pipe from your bathroom. These intersections in the drainage highway can tell us allot about your system. Firstly the inspection can reveal elements added to the system post installation and their quality. Residues from each section can you about their condition. For instance, the soil may indicate a section of a broken pipe or fat a likely blockage.
The Pipe Work:
We camera all of the runs between chambers. We do this to look for any damage or blockages in the pipework. The most common damage is caused by movement in the pipe which creates displacement at the joints. These displacements allow roots to get in which can heavily damage a section of pipework. Repairing or replacing pipework can be deceptively expensive and is well worth knowing about upfront.
Why choose Homeseptic?
All of our lead engineers actually have over 20 years experience in the drainage sector. A lead engineer will always undertake the survey.
The company is a partnership of friends who all own a stake in the company and its reputation. We formed the company because we were sick of the way other drainage firms operated. We will not sell you work that is not necessary and we genuinely take pride in our work.
The company is based in the New Forest, where we all grew up. As a group, we care about our environment and have a genuine interest in preserving it. We do operate outside of the forest covering Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset and West Sussex.