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Level 1 Septic Inspection

Level 1 Septic System Inspections during Real Estate Transactions  

Real estate transactions occur everyday. Prospective buyers purchase new or existing homes, load their belongings into moving vans, and eventually settle into the role of a homeowner. Unfortunately, for people who purchase existing homes, unforeseen expenses can appear almost immediately after moving day. One such expense is the replacement of a failed on-lot sewage disposal system. No sooner are the closing papers signed when foul-smelling septage is found in the backyard or sewage backs up in the plumbing system. In some cases, the only solution is a new installation or replacement of the existing system. This can cost the new homeowner anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000—in addition to frustration and inconvenience. You can lessen the chances of the financial burden of a failed system through a Level 1 Septic System Inspection. This type of inspection provides home buyers with consistent inspection guidelines. For a fee of $150 to $450 (which may include pumping the septic tank), an inspection will provide you with useful information about the septic system you are buying. The inspection cost can be negotiated in the real estate closing costs. 

What a Level 1 Inspection Is 

A Level 1 Septic System Inspection provides homeowners or prospective buyers with information about septic system components and current operating conditions. Inspection results are based on the experience and expertise of a knowledgeable inspector. Each inspection results in a septic system report that states: • the type and condition of the system and its components • potential problems or "red flags" in the system and possible need for additional testing • list of corrective measures The Level 1 inspection described in this fact sheet is the first step to learning about the system. Where major problems exist, a homeowner may need to have more extensive Level 2 or 3 testing done before an accurate evaluation can be made.

What a Level 1 Septic System Isn't 

A Level 1 Septic System Inspection is not : • a warranty or guarantee that the system will properly function for any period of time in the future. 

Similar to a home inspection it is a visual, non-invasive examination. If a septic inspection has been requested, it is the responsibility of the home owner to ensure all hatches to the treatment tank are visible and accessible and that final installation inspection drawings are available at the time of the inspection.