Finding and inspecting the tank in a septic inspection is the most involved part of the process. The tank portion of the septic inspection involves pulling a permit (if available) and locating and accessing the septic tank manually with a probe in order to make a visual assessment of its readily accessible components. There are several tell-tale signs to look for to find a septic system that has been well maintained.

No Risers Installed

If the systems are maintained on a regular basis, accessing the tank is easy. The tank would have risers installed or previous excavation would be obvious during the assessment of the grounds. When septic systems have been maintained, records of pumping and maintenance are readily available to agents and inspectors. When this is the case, the inspections are performed smoothly and are completed to their fullest extent.


A larger-than-usual tank lid

However, systems are not always maintained in this way. Because a septic permit is often not available, the seller’s knowledge of their system is helpful in performing an inspection. This is why we ask that the location of the tank is marked and, if the permit isn’t available, a drawing of the tank is provided. In accordance with our scope of work, it may not be possible to assess the tank if the location is not provided, is inaccurate, or the tank is deeper than what is common or accessible with a probe.


At this point it will be concluded that the system has not been maintained on a regular basis and the septic system is lacking maintenance. It will be necessary for the owner of the property to have the system exposed, pumped, and have the tank’s interior, inlet, and outlet assessed. Please remember that an inability to uncover the tank because of extenuating circumstances does not always constitute an incomplete inspection. You can be reassured that we will offer an opinion based on the information available so that you can move forward.


This is why it is important to keep your systems well maintained and inspected. A thorough inspection can provide peace of mind and help to discover potentially serious problems before they occur. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us and tanks for reading!