Home Sellers Septic Tank surveys and Inspections.
Due to extensive regulation changes, selling a house with a Septic Tank or Sewage Treatment Plant is increasingly complicated. We carry out Home Seller Surveys to manage this risk and to allow you to rest easy. Call us on 0800 3101092 to arrange a survey. Please see below for our fixed-cost solutions.
Septic Tank pre-purchase Survey’s for Home Sellers
Due to the implementation of the General Binding Rules for small sewage discharges in 2015, we have seen a considerable uplift in enquiries from prospective home owners. If you are selling a house with an off-grid drainage system you need to firstly understand the rules and regulations and how they apply to you. Please read the following articles:
What are your legal responsibilities?
Compliance with the General Binding rules is your responsibility. In addition as an operator, you are required to provide the following information to the new owner:
- a description of the treatment system and drainage system
- the location of the main parts of the treatment system, drainage system and discharge point
- details of any changes made to the treatment system and drainage system
- details of how the treatment system and drainage system should be maintained and the maintenance manual, if you have one
- maintenance records.
Why should you pay for the survey and not the prospective purchaser?
If you look outside of your requirements under the General Binding Rules for me the main reason to undertake a survey is about control. Mortgage Companies and Solicitors are increasingly requiring 3rd party verification of compliance before a purchase can be completed. There are several cowboy companies offering this service. Some are even offering free or very low-cost compliance certificates and checks. If your buyer is having a free or low cost compliance check undertaken then it is likely that something will be found to be wrong. I have seen reams of factually incorrect and frankly false survey reports. All of which purport work needs to be undertaken, costing tens of thousands of pounds which does not need to be undertaken. There are a couple of examples below.
As a seller if you pay a reputable company to undertake the survey then you will have the information upfront to ensure no issues occur.
How much is a Septic Tank Survey and what is covered by it?
(Please note that an empty of the tank is not included in the below, if this is necessary, due to a serious issue with the system then the cost of this will be an addition, we will not charge for having to re-visit. The objective of this is to save you money by not requiring an unnecessary empty)
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.