Septic Inspection Service in Massachusetts

septic inspection

What is a Septic Inspection?

A septic inspection is a thorough and comprehensive assessment of your septic system's health. It involves our trained experts examining the entire system, from the septic tank to the drain field. We use cutting-edge technology, including sewer cameras, to ensure no detail goes unnoticed.

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Our Septic Inspection Process

We will look to follow every aspect of our septic inspection process. However, every system is different so we may not be able to access certain areas. These will be identified in the report.
septic system
Our septic inspectors will be looking for the following:
  • Is the septic tank structurally sound?
  • Are the baffles and access covers intact and functioning?
  • Are the effluent pipe and distribution box in operable condition?
  • Is the leaching area working as designed?
septic inspection will consist of the following:
  • The Excavation of the access covers to the septic tank to assess the condition of the tank itself, looking for cracks, decay or root intrusion.  Verifying the condition of the inlet and outlet baffles.  And evaluating the operating liquid level of the tank. Excavation is limited to 3' x 4' x 3' ($75/ft for each additional foot of excavation required).
  • As required, a camera will be fed through the outlet baffle (when accessible) to evaluate the effluent pipe and the distribution box on its condition.
  • Excavate the distribution box when accessible. This is where the flow test will be monitored to ensure the effluent is accepted by the leaching system with no backflow into the septic tank.
  • The leaching area will be visually inspected at the surface for previous signs of ponding, probed for areas of effluent saturation and dye used when necessary to identify areas of potential effluent seepage.
  • A walkthrough of the current system with the client, answering questions and supplying proper care and maintenance tips, in addition to a comprehensive report of the onsite findings. Walk through is only available at the time of inspection.

Why Should You Get a Septic Inspection?

septic inspection should always be performed for not only a prospective home buyer but also routinely for current home owners.  Septic systems need repairs over time that can increase its life. These can become costly if the not maintained properly.  An inspection will help to identify these areas:

  • Prevent Costly Repairs: By catching issues early, you can avoid expensive repairs or even complete system replacement.

  • Health Issues: A malfunctioning septic system can lead to contamination of your water supply, posing serious health risks. Regular inspections help keep your family safe.

  • Environmental Responsibility: A well-maintained septic system is eco-friendly, ensuring that harmful contaminants don't seep into the ground and water sources.

Massachusetts Title 5 Septic Inspection

If you live in the State of Massachusetts and own a home that has an on-site sewage system, otherwise known as a septic system, chances are you have at least heard of a Title 5 Inspection. This guide will cover absolutely everything you need to know about getting a Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection, what you can expect when you get one and what to do about the results.

What is a Title 5 Inspection?

The State Environmental Code is in charge of inspecting every stage of the process with regard to Massachusetts residential septic systems, including the design, construction, expansion, inspection and placement. Throughout the State of Massachusetts, the Title 5 code is administered locally by the Board of Health in each city. Which means that if you live in the city of Middleboro, you would deal with the Middleboro Board of Health.

What is the Purpose of a Title 5 Inspection?

A Title 5 Inspection is designed to ensure that your septic system is running efficiently, that it has been properly pumped and maintained and that there are no issues with regard to the construction or use of it. A Title 5 Inspection is required for residential septic systems each and every time you sell your home. A Title 5 Inspection is also required for specific types of renovations or remodeling projects.

How Do I Get a Title 5 Inspection?

You need to hire a licensed, certified septic system inspector, such as Sherwood Inspection Services, LLC (SIS). SIS services clients throughout MA and are certified to do an official Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection. After the inspection, the inspector will submit a copy of the report to the Board of Health. Depending on the findings of the inspection, the Board of Health will either accept the inspection, reject it due to findings, or send out an enforcement order compelling the homeowner to make some changes.

What Can I Expect During a Title 5 Inspection?

If you need a Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection and you’ve never personally experienced one before, it can be a little nerve-wracking to worry about what the inspector will find. Every part of your septic system will be inspected, including the septic tank, distribution box and cesspool. Your drain field will also be checked during this process. The inspector’s goal is to locate all of the components for your system and check for signs of hydraulic failure. Construction will be checked, determining where the high groundwater elevation is located and the overall design flow of your system. In some cases, the inspector will request that the homeowner get the “as-built” plans that are held on file at the Board of Health, or to see pumping and/or maintenance records for the last two years in order to complete the report. Make sure you have everything available or can get the required information if it is requested by the inspector.

What Do the Results Mean?

There are three results provided from a Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection: pass, conditional pass or fail. What happens next depends upon your results and what the inspector suggests in his report.

  • PASS– A passed Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection of residential septic systems is good for two to three years, depending on your pumping schedule. The Board of Health will not need to do anything if your system is passed. Inspection information must be shared with the buyer – whether it is passed or failed – if you are in the process of selling your home.
  • CONDITIONAL PASS– A conditionally passed Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection is an indication that some component of your septic system has broken down or failed and needs to be replaced. Examples of this would be a crushed pipe, a septic tank that is leaking, a distribution box that has failed or a broken baffle, among other things. The good news is that the repairs that are required for a conditionally passed system to become Title 5 compliant are usually substantially less expensive than what it would cost to completely replace the system under a failed inspection. Under a conditional pass, once the repair has been made it becomes Title 5 compliant and achieves a passing result. A new report is submitted to the Massachusetts Board of Health to show that the system has now passed the Title 5 inspection.
  • FAIL– A failed Massachusetts Title 5 Inspection of residential septic systems can go one of two ways. If it is determined that your system poses a threat to public health, you will need to replace or repair your system within a specific allotted amount of time. However, if your system fails, but is not considered a threat to public health, the inspector will give you two years to complete all of the work necessary to get it to pass. The work can only be done by a septic system repair technician that is licensed and certified in the State of Massachusetts. Soil testing will need to be completed and a new septic system that will work better with your home and usage will need to be designed and installed.

Reviews from your Neighbors

Michelle with SIS did an inspection for my buyers on their home purchase (I'm a Realtor) and she was such a pleasure. She arrived with her own SIS branded door mat to wipe her feet before entering the home and put out an array of snacks and water. She was extremely thorough and explained everything to my buyers and I in detail along with providing tips for things to look for and be aware of. I feel confident that any one of my buyer clients are in excellent hands and look forward to working with her again

Arien Monti