Contact Information

Matrix Property Inspections
Email: (click name)
Cell: 613-601-3651
Work: 613-679-3651

Certified by the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors - Click here to verify.

Septic Systems

Out of site, out of mind right? Perhaps until it fails. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) says "A malfunctioning well or septic system can pose a health risk to your family and neighbours, and can be expensive to repair or replace. It is therefore important to conduct a detailed inspection of both the well and septic systems prior to purchasing a home". With the cost of replacement of a septic system varying between $15,000 and $25,000 it is hard to understand why some home buyers do not get this checked.

What is involved:

Review of interior plumbing: - This confirms that no non sewage plumbing appliances are discharging into the septic system. Some components may cause premature failure of the system

Review of the external conditions: - Proximity of well, contours of leaching bed, nature of surface are all reviewed as part of the septic system inspection

Review of the septic tank: - Inspection evaluates the presence and condition of internal baffles, fluid levels, and water tightness of tank.

Review of the leaching field: - Where possible the bed is probed out to find the extent of the leachate piping. Overall surface profile is reviewed. Inspection pits are dug into leaching field to review for presence of impermeable biomat, and identification of the profile of the bed. Evaluation of overall hydraulic functionality based on samples is done.

The septic system inspection takes between 2 and 5 hours to perform (depending on the situation and conditions).

Limitations of the Septic System Inspection

Due to potential variability of soils below the surface, the inspection is based on sampling. It would not be practical to totally dig up a leaching bed, just to confirm it is operating properly. The septic system inspection does not attempt to quantify the effectiveness of bacterial decomposition or extent of progressive failure all beds are subject to. It does not include water quality evaluation or well capacities or recharge rates, or potential environmental concerns. No verification of design or flow rates are done as part of the visual septic system inspection. Septic systems are highly user dependent. As such, inspection of the bed is based on the conditions as they were on the day of the inspection. In all systems that are not entirely visible, risk can not be eliminated, just reduced. This is not a warranty or a guarantee.