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Septic Tank Inspection

Your Eastern Iowa, Western Illinois and Quad Cities Septic Tank Inspection Company

Having a septic tank inspection is an important part of keeping your system running smoothly.  It lets you catch any issues that may be starting up, so you can correct problems before they cause real damage.  The technicians dispatched by Total Septic Service have special training, so they can catch even the most subtle signs of an impending system failure throughout the Quad Cities, Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

When to Have a Septic Inspection

Septic system inspection should be part of your regular maintenance, alongside septic pumping. At a minimum, this should be done every 3-5 years, depending on how many people use the tank and if things like spas or garbage disposals are in use.  In the latter cases, it should be done annually.  Older systems may benefit from a yearly check as well, even if they aren’t pumped at the same time.  Commercial and industrial septic tank systems have even more stringent requirements due to the amount of use they get.  In these cases, pumping and a septic tank inspection should be done every couple of months.  Overall, a septic inspection should be performed at the following times:

  • As part of routine maintenance
  • If the system is showing any signs of failure
  • Prior to purchasing a property

An inspector will need to gain access to the tank, so if your system does not have risers on it that bring the portholes up to ground level, digging will need to be done.


Total Septic Service will use a measuring tool to check the depth different layers.  When a septic system is working properly, the contents of a tank will divide into three distinct layers.  The “scum,” or buoyant materials, will float at the top and the “sludge,” which is solid waste, will collect at the bottom of the tank. In the middle, there will be “effluent,” which is liquid that is ready to exit the tank and move on to the drain field.  A general rule of thumb is that the sludge should not be equal to more than one-third the level of effluent.  If it exceeds this, the septic tank should be pumped.

Visual Inspections

In addition to the measurements, the inspector will examine the tank, itself.  This includes all the walls, as well as the “baffles” that help ensure the wastewater separates as well as the filter that prevents any solids from exiting the tank and flowing into the drainfield.  If risers are present, these will be checked as well.  The lids will also be examined, to make sure that they’re secure and in good condition.  We’ll also look at any visible lines and check for signs that there may be trouble with the drainfield.

Septic Inspection for Real Estate in the Quad Cities, Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois areas.

A basic septic tank inspection as part of routine care is slightly different than one that is carried out for the sake of a real estate transaction.  Though the same components are examined, the inspector also creates a document that indicates what condition the system is in.

Here at Total Septic Service our professionals handle septic tank inspections of all kinds, whether you’re a homeowner, realtor, home buyer, business owner, or manager, we can make sure your septic inspection is carried out with integrity and assesses all the components you need checked.  Contact us today to schedule your inspection in the Quad Cities, Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

septic tank inspection