Planning for the upcoming sale of your current home is a process that should not be rushed. In addition to deep cleaning and making cosmetic improvements to enhance the home's appeal, homeowners must also plan for any required inspections that may apply, such as a Title Five septic inspection.
What is a Title Five septic inspection?
A Title Five septic inspection is required by the state before homes can be sold or their size can be enlarged. The inspection process includes all the components of a residential septic system, including septic tanks, drain lines, leach fields, distribution boxes, and cesspools.
As part of the process, a Title Five inspection will also look at high groundwater elevation information for the property. High groundwater levels can result in the insufficient treatment of sewage before it reaches and enters the water table.
Why is a Title Five inspection necessary?
This requirement helps to protect the environment and promote a safe water supply by creating specific points (prior to selling or enlarging the home) at which every residential septic system must be inspected. While the goal is to protect groundwater purity, the requirement of a Title Five septic inspection is also a benefit for prospective buyers who want reliable information about septic system condition for any home they may be considering.
Is excavation necessary for the inspection?
Homeowners sometimes worry that their lawn will undergo unsightly excavation procedures as part of a Title Five septic inspection, but this is generally not necessary. The inspector will need to pinpoint the location of all components but will typically only need to expose access points, such as manhole covers and distribution box covers.
The use of site plans, metal detectors, and other technology may also be used to help the inspector locate each component for the inspection process.
What information can homeowners provide to assist with the inspection?
Title Five inspectors routinely access public records as part of their pre-inspection process. For example, an inspector would be expected to research Board of Health records, as well as site drawings and design plans.
Homeowners may be expected to request and provide records of previous septic pumping services if these are not on file with the Board of Health or the facility where pumped sewage is received.
It is important for homeowners to fully understand all aspects of this inspection process. Those seeking additional information should consider meeting with a licensed septic system service qualified to perform Title Five inspections.