Septic System Testing

A SEPTIC DYE DIAGNOSTIC TEST is typically performed to determine if the septic system is failing or there are signs of system compromise.  The current industry standard protocol calls for tracer dye to be flushed through the system along with 50 gallons of water per bedroom – in an uninterrupted flow from an unrestricted tap.  If water is found to be pooling or flooding the septic field, and/or water is found to be backing up into the house, it is considered to be a strong indication of septic system failure and a SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECTION may be in order.  An INSPECTION involves opening, pumping ($300. alone) and examining the septic tank – including photographing the interior of the tank, opening all the junction boxes out in the absorption (leach) fields and perhaps probing the leach pits (trenches) and even opening a section of pipe for examination (a lot of digging).  And sometimes sending a video scope cable down the drain lines to examine for damage or obstructions in the line.  This type of inspection, obviously very invasive, often takes an entire day and the work of at least two people and costs hundreds of dollars.  This is why the septic dye TEST (at $75) is typically the first course of action when examining the performance of a septic system.  While not necessarily 100% conclusive the Septic Dye Diagnostic Test can be a useful indicator that a Septic System is operating as we would expect it to – or – that further inspection is needed.