In 2015, after nearly three decades without review, Ohio updated its septic system regulations. These new changes were an attempt to combat the environmental impact of failing systems across the state. Among the changes to our septic system regulations were new requirements that every system be regularly maintained by an approved septic provider. Since the new rules have gone into effect, we have received many questions asking how these changes impacted Ohio’s septic tank inspection requirements. Read on to learn more.
What Are Ohio’s Septic Tank Inspection Requirements?
Statewide requirements for septic tank inspections remain limited to installation inspections for new and upgraded systems. These inspections are meant to ensure that all systems installed after 2007 adhere to new standards to help prevent system failure and to protect the environment should such a failure occur. The Ohio Department of Health does have the authority to require an inspection when they suspect a system may be failing. This typically happens when either the state or local health department receives a complaint that a system is malfunctioning. Though periodic inspections are not required on a statewide level, septic owners are now required to have an operating and maintenance (O&M) plan with an approved septic provider. Local health departments may also have their own requirements regarding periodic and point-of-sale inspections.
Point-of-Sale Septic Tank Inspections
Many local health departments and lending institutions require a home to pass a point-of-sale septic inspection before the sale of the home (or transfer of title) can be completed. In fact, when not required, we always recommend homebuyers get point-of-sale inspections whenever buying a home that relies on a septic system. A point-of-sale inspection is a thorough examination of a septic system, including its history and layout. It also includes a series of on-site tests to ensure the system is functioning properly.
When required by the health department or lending institution, any issues discovered during this inspection need to be resolved before the sale can be completed. When a homebuyer opts for an elective point-of-sale inspection, they are given more freedom in deciding how to proceed when issues are discovered during the inspection. In some cases, particularly for older septic systems or in homes where significant renovations have been done, a point-of-sale inspection may reveal that the system needs to be completely updated in order to bring it up to code. Such upgrades can be costly. Discovering them before purchasing a home is always preferable to not.
Operation & Maintenance Plans
Ensuring a system is installed correctly is only one part of the solution to keeping malfunctioning systems from contaminating the environment. Without proper maintenance and care, even the most perfectly installed septic system will fail. In a 2007 study, the Ohio Department of Health discovered improperly maintained septic systems were the leading cause of septic contamination throughout Ohio. As a result, the state enacted new regulations requiring all septic owners to have an operation and maintenance (O&M) plan with an approved septic provider. These updated regulations are an attempt to mitigate the environmental and health hazards of failing septic systems by ensuring every system throughout the state is properly maintained. With an O&M plan, your system has a complete, documented history, including information on all service visits, repairs, and upgrades. One added benefit to having this requirement is that, through an approved septic provider, homebuyers can get peace of mind by accessing a system’s service history as part of any septic inspection they do prior to purchasing a home.
Supeck Septic Inspection & Maintenance Services
Supeck Septic Services is a licensed O&M provider for most systems currently used in Ohio. We perform periodic as well as point-of-sale inspections and offer routine and emergency septic services. We’ve been Northeast Ohio’s trusted septic provider for the past 52 years and are committed to providing exceptional customer service. Contact us today to learn more about our Operation & Maintenance plans, inspection services, or to schedule a service visit.