Well Inspection

The DNR makes 2 sources of information available to licensed pump installers or well drillers.  With these sources the original construction report can often be found.  Obtaining the original construction report allows us to, as long as these reports were filled out properly and truthfully, information such as the original well driller, well depth, well material and many other valuable bits of information. 

Onsite we first try to determine if the well is code compliant.  Some components can be deemed code compliant at time of construction (if construction date is known) and listed with a recommendation to upgrade to current standards.  We often like to take an amp reading with the pump running to try to determine if the pump is working harder than expected.  If possible we like to draw water at the pressure tank or where the water first enters the building to try to determine the gallons per minute of flow coming from the well. 

A water sample is also drawn.  The basic water sample includes bacteria and nitrates.  Many other minerals and environmental issues can be tested for.  Please see a list of these, including pricing, on this link to the State Lab of Hygiene website; http://www.slh.wisc.edu/ehd/testfee.dot  Please be aware, any testing beyond the basic testing will need to be known well in advance of the onsite inspection so the proper testing sample bottles may be brought onsite and handled as required.

Septic Inspection

Start by contacting county zoning to try to obtain a copy of the original septic paperwork before the onsite inspection begins.  By obtaining this information the original installer, tank size, system type and many other valuable bits of information can be known (assuming the forms were filled out properly and truthfully). 

Onsite the overall system will be observed to determine if it is code compliant.  If tank access is able to be gained the baffles will be observed, the effluent (fluid) level will be observed, if the tank has a filter, the filter will be checked to see if it needs cleaned.  If the system has a pump, the effluent level in the pump chamber will be observed and it is desired that the pump be observed in operation.  Field will be located if possible and if inspection/vent pipes are intact, it/they will be observed for possible water in the system.  All of these items will be reported accordingly. 

A septic inspection is more difficult during the winter months.  Snow cover and/or frozen ground can prevent access into the septic tank.  Snow cover makes observing the exposed portion of the leach field difficult if not impossible.  During months in which vegetation is growing, unless the field is overgrown, the ground can be observed for evidence of ponding above the field.  Differences in vegetation color can also be observed in the warmer months which can help detect if the system has a leak spot or even possibly failing. 

Septic inspection reports are still hand written and any pertinent information is often added at the end of the home inspection report as an overview.