ADEQ Septic Inspections:15 Commonly Asked Questions from home buyers and real estate professionals

ADEQ Septic Inspections 15 FAQS

If you’re in the process of buying a property with a septic system in Arizona, it’s essential to be familiar with the ADEQ (Arizona Department of Environmental Quality) Septic Inspections. These inspections play a crucial role in ensuring the proper functioning of septic systems and safeguarding the environment and public health. As the owner of Priority Pumping, a reputable septic service business, I understand the importance of these inspections and the questions that often arise from real estate agents and homebuyers. In this blog post, I’ll address the most commonly asked questions about ADEQ Septic Inspections to help you navigate this aspect of your real estate journey.

*1. What is an ADEQ Septic Inspection, and when is it required?*

An ADEQ Septic Inspection is a thorough examination of the septic system on a property to ensure compliance with environmental and health regulations. It is required when a property with a septic system is being sold or transferred to a new owner.

*2. How long does an ADEQ Septic Inspection typically take?*

An ADEQ Septic Inspection is a thorough examination of the septic system on a property to ensure compliance with environmental and health regulations. It is required when a property with a septic system is being sold or transferred to a new owner.

Septic Tank Pumping Queen Creek

*3. What is the cost of an ADEQ Septic Inspection?*

The cost of an ADEQ Septic Inspection can also vary, and it’s usually the responsibility of the home SELLER. Prices depend on factors such as the size of the system and the address of the home. 

When you chose Priority Pumping to complete your ADEQ Septic Inspection, a flat-rate price is quoted to you over the phone, through text, or email/chat on our website. This rate includes everything that is needed to get the inspection done right – labor, pumping, ADEQ Report of Inspections, and step-by-step photos.

*4. Who is responsible for scheduling and paying for the ADEQ Septic Inspection, the buyer or the seller?*

It is written in the ADEQ guidelines, the SELLER is responsible for scheduling and covering the cost of the ADEQ Septic Inspection. It is a vital step in the due diligence process, helping buyers make informed decisions about their potential investment. 

*5. When should the ADEQ Septic Inspection be scheduled or completed?*

I always HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you complete this inspection quickly after the home is listed, rather to wait for a buyer. This way, you know the septic is in good working order and can confidently hand them a Functional report with no issues. This brings confidence to a new buyer that may be purchasing a home on a septic system for the first time.

I also recommend this, because not all septic-related issues are visible from inside of the house or in the lawn just above the tank. Many issues with the system that will make the septic system considered NOT FUNCTIONAL on the ADEQ Report cannot be seen until the tank is properly opened and examined. This can include, but is not limited to roots, excessive sludge, missing or corroded baffles, tank corrosion, cracks and failed disposal fields. 

If the damage or issues are extreme enough to require a replacement of either the tank or the disposal (or both), this does require permitting through the County in which the home is located. This can take up to 30 days alone. We see so many home sales fall through because of these issues and we want to help you avoid it with an earlier inspection (especially if the home is 20+ years old).

The ADEQ Report of Inspection is good for 6 months from the date of service. Many homes in Arizona sell way faster than that. If your timeframe lapses, please give us a call and we’ll take care of you!

Priority Pumping Team

*6. Are there any specific qualifications or certifications required for a septic inspector to conduct the ADEQ Septic Inspection?*

Yes, ADEQ-approved septic inspectors must meet specific qualifications and certifications. At Priority Pumping, EVERY member of our field team of experts is well-trained, licensed, and certified through NAWT with their OWN Inspector License Number. This is super IMPORTANT. Most companies send the owner to the training and then sign off on all reports that come through the business. Not at Priority! Everyone that works in the field, myself included, has gone through the training program and is field trained, the Priority-way, in conducting comprehensive ADEQ Septic Inspections.

*7. What are the potential consequences if the septic system fails the ADEQ Inspection?*

If the septic system fails the ADEQ Inspection or is marked NOT FUNCTIONAL,  necessary repairs or upgrades must be made to bring the system into compliance. Depending on the negotiation and agreement, this can result in additional expenses for the buyer or seller. 

Typically, per the AZ Wastewater Addendum, if the system is marked Functional with Concerns, the repair work is negotiable between the buyer and seller. If the system is marked Not Functional, the seller is required to repair or replace up to 1% of the purchase price of the home, or the buyer can get out of the contract.

Often, we are asked if the home can still be sold and the Notice of Transfer filed on a NOT FUNCTIONAL ADEQ inspection. The answer to that is YES, but if there is a lender involved, they will not approve lending without a functional septic system. If it is an investment property or cash sale, the new owner now assumes the responsibility to correct the septic system issues.

ADEQ Septic Inspection Report

*9. Can the results of a recent ADEQ Septic Inspection be used for multiple sales transactions on a property if it is within 6 months?*

ADEQ Septic Inspections include information about the current homeowner of the property and each sales transaction needs to have its own report. If it is within 6 months, it probably will not need to be pumped again, so the price of that inspection will be much less.

*10. What happens if a property with a septic system does not pass the ADEQ Inspection before closing?*

If the septic system does not pass the ADEQ Inspection before closing, the sale may be delayed until the necessary repairs or upgrades are completed.

*11. Can necessary repairs or replacement issues, identified through the ADEQ Inspection, be completed after the close of the home sale?*

YES! We often have escrow hold-back money for the proposed estimate that was submitted by our installation team. As long as there is agreement on who is paying for the repairs/replacements and a work authorization has been completed, we are more than accommodating in billing escrow companies for repairs/replacements.

*12. What are the most common issues that cause a septic system to fail an ADEQ Inspection?

Common issues that can cause a septic system to fail an ADEQ Inspection include drainage problems, leaks, tank corrosion, and roots.

root invasion septic system

*13. Are there any restrictions on the use of the property during the ADEQ Inspection process?*

There are generally no restrictions on property use during the ADEQ Inspection process. However, it’s crucial to cooperate with the inspector and ensure accessibility to all components of the septic system. At Priority Pumping, we also highly recommend having the buyer on-site to see where the septic system is located and ask our technicians questions about the maintenance of the system.

*14. Can you explain to me what the Report of Inspection is talking about? I’m not familiar with the terminology used within the report and don’t quite understand what I am reading.*

We love to educate everyone on septic systems. It’s kind of our love language! 🙂 Please visit these two videos on our YouTube page where we walk you through How To Read The ADEQ Report of Inspection and What To Do After The Inspection.

*15. Who is responsible for payment on the Septic Inspection? How do I schedule? How can I pay and do we accept payment through escrow?*

All great questions!! It is written by ADEQ, that it is the SELLER’s responsibility to hire and pay for the ADEQ Septic Inspection. We know this doesn’t always work out that way, but we are happy to work with whoever wants to accept the responsibility. We will need to have permission from the current homeowner to come onto the property to complete the inspection, which is part of our scheduling process. 

Scheduling an inspection with us is SUPER easy and quick! You can call our office at 602-601-5751 or you can text that same number with your property address for a quick returned estimate for the service. If you choose to book with us, our office will ask some questions about your property, send over a scope of service for electronic signature and get you booked on the calendar. You receive text notifications confirming the appointment the day before, when we are on out way, and when the job is completed.

We accept cash, check, or credit card for payment. We do require there is a credit card on file with our office when you schedule the appointment. Nothing is charged until the service is completed. If needed, we also offer financing through WiseTack. Ask our office for more information.

ADEQ Septic Inspections
Picture of Tanya Wilson

Tanya Wilson

Tanya Wilson is the owner and CEO of Priority Pumping. She loves the wastewater industry and all of the opportunities for consumer education.

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