Septic Inspections at Chesapeake Environmental Lab, Inc.

On Site Sewage Disposal System Inspections

For the past twenty years, Chesapeake Environmental Lab, Inc. has been providing our clients with experienced State Certified Inspectors for the septic inspection of a On-Site Sewage Disposal System.


Proper design, installation, and maintenance of your septic system will maximize your system’s life. It will prevent failures that can be unsightly, foul-smelling, and threatening to your family’s health. Good maintenance reduces the risk of contaminating your well water, and may save you from costly repairs or system replacement.

Septic system inspections may be required by lenders when you sell or refinance your home. The repair of a failing system is usually a cost to the seller. Ignoring your septic system will not save you money in the long term and CEL is here to help with professional inspections at affordable prices.



CEL Septic Inspection Procedures

  1. CEL conducts a record file search with the local county environmental health department to obtain any permit information for the drinking water well and the on site sewage disposal system.
  2. CEL arrives at the property with county records (if available) and initiates a visual inspection of the property.
  3. CEL initiates a physical location of the drinking water well and the on site sewage disposal system and identifies components with locator marker flags.
  4. CEL will open access the septic treatment tank by physically hand shoveling (as needed) the ground up to 3 ft at all access clean out ports (inlet and outlet) where applicable.
  5. CEL will access the pump chamber and test the pump/alarm where applicable.
  6. CEL will access the distribution box by physically hand shoveling (as needed) the ground up to 3 ft where applicable and inspect the drain tile pipe to the absorption system (drain fields/dry wells/LPD Mound/ETC).
  7. CEL will determine the flow rate from the water well to establish time needed to conduct a water surge test with approximately 225 gallons of water in order to properly energize the system.
  8. CEL will introduce a tracer dye into the septic system and initiate the water surge test.
  9. CEL will evaluate the septic system by checking the water level at the septic treatment tank and the drainage into the absorption system.
  10. CEL will conduct soil auger borings probes at the absorption system where applicable to inspect drain tile or drainage bed.
  11. CEL will inspect the interior plumbing to confirm drainage into the septic system.
  12. CEL will take digital photos where applicable of all septic system components and compile a written report of observations and a final evaluation.
  13. CEL requires electric power and access to running water in order for a septic inspection to be conducted.
  14. CEL requires prior notifification of any underground utilities on the property.


Possible Signs of Trouble

  • The septic tank has not been pumped out in the past five years, even if the system appears to be working well.
  • A wet area or standing water occurs above the drain field.
  • Toilets run slowly or backup: in the worst cases, the basement is flooded with sewage.
  • Septic odors occur in the house, above the tank and drain field, or escape from the vent pipe.


     Septic Home Owner Guide                EPA

Chesapeake Environmental Lab, Inc. provides expert septic inspections for Maryland and Delaware.


Tips on maintaining your Septic System...


  • Conserve water.
  • Do not use garbage disposals.
  • Do not dump coffee grinds in the sink.
  • Do not pour fats and oils down the drain.
  • Do not add any commercial products or yeast to your system.
  • Do not dump solvents, dry cleaning fluid, pesticides, paint thinner or auto products down the drain.
  • Do not drive, park vehicles or build over the septic area.
  • Do not plant trees over a septic field. Large plant roots can clog or break the pipes.
  • Tanks need to be pumped every 2 to 5 years depending on your county. Check with your local Environmental Health Department for their recommendation.
  • Direct down spouts and runoff away from the septic field to avoid saturating the area with excess water.
  • Do not flush paper towels, cigarette butts, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons and other material in the toilet.
  • Do not overload the system. Early morning and bedtime are peak water use times. Run dishwashers and washing machines during non peak hours.