Septic Dye Testing
Septic Dye Testing is a non-invasive procedure that is sometimes used to determine the condition of the components of a home's waste system. A septic dye test can expose obvious leaks and inadequacies in the system and indicate the need for repairs or alterations. It involves the introduction of a fluorescent dye into the septic system, which is "traced" to ascertain that the septic system can handle the volume of waste that is currently being put through it.
Since this type of septic inspection is a VISUAL inspection, it has limitations. A home inspector or health department official can only report upon what is observed above-ground, which does not always give an accurate evaluation of the health of a septic system.
Unfortunately, some home sellers do not disclose that the tank was recently pumped, and the integrity of the septic dye test is thereby compromised.
Another factor that can affect the results of a septic dye test is the visibility of the ground surface in the area of the absorption field. If the area is overgrown with grass or weeds, any dye that migrates to the ground surface will not be easily observed. This can be a problem in the case of a foreclosed home that has not been maintained, or a home that has been on the market for a long time.