Does a septic tank have to be re-certified if a house has been vacant for a while?
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
We got different answers when asking this question at county health departments in our area. One health department representative stated that as long as the original installation was permitted and inspected by the Florida Department of Health and it is not known to be in failure, no re-certification is necessary. Another county specifies that the tank be re-certified if the home has been vacant for five years or longer. So we recommend checking with the local office of the Florida Department of Health for the requirements for their jurisdiction.
A septic system that has not had any sewage liquids drained into it for an extended period of time is often clogged by invasive roots that follow the retreating moisture backwards into the tank as the drainfield dries out; so, whether it is required or not, having a septic contractor inspect the system before you purchase a long-time vacant home is a good idea.
Also, see our blog posts How can I locate my septic tank? and Do I have to get a larger septic tank when I build a home addition?
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To learn more about septic tank systems, see these other blog posts:
How To Look At A House
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