Purchasing a new home?

Don’t let the entire process of becoming a new homeowner be stressful. Our certified inspectors at Jim Kovalak Excavating & Septic Tank Cleaning can make it easier.

Certified well and septic inspectors

With over 45 years of experience, our professionals have the qualifications and experience to assist you with all your home inspection and well water testing needs. We know purchasing a new home can be overwhelming, that is why our inspectors strive to make the process as painless as possible.

Some helpful tips

  • Washtenaw County requires a time of sale inspection when you are selling a home (valid for 12 months). In the case of a well being used on the property, water samples are also required to be taken and tested in order for the deed to transfer (if you have a Reverse Osmosis system, it is required to take an addition sample). If you do not have a septic permit or site plan on file with the county, Washtenaw County will require you have your septic tank pumped and inspected in addition to the time of sale inspection.
  • Wayne County requires a time of sale inspection and requires the septic tank be serviced at the time of sale inspection when you are selling a home (valid for 6 months).
  • Keep in mind when purchasing a home in a county that does not require a time of sale inspection, you may be purchasing a home on a failed or failing septic system and will encounter trouble when you move in. For this reason, we recommend having a private time of sale inspection done, in order to avoid any possible future trouble. Counties that do not currently have a time of sale inspection ordinance that we service: Monroe, Lenawee, Jackson, Livingston and Oakland.
  • We do not have the final say in whether or not the septic system or well passes or fails the counties requirements. After our inspections are submitted to the county, they review our findings and issue out an approval or denial letter to you which will indicate any recommendations or requirements they may have.

Recommendations for a Smooth Process

  • Have the inspection conducted prior to, or at the time of, listing the property for sale. This will help avoid any delays in property closing and will also provide lead time to take corrective actions should they be necessary.
  • Do not involve two inspectors or get “second opinion” inspections. These lead to lengthy delays and confused buyers.
  • Call our office if there are questions from either the purchaser or the seller. We are able to explain the requirements of the program in a non-biased manner, which can help with the sale of the home.
  • If any repairs or replacement work is needed, competitive bidding should occur after any required permit is issued.

Why do we need to do a time of sale inspection?

Nearly half of the septic systems have reached their service life expectancy, and studies show that drinking water quality and availability are decreasing. By preforming a time of sale inspection, the county, home owners and prospective buyers can all be sure that their septic system and their well water is safe, up-to-date and functioning properly.

Operation and Maintenance Yearly Inspection

The homeowner in Washtenaw County with an Advanced Treatment System is required yearly to test, evaluate and review the working quality of their system. This is called an O&M inspection.

The annual inspection is to review of all components of the sewage system, cleaning of the septic tank effluent filter, flushing laterals, testing of the sand filter effluent through a certified laboratory and measurement of the water level in the trenches. We are certified in Washtenaw County to provide this yearly inspection.

What does a TOS inspector do?

First things first, we gather all permits and county files regarding your septic and well. You can also find this information yourself, check out our page which explains how!

If the home has a well, we test the water from the kitchen sink for Arsenic, Nitrates, and Coliform Bacteria.  If there is a reverse osmosis system, it is required to test it additionally for arsenic. We check the water volume and pressure. We inspect the well cap, to see if it is damaged and if it is vented. When these water samples are submitted, it can take 3-5 business days to receive the results back. For an additional fee we can rush the water samples if you are in need of results asap!

We inspect the plumbing, to make sure that everything is discharging to the proper locations and there are no repairs needed.

We augur test holes into the septic fieldbed to check the soil conditions, ideally looking for dry stone and dry sand. We check for tree rooting. If we find clay or concrete pipe (as pictured below) this is an indication that the septic system is old. We may need to have Miss Digs staking come and stake out your lot if you are unsure where the system is, to avoid puncturing any utility lines!

If we are pumping the septic tank (as is required for all TOS inspections in Wayne County) we will preform a routine pumping and inspect the septic tank when it is empty.

We will draw up a site plan of where your well and septic are located in respect to your house.

Finally, we will file the report with the county on your behalf. Hassle free!



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