Septic Tank Surveys

As the UK’s leading waste management system company, Owls Hall can provide in-depth septic tank surveys as part of a property pre-purchase survey.

If you’re looking to buy a property that relies on a septic tank as the drainage system, it’s highly recommended that a survey is organised to ensure that everything is in good working order ahead of purchase.

A septic tank inspection will cover details you won’t find in a standard RICS HomeBuyer Report. We are able to carry out surveys at properties throughout the South East, the East of England and can travel out to most areas in Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and further afield if required.

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Home buyer surveys

If the property you’re looking to purchase is reliant on off-mains drainage as a wastewater treatment system, be that a cesspit, septic tank or sewage treatment plant, a home buyer drainage survey is invaluable.

It will highlight whether the tank is structurally sound, highlight any urgent and non-urgent repairs and more, giving you complete peace of mind that there aren’t any nasty surprises around the corner.

Additionally, if there are any problems or faults uncovered with the drainage system, these can be addressed as part of the sale instead of afterwards.

Home seller surveys

Similarly, if you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, organising a home sellers survey is highly recommended. This way, you can evidence to potential buyers that their new home and sewage treatment system is in great working condition.

This can stand you in good stead as a trustworthy seller, giving potential buyers full peace of mind should they decide to move ahead with the purchase.

In the instance that an issue is uncovered, you will have the opportunity to address and supply all the information regarding repair to the people purchasing your home.

What does a septic tank survey consist of?

At Owls Hall, we offer three levels of drainage surveys, all of which come with a discount on a future inspection carried out by our team.

No matter which survey you choose to check your septic system is operating as it should, you can rest assured that each meets current building regulations as well as the latest regulation regarding general binding rules for wastewater discharge that came into force in 2020.

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Our home buyer surveys

Features Home Buyer Home Buyer Plus Home Buyer Extra
Tank inspection Yes Yes Yes
Tank emptying to further assess the structure of the tank Yes* Yes* Yes*
CCTV inspection of all accessible pipework No Yes Yes
Survey of all accessible stormwater down pipes No No Yes
Compliance checks against current building regulations Yes Yes Yes
Compliance checks against general binding rules changes in 2020 Yes Yes Yes
A full written report on all findings Yes Yes Yes
A detailed WinCan inspection report No Yes Yes
An electronic copy of the CCTV survey No Yes Yes
Detailed information on any issues found including recommended actions and repair or installation quotes Yes Yes Yes
% discount on any future Home Buyer Drain Surveys booked through Owls Hall within a year of the initial survey. 5% 7.5% 10%
Call our dedicated team on 01371 504 045 for pricing

About Owl’s Hall

Home buyer drain survey was something I had never heard of until I went to buy my new home recently and discovered it was a legal requirement of the sale. However, the team at Owls Hall Environmental Ltd were really helpful and provided a very prompt service.  Once I contacted them, they explained the different survey options, talked me through the whole process and arrived to perform the drain survey within 5 days. Following the completion of the survey they provided a report which they explained to me in detail. Then their engineer John came out for a site visit to talk through all the possible solutions and advised me on the most cost-effective way to ensure the off mains water system at our new property was made compliant.

The service I received from Owls Hall Environmental Ltd was excellent and I would recommend them to anyone who has a property with off mains water and requires a home buyer drain survey. “

Helen Broxted Essex October 2019

Owls Hall has been working with off-mains drainage systems for more than 50 years, specialising in septic tanks. Whether we’re advising and installing a new system or carrying out a survey ahead of a new property purchase, we’re the UK’s leading specialists in sewage treatment.

Our farming roots and rural location mean that we don’t just work in compliance with the latest regulations, but that we consider the wider impact sewage treatment has on the environment.

Our complete service includes off-mains drainage maintenance, ensuring your system is operating effectively and safely to ensure that the wider area is not being negatively impacted.

If you’d like to book a survey ahead of a house sale or before committing to buying a house, please contact us via your preferred method.

Drainage survey FAQs

If this is your first experience in booking a survey for your wastewater system, we’re here to help. We’ve put together answers to some of the questions we are often asked. If you have a query that isn’t included here, please get in touch. We’d be happy to help.

Is it worth getting a drain survey?

Absolutely. Whether you’re contemplating buying a new house or selling it, an inspection of your sewage system puts all cards on the table and allows everybody to reach an informed decision. It can also be invaluable during negotiations. From a buying perspective, you can know up front how much it will cost to get your drainage system up to standard. If, for example, you will need to invest in a replacement off mains drainage system entirely, you may decide to withdraw your offer completely. Alternatively, if there isn’t much work required, you may prefer to factor that into your offer. Hopefully, the inspection comes back with no issues at all and you can carry on with the process with complete peace of mind. From a seller’s perspective, if a survey shows there are a few issues that need to be attended to, you have the option of either arranging them yourselves and having the appropriate evidence or letting potential buyers know of the repairs they will need to carry out. As the property owner, it’s vital to be as upfront as possible during the selling process.

What can I expect from a home buyer septic tank survey?

Our engineer will thoroughly inspect the tank and all pipework, depending on the level of survey selected, carefully running through our comprehensive checklist and noting any issues or concerns. The tank will be emptied and a visual inspection carried out to check for any hidden issues inside, including any cracks or fractures. Any damage to the tank or internal pipework will be highlighted, along with the remedial action that may be required to rectify the issues. Finally, the system will be checked to ensure that it is in working order and that the tank discharges effluent to the required standard set by the Environment Agency.

How long do home buyers tank surveys take?

Generally speaking, most home buyer surveys take around two hours to complete depending on the size of your property and the access to the tank and internal pipework. Please note the Home Buyer Plus or Home Buyer Extra survey, will take additional time whilst on-site to complete.

How much is a home buyer drainage survey?

Much like a regular building survey, the cost of the septic tank inspection will depend on which level of survey you opt for. We offer three levels of survey to suit every requirement and budget and would be happy to talk you through the options and provide quotes.

What happens if you find an issue with the septic tank?

The report we will generate from our survey is comprehensive yet easy to understand, even if you aren’t an expert in wastewater treatment. We’ll always highlight any issues, notifying you of their impact on the system and its ability to treat wastewater effectively. If we find an issue that requires a repair or installation of new parts then we will tell you what they are, how long it will take to repair and the cost of this work. Whether the buyer or the seller requested the inspection, an agreement can be made as to whether the work will be carried out before or after the sale, and whether this will have any impact on the terms of your purchase.

Can I sell my house with an old septic tank?

Yes, you can, however, there is certain information that you are legally required to provide to anybody interested in purchasing your property. These include:

  • The location of the tank.
  • A description of the tank and drainage system including the age.
  • Information regarding any changes made to the system.
  • Details of required maintenance.
  • Details of any issues associated with the septic tank.
  • The date the tank was last emptied.

Drain Survey FAQs

CCTV drain surveys

By choosing the Home Buyer Plus or Home Buyer Extra survey you will have the added benefit of a CCTV drain survey inspection, allowing the engineer to look deep into hidden wastewater pipework for any damage or blockages. You’ll get an electronic copy of the footage to keep as further evidence of the inspection.

The Home Buyer Extra survey is our most comprehensive service, extending the drain survey from wastewater to include stormwater down pipe drainage.

Please note the Home Buyer Plus or Home Buyer Extra survey, will take additional time whilst on site to complete.

Septic Tank surveys for Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas

From our base in Essex, Owls Hall’s inspectors can carry out drainage surveys across the South East and East of England. We can come out to most areas in Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and further afield if required.

The Owls Hall team has years of experience installing, inspecting and servicing sewage treatment facilities in this part of the country. We’re local, responsive and happy to speak to you about anything that comes up as part of your home buyer drain survey.

If you’re moving into a house with a cesspit, septic tank or sewage treatment plant, speak to us if you have any questions about repairs or servicing. We’re happy to provide advice and can send an engineer out if a problem arises after you move in.