A man and woman are standing outside of the Arizona home. They are getting a septic tank inspection.

Selling Your Arizona Home? The Essential Septic Tank Inspection Guide

Table of Contents

Why is septic tank inspection required in Arizona?

In Arizona, getting your septic tank inspected before selling a home isn’t just good practice, it’s mandatory. There are 3 primary reasons behind this requirement:

Reason 1: Legal Necessity

A man standing in front of the Arizona State Capitol building. He's dressed in a suit. He understands the legal necessity of getting a septic tank inspection when selling a home in Arizona.

State Law – Arizona Law R18-9(A)316 mandates a septic system inspection within six months prior to any property transfer involving a septic system. This law cannot be waived by either the buyer or seller, even through contractual agreements.

Transfer of Ownership Requirements – The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) “Transfer of Ownership Program” requires a detailed septic inspection report to be provided to the buyer before the sale finalizes.


Reason 2: Public Health

A man and a woman holding clear glass water bottles in front of their Arizona home. They understand the importance of getting septic tank inspections to protect our Arizona water sources.

Groundwater Contamination – Arizona’s water lifeline, groundwater, faces threats from poorly maintained septic systems. Inspections safeguard this resource by identifying and addressing issues before contamination occurs.

Community Health – Failing septic tanks = yucky backups, stinky smells, and a health risk for the whole neighborhood.

Reason 3: Informed Buyers

A man and a woman standing in front of the Arizona home they are buying. They are informed buyers because the seller of the home completed a septic tank inspection.

Transparency – Pre-sale septic inspection empowers buyers with information about the condition of the system.  This allows them to make informed decisions with septic repair and maintenance costs in mind.

Disclosure – Pre-closing septic inspection avoids future financial burdens for buyers and reduces post-sale liability for sellers.

How do you prepare for an Arizona septic tank inspection?

Don’t sweat the septic check! Follow these 5 tips for a smooth Arizona septic tank inspection. This ensures transparency in the transaction and protects both you and the buyer from potential issues down the line:

Step 1: Know Your System

A woman is standing in front of her Arizona home. She's confident and giving the thumbs up because she learned all about septic tank inspections at clickapro.com

Location – Identify and mark your septic access point and drainfield area (property records or maintenance records may help). This will save the inspector time and limits digging in your yard.

History – Dig up your septic system’s history: installation records, maintenance logs, and past inspections (age and repairs tell a story).

Step 2: Minimize Water Use

A picture of a hose bibb leaking water. Be sure to minimize water use prior to your Arizona Septic Tank Inspection

Reduce Water Activity – Give your septic tank a breather! Skip the water guzzlers (laundry, showers, sprinklers) for 24 hours before the inspection. This allows the liquid in the tank to stabilize for a more accurate inspection.

Avoid Sludge – Avoid flushing feminine products, moist wipes or cooking oil. These items can back up your system in a hurry. If you can’t digest it, neither can your septic tank.

Step 3: Think Safety

A woman wearing a yellow hard hat is standing in front of her Arizona home. She's thinking about how to prepare for her Septic Tank Inspection

Clear Access – Clear away debris and vegetation from the septic access point for easy inspector access.  The inspector will arrive in a large pumping truck, so keep large items like vehicles and trash cans elsewhere during your inspection.

Personal Safety –   Leave the septic lid lifting to the pros! Nasty fumes and gross stuff inside = stay safe, let the inspector handle it.

Step 4: Be Informed

A woman and a man in overalls are standing in front of an Arizona home talking about the home's septic tank system.

Ask Questions – Feel free to ask your inspector any questions you have about the system or any findings. It’s important to understand the results and any recommendations made.

Step 5: Get Organized

Schedule in Advance – Plan the inspection well before closing the sale to avoid delays in the selling process.

Choose a Qualified Inspector – Ensure the inspector is licensed and certified by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

Keep Utilities On – Ensure that your property is connected to water and power.  The inspector will likely need to use your hose bibb and may even need to flush a toilet.

What happens during a septic tank inspection?

The septic tank inspection typically happens in 5 steps:

Step 1: Initial Assessment

An aerial sketch of an Arizona house with a red rectangle in the yard indicating the location of the septic tank.

Expect basic questions about your property, septic system (age, repairs, water usage), and location (inspector finds tank or uses a tank finder).

Step 2: Visual Assessment

A man in the yard of an Arizona home lifting the septic tank cover.

The inspector pops the lid on the tank for a visual check: levels, sludge, cracks, and pipes.

Step 3: Testing and Measurements

A sketch pad, pencil and ruler to sketch out the details of the septic tank.

Measuring, tracing, and testing – the inspector uncovers how well your septic system handles its business.

Step 4: Pumping

A tanker truck parked in front of an Arizona house. It's pumping out the septic tank.

The inspector will pump out your septic tank into their tanker truck.

Step 5: Report

The ADEQ Septic Report

The septic system report: your post-inspection decoder ring. Unravels what the inspector saw, tested, and thinks, along with any repair recommendations.

Time Frame

A sketch of a clock on the wall. It typically takes a couple of hours to complete a septic test.

A typical septic tank inspection in Arizona takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the complexity of the system and the number of tests conducted.  You should expect to receive your completed ADEQ report within about 24 hours.

The 9 pages of the ADEQ Septic Report

What is included in a septic inspection report?

A septic tank inspection report in Arizona is a detailed document outlining the condition of your septic system. It will typically include the following 6 items:

1: General Information

Number 1

The Who, What, Where & When: address, owner, system specs, inspection date & inspector info.

2: Inspection Procedures

Number 2

Tank access methods & test details with any inspection hurdles noted.

3: Observations & Findings

Number 3

A report on the physical condition of the septic system.  Tank examples: cracks, leaks, strength, levels, pipes.  Drainfield examples: ponding, smells, stressed plants.

4: System Functionality

Number 4

The inspector gives your system a thumbs-up or down, flags any glitches, and explains how it all affects the waste game.

5: Recommendations

Number 5

Action plan based on findings: pumping, repairs, replacements, or further testing (prioritized by severity and urgency).

6: Conclusion

Number 6

System health summary, Arizona compliance statement, and inspector contact for questions.

Additional Notes

The specific format and content of the report may vary slightly depending on the inspector and their professional practices.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top