Septic Inspections

This page contains general information about our inspection, pricing, process, and scheduling.

For more details about our inspection report, include a sample report, please see this page

Our Inspection includes:

  • Permit Research

  • Standard Locating Procedures

  • Digging up the lids (up to 2 ft)

  • Video Scope of any accessible lines

  • 10-15 page report with color photos

  • See "Fees" for more information


The state requires us to inform you that for a complete inspection, the tank should be pumped.  We can inspect most tanks without pumping due to new technologies and tools in use, so our standard inspection does not include pumping.


You have the choice at the time you schedule the inspection to:

  • Have the tank pumped

  • Authorize us to pump the tank if necessary:

    • If either compartment has 33% or more of solid as recommended by the state

    • The water level is too high to complete the inspection

  • Decline to have the tank pumped


If we inspect without pumping, we will tell you as part of the report whether the tank:

  • Does not need to be pumped

  • Is about ready to be pumped - buyer can have it done before or after closing, or try to negotiate it with the seller

  • Is overly full - buyer or seller can arrange to have it pumped (or contract with us to have it pumped).  After its pumped, we will come back out one time to finish the inspection

See our "Pumping" page for more information.

Inspection Fees

  • Base Fee - $250 per system*

    • This includes everything listed above, except pumping.

    • $125 nonrefundable deposit at time of request

    • $125 at time of service

  • Trip Fee - by county

    • See this page for complete list.

    • This is charged per trip to property.

  • Electronic Locator - $90

    • In the event that the tank cannot be located within 30 minutes of probing, an electronic locator will be used.

  • Oversized lids - $60 per lid

    • Due to the extra work, time, risk of injury, etc there is an extra fee for any oversized lids: Tombstone, Shelf, Tongue and Groove, Peanut, Slab, etc.  Unless the List Agent/Owner knows, there is no way to know what kind of lid until it is dug up.

  • Dig Fee - $30 per lid

    • This covers the extra time required to dig from 2 to 3 ft deep. Unless the List Agent/Owner knows, there is no way to know how deep the lids are until the inspector locates them.

  • Natural Hazard - $150

    • If there are multiple poison ivy/oak/sumac/etc plants; bees/wasps/hornet nests; or other natural hazard within 5ft of the tank, there will be an extra fee.

  • Broken/Unsafe Lids - $125 per lid

    • Broken lids represent a serious safety concern and as such we are required to replace any such lid that we find.

  • Pumping

    • Three Options:​

      • Pump the main tank​

      • Pump the main tank if it needs it

        • 33% or more of solids​

        • water level is too high to complete inspection

      • Do not pump the tank, even if it needs it - we will complete as much of the inspection as possible​

    • Prices:​ For a standard 1,000 gallon tank.

      • Buncombe & Henderson County: $300​

      • Other Counties: $300 - $400 depending on location - please call our office for details.

    • In a properly functioning system, the main tank is the only tank that should need pumped. Distribution Boxes, ​Pump Tanks, etc can be pumped for an additional fee.

    • Main Tanks larger than 1,000 gallons will have an additional fee

* Individual Systems vary but may include:

  • A Main Tank, a Pump Tank, a Distribution Box, A Drain field (or two drain fields with a valve)

Additional components (additional tanks, etc) may have an extra charge.

If you need this information for future reference, please click on the pdf icon to the left.



  • Request Service (by email or phone)

    • If you have a due diligence date, or other deadline, please reach out to us at least 7 days before when possible.

    • Please include:

      • the client's name, email, and phone

        • property address
        • client's relationship to property (buyer, owner, agent, etc)

        • Due Diligence Date, if applicable

        • Pumping: yes, no, if needed (please contact us or see above for more information)

        • Permit or any other information you might have on the system

        • (the client is whomever is paying)

  • Complete Paperwork

    • We will request a permit from the county.

    • We will call 811 to have utilities marked for everyone's safety.

    • The client will receive an invoice and an inspection information via email.

    • The list agent/owner will receive a state required permission to dig form and a system information form via email.

  • Schedule

    • Once all the paperwork has been completed/paid and returned we will contact the client and/or their agent to get it on the schedule.

    • The permit is the only exception: since some counties can take 2 or more weeks, we will usually schedule before they respond.

  • Inspection Report

    • It can take a business day or two to get the report, pictures, videos, permit, etc and get it put together.  Once it's ready, it will be emailed to the client and whomever else they have designated.


Once we have received all the completed paperwork and the payment, we will reach out to the client to get the inspection on the schedule.


Please note the following:

  • Please let us know up front if there are any scheduling considerations: pets, tenants/24 hr notice, etc.

  • We do not perform septic inspections during the home inspection. The home inspector will be running water and appliances in the house; and if we are looking at the tank at the same time, we get splashed with sewage, plus it makes it hard for us to get a good look with the camera.  There are also a lot of people present for the home inspection while we are trying to dig holes and that presents an unsafe situation.

  • Due to the nature of the job we cannot guarantee a specific day or time.

    • There are many factors that influence our scheduling; including weather, previous jobs, cancellations, traffic, and other unforeseen circumstances.

  • Attending the inspection

    • Our report does include pictures of everything, so you'll be able to see exactly what the inspector sees.

    • Please let us know up front if the list agent, owner, buyer's agent or buyer want or need to be present for the inspection.  We can give you an estimated time with a 30min call ahead.

      • For everyone's health and safety we ask that everyone remains 25ft back from the work area, until the inspector invites you over.

      • Please wear closed toe shoes if you are planning to enter the work area.

      • No children.

  • We will call it into showing times

    • We call a window of time into showing times - the start and end time of the showing times appointment are not guaranteed arrival/departure times.


If we are not able to inspect all items due to circumstances out of our control, a reinspection can be requested after the obstacle is removed for the trip fee plus a reinspect fee of $150.


These reasons can include:

  • Returning after the tank has been pumped.

  • Components are inaccessible due to

    • personal items (boxes, furniture, etc);

    • plants (flowers, bushes, shrubs, trees, etc);

    • insufficient access to yard (gate locked, pets or children in yard, etc);

    • tank too deep to excavate by hand;

    • stairs, deck, patio, sidewalk, shed, or other structure/landscaping over components

    • Rocks, boulders, retaining walls or other landscaping over components

    • Utility (or other) lines across tank (including power, internet/cable/phone, water lines, irrigation systems, etc)

Please contact our office if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

Call Now:828.552.5174

WNC Independent Laboratories

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