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TOPIC: Septic Inspection- Black Water

Septic Inspection- Black Water 5 years 1 month ago #61232

Hi All,

The septic inspector opened/uncovered the tank through D-box in a visual inspection and saw the septic liquid was black. He said this was not normal and may be due to dead bacteria in the tank. The leech field (stone and pipe) showed no issues and good drainage. At a minimum, we will be having the septic pumped

Normally when I attend these inspections we see a grayish/milky liquid throughout and was wondering of anyone had seen this before and what they did to correct it.

Thanks for your help!!

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Re: Septic Inspection- Black Water 5 years 1 month ago #61233

First of all, I am not an expert/specialist concerning septic systems. However, I lived in a rural setting for nearly 25 yrs and septic systems were a way-of-life, so to speak. I built several septic systems from scratch, including the one servicing my own home. An acquaintance of mine ran a business pumping out septic systems and so had plenty of tales to tell about what he'd find inside tanks ;D

Black water, as the inspector notes, is an indication of a problem, and possibly the tank is "dead" and needs to be cleaned and restarted. The following link makes for some interesting reading:


The Pumper magazine is published by folks in the liquid waste industry, so there's a good deal of expertise there.

The only way you are going to know what's happening inside the tank is to have someone with expertise in liquid waste treatment do an analysis of your waste water.

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Re: Septic Inspection- Black Water 5 years 1 month ago #61234

Thanks Robert!

No only is the title of this website amusing  :D, but that is a great article.

We will be checking with the current owner on the use of every flush disinfectants and other septic additives.

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