ON-SITE SEWAGE SYSTEMS HYDRAULIC LOAD TESTS: On-site Sewage Systems Hydraulic Load Tests in cases where the absorbtion fields are found to be "holding" water, there are more occupants moving into the home than are currently living there* or if the home has been vacant for a period of 7** days or longer, a hydraulic load test is recommended. This test involves the introduction of a prescribed volume of water into the absorbtion system and documentation of how much water is absorbed over a 24 hour period. Additional water is then introduced on the second day of the test and monitored. The inspector then applies a mathmatical equation to determine whether or not the system is fuctioning properly and can handle the load requirements. A hydraulic load test will not damage a septic system.
* This is required because a system that is currently servicing two people may not be capable of servicing four people. The number of baths in the home is irrelevant.
** If the home has been vacant for a period of seven or more days no sustained amount of water has been introduced into the system, thereby allowing the absorbtion fields to "dry out". Performance of the hyraulic load test will enable the system to be operated in "normal conditions" even though the fields have dried out.
ON-SITE SEWAGE-TEST: ValueGuard utilizes a semi-invasive testing and inspection technique in all on-site sewer inspections. In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association standards are utilized. These guidelines are the product of a collaboration between Penn State University and the septic industry. During an on-site sewer inspection the tank will be located and the cover will be excavated to facilitate an inspection of the inside of the tank, the baffles, scum/sludge levels and the water level. The inspector will then locate and probe the absorption fields to determine if they are "holding" water which would indicate a potential problem. Dye testing is not an accurate or credible on-site inspection as it is not complete and does not provide reliable results. If there is a problem with the tank, baffles or piping, the system is deemed to be in unsatisfactory operating condition. Repairs or replacement would be required. If there is a problem with the absorption field(s) the system would again be deemed to be in unsatisfactory operating condition. This finding would warrant further testing via hydraulic loading or repairs/replacement. On-site sewage systems exist in many forms. If you need specific information please contact ValueGuard.
You cannot see, smell or taste Radon; however, it may be a problem in
your home or a property you are purchasing. Radon is a radioactive gas
that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium is soild and rock. This
gas moves through the earth and enters buildings through cracks and/or
holes in foundations and floors and accumulates. The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) and Surgeon General have identified Radon gas as the second
leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Living in a home with
elevated radon readings for a long period of time significantly increases
your chances of contracting the disease. The risk is even more pronounced
if you smoke or have ever smoked. The only way to determine if you are
at risk from Radon is to perform testing. The EPA and Surgeon General
recommend testing for all homes below the third floor for Radon. The EPA
also recommends that all schools be tested. However, since Radon can get
into any building, it is certainly advisable to test office and other
buildings as well. Testing is simple and inexpensive. If your test results
are elevated (at or above 4.0 pCi/l per the EPA action guideline) additional
testing or mitigation may be required. Even high levels of Radon can be
reduced to acceptable levels for a relatively low-cost.
RADON TEST TYPES: There are several types of testing devices for radon; however, all fall into one of two different categories - active or passive. The following are the testing devices that ValueGuard utilizes:
RADON IN WATER: The primary source of radon in homes is from the soil and rock beneath them; however, in some cases elevated Radon levels can be attributed to Radon in the water supply. This is of particular concern in homes that rely on a well or community well.
When the water is agitated in the home, by such means as washing clothes and showering, the Radon in the water is released into the air.
If the radon in water concentrations are high, a mitigation system is installed at the point where the water enters the home. There are two types of systems; water aeration or activated charcoal. The activated charcoal systems are the most widely used and typically cost $1000.00 to $1500.00 to install. The charcoal media in the system also needs to be replaced and disposed of properly on a periodic basis.
The EPA is proposing the regulation of public water supplies (systems that serve 25 or more individuals and have 15 or more service connections). Private wells are not currently slated for regulation; however, the regulations will likely be of value to purchasers of homes with private wells.
Radon in water can be tested accurately and at a low cost. Contact ValueGuard for further information.