Septic System Inspections

We are state licensed to perform septic system inspections, called Time-of-Transfer Inspections. These inspections are required by the state when selling a property that contains a septic system. These inspections generally run $450, plus pumping.

Full reports are given to the county environmental health department and the Iowa DNR as per Iowa law SF261. These inspections are required prior to the sale or deed transfer of every home or building with a septic system. Certain exceptions to apply. Please refer to the Iowa DNR website for more information on exceptions and details.

What Happens During Inspection

A basic overview of what occurs during a Time-of-Transfer septic inspection is as follows:

  1. We receive a request for the inspection
  2. We request any available information from the county environmental health department
  3. Using the information received, we locate, dig up, pump and inspect the system.
  4. We provide our report to the county environmental health department and the Iowa DNR
  5. We await approval that everything is clear.

A Little Clarity

We want to clarify something here…

These inspections are not to determine if your septic system is completely up to code and charge you thousands of dollars to fix it before a sale can be completed. The overall reason for these inspections is to determine if your septic system is dumping raw sewage in to the environment. Basically…does your system have a drainfield. If it is determined that your system is dumping raw sewage in to the environment, there are two options for you. Option one is to have the seller fix the system before the sale. Option two is to have a written agreement that the purchaser will fix the system. There is a little more to it than that, but that’s a short summary.


We are not in any position to give legal advise. The information given on this page, and anywhere on our website, is to the best of our knowledge based on research and years of experience. This information is provided only as a guide for basic information to get you started and make you aware. For the best advice, we advise you to contact your attorney, real estate agent, county environmental health department or the Iowa DNR before making any final decisions.