What you should know about septic tanks in Arizona
Arizona Septic Tank Inspections
When you are selling a home in Arizona that has a septic tank, you must have your septic tank pumped of all solids and all liquids prior to the close of escrow. This is called an inspection and is to be performed by the seller. Because it is called an “inspection” sometimes buyers think it will fall on them to perform this as it is the buyer’s responsibility to inspect the property. The septic tank is different.
The age of your septic system
If there is orange pipe or damage to the AZ septic tank or system, it must be replaced by the seller in order to be certified and pass title to the new owner. This type of piping typically will be found in homes built prior to 1980.
Repairs and a Septic System in Arizona
If repairs are required, this lands on the seller up to 1% of the sales price. You can see this on line 17 of the On Site Wastewater Treatment addendum. You will also note that on line 24 there is a transfer fee. This fee is currently $50.
I do not recommend that you do this prior to being under contract because the inspection is only good for six months. If you do not close within six months you will have to inspect and pump the tank again.
Any person selling or transferring ownership of a property served by an on-site wastewater treatment facility (including a conventional septic tank system or an alternative on-site wastewater treatment facility) must retain a qualified inspector to inspect the facility within six months prior to transferring ownership of the property, (Arizona Administrative Code, A.A.C. R18-9-A316). See Figure 1. Figure 1. Flowchart of Notice of Transfer Process.
An inspector that is qualified under A.A.C. R18-9-A316, must complete the attached Report of Inspection form, and provide it to the seller as required by the Code. If there is more than one on-site system in use on the property, the Inspector shall complete a Report of Inspection form for each system.
Before the transfer date (closing date) of the property, the seller shall provide the buyer with the completed Report of Inspection form and any other documents in their possession that relate to the permitting or operation and maintenance of the septic tanks systems or alternative on-site wastewater treatment facility. DO NOT submit this Report of Inspection form to ADEQ or the local county permitting agency. The Buyer retains this form after receiving it from the Seller. Within 15 calendar days after the date of property transfer, the Buyer shall submit a complete Notice of Transfer form (http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/water/permits/download/presale.doc) for the change of ownership, and file it with the applicable agency indicated in the Notice of Transfer instructions. Information from this Report of Inspection form is needed to fill out the Notice of Transfer that must be submitted by the Buyer.
Effective February 2, 2007, you may be able to file your Notice of Transfer online. Go to the ADEQ web site at http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/water/permits/onsitenot.html for further information regarding this.
Qualified inspectors are required to completely and accurately fill out this form to the best of their knowledge.
Click here for full document and inspection form on Seller Transfer of Septic System in Arizona Horse Property