Dear Lake Charles Home Seller: YES You Need a Sewer Inspection

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If you are selling your Lake Charles, LA home and you have a mechanical sewer, community sewer system or septic services  and do not have city utilities, you will need to have a sewer and a possible water well inspection  (if lender requires) when you sell your Louisiana home.

Mechanical sewers and water wells are not limited to country living.  Here in Lake Charles, LA the City has expanded with communities to the South and Southeast.  The expansion rate has occurred so quickly that the City of Lake Charles has not annexed alot of new areas into the “city limits”, we are still growing!  You will find new homes and subdivisions without city utilities so that means private water wells, community sewer systems and residential mechanical sewers.

The Louisiana Residential Agreement to Buy or Sell contains the following language in the contract regarding private water/sewerage:

“PRIVATE WATER/SEWERAGE: In the event there is a private water system or private sewerage system on  the Property, the SELLER shall provide, at SELLER’s expense, approval of the private water or sewerage system operation, in accorance with the appropriate governmental entity  or duly licensed private entity. An approved sewerage and/or water inspection report will be issued within thirty (30) days prior to the Act of Sale by the appropriate governmental agency or duly licensed private entity. The approved inspection and test on the water and/or sewerage system are to be furnished and paid for by the SELLER. Any private water system or private sewerage system repairs necessary to obtain approved  inspection certificate will be paid by SELLER.”

Louisiana Home Sellers should be prepared in advance that they will be required to obtain these inspections and/or any sewer or well repairs at their expense.  Approved Inspection Certificates will be required to close.

Water well inspections in Southwest Louisiana typically cost $200-$250. *

*(this amount should be verified with water well contractor)

 The Calcasieu Parish Health Unit will perform both Sewer and Water Well test/ inspections for a fee.    Payment is accepted by check or money order only and the fee includes both sewer system and water well analysis if necessary.

Sewer inspection costs vary.  Initial inspection costs  from most sewer companies who perform inspections can be  about $250.*  If the sewer system requires a “pump out” that’s usually an extra charge of *$300-400.  (keep in mind these charges will vary by company) There may also be additional charges if there are repairs needed (such as replacing the aerator).  With that in mind, there is the potential of the  Lake Charles home seller incurring an estimated* $500-700 sewer expense that they will be responsible for.  You just don’t know until that sewer guy pops the lid on that sewer and there is also a charge for them to “pull the lid” off on a service call!

* prices  should always be verified by sewer inspection company

It is not a State Law that the seller has to use the Calcasieu Parish Health Unit for inspections, however it is a service that the Health Unit provides as a government entity and they are liable for the inspections.  The Calcasieu Parish Health Unit will often have a record of the sewer system on file.  If the Lake Charles Home Seller does not know who installed their mechanical sewer or septic system, the Seller can call the Health Unit for a record of service history.  The Calcasieu Parish Health Unit will check their database to look for the last inspection, pump out or when the property sewer system was serviced.

Robin Basone of the Calcasieu Parish Health Unit is helpful with questions buyers or sellers may have regarding the inspection services the Health Unit offers in Calcasieu Parish.
The Calcasieu Parish Health Unit staff is experienced with what to look for with discharge to ditches, plant growth, etc.  If a water well system tests positive for bacteria and requires chlorination, make sure the water well is chlorinated properly.  The Lake Charles home seller should run all the taps in the house to smell for chlorine and follow post chlorination procedures.  The Calcasieu Parish Health Unit only tests water for bacteria not chemicals.

The Calcasieu Parish Health Unit is located at 3236 Kirkman Street in Lake Charles, LA  Office hours are 8-10 am and 3-4:30 pm.  Home Sellers may contact Robin Basone for more information 337 480-2611.

View Recommended Procedure for Loan Letter Inspections in Calcasieu Parish

Water Well and Sewer expense is  expected to be provided by Sellers as written in the Louisiana Purchase Contract.

**this blog post was originally posted 6/29/2011 and was updated  on 1/22/13 to include new 2013 contract language providing for  approved private sewer inspection**

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