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If you’ve bought or sold a home around the Pittsburgh area, you may remember a dye test being required on your drain lines. What is a dye test, what does it do and what will it tell you about your home’s septic lines? Here are the details you need to determine whether you need a dye test, how to have one done and what it means:

Dye Testing 101

A dye test checks whether sewer lines are leaking in or around your home or business if you live in an area with a sanitary sewer. They’re used to ensure that contaminated water, also referred to as black water, doesn’t enter creeks, ponds, lakes or rivers in the area. Some bacteria and chemicals found in sewage can be very harmful to wildlife and plant life in the area, so it’s an important check to have done, as it helps protect our environment. How do you find out if you live in an area with a sanitary sewer? The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will map your address and determine whether you live in an area with a combined sewer, which doesn’t require a test, or in an area with a sanitary sewer, which does require a dye test.

How to Conduct a Dye Test

To run a dye test, a qualified plumber comes to your home and introduces a dye into your drainage system. The plumber will then check that the water in your drains is reaching the sewer system properly. Testing is very affordable and can be done fairly quickly, so you have time before your home closes to discover the results. What if your home doesn’t pass the dye test? The plumber who performs the test can help you determine where the problem is and the best way to go about fixing it. By having a dye test done shortly after an offer is accepted, you have time to make necessary repairs and can have the system re-tested before the closing takes place.

Even if you’re not selling or buying a home, you may still want to have a dye test performed, especially if there are problems in your area where there are sanitary sewers that overflow during heavy rains. If you have questions, would like to schedule an appointment for a dye test, please contact us. We’ve been serving the greater Pittsburgh area for more than 63 years.