Septic System Maintenance: An Introduction

Preparing For A New Septic System? Site-Related Issues That May Affect The Installation

If you are planning to build a new home on a parcel of property located in a rural or unincorporated area, it may be necessary to also install a private residential septic system to safely process the liquid and solid waste produced in the home. Since septic systems are designed to utilize the natural filtration qualities of the soil, testing will be needed to determine if the soil makeup in the area where the septic system will be installed is suitable for the project. 

The following information can you better understand common soil testing processes and the site-related issues that may interfere with or affect the installation of a new septic system. 

Soil testing methods 

During the planning process for a new septic system, most installation contractors will utilize a process called percolation testing. During this type of test, a hole is drilled or dug in the soil to a specific depth and then filled with water. The installer will then notate the amount of time, or rate, at which the water is absorbed by the surrounding soil.

Some installers may also choose to do a deep hole test to determine whether a site is suitable for the installation of a septic system. As the name suggests, a deep hole test involves digging a large hole to the depth of the planned septic system leach field, usually somewhere between 7 and 10 feet deep. The exposed soil on the sides of the hole is then closely examined in an effort to determine the location of the water table. 

Options after a failed soil test

If the absorption process does not meet specific parameters for either the percolation test or the deep hole test, the location may be deemed unsuitable for the location of a traditional septic system. When this occurs, the installation contractor may decide to test alternate locations on the parcel of land or suggest non-conventional septic options, such as a mound system or sand filter. 

Another possible option is the aerobic septic system that uses electricity to force air into the tank to help speed up the sewage treatment process inside the tank. Aerobic septic systems can be much more efficient in processing liquid and solid waste but they are more expensive to install and maintain than a traditional septic system. If the parcel of land is large enough, the installation of a cesspool pit or a constructed wetland can also be an option in the event of a failed percolation or deep hole test. 

To get more answers to your septic installation questions, take time to meet with a septic system installation contractor in your area. 

About Me

Septic System Maintenance: An Introduction

Septic systems rely on a delicate balance of specific bacteria and enzymes to properly function and avoid backups, clogs, and similar issues. These systems also need regular pumping, care, and maintenance to keep them functioning at their best. For many homeowners, the septic system is an enigma. As a result, they blindly follow recommendations found online for maintaining that tank. When that maintenance is done improperly, it can actually slow the septic system down or lead to a backup and complete system failure. That's why we created this site. Our goal is to help homeowners understand how to properly care for their septic system to keep it functioning properly. We hope the information here helps you to care for yours.



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