Soil Testing:

A "soil test" is generally required whenever someone wants to:

  1. Replace an existing septic system.
  2. Divide land into buildable parcels.
  3. Build on an existing parcel, which has had no previous (or incomplete) soils work.
  4. Add on to an existing home (when the addition exceeds a certain % of the home size).
  5. Retention Pond Analysis

A "soil test" is usually one of the first steps taken in most land development and construction projects. Governing agencies who issue the sanitary, and other necessary building permits, require the soils information at an early stage in the process. This test and its associated information will determine the type, size, and location of the septic system.

Please call us early on in your construction and land planning projects. Six months to one year ahead of a desired "start of construction" date is not too soon. Our detailed soil analysis reports have no expiration date.

Most soil tests are done with the use of a full size backhoe. Pits are dug large enough to allow a Soil Tester to closely view and document the soil type and layering found at various depths. Soil conditions can and will differ from property to property. Some will qualify for a conventional (in-ground) system; others will require a mound or some type of above ground system.

Septic Systems:
Circumstances and practices that will shorten the life of any septic system:

  1. Grease – Grease and animal fats solidify at room temperature and form a solid mass inside your septic system, which cannot be broken down. Grease should be treated as garbage and kept out of your septic system.

  2. Non-biodegradable waste entering your septic system – Such as:

    • Cigarette Filters
    • Condoms
    • Cotton Swabs
    • Dental Floss
    • Disposable Diapers
    • Hand Wipes
    • Infant Wipes
    • Sanitary Napkins

    These products will not decompose in your septic system and may plug the lines, baffles, and drainfield perforations.

  3. Chemicals – Including:

    • Antibiotics & Medicines
    • Disinfectants
    • Gasoline, Oil & Degreasers
    • Painting products
    • Pesticides

    These chemicals will kill septic tank bacteria which results in a severe decline in decomposition of septic tank solids, allowing this solids build up to flow out into the drain field.

  4. Overloading – due to:

    • Leaking plumbing fixtures.
    • Undersized drainfield, and/or septic tank.
    • Surge loading from high water usage, such as from washing many loads of cloths in one day verses a load or two a day.

  5. Clear Water Discharges – Such as:

    • Water softener discharges
    • Humidifier water
    • Building foundation drains

    These are all considered "clear water", which may be disposed of into the ground, separate from the septic system.

  6. Surface drainage.

    Steps should be taken to divert the flow of surface snowmelt and rainwater away from your septic field area. Roof downspouts, driveway runoff and drainage swales should be directed away from the septic system area.

Maintenance:
A few tips and things you can do to prolong the life of a new or existing septic system.

  1. Do not use a garbage disposal.
  2. Do not use septic system additives.
  3. Have your septic tank(s) pumped every 1 to 2 years.
  4. Have a filter installed into your septic tank.
  5. Install water saving fixtures in your home.
  6. Keep parked vehicles and heavy traffic off the drainfield area.