Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

Why Maintain My Septic System?

- Friday, June 17, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction - Cleaning The Draining Pipe and Septic System

When septic systems are properly designed, constructed, and maintained, they effectively reduce or eliminate most human health or environmental threats posed by pollutants in household wastewater. However, they require regular maintenance or they can fail. Septic systems need to be monitored to ensure that they work properly throughout their service lives.

Saving money

A key reason to maintain your septic system is to save money! Failing septic systems are expensive to repair or replace, and poor maintenance is often the culprit. Having your septic system inspected regularly is a bargain when you consider the cost of replacing the entire system. Your system will need pumping depending on how many people live in the house and the size of the system. An unusable septic system or one in disrepair will lower your property value and could pose a legal liability.

Protecting health and the environment

Other good reasons for safe treatment of sewage include preventing the spread of infection and disease and protecting water resources. Typical pollutants in household wastewater are nitrogen, phosphorus, and disease-causing bacteria and viruses. If a septic system is working properly, it will effectively remove most of these pollutants.

With one-fourth of U.S. homes using septic systems, more than 4 billion gallons of wastewater per day is dispersed below the ground’s surface. Inadequately treated sewage from septic systems can be a cause of groundwater contamination. It poses a significant threat to drinking water and human health because it can contaminate drinking water wells and cause diseases and infections in people and animals. Improperly treated sewage that contaminates nearby surface waters also increases the chance of swimmers contracting a variety of infectious diseases. These range from eye and ear infections to acute gastrointestinal illness and diseases like hepatitis.


How is a Septic Inspection Done?

- Monday, June 13, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic System Inspection

There are two types of septic inspections.

Visual Inspections

When buying or selling a house, the home inspector will usually complete a visual inspection.

A visual inspection involves asking a few questions, such as how old the house is, how often the owner pumps the septic system, and when the last inspection was. The inspector will then flush all the toilets and run all the water in the house to make sure the water pressure is up to par and everything is draining properly. Finally, the inspector will go out to the drain field to make sure there is no standing water, which can indicate a cesspool.

A visual inspection is helpful and quick, but a full inspection can really tell you the real story behind the health of the septic system.

Full Inspections

A full inspection includes everything a visual inspection includes, but it also goes the extra mile. This inspection is the one you'll want to get done every three to five years.

In a full inspection, inspectors will remove the cover to the septic tank and check the water level. The water level can or show whether the water is draining properly. The inspector will then run water in the house to make sure it is properly flowing from the house to the septic tank, and to make sure the water level within the tank does not rise when they introduce more water.

The inspector may use a dye test during this part of their inspection. In a dye test, the inspector will introduce dye into the water that is being drained to see how much of it enters the septic tank.

From there, the septic tank will get pumped and the inspector will check for any backflow from the absorption area. The backflow level tells the inspector if there is a problem with your drain field. The flow level is then checked again to make sure every aspect of the septic system is in working order and there are no blockages.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Designing a Septic System: The Processes Considered

- Friday, June 03, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction

Sewage inflow

Maximum sewage flows into a septic tank is based upon a number of plumbing fixtures and discharging simultaneously.

The estimated number of fixtures serving 50 people for residential colonies up to 300 for boarding schools is estimated from peak discharge tables.


For a standard temperature of 25⁰C, 10 liters per minute flow rate and 0.92 m2 surface area are required.

For 0.05 mm size particle removal, more than 75% sewage of specific gravity 1.2 mm and a minimum depth of 25-30 cm is required.

Sludge digestion

The suspended solids entering the may be taken as 70 gm per day per capita.

Assume 60% of solid removed along with fresh sludge with 5% solid content.

The volume of fresh sludge may be taken as 0.0083 m3 / capita/day.

The digestion period for average sludge is 63 days.

Considering the volume required for sludge and scum accumulated, the septic tank is designed for the detention period of 24 to 48 hours.

For more information on designing a septic system, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Is Septic Tank Maintenance Different at a Lake House?

- Monday, May 30, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Checking Septic Tank

At a lake house, more is at stake. Maintaining water quality is the primary concern with any water-adjacent sanitary sewage system. Lake homeowners have a responsibility to the nearby body of water.

Despite the higher call of duty, there should be no difference in your behavior at a residential home versus a lake home. For instance, in both houses, you would not pour chemicals down the drain, use the garbage disposal, or park near the septic tank. The biggest difference would be how often you perform maintenance on it since you’ll want to clean and empty lake home septic tanks more regularly.

Even then, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for septic tank maintenance at a lake home. The type and cost of maintenance depend on the topography, presence of bedrock, the height of the water table, and type of soil.

There are multiple considerations when deciding on the type of system and its maintenance. Septic systems are often necessary for the lake homeowner due to the often rural locations of many lakes. Consult a local septic tank expert for personalized advice on the topic and remember to consider the septic system when buying, selling, or building your next lake home.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Septic System Design Basics

- Friday, May 20, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Design Basics

Site Evaluation: There are two considerations to "perc test" or site evaluation:

  1. the soil type and
  2. projected sewage usage.

To determine your projected sewer usage, please check with your local health department or regulator agency. Please note: the site evaluation is done with a backhoe.

Soil Classification:

Soil classification is determined by the US Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Classification System. The importance of soil classification should not be underestimated. If the soil is inaccurately classified, it could cause unnecessary delays and expense. Please consult with a soil expert before proceeding with your septic system design project.

Designing a Septic System:

Hire a septic system design engineer to design a septic system based on your house or building's plan; this will help to ensure that the septic system design meets all local regulations.

Department of Health Evaluation:

In most states, the Department of Health is the agency that regulates septic systems. This agency also reviews and approves and/or denies septic system design plans. The engineer that designed your septic system will have to not only submit the designs, but also the soil classification results and the "perc test" or site evaluation in order for the plans to be considered for approval.


Congratulations! Your septic system design has been approved. If you followed the proper septic system design procedures, you should hear those words. If approved, the septic system engineer should give you a copy of the approved designs.

Now you have a basic understanding of the process for designing a septic system. For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Adding a Septic Tank and Connecting to Existing Sewer Lines

- Friday, May 13, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction

The simplest way to add to your septic tank while remaining connected to existing sewer lines is to simply add an additional septic tank. This gives your home a larger wastewater capacity, and gives your septic system more time to treat the wastewater before draining.

If you're adding a septic tank, first the correct placement needs to be determined, it should be between your current tank and your drain field (sometimes called a septic field line).

The ground for your new septic tank must be excavated using the dimensions of your septic tank as a guide. An excavator will be used to make an adequately sized hole, taking special care around the outlet of the older septic tank.

A 4-inch pipe will be used to connect the two septic tanks. The pipe will be placed into the inlet hole of your new septic tank before it is lowered into the ground. After your new septic tank has been lowered, the other end of the pipe will be inserted into your old septic tank's outlet hole. The pipe should hang over the two tank interiors by around 2 inches.

The hole around your new septic tank is then refilled with soil. The compactness of your soil will be checked using a vibrancy soil compactor.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: Backups

If you are experiencing a high level of plumbing backups, it's a sign that something is wrong with your septic system. It could be something as easy as a tiny repair, or as extensive as a tank replacement. Either way, you need an inspector to figure that out.

Healthy Grass

If your grass is greener over your septic area than it is in other parts of your yard, it's time to check your septic system. When a septic system begins to fail, it puts more water out into the ground which can enrich your plant life but can be dangerous for people.

Results of an Inspection

If your inspection turns up contaminated well water or irreparable damage to the septic tank itself, you will probably need a new system.

How to Maintain Your Septic System

You can make sure your septic system lasts longer by making sure to never flush tampons, paper towels, baby wipes, or really any foreign objects that cannot break down easily in your septic system.

Use a garbage disposal, if you have one, to help break down any food that will clog the pipes. Make sure you never put grease down the sink, as that can clog up the septic tank.

Find a laundry detergent that's safe for septic systems as well.

Small amounts of bleach are okay to have in your septic tank, but never flush medication, anti-freeze or harmful chemicals, as they damage the bacteria in your septic system which creates issues down the road.

If you have a sump pump, make sure that it is not hooked up to the septic system. Sump pumps put too much water into the septic system which can have adverse effects on how it breaks down the waste.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Septic Systems for New Construction

- Friday, April 22, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Construction Fiskdale, MA

If you are building a new septic system (including a conventional septic system or an innovative/alternative (I/A) system) or upgrading an existing one, there are Title 5 requirements that must be followed in order to prevent damage to human health and the environment.

System owner's responsibilities

Whether or not you are the person actually doing the construction, it is always the system owner's responsibility to ensure things are done in accordance with Title 5 regulations (310 CMR 15.000). If you have questions related to building or expanding a new Title 5 system, you should contact your local Board of Health directly as they are the primary regulatory authority for new construction.

For new construction of a system, the first step is to go to your local Board of Health as well as your local Building Department. You will need to obtain permits from both separately. You should initially provide each department with a verbal explanation of what you're proposing.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Signs of Septic System Failure

- Monday, April 18, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Signs of Septic System Failure
  • Water and sewage from toilets, drains, and sinks are backing up into the home.
  • Bathtubs, showers, and sinks drain very slowly.
  • Gurgling sounds in the plumbing system.
  • Standing water or damp spots near the septic tank or drainfield.
  • Bad odors around the septic tank or drainfield.
  • Bright green, spongy lush grass over the septic tank or drainfield, even during dry weather.
  • Algal blooms in nearby ponds or lakes.
  • High levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria in water wells.

Like most components of your home, septic systems require routine maintenance. If maintained, the septic system should provide reliable service for many years. If the septic system isn't maintained, owners run the risk of dangerous and costly failures. And, septic systems do have an operational lifetime and will eventually need to be replaced.

A failed or malfunctioning septic system is a risk to human and animal health and can pollute the environment. A responsible septic owner is alert to the signs of failure, regardless of the age of the system, and responds quickly when any are discovered. A quick response may save the owner money in repairs and may prevent illness and negative impact on the environment.

What happens when a septic system fails?

A septic system failure causes untreated sewage to be released and transported to where it shouldn't be. This may cause sewage to come to the surface of the ground around the tank or the drainfield or to back up in pipes in the building. The sewage could also find its way into groundwater, surface water, or marine water without us ever seeing it. The sewage carries pathogens and other dangerous contaminants. Exposure to these pathogens and contaminants can make people and animals sick. They can also contaminate water sources and make them unsafe for drinking, swimming, shellfish harvesting, and agricultural uses.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


What are Septic Tank Maintenance Tasks?

- Friday, April 08, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction -  Sepic System

Even when your septic system is safely in the ground, that doesn't mean your responsibility for its upkeep is done. A septic tank will need to be maintained—which mainly boils down to having it pumped every few years. This keeps the sludge at the bottom from rising so high that it spills into your yard.

This is why the Environmental Protection Agency recommends having your septic system pumped once every one to three years.

The price range for pumping the tank is not too high compared to the cost of ignoring this small maintenance task. At the very least, have your tank checked to see if it needs to be pumped. This is not the kind of thing you want to let slide, unless you want a sewage plant in your backyard.

And there are ways to save on maintenance: Just use less water by installing low-flow toilets and not running the water more than necessary. And in addition to researching the costs of installing and maintaining a home septic system, be sure to review and understand all your local laws and regulations involving wastewater treatment and related issues.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.