Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

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Septic System Performance Problem

- Friday, May 10, 2024
Morse Engineering and Construction - Checking septic system

Most septic system problems are a result of poor initial design, misuse, or physical damage, such as driving heavy vehicles over the leach field. Common conditions that can cause a septic system to perform poorly include:

  • House plumbing. clogged or inadequate plumbing vents, blockage between the house and septic tank, or inadequate pitch in sewer pipe from house
  • Septic tank to leach field. Blockage between the septic tank and leach field caused by a plugged or broken tank outlet, or a plugged line to the leach field cause by tree roots, or by solids that overflowed from the tank
  • Leach field piping. Driving or parking heavy vehicles over the leach field can break the perforated leach pipe, especially if it is not uniformly supported by the gravel bed. Usually tree roots do not penetrate through the gravel bed into the perforated piping.
  • Leach field sizing: Drain field may be too small for current flow levels out of the home. Reducing flows though use of flow restricters, and low-flow faucets and fixtures might help.
  • High water table. A seasonal high water table can saturate the soil around the trenches impairing the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater. This is sometimes an issue on relatively flat building sites with poor surface drainage. This can often be fixed by installing subsurface drains or curtain drains to intercept the water flow toward the leach field area and to lower the water table locally.
  • For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction


    Inspecting Septic Systems: What to Expect

    - Friday, April 26, 2024
    Morse Engineering and Construction - Checking Septic System

    What should I expect in a typical septic system inspection?

    Septic system inspections are a vital step in making sure your system is operating properly. Regular inspections ensure you and your family do not get sick due to a leak or other problems with your septic system. Since these wastewater systems are located underground, homeowners may overlook having a septic inspection. Routine inspections help prevent expensive repairs to your system or avoid a sewage backup in your home. In many states, a septic system must be inspected with the transfer of real estate. However, it is not only when you are buying a home that these inspections are needed. Septic system inspections should be done every 1 to 3 years for as long as you own your home.

    In general, an inspection will involve the following:

    Review of the system permit, design, and installation records (including system age)

    Review of the septic tank pumping and system maintenance records

    Opening and inspecting all tanks (septic tank, pump tank, distribution box)

    Evaluating the septic tank sludge and scum levels and determining the need to pump

    Assessing the condition of the septic tank effluent filter (if installed)

    Looking for signs of leakage, such as low water levels in the tank

    Looking for signs of backup, such as staining in the tank above the outlet pipe

    Evaluating the integrity of the tank, inlet and outlet pipes and looking for signs of corrosion

    Verifying all electrical connections, pumps, controls, and wiring are intact

    Possibly using a camera to look at solid pipes and leach lines for blockages or collapsed piping

    Evaluating the drainfield for signs of system failure, such as standing water (surfacing) or unequal drainage

    Possibly excavating parts of the drainfield to look for signs of ponding in the system or groundwater impacting the drainfield

    Examining the distribution box for structural integrity and to make sure drain lines are receiving equal flow

    Reviewing other available records on water use and required inspections, monitoring, and reporting to ensure system compliance with local regulations regarding function and permit conditions.

    Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


    Septic System Excavation Costs

    - Friday, April 19, 2024

    A typical residential excavation job can range between $1,552 and $6,340, with an average of $3,931. You'll likely pay between $40 to $150 an hour. Alternatively, you may pay fixed pricing, or the project bid amount. Project bids reflect cubic yards of dirt moved, usually between $50 and $200 per cubic yard.

    In residential settings, a local residential excavation company prepares a site for development by removing trees, digging and grading the land in preparation for home foundations. If it has to do with dirt—dirt removal, cut and fill, land clearing, digging, compacting, and land prep—these earthmoving experts do it.

    Although the specific machinery used for excavation may vary depending on the size of the lot and the plant life already in place, the most common choices are either an excavator, backhoe loader, or tracker with a backhoe attachment. Many elements influence how much you'll pay for excavation, including accessibility, terrain, equipment, gradient, and the project purpose.


    Septic Tanks and Systems: What you Need to Know

    - Tuesday, April 16, 2024
    Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank

    How many years does a septic tank last?

    Depending on several elements, a septic tank will typically last 14 to 40 years.

    Tank material: Concrete requires more maintenance, but commercial-grade fiberglass and plastic tend to last decades.

    Maintenance: Get inspections every one to three years and pump it out every three to five years. If you have a larger home with more than three bedrooms and tend to use a lot of water, aim for every three years at a minimum.

    Vehicle traffic over the leach field: Driving over the leach field compresses it and may cause it to fail.

    Soil composition: Varying soil types and depths affect how long it may last.

    What are the signs I need a new septic tank?

    There are a few signs you should get a new septic tank. These include the following:

    Unpleasant odors: If you smell sewage, you may be dealing with an overfilled septic tank that's solid waste.

    Standing water: If there's no obvious cause for standing water like heavy rainfall, you may have an oversaturated drain field or a broken pipe or septic system.

    Slow draining: A full septic tank will cause pipes to drain more slowly.

    Patches of vibrant grass: A wastewater leak can actually fertilize grass, making it grow thicker and greener over your septic area.

    Home addition: Building onto your house or adding more residents will affect the septic system. Make sure your septic tank can handle any additions.

    Nearby water contamination: A septic tank leak can lead to wastewater contamination that can deposit nitrate, nitrite, or coliform bacteria in water sources near your home. If these bacteria are found nearby, check your septic system to see if it's the source.

    Old age: If your septic tank is at the end of its life span, it's time for a new one.

    How much do septic system repairs cost?

    Septic tank repairs cost $650 to $3,000 by a septic system repair pro near you. Tank repairs usually cost less than $1,500 for each type of repair or part (listed below), while leach fields run $2,000 to $20,000.

    Tank pump: $800–$1,500; a septic tank located lower than the drain field may require a pump to bring wastewater up to the drain field.

    Pumping cost: $300–$600; even a properly functioning system will need to be pumped every three to five years to remove the solid waste.

    Tank lid: $100–$300 to purchase and install; you'll only spend $50–$150 buying the lid and putting it on yourself.

    Tank lid risers: $300–$1,000; they raise the lid level up to the surface for deeply buried tanks.

    Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


    Septic FAQs

    - Thursday, March 21, 2024
    Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank

    How often should I pump my septic tank?

    The frequency with which you should have your septic tank pumped depends on factors like the tank’s size and the level of your household’s usage. Typically, pumping is recommended every three to five years to prevent overflows and maintain your septic system’s efficiency. However, consulting a professional for personalized advice based on your specific situation is a wise approach.

    What are the signs of septic tank problems?

    Signs of septic tank problems can include foul odors around the tank area, slow-draining sinks or toilets, sewage backups in your home, unusually green or lush grass near the tank, or even gurgling sounds in your plumbing. If you notice any of these signs, it's critical to address them immediately to prevent further septic system issues and costly repairs.

    How can I prevent septic tank problems?

    Preventing septic tank problems starts with responsible usage. Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items like wipes or chemicals. Limit excessive water use, fix leaks promptly, and schedule regular tank inspections. Be cautious about what you plant or build over the tank, as roots and heavy structures can damage it. These measures help maintain a healthy septic system and prevent costly issues down the road.

    Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


    10 Types of Septic Systems for Your Home

    - Monday, March 18, 2024
    Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic System

    Septic designs vary from home to home depending on the size of the lot, soil type, slope of the ground, proximity to nearby bodies of water, climate, and more. This list describes nine types of septic tanks and designs, each with different advantages and uses. Learn more about each before hiring a septic tank company to find the best system for your needs.

    1. Septic Tank

    If you already have a septic system on your property, you might only have to deal with replacing a septic tank rather than installing a new system. Luckily, this is a job that happens only once every couple of decades, assuming the original septic tank was of high-quality construction and was pumped as needed every three to five years.

    While you might be able to make do with other home appliances or systems that are on their proverbial last legs, you can’t go for very long with septic tank that needs replacing. And while no one likes to get hit with an unexpected bill for a replacement appliance, a new septic tank is arguably at the better end of the bargain when one considers what could go wrong in the event of an entire septic system failure.

    The cost of a new septic tank will vary depending on the size of the tank, which is determined by your household’s waste needs. A 500-gallon tank, for example, costs between $500 and $900 and is ample for the needs of a one-bedroom home. However, it will cost $900 to $1,500 for a three- to four-bedroom home, and upwards of $1,500 for a six-bedroom home or larger.

    2. Conventional Anaerobic Septic System

    A conventional home septic system starts with an underground watertight septic tank. Waste flows from the home into the tank, where heavy solids settle on the bottom and oils float to the top. Liquid waste, or effluent, is then pushed into a system of distribution pipes that branch out and slowly release wastewater into an area of land called a drain field.

    Drain fields are deep, underground trenches lined with gravel and strong geofabric. Along with natural microbes, these layers filter out contaminants to protect the environment. Because conventional systems are the most common type of septic system for single-family homes, they are relatively easy to repair when needed.

    3. Chamber System

    Chamber septic systems are a common alternative to conventional gravel systems in places with a high groundwater table. Instead of using gravel drain fields, these systems consist of a series of connected open-bottomed leaching chambers surrounded by soil. Microbes in the soil around the chambers treat a home’s wastewater before it’s released and travels toward the groundwater.

    These systems can be built more easily than conventional systems and sometimes consist of recycled materials, but the added chambers may require extra maintenance.

    4. Drip Distribution System

    Drip distribution septic systems use a buried network of small tubing to disperse effluent over a large drain field. After the septic tank is a large dose tank that collects wastewater and releases it slowly as the tubes in the drain field empty. This timed release helps avoid overflowing the drain field.

    The large dosing tank may require additional maintenance and electrical power to run, making drip distribution more expensive than conventional systems. The small pipes also require filters to prevent large debris from clogging the system. However, the piping is buried in shallow soil and can be convenient to access if needed.

    5. Aerobic Treatment Unit

    Aerobic treatment units (ATUs) are like small-scale municipal sewage plants. They inject oxygen into the septic tank to increase natural bacterial activity, adding nutrients to the wastewater for treatment. Some aerobic systems also have pretreatment and final treatment tanks to disinfect the water before dispersing it into the environment.

    ATUs work in homes with smaller lots, inadequate soil conditions, high water tables, or nearby bodies of water that are sensitive to contamination.

    6. Mound System

    Mound septic systems get their name from a large, raised mound built to contain the drain field. Effluent from the septic tank transfers to a pump chamber that pumps it into a mound of gravel and sand at timed intervals. The effluent filters through the sand and eventually disperses into the soil.

    Mound systems are popular in rural areas with plenty of land to build on, but the soil is too shallow for normal dispersal.

    7. Recirculating Sand Filter System

    Sand filter systems work above or below ground. Effluent flows from the septic tank to a pump chamber, which pumps it onto the top of a sand filter. The filter is a sand-filled box lined with PVC or concrete. Effluent is filtered as it flows down through the sand and then discharged to a drain field.

    Like a mound system, they are good for sites with shallow soil, high water tables, or a nearby body of water. They also require frequent maintenance and are relatively expensive to build at $7,000 to $18,000. However, they can function with much more limited space.

    8. Evapotranspiration System

    The drain field for an evapotranspiration system is unique among the different types of septic systems. It features an open-air tank lined with a waterproof material that prevents effluent from ever filtering into the soil or reaching groundwater. Instead, wastewater slowly evaporates into the air.

    These systems are only useful under very specific conditions. They require a warm, dry climate and plenty of sunlight. Too much rain, snow, or humidity could cause the system to fail. However, installation and maintenance are easy compared to other types of septic tanks. Evapotranspiration septic systems cost $10,000 to $15,000.

    9. Constructed Wetland System

    Another unique septic system, a constructed wetland recreates the water treatment processes in natural wetlands. Wastewater flows from the septic tank into a wetland cell made of a watertight liner, gravel, sand, and aquatic plants that thrive in a perpetually saturated environment.

    The plants and microbes in the wetland cell break down the wastewater, removing pathogens and nutrients before it flows into a drain field.

    10. Cluster or Community System

    Cluster systems can be built in small neighborhood communities to collect wastewater from two or more homes or businesses.

    Each building has its own septic tank for initial treatment before wastewater flows into a nearby common drain field, drip distribution system, or constructed wetland system shared between the community. These systems are most common in rural subdivisions.

    If a septic system is the best option for your home, be sure to follow a septic system installation checklist, starting with hiring a septic tank pro.

    Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


    How to Find Your Septic Tank

    - Thursday, March 14, 2024
    Morse Engineering & Construction Industries, LLC - Finding Septic Tank

    The septic tank is an integral part of many properties, quietly doing their job underground, and in the hustle and bustle of daily life, we often forget about what's beneath our feet. However, locating your septic tank is crucial for several reasons. Whether you're planning maintenance, embarking on a construction project, or simply want to stay informed about your property, knowing how to find your septic tank is essential.

    Why Find Your Septic Tank?

    Septic tanks are buried underground in order to be discreet. These tanks are eyesores, and they house your home’s wastewater—not exactly something you want your guests to see and smell. So, why is it so crucial to know where this tank is located on your property? Here are a few reasons.

    Maintenance Access

    Regular septic tank maintenance is key to ensuring its longevity and optimal functionality. In fact, these tanks need to be pumped every three to five years, and neglecting maintenance can lead to costly repairs to your septic system down the road. Finding your tank allows for easy access, making routine inspections and pumping a breeze.

    Easier to Spot Issues

    By knowing your septic tank's location, you can keep an eye out for signs of trouble. Cues like odorous areas, lush patches of grass, or depressions in the soil can indicate a full septic tank, which need immediate attention.

    You're Building a New Structure

    Before building on your property—whether it’s a simple garden shed, a large gazebo, or some other structure—you need to know where your septic tank is so that you don’t build on top of it. Construction over the tank can damage it, disrupt sewage flow, and lead to expensive repairs. It will also be harder to access the tank for maintenance. Proper planning ensures a trouble-free and efficient building process.

    You're Starting a Digging Project

    Whether you're planting trees, installing a new fence, or digging a garden pond, knowing your septic tank's location is crucial to avoid accidental damage. Accidentally hitting the tank during excavation can result in hazardous sewage spills, environmental contamination, and costly (and smelly) repairs. Knowing its location ensures a safe and smooth digging process.

    How to Find a Septic Tank

    Now that you understand the importance of locating your septic tank and some places you may be able to rule out, let's explore practical methods for locating your tank.

    1. Review Your Property's Documents

    Start by checking any official paperwork and inspection documents you have on hand for your property. There may be a property map or blueprints that indicate the tank's location, which is typically anywhere from five to 25 feet away from the house structure. This information can be a valuable starting point that will help you find the exact spot your septic tank is buried.

    2. Check for Visual Evidence Around the Property

    Walk around your property and look for visual cues. Is there an area with lush, green grass, even during dry spells? It could be that sewage leaked out at some point and is fertilizing the landscaping above your septic tank. Are there depressions or mounds in the ground that seem out of place? These often occur as a result of mis-sizing during the digging process, and these signs can indicate the presence of a septic tank.

    3. Follow Your Home's Main Sewer Line

    If you’re still unsure of your tank’s location after examining your documents and your property for clues, you can figure out the general area by following your main sewer line. This pipe directly connects to your septic tank, almost certainly in a straight line.

    Inside your home, head to the basement, crawl spaces, or cellar to take a look around for the main sewer line.

    Look for a pipe that has a diameter of about four inches and is made from a sturdy material like heavy PVC or cast iron.

    Once located, visually follow the main sewer line from where it exits your house.

    Head outside to the corresponding outdoor location where the pipe exited.

    Follow the logical straight path of the sewer line, moving away from your home in a straight line.

    Look for visual evidence of the septic tank along the way, such as uneven ground or inconsistent grass and plant growth.

    Once you find the possible location of the septic tank after following the main sewer line, you can use a couple of different tools to confirm its location.

    4. Use a Soil Probe or Metal Detector

    Septic tank covers contain some metal, so if you happen to have a metal detector on hand, this could save you some time and effort. If you don’t have one, however, a metal soil probe can be a handy tool for locating your underground septic tank. By gently inserting the probe into the ground in areas where you suspect the tank might be, you can feel around for resistance or a hollow area, which could be the tank.

    5. Check With Your Local Records Office

    Since faulty septic tanks have the potential for negative environmental impact—like contaminating local water supplies—many municipalities require installers to get permits prior to placing septic tanks. This requirement is good news for you since your county probably maintains records of your septic tank's underground location for safety and protection. Contact your local records office to find out if that’s the case.

    Mark Your Septic Tank's Location

    Once you've successfully located your septic tank, it's crucial to mark its position for future reference. Use durable materials like stakes, flags, or even a small permanent structure—like a potted plant or a bird bath—on the ground to clearly indicate its location.


    Cost to Replace a Septic Tank and Drain Field: What to Consider

    - Thursday, February 29, 2024
    Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank

    The cost to replace a septic tank and drain field can have a broad price range due to several key factors. While the national average is around $6,000, differences in local labor rates, system size and type, and material choices can influence regional averages.

    Septic Tank and Drain Field Size and Type

    Size and type are two of the most important factors to keep in mind when homeowners are budgeting for the cost to replace a septic tank and drain field. To start, larger septic tanks and drain fields typically cost more to replace due to the increased labor, time, and materials needed. Additionally, larger septic tanks tend to be heavier and more difficult to install than small septic tanks, causing most contractors to charge extra for the additional installation challenges. Finally, there are several different types of tank systems and drain fields to choose from, all of which come with unique advantages and price points.

    Labor and Permits

    Replacing a septic tank and drain field requires significant physical work, including excavating, placing the tank, and laying out the drain field. The labor cost to replace a septic tank and drain field accounts for approximately 60 percent of the entire price.

    Local permits are necessary for septic system work to ensure legal compliance and safe handling of wastewater. But costs for permits widely vary, depending on local regulations. Homeowners may need to budget as much as $2,000 for a septic system permit, though the fee can be as little as $400. It is not advised to start any sewer system work without the proper permits in place.

    Site Accessibility

    Not all septic system sites are equally accessible, and this element will affect the total cost. Steep terrain, narrow entry points, and remote areas are examples of locations that are more difficult to access. Challenging locations such as these require additional time, labor, and potentially special equipment to get the job done.

    Site Inspection

    Septic systems typically require at least two professional inspections during construction no matter if they’re new systems or replacements. Certified professionals conduct these inspections to ensure the system meets safety standards and local regulations.

    Inspections will verify installation steps, system functionality, and environmental safety. They can identify potential issues before the system is complete and prevent costly repairs or failures down the road.

    Percolation Testing

    Percolation testing assesses the soil’s ability to absorb and filter water. This test is typically required before installation or replacement of a septic system leach field, especially if an existing field has been used for several years.

    Before installing a septic system and drain field, it is critical to conduct a percolation test to determine the soil absorption rate, which affects the design of the system. Site topography, drainage, and proximity to water sources should also be evaluated to ensure compliance with environmental and sanitary standards. Finally, clearing the site of obstructions and obtaining the necessary permits are important steps in preparation for installation.

    The test result can help determine if a replacement drain field can remain in the same location and operate as needed or if it requires relocation. Percolation tests can help prevent serious issues like groundwater contamination and system failure.

    Additional Costs and Considerations

    In addition to budgeting for the main factors in replacement septic tank costs, homeowners are advised to consider other possible expenses as well. These may involve tree removal, engineering, or installation of new septic lines.

    Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


    How Long Does It Take to Replace a Septic Tank?

    - Thursday, February 29, 2024

    It’s not as simple as just cracking into new ground. There are a lot of moving parts and a little red tape.

    Testing Before Installation

    Time: Two to Three Weeks

    Your septic tank works in conjunction with a leach field, also known as a drain field. If your septic system is leaking waste and contaminating the area around the tank, you’ll need to replace both components—at minimum. If there is extensive damage, you may need a full system replacement. This will push the job into the four- to six-week range (not to mention the cost of a new septic system can exceed $11,000 on the high end).

    For this reason, contractors run a percolation test before they replace your tank. This will give them insight into your soil’s texture, volume, consistency, and ability to filter wastewater. It’s an essential part of prep and takes around two to three weeks.

    Obtaining Permits

    Time: Varies

    Before your contractor can replace your septic tank, they’ll need to obtain a permit. Typically, permits are issued by your local health or environmental department—and you’ll typically need one or more building permits.

    Sometimes, homeowners also need a permit for pumping and disposing of waste if they don’t already have one. Depending on your local government, this could take a few days or weeks and usually require the percolation test and an inspection.

    Planning and Excavation

    Time: Two to Three Weeks

    During this phase, a septic system engineer will plan the replacement. This could be simple if they just need to swap out a tank, but it could take longer if they also need to plan for a new leach field or entirely new system (to dig safely, they’ll need to map out underground utilities).

    Once the plans are finished, the excavation begins. A team will need to dig out your old septic tank and any other components that you plan to replace. Overall, planning and excavation takes around two to three weeks, but it could take more or less time. If the ground freezes or the weather is poor, it will push the project back.

    Tank Installation

    Time: Five to Seven Days

    Installation is typically the quickest part of the job. During this phase, your contractor will install your new septic tank and other components. If you’re installing an aerobic tank, this could mean additional electrical circuitry. If you have a pumped system, this could mean replacing the dosing tanks. It all depends on the type of septic system and the condition. Generally, installation takes five to seven days. It could take longer if you hit a snag like poor weather conditions.

    Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


    Septic Tank Installation: 8 Steps to Installing a Septic System

    - Thursday, February 29, 2024
    Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic Tank

    Learn all about septic tank installation requirements and how long each step takes.

    1. Assess the Soil and Property

    Getting a perc test is essential to understand your soil type, layering, and how quickly or slowly the soil absorbs water. A home buyer or real estate agent can request a perc test through the local health or environmental department. You can also have a local septic tank installer handle it for you. The perc test results are vital in determining if you can use a conventional system or need to install an alternative septic system.

    You also need a site survey from your municipality to determine your property's:

    • Topography
    • Proximity to bodies of water and other environmentally sensitive areas
    • Available space for a drain field
    • Well location (and that of neighboring wells)

    Approximate time to complete: Two to three weeks, from scheduling the perc test and site survey to getting the results

    2. Select a Septic Tank Installer

    Most municipalities require a licensed contractor to build a septic system, as it is a complex plumbing project that must adhere to many local codes. Licensed contractors must pass professional exams about state codes, septic tank installation requirements, construction processes, and safety considerations.

    Septic systems must be specifically designed for your property and location. If a septic system fails or is improperly installed, it can be expensive, not to mention a health hazard. Septic systems need to pass inspection once they're built. If the system isn't installed to code, you can incur fines or experience leaks and structural problems on your property.

    Contact at least three local licensed septic tank installers to ensure you hire a knowledgeable installer. The contractor will come to your property to assess the project and give you a quote. Septic systems cost $3,500 to $11,400 on average but can be higher for properties that require alternative septic systems.

    Aim to work with an experienced contractor who understands your local code and has built the type of septic system you need. Verify that the contractor has favorable reviews.

    Approximate time to complete: Two weeks

    3. Design the System

    Your septic tank installer should take time to plan the best system for your soil and property. Your contractor should follow local codes as they determine the essential details of your system:

    Type of Septic System

    If one or more types of septic systems are possible, your contractor will present the options to you. Most installers recommend a conventional septic or mound system if an alternative is necessary. There are other alternatives, such as recirculating sand filters and aerobic treatment systems. Each system type has pros, cons, costs, and maintenance requirements. Review the details with your contractor to decide on the plan for your property.

    Location of Your Septic Tank

    Most local codes dictate that the septic tank has to be at least 10 feet from your home, though some require it to be further from your foundation. Local codes also provide guidelines on where the septic tank can be in relation to property lines.

    Tank Size

    You may only need a 750-gallon tank for a one- to two-bedroom home. Some municipalities require a minimum of 1,000 gallons for home tanks, the average size for two- to four-bedroom homes. For larger four- to five-bedroom homes, tanks as large as 2,000 gallons are available.

    Tank Material

    Concrete septic tanks are the most prevalent, but some are plastic or fiberglass. Although concrete is vulnerable to cracking, it’s less susceptible to damage during installation. Contact your local health or environmental department if you’re replacing a septic system and need a copy of your septic system design. They can often provide an “as-built” drawing.

    Approximate time to complete: Two to three weeks

    4. Apply for and Obtain Permits

    Your contractor must pull permits from your municipality (local health or environmental department) before breaking ground on your septic system. The city approves the contractor’s plan, including details such as septic tank placement. A septic system permit's cost and application process varies from one local authority to another but usually falls around $400. Most contractors include the price of the permit in their quotes. You may also need a permit for pumping and disposing of waste further down the line.

    Approximate time to complete: One to two weeks

    5. Prep the Site h3

    Your contractor must prepare the site before installing the septic tank and system.

    Decommission the Old System

    If you’re replacing an old septic system, your contractor will pump out and remove the sewage in the tank. They'll also need to remove any pieces that won't be a part of the new system. In most cases, the contractor must turn off the water supply for two to five days.

    Excavate and Prepare the Land

    The base under the septic tank should be level, and the hole for the tank needs to be the correct width and depth based on the tank size. Your contractor will level the ground and dig trenches for the pipework.

    Approximate time to complete: One to two weeks

    6. Install the Septic System

    Your septic tank contractor will install your new tank and build the system to code. The contractor will set up the pipes, drain field, and any other components of your system.

    Approximate time to complete: One to two weeks

    7. Landscape the Area

    Your contractor will cover the septic system with appropriate layers of soil and gravel. Your installer can recommend the best septic tank landscaping ideas, such as grass or ground cover. It's best to avoid putting deeply rooted trees and plants near your septic system, as it can cause damage, clogging, and drainage issues.

    Time to complete: One week

    8. Get a Professional Inspection

    Most local authorities require an inspection before using a new septic system. Your contractor should schedule this with your local municipality. The inspector ensures you’ve met all septic tank installation requirements. They’ll test to ensure the system works properly and that there are no leaks, mechanical issues, flooding, or draining problems. If there are any issues with the tank, drain field, or pipes, your contractor can help fix those before you use the system.

    Approximate time to complete: One week

    Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.