Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

What Size Septic Tank Do You Need?

- Friday, April 02, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic Tank Size in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

Septic tank size is typically determined by the number of bedrooms your home has. This is used as a way to estimate how much water will flow through the system daily. Generally, the larger the system, the higher the cost.

Two Bedrooms

A two-bedroom house requires a septic system with a minimum of a 750-gallon septic tank. However, in many municipalities, a 1,000-gallon tank is the smallest size allowed.

Three Bedrooms

A three-bedroom house will need a minimum of a 1,000-gallon water tank, which regularly handles about 360 gallons of water per day.

Four Bedrooms

A four-bedroom home requires a larger tank with a minimum volume of 1,250 gallons. It handles around 480 to 600 gallons of water per day.

For information or to make an appointment, contact Morse Engineering and Construction


Septic System Costs

- Friday, March 26, 2021
Septic System Construction - Fiskdale, MA

There's no way around it -- installing a new septic system is expensive. This can be even more painful if you discover that you need to install a new septic system while you're in the process of selling your house. And unfortunately, there's no generic answer to how much a septic system will cost. The only sure way to find out is to get a number of competing quotes.

Septic systems will vary in price depending on a few different factors such as material costs, the company which you hire to install the system, the area in which you live and the type of septic system which you have installed. In general, gravity-powered conventional septic systems are the least expensive.

Concrete septic tanks are generally cheaper than high density polyethylene tanks -- though they won't last as long. Other types of septic systems such as aerobic tank systems cost substantially more, as they require more complicated electrical pumps and alarms.

Other Costs

A quick call to your Town Hall should provide you with the costs for any permits you will need during the process.

The best approach to estimating your costs is to get on the phone with your friends and neighbors. Find out who had a septic system installed, and which septic companies they used. Local realtors are also likely to provide a wealth of information on this topic, as they have likely dealt with home sellers who needed to have a septic system replaced.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Septic Tank Installation: What to Expect

- Friday, March 19, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

Whether you're installing a septic system in a new home, it is a costly and potentially stressful job. This post deals with the process of installing a conventional gravity-powered septic system.

Installing a septic tank is not a task to undertake lightly. There are regulatory issues that must be addressed, you'll often have to get a permit from your local town, and there are plumbing and environmental issues to consider. You'll want to work closely with a septic company -- if you haven't chosen one, now is a good time to choose a septic contractor.

Evaluating Your Site

Your septic contractor will begin by determining how large of a drainage field and septic tank you need. This decision will be influenced by an estimate of how much wastewater your house is likely to produce (generally based on the number of bedrooms), and by an analysis of the soil in your yard. There are a couple of different tests that septic designers use.

Installing the holding tank

Before choosing the location to install your septic tank, your septic contractor will need to check local regulations and the soil quality. Most municipalities require tanks and leaching fields to be located a minimum distances from houses, wells, streams, etc. The size of your septic system will depend as well on how many bedroom you house has (including any you plan to add down the road!) Since septic tanks are stored below ground, tank installation generally requires a backhoe to dig an adequate hole. Inlet and outlet pipes must also be planned for an laid during initial installation.

Installing the leaching field

The size of your leaching field depends on a number of factors, including the size of your septic tanks, the type and absorptive capacity of your soil, and the particular technology that you've chosen to absorb the wastewater. Again, your contractor can help you through this process.

The exact location of your leaching field within your yard will vary, based on a number of factors, including local regulations, the slope of your yard and your home's location on that slope, and the composition of the soil in different parts of the yard.

Other Issues to Consider

If you're installing a concrete septic tank, don't forget that they are immensely heavy, weighing up to 10 tons! The company delivering the tank will likely do so on a large truck and require a crane to remove the tank.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Answers to Common Septic System Questions

- Thursday, March 11, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Construction Fiskdale, MA

Where is the opening to my Septic Tank?

If it's time to have your septic tank cleaned this is a critical issue! It can get tricky, because the opening is typically buried several feet under the ground! It's no fun digging multiple holes in a yard, hoping to get lucky and hit the septic tank. If you have a septic system, but don't know where the opening is, go through the documents you received when you purchased your home. If you're lucky, the previous owner included a map. If not, can you get a hold of the previous owner? How about calling around to the different septic contractors that maintain systems in your town and try to find the one that serviced your home before you owned it?

How often does my Septic Tank need to be cleaned?

How often you need to clean your septic tank depends on a few factors, like how many people live in your household and how large your septic tank is. The general answer is 1-3 years. Most home owners usually have their septic tank cleaned every two years, this kind of steady, regular maintenance will help keep you trouble free.

Why should I bother cleaning my Septic Tank?

Think of all of the wastewater that is used in your home. You have wastewater from the toilet, and water that goes down the drain from when you cook and clean or even run the garbage disposal. It is full of food and grease and bugs and all of those things you will never (and hope never) to see again. Some of this matter accumulates at the bottom of the tank or gets stuck floating near the top, lessening the capacity of your septic tank and increasing your water bill.

The septic tank is cleaned by pumping all of the sludgy matter out of the tank to be hauled away and disposed of elsewhere.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

What to Expect in a Septic Inspection

- Thursday, March 04, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Inspection

A is a necessary procedure, especially for prospective homebuyers who are interested in a particular property and wish to determine if the septic system is working properly. Most septic inspections are done in a non-invasive manner, which means that the inspector does not need to dig up the septic tank and system parts in order to determine that it is working properly. Although septic inspections will vary from company to company, there are a few general steps which many septic inspectors follow in their inspections.

Basic Steps of a Non-Invasive Septic Inspection

The first step in a basic inspection is to examine the liquid level inside of the septic system access areas. After an initial review of the liquid level, the water is turned on in the home and left to run for a specified period of time in order to have the liquid fill up. The inspector will then check the access pipes as well as the absorption area surrounding the septic system. When inside of the home, the septic system inspector will flush toilets, run water and identify drain lines to determine how the drainage system is set up.

Defects may be noticed by the inspector in the way of too much water seepage in the absorption area or a liquid level which is too high. The inspector will make note of these potential defects and alert the prospective buyers of anything that appears to be concerning in nature. The inspector will be able to provide information to the buyer which can help them to determine whether or not the septic system is in faulty working order and to what extent. Based upon the information gathered by the septic system inspector along with the personal judgment of the buyers, the future potential homeowners must decide if going ahead with the purchase is a wise idea or if the possibly faulty septic system is too much for them to handle.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


The Basics of Septic System Design

- Friday, February 26, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction - Sepic System

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 keep in mind, 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.

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.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Septic Systems in Massachusetts

- Thursday, February 18, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Repair

About 30% of all homes in Massachusetts depend on privately owned septic systems to take care of sewage disposal. Various governmental regulations are in place to guide the consumer through every step of the process in owning a septic system.

Regulation of Septic Tank Systems

Local Massachusetts Board of Healths are the authority in charge of regulating the septic tank systems. Title 5 of the State Environmental Code contains guidelines for the positioning, construction, and maintenance of sewage systems. MassDEP is in charge of processing applications, approvals, and is also responsible for implementing Title 5 regulations.

Installing a New Septic System

To install a new septic system or repair an existing one, consumers need to apply for permission to the Board of Health. They have to get the relevant DEP approved application forms from the local Board of Health for the purpose. Applications are necessary for permission to construct, and approval for onsite construction. An onsite soil test and a percolation test have to be conducted by authorized personnel. After construction or repair, a Certificate of Compliance will be issued by the Board of Health.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Maintain Your Septic System: It's a Toilet, Not a Trash Can!

- Friday, February 12, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction -  Cleaning Sepic System

Even if they're small, even if the package says "flushable," some everyday items can cause messy and expensive problems for your plumbing and to sewer treatment facilities.

Products that might seem safe to flush down the toilet, such as personal care wipes, dental floss and paper towels, don't dissolve quickly – or at all – in water. If a scrap of undissolved material gets caught on a nick, bend or bump within a pipe, it can trigger a growth of buildup that could cause a sewer backup in your home or neighborhood.

Sewer agencies, environmentalists and consumer advocates are working with manufacturers to correct product labeling. In the meantime, please make sure to dispose of personal care products, cleaning supplies and other household waste properly: in the trash can, in the recycling bin or at your local household hazardous waste disposal site.

Cease the Grease

Fats, cooking oils and grease are not water-soluble. They coat household pipes and public sewer mains, causing nasty clogs. To dispose of household fats, oils and grease, carefully pour them into an empty metal can. Let it cool, then throw it in the trash.

A Healthy Environment Starts at Home - Household Hazardous Waste

Some household items shouldn't be flushed because they do break down in water. Dissolved chemicals can travel through the sewer system and pollute Boston Harbor and the marine environment.

Medications and supplements should not be flushed or disposed of down the drain. They should be wrapped and thrown in the trash, or brought to a local drug take-back site.

Unwanted solvents and other chemicals used around the home, like paint, cleaners and nail polish remover, should not be flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain. You should use them up or bring them to your local household hazardous waste disposal site.

Septic System Inspections: How Often Should They Be Done

- Thursday, February 04, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction - Hiring a Septic System Professional

A septic system inspection is one of those home maintenance tasks that you might put off, and then put off some more. Because septics exist underground in the backyard, they are often out of sight, thus out of mind. But letting it go too many flushes without an inspection can result in some major problems if the system fails.

Plus, septic system inspections are also required if you plan to sell your home. Even if you don't know if you're going to sell, keeping your septic system in good condition will save you thousands of dollars in repairs if anything does go wrong.

Here's everything homeowners need to know about a septic system inspection.

But that means homeowners get an inspection only when issues that may signal big trouble arise, such as when the toilet backs up, water takes too long to drain, or there's an actual septic system leakage. The benefit of doing an inspection every three years is to avoid major problems like these.

The three-year mark is also the maximum amount of time you should let your septic system go without being pumped out.

A problem caught at inspection can save you from having to replace the entire septic system (read: shell out a ton of money). It's especially important to keep your septic system in good shape if you plan on selling. During closing, a certified inspection will be performed and you don't want any last-minute surprises.

Who should perform a septic system inspection?

You're going to want to hire a professional septic contractor for the inspection.

General home inspectors do only a limited, visual-only inspection of the septic system.

A septic contractor will look for cracks in the tank indicated by a low level of liquid, the amount of solids inside the tank using a measuring device called a "sludge judge," and possible ground contamination.

How much does a septic system inspection cost?

Cost depends on how extensive the septic inspection is as well as the size of the tank, which is usually either 1,000 or 1,500 gallons. But a basic septic system inspection typically runs between $300 to $600.

You can also reach out to your local health department to see if it performs inspections for a reduced price. Is the home seller or buyer obligated to get an inspection?

The person who's responsible for carrying out the inspection is determined based on where you live.

In Massachusetts, the standard purchase agreement contract states that it's the home seller's responsibility to get the septic inspected.

Bottom line: Ask your local real estate professional about your obligation regarding the septic system inspection.

Is the seller obligated to fix any septic problems?

The responsibility to pay for septic repairs typically falls to the seller. However, repairs of any kind found at inspection are generally negotiable. Contract terms usually dictate the course of action, but sellers may have such options as doing the repairs themselves, splitting repair costs with the buyer, giving the buyer a closing credit equal to the amount of the repairs, or refusing to do anything. If an agreement on repairs isn't reached, the buyer does have the legal right to walk away from the transaction.

Don't forget about disclosure

In all states, sellers are required to disclose any known problems with a home to potential buyers. If there's a septic issue after closing that the sellers knew about, they will be liable for the entire cost of the repairs.

For that reason, it's good practice for all sellers to perform their own septic system inspection.

That way, the seller is protected from any future septic issues after the closings.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Required Maintenance to Keep the Septic tank in Selling Condition?

- Thursday, January 28, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction - Percolation Testing

All the wastewater we use—from the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen—needs to be treated to remove or neutralize pathogens and pollutants like phosphorus and nitrogen, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a centralized sewer system, sewer mains flow into progressively larger pipes until they reach a wastewater treatment plant; with a private septic system, this treatment occurs on the property.

A typical septic system consists of a main drainage pipe, a septic tank and a drainfield, or soil absorption field. Systems can have additional components such as pumps and electrical float switches.

The septic tank is often a concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene watertight container buried underground. It separates any solids, organic matter, and floatable material (such as oils and grease) from the liquid wastewater, which exits into the shallow drainfield. From the drainfield, the treated wastewater disperses through the soil, ultimately discharging to groundwater. The separated solids and sludge remain in the tank until they’re removed by a professional septic service.

The National Environmental Services Center (NESC) says that solids take about 24 to 48 hours to settle. A four-bedroom home with a 1,000-gallon tank typically would need about two days for solids to settle—but as more solids accumulate, the settling time decreases. More than one-third of the liquid depth, and the tank should be pumped and cleared.

Problems can occur when the tank is overdue for drainage or when the drainfield becomes overloaded, causing flooding or sewage to flow into the ground or back into the home, these experts say.

The EPA recommends that you have your household septic system inspected at least every 3 years and pumped every 3 to 5 years, depending on the size of your household, the septic tank, and other factors.

(If your system has mechanical components or additional pumps, the EPA suggests an annual inspection.)

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.