Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

Get a Septic Tank Inspection, Avoid Winter Disasters

- Thursday, September 03, 2020

If you have a septic tank , then you know bad things can happen if it doesn’t get cared for properly. The EPA recommends that you have your septic system professionally inspected at least every three years. You may also need to get your tank pumped. The frequency depends on your household size and how much waste you produce. Pumping needs can range from every year to every five years. It can also be influenced by climate – the further north you are, the more often your tank needs to be pumped.

You should get your tank inspected and any preventive maintenance done in the fall. The last thing you want to experience in the middle of the winter when your tank is buried under 2-3 feet of snow and the ground is frozen is a septic tank emergency. By having you septic inspected in the fall, you reduce the risk of winter septic disasters.

A professional should do the septic tank inspection. What you should do yourself is keep an eye (or nose) on your tank. Water backups and any kind of odor are an indication something is going on with your septic tank. A professional will do a full inspection, including going into the septic tank to do an internal inspection.

The inspector will check your tank for leaks, make sure it is not waterlogged, and check the condition of the tank after it has been pumped. A full professional septic inspection is necessary to make sure your septic tank is functioning at full capacity.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information about how we can help you avoid winter septic disasters and extend the life of your septic system.

Source: earthcare.us


Everything Homeowners Need to Know About Septic System Inspections

- Friday, August 21, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Construction

How often should you get a septic system inspection?

Experts say you should get a septic inspection every three years. But here's a dose of reality: Most homeowners never get their septic systems inspected unless there is a notable issue.

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.

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. 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.

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 it is the seller's responsibility to get an inspection.

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 closing.

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

realtor.com


Get a Septic Tank Inspection Before Buying a Home

- Thursday, August 13, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank Inspection

If you’re considering buying a house with a septic tank, include the septic system in your home inspection. A septic inspection will give you peace of mind and prevent any costly headaches after moving in.

A septic system inspection includes the following:

  • Date of the last inspection to determine if it’s properly maintained
  • The level of sludge in the tank
  • Location of the drain field, it should not be located near the well or any body of water
  • Confirmation that the system is large enough for the home that it serves
  • Presence of liquid waste on the ground surface
  • Tank and lid are free of cracks or leaks
  • Baffles are firmly connected to inlet and outlet pipes
  • Drain lines each receive the same amount of water

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

Source: redfin.com


The Benetits of Buying a House with a Septic Tank

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 07, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

Cost-efficient:

Living within town limits, residents pay a monthly utility bill to cover sewer costs. With a septic tank, you don’t have this recurring expense.

Self-maintaining:

With proper care, a septic system lasts for decades. Lifestyle choices like conserving water, limiting the use of bleach, and being careful about what goes down the drains, not only protects your septic but also the environment.

Safe:

In the unlikely event you have a blockage that causes waste to back up into your home, with a septic tank you know where that waste came from. On a municipal system, a back-up can bring pathogens from the entire community into your tubs, sinks, and toilets, depending on the location and severity of the backup.

Environmentally friendly:

In addition to promoting environmentally conscious behavior on the part of the homeowner, a septic system by design is an environmentally friendly home feature. If a leak were to occur, it would affect only the local property. If a leak occurs in a municipal system, the damage is more widespread.

Get a septic tank inspection before buying a house

If you’re considering buying a house with a septic tank, include the septic system in your home inspection. A septic inspection will give you peace of mind and prevent any costly headaches after moving in. A septic inspection includes the following:
  • Date of the last inspection to determine if it’s properly maintained
  • The level of sludge in the tank
  • Location of the drain field, it should not be located near the well or any body of water
  • Confirmation that the system is large enough for the home that it serves
  • Presence of liquid waste on the ground surface
  • Tank and lid are free of cracks or leaks
  • Baffles are firmly connected to inlet and outlet pipes
  • Drain lines each receive the same amount of water

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: redfin.com


Septic System FAQs

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 06, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic System Inspection

How long does a septic system last? Properly maintained, a septic system should last for decades.

How often should you pump a septic tank? Have your septic system inspected and the tank pumped every three to five years. Check with your local health department to see what they recommend for your area.

What can I put in my septic tank? Hopefully, only your greywater and blackwater will go into your septic. Things like cigarette butts, diapers and wipes, sanitary products, paper products other than toilet paper, or a high level of cleaning products that will destroy the healthy bacteria in the tank should never be flushed or sent down the drain.

Do they need to dig up my lawn to pump my septic tank? If your tank doesn’t have an exposed lid, yes, they’ll have to remove the grass to access it. Though this will only be a small section of your yard and not the entire thing.

Does my septic need additives like Rid-X? No. A well-maintained system has everything it needs to break down the solids and create a healthy septic flora. However, seasonal homes may not get enough solid waste to produce the microbes needed for a healthy system. Only then, do experts recommend the use of additives in your septic tank. Check with your local septic tank servicer to find out their recommendations for your home.

Can I plant anything over my drain field? Yes, but be careful. The root systems of trees and shrubs can damage the underground pipes. Vegetable gardens could also become contaminated from the drainage. However, landscaping over and around a septic drain field with native plants is an appropriate use of the space. For more information on septic system inspections, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: redfin.com


Should I Buy a Home with a Septic Tank?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 23, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank Inspection

What Are the Signs of a Failing Septic Tank?Besides pumping, septic tank inspections should be done regularly to check for leaks or clogs. Red flags that the system may have a clog include occasional bad odors and slowly draining or gurgling fixtures.

What About Maintenance Costs?

Septic system maintenance costs depend on the tank and drainfield sizes, tank accessibility, and how far away waste must be hauled for disposal. Pumping a tank might cost between $250 to $500. Know your state’s rules. Some require a septic system inspection before a title transfer. But even if your state doesn’t require an inspection, your lender might. (Conventional home inspections typically don’t include an inspection of a septic system).

According to Zillow, an inspection can detail the system’s condition, determine if it’s sited a proper distance from a well (to avoid contamination), and can confirm the absence of invasive tree roots in the drainfield, which may damage the system.

Also, know the age of the system. Prices can vary widely if you do have to replace a system. A conventional system may cost between $3,000 and $7,000, but that an alternative system may cost even more.

Owning a home with a septic tank doesn’t have to be scary. With the proper maintenance and care, you can enjoy your house for years to come.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: allstate.com


Should You Buy a Home with a Septic System or Municipal Sewer Line?

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

Curious about getting a house with a septic tank or water well? Here’s what you need to know. Homebuyers deciding between a rural homestead and city living often have to consider where their water utilities will originate. Do they want to live off a well and/or a septic system? Or would they rather plug into a municipal water and sewer line if either are available?

A common question is "which is better?" The answer is that it’s not a matter of one being better than the other. In some instances there simply isn’t a choice — municipal water and sewer aren’t available.

If you do have a choice, understanding how each system works, and the pros and cons of a septic system versus city utilities can go a long way in helping you decide.

Have the septic system inspected

If you’re buying a house with a septic tank, know your state’s laws. Some require a septic inspection before a title transfer, but even if your state doesn’t, your lender might. This will be an additional cost for the buyer, as traditional home inspections don’t include a septic system.

If you are buying a house with a septic system, it is recommended that you open the tank and have a full visual inspection. Find out if it’s full of solids or is there evidence that it’s been flooded?

A basic inspection, includes probing the drain field. Probing the drain field (also called a leach field) is necessary to determine the layout of the drainage pipes below ground and the saturation level of the soil. If there are excessive wet areas, there could be a problem.

The inspection might also include a dye test, in which a fluorescent dye is injected into the system to determine if sewage is leaking. Pros and cons of a septic system h3

If “no monthly sewer bill” popped into your mind as the biggest asset to having a septic system, hold your horses. Many buyers want septic so as to avoid having sewer bills. And while it’s easy to understand this thought process, they don’t understand that there are expenses they need to consider.

Pumping out the septic tank is required to remove the sludge and scum that accumulates. How often it’s pumped is determined by the tank size and how many people live in the home.

Most tanks are 1,000 gallons for a three-bedroom house or smaller, which would average $265 to pump. A four-bedroom house or larger might require a 1,500-gallon tank, which would cost $320 to pump.

It is usually recommended you clean out your system every three to five years, but it’s going to be different depending on your local water tables and local codes. Contact your local health department for their recommendation.

Have the septic system checked by a reputable company before purchasing the property and then remember to take care of it over the years. Septics will serve you faithfully for years if you take care of the basics. For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: angieslist.com


A Complete Septic System Installation Checklist

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 09, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Construction Fiskdale, MA

Did you know septic systems are still in use in almost a third of all homes in the United States? Many rural areas and some suburban areas do not have access to sewer, so new septic system construction and system repairs must be done to maintain a wastewater treatment system for the home and property.

Septic system installations can become tricky when there are a lot of variables, such as building a new home or replacing a system during a home sale. Below is our ultimate checklist with insider tips for a homeowner undergoing a septic system installation.

1. Learn state septic regulations

In most states, the government regulates septic system installations through local county and state laws. Many states will regulate septic systems and wastewater through their state environmental agency or a health department. In Massachusetts it is the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Search their website for septic system information. Many will have a whole section with information geared towards septic system owners that will give you maintenance information as well as repair and installation information.

2. Check out what septic system permits are required

Permits vary from state to state. A thorough search of the local agency’s website should tell you what permits are required in different situations and direct you to those applications. Some states also have laws that allow certain systems to be grandfathered in or exempt from needing a permit.

In some cases a property will need to be evaluated before getting an installation permit, so the local agency can determine the type of system that fits the property’s soil condition best.

And in a worst-case scenario, a few states and local rules are vague, leaving the homeowner unsure of what can be installed and how. In situations like this, we recommend choosing a local septic contractor with a good reputation — online and offline — to help you navigate the state laws.

Insider tip: Permitting and application review can take awhile, especially during summer months. We recommend planning four to six weeks ahead and asking the local agency that reviews permit applications about their current review time.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: angieslist.com


Septic Systems and Title 5: Homeowner Checklist for New Systems

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 03, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

Considerations for System Design

There are two components of septic system design: soil evaluation and actual design. Soil evaluation consists of noting where your property lines may be so that test holes can be dug. These holes will locate your soil absorption system, which handles the fluid part of septic wastes. This step also includes actually digging the test holes with a backhoe and performing a soil examination and percolation test.

Soil evaluation does not have to be performed by a professional engineer, but can be done by a Massachusetts-certified Soil Evaluator. The results of the soil examination are submitted to you and the Board of Health. You can then submit the results to a chosen registered professional engineering firm for design purposes.

Questions to ask Prior to Choosing a Soil Evaluator

  • Will you provide a written estimate for all phases of the proposed work? Will you charge us for determining where our property lines are located, or use general fieldwork as determined from meeting with us today?
  • If you cannot determine the location from our plans, or from property bounds, drill holes, stakes or other property line markings, how will you determine property lines for location of the system components and soil absorption system?
  • Will the soil examination and percolation test be performed by you or a subcontractor? Will you be present to show the subcontractor where to dig the holes for location of the soil absorption system? Do the subcontractor and the heavy machine operator work directly for you, and do they carry the necessary liability insurance?
  • Will they be responsible for calling Dig Safe, if required?
  • Will the dug holes and tractor (tire) damages be filled in, graded and seeded?
  • When the soil examination is completed, will you submit a copy to the Board of Health, our chosen design engineer and us?

Questions to ask Prior to Choosing a Septic System Designer

  • Will you provide the system design to include:
  • Site visits and written estimate for all phases of the proposed work
  • Survey work for the system design
  • Review of soil evaluation test and opinion to us of the type of systems that could be installed, along with price estimates for each one
  • Draft plans for review and approval of approved system
  • Final plans submitted to Board of Health.
  • Will you provide Engineering Oversight of Construction?
  • What is your hourly charge for inspection of the contractor's work?
  • What is your estimate of total time required for this inspection, and the likely maximum costs?

    For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction

    mass.gov


  • Septic Systems & Title 5 New Construction

    Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 26, 2020
    Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

    Whether you're building a new septic system or upgrading an existing one, there are Title 5 requirements that apply to new construction.

    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 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 septic 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. Required approvals before starting construction h3

    In your initial conversation with the Board of Health and Building Department, it is important to ask them what Title 5 requirements and local requirements must be complied with in your particular case, and what specific approvals are needed from them. Both Departments will give you applications to be completed and returned. Once the Board of Health and Building Department have approved your applications, they will send you a letter in writing that either a) approves the request, b) approves the request but with specific conditions that must be met or c) denies the request.

    Also, the Board of Health will tell you whether MassDEP has to approve any of the applications. MassDEP reviews an application only after the Board of Health has made a final decision. You must ensure that all of the necessary approvals from the Board of Health, the Building Department, and MassDEP, if appropriate, are received before you or anyone else begins any work.

    Depending on the type of work you're proposing and approved for, you may need to hire a licensed system inspector to verify the location of system components, and perform the necessary work. There can be a variety of professionals involved: designer, soil evaluator, installer, inspector. However, even if you've hired a licensed inspector or system designer to do the work, you as the system owner are always responsible for your system. As work is being completed, you should be getting regular and detailed information and receipts from the professionals you've hired. For more information, refer to the Local Septic Management Homeowner Checklist.

    For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

    mass.gov