Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

Other Types of Septic System Inspections

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, November 01, 2018
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Inspections, Fiskdale, Sturbridge, MA

New Construction and Upgrades

A new or upgraded system does not require inspection. These systems receive a Certificate of Compliance from the local Board of Health. This certification exempts the system from the inspection requirement for any transfer of title within the next 2 years. This exemption continues up to 3 years, provided that system pumping records demonstrate that the system was pumped at least once during the third year.

Condominiums and Large Systems

The condominium association is responsible for the inspection, maintenance and upgrade of the system or systems serving the units, unless the association’s governing documents provide otherwise.

Condominium systems should be inspected once every 3 years. Condominium developments with 4 or fewer units should also have their system inspected every 3 years, or within 2 years prior to the sale of one of the units.

Large systems serve a facility with a design flow of 10,000 to 15,000 gallons per day. Large systems must be inspected on the basin schedule shown in 310 CMR 15.301(6), and then every five years afterward.

Changes of Use and Increases in Flow

These situations require a system inspection only if the modification requires a building permit or occupancy permit. For example:

  • adding a bedroom to a house
  • adding seats to a restaurant
  • changing the type of business operating at a commercial location.
  • Check with your Building Department or Board of Health to find out if your modification meets these requirements.

Any change in the footprint of a building also requires an inspection to determine the location of the system, to ensure that construction will not be located on top of any system components or on the reserve area. Check with your local Board of Health.

State and Federal Facilities

Title 5 applies to state and federal facilities as well as homes and businesses. MassDEP is the approving authority for state and federal facilities, so the inspection forms are submitted to MassDEP (310 CMR 15.003).

Cross-State Ownership

If a property is located in two states, with the house in one state but the septic system in another state, the state where the septic system is located has jurisdiction and the owner must follow the regulations for that state. For example, if the septic system is located in New York, but the house is in Massachusetts, the property is subject to New York's laws and regulations.

Voluntary inspections

A system owner may choose voluntarily to have an assessment of the condition of the system even if there is no requirement for an inspection. Results of these voluntary assessments are solely for the use of the owner, and do not need to be submitted to local Boards of Health or MassDEP.

For more information on septic tank inspections, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: mass.gov


Pros and Cons of Mound Septic Systems

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, October 18, 2018
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Mound Septic Systems

A mound septic system is an alternative to other septic tank systems. It rests near the top of the ground and does not use a container for the waste. This type of septic system disposes the waste through sand, and the ground will absorb the waste. The mound septic system has many good points and bad points. Below are the pros and cons of the mound septic system.

Protecting the Water Table

The purpose of a mound septic system is to keep the waste product away from the water table. The water table has to be maintained, and a damaged septic tank is a quick way to contaminate it. The mound septic system does a great job of protecting the water table and sometimes more so than other septic tank measures.

Economical

The mound septic system is easier to install than the other kinds of septic systems. The mound septic system is essentially a matter of excavating the area and installing pipes and filters. Other septic systems will involve casting concrete or metal to act as holding tanks. Once the holding tanks are filled, a professional needs to come out to empty it. This is not the case with a mound septic system, as the waste leaches into the sand. With the mound septic system, there are no costly repairs that you have to worry about. The ground merely needs to be turned over and then dug out again in order to reset the mound septic system.

The Mound

A mound septic system is very descriptive of what it actually is. Once a mound septic system is installed, you will be left with a mound of dirt that is easily seen by anyone looking at the area where it is placed. The mound can be as high as five feet. It is possible to landscape the mound but, in the end, you still have a mound to contend with.

Space Limitations

One main issue with having a mound septic system is the space needed to properly dispose of the waste. With other kinds of septic systems, a large container is placed underground and buried. It costs a great deal of money to install these systems, but they can be placed anywhere. A mound septic system has no container, and digging too far gets you too close to the water table. This means instead of digging down you have to dig out. This causes a problem because you need a larger space for the trench. This limits where you can place a mound septic system, let alone if you can even have one.

Smell

Most septic systems you will not know is there because they will not smell. There is a possibility that the normal septic system container can overflow, but it doesn't happen often. The mound septic system is placed near the surface, which means you are not far from the sewage. If the waste does not leach fast enough through the ground, it can find its way to the top.

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

Source: doityourself.com


How Often Should a Septic System Be Inspected?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, October 12, 2018
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Repair

Inspect and Pump Frequently

The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year. A service contract is important since alternative systems have mechanized parts.

Four major factors influence the frequency of septic pumping:

Household size
Total wastewater generated
Volume of solids in wastewater
Septic tank size

Do you have a service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.

When you call a septic service provider, they will inspect for leaks and examine the scum and sludge layers in your septic tank.

Keep maintenance records on work performed on your septic system.

Your septic tank includes a T-shaped outlet which prevents sludge and scum from leaving the tank and traveling to the drainfield area. If the bottom of the scum layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet, your tank needs to be pumped.

To keep track of when to pump out your tank, write down the sludge and scum levels found by the septic professional.

The service provider should note repairs completed and the tank condition in your system’s service report. If other repairs are recommended, hire a repair person soon.

Maintain Your Drainfield

Your drainfield—a component of your septic system that removes contaminants from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank—is an important part of your septic system. Here are a few things you should do to maintain it:

Parking: Never park or drive on your drainfield.
Planting: Plant trees the appropriate distance from your drainfield to keep roots from growing into your septic system. A septic service professional can advise you of the proper distance, depending on your septic tank and landscape.
Placing: Keep roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainwater drainage systems away from your drainfield area. Excess water slows down or stops the wastewater treatment process.

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

epa.gov


Extend The Life of Your Septic System

Joseph Coupal - Friday, October 05, 2018
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Repair

If your home has a septic tank, follow these 4 tips to extend it's life.

Most homeowners over-stress about owning a septic system. There's no reason to stress over owning a septic system.

By and large maintenance is easy. You just need the correct information. So here's a quick break down of my rules for avoiding being that over-stressed homeowner.

Here are four ways to extend the lifespan of your septic system.

  1. Know the specifics about your system

    Know where it is, how many gallons the tank holds and when the last time it was pumped. If you have the original plans, permits, and maintenance records that makes it easier, but if you don't, it’s not too hard to get you up to speed. A quick call to the local health district or agency’s septic system permit office will get you the original permits, as long as it was permitted, and those will provide answers for the first two things.

    When was the last time it was pumped? Either you know that or you don't. If you don't, you really want to get the tank opened up so we can measure the scum mat and determine how close it may be to being ready for pumping.

  2. Follow the time table

    Your septic system’s individual pumping schedule is based upon factors that are not identical from system to system. There are handy tables available that tell you - based on the number of people who live in your home and the size of the tank - how often you're due for pumping.

    Set a reminder for the next time your due in your personal calendar. Then be sure to schedule out your pumping when you get your reminder and don't be lax about it. Note that using the garbage disposal regularly will add solids to your septic tank and will increase how frequently you need to pump by up to 50 percent. So, if you are a heavy garbage disposal user, stop being one or pump your septic twice as often.

  3. Make it accessible

    This is by far one of the most confusing things to understand about your septic system. The septic tank that gets pumped out is buried on your property. Following the installation of the septic tank, it usually stays out of sight and out of mind.

    But one of the best things you can do is install risers to bring your septic system’s lids to the surface. The most obvious and critical reason to do so is that the pumper truck needs them exposed so they can clean the tank out for maintenance. If you've ever had to dig them up or pay for it, you don't ever want to do that again. It costs money to install risers and it sure beats the price of locating and digging them up every few years.

  4. Check with your health district or agency before landscaping or adding new feature

    Most health districts or agencies have regulations about how close landscaping or other features can be installed to the septic system. They might sound like bureaucratic nonsense, but those rules are really in place to preserve to structural integrity and life span of your septic tank and leech field.

    As a rule of thumb, bushes and grass have short roots and are about the only landscaping acceptable in a ten foot radius of your system. Roots will always find the closest source of water even if they have to bind up your leech field and break open your tank to get it.

Pools close to your system require a barrier to avoid chlorine getting in and killing the septic system. Driveways should never been over any part of your system, as the weight will crush the tank and pipes over time.

Landscape and other companies usually don't take septic systems into consideration when put together proposals, so it’s up to you to ensure that there's nothing they are doing that's going to affect your septic system.

For more information on septic systems, contact Morse Engineering and Construction

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