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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.

Failed Title V Certification when Selling A Home: What to Do Now

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 11, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank Inspection

When selling a home in Massachusetts that involves a septic system, one of the most important considerations is getting your Title V certification. The last thing you want is a problem with your septic system!

What happens if your septic system fails and your title V does not pass?

First, get in touch with a local engineer and the board of health. The engineer is going to determine if there is a "reserve area" on the original septic design where additional leach trenches could be added.

It may be determined that the system needs to be placed in another area. In this case the engineer will draw up a septic design. The septic design is based on soil tests. These tests are called "perks and deep hole tests". The perk test determines how quickly the soil leaches and the deep hole test determines the water table level. Soils that have more gravel are better than those with clay and rock. A higher water table is not good when considering septic systems. With a high water table, you may need to have a "raised system."

Once the septic system design is done and approved by the board of health, you'll want at least three bids from various septic installers.

If you are in the middle of a Real Estate transaction and find out your septic system has failed and it will not be able to be repaired or replaced before the closing, the bank giving the buyer the loan will require you to escrow 1.5 times the estimate to fix or replace the system. However, keep in mind that every bank will not allow a septic escrow. The buyer may end up having to wait until the installation is complete.

If you are unfortunate enough to have to replace your septic system, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

What Kind of Septic System Is Right?

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, June 04, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

There are several types of septic systems you may consider for your new construction project, each of which could be beneficial in different ways.

Conventional Septic Systems

There are two general styles of conventional septic tanks that are used today, with the older graveled septic system being cheaper but not as preferred as the newer chamber septic system. Conventional septic systems feature a septic tank that is fed by a pipe which connects the building it is being used for. As water fills up inside the septic tank, it will eventually rise to the level of a drainage pipe, which leads out to the drainage field where the water drains into the ground. Septic tanks are intentionally made in large sizes to allow time for the wastewater to separate, creating a layer of sludge on the bottom and a layer of scum that floats on the surface. Both the chamber and graveled system drainfields create porous surfaces that allow the untreated water to sink into the soil, which naturally removes harmful bacteria and viruses.

Low-Pressure Pipe Systems

This solution is often used for situations where the natural terrain and orientation of the building demands that the drainfield be located uphill from the tank, meaning that gravity won’t cooperate when it comes to getting your wastewater to drain in the right place. This system is similar to the conventional septic system design, only there is a second tank added inside the main septic tank. This tank is programmed to pump out the wastewater twice each day, sending the wastewater through the drainfields where it can percolate into the soil.

Evapotranspiration System

In environments where the level of evaporation vastly exceeds the level of precipitation, such as in a semi-arid or arid climate, an evapotranspiration septic system will be a great solution. These types of climates tend to not have sufficient layers of permeable soil to treat the wastewater, so an alternative to the conventional system is needed. An Evapotranspiration septic system features an underground tank with a drainfield that has a trench with an impermeable barrier rather than a porous surface. This trench is topped by mounded sand and plants, which allows the water to evaporate into the air and transpirate into the plants. This process allows the wastewater to be treated through the sand without spilling over onto the dry terrain. An alternate version of this system changes the drainfield by making it permeable, allowing the water to percolate into the soil as well, making it a viable solution for moist climates as well.

When you need septic service, installations, or repairs that you can trust, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.