Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

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Signs of a Failed Septic System

- Friday, July 30, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic System

Before you declare your septic system a total failure, consider hiring someone to inspect, pump, and clean the system. This should be done every three to five years for most septic systems. So it’s possible maintenance neglect could be the culprit. In fact, the International Association of Home Inspectors recommends annual inspections to keep your septic system functioning properly. That’s because a malfunctioning septic system poses health and pollution risks.

The good news is, getting your septic tank pumped is relatively inexpensive. And when selling your home, most lenders and some local laws require an inspection anyway.

In some cases, however, your septic system could be beyond repair. It could be the age of the system, faulty installation, or damage from nearby landscaping or construction. In any event, here are some signs your septic system has failed:

  • Water and sewage backing up into your home through the toilets and drains
  • Slow-draining bathtubs, showers, and sinks and slow-flushing toilets
  • Gurgling noises in the plumbing
  • Wet or damp areas or bad odors near the septic tank or drainfield
  • Lush grass growth over the septic tank or drainfield; grass should be brown

If you notice one or more of these red flags, it’s likely your septic system has failed. For more information on septic tank inspections or replacement, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Selling a Property With a Septic Tank

- Thursday, July 22, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction

If you are listing the home on the open market, you should be sure that your septic system is up-to-date and in good working order. Increasingly, mortgage companies have been wanting septic tank inspections so they can know whether or not there’s a potential issue.

A septic inspection might not be necessary, though, if a seller can show that the tank has been serviced and pumped recently.

A home inspector also might request a septic system inspection if they notice that there are some signs of issues. This includes things like backflow in the drains or slow-flowing toilets.

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


Septic System Inspection: What Is Involved?

- Friday, July 16, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

You can hire a qualified private contractor to inspect your septic system.

Usually, an inspection will involve finding the underground tank’s location. This might mean using a sketch of the property and system that was made during the permitting process. Or it can mean flushing a small radio transmitter down the toilet, which is then removed once they locate the tank.

The inspector will then use a long, hollow pole that is known as a Sludge Judge to measure the level of solids in the tank. They will also check the other components in the tank.

A number of factors will determine how much this inspection costs. They usually cost between $100 and $250. It could cost more than this, though, depending on your location, how deep the tank is, and whether or not an inspector has to uncover it.

It’s important to understand that the cost of having a septic tank inspected is quite small compared to the potential cost of paying for repairs. To replace a drain field, for example, can cost you anywhere between $2,500 and $10,000.

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


Septic System Treatment is Not a Septic System Replacement

- Thursday, July 08, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction -  Sepic System

Many times folks believe they can simply restart a septic system by flooding it with a high dosage of pre-treated bacteria to eat up the sludge that might be overloading a conventional tank and causing a blockage. While these treatments do have some effect, they are not a system replacement per se.

The fact is, there is already plenty of bacteria working a hardy job in most septic tanks breaking down solids. Unfortunately, it still ends up creating sediment that displaces water and ultimately becomes a silty sludge that can block water flow and limit its eventual drainage out to the leech field or drain field. At that point, it doesn’t matter how much bacteria is present, the tank needs to be physically cleared usually through a professionally-equipped pumping.

How to Maintain Any Septic System Once You Choose One

A worker emptying the underground septic tank with a thick suction hose.

A key step any property owner should be taking is to first make it a regular habit to inspect the current system on a regular basis and have it serviced/pumped consistently as well. At the latest, any septic system with a holding should be pumped and cleaned every three years and not later. This figure might actually shorten and become more frequent if the household size is large and the system is used for more than average home or building.

Second, it might seem counterintuitive but the less water going down the drain, the better. Efficient toilets and faucets can go a long way in limiting the amount of wastewater produced, letting bacteria do its job better in the tank, and reducing the demand on the system to drain and dissipate faster.

Finally, drains should be kept free of non-biological material. Trash waste and processed products should never be sent down the drain and should instead be disposed of in garbage cans instead. These kinds of materials don’t break down quickly and will contribute to the system build-up.

Don’t forget, maintenance of your system also includes keeping up the condition of the drain field as well. No one should ever be allowed to park a car or place anything heavy on the field location itself. Trees, bushes, and thick-root plants should not be allowed to grow anywhere near a drain-field ever.

The roots can be pervasive and extremely destructive to pipes and the tank itself. And another drainage from the house or building should be diverted to a different location versus the drain field. This will avoid excess saturation of the soil with too much water, especially during the rainy season.

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


Options for Alternative Septic Systems

- Thursday, July 01, 2021
Morse Engineering and Construction - Sepic System

The Intermittent Sand Filter Approach

To compensate for a poor layer of soil, sand is used instead. Sand is extremely permeable for water, which flows through it extremely fast. Sand also collectively has a high density which blocks solid matter from moving forward. With this approach, a sand drain field is essentially created producing the desired drainage effect not otherwise possible.

A Recirculating Sand Filter Approach

For areas where there might be a high sensitivity to a drain field and need to ensure the water existing is completely clear of matter a looped system provides a double sand filter effect. Water moves through a sand block twice before it finally drains and evaporates out. Whatever the first sand filter did not stop, usually in very small particulate matter, the second layer does block.

A Mound Septic Design

Using gravity as an enhancing power, this approach keeps the water line and the tank above the ground level, forcing the wastewater to move into a drain field situation that pulls water downward. The gravity effect forces water through a sand layer that filters it so what finally exits is completely clear liquid into the surrounding soil area.

An Evaporation Septic Approach

Designed for very dry and arid locations, this system uses an evapotranspiration approach to draw water into moisture deficit areas of dry soil, grass, and plants. All three create a suction effect of moisture pulling it through the system. This approach, however, should never be used in areas where there is more than two feet of rainfall annually.

An Aerobic Septic System

Oxygen is a major destroyer of anything organic. This is a well-known biological fact, especially with rotting material. The Aerobic Septic system literally and proactively exposes wastewater to oxygen which speeds up the breakdown process as well as the evaporation later on. Once the water moves through the system it tends to be cleaner and dissipates far faster than other systems.

Drip Irrigation

This approach is ideal for homes where the existing landscape needs to be used and it might not be possible to install the septic system in a nice open field. With the drip irrigation design and the wastewater is pumped out into a network of pipes and channels buried under the ground to the level of 8 inches depth.

However, because this system is quite complex in terms of connections, it’s critical that both the pump out block, as well as the channels, are kept clear through filtering as well as regular maintenance. Otherwise, the channels will likely block up and fail pretty quick.

A Low-Pressure Septic System

It’s not a true alternative septic system per se, but the low-pressure approach does work better in soil areas where the ground doesn’t want to be very cooperative. This system utilizes a low-pressure pumping effect to push water into the tank and out to the soil, forcing it to drain instead of waiting for gravity to do all the work. As the water moves and spreads, it drains out and dissipates into the surrounding soil faster.

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