Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

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Should You Buy a House With a Septic System That is in Disrepair?

- Friday, March 25, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction - Leaking Septic System Tank

Should you buy a house with a bad septic system? You might wrestle with this question if you fall in love with a home only to find out during the home inspection that the septic system is in serious disrepair.

Properties usually have septic systems for one of two reasons: The home is in a rural area with no public sewer available or the home is older, and while it previously didn’t have access to a public sewer, it now does—but may have not been hooked up yet.

The good news is that a bad septic system doesn’t automatically mean you should flush your hopes of purchasing the home. Here’s when a bad septic system is a deal breaker and when it’s not.

Bad septic system: Repair or replace?

Septics are a simple system—water goes into the septic tank and displaces the same amount of water that travels to the drain field.

Common problems with septics include tree roots impacting the soil around the drain field. A simple fix could be as easy as clearing the roots. Or a septic may be failing because a tank baffle—what separates a tank from the drain field—needs repairing. In both cases, a septic professional can inspect the system and determine if a repair is possible. Such minor repairs may range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

But here’s the thing: If there isn’t an easy fix available, a bad septic will need to be completely replaced, or it will fail. Failure means the septic can no longer treat and distribute wastewater. Signs that a house needs a new septic system include toilets that drain slowly and standing wastewater on the ground above the drain field.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


How Often Should You Get a Septic System Inspection?

- Friday, March 18, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Inspection

Experts say you should get a septic system 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 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.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Protect Your Septic System as the Snow Melts

- Friday, March 11, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank Care in Winter

Spring is here and the melt has begun! When the snow starts to melt, many individual home sewage treatment systems (septic systems) may become waterlogged or temporarily flooded.


  • drains running slow
  • toilets not flushing properly
  • water backup into floor drains in the basement

A septic system has two main components: a septic tank that traps and biologically degrades solid waste, and a drainfield that provides additional biological treatment as well as infiltrating the water into the ground. Household water flows from the house sewer system into the septic tank then out to the drainfield. Any situation that prevents or slows down the flow of water through the septic system can cause problems.

Throughout the winter, normal use of water in a house keeps the soil in and around the drainfield and septic tank from freezing. So when the snow starts melting, the water may infiltrate into the drainfield area instead of running off. This can cause a temporary "high water table" which can leak into the septic tank or saturate the drainfield. When this happens, the waste water coming from the house cannot move through the septic system easily.

So you don't have to deal with a mess here are some tips to help your septic system before and during the spring thaw:

  • The first thing to do is make sure there are no leaking fixtures in the house. A drop of water every 15 seconds can add up to a lot of additional water added to the septic system.
  • Reduce water use.
  • Check faucets, shower heads, toilets, sinks & any other water using devices for leaks & repair them as soon as possible.
  • Don't put the water from a basement sump pump into the septic system.
  • Don't let water from roof gutters or from the sump pump discharge into the drainfield area.
  • Reduce the number of times you flush the toilet, wash clothes at a laundromat, reduce the number of showers &/or baths each day & only run the dishwasher when it is full.

Common sense is the key to reducing water use in the house and helping your septic system through the spring thaw. Remember the drainfield was designed to infiltrate the amount of water normally discharged from the house. When additional water, either from rain, snow melt, or flooding is added to the drainfield, the ability to handle household water becomes limited.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Septic System Do's and Don'ts Fact Sheet

- Friday, March 04, 2022
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Be Septic Smart