Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

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Inspecting Septic Systems: What to Expect

- Friday, April 26, 2024
Morse Engineering and Construction - Checking Septic System

What should I expect in a typical septic system inspection?

Septic system inspections are a vital step in making sure your system is operating properly. Regular inspections ensure you and your family do not get sick due to a leak or other problems with your septic system. Since these wastewater systems are located underground, homeowners may overlook having a septic inspection. Routine inspections help prevent expensive repairs to your system or avoid a sewage backup in your home. In many states, a septic system must be inspected with the transfer of real estate. However, it is not only when you are buying a home that these inspections are needed. Septic system inspections should be done every 1 to 3 years for as long as you own your home.

In general, an inspection will involve the following:

Review of the system permit, design, and installation records (including system age)

Review of the septic tank pumping and system maintenance records

Opening and inspecting all tanks (septic tank, pump tank, distribution box)

Evaluating the septic tank sludge and scum levels and determining the need to pump

Assessing the condition of the septic tank effluent filter (if installed)

Looking for signs of leakage, such as low water levels in the tank

Looking for signs of backup, such as staining in the tank above the outlet pipe

Evaluating the integrity of the tank, inlet and outlet pipes and looking for signs of corrosion

Verifying all electrical connections, pumps, controls, and wiring are intact

Possibly using a camera to look at solid pipes and leach lines for blockages or collapsed piping

Evaluating the drainfield for signs of system failure, such as standing water (surfacing) or unequal drainage

Possibly excavating parts of the drainfield to look for signs of ponding in the system or groundwater impacting the drainfield

Examining the distribution box for structural integrity and to make sure drain lines are receiving equal flow

Reviewing other available records on water use and required inspections, monitoring, and reporting to ensure system compliance with local regulations regarding function and permit conditions.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


Septic System Excavation Costs

- Friday, April 19, 2024

A typical residential excavation job can range between $1,552 and $6,340, with an average of $3,931. You'll likely pay between $40 to $150 an hour. Alternatively, you may pay fixed pricing, or the project bid amount. Project bids reflect cubic yards of dirt moved, usually between $50 and $200 per cubic yard.

In residential settings, a local residential excavation company prepares a site for development by removing trees, digging and grading the land in preparation for home foundations. If it has to do with dirt—dirt removal, cut and fill, land clearing, digging, compacting, and land prep—these earthmoving experts do it.

Although the specific machinery used for excavation may vary depending on the size of the lot and the plant life already in place, the most common choices are either an excavator, backhoe loader, or tracker with a backhoe attachment. Many elements influence how much you'll pay for excavation, including accessibility, terrain, equipment, gradient, and the project purpose.


Septic Tanks and Systems: What you Need to Know

- Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic Tank

How many years does a septic tank last?

Depending on several elements, a septic tank will typically last 14 to 40 years.

Tank material: Concrete requires more maintenance, but commercial-grade fiberglass and plastic tend to last decades.

Maintenance: Get inspections every one to three years and pump it out every three to five years. If you have a larger home with more than three bedrooms and tend to use a lot of water, aim for every three years at a minimum.

Vehicle traffic over the leach field: Driving over the leach field compresses it and may cause it to fail.

Soil composition: Varying soil types and depths affect how long it may last.

What are the signs I need a new septic tank?

There are a few signs you should get a new septic tank. These include the following:

Unpleasant odors: If you smell sewage, you may be dealing with an overfilled septic tank that's solid waste.

Standing water: If there's no obvious cause for standing water like heavy rainfall, you may have an oversaturated drain field or a broken pipe or septic system.

Slow draining: A full septic tank will cause pipes to drain more slowly.

Patches of vibrant grass: A wastewater leak can actually fertilize grass, making it grow thicker and greener over your septic area.

Home addition: Building onto your house or adding more residents will affect the septic system. Make sure your septic tank can handle any additions.

Nearby water contamination: A septic tank leak can lead to wastewater contamination that can deposit nitrate, nitrite, or coliform bacteria in water sources near your home. If these bacteria are found nearby, check your septic system to see if it's the source.

Old age: If your septic tank is at the end of its life span, it's time for a new one.

How much do septic system repairs cost?

Septic tank repairs cost $650 to $3,000 by a septic system repair pro near you. Tank repairs usually cost less than $1,500 for each type of repair or part (listed below), while leach fields run $2,000 to $20,000.

Tank pump: $800–$1,500; a septic tank located lower than the drain field may require a pump to bring wastewater up to the drain field.

Pumping cost: $300–$600; even a properly functioning system will need to be pumped every three to five years to remove the solid waste.

Tank lid: $100–$300 to purchase and install; you'll only spend $50–$150 buying the lid and putting it on yourself.

Tank lid risers: $300–$1,000; they raise the lid level up to the surface for deeply buried tanks.

Contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.