Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

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Plastic Septic Tanks vs. Concrete Septic Tanks

- Friday, May 31, 2024
Morse Engineering and Construction - Concrete Septic Tank

Plastic Septic Tanks

The Advantages: There are many advantages to using a plastic septic tank over a concrete septic tank, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Plastic septic tanks are very resistant to cracking, unlike concrete.
  • Rusting is a non-issue.
  • As plastic weighs less than concrete, it is much easier to get a plastic septic tank into the location for installation.
  • A plastic septic tank is more cost-effective than a concrete septic tank.

Plastic septic tanks can be water-tight and corrosion proof.

The Disadvantages: There are many advantages to using a plastic septic tank over a concrete septic tank, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Plastic septic tanks tend to have lower effluent levels, which may be discovered after a tank is opened for pumping.
  • If not installed properly, a plastic septic tank can "float" to the surface of the ground.
  • Because plastic is such a light-weight material, it can be damaged at installation.
  • Plastic septic tanks are not approved in all states.

When is a plastic septic tank appropriate? Plastic septic tanks can be the right choice when they are permissible in your state and when cost is a significant consideration. In the end, you must decide if a plastic septic tank is best for your project.

Concrete Septic Tanks

The Advantages:

  • Concrete septic tanks have higher effluent levels than plastic septic tanks.
  • Because concrete septic tanks are heavy, there is no chance of floating, unlike plastic septic tanks.
  • Concrete septic tanks are long lasting and extremely durable.
  • These septic tanks are approved in all states.

The Disadvantages:

  • Concrete septic tanks are very expensive.
  • These septic tanks can crack under extreme circumstances.
  • Because concrete is heavy, it is very difficult to install.
  • Though concrete septic tanks are very durable, they can crack and are more susceptible to leaks.

When is a concrete septic tank appropriate? When concrete is mandated by zoning codes, concrete septic tanks are appropriate. Additionally, septic professionals choose concrete when value is a more important consideration than cost.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.


Septic System Regulations in Massachusetts

- Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic System

About 30% of all homes in Massachusetts depend on privately owned septic systems to take care of sewage disposal. Various governmental regulations are in place to guide the consumer through every step of the process in owning a septic system.

Regulation of Septic Tank Systems

Local Massachusetts Board of Healths are the authority in charge of regulating the septic tank systems. Title 5 of the State Environmental Code contains guidelines for the positioning, construction, and maintenance of sewage systems. MassDEP or Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is in charge of processing application approvals, and is also responsible for implementing Title 5 regulations.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

From 2004 onwards, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission has been in charge of the Massachusetts Title 5 Onsite Wastewater Training and the Certification of Soil Evaluators and System Inspectors. Soil Evaluator training entails 3 days of classes plus 3 days of fieldwork and a combined written and field test. The System Inspectors have to undergo a 1-day class and a written exam. Both categories have to renew their licenses every 3 years.

Installing a New Septic System

To install a new septic system or repair an existing one, consumers need to apply for permission to the Board of Health. They have to get the relevant DEP approved application forms from the local Board of Health for the purpose. Applications are necessary for permission to construct, and approval for onsite construction. An onsite soil test and a percolation test have to be conducted by authorized personnel. After construction or repair, a Certificate of Compliance will be issued by the Board of Health.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction for more information.


Septic System Performance Problem

- Friday, May 10, 2024
Morse Engineering and Construction - Checking septic system

Most septic system problems are a result of poor initial design, misuse, or physical damage, such as driving heavy vehicles over the leach field. Common conditions that can cause a septic system to perform poorly include:

  • House plumbing. clogged or inadequate plumbing vents, blockage between the house and septic tank, or inadequate pitch in sewer pipe from house
  • Septic tank to leach field. Blockage between the septic tank and leach field caused by a plugged or broken tank outlet, or a plugged line to the leach field cause by tree roots, or by solids that overflowed from the tank
  • Leach field piping. Driving or parking heavy vehicles over the leach field can break the perforated leach pipe, especially if it is not uniformly supported by the gravel bed. Usually tree roots do not penetrate through the gravel bed into the perforated piping.
  • Leach field sizing: Drain field may be too small for current flow levels out of the home. Reducing flows though use of flow restricters, and low-flow faucets and fixtures might help.
  • High water table. A seasonal high water table can saturate the soil around the trenches impairing the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater. This is sometimes an issue on relatively flat building sites with poor surface drainage. This can often be fixed by installing subsurface drains or curtain drains to intercept the water flow toward the leach field area and to lower the water table locally.
  • For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction