Septic tank systems

 


Before Installing A Septic Tank

For many who live in the country, a septic tank is the only good option for dealing with sewage. But before installing a septic tank there are some things that you should know.
 
State laws may require a comprehensive soil and site evaluation by your local health department to determine whether your soil and land are suitable for a septic tank system. One of the main tests done in this evaluation, which must be done by an authorized inspector, is called a 'perk test'. You may have heard someone say that their house site did not 'perk'. That means they were unable to put their house on that spot because it would not take a septic system.
 
Perk  is an abbreviation of the word percolation and refers to a soil's ability to absorb water. All soil types have some degree of ability to absorb water, but not all soils absorb water at a rate that allows for the soil type to be utilized for the installation of a septic system.
 
Too high a soil perk rate (over 105 minutes per inch or MPI) indicates that the sewage water is not sufficiently filtered by the soil and may later contaminate the groundwater underneath. A low soil perk rate (under 15 MPI) indicates that the soil in that septic field may not be able to absorb the sewage water and thus cause the system to fail.

Permit May Be Requried

Before construction begins on your home or septic system, you must also receive a permit from the health department. Permits for septic systems are valid for only a few years, depending on what state you live in.

You will also need to determine the type of system you want to install or have installed. As you can see from the menu on this site there are a few different kinds of tanks and addons that are available. Concrete, plastic, or fiberglass tanks, installing a riser on the tank, having an aerator installed, etc.

The size of the septic system that you install is legally determined by the number of bedrooms in your home and the type of soils at the home site you have chosen. Once installation is complete, the system must be inspected and approved by the health department before any further work (such as electric installations) can be started.
 
As you can see, it would be wise to contact your local health department regarding the specific regulations for your state, before installing a septic tank for your home.