Septic System FAQ’s

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1.       What is the difference between cesspool and septic system?

A cesspool is a pit which acts as a settling chamber for solids and a leaching system for liquids. The use of a cesspool may overload the capacity of the soil to remove bacteria, phosphorous and to nitrify ammonia and organic nitrogen compounds. A conventional septic system has a tank where solids settle and begin to decompose, a distribution box, and a soil absorption system (SAS) that treats the effluent (which is water mixed with waste matter) by removing some of the bacteria, phosphorous and nitrogen.

2.       How much does it cost to have a septic system installed?

The cost of a septic system can vary greatly. It has a lot to do with the soil conditions and the water table in the surrounding area.

3.       I am interested in buying a house that has a septic system-how will I know it functions properly?

Usually the current owner is responsible for the inspection of the septic system.  Ask the current owner to furnish you with a history of service to assure proper maintenance.   We highly recommend that you hire an independent party for the inspection even if it has already been done by the current owner.  You should think of the process the same as you would when you hire a home inspector.   Most people would feel more comfortable with the results than if they were hired by the current home owner.  If it is recommended to replace – then negotiate that cost when you bid on the house, or have the owner fix it before you buy the home.

4.       Is there only one type of septic system?

There are many different types of septic systems.  We would design one that best fits the condition of the site and your needs.

5.       Can you repair my septic instead of replacing it?

In some cases there is a possibility of repairing you’re septic without replacing it.  We will examine the problems and come up with the best solution.

6.       Do you need any special license to install a septic?

Each town requires a septic Installers license.  A fee is paid to the Board of Health in your town to obtain the license.  There are also separate certifications depending on the product that we are installing in the ground.

7.       How long will it take to install my septic system?

The average septic system could take three to five days to complete depending on the weather and availability of the town inspectors.

8.       How often should we pump our septic system?

We recommend annual pumping of your septic system.  It is a good idea to have your filter cleaned annually also to prevent any back up from entering your house.  We will wash your filter if needed when we pump your septic.

9.       I my septic fails, what is the next step that I need to take?

First, you would contact us and we will contact your local board of health to get any information they have about your septic system and we will schedule the perc. test with them to begin the process of designing plans for your new septic.

10.   What is a perc. test?

A percolation test is a hole that we excavate in your yard to examine the soil and water table.  At that time of the perc test, we would have the board of health and the soil evaluator examine the soils.

11.   Is there any funding available

Many towns have funding available for replacement, repair and upgrade of your septic system with low interest rates.  Contact your local Board of Health or the Community Development Division for more information on these programs.  There are also some banks that have special loans for repairs to your septic system.

12.   What is an effluent filter?

An effluent filter is a filter that we put on the outlet of the tank that leads to your d-box and leaching field to stop any scum or solids from leaving the D-Box.  The effluent filter should be cleaned on an annual basis at the time of pumping.  It is not recommended that you clean your filter yourself because the tank needs to be pumped down before removing the filter.

13.   How long will I be without water during the excavation of my septic system?

Most times there will be very little if any interruption of you water usage.  The installer will let you know if there will be an interruption.


Need Help Now? Call 508-946-4243