Homeowners Should Know What’s Involved with Septic Installation
If you’re building a new home, you should be aware that there are septic considerations for a new home build. Homeowners who don’t have access to a municipal sewer service are responsible for installing a septic system. That means they have to make arrangements for a new septic tank and leach field. Septic systems are very simple in design and function, but there are other slightly more complicated issues you have to consider. Montgomery Sanitations wants you to have the best septic system for your new home.
From getting estimates to knowing building codes there are multiple septic considerations for a new home build. At Montgomery Sanitation, we are happy to let you know what you have to consider when installing a new septic system.
Get at Least One Estimate on Septic Installation
The first thing new homeowners should do is get an estimate from a licensed septic tank installer like Montgomery Sanitation. You can even get multiple estimates from professional septic tank installers. Make sure the contractor holds the proper insurance and licensing. Verify that preparations like excavation and drain field testing are in their estimate.
Test the Soil Around the Area of Your Septic System
New septic systems require the homeowner to test the soil and obtain a permit. Septic systems need soil around the septic tank to absorb and naturally treat liquid residue. It needs the natural treatment so it doesn’t contaminate runoff water or leak into the water table. This is the drain or leach field we referred to earlier in this blog.
We Recommend Getting a Perc Test of the Soil
Before we install a septic tank, homeowners should obtain a percolation test. A perc test confirms the soil meets requirements the town and local health department have set. Montgomery Sanitation recommends you get a perc test before you buy the land you want to build a home on. When the soil passes the percolation test, you’ll be able to obtain a permit and begin installing the septic system.
Montgomery Sanitation Provides Needed Septic Excavation
You will need excavation done to excavate the large amount of land necessary for a septic tank. As a service to our customers, Montgomery Sanitation performs excavating for septic installation. We recommend scheduling the excavation at a time when it won’t interrupt or impact construction of the home. We usually perform excavation before you pave the driveway and after the contractor builds the main frame of the home.
Septic Installation Can Begin After All the Steps Are Done
After the percolation test and you obtain a building permit, the septic installation is ready to begin. You will most likely be installing a conventional septic system, but Montgomery Sanitation can also install an alternative septic system. An alternative septic installation is more expensive, but these systems are becoming more popular in Virginia.
Some Homes Need Alternative Septic Installation
There are various reasons for alternative septic installations, including lack of space for conventional leach field and slope of the land. Those who have alternative systems will need a yearly inspection under Virginia law. You have responsibilities as an owner of an alternative septic system. According to The Virginia Department of Health lists those responsibilities in Code Section 12VAC5-613-140:
- Have the AOSS operated and maintained by an operator;
- Have an operator visit the AOSS at the frequency required by regulations;
- Have an operator collect any samples required by regulations;
- Keep a copy of the log provided by the operator on the property where the AOSS is located in electronic or hard copy form, make the log available to the department upon request, and make a reasonable effort to transfer the log to any future owner;
- Follow the O&M manual and keep a copy of the O&M manual in electronic or hard copy form for the AOSS on the property where the AOSS is located, make the O&M manual available to the department upon request, and make a reasonable effort to transfer the O&M manual to any future owner; and
- Comply with the onsite sewage system requirements contained in local ordinances adopted pursuant to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§10.1-2100 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations (9VAC10-20) when an AOSS is located within a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area.
Source: Virginia Department of Health
There are Multiple Types of Septic Tanks
There are also various types of septic tanks, including concrete, plastic, and fiberglass. Concrete septic tanks are very durable, but they are hard to repair if they sustain damage. Plastic septic tanks are less expensive, but they are prone to damage. Fiberglass septic tanks are stronger than plastic, but they shift if the water table rises too high.
Our Team Provides Septic Inspections and Pumping
Not only can we provide installation, but our team can provide inspections of conventional systems and alternative systems. We also recommend having us pump your septic system every three to five years.
Take Care of the Land Above Your Septic System
The septic system requires a little maintenance. In addition to getting it pumped out, make sure to care for the land around the leach field. You can regularly inspect your tank using its lids. We don’t recommend driving over the septic tank, or placing heavy machinery on your septic tank or drain field.