Septic 101

Is your septic system defective?

Do you need a septic system for a new construction?

Here are some simple steps to follow or answers to your questions:

  1. The type of installation is determined by a soil test performed by an engineer or technician specializing in soil verification and septic system design. Their purpose is to provide you with an accurate report and to offer you a septic system that complies with the standards of the Ministry of the Environment (MDDEP). This report is required to apply for a septic permit from your municipality. This report is also useful for the contractor in your area who will determine the cost of installation.
  2. The percentage of sand in the soil determines the permeability of the soil. There are four categories of permeability: very permeable, permeable, low permeability and impermeable. This information, as well as the depth of the water table and the space available on the property, determines the type of installation suitable for your home.
  3. There are three categories of septic systems: The conventional system consists of a septic tank and a leaching field. When the soil does not meet the standards needed for a conventional system, an advanced secondary treatment system will be required (Ecoflo, Bionest, Enviro-septic, HydroKinetic and Waterloo). The technology of these systems is designed to filter wastewater that is discharged from the septic system. This system has three components: the septic tank, the secondary treatment unit and the polishing leaching field (small drainage field).
  4. Finally, if your soil is classified as impermeable (often clay-based), a tertiary septic system is required. This system filters wastewater twice, in two types of technologies. This ensures that the water discharged from your septic system is clear and meets the minimum criteria for fecal coliforms or other microorganisms allowed before being directed to a ditch or storm sewer.
  5. The result of the soil test determines the type of installation required. The cost of a septic system for a 3 to 4-bedroom residence can vary between $6,000.00 and $25,000.00 in addition to applicable taxes.
  6. There are maintenance costs related to the secondary and tertiary systems. The Ministry of the Environment (MDDEP) requires annual maintenance on all technologies authorized to treat wastewater in a residence in an isolated environment.

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