Building a house with a septic system is a choice that many homeowners make. A septic system is a reliable waste management system that can be installed on just about any property. However, there are specific steps to building a house with septic abilities that every homeowner should understand. Here are the steps to building a house with septic systems that will apply to almost every project.
Step 1. Site Inspection and Planning
Most municipalities have rules about where a septic can be installed. For example, a septic tank usually has to be installed at least 100 feet from new construction plumbing installations. This rule is in place to help protect the water coming into the home from being contaminated by septic waste.
The first step in the steps to building a house with septic handling is a site inspection. The site will be evaluated to ensure that it is suitable for a septic system. A PERC test will be conducted to ensure that proper drainage is available to handle the waste water.
Other factors of the site inspection that will be considered before you can take the next steps to building a house with a septic system is the soil composition, ground water factors, the slope of the property, and other bodies of water in proximity. For example, if you have a stream running through your property that may play a role in where your septic tank and leach field can be installed.
Step 2. Permits
Once the site evaluation is complete and you get the go from the home building company, you can proceed with the steps to building a house with septic capabilities. You will need to get the permits to install the septic tank and the rest of the system. Your local building code office is the place that issues the permits.
In many cases, the builder will secure the permits for you, but this may be a DIY scenario in some cases. You should call ahead to ask what documents you must bring with you for the permits. If you are working with a plumbing contractor to install the system, then they will likely manage the permit paperwork for you.
Always be sure that you keep up with whomever it is that is supposed to get the permit to ensure that it is done. Breaking ground on your new septic system before you have the permit is risky business that can come with huge fines. In extreme cases, the building inspector can actually require that you rip out the septic tank and system and start the work over. Getting permits is a very important step in the process.
Step 3. Start Digging
If all goes well with the permit process you can hire the excavation company to start digging. There are two key players in this step of the process. The excavation company and the professional that will do the actual installation. In some cases, you only need one company to do both.
Sometimes you can hire a septic company to install the septic tank and they already have the excavation equipment, so you don’t have to hire a separate service. Sometimes the septic professionals don’t have excavating capabilities and you do need to hire a separate company. In either case, during this step, the property will be dug up, and the tank will be installed, but that is not the final step of the steps to building a house with a septic system.
Step 4. Connecting the Drain Field
Sinking the septic tank is one part of installing the septic system. The next steps to building a house with a septic system require the other two working parts to be connected to the tank. The drain field is step four. The drain field is where liquid waste is sent from the septic tank.
Small trenches are dug from the septic tank to the drain field. A layer of gravel is placed in the trenches about an inch thick. Perforated pipes are installed on top of the gravel in the trenches. The pipes carry liquid waste out of the septic tank into the drain field, where the waste sinks into the ground. The gravel layer is used to foster drainage. Once the pipes are installed, the dirt is placed on top of the pipes.
You are now more than halfway there in the steps to building a house with a septic system, but you still have a few more steps to go. There are three parts to a septic system, and up until now, only two have been connected. One more step to go in the construction of the septic system.
Step 5. Connect To The House
One of the most important steps to building a house with a septic system is connecting the house plumbing to the system. There is usually a single drainpipe that is connected from the house to the septic system. A professional should do this. It sounds simple enough but there are some specific criteria that must be followed.
The slope of the drainpipe into the septic tank plays a critical role in the function of the system. Appropriate clean outs must also be installed during this step so sewage back flow cleaning when necessary is easy to access. In other words, it takes more than a pipe wrench to connect your home to the sewer system on your property.
It is critical that you have a certified professional manage this step in the process. Remember that the septic system will have to pass inspection before the building inspector issues a certificate of occupancy. It is essential that every part of this step is done to the letter of the building code regulations to be ready for step 7.
Step 6. Testing
Once everything is all connected, it is time to test the system. Before the tank is closed and the rest of the work is sealed, the plumber will test your system to ensure it is functioning. The test will include flushing all the toilets and running all the sinks. The test will be timed to see how long it takes for the wastewater to make it to the septic tank.
During the testing phase any leaks or other problems noted will be immediately addressed. Until everything works as it should the septic tank will not be closed. In some localities, the septic tank and other components must remain exposed until the building code office inspector can look.
Step 7. Inspection
Steps to building a house with a septic system include a couple of steps where an inspector must sign off on the project. Including a final inspection to ensure that the septic system is safe to use for the home and for the environment. The inspector will check to ensure that every part of the system is up to code.
Sometimes the inspector may find some minor changes that need to be made to ensure the safety of the system for custom homes. Other times, the inspector can find major problems with the system that can delay you moving into your home. Sometimes with a little luck it all goes well, and your system is approved for immediate use.
Once you get the go ahead from the inspector your steps to building a house with a septic system are almost through. Just a few more optional steps. You do have a couple of more things you may want to do to ensure that your system stays functional and reliable.
Step 8. Clean Up Time
Installing a septic system can leave you with a big mess. Even if you have conscientious contractors that did their best to clean behind themselves, you still likely have some mess to contend with. It can be stressful and a safety hazard to deal with construction trash. Local dumpster rental can be the easiest way to clean up construction mess.
Renting a dumpster will help you to keep debris organized and out of the way until the dumpster rental company can come and pick it up. Dumpster rentals are a cost-effective option for cleaning up large messes like those left from construction. Packaging, debris, and yard waste can go neatly in one container.
If you are tasked with cleaning up the mess, a dumpster rental can save you time and money. Instead of trying to manage the loads of waste on your own and driving back and forth to the landfill, all you must do is fill the dumpster and the rental company will take care of the rest. It is a worthwhile investment and one of the easy steps to building a house with a septic.
Step 9. Partner with a Professional To Care for Your System
You did it, you made it to the final step. This last step is an easy step, but it is an essential step. Septic systems can be finicky, so it is important to learn how to properly care for your septic system. You must be careful about what you put down your drains and flush in your toilet.
You also need to have your septic tank pumped and cleaned every three years. A local septic tank cleaning company can help you to maintain your septic system. Putting the effort into maintenance will ensure that your system remains fully functional and reliable.
Establishing a relationship with a septic professional will ensure that your system is well cared for. The right professional will take the time to educate you about your system and the best ways to care for your system. You invested a lot of time and money in the steps to building a home with a septic system. Be sure to invest in the care of the system.
Step 10. Educate Yourself About Potential Septic Problems
Learn about the warning signs that indicate that something is wrong with your septic system. For example, you should not have water puddles in your yard around your tank or your drainage field if it has not rained. If you do, there is a problem. You should not smell sewer gas coming from your drains if you do. That is also a problem.
Keep all your septic system installation documents and ensure you understand the system’s warranty. It is also important that you learn about your responsibilities when it comes to warranty work. In many cases, addressing a problem early on will ensure the system gets back on track with reliable service.
No one likes to think about a new septic system failing, but it does happen. To ensure that you are aware of any changes in your system’s function, keep an eye out for any warning signs. If you notice that your drains are moving slower, it is best to call whoever holds the warranty for the system to have them come and check it out. On the upside of things, if you have any problems related to installation, you will know about it pretty early on. By three months of living in your new home, if you haven’t experienced any installation problems, you probably will not. By six months, you will be used to doing all the things you need to do to own a home with a septic successfully.
A septic system can be the answer for many people that live outside the municipal sewer system hook-up range. Septics are used in rural and suburban areas where public sewers are unavailable. Some people prefer septic because of the cost savings. Whatever it is that is motivating you to learn about the steps to building a house with a septic is, keep in mind that every one of the steps are an important step in the process. Learn more about the benefits of septic systems and how you can have one installed in your home.