Q: How can you tell if land is too wet for a septic system? Can an area be covered with a tarp during the wet season to help it pass the perc test? -- K.G. A: Wet sites are challenging for septic system design and for home building in general. If the seasonal high water table is too close to the surface – less than three feet below the gravel trenches in the … [Read more...] about Septic Systems on Wet Sites
Q: We are replacing a house on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The house has a 5-year-old BAT system with a sand mound that has been maintained by the state. We just received notice the other day that we didn’t have enough acreage for a second sand mound and would need to go a holding tank if the system failed. How worried should we be? Would there be alternatives? Is it possible to … [Read more...] about Can New Septic Drain Field Go in Same Location As Old?
Q: We had a chamber septic system we had installed 15 years ago when we built our house. They hauled 19 truckloads of K4 sand, no gravel (see system design below). We’ve pumped it regularly and now we are selling. We had a septic inspection done only to be blindsided that the system is over-saturated and in need of replacement. We have come to believe that chamber … [Read more...] about Why Did Chamber Septic System Fail?
Q: There is a drilled well and septic in place on a plot of land I’m interested in, in upstate NY. It had served a home that had since burnt down. Is there a way to test the conditions of these without an existing structure? -- Jason A: Yes, both the existing well and septic can be tested. Well Testing A well driller can do the same type of yield test that is done on a new … [Read more...] about Testing An Existing Well & Septic System
Q: We are in the process of purchasing a home and during the inspection received a copy of the latest septic system inspection report. The home has passed the Title V inspection because it was previously compliant under older zoning setback laws and clearance from the well to septic. But the report states that “When the current septic system is eventually replaced, it will have … [Read more...] about What Is Minimum Lot Size For Septic System?
Q: How much should a perc test cost? I live in Pennsylvania and the septic company I hired is demanding $2,400 for a perc test. They say that the test itself (3 feet) will cost $650, a soil scientist will cost $500, excavator and operator is $750, and a drip system design is $1,400. Does this sound about right or am I being taken advantage of? Please help – Minji A: Perc … [Read more...] about How Much Should Perc Test Cost?
Q: I am looking to purchase two properties -- both of which failed to perc back in 2005. I am not 100% sure if this was a perc test or a soil site evaluation, but after speaking with the county, they stated I could have it tested again to see if I could get different results. This new test would for sure be a soil site evaluation (hope that is the correct lingo). My … [Read more...] about Retesting A Site That Failed to Perc?
Q: We are planning to sell our house on a 0.6 acre lot, and have been told that we need to replace the drain field before selling. However, there is nowhere on our site that qualifies due to modern regulations, which require the drain field to be at least 50 ft. from a stream and 100 ft. from a well. There is really nowhere on my site that qualifies. Are there any options … [Read more...] about Fitting Drain Field On A Small Lot