Many DIYers are surprised to learn that several factors need to be considered before deciding on the right spot to install a new septic system. While working with a certified professional is the best way to ensure the installation process is done properly in a safe and sanitary location, here are a few things to consider if you choose to go it alone.
FIRST THINGS FIRST, CHECK YOUR LOCAL REGULATIONS.
Septic system regulations vary depending on where you live. Start by contacting your local regulating agency to review the installation policies for your area and apply for the necessary permit(s). In the state of Arizona, this process begins with filing a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Discharge.
ALWAYS CBYD (CALL BEFORE YOU DIG).
The last thing you want to do is start digging and hit a utility line (e.g. cable, gas, power). Not only can this delay installation, but it can also be extremely dangerous—and potentially very expensive. Because there are no hard and fast rules about how deep different utilities have to be buried, make sure you call and have someone come out to mark the area. In most areas, a simple 811 call can get you started.
TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THE TERRAIN.
A little common sense goes a long way here. Ideally, you want to place your septic system on level ground (and high ground if possible) to avoid flooding and seeping. Avoid steep slopes and areas of dense tree roots or other obstructions. Also, because you will be bringing in heavy equipment to install your system, take into consideration any surrounding structures (such as utility sheds) or power lines that may impede your progress.
REMEMBER TO TEST THE SOIL QUALITY.
The quality of the surrounding soil is an important factor in determining where to place your septic tank. Consider how a septic system works: wastewater runs from your home to the septic tank, where it separates from solid waste and is released into the surrounding drain field, also called a leach field. Essentially, the drain field acts like a giant soil filter, so it’s important that your soil is highly absorbent. The best type of soil is sandy, undisturbed soil. Try to avoid areas of dense clay or bedrock, which can prevent water flow. Also steer clear of coarse, gravely soils that may drain too quickly. A percolation test (or perc test for short) will help you determine the state of your soil.
WHY GO IT ALONE? THE EXPERTS AT PARADISE VALLEY SEPTIC CAN HELP.
We touched on just a few of the important things to think about before installing your home septic system, but you also need to think about things like materials (what kind and how much will you need?), the overall design (how large of a drain field do you need? how close to your home should it be?), and the list goes on.
Or, you could just leave it to the professionals.
At Paradise Valley Septic our experienced technicians support ALL your septic system needs from installation to repair, including helping you with your initial design and securing the necessary permits. Just give us a call when you’re ready to get started.