Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

How Often Should a Septic System be Inspected?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 31, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic System

A septic system inspection is one of those home maintenance tasks that you might put off, and then put off some more. Because septics exist underground in the backyard, they are often out of sight, out of mind. But letting it go too long without an inspection can result in some major problems if the system fails.

Plus, septic inspections are also required if you plan to sell your home. Even if you don't know if you're going to sell, keeping your septic system in good condition will save you thousands of dollars in repairs if anything does go wrong.

Here's everything homeowners need to know about a septic system inspection.

How often should you get a septic system inspection?

Experts say you should get a septic system inspection every three years. But here's a dose of reality: Most homeowners never get their septic systems inspected unless there is a notable issue.

But that means homeowners get an inspection only when issues that may signal big trouble arise, such as when the toilet backs up, water takes too long to drain, or there's an actual septic system leakage. The benefit of doing an inspection every three years is to avoid major problems like these.

The three-year mark is also the maximum amount of time you should let your septic system go without being pumped out.

A problem caught at inspection can save you from having to replace the entire septic system (read: shell out a ton of money). It's especially important to keep your septic system in good shape if you plan on selling. During closing, a certified inspection will be performed and you don't want any last-minute surprises.

Who should perform a septic system inspection?

You're going to want to hire a professional septic contractor for the inspection.

General home inspectors do only a limited, visual-only inspection of the septic system.

A septic contractor will look for cracks in the tank indicated by a low level of liquid, the amount of solids inside the tank using a measuring device called a "sludge judge," and possible ground contamination.

How much does a septic system inspection cost?

Cost depends on how extensive the septic inspection is as well as the size of the tank, which is usually either 1,000 or 1,500 gallons. But a basic septic system inspection typically runs between $300 to $600.

You can also reach out to your local health department to see if it performs inspections for a reduced price.

Is the home seller or buyer obligated to get an inspection?

The person who's responsible for carrying out the inspection is determined based on where you live.

In Massachusetts, the standard purchase agreement contract states that it's the home seller's responsibility to get the septic inspected. If you live in a state with this type of timing caveat, don’t do an inspection before an accepted contract or you may have to do it all over again to meet the contract timeline.

Bottom line: Ask your local real estate professional about your obligation regarding the septic system inspection.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: realtor.com


Benefits of Hiring a Snow Plow Service

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, January 23, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Snow Plow Service

A snow plow service, like many things in life, is often assumed more expensive than it really is. A big snow storm can often have you regretting you have not hired a snow plow service.

When you consider all the risk that is mitigated by hiring a professional to remove snow, you may even see the investment not only saves you head and back aches, but money as well.

There are many benefits to engaging a snow removal service:

Safety

Business – Keep your employees and patrons safe from slip and fall type accidents. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it protects you from costly litigation. You will also save time and money avoiding absent and injured employees.

Personal – If you have young children or care for an elderly family member, a clear pathway from the vehicle to the entryway of your home is essential to their safety.

Protect Your Investment

Did you know that different types of snow plow blades are more effective than others? If an old, dull plow edge of inferior quality is used, it can damage the asphalt in your parking lot or driveway. Hiring someone who knows all things snow plow is your best bet.

Avoid Fines

Many communities have ordinances requiring both business and residential sidewalks to be clear at all times. This can be hard to keep up with on your own with other full-time commitments.

Sleep

This one is easy to get behind… You get to stay in bed! Let someone else be responsible to greet the new day while they brave the cold. Start your day right with the routine that makes you most effective, without a flash snowfall putting a kink in your style.

You may find once you interview service providers that there is flexibility of seasonal packages and hiring help on an as-needed basis.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: getassist.com


Don't Let Your Septic System Freeze

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 17, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Construction

Lack of snow cover and dropping temperatures can spell trouble for homeowners with septic systems.

Snow helps to insulate septic systems and keep them from freezing. Unfortunately, a lot of our snow cover has melted and temperatures across the state are dropping.

Below is a list of seasonal tips for homeowners on how to prevent septic system freeze-ups as the winter season progresses.

  • Place a layer of mulch 8 to 12 inches thick over the pipes, tank, and soil treatment system to provide extra insulation. This can be straw, leaves, hay or other loose material that will stay in place and not become compacted. This is particularly important for new systems that were installed so late in the year that vegetative cover didn't get established. However, if the system is currently frozen, don’t add mulch now; it will delay thawing in the spring.
  • Use water—the warmer the better—if you’re worried your system is starting to freeze. Spread out your laundry schedule so you run one warm/hot load a day. Use the dishwasher and take hot baths. Do not leave water running all the time—this will overload the septic system.
  • Going away for an extended period? Have someone use warm water in the home regularly or pump out your tank before leaving.
  • Fix any leaky plumbing fixtures or appliances in your home. This will help prevent freezing problems and help your system perform better all year.
  • Keep all vehicle, animal, and people traffic off the system. This is a rule to follow all year as compacted snow and soils cause frost to go down deeper and faster. Pay special attention to the area between the house and tank.
  • Keep an eye on your system. If any seeping or ponding occurs, contact an onsite professional to help determine the cause and remedy.

Add more insulation to your system. This could include replacing pipe with insulated pipe, adding expanded foam panels over septic tanks, or adding more soil cover.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

www.pca.state.mn.us


Soil Evaluation and Septic System Site Q& A

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 10, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Septic System in Sturbridge, Fiskdale, MA

My site and soil evaluation is complete. What’s next?

In order to get a permit to install a wastewater treatment system, a layout/design plan must be completed and submitted with the site/soil evaluation report. Based on the soil evaluation report, a layout/design plan must be completed by someone with knowledge of septic system components and local and state health department rules. Roxsol has completed multiple layout/design plans for homeowners and commercial clients. Experienced system installers can also complete the layout plan.

Why do I have to have a site and soil evaluation completed?

New state and local health department rules require that a site and soil evaluation be completed prior to installing a new or, in some cases, a revised septic system. By reviewing and documenting the site and soil conditions, a septic system can be designed to maximize the life expectancy of the installed system.

How do I choose a good home/commercial site?

Finding a good site to build on is a challenge. New septic system rules require that there is leach area available to accommodate a primary AND secondary leach area. Primary area is defined as the area that will be used for the initial system leach area. The secondary leach area is only used if the primary area fails. Most sites will accommodate a wastewater treatment system of some kind, but costs can vary significantly. An ideal site has at least 150’ of available length along the contour, no seasonal or apparent water table, depth to bedrock is greater than 60 inches, no excavation or overhead hazards, slopes less than 15% and15% to 27% clay content in soils. Acreage of 2 or more is usually sufficient to accommodate a residence and the required leach area.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.