Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

Buying or Selling a Home with a Septic System

Joseph Coupal - Friday, February 07, 2020
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Construction Fiskdale, MA

If you are buying or selling property with a septic system installed, an inspection of the system may be part of the process. Certain types of ownership changes have different requirements. Learn what your requirements and rights are.

When are septic system inspections required?

  • Within 2 years before a sale. If weather conditions prevent inspection at the time of a sale, the inspection must take place within 6 months afterward.
  • When there is a proposed change to the facility which requires a building or occupancy permit.
  • Any change in the footprint of a building, to make sure that new building construction will not take place on top of any system components or on the system’s reserve area.
  • For large systems with a design flow of 10,000 to 15,000 gallons per day or more at full build-out and every five years thereafter.
  • Every 3 years for shared systems.
  • When the property is divided, or ownership of 2 or more properties is combined.
  • When MassDEP or the local Board of Health orders an inspection.

Property transfers with special requirements

System inspections must occur within 2 years before or 6 months after the following types of property transfers, provided that the transferring entity notifies the buyer in writing of the requirements of 310 CMR 15.300-15.305 for inspection and upgrade. If the system is pumped once per year following the date of the inspection, then the inspection remains valid for three years, provided the inspection report includes records demonstrating that the system has been pumped at least once a year during that time.

Foreclosure or deeds in lieu of foreclosure

  • Levy of execution that results in a conveyance of property
  • Bankruptcy

Sale of a condominium unit or condominiums:

  • Condominiums with 5 or more units - all systems must be inspected every 3 years.
  • Condominiums with fewer units must either inspect all systems every 3 years, or the system serving the unit being transferred must be inspected within 2 years prior to transfer.

When you DON'T need an inspection

Transfers between certain family members: Title 5 does not require a system inspection if the transfer is of residential real property, and is between the following relationships:

  • Between current spouses;
  • Between parents and their children;
  • Between full siblings; and
  • Where the property is held in a trust. See the "Guidance on Exemptions from Title 5 System Inspections", below.

Refinancing a mortgage or similar financial instrument;

Taking of a security interest in a property, e.g., issuance of a mortgage;

Appointment of, or a change in, a guardian, conservator, or trustee;

Any other change in ownership or the form of ownership where NO NEW parties are introduced (e.g., for estate planning or in a divorce);

The property owner or buyer has signed an enforceable agreement with the Board of Health to upgrade the system or to connect the facility to a sanitary sewer or a shared system within 2 years following the transfer of title, provided that such agreement has been disclosed and is binding on subsequent owners;

The property is subject to a comprehensive local plan of septic system inspection approved in writing by MassDEP and administered by a local or regional government; and the system has been inspected at the most recent time the plan requires.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: mass.gov


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.


Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to You and Yours this Season

Joseph Coupal - Saturday, December 21, 2019
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, Fiskdale, MA

Christmas and Chanukah share a similar spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope into the world. These two holidays occur together this year, which makes this an even more special holiday season.

This is a season to reflect upon how fortunate we are to have you as our customers: our friends and neighbors. During these holidays, we wish you, your family, and your friends a safe, joy-filled, and relaxing season.

Warm wishes for a Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Christmas, and a most Happy New Year! With peace, joy, and love this holiday season and beyond!


5 Tips for Septic System Maintenance in Winter

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, December 19, 2019
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Construction

There is never a good time for a septic system problem especially during the cold winter months. Here are tips that can help you and your customers keep the septic system in top working order.

  1. Pump the septic tank. If necessary the tank should be pumped prior to the winter season to eliminate accumulated solids.
  2. Inspect the system before the first snow and ice arrive. Inspecting the tank prior to the cycle of freezing and thawing can detect any cracks or issues that should be corrected. Also, inspect the drainfield to ensure that there is no surfacing effluent, wet areas or spongy soil above the drainfield.
  3. Inspect the plant cover on new systems. Systems installed in the fall may not have enough vegetative cover to properly insulate the system to prevent winter freezing. Placing a good layer of mulch or dry soil over the system is an important preventative measure.
  4. Winterize vacation home plumbing. Septic systems require usage to minimize the risk of freezing. If the home is a vacation property that is not used regularly during the winter, the septic tank should be pumped prior to the first frost and the home’s pipes should be winterized and drained.
  5. Avoid snow compaction and placing structures over the drainfield. Although snow is a good insulator, compacted snow is not as effective. Homeowners should avoid driving over the drainfield, even in winter, and structures should never be placed on top of the system.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: infiltratorwater.com


Winter Septic System Maintenance Tips

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, December 12, 2019
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Construction

If you have a septic system, it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t do around that area of the yard and indoors. There is a possibility of a septic system freezing, especially in cold areas with little snowfall. Follow these tips to reduce the chance of frustrating and costly damage to your septic system this winter.

Repair leaky fixtures. Dripping sinks, showers, and toilets can result in ice forming in the pipeline between your house and septic tank.

Use hot water. Having warm water flow into the tank regularly will help prevent ice buildup. Pamper yourself with a long bath or shower with the knowledge that you’re helping the septic system!

Keep up the lawn. A healthy, thick lawn of grass or other foliage will help insulate the soil that contains the septic system.

Spread mulch. Place an 8-12 inch layer of straw mulch on top of and around the pipes, tanks, and drain field of the septic system. This will further insulate the ground and help prevent the soil from freezing.

Secure the system. Make sure the tank and pipes don’t have any cracks in them and any caps are still securely in place. Any openings can let cold air into the system.

Keep cars away. Never park any vehicles on top of your drain field. Cars will compact the soil above the septic system, which makes it easier to transfer cold below. They will also prevent insulating snow from covering the area.

If you’ve had troubles with your septic system freezing or other issues in the past, you should get the system checked out by a professional. They can help with problems such as:

Sagging pipes. Pipes that have settled into the ground unevenly will cause water to pool and possibly freeze.

Insulation installation. A sewer professional can install more extensive insulation around the tank and pipes.

Draining the system. A septic tank and pipes periodically need to be pumped and cleaned out. You should leave this task to a professional.

Waterlogged drain field. Older septic systems can cause the drain field to become flooded. In this case, consult with a professional to see what can be done in your particular situation.

Keep your septic system in good shape by getting it checked regularly. In the meantime, keep these tips in mind to help prevent freezing and damage. If you want more home maintenance tips for the colder months.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Source: completehomewarranty.com


Now is the Time for Us to Say "Thanks" to YOU!

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries, LLC - Fiskdale. Sturbridge, MA

Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to remind one another of the many reasons there are to be grateful. We gather on this day to be thankful for what we have, for the family we love, the friends we cherish, the success we have had, and for the blessings that will come.

Thanksgiving is more than the festivities, it gives us time to ponder the lessons that we have learned and how we can spread happiness around, to look back at all the great memories and good people who came into our lives. We appreciate you, our customers and clients, so much.

At this time of year our thoughts turn gratefully to you with warm appreciation. Our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.


How Much Do Septic Tanks Cost?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, November 22, 2019
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic System

How much do septic tanks cost? Septic tank installation costs can head up into the tens of thousands of dollars, but if you're thinking of buying or building a home in a rural area or some other place that's not connected to a public sewer system, you may just have to spend the cash. Installing your own septic tank means the water going down the drain of your bathtub, toilet, and sinks has someplace to go!

In fact, about one-third of Americans have their own septic system. If you're breaking ground on a new home or converting a cabin with no running water, you will have to install one. But how much does a septic tank installation cost?

How much do septic tanks cost?

For a three-bedroom home, you can expect to need a 1,000-gallon tank, which will range in price from $8,000 to $15,000, according to AngiesList.com. For a five-bedroom home, you'll probably need a 1,500-gallon tank, which will cost between $15,000 and $25,000.

The cost of a septic system depends on its size, and its size will hinge on how much water you use. You can estimate both of these by using the number of bedrooms in your house as a rule of thumb.

In addition to the septic tank installation cost, you will also be on the hook for a few other expenses—namely permits, soil tests, and the excavation equipment needed to dig the hole in your yard where the tank will be placed.

A local septic installation expert will have an estimate of those costs, which vary widely by area. As part of that cost, An engineer will come out and perform all the necessary tests and design a system that will work for the home.

Installing a septic system typically takes about three to five days—and ideally should be done after your home has been built but before you've installed a driveway or other landscaping features. Note: A septic tank will displace a decent amount of dirt onto your lawn, which you can use elsewhere.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

realtor.com