Initial Consultation—The first phase of the investigation process is perhaps the most important. It is at this point that the property owner (or buyer) and a member of our design team meet and discuss the overall development objectives (i.e. the size and location of the dwelling or facility, the location of the garage, pool, driveway and well (if appropriate). In addition, the number of bedrooms in the dwelling should be decided at this time. Septic systems are designed based upon the number of bedrooms—having this information going into the field investigation is helpful to ensure that an adequate area is located for the system.
The second step in the investigation process is the soil profile analysis. This test requires the use of a backhoe to excavate test pits. Our design team carefully assesses the various soil horizons encountered in the test holes to determine soil texture, soil structure, apparent permeability and depth to seasonal or permanent groundwater.
The soil profile analysis is definitely the most significant aspect of this entire testing process. The proper interpretation of the soil characteristics (color, texture, mineralization, etc.) requires years of specialized experience in the local area.
With the soil profile analysis successfully completed, a determination may be made as to the type of septic system required. If the site is suitable for a standard system, the county may develop a design and ready an installation permit for issuance. If however, the site requires an engineered system, then the project must proceed with the following steps.
Once the field data has been collected, our design team can commence with the design development. The design process starts with a topographic survey and the creation of a topo map in AutoCad that establishes the relationship between the ground topography, our test locations, property corners and other items of concern (streams, cut banks, etc.). This map is used to develop the disposal field configuration and to assist in the design calculations. The completed design documents depict the significant portions of the parcel, the system configuration and detailed drawings of all significant system components. A complete design package is then submitted to the regulatory agency for review and approval. Once approval of the design has been granted a construction permit may be obtained and the system constructed.