When we flush our toilets, pour spoiled milk down the drain or scrub off our dirty hands, we normally don’t think about where all that liquid and waste is going. However, if you’ve ever experienced a drain backup or a malfunctioning waste removal system, you can attest to the importance of these systems.
A commonly used system is a septic tank. These are large and important systems which need proper installation and removal because of the expense to the home owner and the danger to the environment if they fail.
How a Septic Tank Works
The idea of a septic tank is fairly simple. Household waste from sinks, toilets and washing machines is piped down to the septic tank where it stays for roughly 24 hours. During this time the tank breaks down the waste as much as possible and separates solids from liquids. The liquids are sent out through a drainage system, while the solids remain to further decompose turning into a layer of sludge. This sludge in a septic system must regularly be pumped out.
The process for installing a septic tank begins with soil testing. The inspection will be looking to determine the specifics of the water waste system your home needs. Knowing that information, the technician will test the soil to see how well it drains. This avoids the uncomfortable situation of having a sewage pond in your backyard because your soil is impermeable. This information is used to prepare a comprehensive plan that determines what the requirements of the tank are. Once you have the plan, excavation can start.
Septic Tank Excavation
As the contractor begins the excavation process, he will closely follow the specific plan for your situation. Depths are mostly dependent on obtaining gravity to move the flow from the house to the tank. Traditionally, regulations require a two percent slope from house to tank. In addition, regulations also require a minimum of six inches of soil to cover the tank. Excavation for the drain field trenches will occur later.
Massachusetts Title 5 Regulations
As a home owner, it’s import to understand “Title V” law and hire a contractor who understands the law. Title V is the Massachusetts law which regulates septic systems and similar drainage systems like grease trappers. The impact on the homeowner is that a certified Title V Technician will perform an inspection (called a Title V Inspection) every two years. From the inspection, the technician creates a report which documents the condition of the system.
The inspection includes locating, exposing and inspecting the different system components to determine their condition and functionality. Systems will either pass, fail or receive a conditional pass (the condition being that certain repairs must be made). The guidelines set down by the MA D.E.P. are used to regulate this process. A passing Title V is valid for two years, but with regular pumping, it can last for up to three years.
If you need excavation for your septic tank or other big projects, New England Enterprises, of Marlborough, MA are the experts at excavating commercial projects and residential projects such as foundations, septic systems , utility trenches and much more. If you would like more information about our services, please contact us. A fully licensed and insured excavation contractor, our team of professionals would love to help you.