How Can U Use A Septic Tank When Land Wont Perk? (Solved)

OPTIONS IF SITE FAILS. Even if your site fails a perc or deep-hole test, all is not lost. For sites with high water tables, you may be able to “de-water” the leaching area by strategically placing gravel-filled trenches and subsurface drain pipe to conduct water away from the drain field.OPTIONS IF SITE FAILS. Even if your site fails a perc or deep-hole test, all is not lost. For sites with high water tables, you may be able to “de-water” the leaching area by strategically placing gravel-filled trenches and subsurface drain pipe to conduct water away from the drain fielddrain fieldThe drain field typically consists of an arrangement of trenches containing perforated pipes and porous material (often gravel) covered by a layer of soil to prevent animals (and surface runoff) from reaching the wastewater distributed within those trenches.https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Septic_drain_field

Septic drain field – Wikipedia

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Don’t Ever Buy Land That Won’t Perc – Jireh Provisions Homestead

  • Today, there are ways around land that does not naturally perc. Technology has improved in such a way that the land can be engineered to perc through trenching or by bringing in soil to fill the land to create an area that will hold a septic tank.

How can I get my property perked?

In most jurisdictions, a perc test is performed when an official from the county health department meets with the owner of the property and/or a licensed excavator to dig a hole and test the drainage rate of the soil on-site (they literally pour water in a hole and time how long it takes to drain through).

What is an alternative Drainfield?

An alternative septic system is any type of building wastewater (also called “effluent”) drainage system that deviates from the standard septic tank. There are various ways other than a conventional septic system to divert and clean water waste from your home and safely reintroduce it back into the environment!

Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?

The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.

What happens if land won’t perk?

NO PERC, NO HOUSE On rural sites without municipal sewage systems, a failed perc test means that no house can be built – which is why you should make any offer to purchase land contingent on the site passing the soil and perc tests.

How do you know if land will perk?

Suitability can be determined through a perc or perk test, formally known as a Percolation Test. This test determines the rate at which water drains through the soil. If the property does not pass the perk test, than a standard septic system cannot by installed. There are alternatives, but they can be very expensive.

What can I use instead of a septic tank?

Alternative Septic Systems

  • Raised Bed (Mound) Septic Tank Systems. A raised bed drain field (sometimes called a mound) is just like what it sounds.
  • Aerobic Treatment Systems (ATS) Aerobic systems are basically a small scale sewage treatment system.
  • Waterless Systems.

What is the cheapest septic system?

Conventional septic system These conventional septic systems are usually the most affordable, with an average cost of around $3,000.

Do all septic tanks have filters?

First, not all septic tanks have a filter, especially the older septic tanks. Now many government agencies require or recommend a filter when a septic tank is installed. Cleaning a septic tank filter is different than pumping out a septic tank and cleaning it.

Are septic tanks still legal?

Septic Tanks Explained… Septic tanks cannot discharge to surface water drains, rivers, canals, ditches, streams or any other type of waterway. you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.

How long do brick septic tanks last?

Typically, a soakaway will last 10 to 20 years, but 60 years is possible too! While I have described the effect of not de-sludging on the bottom solids, the top crust, or floating solids can be an even bigger menace.

How does a septic tank and soakaway work?

A soakaway in simple terms is a hole in the ground filled with rocks. It will be set away from the septic tank, and wastewater is then released into it. That wastewater will diffuse through the rocks and slowly escape into the surrounding ground. It is connected to a septic tank using pipes.

What is septic PERC?

A percolation test (colloquially called a perc test) is a test to determine the water absorption rate of soil (that is, its capacity for percolation) in preparation for the building of a septic drain field (leach field) or infiltration basin.

Can you do a perk test in the winter?

For the best results, you should perform a perc test in the driest season. During this time, the water table will be at its lowest point, and the dry soil will more readily absorb liquid. However, if the soil is frozen or has recently absorbed a lot of rain or melted snow, the percolation results will be lower.

How long does it take to get a perk test back?

A perc test takes anywhere from 1 to 6 hours, depending on the size of the land and soil composition.

Alternative septic systems for land that won’t perk 2022 (Guide)

Alternative septic systems for land that won’t perk are being researched and developed. If you live on non-persistent ground, the soil does not have the ability to absorb water. A specialized septic tank must be installed in order to prevent this from happening. The installation of an alternate sewage treatment facility is required in this situation. Additionally, environmentally sensitive places and shoreline features may necessitate the use of alternate water source protection measures. We’ll be here to guide you through the alternatives for the six septic tanks on the failed lands.

You should also keep them up to date and monitor them on a regular basis to avoid any potential difficulties.

Investigate all viable alternatives to non-beneficial land purifying techniques before making a decision.

It is also known as a “Perk Test,” and it was originally known as a Percolation Test.

Perc tests are required in the majority of countries throughout the world since the findings provide all of the information necessary for septic system design and installation.

Alternative septic systems for land that won’t perk

Take a look at the systems listed below.

  1. Mound systems, aerobic septic systems, cesspool systems, sand filters, drip irrigation systems, and more are available.

Hilly SystemsIf a country does not profit from a certain system, hilly systems are sometimes the first choice for alternate systems. They are often two to three times more expensive than regular septic tank systems, and they need more frequent inspections and maintenance work. Small water pipes are installed in a layer of gravel on top of sand deposits in the hilly system to provide drainage. They are typically buried at a depth of around 2-3 feet, with Mother Earth covering all sides of the structure.

This is in contrast to standard sewage treatment facilities.

Aerobic Septic Systems

Standard sewage treatment plants are utilized in circumstances when aerobic sewage treatment plants, also known as ventilation systems, are not an option due to a lack of available space or other constraints. Because they both employ natural processes to clean wastewater, aerobic systems and septic tank systems are similar in that they are both used to treat wastewater. The aerobic technique, in contrast to septic tank treatment, necessitates the use of oxygen. A mechanism that injects and distributes air into the tank is used in these machines, which significantly speeds up the processing process.

As a result, aerobic wastewater treatment facilities demand more power to operate, cost more money to keep operating as intended, and require more regular maintenance than other types of wastewater treatment plants.

Cesspool System

A cesspool is a ditch in the earth with walls made of metal, stone, or cement, to put it simply. The entire system is then covered with a lid that includes apertures on either side. It used to be far more common, and it may still be seen in some older homes, but it has declined in popularity in recent years. In most cases, a cesspool pit is linked to another tank via a pipe that runs outside of the pit. Rather than filtering garbage, this method accumulates it, polluting the surrounding soil and poisoning the surrounding environment.

Sand Filter

Sand is used to pretreat wastewater using aerobic bacteria and filtration before it is disposed of in the lye field, which is located nearby. An example of this technology is a huge box filled with sand that is normally 2-4 feet deep and that has been lined with a waterproof PVC or concrete. These boxes can be partially or completely buried, but they can also be put above ground if that is what the customer wants. The majority of designs rely on pumps and controls to move wastewater uniformly throughout the filter and collect it below once it has been treated.

At times, the wastewater is recirculated numerous times before being discharged to the drain.

Drip Irrigation

Using aerobic bacteria and filtering, sand is utilized to pretreat wastewater before it is dumped onto a lye field for disposal. An example of this technology is a huge box filled with sand that is normally 2-4 feet deep and that is lined with a waterproof PVC or concrete layer. They can be partially or completely buried, but they can also be placed above ground if that is what the homeowner prefers. In most cases, pumps and controls are used to ensure that waste water is distributed uniformly throughout the filter and collected below after treatment.

Sometimes, the sand filter will recycle the wastewater numerous times before discharging it into the drain.

Conclusion

A distinct method may also be required for the protection of water supplies, ecologically sensitive areas, and coastal residences, among other things. Because of their complexity and the need for expert installation, alternatives to septic systems will cost you more money to install than septic systems. In order to minimize future difficulties, they must also be maintained and checked on a regular basis. Guides that are related

  • Consumer Reports on the best automatic toilet bowl cleaners
  • What is the best way to clean a septic tank naturally? I recently had my septic tank emptied and refilled. Replacement of the concrete cover of a septic tank. Water dripping from the septic tank’s cover

Alternative Septic Systems For Difficult Sites

This Article Discusses Mound Systems are a type of system that is used to build mounds. Alternative Systems are also available. View and post commentsQuestions Septic System FAQsView all articles on the SEPTIC SYSTEM If your lot does not pass the perc test, some towns may enable you to construct an engineered system as a backup plan if the perc test fails. For waterfront estates and other ecologically sensitive places, alternative water-treatment systems may also be necessary to aid in the protection of water supplies.

  • A “mound” system operates in much the same way as a normal system, except that the leach field is elevated above the natural grade.
  • They require more frequent monitoring and maintenance in order to avoid complications.
  • It is possible that the technology will not operate as planned if either the designer or the installer is inexperienced with the technology.
  • The design of a system is particular to the soil type, site circumstances, and degree of consumption that is being considered.
  • Some states and municipalities will only accept system types that have been certified in their jurisdiction, and they may also demand that the owner maintain a service contract with a vendor that has been approved by the state or municipality.

When it comes to success with alternative systems, proper maintenance is essential.

MOUND SYSTEMS

Mound systems are often two to three times more expensive than ordinary septic systems, and they need more frequent monitoring and maintenance. To see a larger version, click here. Ohio State University Extension provides the following information: The mound is comprised of a network of tiny distribution pipes that are embedded in a layer of gravel on top of a layer of sand that is normally one to two feet deep. Topsoil is applied to the tops and sides of the structure (see illustration). A dosing chamber (also known as a pump chamber) is included in a mound system, and it is responsible for collecting wastewater that is discharged from the septic tank.

  1. Most feature an alarm system that notifies the owner or a repair company if the pump fails or if the water level in the tank increases to an unsafe level.
  2. Aside from that, monitoring wells are frequently placed to keep track on the conditions inside and outside the leach field.
  3. The most expensive items are the additional equipment, as well as the earthwork and other materials that are required to construct the mound.
  4. In extreme cases, a mound system can cost more than $20,000 in some locations.
  5. In certain cases, annual maintenance expenditures may exceed $500.

OTHER ALTERNATIVE SEPTIC SYSTEMS

Sand filters that do not have a bottom are frequent on coastal properties and other ecologically sensitive places. There is a large variety of alternative septic systems available on the market, with new ones being introduced on a regular basis. Some are designed at community systems that serve a number of houses, and they are often monitored and maintained by a professional service provider. Some alternative systems are well-suited to particular houses, albeit the costs, complexity, and upkeep of these systems must be carefully evaluated before implementing them.

Before the wastewater reaches the leach field, which serves as a miniature replica of a sewage-treatment plant, some larger community systems employ pre-treatment to reduce the amount of bacteria present.

There are numerous other versions and combinations of systems and components that may be employed, including the following:

  • Pressurized dosing: This method makes use of a holding tank and a pump to drive effluent through the distribution pipe in a more uniform and regulated manner, hence boosting the effectiveness of the leach field. When used in conjunction with other techniques, such as a mound system, a sand filter, plastic leach fields or drip irrigation, it can be used to rehabilitate a leach field
  • However, it should not be used alone.
  • Septic system with alternative leach field made of plastic: This is a normal septic system with an alternative leach field that may be shrunk in some jurisdictions, making it ideally suited for tiny construction sites. Because the half-pipe plastic chambers provide a gap for effluent flow, there is no need for gravel in the system. Infiltrator System, for example, has been in service for more than two decades and, according to the manufacturer, can withstand traffic volumes with only 12 inches of compacted cover. The higher cost of the plastic components is somewhat countered by the lower cost of gravel and the smaller area of the drain field, respectively.
  • Sand filter: This is a big sand-filled box that is 2-4 feet deep and has a waterproof lining made of concrete or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Using filtration and anaerobic microorganisms, the sand is utilized to pre-treat wastewater before it is discharged into the leaching field. The boxes are often partially or completely buried in the ground, although they can also be elevated above ground level as necessary. While a pump and controls are typically used to equally administer the effluent on top of the filter, gravity distribution is also viable in some instances. The most common setup is shown in Figure 1. A collection tank at the bottom of the tank collects the treated effluent, which is either pumped or gravity-fed to the drain field. Some sand filters recycle the effluent back to the tank multiple times before discharging it into the drain field, while others do not. The majority of sand filters are used for pre-treatment, although they can also be utilized as the primary treatment in certain situations. A “bottomless sand filter” is used in this situation since the effluent drains straight into the soil underneath the filter (see photo above). A well designed and manufactured sand filter that is regularly maintained will prevent sand from being clogged on a consistent basis. More information about Sand Filters may be found here.
  • Aerobic treatment system: These systems treat wastewater by the use of an aerobic process, which is normally carried out in an underground concrete tank with many chambers. Aeration, purification, and pumping of the effluent are all accomplished through the use of four chambers in the most complicated systems. The first chamber functions similarly to a smaller version of a regular septic tank in its function. An air pump is employed in the second “treatment” tank to ensure that the effluent is continually injected with fresh air. The presence of oxygen promotes the growth of aerobic bacteria, which are more effective in processing sewage than the anaerobic bacteria found in a standard septic system. It is possible to utilize a third and fourth chamber in certain systems to further clarify the water and to pump out the purified water. In addition, so-called “fixed-film” systems make use of a synthetic media filter to help the bacterial process go more quickly. In the correct hands, aerobic systems may create better-quality wastewater than a typical system, and they may also incorporate a disinfectant before the purified wastewater is discharged. A smaller drain field may be used in urban areas while a larger area may be sprayed across a whole field in rural areas. Technically speaking, they are tiny sewage treatment plants rather than septic systems, and they rely mostly on anaerobic treatment to accomplish their goals. They are referred to as ATUs in some circles (aerobic treatment units). Installation and maintenance of these systems are prohibitively expensive
  • As a result, they are mostly employed in situations where high-quality treatment is required in a small area or with poor soils. A growing number of them are being built on beachfront sites. More information about Anaerobic Treatment Systems may be found here.
  • Using a pump, wastewater is sent via a filtering mechanism and onto an array of shallow drip tubes that are spaced out across a vast area for irrigation. In order to send reasonably clean water to the system, a pretreatment unit is often necessary. Alternatively, the water may be utilized to irrigate a lawn or non-edible plants, which would help to eliminate nitrogen from the wastewater. This sort of system may be employed in shallow soils, clay soils, and on steep slopes, among other conditions. Frozen tubes can pose problems in cold areas since they are so close to the surface of the water. Expect hefty installation fees, as well as additional monitoring and maintenance, just as you would with other alternative systems.
  • Wetlands that have been constructed. These are suitable for those who are environmentally conscious and wish to take an active role in the recycling of their wastewater. They may be used in practically any type of soil. An artificial shallow pond is used in the system, which is lined with rock, tire chippings, or other suitable medium and then filled with water. A pleasant atmosphere is created by the media, which serves as a habitat for particular plants that process wastewater and maintain the ecosystem. Wastewater from the septic tank is dispersed across the media bed through a perforated conduit, where plant roots, bacteria, and other microorganisms break down the contaminants in the water. The treated water is collected in a second pipe located at the back of the marsh. Household members must budget time for planting, pruning, and weeding in the wetlands area.
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Additional resources: National Small Flows Clearinghouse Inspectapedia.com You may also be interested in:Who Should I Hire For Perc Test? Whether or not alternative septic systems are permitted. Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime? How Much Slope Do You Need for a Septic Line? Performing an Inspection on a Septic System When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test? Should I use a Sand Filter with my existing septic system? Examination of the WellSEPTIC SYSTEMView allSEPTIC SYSTEMarticles Return to the top of the page

What does it mean when land won’t perk?

Asked in the following category: General The most recent update was made on June 21st, 2020. In the case of land that cannot be PERKED, what does this mean? It indicates that a septic system (for disposal of sewage) cannot be implemented due to soil characteristics in the area. In order to have a septic tank erected, the property must have the ability to absorb water (Perk). The system will not function if the soil is too hard to allow for proper drainage. It is necessary to conduct a perktest on unoccupied property that is not connected to a municipal sewer system.

  • So, the issue is, what has been accepted by the PERC?
  • A failed perc test indicates that a home cannot be erected on a rural site without access to municipal sewage, which is why you should make any offer to acquire land contingent on the site passing both the soil and the perc tests.
  • There will be no septic permit issued until the perctest is successful.
  • There can be no housing of any type if there is no septic system in place.

If your land won’t perk.?

You are currently using an out-of-date web browser. It is possible that this or other websites will not show correctly. You need either upgrade your browser or switch to another one. What are the alternatives to the current situation? As an example of a thinly disguised hypothetical, imagine that you have an opportunity on a piece of land that is great with the exception of the lack of a sewer and that a home is on the horizon for you to develop. Accept that it will not perk and that easements into a neighboring sewage main will fail to materialize as planned.

  • There are four acres to deal with, all of which are more or less flat and free of vegetation.
  • The subsoil around here is referred to as “Bull Tallow,” and it is extremely useful for making bricks since it is quite durable.
  • Consider the following scenario: you have a $25,000 budget to spend in order to find “any type” of code-approved sewage solution.
  • Mound?
  • Is it possible to have a single-hole outhouse with a barn?
  • The most recent revision was made on: I’m also intrigued by the prospect.
  • Take the $25,000 and put it towards a more suitable piece of land.

Get your mind in the frame of mind of tobacco and peanut land.

As a matter of fact, all you need is a basic conventional septic permit from the health department or a location that already has municipal or county sewage, and you’ll be well on your way.

Buyer beware, as they say.

lads have categorically refuted the allegations.

It’s your money, and you’re going to have to stay there!

Get the person from the health department who tested it out there and ask them what they would recommend to the owner of the business.

The most recent revision was made on: The amount of drainfield area required is determined by the rate of percolation.

I’ve done hundreds of perc tests and have yet to come across a soil type that will absolutely not allow water to seep into the soil over time.

I’m sure your county health department has dealt with “bull tallow” before, and they should be able to advise you on other options.

If there is a moisture issue mixed with that “bull tallow,” the H.D.

Other solutions are always more expensive and involve higher levels of danger.

Oh, and keep in mind that if you don’t have the permit, you’re “out of luck.” There are many various sorts of systems available these days to choose from.

It’s possible that you’ll have to use a drying technique that isn’t customary in nature.

I’m not familiar with them, but I’ve heard good things about petemoss drying fields.

The county inspector should be able to provide information on the various alternatives.

Later on, they agreed to extend the drain field an extra 100 feet if necessary.

Take the preceding advice and collaborate with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Best of luck.

You may either obtain a copy of the county’s Soil Survey (which is available free of charge from the local Soil and Water Conservation office) or log onto the Web Soil Survey and search up the soil types on the property in question.

If the soils are deemed “unsuitable” or “severe” for your intended usage, you have a few choices to take into account.

Locate a more suitable piece of property.

3: Purchase the land regardless of the situation and install an alternate (and more expensive) system such as a “mound” or “low pressure pipeline.” In the event that the county permits these systems, You may also be able to arrange for a representative from the local health department to come out and provide advise, although this will include a cost.

  1. Also keep in mind that if the soil contains expanding clays, this might result in additional difficulties such as cracked foundations, broken pathways, chimneys that separate from the home, and so on.
  2. If you are motivated to obtain it, you will almost certainly be able to make it work.
  3. The most recent revision was made on: The man stated that “bricks are made directly down the road from here.” To my ears, this sounds like the makings of a 4-acre retention pond.
  4. has most likely already refused it, and there are dead ends to certain denials unless you pump offsite to something that can be utilized, which is not always possible.
  5. Is this beachfront property or family land on which you really must build your dream home, or is it simply a “deal for real” that has not yet received a building permit?
  6. On every issue, you are dead on the mark with the old school.
  7. He also has a mound system, which hasn’t been completely trouble-free, but it does the job well enough for him.

To cut a long tale short, if I couldn’t get a building permit and couldn’t build a house on the property, I would consider selling it.

Okay, this is the first step.

You may either go by the descriptions mentioned for those soils, or you can send me a private message and I’ll tell you more about them.

1.

Secondly, engage the services of a professional soil scientist to attempt to locate a large enough appropriate region for your purpose (I presume this is a septic system).

I’d rather pay a small amount now for information than a large sum later on for a significant problem.

To be really honest, if the soils are mostly extremely restricted, you’d be better off just moving to an area with superior soils instead.

However, it will come at a cost to you!

That seems like exactly what I need to accomplish.

A number of different options are available, such as tiny home aeration systems or seepage pits, which may be used to treat wastewater.

This is a generalization of what I’m thinking at the moment.

I recently relocated to this side of the rock, and discovering red clay in the piedmont is a reason for rejoicing!

The particle size is so small that I think it’s akin to oil when wet!

He contacted a soil scientist and paid him to come to the property and construct a septic system.

I’ve seen land in this area that was not perked for some, yet once sold, others were able to build squalid trailer camps.

Bull tallow will also be detrimental to the foundation of your home.

I’d buy it for the purpose of constructing a go-cart track and farming the land.

Tapatalk was used to send this message from my iPhone.

It doesn’t matter whether the land is free; you’ll still get slapped with engineering fees and all types of pilings, on top of the perc issue.

There’s nothing else to say.

I know everyone around here refers to it as Bull Tallow, and in general, that indicates trouble on the perc test, but I have never heard or seen any evidence of a foundation problem, and we are a rather densely populated area.

Thanks I can assist you if you can tell me what soil series it is mapped to according to the soil survey, or web soil survey, that was conducted.

Is the property you’re looking at located in Chatham or Anson County, Georgia?

Soilman is located in Union County, near to the town of Monroe.

I need to get my hands on some soil maps.

He completed a turnkey chambered system for him and he has had no problems in three years.

Send me a private message for his contact information.

When you get down more than 6 inches into the soil, the earth becomes pure clay, and it will take you thirty minutes of digging and cleaning the post hole diggers to put a single post.

That websoilsurvey website is wonderful (thank you, soilman!)!

Specifically, there are two sorts, which have been labeled “CmB” and “GsB” (I believe they stand for ” C ustomm ade forB rick” and ” G enerallys uitable forB rick,” respectively).

Because it has bedrock between 20 and 40 inches in depth and is somewhat well to relatively badly drained, it has a number of issues with drainage.

The GsB soil is a Goldston-Badin Complex, which means that it is a combination of two soils.

Hard bedrock is less than 20 inches below the surface.

If you decide to proceed with this piece of property, attempt to find anything in the GsB section of the neighborhood.

It’s unlikely that a traditional system will be installed at this location.

Okay, the CmB soil is referred to as Cid.

This is not good.

Goldston is a small, shallow lake.

Badin is 20-40 inches below the surface of soft bedrock.

If you can locate an area that is mostly Badin, you will have the highest chance of locating a good location for a septic system.

The good news is that none of the soils are characterized by expanding clay.

Ha!

It makes sense that the clay is not expansive because I have never heard of a foundation problem caused by clay being insufficiently expansive.

Even though I expect the perc test to fail, I don’t mind paying someone to perform it because you never know what can happen.

Is it more advantageous for me to contract with an independent business to do the test, or should I stick with the county?

Thank you, soilman, and thank you for creating the soilwebsurvey website.

What is the procedure for performing a perc test?

If you don’t build a house on it, someone will eventually do it for you.

The majority of the work is completed by a soil auger, which is used to identify and characterize the soil qualities.

If it’s possible, I’d just wait till the county has a chance to look into it.

If they suggest that a conventional method will not work, it is usually not worth pursuing unless you are ready to use a non-traditional system instead.

County officials often only look at potential sites in close proximity to the home site.

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If I were closer, I’d have a look at it for you, but I’m almost 5 hours away from where you are.

It’s not a problem at all.

Explaining how a perk test is more of a map interpretation provides me with the most of the information I want.

The soilwebsurvey turned out to be a good find.

Have you made a formal purchase of this piece of property?

for the soil evaluation and acquire a permission before you start baking any bread.

There is nothing that compares to the soil study that the H.D.

Meet up with those people out in the field and explain your ambitions for this site.

In addition, you must assess and price any additional work that will be required in relation to the price of the lot.

When I am looking at a website that looks like it could be something I would be interested in, I always have the K.I.S.S.

Keep in mind that you are the one who is paying the bills, not all of us who are hurling all of our thoughts at you.

It makes me dizzy just thinking about spending your money on consultants, engineers, and all of the other Indian chiefs, let alone paying them.

I’m going to go back to Arthur Reports now. Remember that there are still sites out there that don’t need you to go through all of the trouble. Perhaps they are more expensive up front, but keep in mind the old adage about getting what you pay for.

What Is an Alternative Septic System? 7 Alternatives to Conventional Septic Tanks

Finally, the opportunity has arisen for you to put in place a septic system on your property. You had initially intended on installing a normal septic tank and leach field, but what about the forest preserve near your home? What do you do about that? Will a standard septic tank harm the watershed in question? When you’re researching a septic tank, you’ll recall that when you were developing your property, you came into problems with bedrock beneath the top of the soil. What if your property’s soil is too shallow to allow you to dig down far enough to install a conventional septic tank?

What are Alternative Septic Systems?

In the context of alternative septic systems, any sort of building wastewater (also known as “effluent”) drainage system that differs from the traditional septic tank is considered to be such. Diverting and cleaning water waste from your house is not limited to the use of a typical septic system; there are many more options available to safely reintroduce it back into the environment! You will learn the following things from this blog post:

  • Identifying the reasons why some properties require alternate septic systems
  • Alternative septic systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The operation of each sort of system

Why Do People Want Alternatives to Septic Tanks?

Just though traditional septic systems are commonplace does not imply that they are appropriate for every property or situation. There are a variety of reasons why the conventional model for wastewater sanitation does not always meet the needs of the community. For example, some parcels of property contain bedrock that is too close to the surface of the soil, making it difficult to build a septic tank deep enough to be effective. A large number of inhabitants in the United States also live near bodies of water that are particularly vulnerable to water contamination, which means that the normal technique of sanitation in septic tanks is insufficient to preserve the ecology of the region in question.

  • The term “perking” refers to the soil’s capacity to absorb and hold onto water.
  • Repairing a sewer pipe Fortunately, you may have your septic system or sewage line repaired before you break ground on your new system.
  • Never fear if your perc test does not go as planned, or if you have any additional worries about installing a traditional septic system on your land.
  • Each of the alternative septic systems that you will come across in this blog article has a distinct amount of upkeep that is necessary.

Additionally, the cost of alternative septic systems varies depending on the equipment and upkeep that is required. Discover alternative septic solutions that may be a better fit for your property than a standard system by continuing reading.

Types of alternative septic systems

In situations when the soil surrounding your house or structure is too dense or too shallow, or when the water table is too high, mound systems are a good option to septic tanks to consider. Mound systems are a popular alternative to traditional systems, despite the fact that they are more expensive and require more care. They are above-ground systems that are covered with topsoil and incorporate an additional component known as a pump chamber, which separates effluent from the scum and sludge in the first septic tank before it is discharged into the environment.

Pressurized Dosing

When using a pressurized dosing system, you may deliver effluent onto the leach field in more uniform, calibrated dosages (just as the system’s name implies!). Because of the measured technique of dispersing wastewater, this strategy can be particularly beneficial for repairing a leach field following a septic system failure. Given that this approach is simply concerned with the dissemination of effluent into the soil, pressure dosing can be used in conjunction with any of the water treatment systems listed below.

Plastic Chamber Leach Field

Plasti-chamber leach fields are an excellent alternative to traditional septic systems for small lots and sites with high or fluctuating groundwater tables. Plastic chambers in the shape of half pipes are installed in the leach field to replace the gravel and create a gap for wastewater to flow through. Designed in the shape of a half moon, the plastic chambers are placed in the soil with the open side facing down, allowing effluent to come into touch with the soil underneath them, purifying the water and allowing it to flow back into the ground.

Sand Filter

Sand filter septic systems, as the name implies, cleanse and eliminate pollutants from wastewater through the use of sand filters. The sand filter system, which is similar to the aerobic treatment method described above, includes oxygen into its system in order to filter out germs. This cleansing takes place in an enclosed chamber that may either be erected above or below ground level depending on the situation. This is an example of an alternative septic system that does not require the use of a leach field, making it suitable for use in ecologically sensitive locations.

Aerobic Treatment System

Sand filter septic systems, as the name indicates, cleanse and eliminate pollutants from wastewater through the use of sand filters. An aerobic treatment system, such as the one described above, includes oxygen into its system in order to remove microorganisms from the water. It is necessary to purify the water in an enclosed chamber, which can be either above or below ground level. A leach field is not required in this alternative septic system, which makes it suitable for use in ecologically sensitive locations such as sensitive sections of the environment.

There are some situations in which the treated water can be discharged directly to soil without the requirement for additional pipelines or a leach field, such as in agricultural situations.

Drip Distribution/Irrigation

The drip distribution method disperses treated septic water over a larger area of land than the conventional method. To “irrigate” the leach field, instead of using a single PVC pipe to disseminate treated water into the leach field, the drip distribution technique makes use of a length of flexible tubing that is wound around itself and releases tiny increments of water all the way along its length. With this procedure, newer technology also enables for the discharge of water to be timed and regulated.

It is possible that power interruptions will make these alternative septic solutions more difficult to maintain than traditional systems.

Constructed Wetland System

The designed wetland system makes use of wetland plants to help your septic system filter waste by performing some of the filtration job. While the water waste from your home or building still passes through a single septic tank, the cleaned water is then sent to a plot of wetland that has a variety of various types of pebbles and grasses. Following that first stage of filtration, the water is channeled into a drain field, where it is discharged back into the soil, exactly as it would be with a traditional system.

  1. Take into consideration the land on your property as well as the surrounding surroundings while deciding which system is best for your needs.
  2. Finally, the opportunity has arisen for you to put in place a septic system on your property.
  3. What do you do about that?
  4. When you’re researching a septic tank, you’ll recall that when you were developing your property, you came into problems with bedrock beneath the top of the soil.
  5. Fortunately, there are numerous different types of alternative septic systems that are designed specifically for situations like the ones described above.

What are Alternative Septic Systems?

In the context of alternative septic systems, any sort of building wastewater (also known as “effluent”) drainage system that differs from the traditional septic tank is considered to be such. Diverting and cleaning water waste from your house is not limited to the use of a typical septic system; there are many more options available to safely reintroduce it back into the environment! You will learn the following things from this blog post:

  • Identifying the reasons why some properties require alternate septic systems
  • Alternative septic systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The operation of each sort of system

Why Do People Want Alternatives to Septic Tanks?

Just though traditional septic systems are commonplace does not imply that they are appropriate for every property or situation. There are a variety of reasons why the conventional model for wastewater sanitation does not always meet the needs of the community. For example, some parcels of property contain bedrock that is too close to the surface of the soil, making it difficult to build a septic tank deep enough to be effective. A large number of inhabitants in the United States also live near bodies of water that are particularly vulnerable to water contamination, which means that the normal technique of sanitation in septic tanks is insufficient to preserve the ecology of the region in question.

  1. The term “perking” refers to the soil’s capacity to absorb and hold onto water.
  2. Repairing a sewer pipe Fortunately, you may have your septic system or sewage line repaired before you break ground on your new system.
  3. Never fear if your perc test does not go as planned, or if you have any additional worries about installing a traditional septic system on your land.
  4. Each of the alternative septic systems that you will come across in this blog article has a distinct amount of upkeep that is necessary.

Additionally, the cost of alternative septic systems varies depending on the equipment and upkeep that is required. Discover alternative septic solutions that may be a better fit for your property than a standard system by continuing reading.

Types of alternative septic systems

In situations when the soil surrounding your house or structure is too dense or too shallow, or when the water table is too high, mound systems are a good option to septic tanks to consider. Mound systems are a popular alternative to traditional systems, despite the fact that they are more expensive and require more care. They are above-ground systems that are covered with topsoil and incorporate an additional component known as a pump chamber, which separates effluent from the scum and sludge in the first septic tank before it is discharged into the environment.

Pressurized Dosing

When using a pressurized dosing system, you may deliver effluent onto the leach field in more uniform, calibrated dosages (just as the system’s name implies!). Because of the measured technique of dispersing wastewater, this strategy can be particularly beneficial for repairing a leach field following a septic system failure. Given that this approach is simply concerned with the dissemination of effluent into the soil, pressure dosing can be used in conjunction with any of the water treatment systems listed below.

Plastic Chamber Leach Field

Plasti-chamber leach fields are an excellent alternative to traditional septic systems for small lots and sites with high or fluctuating groundwater tables. Plastic chambers in the shape of half pipes are installed in the leach field to replace the gravel and create a gap for wastewater to flow through. Designed in the shape of a half moon, the plastic chambers are placed in the soil with the open side facing down, allowing effluent to come into touch with the soil underneath them, purifying the water and allowing it to flow back into the ground.

Sand Filter

Sand filter septic systems, as the name implies, cleanse and eliminate pollutants from wastewater through the use of sand filters. The sand filter system, which is similar to the aerobic treatment method described above, includes oxygen into its system in order to filter out germs. This cleansing takes place in an enclosed chamber that may either be erected above or below ground level depending on the situation. This is an example of an alternative septic system that does not require the use of a leach field, making it suitable for use in ecologically sensitive locations.

Aerobic Treatment System

Through the use of an air pump, which draws fresh air from the surrounding environment into the treatment tank, an aerobic treatment system introduces oxygen into the septic tank. It is believed that the increased oxygen aids in the cleaning of the effluent by increasing natural bacterial activity. As explained by the Environmental Protection Agency, aerobic treatment systems use the same technology as large-scale sewage treatment facilities, but on a smaller scale.

This is yet another excellent alternative septic system for tiny lots, lots with inadequate soil conditions, and lots located near bodies of water that are sensitive to pollutant runoff.

Drip Distribution/Irrigation

The drip distribution method disperses treated septic water over a larger area of land than the conventional method. To “irrigate” the leach field, instead of using a single PVC pipe to disseminate treated water into the leach field, the drip distribution technique makes use of a length of flexible tubing that is wound around itself and releases tiny increments of water all the way along its length. With this procedure, newer technology also enables for the discharge of water to be timed and regulated.

It is possible that power interruptions will make these alternative septic solutions more difficult to maintain than traditional systems.

Constructed Wetland System

The designed wetland system makes use of wetland plants to help your septic system filter waste by performing some of the filtration job. While the water waste from your home or building still passes through a single septic tank, the cleaned water is then sent to a plot of wetland that has a variety of various types of pebbles and grasses. Following that first stage of filtration, the water is channeled into a drain field, where it is discharged back into the soil, exactly as it would be with a traditional system.

Take into consideration the land on your property as well as the surrounding surroundings while deciding which system is best for your needs.

What Is A Perc Test? 14 Things You Should Know in 2022

When conducting due diligence before to purchasing a property, a perc test is an essential part of the procedure that must be completed (also known as a percolation test). The soil’s water absorption rate is determined by doing a perc test (or the percolation rate). Understanding whether or not an aseptic system can be implemented is critical to the process. In brief, if a piece of land is located in a rural area and a municipal sewer system is not accessible, a septic system can assist in making the site “livable.” A perc test is required for anybody purchasing land with the intention of constructing a home or living on it.

See also:  How Far Is The Filter On A Septic Tank From The Inlet?

1. A perc test tests the rate at which water drains through the soil

It is necessary to do a perc test by first drilling or excavating a hole (or numerous holes) in the ground, then pouring water into the hole and watching to see how quickly the water percolates through the soil. This test is generally carried out by a licensed excavator or engineer, but it is closely monitored by your local health agency to ensure its accuracy.

Depending on the type of soil on your land, it may or may not be able to pass this test with relative ease. In the sixth section, we’ll go through the soil criteria that will offer your property the best chance of passing the test.

2. A perc test is only necessary if a property doesn’t have access to a municipal sewer system

A perc test, which allows you to install a septic system on your land if your property does not already have access to a municipal sewage system, is only required if your property does not already have access to one. Keep this in mind while conducting your due diligence since it may obviate the necessity for a perc test entirely. You’ll want to check to see if the unoccupied site is within walking distance of a sewage line that’s already in place. If this is the case, there is no need for a septic system to be installed.

The results of the perc test will be required by the majority of county health authorities in order to decide whether or not the property is fit for the system.

If you want to avoid having to perform a perc test completely, seek for properties that already have sewage hookups while you’re looking for land to purchase.

3. Be sure to check with the county’s health department

To get the phone number of your county’s health department, all you have to do is Google the name of your county and “health department” to obtain their contact information. You’ll want to contact the health department ahead of time to verify that you understand the procedure and requirements and that there are no bumps along the way. Also keep in mind that, regardless of what you learn on the internet, each county has its own set of criteria that might differ from one location to the next. Make careful you follow the instructions of your local health agency.

4. A failed perc test will complicate your plans to build

Okay, so you already know that a perc test is required in order to establish a septic system, and you also know that most landowners will not install a septic system if a municipal sewage system is available as an alternative. However, what happens if you fail the perc test and are unable to have a septic system installed? Several landowners are confronted with this issue. When looking for property, it is important to remember that if it does not pass the soil and perc tests needed by county health authorities, it will be impossible to construct a home on it.

Even while it may be tempting to acquire the land anyhow and attempt to make anything work, it is necessary to consider the worst-case situation before proceeding.

5. Don’t panic if your land fails a perc test

You make the decision to acquire land that has failed a perc test. You are aware that this indicates that it is not constructible. What are you going to do? Do you intend to put it on the market? Do you just let it go to waste? Is it too late to save the situation? What are you going to do? Don’t panic is the first step to taking action. Just though your property failed a perc test does not rule out the possibility of constructing something on it. If you’re ready to spend additional money on an engineered system or a raised sand bed to assist fix the drainage issue, you may be able to get around this problem.

  1. If your perc test fails, here are some alternate paths you might try.
  2. Other perc tests may have been performed previously, so check with the health department.
  3. While you may have had a perc test performed in one section of the property, it is possible that a former owner performed one in another.
  4. In contrast, if you aren’t testing that particular portion, you will continue to fail.
  5. The fact that you have one failed perc test does not necessarily imply that you have failed completely, or that the land is a lost cause.
  6. People generally consider this to be a long shot, but you’ll never know unless you give it a go.
  7. This will bring you closer to knowing if the answer is a definitive “no” or whether you can take certain changes on your land to make it more constructible.

If the water table is low, you have a better chance of passing a perc test, and in many regions, the water table is more likely to be low during particular seasons.

Find out when the failed perc test was done, and if it occurred during a time when the water level in your region would have been high, you may have a second opportunity at success on your hands.

In addition to being fairly priced (depending on your property’s circumstances and local standards), there are ecologically acceptable alternatives to traditional septic systems.

In the case of making an otherwise unbuildable property buildable again, it may be well worth the effort to invest in.

If your property has varied topography, it may make a significant impact in the different types of soil that can be found on your property.

Allow your excavator to test a few different locations on your property to ensure that you are not giving up too soon.

Occasionally, if you wait long enough, municipal water and sewer service will become accessible in your neighborhood. It might be a tedious and time-consuming waiting game, but it may be worth your while in the end. You should just wait it out if it’s the right piece of property for you.

6. The type of soil your property has plays a large role in whether or not it passes

When soil has significant percentages of sand and gravel, it is more likely to pass the perc test. This is due to the fact that sandy soil absorbs water at a far higher rate than clay, silt, or solid rock. When the land is located in a region with a low water table, it also does a better job of absorbing water than when it is not. Generally speaking, soil will fall somewhere in the center of any of the following. The granules of sand and gravel Silt particles of a small size Clay particles of minuscule size (the smallest)

7. You can do a few tests on your own soil to see what you have

A basic notion of the texture of your soil may be obtained without having to invest the time and money in a perc test. Here are a few examples of how you can go about it. Using a shovel, dig down to the lighter soil beneath the first few inches of topsoil, also known as loam. Take a handful of them. Clay texture is present in substantial amounts in soil that is sticky and moist in texture and may be formed into a long, thin ribbon or worm that retains its shape. The ribbon test is used to determine whether or not you are able to construct a ribbon of dirt that is 2 inches or more in length.

You may also use this Home Soil Percolation Test to determine soil percolation.

8. The perc test procedure varies based on the municipality

In the end, the perc test technique differs depending on where you are in the world. A perc test, on the other hand, will almost always be done by a licensed excavator in most countries. In addition to the owner, a representative from the county health department will be present during the test. The excavator will normally dig two deep holes to evaluate the drainage rate of the soil on the job site, and the results will be recorded. Using simple equipment, kids pour water down the hole they dug and measure how long it takes for the water to drain in minutes per inch.

As a result, you must normally have an official present to ensure that the exam is properly observed.

9. A perc test does not last forever

In most cases, perc tests are valid for 2-5 years, while the actual length of time varies depending on the local regulatory authority. As a result, it is critical to know when the most recent perc test was performed. It is necessary to commission a new test if you wish to construct on the lot if the existing test is older than 10 years old.

10. There are some common limiting factors for septic systems beyond a perc test

If you pass the perc test, it is possible that you may not be free of trouble. Is it true that most towns demand that a septic tank drain field (also known as an aleach field) fulfill particular specifications that go above and beyond simply passing a percolation test? We bet you didn’t realize how tough it may be to prepare property for construction! Consider the following points to be aware of even before you get down to the nitty-gritty of septic system rules. Slope with a lot of incline: The highest permissible slope for a typical system is between 20 and 30 percent, depending on the system.

The use of engineered fill may be appropriate in particular situations.

Wetlands and floodplains are two types of floodplains.

It is not permitted to construct a septic tank drain field in wetlands or flood zones. Drainage on the job site: During storms, it is important that your septic tank drain field is not in the route of runoff. This has the potential to produce erosion or floods in the system.

11. There is a minimum distance required for a septic tank

There are minimum distances that must be maintained between a septic tank and its drain field, as well as between the tank and other structures, property lines, water pipelines, wells, and open water. Even though the actual lengths will differ from one region to another, the most essential criteria to bear in mind is the minimum distance between the planned leach field and any privately owned wells (which is usually around 100 feet). You’ll need to be aware of these distances in order to comply with local regulations, and you may be required to select a new field to utilize in 20-30 years after the original field is depleted.

12. A perc test costs between $150 to $1,500

Performing a perc test will cost you something, just like anything else in life, and the cost might vary greatly depending on who you employ and how much work is necessary. Keep in mind that $1,500 is on the higher end of the spectrum, so you shouldn’t be overly overwhelmed by the figure itself.

13. You can use context clues if you want to avoid a perc test

Again, while it’s frequently advised to have a perc test performed before to purchasing a house, we understand if you’re attempting to keep under a specific spending limit. In most cases, there are several plainly visible criteria that can assist you in determining whether or not your property is likely to pass a perc test. You don’t want to pay anything? Make use of the clues provided by the context! Take a look at your immediate surroundings. Do they have any structures on their land? Is it clear that they passed the perc test on the surface?

  • While there is no assurance, if you are ready to take the risk, there is a good probability that you will succeed.
  • A nearby body of water might indicate a number of different things, including water that is close to the surface, wetlands, or a flood zone, among others.
  • The expense of a perc test may be justified in this situation.
  • Can you describe the geography of your land in more detail?
  • Is there an incline to it?
  • Taking these considerations into account may assist you in deciding whether or not to have one – in either direction.

14. There are options for a non-buildable property

That is to say, you failed your perc test and were unsuccessful with any of the other options. Never be concerned! We have some options for those of you who will not be able to establish a septic system on your land due to financial constraints.

  • Storage facilities, pole barns, horse stables, grazing areas, crops, orchards, camping, hunting, lumber, mining, and drilling are some of the possibilities.

Even if your perc test did not turn out the way you had hoped, don’t give up on the possibility of putting your property to good use.

Final thoughts

A perc test is a basic test that is done to determine how well water drains on your land and if it is appropriate for a septic system installation. If a property does not already have water or sewer hookups, a septic system might be installed to assist make it habitable. When landowners receive a failed perc exam, they are frequently stressed. If this occurs to you, take a deep breath and regroup. You have two options: either repeat the steps in 5 and attempt to get a different result, or choose one of the alternate uses for your property in 14.

Don’t give up hope!

Additional Resources

If you are seeking for inexpensive land to purchase, you may find it on our Listings page. Before you acquire property, be sure to review the Gokce Land Due Diligence Program to ensure that it meets your needs. If you are wanting to sell land, please see our article on How to Sell Your Land for more information.

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Now is the time to subscribe. I hope you have found this content to be interesting. If you are interested in purchasing or selling land, you should look into the following: Disclaimer: We are not attorneys, accountants, or financial advisors, and the information contained in this article is provided solely for informative reasons. Our own research and experience have informed this post, and while we strive to keep it accurate and up to date, it is possible that some inaccuracies have occurred.

Erika is a former Director of Affordable Housing for the City of New York who has transitioned into a full-time land investor.

She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Architecture and with a Master of Urban Policy from Columbia University before establishing Gokce Capital.

Erika presently resides in the New York Metropolitan area with her husband, daughter, and cat.

She is originally from Chicago and still considers herself to be a midwesterner at heart, despite her current location.

), Erika has a lot of interests.

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