- First you will need to purchase an application for a installation permit from your local municipality. Some municipalities have organized into agencies to consolidate resources. We have included a list of municipalities to help in determining your correct contact information.
- Upon Receipt of your application you will have been assigned an S.E.O. to determine the proper type of septic system for your property. You will then need to arrange for excavation of a soil probe to allow the S.E.O. to make his determination of your property’s soil characteristics. If you have access to the proper machinery you may do this yourself or hire a contractor to do this for you. Either way you should attend the soil probe to point out such things as property lines and desired location of dwelling.
- Upon completing the soil probe, you will then know the results and a determination of what type of septic system you would be required to install on the property. If proper soil conditions exist, a percolation test can then be performed to determine the square footage of the absorption field. Otherwise further instruction will be provided by the S.E.O.
- All soil evaluations are now complete. The next step to receive the permit to install your septic system is to have a design of your system submitted to your S.E.O., your S.E.O. will review and accept the design and then issue your permit to install the septic system. Make sure to keep a copy of the design for your records as this will be necessary for getting accurate installation quotes.
The following information is designed to guide the homeowner along the way to a successful installation of a residential septic system. Following these simple guidelines will hopefully remove some of the uncertainty and confusion often experienced by the homeowner during the application and permitting process.
Before purchasing any property the potential buyer should always have a soil probe conducted. This determines what type of septic system will be required on that particular property. IMPORTANT: There are soil conditions that can prevent any type of septic system from being installed, therefore eliminating the property as a suitable building location. In some cases the seller may have already had a soil probe conducted. In this case always ask for a copy of all the reports, paying specific attention to the date the soil probe was conducted, as expiration dates do exist, and the property may need to be retested as some soil requirements may have changed since the soil probe was conducted. The type of septic system determined to be installed will greatly affect the cost of installation, as septic systems can range from $3,500 to $30,000 greatly affecting the value of the property. Admittedly the cost of having a properties soil tested is not inexpensive, however the potential cost of not having the soil tested could be catastrophic. Many potential buyers and sellers come to agreement to negotiate the costs, as the soil probe is valuable to both parties involved.
Before purchasing an existing home the potential buyer should always have a qualified installer / service provider conduct an inspection of the existing septic system to help determine if there are potential problems with the system. Typically a Dye Test is conducted, where colored dye is introduced into all drains and toilets, including floor drains. Where this dye appears outdoors can be an indicator of the condition of the existing septic system. A dye test alone is not a sufficient test of the systems’ functionality. This is the reason for the qualified installer/service provider. His or her expertise becomes invaluable in this situation.
If the existing septic system is found to be failing and simple repairs can not correct the condition, then a new system would need to be installed. The steps to proceed would be the same as a vacant land as described above with exception of the soil conditions preventing you from using the dwelling. There are advanced treatment septic systems designed for such conditions.