It’s easy to get lost in the conversation if you don’t understand the terminology being used. It’s our goal to educate our clients so they fully understand our processes and options available.
Sewage Enforcement Officer, also commonly referred to as an “Inspector”. The job of the sewage enforcement officer is to conduct soil evaluations and determine the type of septic system to be installed. He also issues the installation permits, and conducts a final inspection of the septic system after installation is complete and ready to be backfilled.
- Sewage Permit Application
An application must first be purchased by the homeowner to begin the process of installing a septic system. Upon receiving this application the homeowner will be assigned an S.E.O.
- Soil Probe
A soil probe, also commonly referred to as a “test pit”, is a hole excavated by machine, to allow the S.E.O. to determine the property’s soil conditions. From those conditions he then determines the type of septic system required to be installed.
- Limiting Zone
Limiting Zone is a soil condition found in a “soil probe” determined by the S.E.O. to be a layer of soil which will no longer remediate the sewer water. This limiting zone will be expressed in a measurement of inches from the soils surface to this limiting layer. This depth to limiting zone is used in determining the type of septic system required to be installed.
- Percolation Test
Also known as a “Perc Test” is when six inch diameter holes will be dug, water will then be poured into these holes. The time is then measured to determine how fast the soil can absorb the water. This measurement is called the Percolation Rate.
- Percolation Rate
The Percolation Rate is determined by the Percolation Test this measurement is expressed as Minutes / Inch. (i.e. how many minutes does the soil take to absorb an inch of water.) This time measurement is then used to determine how many square feet of soil it will take to absorb the water used in the household.
- Absorption Field
Area of ground surface determined to be required to treat and absorb the water used in the household.
- Septic System Design
A design is a map of where the septic system will be located on the property in relation to the dwelling, property lines, well, streams, or other natural features. It will also include calculations of daily water usage, pump sizing (if required), and all components that will be used in the installation of the septic system.
- Sewage Installation Permit
A permit allowing a septic system installation will be issued to the applicant / homeowner by the S.E.O. after review and acceptance of the septic system design.
- Final Inspection
The S.E.O. will conduct a final inspection of the septic system after installation is complete and ready to be backfilled.
- Aerobic Bacteria
An aerobic organism is an organism that can survive and grow in an oxygenated environment
- Anaerobic Bacteria
An anaerobic organism is any organism that does not require oxygen for growth. It may react negatively or even die if oxygen is present.
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
- Dye Test
Where 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.