Installing a properly functioning septic system requires careful attention to a series of vital steps. Rushing through the process or taking shortcuts can lead to environmental contamination, sewage backups, and expensive repairs down the road. To avoid these issues and ensure many years of effective wastewater treatment, every phase of the septic installation process must be completed thoroughly and methodically.
This process starts with comprehensive site analysis and planning, continues with precise execution of earthwork and component placement, and finishes with detailed inspections prior to backfilling and adding landscaping. The installation process is complex, but following proven procedures tailored to the specific site conditions gives a septic system the best chance of providing reliable, low-maintenance service. Taking the time upfront to complete each step methodically demonstrates an investment in the long-term performance of the system. When you rely on installations from Johnson Septic Service, you can rest assured every step is completed properly.
Site Evaluation and Percolation Tests
The first step is to conduct a site evaluation and percolation tests. A site evaluation examines the soil composition, slope, drainage, and other factors that will impact the septic design. Percolation tests measure how quickly water filters through the soil, which determines the size and type of system needed. Proper testing helps create a septic design tailored to the site that meets local health codes.
Planning the Location
Once the site has been fully evaluated, the next major step is laying out the system. This includes marking where the septic tank, drainfield, and other components will be located. The drainfield, which disperses liquid waste underground, is especially important to position properly to avoid flooding, clogging, or contaminating groundwater. Careful measuring and marking of the system layout prevents mistakes and rework during installation.
Installing the septic tank comes next. Tanks are placed on a prepared bed of gravel and leveled. Inlet and outlet pipes are fitted to the tank, allowing waste to enter from the home and exit to the drainfield. Baffles inside the tank facilitate solid waste separation, and the tank lids are left accessible for future pumping and inspections. The tanks must be watertight to contain the waste and prevent groundwater infiltration.
Connecting the home to the septic system follows tank placement. Drainage and vent pipes are run from the plumbing system to the new septic tank, joining the waste flows. With the below-ground connections made, the tank can be covered with earth. Careful backfilling and compaction prevent the tank from settling or shifting.
With the tanks and home connections made, work shifts to installing the drainfield, the part of the system that filters and disperses the clarified effluent. A network of perforated pipes or chambers is laid out on a gravel base. Gravel and soil fill the trenches housing the drainfield. The gravel aids drainage while the soil filters the liquid waste as it leaches out.
Restoring the Landscape
The final vital step is adding topsoil and vegetation. Topsoil placed over the drainfield blends the installation into the landscape and protects the field from compaction. Native grass or other shallow-rooted plants are established to hold the soil. Once complete, the new septic system must be carefully inspected before being put into service.
With proper site analysis, planning, installation, and inspection, a septic system can effectively treat household wastewater for decades. Failing to take the right steps can lead to environmental and health hazards from a dysfunctional system. Following best practices for each phase ensures the septic system gets off to a great start.