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What You Need To Know Before Building Your Septic System

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You're building your dream home, and it's time to talk about your septic system. But do you really understand what installing a septic system entails? Unless your house is connected to your municipal sewage plant, it is your responsibility as a homeowner to install and maintain your septic system.

The first part of your septic system are the pipes. Choose sturdy pipes that are unlikely to break under pressure. It's a good idea to add a plumbing vent at the top of your septic system to allow for the proper air pressure that keeps wastewater moving through your system. The pipes lead from your house to the septic tank, and then from your tank to the drainfield.

Septic tanks are typically made of concrete, steel, or fiberglass. Concrete tanks are the most desirable because they are sturdier and usually larger than their steel and fiberglass counterparts. Steel tanks have a tendency to rust, which can cause breakage to the roof and cause someone to fall in if left untreated. Fiberglass or plastic is impervious to rust, but are more fragile than concrete, and thus body damage is a concern during installation and maintenance. It's important to get routine maintenance checks to determine that your tank is behaving properly and that there isn't any damage, which is a possibility even for concrete tanks after a few decades.

The drainfield, also called a leach field, is an area of soil where the wastewater is drained into the groundwater. It's extremely important to have appropriate soil in your drainfield, otherwise harmful bacteria could make it into the groundwater, harming any people or animals in the area. Usually an equal mix of fine and coarse soil is the best choice, but clay soil could be used depending on the size and volume of the tank. Conducting a percolation test will help you determine if your soil is good enough for your drainfield.

In a gravity septic system, it's essential that each component, the tank and the drainfield, are built in a downward slope to allow for proper movement of wastewater. However, an electric pumping system will be fine with level installation. 

You may run into some red tape while trying to build your system. Check out the building codes in your county before you begin to ensure that each step you take is safe and up to code. And, of course, while it's completely okay to want to build your own septic system, it may be more helpful to hire some help for such a daunting task.

The average septic system installation costs from $1,500 to $5,500, depending on its size and volume. Labor costs often exceed the cost of the tank and field installation, so do not be surprised if you find this to be the case. When you pay for quality, quality usually pays for itself over time. 

For more information, contact a business such as Lanik Enterprises INC.


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