Soil Testing Services

Soil tests are needed to determine what type of septic system is needed for a residence or business. The soil test tells us the type of septic system, the size, and location of the septic system. Before the soil test takes place, I discuss the needs of the property owner. Once the initial meeting takes place, soil pits or borings are dug in the ground. The soil tester can then climb into the pit and identify the characteristics of the soil. Some of the characteristics are structure, type of soil, and high ground water features.

The characteristics of the soil determine what type of septic system is needed to treat domestic wastewater. When a septic system disperses household wastewater or effluent into the ground it must be 3 feet above the limiting factor. If an in-ground system can not get 3 feet of separation, than an at-grade or mound is installed. Mottling, bedrock, structure, and texture are all limiting factors.

Mottling or mottles are colors in soil caused by the presence of water in the soil. The quantity, size, contrast and color of the mottles give an indication of how often and how long water is present. Bedrock is a limiting factor because it either prevents effluent from dispersing into the ground or allows it to get into ground water before treating it. The structure and texture determine how well the soil will drain. If the soil is impermeable you will create a pond of sewage in your yard. Loose soils do not allow adequate time for treatment to take place.

The soil tester documents the horizons or different layers of the soil. He/she records the consistence, the type of boundary between the horizons, and the size and quantity of the roots in the soil. A site map is also made during the time of the soil test. The map shows where the pits or borings are on the property, the location of the current structures or proposed structures, the well, the slope of the tested area and the legal description of the lot.

After the soil test has taken place, the soil tester will fill out a Soil and Site Evaluation Report. The report describes the characteristics of the soil and has the information needed for a septic system installer to design the system and to pull the necessary permits. The report also includes the site map. The soil tester submits the report to the county or agency which regulates septic systems.

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