Septic 101 and Perc tests

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by DirtySCREW, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. DirtySCREW

    DirtySCREW I am Negan Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I need to know everything there is to know about septic systems.....specifically installation.
    I understand that a typical gravity fed conventional system is about 5k.

    What are the costs associated with the non typical septic systems?
    I don’t quite understand them other than tons of sand has to be brought in.

    Help educate

    DS
     
  2. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Been 10 years ago since we had one installed behind us. It was $1,500 complete.
     
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  3. 9outof10mms

    9outof10mms Purveyor of Professional Enginerding Supporting Member

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    It depends 100% on the soil type you have. You’re down southeast, past the piedmont, right? If so, you’re in a different soil type than I’m used to messing with here around Charlotte—and even then I’m no expert.

    I had to do a non-conventional system on a project that had “bad soils.” It consisted of a grinder and an aeration system to help chop up everything and encourage it to start digesting. Then a drip line system that is super finicky. The lines are essentially 0-slope flat, laid out by a surveyor on the same contours for each line. The solid has to be hand-manipulated (no equipment allowed as it will compact the soil and make it worse).

    There are different flavors for different scenarios. The setup I described was for a public park. A house would be less elaborate.

    I’ve heard ballpark figures of $20-$30k for a residential drip and/or other non-conventional system.

    In Meck County, they make you preserve a repair zone for future failure of the system, regardless of the soils. Yet another area you cant do anything on—no sheds, equipment, driveways, etc.

    Get with a septic designer and/or soil scientist that knows your area—more importantly, knows your County’s inspectors. They’ll have a good idea of what will fly and what won’t. Design costs could be about $3k-$5k.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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  4. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Yep! The story here is that when they come out you walk ahead of them and when they ask.."Where were you thinking about putting it?" You drop a coupla Hunnys on the ground and say.."Anywhere along in here." Just keep walking and don't look back. Permission is granted on the spot.....really....that's how corrupt they are here in The Independent Republic of Horry.;)
     
  5. 9outof10mms

    9outof10mms Purveyor of Professional Enginerding Supporting Member

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    I hadn’t ever done a septic project in my middle-aged career. It was quite the experience. No hunnerts were exchanged along with pretty much no pleasantries, jokes, conversation, or other normal human interaction. They were robotic and ignorant of the world outside of where they were looking. A point at the ground here, a grunt there, some note s jotted down...a grumble...then finally “I just don’t know about this site.” My assumption of those being expensive words was spot on. We had to get a crew to clear the entire proposed septic field—in the middle of a 30-acre wooded lot, mind you—and dig. Few test pits with a backhoe. Inspector came back out, jumped down in the holes, and said “nahhhh...this is ‘bad dirt.’” Again, expensive words.

    I don’t like when people second-guess or doubt my expertise, so I’m careful to cast judgement on another’s. But this was some malarkey if I ever saw some. Touching, feeling the dirt, smelling it...then a final $100,000 decision of “no good soil.” Not a single scientific test, nothing. All by eye and nose.
     
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  6. DirtySCREW

    DirtySCREW I am Negan Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Yikes!

    I hired a soil scientist for some land in Pender....it turned out to be "marginal at best"...which meant thousands extra to get a septic.

    Found another piece of land in Pender.... emailed Soil scientist....he checks his maps...tells me "it's like the other property if not worse"...

    So disappointed is an understatement.

    I'm really beginning to believe there's not good land in the area I want in Pender.
    :(

    DS
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  7. Ben Jefferson

    Ben Jefferson Well-Known Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    Mine was over 20k due to soil, location and location!

    I cried!
     
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  8. Scsmith42

    Scsmith42 Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    System types that I recall, from least to most expensive.

    Conventional. 5k - 7k cost.
    Modified conventional same as conventional, but with 7-10 truckloads of perkable soil brought in.
    Drip
    Low pressure
    High pressure.
    Dosing system. High capacity enhancement for the other systems. Only used when septic needed sporadically ( think church use)
     
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