Septic Systems

Septic Systems

  • What should I do after I have my system installed?

    Get a drawing to scale showing the location of your tank and drainfield in relation to your home. This will help guide your service provider should any repairs be necessary. You’ll also need a diagram of your septic system when you are considering any home renovations, landscaping projects, or new parking places and driveways.

  • Will I need ongoing service?

    Yes, you will need to have excess solids pumped out of the septic tank on a regular basis. Your installer, a recommended and licensed septic pumping contractor or your local health department can give you exact guidelines for you home and locality.

  • How often will I need to have my tank pumped?

    Not that often. An average family of four living in a three-bedroom house will need their tank pumped every three to five years.

    But best advice is to pump it only when your tank needs it. There are many variables that will affect the needs of your system:

    • Tank size

    • System Types

    • System/Tank age

    • Family size

    • Family habits

    • Holidays, parties, events & cooking styles also have an impact on septic systems.

    If there are no major changes in your household and your usage is stable, you may want to consider a regular pumping schedule for best results with the least worry.

  • Can I build over my septic tank?

    This is never advisable and is against most municipal codes. Do not build any additions, pools, driveways, or undertake any other construction work near the repair area, septic tank or drainfield.

  • If I think there is a problem, should I open my septic tank?

    NO! Though septic systems are safe for your family, opening the septic tank without professional training can expose you to dangerous gases and bacteria. Call a certified and trained septic professional if you detect any problems in your system.

  • Are septic systems safe for my family?

    When properly installed by a professional and certified contractor, septic systems and other onsite treatment systems are highly effective and safe. Septic systems are a proven solution to handling household sewage and wastewater onsite while meeting a high legal standard for protecting human and environmental health. For more information from an independent source, please contact your local health officials.

Environmental Site Assessments

Environmental Site Assessments

  • I. What is a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment?

    This is an investigation and report that adheres to ASTM Standard E-1527-05, to insure that All Appropriate Inquiries Rule (AAI) and the 40 Code of Federal Regulations (40-CFR), Part 312) that went into effect in November of 2005. It includes a site inspection, interviews with owners, occupants, environmental agencies and neighboring properties, review of environmental databases, analysis of local geologic conditions and review of historical records for the subject and adjacent properties. The purpose of the report is to determine if there are any known or potential significant environmental liabilities at the property. These liabilities can occur as regulatory-mandated cleanup, toxic-tort liability (civil), regulated waste, human health exposure, land-use limitations, and potential civil liability for devaluing nearby properties. The report should adhere to the ASTM standard in order to provide for Landowner Liability Protection and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-member banks require this report.

  • II. Why do I need a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment?

    The Phase I report is to protect yourself from some unknown liability that may be associated with soil or groundwater contamination. Lenders often require this environmental assessment report. They want to know the “true value” of the property before underwriting the loan. They also want to avoid the liability that could occur from migration of contamination out of or into the property.

  • Who can conduct Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment under the EPA law?

    According to the All Appropriate Inquiries or AAI Rule (40 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 312), only individuals with the appropriate science-based college degree and the required work experience in environmental assessments can conduct Phase I ESA reports. If the assessor does not meet the qualifications of an Environmental Professional, then the report will be invalid and will not qualify the owner for the Landowner Liability Protection (LLP). LLP is the main reason for conducting the Phase 1 report.

  • IV. Can asbestos techs, mold techs and home inspectors conduct Phase 1 ESA reports under the EPA law?

    No. According to the AAI legislation, these individuals cannot conduct Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment reports. This and other problems are why the new law was written into code on November 1, 2005. These individuals who do not understand soil and groundwater contamination and liabilities should not be issuing opinions on these issues based on their qualifications in other fields. Because so many inaccurate reports were placed into the market by these unqualified people, numerous lawsuits and environmental problems have occurred causing financial disasters and the lowering industry standards. If your report is not conducted by an Environmental Professional, you may not qualify for Landowner Liability Protection in the future.

  • V. How long does it take to complete a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment?

    Our turnaround time for completing a Phase One ESA report is normally two to three weeks. However, if our search for files at the local environmental agencies indicates a file for the subject property, it may take a little longer (usually an extra week) because of scheduling an appointment to view the file is dependent on government agency appointment availability.

  • VI. What is a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment report?

    When a Phase 1 ESA report finds a “Recognized Environmental Condition,” a Phase 2 ESA report is typically recommended, to verify the presence and to screen the soil and/or groundwater approximate extent for potential significant environmental liabilities. These may involve regulatory-agency mandated cleanups or toxic tort liabilities. These studies usually consist of using a drill rig, back-hoe or hand auger to collect shallow soil samples to determine if previous storage and use of chemicals at a property has released regulated substances into the ground that may be affecting the value of the property. In some cases or when other development considerations come into play, other professionals may be needed, such as Registered Geologists, Certified Engineering Geologists or GeoTechnical Engineers.

  • VII. What is the difference between Phase 1 and Phase 2 ESA Reports?

    A Phase 1 Environmental report includes an inspection of the property, historical use research, analysis of local groundwater conditions and review of nearby known environmental liabilities that may be impacting the value of the property, land use limitations, potential cleanup costs or civil or tort liability, due to offsite migration of contamination. A Phase 2 Environmental report consists of collecting soil and/or groundwater samples to determine if significant amounts and concentrations of contaminants exist at the property. Recommendations are formed for potential phase 3 cleanup efforts, if needed. Timing for this varies.