Sarah Calvert Septic/Septex provides a full range of consultation service whether purchasing an undeveloped lot or tract, or determining why an existing system does not work. A site evaluation on the property is necessary to determine the proper course of action in any case
It is imperative that you understand how a lot can be developed prior to purchase if you want to protect your financial investment. If possible request the seller to dig the excavations or at least allow necessary clearing and excavation. If the seller is unwilling to allow the initial excavation the “deal” may be “too good to be true”. An evaluation without excavation is possible but only the general aspects can be explored. Many lots are undeveloped because OSSFs do not fit or the feasibility is too cost prohibitive.
For undeveloped land an initial visit can assess major factors such as slope, drainage, physical restrictions, proximity to creeks, wells, easements, floodplains, etc. Survey and subdivision plats are often both necessary to determine what type of OSSF may be permissible. The initial visit assesses overall factors but the actual sizing and type of system is determined by test excavations. Test excavations are required by state regulations regardless of the planned system type. Test excavations are 24” wide by 60” deep and are dug with a backhoe. During the initial visit the available area and proposed drainfield locations can be determined as well as placement of the test excavations. Unless test excavations area present or excavated during the evaluation, specific sizes and types cannot be determined.
Once test excavations are performed a detailed explanation of all appropriate system selections can be presented. At this stage the advantages and disadvantages of each system type can be presented. The upfront cost versus long term costs are known. Maintenance requirements can be contrasted between system types. In some cases there is only one system type permissible under regulatory requirements.
Surveys and plats are needed as well as a proposed site plan to make a thorough assessment.