One of the most important factors to consider when placing your septic system is the soil that will surround it. This dirt, known as an absorption field, scatters the waste water from your home and allows it to be safely decomposed by bugs and bacteria underground. Not all soil, however, is suitable for use with a septic system, and choosing the wrong location could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs later. Understanding these five common soil types can help you and your septic tank installation company find the ideal spot for your new septic system.
Although some rocks are to be expected, soil that contains a lot of gravel drains faster than waste can decompose. Water moves quickly through the empty spaces between chunks of gravel, possibly leeching into the groundwater before the waste has been safely filtered by bacteria. This poses a serious health risk to your family and neighborhood, so avoid any septic site that rests on bedrock or is too gravelly.
If you live in an area with a naturally high clay content, you may be forced to invest in a bigger and more efficient septic system to offset the effects of clay. Unlike gravel, clay actually holds waste water for too long, saturating the soil around your tank. New waste has nowhere to go, and so septic systems in clay have a greater chance of cracking or flooding. You can accommodate this through responsible water usage and by installing a larger tank that can hold more waste while the absorption field drains.
Sandy soils can be either beneficial or harmful to your septic system, depending on the coarseness of the grains. Fine sand drains well and provides a good environment for bacteria, while coarser sands act more like gravel and can drain too fast for safety. Consult with your septic system technician if you are uncertain about the suitability of your soil.
Houses built on wetlands or land that sees seasonal flooding must factor in groundwater when installing a septic system. Soils that are not naturally dry are not recommended for septic systems, due to their increased risk of flooding and the chance that unfiltered waste may seep to the surface. Steer clear of any land that feels soggy under your feet or is next to a body of water.
Undisturbed, loamy soil with low organic content is the ideal soil for a septic system absorption field. This rich dirt is full of the nutrients and oxygen bacteria need to survive, and it is just dense enough to keep waste water moving. A septic system expert should be able to walk your property and show you the most promising sites to begin digging for your new tank.
For more information about septic tank installation, contact a company like Honest John's Septic Service Inc.