Before you have a septic system installed on your property, it is crucial to have your soil tested to ensure that it will be able to handle your septic system properly. Your soil plays a very important role in the health and function of your system. Soil-based systems discharge the liquid (known as effluent) from the septic tank into a maze of perforated pipes buried in a leach field that has been designed to slowly release the effluent into the soil or surface water. There must be organisms present within the soil that are capable of feeding on and removing any bacteria that remains in your effluent once it reaches the drain field. Without these organisms, your septic system might not work properly.
There are certain types of soil that are not ideal for septic systems, and if you happen to have them in your yard, it can lead to ground and surface water contamination near your home.
Clay soils are typically very compact and do not provide enough room for effluents to flow through easily. Clay also typically bonds to sodium molecules in wastewater that blocks the effluent from draining properly and can be a cause of drainfield failure.
Gravel or Coarse Soil
Conversely, soils that consist primarily of gravel and are very coarse can allow effluent to pass through too quickly, meaning that your water is not being properly filtered. If the gravely soil is deep enough, it can still be effective at filtration. If soil is gravely, bringing in other soil can typically rectify it.
The “Ideal” Soil
The ideal soil for septic systems is somewhere between clay and gravel soil with a good balance of fine and coarse particles that make percolation and drainage ideal. Soil tests will help determine whether or not your existing soil is appropriate for a septic system. If tests come back with less than ideal results, our septic experts can work around the soil issues with treatment products or bringing in outside soil to help rectify the issue.
If you are considering installing a new septic system, it is important to understand how the system works. A soil test is always required before any permits are pulled for new construction. While the results could potentially add expenses to your system installation, knowing your soil type now and rectifying the situation proactively is much better than waiting too long and risking expensive drainfield repairs.
If you are unsure whether or not your soil type is ideal for septic system installation, please call us at (951) 780-5922 right away. We have professionals ready to answer your questions and get your system working properly again.