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Understanding Your Report

The Soil and Site Evaluation Report is prepared by a certified soil tester after examining the soils on your property. The report contains a detailed description of your soil and a site plan. The original report is sent to the appropriate regulatory office in the county in which your property is located. This report must be on file before your installer can obtain the necessary permits to begin the installation of your septic system.

There are three main sections on the report. The first section contain the name and mailing address of the property owner, as well as the legal description of the property location.

The second section describes the recommended system for your property. In residential construction, the system is sized based on the number of bedrooms in the home. The code derived daily flow is calculated based on 75 gallons per day per person. It is assumed that there are 2 people per bedroom in the home. The recommended design loading rate is based on the texture and structure of your soil. Loading rates range from .2 to .8. The higher the loading rate for your soil the smaller the system you will need. Soils which contain large amounts of sand and gravel generally have the highest loading rates. The absorption area required is the size of the septic field. It is calculated based on the daily flow and the loading rate. The maximum design loading rate is the highest loading rate allowed by state code. In most cases the recommended and maximum loading rates are the same. The recommended infiltration elevation is the depth at which the system is installed. Recommendations for specific feature in your system are listed in additional design considerations. The parent material is either glacial outwash, a more course soil, or glacial till, a finer soil. For properties within the 100 year flood plain the flood plain elevation is included. The last portion of this section contains the six options for disposal of your waste water. A box is marked indicating whether your soil is suitable for each type of system. You, as the property owner, along with your septic system installer and the county inspector can determine which of the suitable systems best meets your needs.

The third section contains a detailed description of the soils found at each boring location. Each layer of soil is a horizon. The depth in inches refers to the thickness of the layer of soil. The dominant color Munsell is the soil color based on the Munsell color chart. Mottles are colors in soil caused by the presence of water. The quantity, size, contrast and color of the mottles give an indication of how often and how long water is present. The texture describes the mixture of sand, loam, clay and silt found in the soil. The structure of soil determines how the soil sticks together. The texture and the structure are the key elements in determining the size of your system. Consistence describes how loose or compacted the soil is. The boundary is the transition area between the horizons. The quantity and size roots are also indicated. The GPD/ft2 is the loading rate for that horizon. Also indicated in this section is the ground elevation at that boring site and the depth to limiting factor. A limiting factor could be high ground water or bedrock. Your system must be installed at least three feet above this point.

This sample test was performed for Joe Homebuilder who is currently living at 123 Main Street in Anytown. The property where the test was performed was located on lot #5, CSM# 4015 in the town of Erin. Joe Homebuilder is planning to build a new home with four bedrooms. Based on two people per bedroom each producing 75 gallons of waste water per day, the Homebuilder’s gpd is calculated to be 600 (2x4x75). The soil tester has recommended an infiltration surface elevation of 94ft. At that depth Joe Homebuilder’s soils have a loading rate of 0.7 for beds or 0.8 for trenches. Based on these loading rates, he will need an absorption area of 857sq ft if a bed is installed or 750 sq ft if trenches are used. Mr. Homebuilder and the septic system installer will choose the best system design for his property from the options designated as suitable on his soil report. In this case he could install a conventional, mound, in-ground pressure or at-grade system.

In the first boring dug on Joe Homebuilder’s property the first layer of soil was 10 inches deep. The soil color is located on page 10YR in Munsell color book. The color chip is 3/3. There were no mottles present in the soil. The texture is loam. The structure is moderate, fine, subangular blocky. The consistence is moist, very friable. The boundary is clear, smooth. The roots are moderate, fine. The loading rate for this horizon is 0.5 for beds or 0.6 for trenches.

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