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What Kind of Septic System Do I Need? [Video]

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What kind of septic system do I need?

The type of septic system you need depends on several factors including soil type, setback requirements, and lot challenges. Usually, the most important determining factor is the soil where the system is to be placed.

A Site Evaluation is required for all septic system permits in Texas. The site evaluator will dig soil profile holes to determine the soil type.

Conducting tests

A “ribbon test” can be helpful for the Site Evaluator when determining soil class, as the soil’s texture is an indicator of its contents. Ribbon tests are relatively fast, as shown in the video above, and the Site Evaluator can often determine what type of system is needed from this simple task.

However, if the soil class cannot be determined through the ribbon test, soil samples may need to be taken to a lab for testing. A sieve analysis and hydrometer analysis determine the percent of sand, silt and clay, thus showing which of the four types of USDA soil texture classification of which the sample consists.

Types of soils

There are five soil types classified by the USDA soil texture classification:

  • Class Ib, II, or III soils are sandy and loamy and are acceptable for standard systems.
  • Class Ia is rocky soils, while class IV are clay soils. Neither are suitable for standard systems. An alternative system type may be proposed, such as an aerobic system or low-pressure dosing system.

Soil type not the only determining factor

Smaller properties or challenging lots may not allow for a standard septic system, even if the property has suitable soil. This may be due to minimum setback requirements, surface improvements, property accessibility, etc. Every property is different, and you will need to consult with a Site Evaluator to determine which system is best for you.

Septic installation experts

Van Delden Wastewater Systems is your one-stop-shop for new septic systems and aerobic systems. We provide free estimates for repairs and new systems, which include the entire design, permitting, and installation process turnkey.

Our estimator is a TCEQ Site Evaluator and TCEQ Installer II; we also have an in-house Registered Sanitarian to design the system. This means you only have to hire one company instead of separately finding a Site Evaluator, Designer and Installer.

We are happy to provide you the information and assistance you need to make sure you have a proper system designed and installed. Contact us online or call us today for a free consultation.


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