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Finding a Reliable Contractor to Design and Install Your Septic System

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Questions to ask to find a reliable septic system designer and installer

Whether you are installing a septic system for a newly-built home or replacing an older system, it’s critical to find a skilled, reliable contractor to design and install your system. Here’s some questions to ask when researching septic system installers.

Operation, insurance, and licensing

How long has the installer been in business designing and installing septic systems?

Generally, the longer a company has been in business and installing septic tanks the more experienced and knowledgeable service you will receive. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, or consider signing up for a service like Angie’s List.

Does the installer carry General Liability and Workers Compensation insurance?

These insurances protect the homeowner — you — from being held responsible should a company employee be injured on your property.

Does the installer hold a valid installer license by the TCEQ specifically for your system?

All septic installers are to be licensed through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). There are two levels of installers, and only level II installers can install aerobic systems.

Is the installer knowledgeable of the local regulations for your county or entity?

Septic regulations differ from county to county, and the provider’s knowing these regulations makes the design and installation process go smoother and quicker.

Pricing, permits, and payments

Does the installation price include design and permit fees?

Make sure you know which pieces are included in the provider’s quote, and be sure a permit is obtained. All septic systems are required to be licensed and permitted in Texas, even if you are not within city limits.

What is the total cost of septic system installation (including inspections and permits)? Will the company stand behind that price, and what are the terms of payment?

Learn upfront the total cost of the design and installation process, including any incidentals.

Practices and follow-up

What types of system does the company install?

If your property requires certain type of system (example: low-pressure dosing or aerobic), check to be sure the company you hire has actual experience with those systems.

Which aerobic system brands do they install?

Aerobic systems are proprietary, and not all aerobic systems are equal. The brand of system your installer puts in your yard will stay there — so be sure to research the brand that your installer uses.

How long has the company been installing the type of system your property requires?

The more experience, the better. Every septic system is different, and working with a provider experienced with a specific brand will likely mean a smoother design and installation process.

What is the company’s clean-up procedure?

Installing a septic system is hard on your landscaping: big holes are dug, and boots and equipment can tear up your grass and even irrigation systems. Ask the installer if they spread grass seeds or lay down sod, or if they just rake the dirt smooth so you can add your own grass. If re-landscaping/sodding your yard will be your responsibility, then it would be wise to know ahead of time so you are prepared for those costs as well.

Is there any warranty with the installation? If so, who warranties the system, designer or installer?

Different system types may have different warranties. Sometimes the warranty may come from the manufacturer, installer, or both.

Will the company provide an orientation to go over the system after it is installed?

Once the septic system is in the ground, it is your responsibility to keep it functioning properly. Ask the installer if they will walk you through how the system works and provide information on recommended maintenance.

Is the company qualified to service the system after installation?

Every septic system requires some amount of maintenance after installation — even if it’s only routine pumpings — and it’s your responsibility as the homeowner to follow regulations set by the TCEQ and the county.

If the installer provides ongoing maintenance and repairs, be sure to get more information on their pricing and contracts; if they do not offer maintenance, you will need to find a septic maintenance provider that does.

Warning: Know who you’re hiring

The septic system design and installation process is surprisingly complex, and most installers do not provide all the services required.

For example, the person you hire to install your septic system may in turn hire Site Evaluators and designers from different companies to build your system.

Experienced companies can handle this well, but not all companies are created equal. Too many cooks in the kitchen can mean extra headaches and costs for the homeowner.

We design, install, and maintain septic systems

After more than 75 years in operation, there’s not much we haven’t done. Our staff specializes in all types of septic systems and Clearstream aerobic systems, and one call does it all: we do site consultations, septic system design, permitting, installations, and inspections, as well as ongoing maintenance and septic tank pumpings.

Please contact us today to discuss how we may be able to help design, install, and maintain your new septic system.


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