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Though many homeowners are tempted to find ways of saving money and doing a lot of large-scale projects on a DIY basis, the installation of a septic tank system must be undertaken by a professional contractor. Why? It involves the removal of biodegradable or organic wastes to a place that is secure and suitable for the natural breakdown process to occur. Should this system have any flaws or failures the financial costs of repair or remediation could be catastrophic.
For the purpose of this discussion we will consider the costs and materials associated with the building of a traditional, single-family home, septic tank system using the gravity design. According to SepticTankGuide.com the "standard or conventional gravity system for a three bedroom house on a level site in good soil can vary greatly depending on where you live but it should be roughly between $1,500 to $4,000..."
All systems are composed of two fundamental fixtures - the tank and the "leachfield" or the drain field. These will require several basic components in order to function properly, but they also must be designed to work with the number of bedrooms in the home, the layout of the site, and the texture of the soil that will hold the system.
The standard system will include:
Like all major home projects, the installation (or replacement) of a septic system should follow a pattern of seeking several bids from qualified professionals. The National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association is a good resource for identifying experienced and licensed professionals in any area, but a call to the local sanitation office can also provide a few contacts for the project too. It is important to require references and proof of adequate insurance for a project such as this, and the work and materials should also have some sort of guarantee or warranty as well. Often an installer can even provide some sort of maintenance agreement that will see the system pumped every one to three years, and inspected annually.