Are you a homeowner who needs a new septic system or septic tank in Colorado Springs? What if you need to perform maintenance and repairs on the septic system you already have? It is important for you, the homeowner or property managers, to understand what services are available to you. The information below will assist you with some general information regarding septic systems.
Maintaining and Purchasing a Septic Tank System in El Paso County and in Teller County
Regular maintenance on your system is generally having your system pumped every two years to remove any sludge material. You can have this performed by a licensed on-site wastewater system cleaner in El Paso County.
New Septic Tank and System Installation, Repair or Replacement:
If you are building a new home, adding an addition onto your home, or if your current system fails and you require a new system and leach field there are several steps you will take to determine your needs and the cost of the new system.
First, the El Paso County Department of Public Health will require a Soils Analysis test by a licensed engineer. In order for the soils engineer to do his/her job, you will need to hire a contractor to dig one or more Profile Pits for this analysis to take place. El Paso County has a list of these licensed engineers on their website: http://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/services/site-wastewater-treatment-systems.
Below is an aerial view shot by drone video footage by Don Jones of Studio 9 Commercial Photography. Edited by Kobey Morgan:
A profile pit is an 8’ deep section of soil dug in the area where you will eventually have your leach field.
Once the soils analysis is completed, the type of system needed is determined, and the El Paso County Department of Public Health issues a permit to proceed. Spotted Dog Excavating can provide you with a free estimate at this point to help you understand the costs of the new system. A gravity-fed system can be designed and installed by Spotted Dog Excavating. An engineered system must be designed by one of the licensed engineers listed on the El Paso County Department of Public Health website, and then it can be installed by Spotted Dog Excavating.
Understanding the Timeline of a Septic Installation:
First, you’ll need profile pits. These can be dug by Spotted Dog Excavating, and we will arrange for the soils engineer to be onsite to gather their data. This generally can be scheduled and completed within one to two weeks.
It usually takes two weeks to get the soils analysis results back from the engineer. These results dictate whether the system can be conventional, or must be an engineered design.
With a conventional system, Spotted Dog Excavating can design and submit a permit application for approval to El Paso County Department of Health for you. Currently, the Department of Health requires approximately three to five weeks for approval and issue of permit.
When a permit is issued, Spotted Dog Excavating can get your project scheduled. Installation generally requires three to seven days based on size and complexity of the system. After installation, the El Paso County Department of Health will return for a final inspection within 24 hours and when approved, the system can be backfilled and covered. *
*If your septic system must be an engineered system, the installation timeline will depend on the type of system designed by the approved engineer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Septic Tank?
A septic tank is a plastic or concrete tank installed underground to collect sewage from your home. It is designed to break down the sewage and transfer it to your STA, soil treatment area (leech field), to be further broken down by the soil.
What is a Septic System?
A septic system is a whole sewage/waste disposal system that is used in lieu of a standard sewer line connection to a city main. If you do not have access to a municipality in your area that removes and processes sewage, a septic system is used in much the same way, just on a smaller scale, on your own land.
How can I locate my septic system?
Sometimes you can locate your own septic system by first finding the two lids that cover two risers (pipes) that connect to the underground tank. These access points allow a homeowner to access the tank, and have it professionally pumped periodically to ensure proper working conditions. If these are buried on your property, the county assessors page will have a sketch of your septic installation on your property in most cases. And, if all else fails, you can hire an installer to use a video inspection camera that will allow for location of the tank underground.
Do you have to pump a septic system?
Yes, it is highly recommended that you have your septic system pumped. For a standard 3 or 4 bedroom home, we suggest having your septic tank pumped every two (2) years.
How can I tell what type of septic system I have?
If you are curious what type of system was installed at your home, for example, if you just purchased the home, you can access your property record on the county assessors page, and in that file there is a link to the last approved design, and inspections. This will allow you to find out if your system was installed as a conventional system, or if it had to be designed by a licensed engineer due to the soils types.
How long does a septic system last?
The length of time a septic system lasts is dependent on when it was installed, and the type of soil you have. Generally speaking, a correctly installed system with an approved plastic or concrete tank should last approximately 20-25 years.
How much does a septic system cost?
While this is a great question, and a very common question asked, it is hard to answer until we have more information. In El Paso and Teller counties, homeowners are required to have two profile pits dug (8’ deep pits) whereby a geotechnical engineer will then gather soil data and have the soil analyzed. From this analysis, we learn the absorption rates of the soil, and whether based on state regulations your site will allow for a conventional system, or one that must be designed by the geotechnical engineer. A conventional system can be designed by the installer, and often requires less material thus costs less. An engineered system must be designed by the geotechnical engineer, and from that design an installer can determine the materials and labor costs. Often these systems require specialty materials due to the lower absorption rates of the soils, for example, imported sand, or an extra large leech field (STA/soil treatment area).
Start on Your Septic System Project Today!
Spotted Dog Excavating is a Licensed On-site Wastewater Treatment System Installer in El Paso County and Teller County. We are happy to help you with your septic repairs, septic replacements, and new septic installations in Black Forest, Monument and surrounding areas of El Paso County and Teller County. Feel free to contact us so that we can help you understand the process of septic system installation as well as provide you with a free estimate for your new system. Call us today!Free Estimate