the Right System for your property
Our mission is to help you make the best choice when deciding the next steps for your home or cottage.
you asked, we’ve got answers
There are many questions concerning septic systems and which design and configuration works best for your house. These Frequently Asked Questions may help make sense of it. For further explanation, contact us for a free quote.
Haliburton Septic Systems is a division of Greg Brown Construction and is operated by Greg Brown and his staff. With over 30 years in the construction industry in Haliburton, Greg has developed a vast knowledge of the area and how to operate a strong business. Greg and two of his staff are currently Licensed in Septic Design and Installation in Ontario and aim to construct reliable and efficient septic systems throughout the Haliburton area. While we have been working in Haliburton County since 1982, we have added a few specialized divisions within our company to better suit the needs of the Haliburton community.
A New System In 10 Steps
Contact A Contractor
First and foremost! Being comfortable with the right contractor for your new septic system is the most important aspect of the whole process. If you do not have confidence that your contractor will provide the best job, including being around after the install in case something goes wrong, find someone else. It will save you a lot of unneeded stress and aggravation.
It is never safe to assume that any contractor can predict all the variables on your property by just talking over the phone, especially in Haliburton. An on-site visit is required to ensure there are no other obstacles or hindrances that prohibit or add to the cost of the install. No one likes a final bill higher than first expected.
Once the location of the septic system is determined and all information required pertaining to the house or cottage is gathered, a Design Layout is made to be submitted to the Building department.
Submitting a permit to the local municipal building department will allow the inspector to review the plan before they come out for a site inspection. The permit fee is approximately $875.
Every new septic system requires a test hole to be dug to properly assess the material that the septic system is being installed in/on. Finding bedrock near the surface or a different soil material under the top layer of soil can alter the design of the septic system and any revisions will be made to the Design Layout.
First Site Inspection
The septic inspector will then visit the site and review the current design and check the setbacks from near bodies of water and other buildings.
Once the green light is given from the inspector, we start the excavation for the new septic and complete everything up to the point of backfilling.
Honestly, these things could not be completed without coffee so we need to mention it somewhere.
Second Site Inspection
The septic inspector visits the site again and inspects all work done before issuing the Use Permit for the system.
All excavated work will be backfilled and covered with normal fill material plus 4 inches of top soil with grass seed on top.
Filter Beds – A go-to solution
Filter Beds are comprised of three major components that help distribute the effluent before it reaches the surrounding soil. A 3″ PVC pipe distributes effluent across the top of the filter bed using gravity. 3/4 Clear Crush Stone is placed on top of the filter sand to spread the effluent across the filter sand evenly to ensure even absorption throughout the entire area. Regulated and carefully inspected filter sand that provides the perfect balance between filtration and percolation rate. At times, the distribution pipe and 3/4 Clear Crush Stone may be replaced with other distribution systems such as infiltrators. In these cases, a concrete distribution box (d-box) is used to help distribute the effluent. When digging a test hole before the installation, we may find that the soil conditions require a raised Filter Bed.
Absorption Trenches – For Difficult Terrain
Years ago, absorption trenches were installed with clay tiles and because of that, the name ‘Tile Bed’ was created and is still used today when referring to absorption trenches. These trenches are used when the surrounding soil conditions are prime for receiving the effluent with both correct soil material and proper peculation rates. Two styles of absorption trenches are very common, one that uses 3″ PVC pipe and 3/4 clear crush, and the other that uses infiltrators. Absorption trenches with these infiltrators are a great solution to installing septic systems in places that are hard to access with large machinery and dump trucks, such as islands and building lots with steep terrain. The plastic chambers are installed in replacement of the clear stone and 3″ pipe and preform to the same levels of efficiency
Holding Tanks – For Near Impossible Situations
In situations where it is impossible to install a full septic system, a large holding tank can be used to collect and hold waste until a pump truck arrives to remove its contents. This option is usually a less expensive option to a full septic system install, but because of both Ontario Building Code and Municipal regulations, relying on just a holding tank is not allowed where a full septic system is able to be installed. Holding tanks come in many sizes and can be made of plastic or concrete. Homes and cottages using Holding Tanks must be careful to watch the amount of waste water created as the pumping fee can quickly add up. Quite often these holding tanks are paired with a Greywater Pit that receive and filter kitchen and shower waste water in order to reduce pumping frequency of the Holding Tank.
Pump Chambers – When Gravity Is Not In Your Favour
Pump Chambers are commonly used when the discharge line from the house is lower than the septic bed and a gravity feed system will not work. This application works great on a sloped site with cottages located down by the lake and the septic system located up by the driveway. The pump chamber is installed in addition to the regular septic tank and comes with a audible alarm in case of any future pump failure.
Concrete vs Plastic
When designing a septic system for a new home or upgrading your cottage, an early site visit will determine if a Plastic or Concrete tank will work best for the layout of the site. Both types of tanks are designed to last a very long time and have been tested to ensure quality and reliability. That being said, there are some Pros and Cons to each type of tank that allow us to choose the tank that best fits your situation.
CONCRETE | Pros Extremely durable and strong to prevent breaking and puncturing. Even when empty, concrete tanks cannot be pushed up and ‘float’ from high water levels less pollution created when manufacturing concrete as opposed to plastic.
CONCRETE | Cons Due to the heavy nature of the concrete tank, we are limited on the places that these tanks can be installed. Future removal of old concrete tanks are much more difficult than plastic tanks. Concrete is susceptible to corrosion, cracking, and leaks eventually.
PLASTIC | Pros Lighter weight allows for easier moving and leveling of tank in situations where hoisting a concrete tank will not be possible. Transporting Plastic tanks across lakes for island installations are much more possible and cost effective.Resistant to cracking and corrosion to which concrete tanks are susceptible.
PLASTIC | Cons Due to its lighter weight, a higher water table can cause the empty plastic tanks to ‘float’ or rise up and allow it settle not leveled properly. While the rigid plastic is designed to withstand the normal wear and tear of being in the ground, it is a weaker material than the concrete tanks and can be damaged more easily.
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