The Fraser Valley of British Columbia has topography that makes it very challenging to design and install a septic system.
One thing many rural properties have in common is a lack of municipal lot line services. You can usually be assured that your new property will be able to tie into the hydro grid, and that a road of some type will be provided to your driveway, but tap water and sewage disposal is often considered to be the responsibility of the individual property owner. This raises some interesting design criteria, as you are being asked to draw your drinking water up from the reserves below your property, while also disposing of your waste in to the same reserves. Clearly great care must be taken to ensure that the waste water draining down does not contaminate the drinking water coming up.
This is one reason why, when shopping for quotes for a new septic system the prices can vary so widely. It can be simple and cheap to install a septic system that disposes of the waste water. But a septic system planner or designer must gives equal weight to the treatment of the waste water and thus the protection of groundwater resources. A contractor’s failure to consider waste water treatment in the interest of landing the job is an ethical breach. If you receive a quote for a new system that seems to be unusually low, it may be a good idea to ask the contractor what the plan was to mitigate contamination concerns. After all, it will be you and your family drinking the well water for years after the septic contractor has been paid and moved on. Read More