Purdue Residential Onsite Wastewater Disposal:  Septic system information to protect your family and the environment

Image library: Site Preparation

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  • A soil evaluation is the key to deciding what on-site system, if any, can be built on a property. It is not a bad idea to have a soil scientist evaluate a piece of property before you purchase land if sewer is not available.

  • An example of a plot plan with contour lines mapping out the topography.

  • Staking out a site. Determining the elevation.

  • A system must meet separation distances from wells, property lines, buildings, and water bodies.

  • More measurements.

  • Some systems are plowed before they are built. Others must go in on undisturbed soil.

  • Sometimes you need a helping hand.

  • Construction of on-site systems should occur when soil is in the semi-solid state.

  • It is way too wet to be building an on-site system. Soil must be moist to dry to allow for proper infiltration of the wastewater. Building a system when the soil is wet will encourage rapid failure.

  • Some systems use tilled beds instead of trenches.

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