Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Is the Process for Septic Tank Installation in Westminster?
- 2 How Does Permitting Work for Installing Septic Tanks in Westminster?
- 3 How Much Does Septic Tank Installation Usually Cost in Westminster?
- 4 What Type of Septic Tank Is Best for Residents in Westminster?
- 5 How Often Do Homeowners in Westminster Need to Have Their Septic Tank Inspected?
- 6 Are There Any Rebates Available for Septic Tank Services in Westminster?
What Is the Process for Septic Tank Installation in Westminster?
Located along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Westminster is a small town in the northwestern corner of South Carolina near the Georgia border. The city has a robust sewer system, and residents are required to hook up to the public sewer system if it is within 300 feet of their property line. Since it is a relatively small town, there are still some rural areas that are not able to connect to the public sewer system and require the installation of a septic tank. If your home needs a septic system installed, several steps need to be taken.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHE) oversees all aspects related to septic tank installations. Soil testing, including soil profiles, and groundwater depth measurements are required prior to any wastewater system being installed. Typically, after a permit application is submitted, the SCDHE will conduct a site survey along with necessary soil testing and other measurements. However, you can apply for an expedited permit and submit soil testing results and a site survey that has been done by an approved professional soil classifier and a licensed professional engineer, like us. It is generally best to obtain a site survey prior to designing your septic system so that you are aware of which system will be the best choice for your home.
After your permits are approved, our plumbers, who are specifically certified for septic tank installations, can begin installing the system that you have chosen. After the system is installed, the SCDHE requires that an inspection be done before covering the system. After this is completed, they will issue approval to operate the system.
Several distance regulations have to be accounted for when designing your septic system. These include:
- At least 5 feet from any building, driveway, or parking structure.
- At least 75 feet from a delineated critical area, such as tidal waters of coastal waters and critical tidelands, or any other natural body of water.
- At least 25 feet from a drainage ditch or stormwater treatment system, and 15 feet from any piped drainage ditches.
- At least 15 feet from an inground pool.
- At least 25 feet from the basement walls.
Additionally, there must also be a repair or replacement area that is at least 50% of the size of the original septic system, and the minimum net liquid capacity of the septic tank must be at least 1,000 gallons.
How Does Permitting Work for Installing Septic Tanks in Westminster?
Permits for any additions or replacements to an existing septic system, as well as any new installations, are issued by the SCDHE, through your local Environmental Affairs office. When applying for your permit, you are required to submit detailed plans, including sketches with detailed measurements, to your local Environmental Affairs office. After your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the SCDHE, and a site survey will typically be done, which will include soil testing. After this, it will either be approved, or denied, and alternative solutions will be offered.
How Much Does Septic Tank Installation Usually Cost in Westminster?
Depending on what type of septic tank system you are installing, and if it is for brand new construction or your existing home, the installation costs can vary. On average, septic system installation costs in Westminster are between $1,270 and $8,938. These costs do not account for inspection fees, permit costs, or any general contractor fees, nor do they include sales tax on materials. There are a few things that will factor into the cost of your septic system installation.
Landscaping and Tree Removal
It is often necessary to do landscaping and/or remove trees and roots while installing a septic system, which can add to your costs. Most prices will include the cost of excavation to install the system, but they generally will not include the cost of removing trees or any other landscaping that might need to be done. For example, tree removal in Westminster, on average, costs between $477 and $650, depending on the size of the tree. Most tree removal also requires a separate permit, which will also increase your costs.
The larger the septic system you need, in general, the more expensive it will be. For example, on average, a conventional septic tank system for a three-bedroom house costs between $6,787 and $8,064. This price typically includes the cost of excavation and constructing the drain field, as well as the necessary piping and the septic tank. It does not account for costs related to inspections or permits, or any landscaping or tree removal.
Permits and Inspections
In general, you will need to obtain multiple permits and inspections before installing your septic system, in addition to after it is installed. On average, permit costs range from $25 to $150 depending on the septic system you are installing. On their own, inspection fees are typically not very expensive, but there are often multiple tests and other requirements that have to be completed before inspection, and these can add to your cost. For example, soil testing, which is required before any installation, on average costs between $215 and $811 in Westminster.
What Type of Septic Tank Is Best for Residents in Westminster?
There are many different types of septic systems available, but some systems are more appropriate for your home in Westminster compared to others. The size of your household and how big your lot is, as well as the type of soil and typical weather conditions, are all factors to consider when determining what type of septic system will be most appropriate for your home. Additionally, cities and counties generally have specific regulations regarding what type of septic system you can use. In Westminster, there are a few different types of septic systems that residents are allowed to install, all of which involve a septic tank. Water Stabilization Ponds (WSP), also known as lagoons, are not permitted in Westminster.
- Conventional System: This septic system design has been used for several decades and consists of a septic tank that is connected to a subsurface drain field. In this particular system, the liquid waste and sewage, also known as effluent, is piped from the septic tank to underground trenches in a drain field. These trenches are overlayed with stone and gravel that filter the effluent as it percolates through to the soil underneath it, where it is further treated by microbes naturally present in the soil. The trenches are usually constructed with a geofabric material that prevents sand, dirt, and other contaminants from entering the clean stone from above. This type of system is best suited to single-family homes, but it does require a large amount of space for the drain field, so it may not be suitable for smaller properties. The septic tank, as well as the drain field, are required to be a minimum of 75 feet from any private water well, and 100 feet from any public water well. For some homeowners in Westminster who have very clayey soil, which is common throughout Georgia, conventional systems won’t work.
- Chamber Systems: This septic system does not use gravel or sand, and is a good choice if your soil has a high clay content, as many homes in Georgia do. The septic tank pipes waste to a series of connected chambers, which are surrounded by soil. The wastewater comes into contact with the soil while in the chambers, and microbes treat the effluent, similar to a conventional system. This type of system can significantly decrease its carbon footprint when manufactured using recycled materials.
- Drip Distribution Systems: This type of system is similar to a conventional septic system, but the waste flows from the septic tank into a distribution tank that pumps waste into the drain field in specific quantities, similar to a mound system. This system is good for shallow soils because the drip tubing is installed only six to twelve inches below the surface. However, it also requires more maintenance, as well as electrical power for the distribution system.
How Often Do Homeowners in Westminster Need to Have Their Septic Tank Inspected?
The SCDHE, which oversees septic systems in South Carolina, recommends contacting us to pump your septic system every 2 years and having your tank inspected at the same time. Official inspections are not required by the SCDHE, unless you are building a new home that will use that septic system.
A septic tank collects sludge at the bottom and requires cleaning to function properly. A septic tank accumulates sludge based on its size and how many people live in the home. The SCDHE strongly advises against using additives or treatments to clean your tank. They typically do not add anything to your tank’s function, and can in fact cause it to fail earlier than expected.
Are There Any Rebates Available for Septic Tank Services in Westminster?
There are no rebates available for septic tank services in Westminster. However, the SCDHE has several funding sources for the repair of poorly functioning wastewater systems. Additionally, the EPA also has a variety of federal grants and other funding available for septic systems, along with funding that is targeted specifically for tribal communities, particularly through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as the HUD have grants and funding for both repair of existing systems, as well as installation of more efficient wastewater systems, which can be used for new construction or for replacement of existing systems that are functioning poorly.