Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Is the Process for Septic Tank Installation in Vancouver?
- 2 How Does Permitting Work for Installing Septic Tanks in Vancouver?
- 3 How Much Does Septic Tank Installation Usually Cost in Vancouver?
- 4 What Type of Septic Tank Is Best for Residents in Vancouver?
- 5 How Often Do Homeowners in Vancouver Need to Have Their Septic Tank Inspected?
- 6 Are There Any Rebates Available for Septic Tank Services in Vancouver?
What Is the Process for Septic Tank Installation in Vancouver?
If you live in an area that is connected to the municipal sewer system, you won’t need a private wastewater treatment solution. However, for many homes throughout Vancouver, the area is not connected to the city sewer system, and selecting a septic tank to install is necessary. Before a septic tank can be installed, you will need to have an expert like Mr. Blue Plumbing come out and assess your property and soil type. There are several types of septic tanks to choose from and which one is ideally suited for your location will depend on the unique characteristics of your home’s location.
The first step in the process of septic tank installation in Vancouver is to hire a state-licensed septic designer like us to come to take a look at your property, perform soil evaluations to determine your property’s soil type and drainage level, and then draw up a septic system design. After this is done, you can apply for your installation permit through the Department of Public Health, and after it is granted, the installation work can begin.
There are several different kinds of septic systems to choose from, and we will discuss which type is right for you in a later section. For now, let’s continue with the installation process details. First, excavation will begin near your home to install a pipe that will connect to your septic tank. A backhoe will dig a large hole that the tank will be buried in, and then the tank needs to be connected to the pipe leading to your home, as well as a second drainage pipe. At least 1.5 inches of gravel will need to be placed around the pipes before it all can be filled in again with dirt. The specific details about septic system layout will depend on which type of tank you choose and if you’re installing an anaerobic or aerobic system.
How Does Permitting Work for Installing Septic Tanks in Vancouver?
Septic systems are managed by the Clark County Department of Public Health in Vancouver. If you are installing a new septic system, you will first need to obtain a permit. The first step is to have a site and soil evaluation performed by our septic designer. After this is performed, the designer will draw up plans for your septic system which you will need to make copies of and submit along with the appropriate fee to the Clark County Public Health office. The CCPH may conduct a final site audit or inspection after installation is complete.
How Much Does Septic Tank Installation Usually Cost in Vancouver?
Septic tank installation costs vary depending on your area, the type of tank you’re installing, if you need to remove an old tank first, and several other factors. In Vancouver, installation costs vary between $1,554 and $10,940, with an average cost of $5,298. Let’s take a look at the primary factors that influence septic tank installation costs.
There are several ways that septic tank location influences installation prices. First, septic systems can be installed either above or below ground. If you’ve chosen an above-ground septic tank, your costs will be less than an underground tank, as no heavy equipment will be needed to dig and bury a large septic tank. Above-ground tanks are a great solution for smaller properties but they must be emptied more frequently and this can increase their cost over the course of their lifetime.
While underground tanks can be more complicated and expensive to install initially, they can last for decades and are a good solution for most properties in Vancouver. Additionally, each property is unique and comes with different challenges that affect the installation price. Certain landscapes in Vancouver are hilly or rocky, have unusual topography, difficult layouts, or other challenges that can increase the price.
Labor can make up as much as 70% of the total cost of a new septic system. Typically, the labor involved is more costly than the price of the tank itself. Labor costs can vary according to the part of the city you live in. However, it remains a costly expense because it is a complicated process that requires the experience of our highly trained experts.
Typically, heavy-duty equipment such as a backhoe is needed to install new septic tanks, and if you need to remove an old system first, that will be an additional cost. An improperly installed septic system can cost thousands of dollars in damage to your home and property and result in expensive repair costs. It’s always smart to hire our highly experienced experts to ensure proper installation the first time.
Septic System Type
There are two basic septic system types to choose between when purchasing a new septic tank: anaerobic and aerobic. Anaerobic septic systems are cheaper and function by having a pipe that leads to a drainage field. The bacteria in this system do not require oxygen and break down the waste inside the tank before releasing it into the soil where it is processed further. These systems are typically more cost-effective to purchase and are installed fairly simply. On average they cost as little as $3,000 or as much as $8,000.
The other system type is an aerobic septic tank. This kind requires more maintenance, is more complex, and also more costly to purchase, as well as more challenging to install. This leads to a higher total cost. However, there are numerous benefits to the aerobic system. For example, they utilize aerobic bacteria which process the bacteria efficiently, breaking it down within the tank until it is clean enough to be irrigated along the surface. Aerobic septic systems require an air pump and need more frequent maintenance, but they function well in difficult soil types found throughout Vancouver. The cost for this type of septic tank is generally between $10,000 and $20,000.
What Type of Septic Tank Is Best for Residents in Vancouver?
There are several kinds of septic systems to choose from and which kind is right for your home depends on factors such as property size, soil type, household size, and other factors. Your property’s slope, proximity to local bodies of water, and weather conditions also play a role in determining which type of septic tank is best for you, and our licensed experts can help you decide which type to choose.
Out of the many possible septic tank systems, most local residents have either a gravity system or a pressure system. Gravity systems work by using a distribution box to equally distribute wastewater into lateral pipes along a drain field. The water slowly flows out of small holes along the length of the pipe into a gravel-filled trench where bacteria eat the pathogens, making it safe to enter into groundwater.
Pressure systems are another type used throughout this area. They work by using a pump chamber with floats inside that control the pump once wastewater rises to a certain level. The pump is responsible for spreading this wastewater equally throughout the drain field lines. If for some reason the pump fails, an alarm will sound, alerting homeowners to contact our professionals.
Residents will also need to select an appropriate septic tank size. When you have our experts evaluate your property, they can make an appropriate recommendation but in general, one to two-bedroom homes require a 750-gallon septic tank, while three-bedroom homes need 1,000-gallon tanks. These tanks are available in a variety of materials, which each have its own benefits and drawbacks to consider.
Concrete is a widely-used material for underground septic tanks in Vancouver. They are long-lasting and durable, providing decades of use. However, they can also become cracked and need to be inspected and cleaned regularly to achieve the longest working life possible. Another popular material is plastic, which is lightweight and cost-effective. However, it’s possible for plastic to become damaged during the installation process. Our experts can help you decide which septic tank type is right for your specific location.
How Often Do Homeowners in Vancouver Need to Have Their Septic Tank Inspected?
The frequency of septic tank inspection depends on which type you have. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends inspection by professionals like us at least every 3 years and getting it pumped every 3 to 5 years. If you have a conventional gravity septic system, the City of Vancouver recommends getting it inspected by a certified plumber like us every 3 years. Advanced systems, such as aerobic treatment units, should be inspected by our team yearly.
Additionally, alternative systems that include mechanical components, pumps, for float switches should be inspected by our team once per year as well, while pressure distribution type systems can go two years in between inspections. Septic tanks can last several decades, but when the system fails significant problems can occur. For example, cracks in older systems can cause effluent to leak into the drinking table or contaminate well water. Significant leaks can cause your yard to become soggy or even cause damage to your home. For these reasons, it’s always a good idea to stick to the recommended septic tank inspection schedule.
Are There Any Rebates Available for Septic Tank Services in Vancouver?
The City of Vancouver offers several financial aid opportunities for local residents who need to replace their septic system. Both owner and non-owner-occupied properties can apply for affordable loans, and special rates or deferred payment options are available for those with lower incomes. Additionally, the Vancouver Housing Rehabilitation Program helps low-to-moderate income homeowners pay for the cost of septic system installation.