De La Torre & Sons Septic of Vacaville, CA offers professional, high-quality septic system installation: Call us today at 707-449-4378.

There are several factors to consider when deciding the location and type of septic system you want to have installed on your property.

De La Torre & Sons Septic usually performs a "deep probe" by digging a 7-foot deep trench with a backhoe. Our soil specialist then visually assesses the suitability of the soil for drainage, including any telltale signs of a seasonally high water table. Sometimes multiple “deep probes” are necessary to find the best location for a septic system on your property.

Once a location with suitable soil has been found the next step is to conduct a percolation or “perc” test. This entails digging a series of holes and properly conditioning the soil. The holes are then filled with water and the rate of drainage into the soil is measured.

Soils that drain too slowly may not be able to handle the needed quantity of liquid waste; soils that drain too quickly may not allow enough time for the waste to be treated and can cause ground water contamination.

The data obtained from the "deep probe" and "perc test" are compared to local regulations. These regulations usually dictate what type of system, if any, can be installed at a property.

In some cases there may be no place to install a system on a property. If this is the case and a house already exists on the property, connection to public sewer or the installation of holding tanks may be the only option short of vacating the home.

 Potential problems despite a satisfactory septic inspection

All septic systems have a limited capacity to handle waste. Problems with septic systems that show no defects during an inspection most often occur when an increased load is put on a septic system by the new owner.

For instance if a home goes from having a single occupant to a large family, the septic system may not be able to handle this increased useage. Subsequently, system failure may occur.

The age of the system should also be considered. If the system has been in use for 20 years or more without any major work, renovations should be anticipated.

 What if the property is vacant when it is inspected?

Vacant properties further limit the inspection of the system since the water usage is nil. For best results, we recommend that the realtor, seller, or buyer run the water for one hour per day for a period of one week or more prior to the inspection to help duplicate an occupied condition.

We offer additional running of the water by our team, during or prior to our inspection for an added fee. We must be notified that this service is desired when the order is placed.

For an additional fee, with the permission of the property owner, we will unearth various parts of the septic system and/or install absorption area inspection pipes.

Owning your own septic system has advantages and disadvantages. Public systems have fees associated with their use; private systems avoid these fees but are not without operating costs.

If you are buying or selling a home, a septic inspection is a good investment. While a favorable inspection does not guarantee a trouble-free septic system, it can often detect defects that would go unnoticed by the untrained eye. It could save the buyer major expenses over time.

 Site Evaluation and Soil Profile

Before the regulatory agency (usually County Environmental Health) can issue a permit for a building site, lot split, or remodel/addition project, each site must be evaluated on its own merits. A BASIX Registered Environmental Health Specialist evaluates the site and soil characteristics and we provide the applicant a report within a couple days. The report will include recommendations on the type of system that complies with septic system and land development regulations. This is an essential component of due diligence prior to property improvement, remodel, or purchase. At this point, most of our clients have a clear idea of viability and cost feasibility for the entire septic system project.

Percolation (“Perc”) Testing

The percolation test (aka Perc Test) informs the applicant of how much real estate should be dedicated for sewage dispersal, and more importantly what type of system would be required. In rare cases a parcel can be so impacted that it is considered “unbuildable” by the County so this essential step helps inform a buyer’s decision on building feasibility. An application for Percolation Test is filled out with the County with applicable fee. In some instances the Perc Test requirement can be waived by the County based on a soil lab test during our prior Site and Soil Evaluation. A “failed” Perc Test is not the “kiss of death” and often lack of experience may cause unnecessary grief and anxiety. We walk our clients through the whole process.

Well Flow Test and Certification

We also provide a service to existing homeowners, buyers, and real estate professionals in need of a well flow test as part of a real estate inspection or building permit approval. This service is also provided to a buyer who needs a certified well flow test to satisfy lender requirements when proposing a secondary living unit. Since standards vary we will review the specific requirements for well flow rate, sustained yield, well recovery, etc. to meet both regulatory and lender requirements.

For a registered consultant please call Les Miyashiro at 707-718-2122