Septic Tank Installation In The Portland Metro Area

Septic Problems??


3 Steps to Septic Tank Installation in Portland Oregon

Installing the wastewater system is part of the process of property development for the construction of a house or commercial building.  For land that is not currently hooked into the existing sewer lines you will need to consider septic tank installation.  Around 30% of the properties in Oregon use septic systems and the latest technologies are making them even faster, safer ways to treat our wastewater.

A septic system involves the breakdown, distribution and collection of liquid and solid wastes from our homes and offices.  This is done naturally, using bacteria in the soil and sometimes bacterial additives to clean the waste and then slowly distribute it back into the groundwater through a septic bed.  The waste that collects in the septic tank is pumped out and disposed of by a licensed professional.

For properties in the state of Oregon the process of septic tank installation involves three steps:

  • Site evaluation completed by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
  • Septic system construction permit obtained
  • Licensed Septic system contractor hired to complete the job

Each of these steps is essential and must be done to ensure you have a safe, properly functioning and legal septic system on your property.

Schedule a Site Evaluation for the Portland Area

Both newly developed properties and septic systems in need of replacement will need to have a site evaluation completed by the DEQ.  Apply for and schedule this visit with your local DEQ office or county agent.  After your application has been approved a septic system specialist will thoroughly examine the property, notifying you which systems would be best, where they should be located and after taking the dwelling and number of residents into account, the minimum septic tank size will be noted.

The septic system specialist will also go over other options for wastewater treatment.  Typical septic systems include standard, pressure distribution, capping fill and sand filtration types.  Developments in the industry have also seen other options surface, designated by the DEQ as Alternative Treatment Technology (ATT) systems.  They are excellent as supplements to sand filtration septic systems, but are also useful in properties where space is limited and a high water table is present.

There is a list of approved ATT systems available on the DEQ’s website or at the offices of the DEQ and county agents.

A site evaluation if often completed when a property goes up for sale, so inquire to see if has already been completed.

Obtain a Septic Tank Construction Permit for the Portland area you live in.

After the site evaluation has been complete you can apply for a septic tank installation or construction permit.  The DEQ requires all of the information, detailed diagrams and specifications of the septic tank being installed.  They will only allow approved equipment to be put in by licensed contractors – all regulations that are in place to protect the health of Oregon citizens and the surrounding environment.

Fill out the application provided by the DEQ to obtain the permit.  You will need a copy of the site evaluation as well a Land Use Compatibility Statement obtained through the county office.  You should budget for the fees applicable on both the site evaluation and the construction permit.  The septic tank installation permit is valid for a period of one year and can also be extended should the project extend past that date.

Your contractor might take care of applying for the permit, but many homeowners need to complete the application themselves.  With the guidance of the DEQ and the information provided by manufacturers and contractors the process is easy to follow.

The septic installation site may need to be inspected at certain times during the process, you will find out how many times and when they should be scheduled during the permit application.

Hire a Licensed Septic System Contractor

With the evaluation information and all of the applicable permits obtained (or ready for the application process) you can concentrate on hiring the right contractor for your septic tank installation.  Look for a reputable company that has a valid license from the DEQ and is using approved equipment.  If you are planning on installing an ATT system make sure it is on the list of approved products at the DEQ and that it suits your property and lifestyle.

Ask whether the contractor is insured and bonded and check through some recent references to confirm the quality of their work.  An Oregon-based contractor is the optimum choice, given their familiarity with the environment and state regulations.

All of these steps will ensure your septic tank installation is a smooth process resulting in a solid, trustworthy and efficient wastewater system.

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