New Hampshire's Septic System Installation Process

  • The NH Permitted Installer will review the official stamped plans, letter of conditions, site & surrounding area in order to give you a bid and time table.
  • NH Permitted Installers can only give an estimate of cost if septic plans are that under review and have not received final approval from town & state.
  • Many factors other than just the cost of the septic components enter into the final cost & time:

    • Weather: Rain can slow the process. If the installation is occurring during the winter, do not remove snow from the septic area. Snow insulates & keeps the frost from going deep.
    • Cost of permits & inspections: Many towns require & charge fees for building/installation permits, and/or basal area/construction inspections of septic systems.
    • Compliance with related permits: If a "Tidal", "Shoreland", "Alteration of Terrain", or "Wetlands" permits are part of "Construction Approval", then erosion control or other requirements maybe part of installation time & cost.
    • Unknown utilities: Dig Safe is required to be called and given 3 business days to clear site before construction begins. But if there is the possibility of privately installed utilities, a private utility locating company may need to be hired for everyone's safety.
    • Coordinating with subcontractors/builders: In general, Installers work on the septic from the foundation wall outside. If plumbing/sewer pipes need to be adjusted inside the house, then a plumber will need to be involved. If the system includes a pump and/or aeration system, an electrician and/or aeration company may be needed. If overhead wires need to be temporarily disconnected to get delivery trucks in.
    • Access to septic area: Is there room for equipment to access, move and maneuver around. If a concrete septic tank truck can't get close enough to boom off tank, & a plastic tank can't be maneuvered into place, a crane may be needed. Maybe a fence can be taken down temporarily, but all options add time & cost.
    • Parking: Where and/or how far away will the workers, equipment, inspectors, etc. need to park. Neighbors need to not have access, deliveries, & emergency services blocked from their homes.
    • Distance materials need to be trucked: Especially sand & stone need to meet very specific requirements, and the pits may be far away. The distance may add gas & time to every truck load needed.
    • Materials management: If trucks can't access septic area to dump load, what needs to be done. Does material need to be brought in to stabilize the soil (ie: build a road), or is there area to dump materials & shuttle it in with smaller equipment.
    • Ledge in tank area: Ledge will need to be jack-hammered out to place tank and possibly sewerline.
    • Disposal of existing septic components: Sometimes there is a suitable area (not near wetlands, wells, etc) on site to bury used components, but usually you need to pay to have the components trucked & disposed of off-site.
    • Delivery schedule: Since tanks need to be directly boomed into their hole, & storage area for other components is usually limited, scheduling is key to keeping the project moving, while not blocking site.
    • As-built Plans: These are required from the designer (if anything has changed slightly) before the state inspector can do the prior to backfill inspection.
    • Loam: The Installer is not stealing your loam when he takes it off-site. Besides the fact that there is usually no room to store the loam on-site during construction, the loam needs to have grass clumps screened out before placing it down over new septic.
    • Seeding: If it is cold at completion of install, seeding may have to be postponed till warmer spring. Be seeding is required as part of the install and is to be part of the installation price.

  • Usually an installation takes 3 4 days, but the time can be influenced by the above mentioned factors.
  • The existing septic tank will be pumped at the beginning of the installation process. With careful water management, the tank should act as a holding tank during the field construction. Usually the new tank is the last component installed. At that time the old tank will be pumped, removed, and replaced with the new tank.
  • Once the inspectors have approved the system installation, and the State Inspector issues "Operational Approval", you're set to use your new septic system.
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