Septic System Requirements

Photo of septic system rock drain fieldA septic system is a function of the number of bedrooms or the anticipated flow from a commercial building, how porous the soils are, and the limiting layer in the soils. Most soils in Chatham and Effingham Counties are not variable. Their acceptance to treat septage, as well as the limiting layer, must be determined by a soils report, prepared by a qualified and licensed Soils Scientist. We will work with a licensed Soils Scientist to obtain the soils report or you may get it on your own and furnish it for us.

Once the soils characteristics have been established, the site must be investigated to determine other influencing factors such as topography and existing conditions. Water wells, both yours and your neighbor's, must be at least 75 feet from the proposed septic field and 50 feet from the proposed septic tank. This will insure no cross contamination of drinking water from the septic system. The septic field must be constructed level so the topography is obtained to determine where the field can be placed, how big it can be, and what other items it will influence, including trees, neighboring houses and/or wells, steep grade, and drainage characteristics.

For commercial buildings we will work with you and your architect to determine the anticipated use. A restaurant or hair salon (for instance) consumes a lot of water, thus a large septic system is required, but a lawyer's office (for Instance) consumes very little water so a much smaller septic system will work. The County will have certain requirements that the owner must approve to verify the end user of the facility and we will work with you to get those requirements approved.

Our services are not required for a single family, residential house in soils with no limiting layer or marginal conditions because the septic system can be approved by the County Environmental Manager. For either commercial buildings or for houses in marginal soils or with limiting layers, Georgia requires a Professional Engineer experienced in septic deisgns.

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