Nov 8, 2007

New Septic System

Final look of the new septic system from the porch. I would like to find some nice landscaping solutions around it...Also, we would like to get a warranty for the site construction until after the winter, just in case the hill that was built up slides into the street below. The septic system was planned and installed through the previous owner and the installer she used wants us to take his word for it.


Anonymous said...

I would not worry about the slope over the winter months, the rain season is a problem with new slope grades with no established grass roots. And by law all contractors have to warranty the work for a min of one year. So if that slope slides due to poor grading or system overflow/failure they are responsible, but if rain causes the slide it will be on you and your insurance as it is a natural occurrence and not covered by the contractor. I would take his word as a professional, but I would also plant and cascade the slope with well rooting shrubs and such as the runoff will likely cause washout in grass...

The house looks great btw!!

PJH said...

Sounds like you have received or searched out this warranty information - what was your source?

Regarding "covered" would not the engineer who designed the approach (no retaining wall) be responsible for a slide, except possibly under the worst (Act of God) circumstances?

Look forward to your response.


Anonymous said...

Well not knowing the exacts on who did what and to what extent, most septic contractors can draw up plans for a system without any engineering, once submitted as long as the codes are followed and the contractor is licensed a permit can in most cases be granted on high tech systems depending on the city. If a portion of it needs a stamp from an engineer, simply showing the prints of the system (not including grading) will get you a letter with a stamp certifying that the drawings are valid. Back fill and the system are what the permit is based on, the grade and slope may not have even crossed the inspectors mind nor would it be in his (scope) of inspection. If it were and he thought the grade was too steep or was an issue he would have sited it upon inspection. Seeing that none of this has happened? the job has been sighed off on, all inspections made, and the job was paid for. If grading was not in the specified scope of work to be done in a specific fashion then it would not even be covered by the contractor end of story.
But if as you mentioned "engineer who designed the approach (no retaining wall) be responsible for a slide" an engineer had designed the system with the approach specifically laid out in the plans with the (how to end) grade specs, system design and stamped all of this then the engineer is responsible, not the contractor. However I have a feeling that you have no such specs regarding the grade with a stamp from an engineer leaving the grade slide or washout issues that could happen on the home owner.

The only way to know for sure would be to check with the contractor/engineer of building official...

Best of luck..

PJH said...

Actually, the drawings that we have that are stamped by the engineer who designed the system, include the back fill and the grade of the hill.

I talked with him and he said it was reviewed and and approved by the State of Rhode Island and that he followed the states guide lines. His firm is insured and "if there is a problem" he would get together with the contractor and decide if it was design or the work.

I asked if he had been by the site and had approved the work - signing off on it and he said he had, sending a release paper to the seller for her records and eventually ours. So, it seems that it is his responsibility.

You are very clear on all this; do you mind explaining your credentials or experience?

Thanks for your help!


Anonymous said...

I have been in the construction industry all my life working in all aspect of the trade dealing with codes, contract laws, engineers, architecs, faulty workmanship, contractors working by the seat of there pants, fixing others mistakes and helping homeowners get what they want and need from a contractor with unbias opinions and consultations for almost 20 years. Unfortunatly to be completly frank with you I am also a contractor and can not be both the consultant and the worker.

Anonymous said...


I am happy to hear that your bases are covered, and the fact that the engineer will be responsible as opposed to the contractor will allow you to sleep well at night in deed.