Soil Evaluations

Ecosystem Solutions, Inc. provides soil evaluation services for residential, municipal, and commercial/industrial projects in the state of Rhode Island. Soil evaluators at Ecosystem Solutions, Inc. are trained and licensed to perform soil evaluations in the state of Rhode Island using approved USDA terminology. Ecosystem Solutions, Inc. and can also provide backhoe services required for the evaluation.

Why are soil evaluations so important? Soil evaluations detail the soil properties that determine the seasonal high groundwater table, percolation rate, and other limiting factors that would compromise the proper functioning of a septic system before a system is designed. In other words, it is the evaluation that determines the suitability of the soil for on-site wastewater disposal. This is the first step towards obtaining a permit for a septic system construction. Subsequently, the findings of the soil evaluation guide the designing engineer as to the appropriate septic system design.

Proper soil conditions are essential in order to prevent sewage from either discharging to the ground surface or contaminating ground or surface water resources. For example, many unfortunate people are familiar with a septic system that has “backed up.” This normally happens when the system’s leaching field cannot disperse effluent into the ground as quickly as it is receiving effluent from a house or business. This can lead to contamination of surface waters by overland runoff, not to mention the unpleasant smell the neighbors are complaining about. Conversely, and perhaps more importantly, if a soil is too coarse, like sand, effluent from the leaching field may enter the groundwater before the soil is able to “treat” the effluent. This scenario may lead to contamination of a nearby drinking water well and those who drink from it. Two kinds of contamination include pathogen (fecal coliform) contamination, and/or nitrate (NO3) poisoning, which may lead to “blue baby syndrome” in certain cases. Unfortunately, this type of septic failure is seldom realized since the system appears to be running properly.

You can read more about the soil evaluation process here.