An Ecological Services Consulting Firm

On-Site Soil Assessments

GOOD GROUND LLC has conducted more than 450 on-site soil assessments for both domestic and commercial clients in Southeastern Ohio in the last 7 years of operations.  Given the high variability of soils in this region (both laterally and vertically), our regional knowledge of soils and geology allows us to find and sample the best locations for new or replacement STS installation.  Our site search criteria always attempts to define and sample the soil characteristics with the best water transmissivity and permeability that are both down hill from the intended discharge point and sufficiently sized to accommodate the infiltration area required.

Good Ground LLC soil evaluators and scientists characterize soils using the standard NRCS Version 2.0 Field Methods for Describing Soils and the Tyler Table methods for calculating infiltration area spatial needs and deriving STS design parameters.

GOOD GROUND LLC provides comprehensive on-site soil assessments, preliminary system design and septic system cost estimates for rural domestic and commercial  wastewater sources in Southeastern Ohio.  If you are building a new home in the country or starting a new business outside of areas served by municipal wastewater treatment systems, it is likely that you will install a new on-site subsurface wastewater disposal system; a septic system.  Rural residential and small business septic systems, also know as “subsurface treatment systems” (STS) must be designed to accommodate the volume and quality of wastewater that your new home will produces.  The design (its size and ultimately its cost) of an STS is based on the ability of the natural soils at your home site to absorb and transmit wastewater.

Soils are highly variable from place to place (even on a small site), and particularly in Southeastern Ohio.  Limiting conditions, such as wetness, shallow bedrock and high clay content layers that limit infiltration can result in the need to install costly mechanical systems.  On-site soil assessments provide the information needed to properly locate and design your STS.

Installation of an STS requires a permit from your local health department or from Ohio EPA (OEPA); depending on the magnitude of your discharge water and whether the discharge source is domestic or commercial.  New OEPA regulations require that the findings of an on-site soil assessment be submitted with your permit application.  This needed information,  collected and recorded by an experienced soil classifier and soil scientist, is used first to assess feasibility for subsurface dispersal on your site, and then to design the system suited to your  particular soil characteristics.

Good Ground LLC can quickly investigate your site, identify  the better locations for an STS and collect the soil data needed.  Good Ground LLC can then aid with permit processing, prepare a preliminary system design and estimate the likely range of costs in the local installation market.

Good Ground LLC provides the following soil assessment services:

  • Domestic On-site Soil Assessments for New Construction.  This is the basic soil survey needed to support permitting, design and construction of a single new domestic septic system. Two to six sample sites may be logged, defining the preferred location for a primary STS to be installed and for the replacement location.
  • Pre-purchase Accompanied Site Evaluation. Buyer due diligence is served when Good Ground LLC conducts a pre-purchase soil assessment.  This relatively low cost service can prevent future disappointment and unplanned costs.  Our planners or soil scientists will join the buyer in the field for a quick check for limiting soil conditions and provide the peace of mind needed to close a land sale.
  • Rapid Soil Assessments for Failed Systems. When an old or archaic STS fails it is always a surprise and always a crisis.  Good Ground LLC recognizes the plight of a homeowner in this situation and will make a special, hurry-up effort to collect the data needed to design and install a new STS and obtain the necessary permit from the health department in as little as three days.
  • Commercial Soil Assessments. Good Ground LLC is one of the few on-site soil assessment providers that prepare large and small commercial assessments.  These assessments are generally reviewed by OEPA and often require more documentation than domestic work.
  • Lot Split Assessments. The division of a land parcel may require approval by the health department to make certain that each new lot has adequate area of suitable soil to support a primary STS and a location for a replacement STS.  Good Ground can assist the surveyor to define new lots that includes suitable soils, while obtaining the data needed to demonstrate feasibility, design and/or obtain permits for new STS.
  • Sub-Division Planning Assessments. Good Ground LLC can accommodate large and small subdivisions by preparing property wide soil assessments involving multiple logged samples.  Locating each sample point by GPS, Good Ground LLC can create GIS mapping overlays that can be used to plan the lotting pattern.  Developed soil data distributed throughout the site can be used to support individual lot STS design and obtain installation permits.
  • Pre-Sale or Closing Assessments. A buyer or a lender may desire greater certainty that a parcel of interest can support a reasonably-priced on-site septic system.  Good Ground LLC can conduct a quick soil assessment to accommodate a closing date.
  • Preliminary STS design and cost estimates. The good ground LLC standard on-site soil assessment provides a feasibility-level STS design.  Health departments often require a more detailed preliminary design to obtain a permit.  Good Ground LLC can prepare a preliminary design that specifies primary STS components location (tank, pump house and leach lines), a materials specification and a preliminary cost estimate needed to move permitting forward.