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FAQs About Eco-Pure Peat Moss Septic Systems

Why should I install a peat moss biofilter septic system?

For the simple fact that the treated effluent that will now come out of your septic system will be more pure (99.9% of harmful bacteria will be eliminated) and environmentally superior to the effluent byproduct of a conventional system. Filtering (cleaning) the septic tank’s effluent (wastewater that comes from your home) is the main “job” of a septic system and an important one, especially if your property has a well. The treated effluent will eventually trickle back down into the water table and you want to make sure this water is as pure as it can possibly be. Using the newest technology available today will help you meet this goal. The State of New Jersey has not had any new technology available to septic system owners for the past 40 years! This has finally changed and this technology will improve the groundwater and quality of life for homeowners, their family, neighbors and the environment.


How do I know this NEW technology will work?

Although Peat Moss Biofilter septic systems are NEW to New Jersey, they have over two decades of time proven history throughout the United States, Canada, Central America, and Internationally. Unfortunately, New Jersey has been behind the curve of technology as far as peat moss biofilters go. The good news is that homeowners in New Jersey can finally benefit from time time proven technology. New Jersey Septic Management Group feels that conventional septic systems of the past are outdated, are designed for disposal field failure and no longer keep pace with clean water environmental requirements.


How does a peat moss biofilter system work?

The main function of a septic system is to take all the wastewater (from showers, tubs, sinks, washroom and toilets) that comes out of the house, clean it and then send it back down into the ground’s water table.  The first step is to store all the wastewater in a holding tank, also known as the septic tank.  In the septic tank the heavy waste matter (sludge) settles to the bottom of the tank.  This sludge should be pumped out every 3 years to prevent harmful build up and to prevent fewer sludge particles from escaping out to the zone of treatment.  The graywater that sits on top of the sludge is what gets sent out to a filtering system (zone of treatment) before being disposed back down into the ground’s water table.  It’s in the filtering system that the peat moss is technically superior to the conventional filter of layered sand and gravel.  An enclosed module that is 4’ tall x 7’ wide x 10’ long of sphagnum peat moss receives all the effluent and as the effluent moves down through the peat, 99.9% of all the harmful bacteria die off.  The end product is a very pure effluent that is dosed (time released) back into the soil and ultimately back into the water table.


Why do peat moss biofilters require a service program, as stated by the NJDEP?

To the benefit of the homeowner and local townships, on April 8, 2005, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) approved the use of peat moss biofilter technology for the alteration of systems that have failed and need to be replaced.  The NJDEP, for the first time, has required that homeowners, manufacturers (Eco-Pure) and installers (New Jersey Septic Management Group or other certified installers) take an active roll in the long term care of their new septic system and become more responsible to the health of the occupying family, neighbors and environment.  This is a positive thing and is accomplished through the requirement of a yearly service visit.  During this visit the NJDEP requires that all the septic system’s components be checked and that the top layer of peat moss inside the pod be raked and leveled to ensure proper function.  This annual service check is not expensive and will prolong the life of your septic system.  It’s been calculated that this yearly service check is actually less expensive than the annual fees associated with being hooked up to local sewer. 


How long does a peat moss septic system last?

As with any septic system its life depends on how the system is used or abused by the occupying family.  A conventional septic system, using layers of sand and gravel to filter the effluent might last 15-20 years.  All conventional systems fail because the filtering bed (disposal field) becomes so saturated with bacteria and biomat scum that it can no longer effectively filter the septic tank’s effluent.  At this point you are looking at a $30-$40,000 replacement cost.  By having annual service visits to check the Eco-Pure peat moss biofilter system, the technician can determine at what point the sphagnum peat moss’s ability to filter has been exhausted.  At this time only the peat moss inside the module needs to be replaced.  This timeline, again, depending on the resident’s proper use or abuse, can be anywhere between 8-15 years.  At a nominal cost of about $3,000-$4,000 the sphagnum peat moss is replaced and you have a whole new filtering system, much less costly than the replacement of a conventional system.


What does a peat moss biofilter septic system cost?

It is difficult to give an exact quote on the cost of any septic system.  There are so many cost variables that go into the design and installation of a septic system that every client’s needs and final cost will be different.  We are currently experiencing Eco-Pure Peat Moss Biofilter installation costs that match the current cost of a conventional system.  To help understand all that goes into pricing a new system using peat moss technology here are some of the variables that can contribute to the final cost:

  • The cost of hiring an engineer to design a new Eco-Pure peat moss biofilter system. 
    Part of the engineer’s duty is to perform soil testing.
  • What are the results of the soil testing? How deep did they have to dig to find perc (the depth at which the soil allows water to easily pass through it).  The deeper the perc level, the more costly it becomes.
  • What kind of fee(s) does the township require?  Many local townships will charge numerous fees to either review the engineer’s design, to complete permits and/or paper work or to witness soil testing.  These fees can sometimes be costly.
  • Are there any property limitations?  Is the lot small, does the land slope, is the property accessible or do trees and/or stumps need to be removed, will excess soil have to be trucked off the property, will an access driveway need to be created, will there be a need for lawn restoration after the job is complete? All these issues present the possibility of additional cost.

Even if your particular situation does not save you anything over the cost of the conventional system it is gratifying to know that the latest technology available today is being used and it’s not costing much more than the old technology.


What if my property has a high water table?

If during soil testing it is determined that the water table is high (less than 5’ below the surface) the engineer would be required to design a mounded system under conventional means.  What this means is that the “zone of treatment”, the layers of gravel and sand where all the effluent will be filtered cannot be sitting in the water table. The conventional septic system’s entire zone of treatment is approx. 7’ deep and MUST sit above the water table.  If your water table is found 12” below grade you can easily be looking at a 6’ mound.  These mounded systems are unsightly and can permanently ruin the aesthetics of a property as well as make it difficult to sell.  This concern has been all but eliminated due to the technology of Eco-Pure Peat Moss Biofilter systems.  This new technology gives our engineer the flexibility to design a system for a property with a high water table that will either dramatically reduce or totally eliminate the need for a mound..  New Jersey Septic Management is very excited to offer this option to our customers.


What if I’ve been told I need a mound system?

If your alteration has advanced through the stages of soil testing and a completed design, featuring an unsightly mound …. STOP!  Don’t go any further until you call New Jersey Septic Management Group.  For a nominal fee we can re-design your plans using the Eco-Pure Peat Moss Biofilter and dramatically reduce or eliminate the originally designed mound.  We would need to see the soil logs that prove the presence of a high water table on the property.  The time required for a re-design and a possible board of health meeting to explain the re-design is well worth the tradeoff of not having a mounded system.


How did New Jersey Septic Management Group become the sole distributor in NJ for Eco-Pure?

At this time the NJDEP has only approved the use of three (3) different brands of peat moss biofilters.  New Jersey Septic Management Group had closely followed the progress of peat moss biofilter approval by the NJDEP.  The NJDEP approved the use of these systems but ONLY for use in alterations (replacement of failed systems).  At this time they cannot be designed and installed for new construction.  We hope in the near future that will change. 

Once the NJDEP published the names of the 3 approved brands we immediately contacted and met with each of them.  After months of investigation it was our finding that the Eco-Pure brand provided the most benefits to our clients by allowing our engineer flexibility of design as well as offering a top shelf, quality product.  We asked Eco-Pure if we could become their sole distributor in the state of New Jersey.  They were thrilled to form a partnership with New Jersey Septic Management Group for they knew we were equipped and capable to truly do the job right.  Having an inspector, engineer, installer and service technician on staff was very comforting to Eco-Pure.  They knew their product would be properly sold and serviced in New Jersey. 

New Jersey Septic Management Group is the sole distributor of the Eco-Pure brand in the state of New Jersey.  We are a full service septic system company, meaning we are involved with every phase of development in designing, installing and servicing a new Eco-Pure peat moss biofilter system.  With the other brands you have to hire separate companies to perform each phase.  Our complete service allows for a hassle free experience and the peace of mind in knowing a professional company is handling this costly septic system upgrade.


FAQ about Inspections

Why should I have a septic system inspection?

  1. If you are involved in a real estate transaction and you are the purchaser, it is important to have inspections of all major components of your future home / property, in order to properly negotiate financial responsibilities, as determined in the Attorney review. Major repairs or a full replacement of a septic system can be very expensive and you do not want to be surprised by large, additional expenses just after buying your “new home”.

  2. If you are involved in a real estate transaction and you are the seller, Attorneys often recommend a follow-up inspection, after the buyer’s inspection, to verify problems that were found. Our thorough inspections often find conditions to be different than what was previously described and false assumptions or quick conclusions can be proven wrong. Also, during our inspections, we are able to explain situations and discover underlying reasons for problems (such as groundwater issues, too much clay in the soil, etc.).

  3. If you are a homeowner with a septic system and you are thinking of putting your house on the market, an inspection of your septic system before-hand can help you to understand what type of components make up your system and what possible problem areas require attention. After that, when a buyer has an inspection, you are prepared to counter any misinformation or wrong conclusions on their part.

  4. If you are a homeowner who is experiencing septic system problems or who simply wants to know how your system is operating, an inspection can offer you relief or at least help you to understand your system and what you can do to help extend its life.


What kind of septic system inspection should I have?

In recent decades, there were no standards for inspections and home purchasers and other interested parties would often base their decisions on minimal information obtained from inadequate septic system inspections. Dye testing, open tank (or pit) testing and probing out individual components from the ground surface were all commonly relied upon and consumers routinely got stuck with undiscovered problems, after-the-fact. In 2003, septic system inspecttions in New Jersey were brought to a much higher level of reliability when the NJDEP published its Standards for the Inspection of Onlot Wastewater Treatment Systems. Following the “Standards…” from the DEP, individual septic system components are searched out and their level of operation analyzed in the same manner, every time. Going beyond the DEP’s minimal standard, N.J. Septic Management Group conducts an “Engineer’s Inspection”, which determines the underlying reasons for problems. No follow-up is needed.


Can’t my Home Inspector do the septic system inspection?

Professional Home Inspectors may be very good at inspecting the structure of a house and its main systems (heating, plumbing, electrical, etc.), but very few of them are septic system specialists. More importantly, Home Inspectors in New Jersey are restricted by their profes- sional license, which says that they can only conduct septic system inspections if they are a licensed P. E. or a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (very few are either).


Why should I hire NJ Septic Management Group to conduct my inspection?

There are a number of companies doing different types of inspections, at varying costs. In general, the companies that charge minimal fees do a very limited inspection and can only provide limited information. They do not have the background or experience necessary to know how to correct problems and actually lack the knowledge and the resources to assist homeowners after closing.

By contrast, NJSMG is a full-service company, familiar with all aspects of septic system operation. Our experience with inspections is accentuated by engineering design experience as well as installation / repair experience. We are therefore able to help homeowners with any situation that arises, relating to their septic systems, day or night.


After an inspection is completed, how quickly can we get a written report?

Our typical turn-around is 2 business days. However, if we are informed of a more immediate need for a written report, our office staff will make it happen. We will fax or e-mail the completed report, to you and your representatives, and will mail a “hard copy” to your home.


Can the report include estimates for necessary repairs?

The NJDEP standard for inspections that we follow tells us that the 4 page report is supposed to be concerned with information obtained during an objective inspection and can include recom- mendations for remediation. However, it should not contain estimates or other pricing informa- tion for repairs and maintenance. Any such follow-up material must be presented separately, and upon request, can be provided by NJSMG.


Are the results of a septic system inspection reported to any authorities?

In general, the results of an inspection belong to the customers who hired us, and an inspection report will be sent to their Realtor or Attorney, if requested. Throughout New Jersey, only Hopewell Twp., in Mercer County, requires copies of every septic system inspection report completed within their borders. However, some Health Depts. require a copy of an inspection report (in NJDEP 4 pg. format) to be attached to an application for a repair permit.


Isn’t there a conflict of interest, if NJSMG conducts septic system inspections and also does maintenance, repairs, designs and full replacements?

No, there is no conflict of interest. In fact, because of our extensive septic system background, we have a better understanding of how they should operate, which means you will get a more informative inspection report. NJSMG conducts objective inspections of septic systems, no matter who our customers are. During inspections, we determine the type of system, what kind of components make up the system and evaluate how those components are functioning. Along with the collected field data, we will list required repairs, if appropriate, and often recommend maintenance that will help to extend the life of the system. Being a full service septic system company, NJSMG is able to deal with any situation relating to all types of septic systems. Our prices are competitive and we hope that your experiences with our staff are positive enough for you to continue working with us, for all your septic system needs. However, customers always have the right to choose who they hire, to provide any services.


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