IV. SOILS AND HOMESITES First Section>>
Many new houses are built on soils that were once farmland or natural land. All these houses generate wastewater, or sewage, which flows from toilets and other household sources. Some new houses are connected to a sewer system, and wastewater is treated in a centralized plant. Sewage from other houses, not connected to a sewer system, is treated in an onsite wastewater treatment system, which generally consists of a septic tank and a soil absorption field located on the house lot.
This chapter has two main parts. The first deals with soil relations for all homesites. The second part considers onsite systems—how they work, how they relate to soils, and how to take care of them.
First, the Soil Properties side of the scorecard is filled out as it is for agriculture. Then, these soil properties are used to decide whether the site is suitable for a homesite. If the site is suitable, the kinds of Practices that should be used are marked YES on the Homesite scorecard (an example is at the back of this book). The evaluation system assumes that the home will be built over a basement rather than a slab or crawlspace. This type of construction is common and makes the relationship between house and soil more apparent. If a basement were not used, the scoring would be somewhat different.