How Do Utilities Work: Let’s Talk Electricity, Septic & Well

There’s a lot to think about when building a home. To make it liveable, you’ll need utilities! And you’ll need them set up and functional. Wondering where to start? Let’s take a look at some helpful info!

Getting Started With Electricity

Find yourself an electrician! An electrician will contact your local power company for you and let them know you’ll need to tap off the nearest electrical pole.

When the electrician has cleared the tap with the town and the power company, they will run power lines to your home or construction site.

Getting electricity set up will likely be done during construction because the individuals building your home, driveway, and any other additions will need power for their tools. However, the power set up for your construction period may only be temporary and may need to be adjusted for a more permanent setup.

Getting Started With A Septic System

You can start by getting in contact with your town’s officials and reviewing the installation process with them. Most likely, you’ll need to schedule a percolation (perc) test. A perc test determines the water absorption rate of your soil and is a necessary step in preparing for your septic system. This test will tell you what type and size of septic system you’ll need for your land.

You’ll also need to apply for the appropriate permits. It’s a good idea to get your permits before talking with contractors because in some cases, permit wait times can be around 2 months.

Shop around! Connect with contractors and get quotes from several individuals to find the option that fits your budget best. When you’ve settled on your contractor, you’ll likely want to set up a business meeting with them to discuss the following details and more:

  • Copies of licenses and insurance policies
  • Material and equipment rental prices
  • Installation schedule
  • Potential inspection date
  • Payment dates and process

When the day of installation finally comes, the contractor you’ve hired will likely use a laser level to layout your septic system.

Then, they’ll start digging the tank pit, which will typically be about 10 feet deep. The bottom of this pit will need to be fairly level so the tank can sit comfortably. Then, the septic tank can be lowered into the pit and leveled again.

Your contractors will also build your trenches now, which is where the pipes that connect to your home will go. Naturally, the trenches will need to slope toward your tank and have a smooth bottom to encourage flow.

After digging the trenches, your contractors will install your drain pipes and connect them to your tank and install the septic filter that screens the substances in the drain lines.

Then, it’s time for inspection! The inspector will use the laser level to check the slope of your system and double check all the pipe connections. The inspection will also take a look at your permit and septic tank map. 

If you install your septic tank before your house is built, your inspector will likely mark your tank’s inlet so you can easily find it when it’s time to connect your system to your home.

Next, your contractors will fill in all the holes they’ve dug and smooth out your lot again. Don’t forget to get all the proper documentation on your septic system from your contractors and your town’s officials, and then, voila! You have a septic system.

Getting Started With A Well Installation

First thing’s first, you’ll need a consultation with a contractor, where they’ll inspect your property and find the best place to drill and install a well. Be sure to ask around and get multiple quotes to find the right contractor for your budget.

Once you’ve decided on a contractor and are ready to get started, your contractor will need to drill the well! With a drill machine, the contractor will drill into your lot to create the whole for the well and remove the debris.

Next, the contractor will install the well casing, which is commonly a metal or plastic tube that gets placed into the freshly drilled hole. One end of the casing will reach your aquifer, the water supply your well taps into, and the other will come to the surface of the group. The casing will be sealed with a cap.

Next up will be the well screens, which will be fitted to the casing and will act as a filter against any dirt. Then your contractor will seal any gaps or holes with grouting to make sure the water flows easily and your system has no leaks. They’ll also blast any excess sediment out of your well using water or air.

Finally, your contractor will install a well pump, which sucks up the water and routes it to your home, and if you choose, a pressure tank, which can control the pump and store water.