Frequently Asked Questions
What does A.R.M., Inc. do?
We are an Environmental Consulting Business, focusing on soils and wetlands related services. We offer our services in all three counties of Delaware, as well as Eastern Maryland and Virginia (Delmarva Peninsula). We may service Pennsylvania or New Jersey upon request. We primarily perform Site Evaluations for new and replacement On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems (OWTDS)/Septic, however we also offer the services of Wetland Evaluations/ Delineations, Dock Permitting, Variance/Waiver Requests, Basement Feasibility Investigations, Stormwater Management Investigations, Feasibility Studies for Spray Irrigation and Biosolids Land Application. If you are seeking a service that is not listed here, please contact us and we will determine if the potential project meets our professional expertise.
What is Site Evaluation?
A Site Evaluation is the first step in the process of siting a new or replacement OWTDS/Septic system. In Delaware, a Class D Soil Scientist supervises this process. Two to four soil borings are typically conducted per proposed OWTDS/septic area. These soil borings are excavated to a depth of at least 60 inches. The observed soil morphology will provide some indication of the seasonal high and average water table depths. Based upon the depth to seasonal high water table (also referred to as the limiting zone), soil percolation rate, and a few other factors such as landscape position, topography, and soil texture; we are able to provide you with your OWTD/Septic options. After completion of the field work, ARM, Inc. submits a two-page report to DNREC detailing all available areas for the OWTDS/septic. DNREC will review the report and may either approve the site or request modifications. Upon approval, DNREC will mail the report to the current deeded property owner.
How can I find out if my property will have access to sewer in the near future?
If during our site research, we determine that a site is near a sewer planning area, we will send a letter to the municipality/ county and/ or private utility, requesting the time frame of sewer availability. Should sewer service become available in the near future, DNREC may consider a holding tank as an option for the property.
How long does the process of a Site Evaluation take?
Typically, the process takes two to four weeks to DNREC submittal. Each site is unique, and the time frame is typically dependent upon site conditions and current work load. Should additional research be required for the site (example: well location(s), property boundaries), the time frame may need to be extended. DNREC may take up to two weeks to review the Site Evaluation.
Do I need to be present for the Site Evaluation?
Typically, you do not need to be present during the field work; however, a property owner’s knowledge of below-grade well locations, property corners and other pertinent features can be very helpful to the site evaluator.
Who do I contact after I have my approved Site Evaluation?
Depending on the system type assigned in the Site Evaluation report, please contact a Class B and/or Class C DNREC licensed designer. The link below contains a list of all state-licensed designers/installers:
How long is a Site Evaluation good for?
Site evaluations expire after five years from the date of approval. (However,depending upon the watershed your property is located in, you may have to add an advanced treatment unit to your system on or after January 1, 2015). If you anticipate your site evaluation to expire and you wish to install an OWTDS/Septic system in the future, you may apply for a septic permit, which can extend the time frame for system installation by two to three years.
I want to sub-divide my property - can A.R.M., Inc. help with the planning process?
Yes, we can perform a soil reconnaissance service to pinpoint the areas of the property that are suitable for septic disposal. These results will be essential to determine the number and orientation of lots a given property can yield.
Typically, what information do I need to provide to obtain a Site Evaluation?
To locate the parcel necessitating a site evaluation, we typically require an address and a tax map and parcel number. If this information is unavailable, you may provide us with a description of the property location and/or current owners and we may be able locate the parcel. A confirmation map of the property to be investigation will be verified with the interesting parties. Surveys, deeds (showing or describing the property dimensions), recorded subdivision plots, septic permits, future house and/or subdivision plans, and/or well completion reports are helpful in our evaluation. If this information is available, please feel free to share it with ARM, Inc. as this may negate the amount of research required on a given site and expedite the DNREC submittal process. Knowledge of the locations of the existing septic, neighbors septic, on-site well, neighbors wells, future improvement plans, and one property corners will also aid us in completing a timely and thorough investigation on your site.