A Licensed Soil Scientist is a degreed professional with years of experience evaluating soil (really! It’s required for licensure). They are versed in land regulations and their applicability; and can tell you if a parcel of land will support the septic needs of your home or business, if flood hazard soils or wetlands may limit your buildable area, or which stormwater treatment options are best for the site. In addition, many planning departments require a soil report or map certification sealed by a Licensed Soil Scientist prior to allowing new lots to be recorded. See our list of Services for a more detailed description of the services we provide.
We need to identify the specific parcel of land that you want us to investigate. We look up the site online using the County GIS, which allows us to see recorded property boundaries, topography, soil mapping, and aerial imagery, all of which aids us in the site investigation. Help us locate your site by providing the COUNTY NAME, ROAD NAME, PARCEL NUMBER, Current Owner Name, and/or Acreage. Lookup Your Site on the NC OneMap .
Previously, NC residents only had one option for permitting a subsurface sewage system: the Local Health Department (LHD). Recent changes to the laws and rules governing sewage waste disposal have added private permitting options which allow a Licensed Soil Scientist (LSS), Authorized Onsite Wastewater Evaluator (AOWE), or Professional Engineers to provide some or all of the services previously provided by the LHD. Hal Owen is a NC Licensed Soil Scientist and an Authorized Onsite Wastewater Evaluator (AOWE) who has written many private permits.
In many cases, the answer is yes. We work with the local health department to determine why the permit application was denied and evaluate options. In some cases we can investigate other areas on the property (if it is large), or check adjacent property for a septic easement or lot recombination. We may be able to design a more complex septic system or recommend an adjustments to the building site or design flow. In some situations, we may advocate elevating the project for review by the state health department.
Not always. Soil patterns beneath the ground surface can sometimes be very complex. Natural variability exists in the seasonal high water table depth, parent materials, and weathering patterns. Also, there may be unseen disturbances from man’s activities, such as fill dirt or soil cutting. We will identify the best septic disposal area on your property and match a cost-effective system to it.
Our services are billed on an hourly basis. We will talk with you about the type of information you need and determine the level of intensity required for the investigation. We estimate the number of man hours that will likely be needed to complete the project from field investigation to report writing. Factors such as dense vegetation, the stone content of the surface soils, complex soil patterns, and other factors can influence the amount of time required to complete an investigation.
We sometimes provide this service in conjunction with a soil investigation, such as to determine if soils are expansive, or as part of the plan for vegetative cover over a septic system. If you want to know the fertility of the soil in your garden, it is much more cost-effective for you to contact the NC Department of Agriculture who offers this service for free or a reduced cost. Sample boxes are available at your county Cooperative Extension office or at the Agronomic Division office in Raleigh
No. You may contact a Certified Wastewater System Inspector who performs such inspections.
No. Soil compaction testing, or soil density testing, is used to determine the composition of the soil and if it can properly support a foundation . These tests are performed by an engineer who prepares a geotechnical report. Use the search term "soil compaction test" instead of "soil testing" to locate a firm that provides those services.