Residential Wastewater

Engineering Design

AWT assists homeowners with all of their wastewater needs. We have experience with many types of residential on-site wastewater treatment systems.  From an initial site evaluation to obtaining a permit for a new system, our soil scientists and engineers can assist homeowners throughout the permitting process.  We work very closely with and maintain positive relationships with county and state regulatory agencies.

All on-site wastewater systems are based on an initial soils evaluation. Based on the results of the soils evaluation, the type of wastewater system needed for the site can be determined.   In many instances, a septic system permitted through the local county health department able to be obtained.  Septic systems permitted by the county require three separate permits; an Improvement Permit, an Authorization to Construct and an Operations Permit.  The Improvement Permit is based on the results of the soils evaluation, the Authorization to Construct is based on the wastewater system design and the Operations Permit is issued after the system is installed.  Septic systems that typically receive county permits include conventional systems, pressure manifold systems, Low Pressure Pipe systems, aerobic and anaerobic drip systems and TS-I and TS-II pretreatment systems.

If a site’s soils do not allow for a county based permit to be issued, in some instances a permit issued by the NC Division of Water Resources may be possible. These systems include non-discharge surface spray, drip and reclaimed water systems.

AWT has also assisted many homeowners with new wastewater system when their previous system failed. Under certain conditions, AWT has been able to obtain a permit for a NPDES direct discharge system.  These permits are typically only issued in repair situations when there is no other option available to repair the existing on-site system.


AWT can assist with permitting of any type or size of wastewater system, whether the facility served by the system is a single family residence, commercial facility, church, school, etc. AWT has decades of combined experience working with local, county, and state regulatory agencies to obtain permits for wastewater systems. Or, if you’ve been turned down for a permit by the county or state, then contact AWT for assistance on possible alternative systems.


AWT assists with the operation and maintenance of existing wastewater systems, currently operating over 120 systems in central North Carolina. AWT holds the necessary NC certifications to meet regulatory requirements for operations and maintenance of wastewater systems and communicates routinely with system owners and the regulatory community in order to keep the systems compliant.

System Modifications

Adding a bedroom to your home or expanding your business, church, school, etc., AWT can assist with the wastewater system modifications that will be required with your expansion. Additionally, building a pool, garage, shop, outbuilding, etc., that impacts your existing wastewater system?  AWT can assist will the necessary wastewater system modifications.

Septic System Inspections (On-Site Wastewater)

Comprehensive septic inspections can be performed on any system, and are most commonly performed at residences.  AWT’s septic inspections include a thorough evaluation of the current condition of your system, along with a complete inspection report.  AWT performs inspections for routine maintenance and point-of-sale (real estate) transactions.

Numerous systems in North Carolina are required by law to have a routine inspection twice (or more) per year.  These inspections include a comprehensive evaluation of current performance, wastewater monitoring/sampling (if applicable), and maintenance.  If you have a question regarding your system or need an operator to remain in compliance please contact AWT immediately.

Well Inspections

AWT can also assist with completing a well analysis and provide consumers with finalized reports detailing the water samples.

Well and Septic Inspection FAQ

  • How much does a Well/Septic System inspection cost?
    • A septic inspection ranges between about $325 to $450. Gravity, pump, pressure manifold, and LPP systems that do not require any digging to access the tanks are $325. If digging is necessary to access any components, it is $375. Advanced systems (Pretreatment, Drip, spray, or other alternatives) are $450.
    • Pricing for WELL INSPECTION ONLY:
  • $275.00 (Coliform bacterial analysis) (takes 3 business days to get results from the lab)
  • $325.00—FHA/VA/HUD (Coliform bacterial analysis, Lead, Nitrate/Nitrite) (takes 7 business days to get results from the lab)
  • $450.00—Level 1 (Everything in FHA/VA/HUD – PLUS:  Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Nickel. Selenium, Silver, Sodium, Thallium, Uranium, Vanadium, Zinc, Hardness) (takes 10 business days to get results from the lab)

Pricing for Well Inspection During the SAME VISIT as Septic Inspection:

  • $75.00 (Coliform bacterial analysis) (takes 3 business days to get results from the lab)
  • $150.00—FHA/VA/HUD (Coliform bacterial analysis, Lead, Nitrate/Nitrite) (takes 7 business days to get results from the lab)
  • $250.00—Level 1 (Everything in FHA/VA/HUD – PLUS:  Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Nickel. Selenium, Silver, Sodium, Thallium, Uranium, Vanadium, Zinc, Hardness) (takes 10 business days to get results from the lab)
  • What kind of water test do I need?
    • The type of water sample you need is dependent on a variety of factors. You may have specific loan requirements. However, if that is not the case, we always start by recommending at least a Bacterial analysis. A Full Panel is recommended if the home is older than 1970s and is suspected to have used metal piping or lead solder in the pipe connections. Our most extensive water test includes everything from our full panel sample along with 20 metals, uranium, and hardness. This is a good test for those very concerned about the quality of their drinking water. If the home is in the area along the Rolesville Granite formation, please call our office to discuss the testing available for this.
  • What does a well/septic system inspection look at/evaluate/cover?
    • We have a 2-page checklist that we follow during our inspection.  The checklist is based on our experience and our certification board’s requirements.  We can send you a copy of the checklist if you like. However, here is an overview of what is included. We inspect the septic tank for integrity, the inlet pipe, the outlet pipe, the outlet baffle, the baffle wall, and the effluent filter.  We also inspect the septic for pumping requirements. We inspect the pump tank (when a pump tank is present) for all the same things as the septic tank.  We also inspect the following in the pump tank: pump operation, float switches, high water alarm, and control panel.  Finally, we inspect the drainfield for surfacing effluent (wastewater on top of the ground), unauthorized uses (parking, building, traffic, etc.), vegetative cover, surface water diversions, and the integrity of any components at the soil surface (distribution box, manifold, cleanouts, laterals, valving, etc.).
    • Because we are not licensed well contractors, we cannot remove the well cap or pump for an inspection. Therefore, our primary objective with a well inspection is to ensure that the above ground components of the well are properly sealed and that the piping/electrical components at the above ground well head are in working order. In addition, we will report the specifications of the well that is listed on the permit or the well plate if available.
  • What areas do you service?
    • We do inspections in much of the Triangle area and more. However, inspections with a distance of 50 to 75 miles from our office will be subject to a $75 fee for travel costs. Inspections further than 75 miles from our office are priced on a case by case basis.
  • How can I make a payment?
  • When will I receive my results?
    • The septic report generally takes 2-3 business days to get out. Water results depend on what level of water testing is requested.
  • Do you do well chlorination or w/s repairs?
    • In general, we do not offer these services. However, we can recommend a number of qualified professionals that can assist with repairs. We can also advise as to the general reasonable expected range of costs for repairs.  Please feel free to call us for recommendations and/or information.



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Kevin Davidson, P.E.