Soil Evaluations & Services

We offer a variety of soil evaluations and services. Family run since 1973, we have an experienced and knowledgeable team dedicated to helping landowners in Central Virginia develop and manage their land economically and responsibly. In addition to the services below, we offer relative topograhy and Ksat Tests.

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Soil Studies

If you're selling or purchasing a piece of property in an area without access to county sewer, wouldn't you want to know if the land "perks"? A soil feasibility study helps establish land value and is a valuable decision-making tool. If you're planning a new housing development, a family subdivision, a church, or a commercial facility, a soil feasibility study is a cost effective method of determining the suitability of a site for drainfields, buildings, roads, and other land uses before investing time and money into design development. Our studies include a detailed suitability report and feasibility map.

Soil feasibility studies are commonly used for:

  • Property Transaction Decisions & Marketing
  • Subdivision and General Land Development Planning
  • Early Detection of Wetlands, Shrink-Swell Soils & Other Problem Soils

View Sample Feasibility Map (PDF)

Subdivision Planning

Using Health Department guidelines, we document individual drainfield sites for subdivision lots and recommend a type of onsite septic system for each lot. Individual site and soil reports are prepared and certified by an Master Onsite Soil Evaluator (MOSE). A Homesite Planning Map is prepared that shows, at a minimum, the location of the proposed drainfield area, a water supply, a homesite, and a driveway. MSCI was one the first companies in the industry to prepare a Homesite Planning Map. Not only does it provide the necessary documentation required by the local planning and health department for approval, but it is also a valuable marketing tool for land owners and developers.

View Sample Homesite Planning Map (PDF)

Drainfield Site Evaluation & Onsite Septic System Design

A drainfield site evaluation is intended to document sufficient information to choose an appropriate onsite sewage disposal system. Our approach includes consideration of the physiographic province (e.g., geologic setting), topography, available area, degree of slope, and soil profile. We also evaluate the distance of the onsite system to various topographic and structural features. When a drainfield site is chosen, we select the longest-lasting, best value components from leading manufacturers.

The evaluation and design of your onsite system is very important because it must meet your needs and adhere to state regulations and local ordinances. Improper evaluation and design can lead to health, safety and economic issues. Our evaluations and designs fulfill the Health Department requirements for construction permits and certification letters. Our packages generally include everything you need to obtain approval from the Health Department including a site sketch and design drawing.

We offer the following evaluations and designs:

  • Conventional and Alternative Onsite Septic Systems
  • Engineered Systems in Consultation with a Professional Engineer
  • Residential, Commercial, and Community Onsite Septic Systems
  • Evaluation and Design for the Repair of Failing Drainfields
  • Complete Packages for Health Department Permitting

For alternative onsite septic systems, high quality effluent is achieved using treatment systems such as Multi-Flo, E-Z Treat and Advantex. MSCI has spent a considerable amount of time researching and evaluating various treatment units and have found these units to be the most reliable, cost-competitive systems available.

View Sample Site Sketch (PDF) View Sample Design Drawing (PDF)

Onsite Septic System (AOSS) Start-Up, Inspection & Certification

We stand behind all the onsite systems we design. Professional inspection reports, as-built drawings and certification statements are submitted to the Health Department on your behalf. We will also inspect onsite septic systems designed by others under certain conditions.

Foundation Soil Studies (Shrink-Swell Test)

Shrink-swell soils cause billions of dollars of damage to homes and property in the United States every year. Damage can be avoided or alleviated if the potential of soil to shrink and swell is known prior to building construction. Accurately predicting shrink-swell potential requires knowledge of the soil properties that influence shrinking and swelling and the magnitude of these factors. In response to the risk of property damage, most counties require shrink-swell analysis prior to building construction. Our evaluations are conducted by Certified Professional Soil Scientists and fulfill the county requirements for shrink-swell testing.

We test foundation soils for homes with structural damage, existing homes with proposed additions, individual lots, subdivision lots, and commercial properties. Please note that we are not engineers and we do not design foundations. However, we have extensive experience in this area and we may save you design and inspection costs.

Solving Soil, Water & Wastewater Problems Since 1973