From laser levels and hand tools to excavation and sludge sampling equipment, we've compiled a list of new technology and installation tools to help you manage varying onsite system installations.


Whether you’re installing a standard gravity system for a homeowner or working on a large cluster system to meet the demands of a group of residents, investing in the best onsite system installation tools and technology ensures you’ll get the job done right. 

Site location, landscape, and a variety of soil conditions — pure sand and gravel all the way to clay and rock — can affect system installation. From laser levels and hand tools to excavation and sludge sampling equipment, new technology and installation tools will help you manage these varying situations. 

George Miles, owner of Advanced Wastewater Engineering in Athol, Idaho, knows that proper installation requires proper tools. “Every system is different, and successful operation only comes from the proper installation of a well-designed system,” he says. 

Related: Time for a New Onsite System Additives Study?

You don’t take shortcuts when it comes to system design and installation, so why would you use insufficient technology and tools? “When you leave a site, it should be clean,” Miles continues. “If it looks like a mess, it is a mess. If you do a shoddy job, sooner or later somebody’s going to come in and take your work away.” 

New technology and installation solutions keep you on the cutting edge — and ensure you don’t do a shoddy job. Here are some excavation equipment picks to get you started: 

  • EDGE excavator buckets from CEAttachments are available for many brands and models of compact excavators, including heavy-duty buckets in sizes from 8 to 42 inches designed for digging tough clay with rock scattered through the soil. Also offered are ditching buckets designed for ditch construction and maintenance, light digging, grading and slope work in sizes from 24 to 72 inches.
  • The 49 hp FX50 vacuum excavator from Ditch Witch can be customized with choices of tank sizes, trailer configurations and options such as hydraulic booms, water heaters and hydraulic valve exercisers. It comes with a choice of four spoils tank sizes from 300 to 1,200 gallons, and four water tank sizes from 80 to 500 gallons.
  • The DX225LC-3 excavator from Doosan Infracore America Corporation features a 167 hp engine paired with power modes that provide ideal performance and fast workgroup speeds for heavy-duty work. Its four work modes, including digging, breaker, shear and lifting, allow maximum efficiency and fuel economy. An electronic clutch fan reduces fuel consumption and noise levels while providing cooling system improvements.
  • The 9A construction-class excavator from Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas is available in operating weights of 55,560 to 86,200 pounds, making it ideal for midsize excavating projects, road and utility work and demolition. In the production class category, 108,420- and 114,820-pound models are available. It can be used on projects where a massive amount of material needs to be moved or for a deep trench project.
  • TMX mini-excavators from Innovative Equipment feature a quick-hitch system that can be hooked behind a standard half-ton pickup, van or light-duty tow vehicle. Zero-turn technology for access to tight locations and lawns eliminates tracks. Weighing only 2,941 pounds, they feature an 8-foot digging depth and 6,600-pound digging force.
  • The 50G excavator from John Deere features a 36 hp, 26.8 kW engine and a cab design that improves visibility and operator comfort. Its door design improves entry and visibility to the left-hand side of the machine. It also widens the opening for cab entry. In the operator station, a multifunction monitor provides a coolant temperature and fuel gauge, clock, two trip meters, regeneration inhibit, auto shutdown control and machine-hour gauge.
  • The Barrier Lift excavator attachment from KENCO features handles integrated on both sides so workers on the ground can guide the lifter into the desired position from either side of the wall. All models are designed to grip the top of the wall widths from 6 to 12 inches. The legs have a narrow profile for lowering the lifter into tighter spaces and allowing for closer stacking operations.
  • The 48,500-pound, midsize SK210LC crawler excavator from Kobelco Construction Machinery USA has a 157 hp Tier IV Hino engine with three push-button operating modes: H for heavy, S for standard and ECO for reduced fuel consumption. It has a digging force of 28,880 pounds, dig depth of 22 feet and a 1.05-cubic-yard bucket.
  • The ECR58D short-swing compact excavator from Volvo Construction Equipment features automatic two-speed travel and hydraulic travel pedals. Featuring a narrow body design and centrally positioned boom, its rear swings within its track shoe, letting operators work extremely close to other objects without risk of collision. It has a reinforced, three-piece, high-tensile steel X-shaped frame undercarriage. 

Tools of the trade. You have plenty — if not all — of them in your arsenal, but what if you take on a new type of job? Or a particularly challenging onsite system installation?

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Challenging jobs can mean an investment in new or different tools. For instance, a probe lets you collect and evaluate soil samples, and thicker-than-normal tank contents might require sludge sampling. 

Whether you need to fine-tune your sampling skills or find the right laser to check grades, here are some product suggestions: 

  • The Dial a Time control from See Water is designed to control pumps with ratings up to 16 full load amps. The compact, solid-state technology has no moving parts to become tangled, ensuring proper evacuation of water. This is an ideal control for sump pump basins and any confined-space application that requires consistent liquid level control.
  • The Mighty Probe from T&T Tools features a 3/8-inch hex rod, which is approximately 20 percent stiffer than a round rod, or a 7/16-inch hex rod, about twice as stiff as the standard round rod. Stiffer hex rods bend less to make the probe easier to push into the ground, especially when probing at deeper depths. Lengths are available from 36 to 78 inches, in 6-inch increments.
  • The TruCore from Sim/Tech Filter is a large-diameter sludge sampler designed for use in the thicker sludge common to septic tanks. It allows samples to be taken quickly without creating excessive turbulence because there are no restrictions caused by valves, stoppers or flaps. With an inside diameter of 1 3/8 inches, the capacity per foot is almost 10 ounces. The straight-through design also lets the sample quickly return to the tank.
  • The GL622 dual-grade laser from Spectra Precision/Trimble is an automatic self-leveling laser featuring grade capability of plus or minus 25 percent. It includes an HL750 Laserometer that provides a digital readout of elevation and can be used at an operating diameter of up to 2,600 feet. Wireless communication between the HL750 and the lasers provides automatic grade matching, which allows measurement of unknown grade values between two points. 

For complete product listings and manufacturer contact information, visit www.onsiteinstaller.com/editorial/2013/11/new_technology_installation_tools1.

Related: New Jersey Company Tackles Failed Systems

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