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septic system design
in calgary and central alberta

Soilworx specializes in septic system design in Alberta (properly known as an OWTS – Onsite Wastewater Treatment System).  Most counties and districts within Alberta now require a septic design by a certified professional as part of the permitting process for a new development or for a renovation / addition.   We guarantee permit approval with every septic system design so that you are 100% risk free when working with us!  We know and work with local counties and inspectors on a daily basis. All of our work is done to meet current local and provincial regulations.

Septic System Design Calgary

we are certified

  • We are an AOWMA member (Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association) 
  • We are a NAWT member (National Association of Wastewater Technicians), along with NAWT certifications
  • We hold a current PSTS (Private Sewage Treatment System) design and installation certification  (Certified through Alberta Municipal Affairs

why do i need a septic system design?

The septic system design is the first step of the process to ultimately have a system installed.  The process, whether its a commercial or residential development, looks much like this:

septic system design

installers quote based on design

design submitted with permit application

permit approved

installation of the system as per design

what is included in a septic system design?

Each home or development (residential or commercial) is unique.  Each design, in turn, is unique.  Your septic design will include both the septic tank design, as well as the septic field design, pump sizing, piping specs, elevations, etc to meet all regulations, taking into account the unique properties of your home or development.  Factors such as site specific soil conditions along with occupancy expectations and activities are what form the options for the type and size of your septic system.   We always explore all of the options to create the most cost-effective septic system design specific to your property.  

Our septic system designs are completed by a certified pro.  It is a document of around 50-60 pages, and includes:

Residential design

Are you building a new home?  Doing a renovation or addition?  Or do you have a failed system and looking to install a new one?


Finding a qualified certified septic system designer can be a difficult task, unfortunately.  To design/install a residential system in Alberta, a person must be certified and carry a valid COC (Certificate of Competency) issued by Alberta Municipal Affairs.  The reality is that most contractors with heavy machinery focus more on the installation side of things, with design as a second thought.  They might only complete a few septic designs per year.  


At Soilworx, our focus is on septic system designs.  We have done hundreds of designs in the just the last few years.  By using our design services, you are getting a third party, unbiased design which must face the scrutiny of other installers and inspectors; whereas an installer that does his/her own design might not know or use all available options and design only to his/her preferences.  


The proper design of your residential system directly affects its performance and longevity.  It must take into account and understand the onsite soils and the intended use, as well as the limitations of the site and the system in order to avoid potential hazards or issues.  With proper experience, all of the unique factors involved with your home come together to produce a tailored, custom septic system design that will effectively treat your wastewater and protect your surrounding environment.  This includes both the septic tank design as well as the septic field design, pumps, piping, and other needed components.  


As part of our custom residential design process, we ask for as much information as possible so that we understand your needs.  We make the process easy; simply follow the instructions on our online form and submit it to us.  We will ask about things like number of bedrooms, bathrooms, sinks, tubs, garburators, and water softeners.  We also ask for the address and legal land description, among other information.  If you ever have any questions filling out the form, please call and we can fill it out together.  


Over the years we have built great relationships with qualified installers in and around Alberta.  Once your design is complete, we can then refer you to one of these trusted installers who can supply you with an accurate quote.  

commercial design

Commercial establishments also need a solution for their wastewater.  Developments such as restaurants, office buildings, RV parks, golf courses, churches, laundromats, motels/hotels, and day cares are just a few examples.  


Septic system designs for commercial units require different planning and research than typical residential systems.   Often times the wastewater strength is much higher because of the lack of dilution from showers, dishwashers, and daily laundry activities that are normal in a home.  


Projected flows are also calculated differently and many times are based on occupancy limits. 


In Alberta, there are limits to wastewater strength and projected flows.  For example, if a development (commercial or residential) has a projected flow >1250 Imp gals (~6000L) per day and/or “high strength” wastewater, a competent engineer must produce or review the design.   If projected flows are >2000 Imp gals/day, further hydrogeological testing is required. 


Soilworx has excellent experience working with small and large commercial projects such as golf courses, zoo’s, RV parks, churches, and restaurants.  We have a full solution for any size project ;  if engineers are required for larger projects, we have great partnerships with engineers who know and understand wastewater and can work with us and review our designs.  


Like residential septic designs, these documents are required before a certified installer can accurately quote on the pricing for installation.   


Over the years we have also built great relationships with qualified installers in and around Alberta.  Once your design is complete, we can then refer you to one of these trusted installers who can supply you with an accurate quote.  


We can complete the required PSTS pre-subdivision testing and reporting required by your local county or MD.

do you do designs in my area?

Septic System Design Calgary

While we focus mainly in the areas of Central and Southern Alberta, we have designed systems all over the province.  

  • Calgary, Bragg Creek, Airdrie, Cochrane, Springbank and area
  • Okotoks, Millarville, Black Diamond, High River and area
  • Strathmore, Chestermere, Irricana, Beiseker, Rosebud, Carseland and area
  • Red Deer, Lacombe, Innisfail, Olds, Sundre and area
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All of our designs come with a 100% guarantee

of permit approval.  




  • Please fill out the Planning and Usage form, which asks for all the information regarding your facility or home (address, legal land description, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc).
  • Once we have this information, we can start a file and will send you a brief outline of what to expect
  • We do our desktop research on your lot and surrounding areas to check for special regulations, sensitive areas, lot dimensions, etc
  • We ask that you please visit your site and place some wooden stakes in the ground in the approx location of your home or facility and the lot corners so that we can see them clearly when we arrive for the Site Evaluation
locate flags


It is important for the safety of everyone to locate and identify any buried utilities (gas, electricity, etc) near the area where we might be digging test pits.   There is no charge to have any public lines identified through Alberta One Call; however if you have private lines in the area you may need to contact a private locator.   We can organize the locates for you, but keep in mind it can take up to 7 days or more for them to complete the locate request.  

Soilworx test pits


This is where the fun begins 🙂  Once we have the information on the site and the locates are complete, we will come to your lot with our small excavator and complete the Site Evaluation, which includes :

  • Verifying location of the home or facility
  • Checking clearances from wells, water sources, buildings, etc
  • Digging at least 2 test pits and collecting soil samples.  These test pits need to be in the general area of where the septic system might be located.  We dig down to approx 9ft deep, unless we run into a restrictive layer sooner.  The test pits are filled back in before we leave.  
  • Send the soil samples to the lab for analysis
Septic System Design


Normally it takes the lab about a week or so to receive the samples, analyze them, and send back the results.  Once we have the results we are happy to discuss all options that are available according to the onsite soils and other factors.  Your final design document will be delivered electronically to you.  

You can now use this septic design document to obtain accurate installation quotes, as well as it will be used to apply for a PSTS permit.  Normally the installer of your choice will complete the PSTS application for you.  


  • All options explored
  • Clear, accurate design doc
  • Septic tank and field sizing
  • Complete construction drawings
  • ADU's, renovations, new builds
  • Permit approval guarantee


  • Stress-free
  • Professionalism and courtesy
  • Top-notch design to impress your client
  • Less time in office = More time on your machines
  • Join our network of referrals
  • Permit approval guarantee


  • Clear, accurate project plan
  • Pre-subdivision assessments (Level 1-4)
  • Guidance on Advanced Treatment Systems
  • ADU's, renovations, new builds
  • Soil sampling and evaluations
  • Maintenance expectations


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