New Septic System on Pender Island Vacation Property - Redline Excavating Ltd.

When Hewing Haus needed specialized help with a new construction project on Pender Island, Redline Excavating delivered a solution.


Redline Excavating provided specialized design and installation services for a local construction company that specializes in high-end but small-footprint custom homes. Hewing Haus had been hired by a Vancouver couple to place a prefabricated home on the client’s oceanfront property on Pender Island.

With a high concern for low impact on the natural environment, Hewing Haus and their clients required a unique and delicate solution for a new septic system. Redline offered tailored services, which included a site
and soil evaluation to determine the best septic system for this unique application.

A new system was designed by Redline and approved by the Health Authority before excavation began. There was minimal disruption to the property as the new system was installed. In the end, both Hewing Haus and their clients were thrilled with the results.

  • All work completed by a Registered Onsite Wastewater Practitioner (ROWP)
  • A gravelless system with chambers was used
  • Polyethylene septic tanks were installed
  • System was approved by the Health Authority
  • Project was completed on time and on budget
  • Remote location sensitivities were observed
  • Environmental concerns were addressed
  • Low impact on the natural setting

The Client:

Hewing Haus is a unique construction company based in the Fraser Valley of B.C. After fifteen years of experience in building high-end custom homes, the owner was struck by the lack of affordable housing and began to explore alternatives.

He saw an opportunity to refine the building process and also to eliminate waste, and he eventually landed on the production of modern prefabricated modular homes. When a couple in Vancouver acquired an oceanfront property on Pender Island, they envisioned a small dwelling that suited the setting and was built with both structural quality and environmental responsibility.

They learned that those concerns accurately reflected the values of Hewing Haus, and a match was made. In turn, the owners of Hewing knew that they could trust Redline Excavating with delivering a septic system that would equal the high concern for quality, safety, and low impact on the natural environment.

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The Challenge:

Low impact excavation is not easy. This job on Pender Island required a careful approach to installing an efficient septic system. According to the wishes of both the homeowners and the construction company, Redline was committed to preserving the beautiful natural setting as much as possible, and therefore planned a septic system that caused as little disruption as possible to the property.

Of course, at the same time, we were committed to providing a system that was safe, efficient, and economical. We were aware that the island location made sourcing certain materials very difficult, in terms of costs. Available sand and gravel were not prevalent on the island and were very expensive to deliver, therefore a traditional sand-and-gravel percolating field was not a viable option.

As well, before excavation commenced, we were quite unaware of the presence of hard-pan rock on the property, which would be significant for planning the location of the system. The home itself was placed on a foundation of helical piles, which enhanced the low-impact nature of the construction. Hewing Haus was confident in Redline’s ability and ingenuity to match their sensitive approach.

The Solution:

After Redline visited the island to conduct a careful site and soil evaluation of the property, it was decided that a gravelless system utilizing chambers would be the most efficient and cost-effective alternative for this site. Also polyethylene septic tanks were used because they could be easily transported by truck on the ferry.

Redline designed the system, had it approved by the Health Authority, and then delivered the components of the system to the island by truck, minimizing the use of limited local materials and resources.

Designed for permanent sub-grade installation, the series of chambers allowed for a field that was low impact, fit in among the trees, and was no longer noticeable to the eye once the area was backfilled. High value was placed on a negligible disruption to the natural setting, including trees and other vegetation.

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The Outcome:

Hewing Haus and their Vancouver clients were thrilled with the results of a new septic system for the vacation property on Pender Island. Not only was Redline able to deliver another quality and cost-effective system to a client, but they were able to successfully address environmental concerns, satisfy the client’s sensitivities, and work efficiently in a remote setting. The project on Pender Island was another chance for Redline to provide a unique solution to a unique problem in a unique setting.

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