How To Build A Septic Tank With 55 Gallon Drum? (Question)

Take the jigsaw and cut a hole 4 inches below the top in the side of the plastic barrel to fit the 10-foot-long leach line, 3-inch-diameter PVC black pipe. Make sure the hole is big enough for the pipe. Lower the 55-gallon plastic barrel into the hole and fit the black PVC leach-line pipe.

  • Use a poly drum and set it up the same way u would a large septic. Lower the 55 gallon plastic barrel into the hole and fit the black pvc leach line pipe. Cover the leach line with black plastic and a thick layer of cinders.

Can you use a 55-gallon drum for a septic tank?

In areas with no zoning or building restrictions, 55-gallon drums or barrels may still be used as a temporary solution before other more permanent methods of waste containment are put in place. Dig a hole in line with the bathroom 10 feet away from the structure that needs a temporary septic tank.

Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?

The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.

How do you build a septic tank drain field?

There should be at least 100 feet of drain field for a 1,000-gallon septic tank. This can be accomplished by making four trenches 25 feet long or two trenches 50 feet long. The trenches should be at a slight downward slant of no more than 1/4 inch per 8 feet of pipe.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.

How big of a septic tank do I need?

The larger your home, the larger the septic tank you’re going to need. For instance, a house smaller than 1,500 square feet usually requires a 750 to 1,000-gallon tank. On the other hand, a bigger home of approximately 2,500 square feet will need a bigger tank, more than the 1,000-gallon range.

What size septic tank do I need for a tiny house?

Tiny homes typically require a 500 to 1,000-gallon septic tank. Though, it’s not always possible to implement a tank of this size. In some states, for example, the minimum tank size is 1,000 gallons. There may be exceptions to this rule if your home is on wheels.

What is the smallest septic tank available?

If you’re looking to install a septic system, the smallest tank size you’re likely to find is 750-gallon, which will accommodate one to two bedrooms. You can also opt for a 1,000-gallon system, which will handle two to four bedrooms.

What to put in septic tank to break down solids?

Yeast helps actively breaks down waste solids when added to your septic system. Flush ½ cup of dry baking yeast down the toilet, the first time. Add ¼ cup of instant yeast every 4 months, after the initial addition.

How to Make a Septic Tank With a 55 Gallon Drum

Home-Diy Temporary septic tanks were formerly constructed from whatever materials were available at the time, such as 55-gallon drums or barrels, according to legend. Despite the fact that these drums or barrels had a limited capacity, they performed well and provided a quick solution to the problem of holding untreated sewage.

  • The following items are required: jigsaw
  • 1-by-10-foot-long 3-inch-diameter black PVC pipe
  • 1-by-10-foot-long leach-line pipe
  • 55-gallon plastic drum or barrel with lid
  • Cinders.

Tip

Invest in a natural septic digester, which can be purchased at any ranch supply store, to supplement your temporary septic tank.

Warning

Keep vehicles and parking vehicles away from the temporary septic tank. In regions where there are no zoning or building limitations, 55-gallon drums or barrels may still be utilized as a temporary solution until other more permanent means of waste containment can be implemented.

  1. Dig a hole 10 feet away from the structure that requires a temporary septic tank, in line with the bathroom and 10 feet away from the toilet. For optimal gravity flow while flushing the toilet and to avoid sewage backlog, dig down at least 8 feet. To keep the building from being damaged, dig a ditch 2 feet below right in front of the hole. The trench should be a minimum of 10 feet long. This will be the leach line for your system. Take the jigsaw and cut a hole in the side of the plastic barrel 4 inches below the top to accommodate the 10-foot-long leach line, which is made of 3-inch-diameter PVC black pipe. Make certain that the hole is large enough to accommodate the pipe. Drop in the 55-gallon plastic barrel and insert the black PVC leach-line pipe into the hole you just dug. Cover the leach line with a coating of black plastic and a thick covering of cinders to prevent it from leaking. The soil you took from the leach line when excavating it should be used to re-fill it. Attach the other 10-foot length of solid PVC pipe to the structure and insert it into the bung hole at the top of the drum or barrel, if applicable. Place a black plastic sheet over the whole drum or barrel lid and backfill with earth until it reaches ground level.

Homemade Septic Tank 55 Gallon Drum: DIY and Install

“This website has affiliate connections to various items. Purchases bought through these links may result in a commission being paid to us.” Septic tanks for residential use come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you have plenty of alternatives when making your decision. First and foremost, select a tank with the appropriate volume for your residence. The BioWonder SepticDrain Treatment is what I’m currently using. After that, check to see that the tank is durable and will survive for a long time.

Essential Septic Tank Kits and Products We’ve Tested (Recommended)

Choose from the following:Do you treat waste before allowing it to seep into the ground? Homemade septic tanks are available in a variety of sizes and designs; it all depends on your preferences. Whether it is made of plastic or concrete, a well constructed Homemade Septic Tank may last anywhere from 20 to 35 years with regular care and upkeep. It may appear to be simple to construct, but it is time-consuming; yet, with the assistance of a septic tank, you may save hundreds to thousands of dollars in the process.

Homemade Septic Tank 55 Gallon Drum (Step-by-Step Checklist)

Before you begin construction on any septic system, check with the local health department and county government offices to see whether or not the site of your home is suitable for the installation of one. If you have been given permission to proceed, make a note of any prerequisites and get any permissions that would grant you the authority to begin construction. Read, understand, and adhere to the septic system specifications provided before beginning the construction process, or you may wind up having to start over from the beginning if the specifications are not satisfied.

2. Plan your site early

Keep these considerations in mind when deciding where to locate the septic tank and drain field: soil testing may be required to establish the drainage capabilities of the soil as well as the seasonal water tables of the site. The soil for the septic system must be tested and approved by the appropriate health authorities and planning boards. The depth to which the drain field pipes and the septic tank should be installed will be determined by the local health departments and planning boards.

Consider a 55-gallon drum per person every day as an example.

Always err on the side of caution and provide an extra 100 gallons each day to cater for unexpected users and guests. If at all feasible, choose an 800-gallon tank so that the sludge won’t have to be pumped out as frequently as it would if you used a smaller tank.

Mounting Your Homemade Septic Tank Drum (Instructions)

Septic tank installation requires a hole to be dug 10 feet away from the main structure in line with the bathroom. Hire or direct someone to dig the hole. Dig up to 8 feet or more in order to have excellent gravity flow while flushing the toilet and to avoid clogging the toilet.

Step2:

Septic tank installation requires a hole to be dug 10 feet away from the main building in line with the bathroom. Hire or direct someone to dig the hole for you! If you want proper gravity flow when you flush the toilet and to avoid a clog, dig up to 8 feet or more in depth.

Step3:

Create an opening 4 inches below the top and in the side of the plastic barrel with a jigsaw so that the leach line, which is a 10-foot-long, 3-inch-diameter PVC black pipe, may be inserted. The hole should be large enough to accommodate the pipe.

Step4:

Incorporate the 55-gallon plastic barrel into the hole slowly and carefully, and then insert the black PVC leach-line pipe. You must cover the leach line with plastic and a thick layer of cinders to prevent it from leaking out. Backfill the leach line with the earth that was taken previously during the digging process.

Step5:

Incorporate the 10-foot segment of solid PVC pipe from the building into the bunghole at the top of the barrel or drum to complete the installation. Cover the barrel or drum lid with plastic wrap, then backfill the leach line with the soil you removed when excavating earlier in the process. (Optional) Whether you are permitted to install this septic system on your property is entirely dependent on where you live and the state building restrictions in effect. It is impossible to tell if you may construct this septic system on your property until all of these conditions are satisfied in each of Colorado’s 63 counties, because laws change on an annual basis and rules and regulations differ from one inspector to another.

General septic system guidelines and various types of waste treatment

Every septic system is comprised of two key components: the Leach Field, which is used to dispose of liquid waste, and the Septic Tank, which is used to collect solid waste. Cesspools are equipped with a septic system that allows for the direct discharge of sewage, both liquid and solid, into a pit. When effluent leaches and evaporates down to the earth, the solids are retained in a perforated or pond tank. To dispose of effluent from septic tanks, one of seven treatment area designs might be utilized:

Leach Pits

Leach Pits are holes in the ground filled with gravel, with a perforated tank in the center for dumping wastewater into. Drywells are a passive solution that does not require the use of a pump for small or irregular lots when a long leach percolation field is not required or practicable. Leach pits have the benefit of having a large surface area surrounding their sides, which allows them to dispose of water in the appropriate soil types. Adding a dry well to your leach pit will increase the capacity of your leach pit, allowing it to handle a large amount of water at one time.

  • Leach Fields are trenches dug in the yard that are filled with a foot of 3/4′′ — 1-1/2′′ gravel and a pipe with a diameter of around four inches.
  • The effluent is delivered to the leach field with at least a 1/8 inch per foot drop and subsequently is dissolved into the soil with all of the leach field pipe being at the same level, according to the specifications.
  • The sewage is discharged into this big open region underneath the yard; the whole bottom of the chamber is now accessible.
  • Pressurized Mound Systems are often powered by an electric pump that forces effluent into raised mound systems and beds or chambers, as well as remote trenches and aeration systems.
  • In the wastewater treatment industry, drip beds (also known as evapotranspiration) are pressured systems with small nozzles or holes for equitable dispersion of wastewater; nevertheless, they are susceptible to blockage due to calcification of the nozzles.
  • Because of their development, plants transpire water, and part of the water inside them evaporates to the surface, with a lesser percentage of the effluent trickling down into the groundwater table.
  • Typically, it is designated for high clay soil regions where percolation is difficult; lagoons are walled to prevent percolation in a vulnerable zone where evaporation is the sole method of disposal; and it is reserved for high clay soil areas where percolation is difficult.

Because of the legal liabilities associated with safety hazards, six-foot fence and a closed gate are the normal procedure for any cesspool or lagoon installation.

Conclusion

When it comes to your 55 gallon drum home-made septic tank, there are a few cautions and suggestions to keep in the back of your mind. Here: It is important to remember to include natural septic digester in your portable toilet and to avoid parking or driving your car over the temporary septic tank.

DIY Septic System Tutorials – 55 Gallon Drum & Tank Systems

You read that correctly: this article is about making a handmade DIY septic system out of inexpensive plastic barrels and repurposed tote tanks! Not only is it not thrilling, but it is also not seductive, yet it is really vital. If you’re only going to be camping or staying somewhere for a few weeks, a simple latrine will suffice. However, if you plan on spending months or years in a log cabin that you constructed yourself in an off-grid region, you’ll need something more effective to deal with the normal human waste.

The three ‘Do It Yourself’ house septic systems shown here are all relatively inexpensive to construct — from a small size 55 gallon drum septic system to two bigger tote tank septic systems.

1 – DIY 55 Gallon Drum Septic System

This excellent step-by-step video demonstrates how to rapidly and affordably construct a modest 55-gallon drum septic tank. Only human waste should be used in this handmade plastic barrel septic system; it is not large enough to handle laundry or other household garbage. Although the lesson specifies that this system is designed for two adults, I believe that with cautious use, it may meet the demands of a small family consisting of two adults and two young children. Take a look at it. An inexpensive and straightforward plastic barrel septic system for one to two persons is demonstrated here.

It is unable to deal with washing and other household chores.

2 — DIY Tote Tank Septic System

UnitedStatesofBuild has created an outstanding video instruction, which you can see here. The video demonstrates how to create a low-cost, off-grid tote tank septic system from the ground up. Totes are big plastic liquid containers that are encased in a protective steel or aluminum frame for added strength and durability. For transportation purposes, they are frequently shipped on pallets. Totes may be purchased at a low cost since they are typically considered a waste product once they have been used.

See also:  How Often Do U Have To Get A Septic Tank Cleaned? (TOP 5 Tips)

Tote tanks are also excellent for large-scale rainwater gathering systems.

3 – A Larger DIY Tank Septic System

Make Science Fun created this video lesson for you. It includes instructions on how to construct a larger-scale above-ground aerated water waste treatment system using totes. However, while this system is a bigger and more expensive version of the DIY tank septic system, it is still less expensive than a properly constructed commercial system. Even though this is a larger and more intricate septic system, it is extremely efficient and has the ability to break down and handle far more waste. TUTORIAL – How to create your own sewage system from the ground up.

With this information, you should be able to make an informed decision on whether to invest in an expensive professional prepared system or to create a more affordable DIY system for yourself.

(Photo from: WikiHow)

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation There are two main sections to most private septic systems: the holding and digesting tanks, and the dispersion field or leach field. As the liquid waste in the first holding tank fills up, it will be transferred to the second holding tank. Once the second tank is completely filled with liquid, the liquid will dissipate into the earth underneath it. The system displayed here is a modest system that is intended for limited use by two persons who do not need to do laundry.

  • When compared to a conventional house septic system, this system employs two 55 US gallon (210 L) drums, rather than the 1,000–2,000 US gallon (3,800–7,600 L) tanks that are utilized in a standard home septic system.
  • Property owners considering installing a system similar to this one should be advised that this system would fail inspections by any public health department in the United States, and that the owner may be liable to a fine if the system was discovered in operation by a health official.
  • Toilets that conserve water nowadays utilize less than two litres of water every flush.
  • It might be a lifeline for those who live in areas where septic treatment is not available.

Part 1 of 3: Cutting the Tanks

  1. 1Cut a hole in the center of the top of each drum that is the same size as the outer measurement of the toilet flange. Take the outside diameter of the toilet flange that you’re using and multiply it by two. Place the hole close to the edge of the drum so that you may simply connect them to pipes in the near future. Cut the drums using a saber saw to make them more manageable. 2 Each hole should be capped with a 4 in (10 cm) toilet flange. Push the flanges into the top of each tank until they are flush with the surface. Make sure the flanges are securely fastened to the tanks so they don’t shift or move after you’ve placed them. 3 Cut a hole in the first drum that is 4 in (10 cm) in diameter on the opposite side of the drum from the hole in the top. Placing the hole approximately 4–5 inches (10–13 cm) below the top of the drum and ensuring that it lines up with the hole on the top of the tank are the most important steps. 4 Make a hole in the wall with a saber saw or a hole saw. Cut two holes in the side of the drum at 45-degree angles to the center of the hole on the top, one on each side of the drum. The center line is the line that runs through the middle of the hole on the top of the drum. Make 45-degree angles from either side of the centerline, then mark them on the second drum using a permanent marker. Make your holes in the barrel by cutting through the side with a saber or a hole saw.

Part 2 of 3: Placing the Tanks Underground

  1. 1 Dig a trench that is 4 ft 26 ft 3 ft (1.22 m 7.92 m 0.91 m) in length and width. Excavator or shovel are both good options for digging a hole in the ground where you wish to put your tank. Continue excavating until the hole measures 4 feet (1.2 m) in width, 26 feet (7.9 m) in length, and 3 feet (0.91 m) in depth.
  • Excavators for excavating are often available for hire from a heavy machinery supply company. Look for equipment rentals on the internet
  1. 2Place the drum at the end of the trench, with one side hole drilled in it. When you place the drum on the floor, make sure it is level. Check to see sure the drum’s top is at least 4 inches (10 cm) below the surface of the water. 3 Dig a hole that is one foot (30 cm) deeper than the first to accommodate the positioning of the second drum in front of the first. In order to ensure a tight fit and prevent the drum from shifting, make your hole the same diameter as the drum you’re inserting in it. 4 The hole should be leveled with gravel until a 90-degree curve can be made to connect the top drum’s hole on one side to the toilet flange on the other. Check the alignment of the holes in the 90-degree bend between the two drums by dry fitting it between the two drums. If you need to improve the alignment of the pipe line, dig the hole a little deeper. 5 To make the bend, cut 31 2in (8.9 cm) pieces of ABS pipe and adhere them to the bend with epoxy or hot glue. With a hacksaw, cut the ABSpipe parts, also known as nipples. 6 Insert the pieces into the bend and hold them in place using PVC adhesive. Check the fit between the two drums to ensure that they are in alignment. Insert the end of the 21 2in (6.4 cm) nipple into the side hole of the first drum and tighten the nut. 7Glue the end of the 31 2in (8.9 cm) nipple into the toilet flange on the second tank, making sure that the nipple on the other end aligns with the hole on the top of the second drum. To hold the bent in place, apply PVC adhesive to the inside of the curve. Don’t be concerned about the link to the first drum just yet
  2. You’ll make that connection later. 8. Glue a Y-bend to a 31 2in (8.9 cm) nipple, and then bend the angled piece of the Y-bend at a 45-degree angle. Using your PVC adhesive, attach a nipple to the end of the Y-bend and let it dry. Make sure to align the angled pipe on the Y-bend so that it intersects with the incoming waste line and glue it into the toilet flange
  3. 9 21 2in (6.4 cm) nipples are cut and glued to one end of the 45-degree bends at the bottom of the lower drum, and they are then inserted into the side of the lower drum. The 45-degree bends’ ends should be perpendicular to the bottom of the trench, so that they may be pointed upward.

Part 3 of 3: Connecting the Drain Pipes

  1. Put a stake into the ground and level it with the bottom of each of the 45-degree bends. 2Put a stake into the ground and level it with the top of the 45-degree bends. It doesn’t matter what sort of stakes you use since they all work. Use a mallet or hammer to pound the stakes into the ground. Attach a one-inch-wide block to the end of a four-foot-long (1.2-meter-long) level using duct tape. This will assist you in ensuring that you create sloped drain pipes so that your tanks can empty
  2. 3Place another stake approximately 37 8ft (1.2 m) down the trench from the first one
  3. 4Place another stake approximately 37 8ft (1.2 m) down the trench from the first one
  4. 5Place another stake approximately 37 8ft (1.2 m) down the trench from the first one. Drive the stake down until it is the same height as the first one using your hammer or mallet
  5. 4 Place the end of the level without the block on the first stake and the block on the second stake to complete the level without the block. Continue to pound the second stake into the ground until the level is balanced. 1 inch (2.5 cm) lower than the previous post, or 1 inch (0.64 cm) lower per 1 foot (30 cm)
  6. 5Repeat this method until you have stakes running the whole length of the trench
  7. Continue to place stakes down the rest of the trench every 37 8feet (1.2 m) from the last one, ensuring that the stakes slope away from the drums
  8. 6Place gravel in the trench until the top of the gravel is level with the top of the stakes
  9. 7Place gravel in the trench until the top of the gravel is level with the top of the stakes The gravel will now slope away from the drums at a rate of 1 4 inch (0.64 cm) per 1 foot (30 cm) of horizontal distance
  10. 7Place 20 ft (6.1 m) of perforated drain pipe into each hole on the second drum
  11. 8Place 20 ft (6.1 m) of perforated drain pipe into each hole on the third drum
  12. 9Place 20 ft (6.1 m) of perforated drain pipe into each hole on the fourth drum
  13. 10P Insert the ends of the drain pipes into the 45-degree bends on the lower drum to complete the installation. 9Make certain that the perforations in the pipes are facing down so that liquids may soak back into the earth
  14. 8checking the pipes with a level to ensure that the 1 4in (0.64 cm) slope is consistent throughout the length of the pipe. Adjust the slope by adding or withdrawing gravel under the pipe
  15. 9Bend the bottom and top drums at 45 degrees and 90 degrees, respectively, to seal them. For the greatest seal possible on your drain pipes, use a two-part epoxy or silicone caulk. Try using flex pipe for this, so that if the earth changes it will give a bit
  16. Tenth, fill the lower drum halfway with water to keep it from collapsing under the weight of all the gravel. Place the remaining gravel over the trench and into the bottom drum, covering it completely. 11Lay landscape fabric over the top of the gravel. As a result, the dirt will not be able to seep into the gravel and you will be able to keep proper drainage on your tanks
  17. 12Fill the remaining trench area with soil, compacting it to the original grade. When you have finished filling in the area with your soil, check to see that the ground is level. 13Fill the upper drum with water, leaving the top pipe from the first tank exposed so that you can easily access the tanks if you need to drain them later. 14Fill the lower drum with water. Fill the top drum with water and pour it directly down the exposed pipes on the bottom drum. Pour more water into the drum until it is completely filled, and then screw on the lid to shut it.

Community Q A

Create a new question

  • Question What is considered a low level of use? Low consumption is defined as less than 125 gallons per day. Question Was the ‘y’ elbow on the first tank’s tank for any particular reason? Is it left open or sealed when it has been completed? Isn’t it going to stink if it’s left open? The clean out requires a threaded cap or plug, which is provided. Question What kind of water do you use to fill it? “Fill” is the most important term here. Continue to fill the drum with water until the level does not rise any more
  • Question Suppose I neglected to attach a slip coupler to the perforated pipe and only had 10 feet of it. Is it still possible to use this? Yes, however you will need to raise the depth of the field in order to get the same cubic feet of capacity
  • Nevertheless Question What is the best way to find out if something is legal in my state? This is a quick and easy approach that is unlikely to be appropriate for long-term usage in the majority of states. It is possible that the property owner and/or the installation will be penalized if this is uncovered. Question Is it possible to utilize two or three 275-gallon water totes instead, or a water tote and barrel combination? It doesn’t matter either direction you go. It’s best to utilize a single tote and a barrel as a digestion tank and a distribution box if you have only one tote. Question What is the purpose of filling the higher barrel with water? You fill the top barrel with water so that when sewage waste is introduced into the barrel, it flows into a sufficient amount of water to initiate the anaerobic digestion process. Question What is the best way to clean up this system? If there is enough bacteria in it, it will clean itself with minimal effort. If it starts to fill up, you may call a septic service to have it emptied
  • If it doesn’t, you can do it yourself. Question What is the correct grade slope of the drain field for every ten feet of length of the drain field? It is possible for the field’s bottom to be level. When running away from the drums, the pipe system should be sloped at 2 percent, or 2.5 inches every 10 feet. Question Is it possible for this system to freeze in the winter? And might I use antifreeze in the mix as well? Antifreeze will destroy the beneficial bacteria that are required for the process to function properly. The process is biological, and it will generate some of its own heat as part of the process. It’s always possible to dig a little deeper to gain a little extra insulation above it.

Question Is there anything that qualifies as “low usage”? 125 gallons per day is considered low use. Question Was the ‘y’ elbow on the first tank’s tank for any reason? Upon completion, is this left open or sealed? Do you think it would stink if you leave the door unlocked? The clean out requires a threaded cap or plug, which is included. Question I’m wondering how much water you put in it. “Fill” is the most important term. Repeat this process until the level of water in the drum no longer increases.

  • Is it still possible to use this method?
  • Question What is the best way to find out if anything like this is legal in my jurisdiction?
  • A fine will be levied on the property owner and/or the installer if this is discovered.
  • Whatever you want to call it is OK with me.
  • Question Exactly what is the purpose of soaking the upper barrel with water?
  • The bacteria in it will self-clean if there is a sufficient amount of bacteria in it.
  • Question Each 10 feet, what is the correct grade slope of the drain field to be followed by?
  • 2 percent, or 2.5 inches every 10 feet, is recommended for pipe systems away from the drums.
  • What about antifreeze?

Antifreeze will destroy the beneficial bacteria that are required for the process to function properly, so use caution. Due to the nature of the process, some heat will be generated by it. In order to provide extra insulation above it, it may always be excavated deeper.

VideoBy using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

  • The horizontal side of the “Y” links to the waste source, and it should be fitted with a connector that is compatible with the source supply line
  • Instead of using a 90° elbow, you should join two of them together to produce a U-shaped connection. In this manner, the end that is in the first barrel will be pointed towards the bottom of the tank, rather than the top. This should be reinforced with a short segment of straight pipe that is several inches deeper towards the bottom. Solids either float or sink depending on their density. They don’t seem to congregate in the middle. As a result, only the broken down liquid waste makes it to the second tank, and the solids are never seen again. The same procedure should be followed for each of the drainage pipes that originate from the second barrel. Just to be completely certain that no solids find their way into the global drain field, the waste is dumped into the first tank, with the solids settling to the bottom of the first tank. Whenever the liquid level exceeds the outfall to the second tank, it is drained into the tank below it. If there are any solids present, they will sink to the bottom. Whenever the liquid from the second tank reaches one of the two outfalls, it is transported to the gravel leaching field for dispersion. Most of the solids will liquefy over time and be scattered. Solids may accumulate at the top of the tank after many years, necessitating the removal of the solids. Thirty percent of the waste is absorbed into the earth, with the remaining seventy percent being dissipated by sunshine. It is important not to compress the soil since this would interfere with the evaporation process
  • The vertical side of the “Y” will be used to pump out the tank after it is entirely filled with solids
  • The depth of the trench should be proportional to the depth of the waste source line. If the line is deeper or higher than the one depicted, you will need to dig the trench deeper or shallower to suit the new line depth or height. It’s not that difficult to find out. In the event that you have a septic system that is too shallow, it may be more susceptible to damage. After a period, you may discover that the ground has sunk below the trench’s location. Fill it in with extra dirt and compact it
  • It is assumed that you are familiar with working with ABS plastic pipe. In addition, you must have the necessary tools to dig the trench (or be ready to put in a lot of effort).
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Warnings

  • This is a system with a relatively limited capacity. This is not intended to suit the demands of a big family or group of people. It is intended for use with a modest travel trailer and two individuals. In order to extend the life of this little septic system, it is recommended that you do not place anything else in it but water, trash, and toilet paper. You may have to pump the upper drum once or twice a year if you don’t do so. During the course of five years, the system depicted here will only require pumping twice. Do not drive through the area where the drums are located. When establishing a septic system, make sure to adhere to all applicable municipal regulations. It is against the law to establish a septic system without first obtaining a permission. In the permission, you can find information on the local regulations for installing a septic system. You should avoid situating a septic system too close to trees since tree roots will grow into your lines, block them, and eventually cause damage to your system.

Things You’ll Need

  • 3/4 or 1 1/2 crushed rock or blue metal
  • 80 square feet (7.4 m 2) of landscaping fabric
  • 9 cubic yards (6.9 m3) of 3/4 or 1 1/2 crushed rock or blue metal 55 US gal (210 L) plastic drums
  • 10 feet (3.0 m) of ABS plastic pipe with a diameter of 4 in (10 cm)
  • 4 in (10 cm) ABS 90-degree bend
  • 4 in (10 cm) ABS Y-bend
  • 3 ABS 45-degree bends with sizes of 4 in (10 cm)
  • 2 55 US gal (210 L) plastic drums A total of 40 feet (12 meters) of 4 inch (10 cm) perforated drain pipe
  • Two 4 inch (10 cm) diameter drain pipe couplers
  • And two toilet flanges with 4 inch (10 cm) diameters are included. PVC glue, two-part epoxy or silicone sealant, a level, and ten wood stakes are all required. 1 in (2.5 cm) thick wood block
  • Duct tape
  • 4 in (10 cm) ABS detachable cap
  • 1 in (2.5 cm) thick wood block

About This Article

wikiHow Staff Writer contributed to this article. This article was written in part by members of the wikiHow Staff. Our highly skilled staff of editors and researchers checks articles for correctness and completeness before publishing them. The work of our editorial staff is regularly monitored by wikiHow’sContent Management Team to ensure that each article is supported by reliable research and fulfills our high quality standards. A total of 2,323,265 people have looked at this article. Co-authors:53 The most recent update was made on January 15, 2022.

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  • Robert Clark is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom. The 18th of November in the year 2021 “Your strategy is simple to learn and use since it has been well described. Furthermore, it is advantageous to those who work part-time or on weekends.” more

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If you go purely by the language of the Internet on the matter, it appears that you are not permitted to be a homesteader want tobe until you fantasize about building a septic system out of 55-gallon barrels. I’m not sure how often they’re really constructed compared to how frequently they’re spoken about. In the beginning, I was apprehensive to utilize one since there were so many plans, but so few long-term reviews on the Secret Lair’s website. In any case, when long-time commenter Phssthpok brought it to my attention this morning, it gave me the impetus to accomplish something I’d been intending to do for quite some time.

  1. That said, I’ll point you that the instructions, in my opinion, include one significant error.
  2. Before you bury the barrels, you should make sure that they are completely filled.
  3. Mine has been in operating since sometime in 2011, and has never given me a single problem.
  4. My situation is ideal because I’m a single individual with no guests, making me the ideal test subject.
  5. I walked outside and dipped my probe into the higher tank, and my probe clunked straight to the bottom with absolutely little resistance.
  6. Everything is turning into soup fairly rapidly, and there are no solids accumulating in the pot.
  7. I recommend that anyone who is planning to build one of these take some time to learn how to lay out a leach field, because that is really the key to success.

I had to make some impromptu decisions that I now regret, but there isn’t even the slightest indication that anything is wrong. It appears to be draining properly. So, in my not so humble view, this is a good concept to pursue further.

About Joel

It appears that you are not permitted to be a homesteader want tobe if you do not fantasize about building a septic system from 55-gallon barrels, at least according to the language found on the Internet. Not sure how often they are really erected, but I doubt it’s anywhere like as frequently as they are discussed. At first, I was apprehensive to utilize one because there were so many plans but so few long-term evaluations on the Secret Lair’s website. In any case, when long-time commenter Phssthpok brought it to my attention this morning, it prompted me to take action on something I’d been intending to do for a long time.

  1. That said, I’ll point out that those instructions, in my opinion, contain a significant error.
  2. Before you bury the barrels, you should make sure that they are completely full.
  3. This particular one has been up and running since sometime in 2011, with no issues.
  4. My situation is ideal because I am a single individual with no visitors.
  5. I walked outside and plunged my probe into the higher tank, and my probe clunked straight to the bottom with absolutely little resistance.
  6. In there, nothing is forming solids since everything is turning to soup so rapidly.
  7. To anyone considering constructing one of these, I strongly advise them to research how to lay out a leach field, since it is the most important factor in achieving success.
  8. Apparently, it is draining quite well.

How to Build a Two-Barrel Septic System

Off-grid life frequently entails residing in rural places where there are few or no amenities accessible. We are left to fend for ourselves, which is generally the intention and not a problem in and of itself. Waste management is one of the most important tasks that the rural off-gridder has to deal with on a daily basis. Some methods exist, such as the Joseph Jenkins Humanure technique of composting waste material, which is quite effective. However, not everyone is on board with the idea of managing their own feces and waste products, and having company can present its own set of issues.

  • Installing a septic system may be the best option for you in this case.
  • ), but if you are diligent and attentive, you can build a tiny septic system that will manage a small cabin or trailer for one or two people with relative ease.
  • It is important not to put this in an area where it might contaminate groundwater or any other bodies of water without first consulting with someone who is knowledgeable about this.
  • No one at or linked with this site will be held liable for any actions made by visitors to this site as a result of reading the information included within this article.
  • The system displayed here is a tiny one, intended for limited usage by two individuals who do not have access to a laundry facility and who travel in a small travel trailer.
  • A certified site evaluation is necessary since the tank is significantly smaller than required and because the design is lacking several critical elements such as internal baffles.
  • In addition, the system we are developing here has a dispersion area that is approximately one-third the size of a big home.

Any property owners contemplating the installation of a system similar to this one should be informed that this system would not pass muster with any public health department in the United States, and that the owner may be liable to a substantial fine if the system was discovered in operation.

  1. Construct a ditch that is 4 feet wide, 26 feet long, and 3 feet deep. Make a complete assembly using all of the materials and pieces. See the “Things You’ll Need” list at the bottom of this page. Drill a hole in the top of each drum the same size as the outer dimension of the toilet flange pipe. It should be at the edge of the table. A saber saw is the most appropriate tool for this job. Each hole should be capped with a 4′′ toilet flange. To make two holes in the top side of the bottom drum, as indicated in the photo, cut them 45 degrees apart along a perpendicular line drawn from one hole on top to another hole on the other side. To make a hole in the upper drum opposite the hole at the top, as shown in the photo, cut one hole in the upper drum. The drum with one hole in the side should be placed at the far end of the trench. Adjust the cymbals’ pitch. There should be at least 4 inches of clearance between the top of the drum and the ground. For the location of the second drum in front of the first, dig a hole about one foot deeper than the first. Drill a little further into the hole specified in step 8 and fill with gravel until the 90-degree angle fits exactly between the hole in the top drum’s side wall and the toilet flange of the bottom drum
  2. 3 1/2′′ piece of 4′′ ABS pipe (nipple) cut to 3 1/2′′ in length and glued into one end of the 90 ell. Cut a second nipple about 2 1/2′′ long and attach it to the opposite end of the first. Check the fit between the two drums to ensure that they are in alignment. The end with the short nipple should be inserted into the upper drum of the drum set. It should resemble the photo in Step 9
  3. However, Glue the end of the 3 1/2′′ nipple into the toilet flange after you are certain that it will fit properly. We’ll take care of sealing the connection to the higher drum later on
  4. For now, just relax. Glue a “Y” to three and a half nipples and bend the left side of the “Y” at a 45-degree angle. Align the “Y” so that it meets the incoming waste line, then glue it into the toilet flange to complete the installation. Cut and glue (2) 2 1/2′′ nipples to the remaining two 45-degree bends at one end only, and insert them into the holes in the side of the bottom drum, as indicated in the photo in step 7
  5. Otherwise, repeat the process. The face of the two 45-degree bends should be perpendicular to the trench
  6. Otherwise, the bends will not work. Take a look at the photo in Step 7
  7. In the ground, pound a stake such that the top of the stake is level with the bottom of the 45-degree curve that emerges from one side of the bottom drum
  8. In the photo to the right, you can see how you tape the end of a 4 foot level with a 1 inch broad block
  9. The second stake should be placed a little more than 4 feet down the ditch from the first. Place the end of the level without the block on the first stake and the block on the second stake to complete the level without the block. When the block is on the second stake, continue to pound the stake down until the level indicates level. This means that the second stake is now 1 inch lower than the first, or 1/4 inch lower every foot. Continue this procedure until you have pegs throughout the whole length of the trench. Placing gravel in the trench until the tops of the stakes and the tops of the gravel are equal
  10. The gravel should now slope away from the drums at a 1/4-inch angle to the foot
  11. Place two sections of 10 foot 4 inch perforated drain pipe linked with a slip coupler in the center of the work area (holes down). Insert one end of the hose into the 45-degree curve of the bottom drum. Repeat the process on the opposite side. Using a level and block, inspect the drain pipes to ensure that the 1/4′′ slope is continuous along the length of the pipe. Make adjustments by adding or removing gravel from beneath the pipe. Lower and upper drums should be joined together by sealing the 45-degree bend and the 90-degree bend, respectively. Consider using a two-part epoxy. You may also use silicone caulk in this situation. For a completed look of the epoxy, go to the photo in step 6. You might want to consider utilizing flex pipe for this purpose, so that it will yield a bit as the earth changes
  12. Fill up the trench all the way up to the top of the bottom drum with the remainder of the gravel. Landscape cloth should be laid on top of the gravel. Thus, dirt will be prevented from soaking into the gravel. Using soil, fill up the remainder of the trench area, compacting it thoroughly to the original grade Fill the larger drum halfway with water.
See also:  How Much Water Should Be In Aerator Tank In Aerobic Septic? (Solution)

Tips

  • The digesting tanks are comprised of two 55-gallon polyethylene barrels that are connected together. The first tank is completely filled with waste, with the contents settling to the bottom. Whenever the liquid level exceeds the outfall to the second tank, it is drained into the tank below it. If there are any solids present, they will sink to the bottom. Whenever the liquid from the second tank reaches one of the two outfalls, it is transported to the gravel leaching field for dispersion. Over time, the vast majority of the solids will liquefy and disperse. After a couple of years, the solids may have accumulated to the point that the tank must be emptied
  • However, this is unlikely. After some time has passed, you may notice a settlement where the trench used to be. Fill up the gaps with more soil and compact with the tire of your automobile. Don’t drive over the area where the drums are located
  • It is assumed that you are familiar with working with ABS plastic pipe (plastic ABS pipe). In addition, you must have the necessary tools to dig the trench (or be ready to put in a lot of effort). The depth of the trench is proportional to the depth of the waste source line that it is encircling. If the line is deeper or higher than the one depicted, you will need to dig the trench deeper or shallower to suit the new line depth or height. It’s not that difficult to find out. (Note: If you dig a trench that is too shallow, your septic system may be more susceptible to damage.)
  • In order to pump solids out of the tank when it is entirely filled with solids, the vertical side of the “Y” will be utilized
  • The horizontal side of the “Y” will connect to the waste source and should be fitted with a connection that is compatible with the source supply line

Warnings

  • When installing a septic system, it is important to adhere to the local septic regulations. In the absence of a permission, it is unlawful to install or repair any type of wastewater treatment system. The permit will include any local regulations for the construction or repair of any type of wastewater treatment system. It is important not to position your septic system too close to trees since tree roots will grow into your line and cause it to clog (with roots), which will eventually cause damage to your system. This is a system with a relatively limited capacity. This is not intended to suit the demands of a big family or group of people. It is intended for use with a modest travel trailer and two individuals. Depending on how much you use the upper drum, you may only need to pump it once a year. In the last five years, the system depicted above has been pumped twice.

Things You’ll Need

  • (9) cubic yards of 3/4 or 1 1/2 crushed rock or blue metal
  • (80) square feet of landscape fabric
  • (2) 55 gallon plastic drums
  • (10) ft of 4′′ ABS plastic pipe
  • (1) 4′′ ABS 90 degree bend (also known as a street Ell)
  • (1) 4′′ ABS Y branch (also known as a Y bend)
  • (3) 4′′ ABS 45 degree bend
  • (4) 10 ft. length of 4′′ perforated drain pipe
  • (2) 4′′ drain pipe couplers
  • (2) 4 PVC glue, two-part epoxy or silicon sealant, a 1′′ thick wood block, duct tape, and a 4′′ ABS detachable cap for pumping out as necessary are all included.

Diy septic system? [Archive] – TexasBowhunter.com Community Discussion Forums

View the full version of this article: Do you want to build your own septic system? DAISYBELL 10:15 p.m. on January 10, 2010 Anyone have any suggestions for a septic system for our hunting trailer? We’re on a budget. The capacity would be limited to two people for around ten to twelve weekends a year, with no need for washing. There is no ground water within 200 yards of the property. That has the potential to be polluted. Thank you and God bless you. kyle1974 On January 10, 2010, at 9:19 p.m., I created one at a deer lease out of a pair of 55-gallon plastic barrels.

  • Mike Murphey 10:09 p.m.
  • 10:17 p.m.
  • We plumbed in a 4″ line 18″ from the top of a buried plastic 55 gallon drum, and then 4″ from the top, we plumbed in a 2″ drain line to the bottom of the barrel.
  • I’ve heard it’s still performing good after four years and several usage.
  • We did not use pea gravel in the drum since it was too heavy.
  • The drum will eventually fill with solids, but RID-X will be able to make that father in the future.
  • Take a look at this website.

mchildress 11th of November, 2010 at 1:26 a.m.

If you want to utilize the shower, installing a field or drain line, as Steve said above, will be really beneficial.

Four trailer pads with power and water were installed, which was a welcome improvement over the years of hunting without electricity and water.

Shake101 posted this at 6:27 p.m.

Here’s how to use 55-gallon barrels in the proper manner.

It was either pay to have the tanks pumped out and the system removed or risk getting punished.

Bubbabowhunter On January 11, 2010, at 9:43 p.m., On this one, I agree with gonehuntin.

However, they will not be harmed by what they do not know.

brianlg3101-11-2010, 09:50 PM We simply buried a 55-gallon plastic barrel and wrapped it in burlap to keep the sand out of the holes that we had bored in the side of the container.

The shower, of course, does not drain into it; only the toilet does so.

on the 12th of December, 2010 Black water is sent to a septic system, while grey (wash) water is discharged a considerable distance from the trailer.

In order to construct the septic tank, we utilized 55-gallon barrels.

It’s as simple as digging a hole large enough for the bale to be completely submerged.

Then, in the center of the bale, cut your septic exit line to remove it.

Cover the entire surface with dirt.

DAISYBELL 12th of January, 3:43 p.m.

Is there anyone in the Houston area that has had any experience with this?

Jayburl On January 12, 2010, at 8:08 p.m., Although not in Houston County, we have performed with drums in Cherokee County.

The plastic barrel performs admirably.

on the 18th of March, at 11:50 a.m.

(Melbourne time) onebig smith 3:22 p.m.

Because we’re in a very rocky area, this was a great hassle.

This was done after I piped into the hole and covered it with tin.

Then I trenched downhill a short distance from the hole to allow any extra water to drain away.

We’ve had as many as 15 people using it at the same time with no issues.

txcat4403 on 18-03-2010 at 11:43 p.m.

That individual is always engaged with septic-related activities.

canny It’s possible that AMI manufactures a perforated drain pipe.

I would make a T where the pipe links to the drum and raise the T up flush with the ground, then cover it with a standard sewage cap to complete the installation.

Regular applications of Ridx through the sewer cap should be sufficient to eliminate any solid buildup.

jrfan March 24, 2010 06:07 p.m.

TbarTodd-ty72903 25th of March, 2010 12:32 a.m.

Because we’re in a very rocky area, this was a great hassle.

This was done after I piped into the hole and covered it with tin.

Then I trenched downhill a short distance from the hole to allow any extra water to drain away.

We’ve had as many as 15 people using it at the same time with no issues.

This!

on March 25, 2010.

The drum is buried underground and receives only black water.

Ours is set up such that the inlet is approximately 18 inches above the outflow and 6 inches below the top of the drum.

Under normal conditions, water seldom makes it to the other end of the pipe, but by doing it this way, it can keep up with demand when it is over average.

bowhuntertx10-18-2013, 03:02 PM10-18-2013, 03:02 PM Anybody have any information on whether the black water exit on a travel trailer is a standard 4-inch pipe with a male thread?

I’m hoping to connect it to a pipe that will flow to a drum.

Thanks bowhuntertxOctober 18, 2013, 3:12 p.m.

The black water and grey water drains are connected together; how can I separate them so that just the black water drains into the drum?

Wiley71910-18-2013, 03:23 p.m.

NeuseOctober 19, 2013, 8:33 a.m.

Talon, October 21, 2013, 5:18 p.m.

Because we’re in a very rocky area, this was a great hassle.

This was done after I piped into the hole and covered it with tin.

Then I trenched downhill a short distance from the hole to allow any extra water to drain away.

We’ve had as many as 15 people using it at the same time with no issues.

It wouldn’t seem large enough if you knew how many times Big Smith travels in a day.

wheat February 21, 2014, 11:51 a.m.

wyliescrib 22nd of February, 11:50 p.m.

Two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment.

The only thing there was was a hole about two feet wide, four feet long, and three feet deep.

It was clear as soon as they started excavating that things would turn unpleasant.

There is absolutely nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to suggest that any garbage of any type ever existed in the pit.

nothing.

It was rather sandy, but we just dug a little deeper for the main pipe and followed the same route as before.

On June 26, 2014, at 5:42 p.m., Shinesintx posted a message.

jmangrem06-27-2014, 10:46 a.m.

There are obviously regulations governing this type of activity, and for good cause, and stranger things have happened than people getting arrested for posting things on the internet about themselves.

pigstika197806-27-2014, 12:45 p.m.

There are obviously regulations governing this type of activity, and for good cause, and stranger things have happened than people getting arrested for posting things on the internet about themselves.

This graveless field line is lightweight, and all that is required is a tank, pipe, and a method of digging the trench. This version of vBulletin® is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License (2000-2022) by vBulletin Solutions Inc.

septic system “homemade” for cabin in General Board

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.Hi, anyone of you installed your own septic system for your cabin? anyone use a 55gallon plastic barrel?Thanks for any help or suggestionSbishopLogged


Yep,I used two barrels.The first barrel is used to separate the solids,inlet is towards the top. Then I installed a pipe half way(this separates any thing that floats) down to feed the outlet tank.Pipe from the outlet tank to the fields comes out towards the top of the second barrel.I have been running this system for five years with no problems.This system is hooked to 40 foot of field.LoggedCase Skid Steer,Ford Backhoe,Allis WD45 and Burg Manual Sawmill


our camp system is 14 years old.Full Bath in camp.

  1. sinks and shower are piped out into a grey water dry well.
  2. System works amazingly well.
  3. All was left in place, bacteria was doing its job and didn’t want to mess w/ it.Logged

    At our cabin in WV we made our own tank.

  4. Made another concrete pad for the lid, punched in the inlet and outlet, painted the inside with epoxy paint and we have a nice tank that will not crush if someone accidently runs over it.JonLoggedImagine, Me a Tree Farmer.
  5. No problems with the drainfield since.
  6. Our out house has a plastic drum half buried in the cement floor with the seat mounted on it.
  7. Ezekiel 22:30

    Make sure you add a baffle (90 degree elbow turned downward)to all pipes going in and out of the tanks.Logged


    Our outlet from the tank is a T so if the lower inlet gets clogged the tank will fill up a few more inches and then flow into the top of the T.

Payday is on Fiday.

It all flows down hill.3.

Jon, Appalachian American Wannabe.


WOW you guys are luckyin Maine you have to have a soil scientist design a system.

just can’t take a chance.

I could drain off about 35 gals of water before it would back up into the sink.System works amazingly well.

All was left in place, bacteria was doing its job and didn’t want to mess w/ it.something I’m gonna try in the out house this year is called “Bio-Clean” promising?Logged”And if we live, we shall go again, for the enchantment which falls upon those who have gone into the woodland is never broken.””Down the Allagash.”by; Henry Withee


Our part of West Virginia is basically rocks with a little dirt mixed in.

We do not have a drainage problem.The inspectors don’t come that far off of the paved roads.LoggedImagine, Me a Tree Farmer.

Built a4 X 4 X 4 cedar tank for the privy.

all total $800 bucks even before the camp sills were laid.

But all legal thoughThe way this system was designed was for a kitchen sink and a shower, 25 gals a day.The water must be hand carried or hand pumped.I haul it from the house (3/4 mile) and pump it up using a $39.9912Volt pump I got from Harbor Freight into a 55 gal barrel up in the loft.

12 volt on demand water pump, open a faucet and the pump turns on 40 psi.

6 gallon propane water heater and Pex plumbing. Will be styling thenLogged”And if we live, we shall go again, for the enchantment which falls upon those who have gone into the woodland is never broken.””Down the Allagash.”by; Henry Withee


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