How much weight can a septic tank hold?
- Consider that unless you have installed a septic tank with a “vehicle traffic rated” or Highway Traffic Rated strength cover, a typical concrete residential septic tank, following the University of Minnesota design guide (as a typical standard) is built to carry the weight of the soil covering the septic tank and a vehicle wheel load of 2,500 lbs.
Can you walk on top of a septic tank?
Play. Children and pets can run and play safely on the grass above the drain field. Your family can walk on a well-maintained drain field without fear of encountering puddles of affluent and dangerous bacteria. Bicycles and tricycles are also acceptable because they are not heavy enough to compress or disturb the soil.
How much weight can a septic tank lid hold?
Consider that unless you have installed a septic tank with a “vehicle traffic rated” or Highway Traffic Rated strength cover, a typical concrete residential septic tank, following the University of Minnesota design guide (as a typical standard) is built to carry the weight of the soil covering the septic tank and a
What can you put on top of a septic field?
Put plastic sheets, bark, gravel or other fill over the drainfield. Reshape or fill the ground surface over the drainfield and reserve area. However, just adding topsoil is generally OK if it isn’t more than a couple of inches. Make ponds on or near the septic system and the reserve area.
Can you build a floating deck over a septic tank?
It is usually not a good idea to build a deck near or on top of a septic tank. Installing frost footings and applying deck loads over a septic tank could result in damaging the tank or waste lines. A punctured septic tank will create a terrible mess and an expensive problem.
Does hair break down in a septic tank?
Why Hair is a Such a Problem It’s composed of tough strands of proteins similar to those in your fingernails, and it’s not easily broken down by bacteria. Even if it doesn’t for years in your septic tank, it’ll almost certainly last for longer than the 24-48 hours that it sits in your septic tank.
Are dead animals good for septic tanks?
This is false. Rotting meat just adds unnecessary and foreign bacteria to your septic tank. At best, this will do nothing. At worst, bones and fur from a dead animal will clog up your system.
Is it normal for snow to melt over septic tank?
Generally speaking – melted snow over your septic tank is probably not a cause for concern. It’s actually a good sign that there is heat rising to the ground level – it shows that your tank is working right and it’s breaking down the solids.
Is it safe to drive over a concrete septic tank?
Can You Drive on a Septic Drain Field? No, driving over your septic drain field is similarly never ever recommended. As much as you are able to help it, prevent cars or heavy equipment (such as oil delivery trucks, swimming pool water trucks, cement mixers, and also the like) to drive straight over the field.
Can you drive skid steer over septic tank?
Driving over a drainfield can cause the drainage pipes to crack, and create leaks throughout the system. Leaks can cause the soil to collapse around the pipes, and cracks in the pipes will allow roots to invade the system – which can cause extensive damage.
Can you put anything over a septic field?
To maintain the integrity and longevity of your drainfield, you should never put anything heavy on top of any part of it. You shouldn’t even drive over the drainfield, as the vehicle can crush the drainfield lines. Heavy items cause soil compaction.
Why doesn’t grass grow over my septic tank?
Lawn grass species prefer moist, high pH soil, and direct sunlight. Growing grass over a septic tank can be challenging due to the acidic, low-pH soil resulting from sewage runoff into the leach field.
Can you put a greenhouse over a septic field?
A greenhouse can be erected on a septic field to grow certain types of plants. The greenhouse should not have permanent foundations, which could easily damage the septic system. Do not plant directly into the ground over a septic field, as the plants could absorb contaminants released by the system.
Can you put a concrete patio over a septic tank?
You should not build a patio over or near a septic tank. Septic tanks are not built to withstand the weight of a concrete slab or pavers and you risk damaging the tank or the waste lines. You should make sure there is a 5 foot distance between the edge of the septic tank and any heavy materials.
Can you build a patio over a leach field?
A common question homeowners ask when building a patio is, “can you build a patio over a septic field?” The answer to this question is no. The reason for this is that the weight of the concrete in the foundation will cause too much pressure on your septic system and can lead to flooding or a damaged septic tank.
Can you build over an abandoned leach field?
Overall, it is not recommended to build over your leach filed and you should also not put anything heavy on top of it, such as parking a vehicle.
Septic Tank Driveway
This residence was purchased around three years ago. It was constructed in 1993. The tank is located around 8 feet from the back of the house, precisely beneath the gravel path leading to the basement garage and workshop. The gravel path leading up to the front of the home is on the other side of the tank. I’m starting to be concerned about cracking this tank open. My kid is currently parking his modest car in the basement garage, which he built himself. Due to the fact that the cement cover had been shattered the last time I had it pumped out, I placed a 1/2 steel plate over the access hole (another stupid move on my part, I should have used aluminum).
My question is whether there is a method to pour a “bridge” or something similar over the tank to allow us to drive automobiles across it.
As a result, I was septic-illiterate when I purchased the house, and it didn’t occur to me that I could have an issue until later.
I’m not even going to mention the location of my drain field.
I think that could work, but I’m having trouble getting passed the riser concept.
Because the tank is around 2.5 feet deep, I don’t mind scooping dirt and gravel out of the cover.
Building Near and Over Septic Tanks
Posted on a regular basis In most cases, minimum setback rules imposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality (TCEQ) preclude the building of a new residence from occuring over any point of an existing sewage disposal system. Foundations, pools, property lines, wells, and other structures must be kept at a certain distance from the septic tank and drainfield in order to meet these setback requirements. It is possible that some homeowners will install objects such as patio decks or house additions over their systems, whether by accident or design.
Building over septic tanks
Construction of a building over any section of your septic system is not recommended. The most typical issue we see is when someone wants to pump out their septic tank but is unsure of where their tank is situated on their property. Tanks hidden beneath a hardwood deck, pool patio, driveways, or even room extensions are not unusual for us to discover and investigate. The majority of the time, this occurs because the homeowner is uninformed of the tank’s location and/or does not have a plan in place for future tank maintenance.
However, in this scenario, the homeowner will be able to pump out their septic tank because no permanent constructions should be constructed over any component of the system.
Building over drainfields
In order for the drainfield to function, water in the solids and some evapotranspiration must be absorbed. In order for bacteria in the soil beneath a drainfield to treat wastewater from a drainfield, the soil beneath the drainfield must have sufficient oxygen. However, if a permanent structure is constructed over a drainfield, it has the potential to reduce the amount of oxygen that can be absorbed by the soil and hence reduce evapotranspiration. The potential of causing the drainfield lines to collapse is a significant concern when constructing over them.
Depending on the age of your system and the restrictions of your local authorities, repairing or shifting your drainfield may need the installation of a whole new system.
We can assist you with any of your wastewater system needs, and our specialists can also assist you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Austin) (Boerne).
How Much Weight Can Drive Over a Septic Tank
The specific design of their septic tanks isn’t always known by the residents who own them. This is especially true if the home was constructed some years ago and has undergone a significant amount of alteration since then. Other times, the construction of a garage necessitates the use of the area above the septic tank as a driveway. Alternatively, it might be used as a parking space. However, the owners want to know if it would be able to withstand the weight. We’ve all heard stories about dump trucks collapsing into a septic hole that had caved in beneath the weight of the vehicle.
Would a lawnmower suffice in this situation?
It is suggested that no heavy machinery, equipment, automobiles, or recreational vehicles be driven or parked over the area in order to minimize damage or collapse of the septic system.
In general, it is preferable to restrict the amount of foot traffic or other activities on the mound in order to prevent soil erosion from occurring.
Is It Possible to Design a Sturdy Septic Tank Covering?
Whenever you inquire of an engineer about the feasibility of performing a task, the response is almost always affirmative. Engineers, after all, think that they can make anything work. They will, however, describe all of the difficulties that might arise as a result of the solution, out of respect for the truth and integrity. It is no different in the case of the septic tank covering. It is possible to construct a concrete slab on top of the septic tank. In addition, adequately built trenches might confine the whole pipeline from the home to the tank, if constructed correctly.
Nevertheless, does this give a complete assurance that an ordinary automobile may drive over it? No, not at all. Other considerations should be taken into account as well. This is the subject we’ll be discussing next.
Why We Don’t Recommend Using Fortified Lids
Concrete slabs, stainless steel covers, and other buildings on top of a septic tank are discouraged for several reasons, which we will list below.
Septic tanks require basic maintenance and inspection on a regular basis. It is also possible that repairs will be required from time to time. As a result, it is not suggested to place a heavy, fortified cover on top of the tank to protect it. It would only serve to discourage such procedures and make them more labor-intensive in the process. This, of course, results in increased costs.
Septic tanks are constructed to withstand the normal load of the soil that surrounds them. Even if a strengthened lid does not cause the tank to crash after it is placed, the persistent stress might cause tiny fractures and material fatigue over time. This type of small failure can occur over a lengthy period of time and goes unreported during a visual check. The actual danger is that a catastrophic breakdown may occur at any time. If the location is often hit by rain, the chances of success are significantly lower.
In addition, picture driving over a septic tank while carrying the additional weight of a vehicle.
Extra loads almost always result in leaks, breakdowns, or dislocations of some sort.
The consequences of this would be several issues in the future.
An integrated septic system is frequently used in residential construction. The weight of the tanks, as well as the characteristics of the soil, are taken into consideration. This necessitates significant testing in order to plan the suitable supports and select the most appropriate tank material for the particular site. A lightweight polyethylene or fiberglass tank should be used if the ground is too permeable to support a concrete tank. If the ground is too rocky, a concrete tank may be preferable, and so forth.
This frequently has an impact on the way the soil responds to the weight placed on top of it.
If there is a car driving or parked on top of the septic tank area, this might have serious effects for the environment.
It is possible for methane and other gases to accumulate in septic tanks from time to time. If the tank is not buried too deeply in the earth, these gases will frequently escape. A heavy lid, a concrete slab surface, or a wooden surface might all result in the trapping and accumulation of such gases in the environment. If there is a break, it might cause an irritating leak, and in a very unlikely case, the gases could burst and cause damage to the tank itself.
When it comes to safety, however, every possibility should be taken into consideration, and the appropriate countermeasures should be put in place to mitigate them.
Is It Worth the Trouble?
A common complaint among homeowners is that the space on top of the septic tank, as well as the space around it and the drain field, is entirely wasted space. As you may have seen, bright people are constantly attempting to make the most use of their resources, and these territories frequently fall within their purview of consideration. Use of the land on top of the septic tank for parking or as a road to a garage is something that happens rather frequently. Unfortunately, things don’t turn out nicely.
- It’s hardly impossible that the lawnmower may eventually make its way to that susceptible location.
- As previously stated, cracks develop over time as a result of wear and tear.
- In fact, we have heard of incidents when the lid of a septic tank caved in and the mower fell off during the fourth round of mowing.
- So you can make the calculations.
Replace a septic system might cost upwards of $15,000, depending on the situation. This is not a figure to be taken lightly, and it would be wise to proceed with extreme caution in this situation. It may appear to be a smart idea to park on top of a septic tank or to use this space as a driveway at first glance. Utilizing every square inch of the land is unquestionably cost-effective and smart. Risks, on the other hand, should be evaluated. This may come off as a bit of a cliche, but it is one that we really believe in.
So, if you’re wondering how much weight can force a septic tank over, the answer is: a lot.
Where’s my septic tank?
There are a few solutions available if the previous homeowner failed to supply this critical information or if you have misplaced your original copy:
- Your local DHEC office may have a copy of your building permit on file if your house was built within the last five years or fewer, according to the DHEC. A copy of a septic tank permit can be obtained from the local office by any individual or group, regardless of whether or not they own the land in question. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you have as much of the following information as possible ready at the time of your request.
- Number of the tax map
- Lot number
- Block number
- Address in the physical world
- When the system was installed or when the house was built (if this information is available)
- Name of the original permit holder (if any information is available)
- Name of the subdivision (if the property is located within a subdivision)
- You may also submit a request for a copy of the permission through our Freedom of Information office, although this is not mandatory. To obtain a copy through the Freedom of Information Office, please complete and submit a copy of the DHEC FOI form. Instructions are given with the application. If feasible, please include the information about the property that is stated above. When looking around your yard, search for manhole covers or lids that have been buried by grass or leaves if your house was constructed before 1990.
Septic Tank Alerts Septic Tank Alerts
Septic tanks should be drained every two to three years, according to our recommendations. This interval is intended to extend the life of your drainage system to the greatest extent possible. Remember that paying for routine maintenance is significantly less expensive than replacing your drainage system, not to mention the damage that will be done to your yard if you have to have it replaced.
Where is my septic tank located?
Locate the main drain exiting through the foundation in your basement by going down to the basement level (it will generally be a four inch cast-iron or PVC pipe).
Take a tape measure outdoors and measure 11′ out from the base of your home, at the point where the pipe enters the wall. Most of the time, your intake cover will be positioned here, around 6′′ to 2′ underground.
Can you help me located my septic tank?
Sure. If you are unable to locate your tank using the techniques described above, our specialists will most likely be able to locate it for you using a probe that they carry on their trucks. Alternatively, for a little cost, we may provide an electronic finding service using a flushable transmitter if the above method fails.
What is that gurgling noise I hear in my pipes?
Gurgling happens when air is drawn into the pipe at the same time that water is being drained away from the system. Unless it is accompanied by additional symptoms such as a sluggish emptying toilet or a clogged sink, you may usually disregard it without a second thought.
Should I get any smell from my septic system?
Septic systems do not emit any odors when they are performing as intended. If you have any restrooms, sinks, or drains that you do not use on a regular basis, try pouring water through them all to fill up any empty P-traps that may have accumulated. After attempting the above steps, check your vent stack (the little pipe that runs through your roof) to determine if there is a blockage.
Should my septic tank be full when I open the cover?
It should be near to the top of the container, but not protruding through the lid. Inlet and exit pipes should be visible at or above liquid level, although they should be seen only from a short distance above or below liquid level. We recommend calling us if you see that the water level has risen above the intake or exit pipes of your drain.
Why is there a wet spot in my yard?
Wet areas indicate that a drain field is not capable of managing all of the wastewater that is being directed into it. If you have been consuming an excessive quantity of water, you should have your septic tank flushed and keep an eye on your water consumption levels. Then you’ll need to contact us for a free quotation on repairing or replacing your drainage system.
How important is the outlet baffle in my septic tank?
The septic tank is unquestionably the most critical component of the entire system. If it is lost or damaged, you must get it repaired or replaced immediately. The exit baffle helps to prevent the drain field from being blocked with particles from the septic tank’s waste collection. Your drain field will fail if you do not have it, resulting in an extremely expensive repair.
Can I flush old medicine down the drain?
No. Antibiotics, in particular, should be avoided. Antibiotics kill bacteria, yet microorganisms are necessary for the proper functioning of septic tanks. Old medications can deplete your system’s resources even as quickly than excessive bleach.
Are water softeners safe?What about garbage disposals?
Both are completely safe as long as the remainder of your septic system is in excellent working order. Due to the fact that they both place additional pressure on your system, you should have your tank pumped every two years to assist keep your system running smoothly. Also, keep in mind that a lot of the things you put down the garbage disposal will not break down in your septic tank, so avoid using it too frequently. Coffee grounds should never be disposed of in the garbage disposal.
What is the difference between a leach field and a drywell?
It is made up of several long thin pipes or plastic chambers that are put in parallel lines to form a leach field. Each lateral line is approximately 50 feet in length, and a leach field will normally have between three and six of these lateral lines in total.
A drywell is a big cylinder of pre-cast concrete that has been perforated and is surrounded by crushed stone. Drywells are no longer often used these days due to the need for groundwater separation in most areas (they go too deep in the ground).
Are bacterial/chemical septic tank treatments a substitute for routine pumping?
No. While treatments can help to enhance the bacterial activity in the tank, they will not address the waste produced by the bacteria (sludge) or the oily film that builds on the tank’s surface (scum). Every couple of years, you should have your septic tank emptied to eliminate the layers that have built up.
Can I drive over my septic field?What about the septic tank?
In most cases, no. Lawn tractors are OK; however, virtually everything else is not. It is possible to do major damage to your drainage system by driving a pickup with a load of wood over your drain field. Don’t even think of driving your boat and trailer through it! It is also not recommended that septic tanks be driven across unless they have been built with a traffic carrying cover.
Can I install a deck over my septic tank?
In most cases, no. If you want to do so, make sure to leave the outlet side of the tank open for servicing and avoid breaking the tank when laying your footings.
Can I install an above-ground swimming pool over my leach field?
In no way, shape, or form. This will have a huge influence on your drainage and will almost certainly result in difficulties down the line. Never put anything permanent over your drainage area, including garden sheds and workshop structures, because it might cause flooding.
Why is the grass greener over my leach field?
Drought-resistant drainage fields provide a consistent supply of water and “fertilizer,” resulting in an ideal environment for the growth of lush, robust grasses.
What can I plant over/near my leach field?
It is recommended to use grass for this purpose, although any plants or flowers with shallow root systems can be used instead. You should avoid growing food crops for the sake of your personal health, and you should avoid planting plants or trees with large root systems since they can clog your drain field (this is known as root infestation).
Do you offer scheduled service or a reminder system?
Both are available from us. Depending on your circumstances, we may set up your account to get service on a regular basis with no further action necessary on your side, or we can phone and notify you when service is due on your system and you can choose when you would want it to be conducted at your convenience. In addition, we send out reminder letters to our home clients to inform them when their service is due.
Do you offer group discounts?
Yes. Please contact our office to discuss your specific circumstances and allow us to put together a tailored proposal for you to consider. Many homeowner’s communities, lake associations, condominium associations, and mobile home parks are now on our client list, and we’d love to add your organization to our growing roster of delighted clients.
Will a ride-on lawn mower hurt my drain field?
No. Your leach field will not be harmed by ride-on mowers or other lawn and garden maintenance equipment. However, vehicles such as automobiles, pickup trucks, and rubber-tired heavy equipment such as backhoe loaders should avoid it at all costs.
What kind of cleaners can I use?
You may use any sort of cleaner in your home; just make sure you don’t use too much of any one type of cleaning. Keep in mind that bacteria are required for your septic tank to function properly, and most cleansers are anti-bacterial. The tank can replenish the bacteria it need, but only if you don’t overload it with too much oxygen.
What materials/chemicals can I flush down the drain?
Because septic tanks rely on bacteria to break down waste, anything that kills bacteria can pose a problem if utilized in large quantities in the tank. If possible, reduce the quantity of bleach and other cleaning agents, as well as anti-bacterial soap, that you flush down the toilet.
Keep an eye out for toilet paper that states it is suitable for septic systems. Condoms, tampons, diapers, and cigarette butts should not be flushed since they will not decompose in your toilet tank.
My tank has a broken cover, what can I do about it?
Tank covers erode with time and finally fail completely. They may be changed with new concrete riser covers or with a plastic riser cover, depending on your preference. Call the office if you’d like to talk about your alternatives.
How many loads of laundry can I do every day?
A maximum of one load each day per bedroom would be the upper limit. It’s best if you can keep it to a minimum, and make sure to spread your washing out over the course of the week to avoid overloading your septic system.
What does the little pipe sticking out my roof do?
It is the vent pipe for the plumbing system in your home. It should be able to keep any scents out of your house. If it becomes obstructed or if the prevailing winds carry the odor back down around the house, please contact us immediately. To keep odors under control, charcoal filters are available for purchase.
Is there a significant difference in size between the AES or Enviro-Septic® System and a traditional system? The size of a typical AES or Enviro-Septic® System varies from state to state; nevertheless, you may expect a decrease in field size of at least 40% with an AES or Enviro-Septic® System. This should also result in a reduction in the cost of installation. Can you tell me how long the Enviro-Septic® Technology will last? The life expectancy of Enviro-Septic® Technology is unbounded if the system is properly designed, installed, and maintained throughout its service life.
- Is it necessary for me to be certified in order to design or install an AES or Enviro-Septic® system?
- Designing or installing an AES or Enviro-Septic® System in most states necessitates the completion of a certification program.
- Presby Environmental provides Enviro-Septic® Technology easy, self-paced, online (and DVD) certification training at no cost to both homeowners and septic professionals in an attempt to give product support to both groups.
- Contact Laurie Blodgett, CertificationTraining Assistant, at 800-473-5298 ext.
- Are AES or Enviro-Septic® Systems capable of being designed and installed by a house or business owner?
- Some states enable house and business owners to design and/or build their own septic systems, which they must obtain permission to do so.
- You must be an Enviro-Septic® installer or designer in order to attend an Enviro-Septic® Technology class.
For anyone interested in learning more about our system or pursuing certification, we offer complimentary training seminars.
Does your company provide design review and inspection seminars for AES and Enviro-Septic® to health officials and inspectors?
These lessons will be accessible both online and on DVD in the near future.
Regulations, health officers, and inspectors are welcome to participate in our online classes while waiting for the formal launch of the program.
The gallons per day (gpd) limit for a single bed or for a combination system varies from state to state and is determined by the approval that has been received for the installation.
Please refer to your state’s design and installation handbook for further information.
It is not necessary to alter the capacity of the AES or Enviro-Septic® System due to usage of a trash disposal if the tank is adequately designed for garbage disposal use and equipped with baffles.
This often necessitates the installation of a bigger septic tank (or many tanks) as well as more regular pumping.
Thank you for your cooperation.
The AES or Enviro-Septic® treatment bed size should be raised by 10% in this scenario, according to our recommendations.
Septic systems, on the whole, are not susceptible to freezing.
We have seen distribution boxes freeze as a result of incorrect venting or a lack of foam insulation, but this is extremely unusual and is more issue in northern New England and Canada than anywhere else in the world.
Yes, however effluent filters are not advised by Presby Environmental because of their proclivity to shut off the vital oxygen supply to the surrounding environment (even when they are properly installed and maintained).
If you are compelled to use an effluent filter by the state or local government, the effluent filter you choose must allow for the free passage of air.
Do I need to vent my AES or Enviro-Septic® system?
We suggest that all Enviro-Septic® Technology be vented, regardless of whether or not it is required by local laws.
Is it possible to utilize the roof vent as the high vent?
Is it possible to utilize a charcoal filter in conjunction with the AES or Enviro-Septic® System vents?
When Enviro-Septic® Technology is installed and maintained appropriately, it should not emit any objectionable odors.
In general, odor problems should be explored, and the underlying cause(s) should be identified and remedied.
This arrangement must be properly insulated if it is to be used in cold locations to avoid the d-box from freezing.
Above the AES Enviro-Septic® treatment field, what kind of plants can be grown?
There should be no trees planted within 10 feet of any part of the treatment field in order to prevent root infiltration from causing damage to the treatment field.
Additionally, if the drain field is not properly ventilated, a large amount of extra soil material placed over it might potentially suffocate the system.
Floor and roof drains, sump pumps, gutter systems, and other similar devices should not discharge into or near the system for the same reason.
Ground surface elevations above the treatment field should be “crowned” to avoid ponding of surface water on top of the treatment field.
Typically, the depth to which an AES or Enviro-Septic® System may be buried is limited by the depth to which the seasonal high water table or some other restricting feature can be encountered.
It is necessary that any system with a cover that extends beyond 18 inches be ventilated.
Only if it was intended to be used with H20 loading.
If your AES or Enviro-Septic® System was not intended and/or constructed to accommodate vehicular traffic, make every effort to reduce all vehicular movement across the treatment area to a bare minimal.
Use extreme caution with the following items, since they have the potential to compress soils and reduce oxygen availability in the system:
- Agriculture/grazing animals
- Construction equipment (mowing equipment is OK)
- And other items. The usage of snowmobiles, ATVs, motorbikes, and other similar vehicles on a regular basis
In the state of Massachusetts, a septic system inspection is needed on a yearly basis. What exactly is involved, and can a homeowner or company owner complete it? In the state of Massachusetts, all alternative technologies must be inspected on a yearly basis, according to state regulations. Inspection of an Enviro-Septic® System can be performed by anybody (even home and business owners) who has completed and earned certification from Presby Environmental, Inc. On the Massachusetts State Approval and Manual page, you may find further information.
- Is it necessary to glue the raised connectors together?
- However, it is strongly advised that they be glued together to guarantee that the connections remain joined during the backfill processes.
- Do I need to be concerned about this?
- In warm weather, the pipe will expand, and in cold weather, it will compress.
- It is not a reason for concern if the fabric falls short of attaining the fitting.
- A gap between the fabric and fitting will allow System Sand to bridge across exposed pipe perforations, which will prevent more System Sand from entering the pipe and suspended particles from exiting the pipe.
- System sand, fill, and extension areas should not be compacted using pneumatic tire equipment and/or mechanical compactors, since they might cause damage to the equipment.
- What is the significance of System Sand?
- Using the proper kind and amount of System Sand while creating the System is crucial to ensuring that the System performs at its peak performance levels.
See our technical bulletin for a more in-depth overview of System Sand functionalities as well as the necessity of having a sieve analysis of your system.
Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems
For further information, please contact Jackie Littlepage, Director of Environmental Health and Health Inspector, at (719) 427-0179 or OWTS Regulations: (719) 427-0179.
- 2018 Lake County On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Regulation
- Colorado Regulation No. 43 – On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Regulation
- 2018 Lake County OWTS Regulation
OWTS/Septic Permits: BEFORE INSTALLING OR REPAIRING AN OWTS, YOU MUST BE LICENSED TO INSTALL. List of OWTS Contractors that are licensed in Lake County To be valid, all permit applications listed below must be filed electronically using the links provided. What you may anticipate is the following: There is a $10 processing charge for these applications, which are submitted through a website named Skipthepaper.com/OnlineRME. The costs include the cost of Lake County Government’s usage of the OnlineRME database, paperless forms, and payment gateway fees, which are all included in the rates.
There are two charges: one to Lake County Government and one to OnlineRME for the process.
In addition, you will receive a confirmation email.
- Major repairs, such as tank replacement, STA repairs alone, or bedroom additions/remodels, cost $600 in addition to the permit price. All Require Engineers design work is included, as are up to three LCPHA inspections
- And $800 for new construction Engineers are required to design the project, which requires up to three LCPHA inspections.
- $20.00 permit plus charge – SMALL REPAIR Modest repairs include the installation of risers and/or tank lid replacements, cleanout replacements, and very minor straight sewer pipe replacements of five feet or less in length, for which the contractor will submit a plan of work as well as before and after images to the LCPHA. Permit and charge totaling $300 – MINIMAL REPAIRS Pump replacements, sewage pipe replacements with joints, sewer pipe replacements with parts five feet or longer in length or sections needing encasements, and sewer pipe replacements with joints are examples of small repairs. The contractor will provide a scope of work as well as before and after photographs. LCPHA will conduct one inspection on each of these. It is expected that minor repairs will merely replace existing components and will not alter the way the system was originally meant to work.
Do you have a septic system on your property that you want to sell? You must submit an application for a transfer of title to the property. An inspection of an on-site wastewater treatment system (OWTS) is required by Lake County for any property owner who owns a residence or other building served by an On-Site Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS). The inspection must demonstrate that the septic system is in good working order before the property can be sold or transferred.
- Examined by a NAWT-certified inspector, the OWTS should be examined. OWTS pumpers and TOT inspectors can be found here. The owner, transferor, or real estate agent can file a Transfer of Title application by clicking on the link provided below. Transfer of Title (TOT)Application for real estate sales with OWTS=$50 plus a ten-percent (10%) processing charge
Installation and repair of OWTS/Septic Systems require a license. Because of COVID19, all testing must be completed online. The following are the steps to becoming a licensed OWTS installer/repair contractor in Lake County:
- Create an account using the email address that you will use to apply for the exam and to perform OWTS business with Lake County, and log in. Submit a test application using the same email address that you used to register for an account (the email address MUST be the same)
- $55 plus price for both the State Part A and the Lake County Part B Exams
- $25 plus fee for only the Lake County Part B Exam (you must have passed the State Part A Exam and be listed on the Colorado OWTS Installer Part A Exam.Study Reg. 43 and Lake County Reg
3. Examine Regulation 43 and Lake County Regulations. Allow yourself 4 hours to finish both A(state) and B(state) tasks (Lake County). The State Installer Exam Part A consists of 62 questions, while the Lake County Installer Exam Part B consists of 20 questions. If you do not login to finish the exam, you will receive an email from skipthepaper.com urging you to do so. Please keep an eye out for emails from Skipthepaper.com in your spam folder. If your application is accepted, you will have 30 days to go into your skipthepaper.com account and begin working on your test application after receiving the email notification.
- This URL can only be used once.
- You will only have 4 hours to complete the exam before the link is removed from the website.
- You will be unable to take the exam and will be required to reapply for the exam and pay the costs once again.
- Because the test is open book, please refer to State Regulation 43 as well as Lake County OWTS rules if necessary.
- Please be patient as the reaction to COVID19 has resulted in delays in the grading and awarding of licenses.
- Licensing for Contractors and Installers Individuals involved in the profession of checking, installing, upgrading, constructing and chemically treating as well as remodeling and repairing are considered to be testers.
- Employees of a qualified Systems Contractor are not required to hold a separate individual license.
- Proper septic system care and maintenance are essential for maintaining the public’s health and conserving the environment’s precious water resources.
- Maintenance and servicing of a home’s septic system are important since failure to do so can result in clogged pipes and overflowing sewage, which can result in expensive repairs, contaminated local waterways, and potential dangers to public health and the environment.
By taking a few short, basic measures to care for their home’s septic system, homeowners can contribute to the health of their neighborhood and the health of their local waterways, while also avoiding potentially expensive septic system repairs that can arise if the system is not properly maintained.
Residents may contribute to the cause by following these SepticSmart recommendations:
- Homeowners should have their system examined by a professional contractor every three years, and they should have their tank pumped as often as required, which is usually every three to five years. Don’t flush fats, grease, and sediments down the toilet, since these substances can clog the pipes and drainfield of a system. Instruct guests to only flush things down the toilet or down the drain that belong there. Disposable diapers and wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, and cat litter are all examples of materials that can clog and potentially harm septic systems. Make use of less water and space out your water use. Consider repairing plumbing leaks and installing faucet aerators and water-efficient appliances that have the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense designation, as well as spreading out laundry and dishwashing loads throughout the day to conserve water. If a system hasn’t been pumped in a while, a large amount of water at once might cause it to become overloaded. Inform guests that they should not park or drive on a drainage system’s drainfield, since the weight of the vehicle might damage buried pipes or impede subterranean flow.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s SepticSmart program promotes good septic system care and maintenance throughout the year, assisting in educating homeowners about the importance of periodic septic system repair as well as correct daily system use. Not only does SepticSmart assist in the education of homeowners, but it also acts as an online resource for industry practitioners, local governments, and community groups, giving them with access to resources that can be used to further educate their customers and constituents.
For additional information on where to get WaterSense Products in your region, please visit this page.
Can You Build a Deck Over a Septic Field?
Image courtesy of Eric Vega/E+/Getty Images & Images.
In This Article
- What a Septic Field Does
- How a Septic Field Works with Structures
- What Kind of Plants and Trees Are Appropriate for Septic Fields
- What Kind of Plants and Trees Should Be Avoided
You can enjoy the outdoors in complete comfort when you have a raised deck. If, on the other hand, the greatest location for a deck is directly over the septic field, you might reconsider your intentions for enhancing your property. An effective septic drain field requires exposure to sunlight and air movement to allow liquids to soak through the soil and evaporate into the atmosphere. In addition to interfering with the two tasks, a deck has the potential to reduce the lifespan of the septic system and drain field.
For a septic field to work correctly, it requires air movement and sunlight. A deck interferes with both, making that particular location an unsuitable location for a deck or any other construction. Septic systems are a type of sewage treatment and disposal system that is commonly seen in rural and semi-rural settings. It is necessary to transport all of the liquids and waste from the home into a tank. The solids sink to the bottom of the container and liquids disseminate into an aleach field, which is also known as a drain field or aleach field.
After flowing from the septic tank into the drain field, liquids slowly soak into the soil and evaporate into the air as they pass through the system.
Structures and Septic Fields
It is not advisable to build a deck or other building on top of a drain field. A deck provides protection from the sun and restricts air movement. Even if the supports are set with care between the leach lines, you run the chance of destroying the field, which is an expensive error that affects the entire household while the system is being fixed or replaced. An additional disadvantage of a deck is that it limits access to the septic system, which includes the concrete or polyethylene tank, which should be examined every three years and emptied every three to five years.
Because of the additional dirt in a raised bed and the base of a shed, a substantial amount of weight is added to the field, which can cause the pipes to get damaged and interfere with evaporation from the ground.
Plants Appropriate for Septic Fields
While constructing a deck or other structures to the property is not permitted due to the septic field’s design, creating a wildflower meadow or lawn is. Shallow-rooted grasses and flowers absorb moisture and nutrients from the leach lines, increasing the ability of the system to distribute the wastewater into the environment and reduce the amount of time it takes. Wildflowers such as native grasses and clover that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as poppies and salvias, as well as a range of other flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, improve the scenery while preventing human activity over the septic field.
Planting deeper-rooted plants, shrubs, and certain trees along the perimeter of the septic field is permissible as long as they are kept at least 10 feet away from the drainfield lines.
Make use of smaller shrubs and trees, such as crepe myrtles, blooming cherries, and dogwoods, and place them at a distance that is equal to or more than their maturity height.
Plants and Trees to Avoid
Planting water-loving plants in close proximity to septic fields is discouraged. While the roots of most trees spread out to around twice the width of the canopy, the roots of willow trees seek find water to the extent that they spread out three to four times the average root spread of other species. Beech, elm, and red maple trees are among the other species that should not be planted near a septic system, according to the EPA. Planting a vegetable garden above drain lines is not recommended, even if the field is the sole sunny location in the environment.
Furthermore, avoid growing bulbs in the drain field, since this will need the digging of holes in the overlying soil.
Florida Department of Health in Martin
The FDOH-Martin County grants permits and conducts inspections for the following activities:
- The installation of all new and repaired septic systems
- Renovated structures
- Structures that are slated for renovation Units for aerobic therapy
- Businesses that are engaged in industrial, manufacturing, or commercial activity are classified as Pump trucks for septic tanks
More information about septic systems may be found at the following websites: On-Site Sewage Treatment by the FDOH Martin County Code: information on codes and their application. “septic” is a search term. Access to a septic system and a well Detailed information on your property: Locate your septic system or well and mark its position. Use Ebridge Solutions to complete the following steps: Ebridge Public is the name of the user account. public is the password (password is lowercase) Martin County has a filing cabinet.
- Select the appropriate permit type from the drop-down menu at the top of the page by clicking Retrieve at the top of the page. There are two (2) categories to choose from: Septic System and Well
- You must provide the property address (house number), street name (without north, east, west, or south), and any additional information such as the lot, block, and subdivision in the appropriate fields. Ordinarily, putting only a house number is a good idea since it will bring up two or three houses for you to pick from
- However, including a street address is also a good option.
Once you have gained access to information on your property, you will be able to rotate the site plans by clicking on the buttons at the top of the page.
Moreover, you have the option to print off your data or send it to your contractor by e-mail. We have thousands of permits that have been submitted. Updates will be made on a regular basis. We encourage you to call us at 772-221-4000, option 5, if you are having trouble locating your permission.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
OWTS/Septic System Types
On-site wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) are available in a variety of configurations. OWTS (sometimes referred to as “septic systems”) are systems that treat residential sewage and wastewater on-site. The wastewater will ultimately dissipate back into the environment, and in order to safeguard groundwater, it should be filtered and treated to a specific level of purity. Specific project and site conditions will indicate which OWTS will be the most effective in a given situation. These qualities are discovered by a procedure known as aSite Evaluation.
An OWTS can also be classified as a Non-dispharging Wastewater Disposal Unit, which is a self-contained waterproof container that is meant to retain wastewater until it is pumped and/or cleaned.
Please refer to the Yolo County OWTS Manual for information on all forms of OWTS and related regulations.
For all forms of OWTS, even the simplest, operation, monitoring, and maintenance (OM M) are required to be carried out. Information about OM M may be found on our OM M homepage. What’s the difference between a Standard OWTS and an Alternative OWTS, and how do I tell the difference?
- Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS) are available in a variety of configurations. Domestic sewage and wastewater are treated on-site by OWTS (sometimes known as “septic systems”). In order to conserve groundwater, wastewater must first be filtered and treated according to a certain standard before being released back into the environment. Specific project and site conditions will decide which OWTS will be the most effective in a particular situation. These traits are discovered using a technique known as aSite Assessment. There are two (2) basic varieties of OWTS, which are distinguished by their characteristics: the Standard System and the Alternative System. There is also a third form of OWTS known as a Non-dispharging Wastewater Disposal Unit, which is a self-contained, waterproof container meant to retain wastewater until it is pumped and/or cleaned away. There are several limitations to the use of these kinds. The Yolo County OWTS Manual contains information on all forms of OWTS and related regulations. It is required for all forms of OWTS, even the simplest, to include an operational monitoring and maintenance system (OMM). For additional information, please visit our OM M homepage. What’s the difference between a Standard OWTS and an Alternative OWTS, and how can you tell the difference?
Standard OWTS are designed by a licensed contractor or a Qualified Septic Designer; they are installed by a qualified contractor or by the property owner; and the homeowner is responsible for the continuing operation, monitoring, and maintenance (OM M). Please see the link below for an OM M handout.
- THE ALTERNATIVE: When a normal OWTS is not feasible due to site constraints or project constraints, an alternative OWTS is required. System components that produce higher-quality effluent and/or a more effective technique of wastewater distribution that results in improved wastewater treatment as compared to a conventional system make up an enhanced wastewater treatment system. The following are examples of alternative systems:
- Systems that are designed to create higher-quality wastewater effluent while also providing greater performance in the event that a conventional system is not acceptable are known as Supplemental Treatment Systems. It is possible to disperse wastewater using a method other than gravity distribution using dispersal fields. This comprises pressure distribution systems as well as drip dispersal systems beneath the surface of the ground. Subsurface drip dispersal is a technology that is only applicable to treated wastewater. In addition, due to their size, complexity, or advanced degree of review and approval, other system types might be considered as alternatives.
To ensure proper operation and maintenance of alternative systems, they must be planned and installed by a Qualified Septic Designer, and an annual Operating Permit with continuing monitoring and maintenance from a certified Service Provider may be necessary. What are some of the numerous sorts of Alternative OWTS options available?
- Supplemental Treatment Systems (STS): These are alternate on-site wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) that are meant to provide a higher quality wastewater effluent prior to land application. These systems are intended to alleviate soil and/or groundwater problems that make a parcel unsuitable for a typical system on the property. An annual Operating Permit is required for them. The following are examples of Supplemental Treatment Systems:
- Patented Treatment Units: Units/components that have been approved for production or “package” distribution and that are especially designed to offer increased treatment and produce effluent that meets a preset standard prior to dispersal to land. Media filters and Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are the two most common types of units found in wastewater treatment facilities. (Some proprietary devices installed in Yolo County include: AdvanTex, Hoot, and Presby AES, to name a few.) This is not an exhaustive list of possible cases)
- Septic tank effluent is treated in a single pass via an Intermittent Sand Filter (ISF), which is a packed-bed filter made of medium-grained sand and designed for one pass-through treatment. The term “single pass filter” is sometimes used to refer to this type of filter. These kind of systems are uncommon in Yolo County. Using coarse-grained sand and a recirculation system, a Recirculating Sand Filter (RSF) causes the effluent to pass through the sand medium numerous times before reaching the final dispersion stage. These kind of systems are uncommon in Yolo County. Raised Sand Filter Bed: Also known as a “bottomless sand filter,” a raised sand filter bed is used to filter water. The ISF and the Mound System are combined into one system. This technique is designed to be used exclusively for repairs or replacements when alternative choices are not available due to the constraints of the location.
Patented Treatment Units: Units/components that have been approved for production or “packaging” and which have been particularly developed to offer increased treatment and produce effluent that meets a preset standard prior to dispersal to land. Media filters and Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are the two most common types of unit. (Some proprietary equipment installed in Yolo County include: AdvanTex, Hoot, and Presby AES, to name a few examples.) It should be noted that this is not a comprehensive list of instances.
Singular pass filter is a term that is sometimes used.
Using coarse-grained sand and a recirculation system, a Recirculating Sand Filter (RSF) causes the effluent to pass through the sand medium numerous times before reaching the ultimate dispersion point.
In certain circles, the term “bottomless sand filter” is used to refer to an elevated sand filter bed that does not contain any sand.
When alternative solutions are unavailable due to the location, this approach is designed to be utilized solely for repairs or replacements.
Media filters and Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are the two most common types of units.
This is not an exhaustive list of examples); Septic tank effluent is treated in a single pass through an Intermittent Sand Filter (ISF), which is a packed-bed filter made of medium-grained sand.
In Yolo County, these kind of systems are quite unusual.
In Yolo County, these kind of systems are quite unusual.
ISF and Mound System characteristics are combined in this system. This technique is designed to be used exclusively for repairs or replacements when other choices are unavailable due to the constraints of the location.
|Supplemental Treatment Units:Proprietary Aerobic Units used to “clean” effluentprior to discharging to the land. (Shown here: Hoot unit).||Electrical Panel (Shown here: HOOT panel).|
|Supplemental Treatment Units:Proprietary Media Filter Units used to “clean” effluentprior to discharging to the land. (Shown here: Advantex units).||PD Mound after supplemental treatment: Squirt test inspection – prior to backfill – to verify orifice placement and correct pressure.|
|Supplemental Treatment Unit:Installation of a proprietaryATU (passive) with additional sand media filtration in the dispersal field. (Shown here: Presby AES).||Installation of Subsurface Drip Dispersal: (black) drip tubing – look to right of (white)lateral pipe. The green tape is tracer wire ribbon, so the lateral can be found in the future.|
|Mound System dispersal (background) after supplemental treatment. Valve (foreground) allows for automatic bed rotation.||Standard System – installed on a hillside.Gravity dispersal from tank (foreground) to dispersal field (background).|
|Pressure Distribution piping on a mound prior to backfill.Orifice caps (shown) cover the holes drilled into pipe.||Pressure Dispersal into trenches from septic tank/pump tank: Squirt test inspection – prior to backfill – to verify orifice placement and correct pressure.|