The 7 Steps For How Septic Tank Systems Work
- Wastewater flows from the house into the septic tank.
- Anaerobic bacteria living inside it start breaking down some of the waste.
- Solid waste (inorganic material) sinks and liquid waste (oils, fats, grease) rises.
- The wastewater seeps into the drain field*
What is a Class 2 septic system?
- Class 2 sewage systems are systems that receive only grey-water which comes from plumbing fixtures such as sinks, showers, or laundry machines. They are not to be used for the disposal of toilet waste. Leaching pits are used to treat and dispose of the grey water.
What are the three basic parts of a septic tank?
Septic tank – Household waste receives primary treatment in the septic tank, an anaerobic environment, and separates into 3 layers; a sludge layer, a clear zone, and a scum layer.
What are the basics of a septic system?
A typical septic system consists of a septic tank and a drainfield, or soil absorption field. The septic tank digests organic matter and separates floatable matter (e.g., oils and grease) and solids from the wastewater.
What is the average time to empty a septic tank?
A common question people ask is how long it takes to empty a septic tank. The answer to this varies, depending on the process you use. On average, the process takes up to 20 minutes if you have professional equipment.
What are the signs that your septic tank is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
What are the five main parts to a septic system?
Septic Components: Septic Tank
- Tank Components:
- Inlet Sanitary “T” = All septic tanks have an opening for the waste to enter the tank and another one for the waste to exit the tank.
- Outlet Sanitary “T”
- Effluent Filter.
- Scum Layer.
- Liquid Effluent Layer.
- Sludge Layer.
- Tank Maintenance.
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.
Does shower water go into septic tank?
From your house to the tank: Most, but not all, septic systems operate via gravity to the septic tank. Each time a toilet is flushed, water is turned on or you take a shower, the water and waste flows via gravity through the plumbing system in your house and ends up in the septic tank.
How do I clean my septic tank naturally?
You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!
What to do after septic is pumped?
After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.
- 1) Get on a Schedule.
- 2) Take Care of the System.
- 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
- 4) Check Other Possible Issues.
How long does it take for a 1000 gallon septic tank to fill up?
A family of four will fill the 300-gallon storage volume of a 1,000-gallon septic tank in about 1.5 years. By making adjustments in this analysis for adults working outside of the home a third of the time and children going to school, it is easy to conclude that a septic tank should be pumped every two to three years.
How often do I need to pump my septic tank?
Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year.
How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?
For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.
How do I check my septic tanks sludge level?
To measure the sludge layer:
- Slowly lower the tube into the septic tank until it touches the bottom of the tank.
- As the device is slowly pulled out of the water, the check valve closes capturing a liquid/solid profile of the septic tank water. The thickness of the sludge layer can be measured.
How do you know if your septic system is failing?
The first signs of a failing septic system may include slow draining toilets and sinks, gurgling noises within the plumbing, sewage odors inside, continuing drainage backups, or bacteria in the well water. The area of the strongest odor will point to the location of the failure in the septic system.
What is the most common cause of septic system failure?
Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.
7 Steps For How Septic Tank Systems Work
7 Steps to Understanding How Septic Tank Systems Work How Do Septic Tank Systems Work? There are seven steps to follow.
How Do Septic Tank Systems Work?
In the vicinity of a sewage tank, the grass is usually greener. In this case, we’re talking about a healthy green, not a “radioactive mutant-Hulk monster.” The primary function of a septic tank is to clean polluted household water that is discharged from bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other sections of your home into the surrounding environment. This water is then filtered and returned to the surrounding environment, where it is completely cleansed. Septic tank systems function in the following ways:
- Gravity is used to transfer wastewater
- A holding tank is used to retain wastewater
- Anaerobic bacteria are found inside the tank
- Drain fields are found outside the tank
Let’s take a look at the seven real phases that a septic tank system goes through. The video below demonstrates how the procedure works, and the steps are listed below the video as well. You may learn more about septic tanks in Hawaii by reading our guide on septic tanks in Hawaii.
The 7 Steps For How Septic Tank Systems Work
- Wastewater is discharged from the residence into the septic tank. A portion of the trash is broken down by anaerobic bacteria that live within the container. Solid garbage (inorganic stuff) sinks to the bottom of the ocean, whereas liquid waste (oils, fats, and grease) rises. It is possible that wastewater will flow into the drain field*. Aerobic microorganisms are used to further treat this effluent. Drainage of the now-clear water into the groundwater system As soon as the septic tank is completely filled, contact a contractor to come pump out the waste.
* A drain field is a small area near the tank that is constructed of pipes with holes in them that are buried in gravel and then covered with earth and vegetation.
Knowing How Your Septic System Works
It is critical to understand how a septic tank system operates. Due to a lack of knowledge, your system may fail, resulting in significant damage to your property. You may feel more confident in installing a septic tank in your Hawaiian house now that you understand how they function. You may find out more about our septic tank installation services.
How Does a Septic Tank Work?
You may save a lot of money if you understand how a septic tank works—and what might go wrong—so that you can take care of your own septic system maintenance.
How does a septic tank work?
Pumping the tank on a regular basis eliminates sludge and scum, which helps to keep a septic system in good working order. It is possible for a well-designed and well built septic system to last for decades, or it might collapse in a matter of years. It is entirely up to you as long as you can answer the question of how do septic tanks function. Healthy septic systems are very inexpensive to maintain, but digging up and replacing a septic system that has completely collapsed may easily cost tens of thousands in labor and material costs.
It’s critical to understand how a septic tank works in order to maintain one.
Let’s take a look below ground and observe what happens in a properly operating septic system, shall we?
Understand that a septic system is a cafeteria for bacteria
Bacteria are responsible for the proper operation of a septic system. They decompose garbage, resulting in water that is clean enough to safely trickle down into the earth’s surface. The entire system is set up to keep bacteria healthy and busy at all times. Some of them reside in the tank, but the majority of them are found in the drain field. 1. The septic tank is the final destination for all waste. 2. The majority of the tank is filled with watery waste, referred to as “effluent.” Anaerobic bacteria begin to break down the organic matter in the effluent as soon as it enters the system.
- A layer of sludge settles to the bottom of the container.
- Scum is mostly constituted of fats, greases, and oils, among other substances.
- Grease and oils float to the surface of the water.
- (5) A filter stops the majority of particles from reaching the exit pipe.
- The effluent is discharged into the drain field.
- Effluent is allowed to leak into the surrounding gravel because of holes in the drain septic field pipe.
When gravel is used to surround pipes, water can run into the soil and oxygen can reach germs. The garbage is completely decomposed by aerobic bacteria found in gravel and dirt. 9. Potable water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer system from the surface.
Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system
Septic systems that have been correctly planned and constructed require just occasional ‘pumping’ to remove the sludge and scum that has built up inside the tank. However, if you don’t understand how a septic tank works, you may unintentionally hurt or even destroy the system.
- Drains are used to dispose of waste that decomposes slowly (or not at all). Cigarette butts, diapers, and coffee grounds are all known to cause issues. Garbage disposers, if utilized excessively, can introduce an excessive amount of solid waste into the system. Lint from synthetic fibers is emitted from washing machine lint traps. This substance is not degraded by bacteria in the tank and drain septic field. Bacteria are killed by chemicals found in the home, such as disinfecting cleansers and antibacterial soaps. The majority of systems are capable of withstanding limited usage of these goods, but the less you use them, the better. When a large amount of wastewater is produced in a short period of time, the tank is flushed away too quickly. When there is too much sludge, bacteria’s capacity to break down waste is reduced. Sludge can also overflow into the drain field if there is too much of it. Sludge or scum obstructs the flow of water via a pipe. It is possible for tree and shrub roots to obstruct and cause harm to a drain field. Compacted soil and gravel prevent wastewater from seeping into the ground and deprive germs of oxygen. Most of the time, this is caused by vehicles driving or parking on the drain field.
Get your tank pumped…
Your tank must be emptied on a regular basis by a professional. Pumping eliminates the accumulation of sludge and scum that has accumulated in the tank, which has caused the bacterial action to be slowed. If you have a large tank, it may be necessary to pump it once a year; but, depending on the size of your tank and the quantity of waste you send through the system, you may go two or three years between pumpings. Inquire with your inspector about an approximate guideline for how frequently your tank should be pumped.
…but don’t hire a pumper until you need it
Inspections and pumping should be performed on a regular basis. However, if you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may verify the sludge level yourself with a gadget known as The Sludge Judge. It ranges in price from $100 to $125 and is commonly accessible on the internet. Once you’ve verified that your tank is one-third full with sludge, you should contact a professional to come out and pump it out completely.
Install an effluent filter in your septic system
Garbage from your home accumulates into three distinct strata. The septic filter is responsible for preventing blockage of the drain field pipes.
Septic tank filter close-up
The septic tank filter is responsible for capturing suspended particles that may otherwise block the drain field pipes. Obtain an effluent filter for your tank from your contractor and place it on the outflow pipe of your tank. (It will most likely cost between $50 and $100, plus labor.) This device, which helps to prevent sediments from entering the drain field, will need to be cleaned out on a regular basis by a contractor to maintain its effectiveness.
Solution for a clogged septic system
If your septic system becomes clogged and you find yourself having to clean the filter on a regular basis, you might be tempted to simply remove the filter altogether. Hold on to it. Solids, wastewater, and scum are separated into three levels in septic tanks, which allows them to function properly (see illustration above). Solids sink to the bottom of the container, where microbes breakdown them. The scum, which is made up of trash that is lighter than water, rises to the surface. In the drainage field, the middle layer of effluent leaves the tank and goes through an underground network of perforated pipes to the drainage field.
- Keep the effluent filter in place since it is required by your state’s health law.
- Waste particles might flow through the filter and clog the perforated pipes if the filter is not used.
- Your filter, on the other hand, should not require cleaning every six months.
- A good chance is high that you’re flushing filter-clogging things down the toilet, such as grease, fat, or food scraps.
- A garbage disposal will not be able to break down food particles sufficiently to allow them to flow through the septic tank filtration system.
- Plastic items, disposable diapers, paper towels, nonbiodegradable goods, and tobacco products will clog the system if they are flushed through it.
For additional information on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, contact your local health authority. More information on removing lint from your laundry may be found here.
Get an inspection
Following a comprehensive first check performed by an expert, regular inspections will cost less than $100 each inspection for the next year. Your professional will be able to inform you how often you should get your system inspected as well as how a septic tank functions. As straightforward as a septic system appears, determining its overall condition necessitates the services of a professional. There are a plethora of contractors who would gladly pump the sludge out of your tank, but many, in my experience, are unable to explain how a septic system works or how it should be maintained.
A certification scheme for septic contractors has been established in certain states; check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office to see whether yours is one of them.
Also, a qualified inspector will be able to tell you whether or not your tank is large enough to accommodate your household’s needs, as well as the maximum amount of water that can be passed through it in a single day.
As you learn more about how a septic tank works, your professional should be able to tell you whether or not your system will benefit from this treatment.
Alternatives to a new drain field
If an examination or a sewage backup indicate that your drain field is in need of replacement, the only option is to replace it completely. As a result, it’s important to talk with a contractor about other possibilities before proceeding with the project.
- Pipes should be cleaned. A rotating pressure washer, used by a contractor, may be used to clean out the drain septic field pipes. The cost of “jetting” the pipes is generally around $200. Chemicals should be used to clean the system. A commercial solution (not a home-made one) that enhances the quantity of oxygen in the drain field should be discussed with your contractor before installing your new system. Septic-Scrub is a product that I suggest. A normal treatment will cost between $500 and $1,000. Make the soil more pliable. The practice of “terra-lifting,” which involves pumping high-pressure air into several spots surrounding the drain field, is authorized in some regions. Some contractors use it to shatter compacted dirt around the pipes. Depending on the circumstances, this might cost less than $1,000 or as much as $4,000 or more.
Protect your drain septic field from lint
When this device is in place, it inhibits lint from entering the system, especially synthetic fibers that bacteria are unable to digest. One of these filters, which I’ve designed and termed theSeptic Protector, was invented by me. An additional filter is included in the price of around $150 plus delivery. Learn more about how to filter out laundry lint in this article.
Don’t overload the septic system
Reduce the amount of water you use. The volume of water that flows into your tank, particularly over a short period of time, can be reduced to avoid untreated waste from being flushed into your drain field. Replace outdated toilets with low-flow ones, install low-flow showerheads, and, perhaps most importantly, wash laundry throughout the week rather than just on Saturday mornings to save water.
Meet the Expert
Water consumption should be kept to a minimum. The volume of water that flows into your tank, particularly over an extended length of time, can be reduced to avoid untreated waste from being flushed into your drain field.
Replace outdated toilets with low-flow ones, install low-flow showerheads, and, perhaps most importantly, wash laundry throughout the week rather than just on Saturday mornings to conserve water.
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
Types of Septic Systems
Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of variables. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all considerations to take into consideration. The following are 10 of the most often encountered septic system configurations. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list; there are several additional types of septic systems.
- Septic Tank, Conventional System, Chamber System, Drip Distribution System, Aerobic Treatment Unit, Mound Systems, Recirculating Sand Filter System, Evapotranspiration System, Constructed Wetland System, Cluster / Community System, etc.
This tank is underground and waterproof, and it was designed and built specifically for receiving and partially treating raw home sanitary wastewater. Generally speaking, heavy materials settle at or near the bottom of the tank, whereas greases and lighter solids float to the surface. The sediments are retained in the tank, while the wastewater is sent to the drainfield for further treatment and dispersion once it has been treated.
Septic tanks and trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration systems are two types of decentralized wastewater treatment systems (drainfield). When it comes to single-family homes and small businesses, a traditional septic system is the most common type of system. For decades, people have used a gravel/stone drainfield as a method of water drainage. The term is derived from the process of constructing the drainfield. A short underground trench made of stone or gravel collects wastewater from the septic tank in this configuration, which is commonly used.
Effluent filters through the stone and is further cleaned by microorganisms once it reaches the soil below the gravel/stone trench, which is located below the trench.
In terms of total footprint, gravel and stone systems are very substantial, and therefore may not be appropriate for all residential sites or situations.
Gravelless drainfields have been regularly utilized in various states for more than 30 years and have evolved into a standard technology that has mostly replaced gravel systems. Various configurations are possible, including open-bottom chambers, pipe that has been clothed, and synthetic materials such as expanded polystyrene media. Gravelless systems can be constructed entirely of recycled materials, resulting in considerable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during their lifetime. The chamber system is a type of gravelless system that can be used as an example.
- The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.
- This sort of system is made up of a number of chambers that are connected to one another.
- Wastewater is transported from the septic tank to the chambers through pipes.
- The wastewater is treated by microbes that live on or near the soil.
Drip Distribution System
An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is very versatile. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a vast mound of dirt because the drip laterals are only placed into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive.
Aerobic Treatment Unit
Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are small-scale wastewater treatment facilities that employ many of the same procedures as a municipal sewage plant. An aerobic system adds oxygen to the treatment tank using a pump. When there is an increase in oxygen in the system, there is an increase in natural bacterial activity, which then offers extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent. It is possible that certain aerobic systems may additionally include a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank that will include disinfection in order to further lower pathogen levels.
ATUs should be maintained on a regular basis during their service life.
Unlike a municipal sewage plant, Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) employ many of the same procedures as that facility. When oxygen is introduced into the treatment tank, the system is known as an aerobic system. Due to the increased natural bacterial activity inside the system, the system is able to provide extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent as a result. It is possible that certain aerobic systems will additionally include a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank that will include disinfection in order to further lower the pathogen levels.
ATUs should be subjected to routine life-cycle maintenance.
Recirculating Sand Filter System
Sand filter systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the use. The effluent is discharged from the septic tank into a pump compartment. Afterwards, it is pushed into the sand filter. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. The effluent is pushed through the pipes at the top of the filter under low pressure to the drain. As the effluent exits the pipelines, it is treated as it passes through the sand filtering system.
However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system because they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus better suited for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to bodies of water.
Evaporative cooling systems feature drainfields that are one-of-a-kind. It is necessary to line the drainfield at the base of the evapotranspiration system with a waterproof material. Following the entry of the effluent into the drainfield, it evaporates into the atmosphere. At the same time, the sewage never filters into the soil and never enters groundwater, unlike other septic system designs. It is only in particular climatic circumstances that evapotranspiration systems are effective. The environment must be desert, with plenty of heat and sunshine, and no precipitation.
Constructed Wetland System
Construction of a manufactured wetland is intended to simulate the treatment processes that occur in natural wetland areas. Wastewater goes from the septic tank and into the wetland cell, where it is treated. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media that eliminate pathogens and nutrients. Typically, a wetland cell is constructed with an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the necessary wetland plants, all of which must be capable of withstanding the constant saturation of the surrounding environment.
The operation of a wetland system can be accomplished by either gravity flow or pressure distribution. As wastewater travels through the wetland, it may escape the wetland and flow onto a drainfield, where it will undergo more wastewater treatment before being absorbed into the soil by bacteria.
Cluster / Community System
In certain cases, a decentralized wastewater treatment system is owned by a group of people and is responsible for collecting wastewater from two or more residences or buildings and transporting it to a treatment and dispersal system placed on a suitable location near the dwellings or buildings. Cluster systems are widespread in settings like rural subdivisions, where they may be found in large numbers.
How to Install a Septic System
Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation In rural regions of the nation where waste water treatment is not accessible, private on-site wastewater treatment systems (POWTS), also known as septic systems, are utilized largely to treat waste water. Gravity fed/conventional systems are divided into two broad categories: 1. gravity fed/conventional systems and 2. alternative (pump) systems, which include aerobic treatment units (ATUs.) In most cases, electric pumps are used in alternative systems.
However, in many health jurisdictions across the United States, it is still feasible for an individual property owner with heavy equipment operation skills to utilize a backhoe to establish a septic system on their land.
- 1 Make a plan and design for your system. Performing a site survey and conducting a percolation (soil) test on the area where the POWTS is to be placed are both required initial steps in any septic system installation. In order to create a system, it is necessary to first gather information from surveyors and conduct a soil test. It is then possible to submit an application for the necessary permissions and approvals.
- The following are some of the conclusions from the site survey that have an impact on the design:
- Available space
- Intended purpose and projected water demand depending on the size of the residence or building that the system will serve
- Location of the well and/or nearby wells
- And other factors.
- The following are examples of soil test findings that have an impact on the design:
- The soil type and layering (sand, clay, rock, and where it is placed in relation to depth)
- The soil’s ability to drain and filter wastewater
- And the soil’s ability to drain and filter wastewater
- 2Wait for clearance before proceeding. The system may be deployed once all of the relevant permissions and approvals have been obtained. Make certain that all of the steps listed below are carried out in accordance with all applicable laws, plumbing rules, and building codes. Advertisement
Please keep in mind that the following procedure assumes that the system is being installed for the first time and not as a replacement.
- 1 Assemble the equipment and tools that will be used throughout the dig. You will require the following items:
- Backhoe, laser transit, and grade pole are all included. A 4″ Sch. 40 PVC pipe (and fittings, if necessary)
- A 4″ ASTM D2729 perforated pipe
- A 4″ASTM D3034 pipe and fittings
- A 4″ Sch. 40 vent cap and test cap
- PVC primer and adhesive
- A 4″ Sch. 40 vent cap and test cap The following tools will be required: Saw (either hand saw or cordless reciprocating saw)
- Hammer drill and bits (for drilling through walls if necessary)
- The following items are required: hydraulic cement (to seal surrounding pipe if pipe is going through wall)
- Stone measuring an inch and a half and cleaned (amount varies depending on system size)
- Tape measurements (both ordinary and at least a 100-foot-long tape)
- Septic fabric (cut to 3′ length or less from a roll)
- Septic tank and risers (concrete or plastic if allowed)
- Riser sealant such as Con-Seal (for concrete) or silicone caulk (for plastic)
- A septic filter (such as a Zoeller 170 or similar) if one is necessary
- A distribution box (either concrete or plastic, if more than two laterals are being run)
- And a septic tank.
- 2 Determine the location of the entrance to the building in relation to the location of the septic tank. Make an excavation at least 2 feet deep and drill a hole through the wall, or go deeper and drill a hole beneath the footing, depending on your preference or the need. Because this is precisely what a gravity-fed system is designed to accomplish, expect the flow to continue to flow downhill from here. When transferring waste from the tank to the drain field, it does not employ any mechanical methods other than gravity.
- The pipe should be 4″ Sch. 40 and should extend at least five feet outside the structure toward the tank, either through the wall or beneath it. Set it level where it will pass through a wall or under a footing, and from there, run it with approximately 1/8″ of pitch (slope) every foot of length toward the septic tank until it reaches the tank. If necessary, go even farther into the tank or all the way into the tank. If this is the case, switch to 4″ 3034 with the appropriate adaptor and pipe 3034 toward the tank.
- Make sure you use a test cap on the end that will be entering the building. It is recommended that if you are going through a wall, you seal the area around the hole with hydraulic cement both inside and outside
- Do not run too much pitch out to the tank. If there is an excessive amount, the water will run away quicker than the sediments, resulting in the solids remaining in the pipe. Additionally, depending on the depth of your drain field and how close it will be to the tank’s outflow, there may not be enough pitch to get to the drain field.
- 3 Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the installation of the concrete aerobic tank below ground. Make use of the laser transit to “shoot” the top of the pipe that leads out to the tank with the laser. The distance between the top of the intake and the bottom of the tank is measured in feet and inches. To the number you fired off the top of the pipe, add this (go up on the grade pole) + 1 1/2″ to get the total. The depth of the grade pole has now been adjusted to the desired depth. Using this, continue to drill the hole to the desired depth
- Prepare your leech field by laying it out and excavating it according to the results of the test performed during the permit application procedure. Maintaining a good flow between the tank and the drain field should be considered when planning out and digging the tank.
- 4Use “inch-and-a-half cleaned drain rock” from a neighboring gravel dump to surround the pipe, which is required in most areas. This is necessary in order to keep the pipe stable. For further information on the size of embedment and gravel required, check with your local health department. Five-inch perforated pipe in a gravity drain field does not have a slope from one end to another and has capped ends
- Once you have received a green sticker from the health inspector, you must cover the pipe and tank. All places, subject to the restrictions of the local health authority, will be required to cover the drain rock with a specific filter fabric, newspaper, four inches of straw, or untreated construction paper before backfilling. Advertisement
- A pump chamber after the septic tank should be installed The pump chamber, also known as a pressure tank or dosing tank, is where the electric pump is housed, which is responsible for transporting wastewater from one location to another and finally into the drain field for final disposal.
- 1 After the septic tank, install a pump chamber. There are several other names for this chamber, including pressure tank, dosing tank, and pump chamber. The electric pump is used to transport effluent from one location to another, and ultimately into the drain field for final disposal.
- Secondly, all construction details, including the layout of all sewers outside of the home, the location and depth of all tanks, the routing and depth of pressurized effluent lines, and other system components, such as the drain field and any additional ATUs, must be consistent with the septic system plans approved by the local county health department. Cover the tank and pressurized lines once the inspector has given his final clearance and the system has been turned on. Advertisement
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- Question I had a tank put, but it isn’t level with the ground. What will be the ramifications of this, and should it be leveled? It is necessary to keep the tank level. It is difficult to predict what it will have an impact on because we do not know which direction it is off level. Question Is it necessary to be concerned about tree roots growing into the drainage area when using a gravity flow kind of tank? Whether or whether you have lateral lines is dependent on the kind of trees that are growing close or above them. Tree species that tend to extend roots into the lateral lines and obstruct them are known as ramifications. Due to the fact that they are buried deep in the ground and surrounded by a pocket of gravel that allows waste water to drain out, they are rarely affected by grass, weeds, and shrubs. Question What is the maximum depth that a pipe may be lowered into the leech bed? The majority of systems require 12 volts “in the form of rock The perforated pipe should be suspended in the top area of the rock
- It should not be touching the rock. Question Maintaining a lush green grass on or above your pitch is it safe, or is it a good practice? According to what I’ve heard, brown or dead grass is preferred so that your field can breathe more easily. It is necessary for your field to take a breath. The presence of green grass across your field indicates that it is functioning well. With lush grass covering your field, it will be able to breathe. There should be no planting of woody shrubs or trees over the leach field. Question What is the recommended distance between the septic tank and the house/boundary? A minimum of fifty feet is required. States have different laws, but this is the most common distance
- Nonetheless, other states have stricter laws. Question What is the average amount of soil that goes into a residential leach field? It is dependent on how chilly it becomes. There are no less than 12 in the northern United States “in the leach field’s surface
- Question Is it possible to build a septic system during the cold months? What you should do will depend on whether or not you reside in a place where the ground freezes. Question What amount of water should I put in the tank to get it going? None. A typical tank holds 1,000 gallons and will fill up quite quickly if used on a regular basis. When liquid effluent is discharged to the drain field, the goal is to catch and pre-treat particles that have accumulated. It is possible that a pump system will require water to prime the pump. Question There is a misalignment between my septic field’s underground line and the pipe on the tank. Is it OK to utilize a 90-degree elbow on my septic tank? As long as you have decent downhill flow, you should be fine. Instead of using a 90, I would use two 45s. Question If I’m installing a septic system, when should I contact an inspector? Immediately following system installation but before earth is used to cover the system in place Always check with the inspector ahead of time to verify that they can satisfy your inspection needs
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- The use of aerobic bacterial additions (which are available at most DIY stores) to maintain a healthy and well functioning system, as suggested by producers on a periodic basis, is contentious. The septic tank is an anaerobic (wet) environment in which the majority of yeasts and other additions will have little or no effect on the sewage being processed. When it comes to installing septic tanks, some old school installers believe that placing an additive, a shovel of muck, or even a dead cat in an empty tank will “start” the process. What naturally enters the tank serves as the only thing that is necessary. The aerobic (wet or dry) component of the system consists of hundreds of square feet of drain field, where additives will do little help even if they make it all the way to the end of the system. The use of chemicals in septic systems has not been the subject of an independent research that has been published in a respectable scientific publication anywhere in the world, including this nation. This will mostly certainly be confirmed by your local health department. Each phase of the building process will almost certainly include an examination by a health inspector before the work can be completed or covered up. On pressurized lines, the use of a sand embedment is recommended in order to reduce the amount of damage caused by moving soil that has a high concentration of clay. When pumps are turned on and off, pressurized lines might move as well. Four inches (10.2 cm) of sand bedding on all four sides of the lines will prevent sharp pebbles from the ground or backfill from wearing holes in the pipe over time
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- Keep the perforated pipe for the leech field in a vertical position while installing it to avoid having the holes in the pipe turn downward. It is necessary to lay the perforated drain field pipe ASTM 2729 dead level, so that the printed line on the pipe is facing up. The perforations on both sides of the pipe are on both sides of the pipe. All of the sections of perforated pipe are cemented together, and the ends of each leach line are capped to complete the installation. So, when waste water enters the pipe, it will fill the pipe to the height of the perforations and overflow from ALL of the holes, utilising the whole leach field as a means of treatment. In certain health authorities, you can utilize waste water to water grass or decorative plants, trees, vegetable gardens, and fruit trees if you place the perforated pipe on a slope. However, the water must first be cleaned by the system (tertiary treatment includes disinfection) in order to prevent pathogens (germs) from the septic system from being discharged into the environment throughout the process. Make sure to check with your local health authority to verify if the practice known as “reuse” is permitted in your community.
Things You’ll Need
- The following tools are required: backhoe tractor, trencher, shovel, contractor’s laser level and rod, or a surveyor’s transit. Septic tanks
- PVC pipe with perforations
- Material for embedding
- PVC adhesive, PVC fittings, and a septic tank outlet filter are all included. Hand saw
- Course file
- Sandpaper If necessary, effluent pumps and floats are installed. If an alternate system is used, a control panel is installed.
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The following things must be considered while selecting the appropriate septic system type: First and foremost, it is critical to choose the most appropriate septic system for your soil conditions; second, the system must be large enough to accommodate your household needs; and third, the wastewater must be sufficiently treated to ensure that the effluent discharged complies with local environmental health standards.
With so many various types of septic systems available, selecting the right one for your house may be a difficult endeavor.
Different Types of Septic Systems
It is possible to have three different kinds of septic systems, which are differentiated by the way they handle the wastewater that enters the system. The three types are as follows:
- Type 1 Septic System: Sewage is treated just within a septic tank before being released to a drain field, where it undergoes additional natural treatment. Before being released to the ground, Type 2 Septic Systems undergo primary treatment in a septic tank and an extra aerobic secondary treatment stage, which is commonly provided by a small-scale on-site mechanical biological packaged treatment plant
- In a Type 3 septic system, sewage is treated in order to produce effluent of a higher quality standard, which is then discharged into the environment via the drain field. Type 3 septic systems are specially designed to treat sewage in order to produce effluent of a higher quality standard, which is achieved by including a disinfection process before being discharged into the environment via the drain field. An innovative on-site mechanical biological packaged treatment plant is used for the treatment process.
Type 1 Septic System: Sewage is treated just within a septic tank before being evacuated to a drain field, where it undergoes additional natural treatment.; Before being released to the ground, Type 2 Septic Systems undergo primary treatment in a septic tank and an extra aerobic secondary treatment stage, which is commonly provided by a small-scale on-site mechanical-biological packaged treatment plant.
In a Type 3 septic system, sewage is treated in order to produce effluent of a higher quality standard, which is then discharged into the environment via the drain field.
An innovative on-site mechanical biological packaged treatment system is used for the treatment of wastewater.
Type 1 Septic System (Septic Tank System)
Septic systems classified as Type 1 are those installed on-site and in which the principal method of treating waste water is a septic tank or septic tank with leach field. A drainage field, which can be comprised of seepage beds, subsurface trenches, or aboveground sand mounds, can be used to dispose of the treated effluent once it has been treated. Effluent can either flow to the drain field by gravity or be pumped to the drain field under pressure, depending on the circumstances. Gravity system in the conventional sense ” data-image-caption=”Gravity septic system in the conventional manner” In both cases, the data-medium-file attribute is set to 1 and the data-large-file attribute is set to 1.
- They are made up of a septic tank that is built underground and that collects the wastewater.
- Because the tank is devoid of oxygen, it creates an environment conducive to the growth of anaerobic bacteria in it.
- Tank effluent drains out of the tank through a drain field and onto the surrounding soil.
- Normally occurring microorganisms that reside in the soil continue to break down the effluent, eradicating any hazardous bacteria and pathogens from the effluent before it reaches the groundwater.
Type 2 Septic System (Septic Tank + Secondary Treatment)
Septic systems are classified into two types: type 1, type 2, and type 3. Type 2 septic systems have an extra secondary wastewater treatment step, which is the most significant distinction between the two. As with a Type 1 system, the anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank break down the particles, which is done in the absence of oxygen.
Typically, stage oxygen is supplied to the wastewater during the secondary treatment process, allowing aerobic microorganisms to grow in the system. Bacteria that are aerobic in nature break down any suspended particulates that may be present in the wastewater during treatment.
Extending Drain Field Life with Aerobic Septic Systems
Experimental evidence suggests that adding an aerobic septic system to an existing conventional gravity system may help to renew or prolong the life expectancy of the system in question. Aeration or oxygen introduced into an existing septic system may increase aerobic bacterial activity in the biomass, which may help to enhance the septic field’s performance if it is in a malfunctioning state. Although it is not quite that straightforward. Because the agitation caused by the aerating can drive suspended materials out into the septic field, a settling compartment or an extra tank may be necessary in conjunction with an effluent filter.
- In comparison to Type 1 septic systems, Type 2 septic systems are more efficient in treating wastewater.
- The depth between the surface and the confining layer or water table, as well as the quality of the soils on a land, are all essential considerations for treating wastewater.
- These characteristics make them particularly suitable for usage on homes with limited area.
- The only disadvantage is that the treatment expenses associated with a Kind 2 septic system will be greater than those associated with a Type 1 septic system, which is the most common type of septic system.
As per our Standards Practice, here is a subsection of our code: III- 22.214.171.124.(d) Type 2 effluent hydraulic loading rate and vertical separation
(I) Vertical separation for hydraulic loading rates of Type 2. Although the employment of a Type 2 treatment method is a realistic choice for many projects and locations (especially if available space is restricted), this will not always be the only viable alternative available. In some circumstances, according to the Volume II regulations, a greater vertical separation is required for Type 2 effluent hydraulic loading rates (HLR), notably for gravity distribution and demand dosing. Because Type 2 wastewater may have pathogen levels that are almost as high as those seen in Type 1 effluent, a deeper soil depth is required in order to offer sufficient soil-based treatment (especially pathogen elimination) in these situations.
- If multiple doses are applied in a short period of time, the risk of soil saturation is higher, and the total number of pathogens applied will be proportionally higher at the higher HLR.
- Because Type 2 treatment systems are frequently utilized as a solution for small sites, the requirements in this handbook allow for a high HLR with Type 2 effluent, which is consistent with industry practice.
- As a result, larger HLR for Type 2 is given precedence over smaller VS in the standards.
- This is due to the fact that at a lower HLR, the shallower VS will be sufficient for treating patients.
- The type 2 wastewater has a consistent distribution and is ii) When timed or micro-dosing options are utilized in conjunction with Type 2 HLR, the Volume II standards allow for a narrower vertical separation.
- They also reduce the likelihood of soil saturation by distributing dosages more evenly.
- For further information on the hydraulic application rate, see Section III-126.96.36.199.(a) (HAR).
- As a result, on some soils, the standards provide a somewhat greater VS for Type 2 HLR with timed dosing than what is specified on others.
High HLR are permitted in sandmound and sandlined trench or bed systems when Type 2 effluent is utilized, and as a result, micro-dosing is necessary in these applications when high HLR are permitted.
How do Aerobic Septic Treatment Units Work?
In essence, an aerobictreatment unit is a type of “oxidizer,” which utilises excess oxygen present in waste water in order to sustain aerobic microorganisms, which in turn breakdown dissolved organic and nitrogen molecules to simple CO2 or inorganic compounds. As bacteria die off, they collect as a sludge of biological material, some of which is used to enable the production of new cells or microbes, which is essential for the system to continue to function. In the “trashtank,” ATUs separate solid waste from liquid waste.
(See the drawing at the top of this page for an illustration.) “Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, urea, soaps, and detergents are examples of organic compounds that can be found in residential household wastewater.
Domestic wastewater contains biologically bound nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus as well as other elements.
Wastewater fermentation produces two byproducts: methane and carbon dioxide.” — According to InspectApedia (Guide to Aerobic Septic Systems)
Type 3 Septic System (Septic Tank + Secondary Treatment + Disinfection/Filtration)
In contrast to Type 1 and 2 systems, Type 3 septic systems are custom-designed, high-capacity sewage treatment facilities that are capable of treating wastewater to a very high level, generating clear, odorless effluent with far greater water quality than Type 1 and 2 systems. It is necessary that a Type 3 septic system contain a technique of disinfection that is capable of eliminating harmful organisms from the effluent before it is released to the drain field. A Type 3 septic system is composed of the following components, which are frequently found together: Anaerobic bacteria break down waste in an oxygen-free environment in the septic tank; aerobic bacteria break down waste in an oxygen-containing environment in the second stage of a Type 2 septic system; and disinfection takes place in the third stage of a Type 1 or Type 2 septic system after the second stage.
The disinfection process might involve chemical treatment with chlorine, as well as disinfection with ozone or UV radiation.
Finally, the treated effluent is released to a drain field, where it is often subjected to pressure (i.e.
The use of Type 3 septic systems is an excellent option for properties with poor soil conditions and situations that are not appropriate for the installation of a Type 1 or Type 2 sewage system. Sites having the following characteristics are included in this category:
- The soil depth is less than 0.5 feet (15 cm)
- The percolation rates of the soil are either extremely slow or extremely quick
- A lack of soil structure
- There is insufficient room to establish a more typical septic system
The use of a Type 3 system may be preferable in situations when the circumstances are suitable for a Type 1 or 2 system, but space is severely restricted. This is because a smaller drain field is required owing to the excellent quality of the effluent released by the Type 3 system. ‘Why do we need different types of septic systems since they all fulfill the same function?’ one could wonder. Generally speaking, this is correct to a certain extent; nevertheless, the treatment efficiency as well as the water quality of the effluent released at the conclusion of the treatment process are greater in Type 2 systems than they are in Type 1 systems, and much higher still in Type 3 systems.
If possible, it is advisable to have an authorized competent expert do a full site investigation in order for them to examine the circumstances on site and calculate how much wastewater is likely to be generated by the home on a daily basis.
The Sewerage System Regulation Process:
Land use management, which involves both onsite sewage disposal and subdivision operations, is supported by the Ministry of Health’s policy guidance. One of the most important objectives is to reduce, mitigate, and/or prevent possible threats to human health. These objectives are met by statutory requirements, as well as supporting policies and guidelines. – Official Government of Canada Website
Standards for Seasonal use as per Standards Practice Manual: III- 2.2.1 SEASONAL USESeasonal use systems should be installed in compliance with the Sewerage System Standard Practice Manual.
The usage of type 2 or type 3 systems in seasonal residences, such as a holiday cottage, may not be appropriate since these treatment systems are often powered by electricity and may rely on biological processes that are not capable of being sustained under seasonal conditions. In the specification of a treatment system for a seasonal home, include steps to ensure the system’s operation during periods of intermittent power supply and low water use. From the state of Washington, here is an educational film on the many types of septic systems available.
After everything is said and done, some of these systems are unquestionably more complex than others; therefore, a more comprehensive examination should be performed in order to be confident of the sort of septic system you may require for your property.
We’d be delighted to assist you: Contact information: [email protected], 250-768-0056