How Large A Yard Is Needed For A Septic Tank? (Question)

Septic drainfield trench depth specification: A typical septic drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36″; or per the USDA, 2 feet to 5 feet in depth.

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  • A factor to consider when determining where you want your septic system placed in your yard is your local zoning code. It will dictate how far the tank and field must be from structures, power and water lines, property lines and bodies of water such as ponds. In some cases, it can be 100 feet or more.

How many feet should a septic tank be from the house?

Septic tanks are required to be at least 5 feet from the house, although most are between 10 and 25 feet away.

How do you size a septic field?

Drainfield Size

  1. The size of the drainfield is based on the number of bedrooms and soil characteristics, and is given as square feet.
  2. For example, the minimum required for a three bedroom house with a mid range percolation rate of 25 minutes per inch is 750 square feet.

What determines how big a septic tank a house needs?

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

How often should a septic tank be pumped?

Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.

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.

Can you build a deck over a septic tank?

You should never build a deck over a septic field; doing so will prevent the natural draining and dissipation of the effluent. This can ruin the septic system, not to mention releasing foul smells into the air all around your deck. The dissipating effluent can also rot the deck from underneath.

How far can a septic tank truck pump?

Usually the pump truck sits out in the driveway or street and a hose is used to vacuum out the septic tank. Most trucks, however, cannot pump more than 100 feet under normal flat conditions.

How far can you pump septic?

Sewage ejector pumps are designed to pump raw sewage from your home into a septic tank or gravity flow sewer main. For this reason, they can only pump to distances under 750 feet. However, a benefit of sewage ejector pumps is that they are built to move up to 200 gallons per minute of raw sewage.

How long should a septic drain field last?

It’s important to consider the life expectancy of a drain-field, too. Under normal conditions and good care, a leach-field will last for 50 years or more. Concrete septic tanks are sturdy and reliable but not indestructible.

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.

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 long do septic tanks last?

A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

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

Septic systems: How big should my drainage field be?

What every homeowner who is considering building a septic system must consider is the amount of land they need to dedicate to septic field, which is where liquid waste will eventually be discharged into the soil. Even in the country, yard space is valuable, and you don’t want to give it up to a field that’s too large for your requirements or to a neighbor’s livestock. This is especially true when you consider the fact that once the field is in, you won’t be able to utilize that area for anything else in the future.

However, if you make your field too tiny, you’ll have a lot of headaches.

Who has a need for that?

But keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate.

  • The two most important elements to consider are, first, the amount of trash you intend to send through the system, and, second, the quality of the soil in the drainage field, both of which are vital.
  • If the soil has good percolation conditions—for example, if it’s comparably sandy and waste water seeps down with little resistance—a seepage field of 4,500 square feet (for example, 100 feet long and 45 feet wide) is appropriate for a three-bedroom house with regular waste production.
  • Figure 9,000 square feet, which is a significant change.
  • The percolation rate of waste water is quicker in hotter regions.
  • It will be up to your contractor to select how much larger it will be.
  • When deciding where you want your septic system to be installed in your yard, you need take your local zoning law into consideration.
  • It can be as much as 100 feet or more in extreme circumstances.
  • According to others, it should be located as near to the home as feasible.

But some believe that the system should be located as far away from the building as possible, in an open area where it will be simpler to reach in the event of a crisis.

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:

  1. 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

A Beginner’s Guide to Septic Systems

  • Septic systems are used to dispose of waste from homes and buildings. Identifying the location of the septic tank and drainfield
  • What a Septic System Is and How It Works Keeping a Septic System in Good Condition
  • Signs that a septic system is failing include:

Septic systems, also known as on-site wastewater management systems, are installed in a large number of buildings and houses. It is easy to lose sight of septic systems, which operate quietly, gracefully, and efficiently to protect human and environmental health due to their burying location. Septic systems are the norm in rural regions, but they may also be found in a lot of metropolitan places, especially in older buildings. It is critical to understand whether or not your building is on a septic system.

Is Your Home or Building on a Septic System?

It is possible that the solution to this question will not be evident. If a structure looks to be connected to a sewage system, it may instead be connected to a septic system. It is fairly unusual for tenants to be unaware of the final destination of the wastewater generated by their residence. Some of the hints or signs listed below will assist in determining whether the facility is served by a septic system or whether it is supplied by a sewer system:

  • Sewer service will be provided at a cost by the city or municipality. Pay close attention to the water bill to see whether there is a cost labeled “sewer” or “sewer charge” on it. If there is a fee for this service, it is most likely because the facility is connected to a sewage system. Look up and down the street for sewage access ports or manholes, which can be found in any location. If a sewage system runs in front of a property, it is probable that the house is connected to it in some way. Inquire with your neighbors to see if they are connected to a sewer or septic system. The likelihood that your home is on a sewer system is increased if the properties on each side of you are on one as well. Keep in mind, however, that even if a sewage line runs in front of the structure and the nearby residences are connected to a sewer system, your home or building may not be connected to one. If the structure is older than the sewer system, it is possible that it is still on the original septic system. Consult with your local health agency for further information. This agency conducts final inspections of septic systems to ensure that they comply with applicable laws and regulations. There is a possibility that they have an archived record and/or a map of the system and will supply this information upon request

All property owners should be aware of whether or not their property is equipped with an on-site wastewater treatment system.

Georgia law mandates that the property owner is responsible for the correct operation of a septic system, as well as any necessary maintenance and repairs.

Locating the Septic Tank and Drainfield

Finding a septic system may be a difficult process. They can be buried anywhere in the yard, including the front, back, and side yards. After a few years, the soil may begin to resemble the surrounding soil, making it impossible to distinguish the system from the surrounding soil. It is possible that in dry weather, the grass will be dryer in the shallow soil over the tank and greener over the drainfield, where the cleansed water will be released, but this is not always the case, especially in hot weather.

  1. The contractor who built the house should have presented the initial owner with a map showing the tank and drainfield locations, according to the building code.
  2. The installation of the system, as well as any modifications made to it, would have been examined by your local health authority.
  3. Unfortunately, if the system is very old, any records related with it may be insufficient or nonexistent, depending on the situation.
  4. Look for the point at where the wastewater pipes join together if the building is on a crawlspace or has an unfinished basement.
  5. The sewer line that runs through the structure is referred to as the building sewer.
  6. To “feel” for the tank, use a piece of re-bar or a similar metal probe.
  7. If you use this free service, you may avoid accidentally putting a rod through your gas or water line.
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Try to locate the tank after a rainstorm, when the metal probe will be more easily maneuvered through moist dirt.

This should be done with care; extreme caution should be exercised to avoid puncturing the building sewer.

A tank is normally 5 by 8 feet in size, however the dimensions might vary.

Be aware that there may be rocks, pipes, and other debris in the area that “feels” like the tank but is not in fact part of the tank.

However, it is possible to have the lid or access port positioned on a riser in addition to being on the same level as the top of the tank in some cases.

Once the tank has been identified, make a rough drawing of its placement in relation to the house so that it will not be misplaced again!

It may be easier to discover the drainage lines now that the tank has been identified, particularly if the area has been subjected to prolonged periods of drought.

How a Septic System Works

Typical sewage treatment system (figure 1). It is composed of three components (Figure 1): the tank, the drain lines or discharge lines, and the soil treatment area (also known as the soil treatment area) (sometimes called a drainfield or leach field). The size of the tank varies according to the size of the structure. The normal home (three bedrooms, two bathrooms) will often include a 1,000-gallon water storage tank on the premises. Older tanks may only have one chamber, however newer tanks must have two chambers.

  • The tank functions by settling waste and allowing it to be digested by microbes.
  • These layers include the bottom sludge layer, the top scum layer, and a “clear” zone in the center.
  • A typical septic tank is seen in Figure 2.
  • It is fortunate that many of the bacteria involved are found in high concentrations in the human gastrointestinal tract.
  • Although the bacteria may break down some of the stuff in the sludge, they are unable to break down all of it, which is why septic tanks must be cleaned out every three to seven years.
  • In addition, when new water is introduced into the septic tank, an equal volume of water is pushed out the discharge lines and onto the drainfield.
  • The water trickles out of the perforated drain pipes, down through a layer of gravel, and into the soil below the surface (Figure 3).
  • A typical drainfield may be found here.
  • Plants, bacteria, fungus, protozoa, and other microorganisms, as well as bigger critters such as mites, earthworms, and insects, flourish in soil.
  • Mineralogical and metallic elements attach to soil particles, allowing them to be removed from the waste water.

Maintaining a Septic System

The most typical reason for a septic system to fail is a lack of proper maintenance. Septic systems that are failing are expensive to repair or replace, and the expense of repairs rests on the shoulders of the property owner (Figure 4). Fortunately, keeping your septic system in good working order and avoiding costly repairs is rather simple. Figure 4. Septic system failure is frequently caused by a lack of proper maintenance. It is in your best interests to be aware of the location of the system, how it operates, and how to maintain it.

  • You should pump the tank if you aren’t sure when the last time it was pumped.
  • It is not permissible to drive or park over the tank or drainage field.
  • No rubbish should be disposed of in the sink or the toilet.
  • It’s important to remember that garbage disposals enhance the requirement for regular pumping.
  • When designing a landscape, keep the septic system in mind.
  • It is also not recommended to consume veggies that have been cultivated above drainfield lines (see Dorn, S.
  • Ornamental Plantings on Septic Drainfields.

C 1030).

Any water that enters your home through a drain or toilet eventually ends up in your septic system.

Don’t put too much strain on the system by consuming a large amount of water in a short period of time.

Additives should not be used.

Various types of additives are available for purchase as treatment options, cleansers, restorers, rejuvenator and boosters, among other things.

To break up oil and grease and unclog drains, chemical additives are available for purchase.

Pumping out the septic tank is not eliminated or reduced by using one of these systems.

They remain floating in the water and travel into the drainfield, where they may block the pipes. Acids have the potential to damage concrete storage tanks and distribution boxes.

Signs a Septic System is Failing

A failed system manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Sinks and toilets drain at a snail’s pace
  • Plumbing that is backed up
  • The sound of gurgling emanating from the plumbing system House or yard aromas that smell like sewage
  • In the yard, there is wet or squishy dirt
  • Water that is gray in hue that has accumulated
  • An region of the yard where the grass is growing more quickly and is becoming greener
  • Water contaminated by bacteria from a well

If you notice any of these indicators, you should notify your local health department immediately. An environmentalist from the health department can assist in identifying possible hazards. There are also listings of state-certified contractors available from the local health department, who may do repairs. Repairs or alterations to the system must be approved by the health department and examined by an inspector. Keep an eye out for any meetings that may take place between a health department inspector and a contractor to discuss repairs to your system.

  • Household garbage that has not been properly handled is released into the environment when systems fail.
  • It has the potential to pollute surrounding wells, groundwater, streams, and other sources of potable water, among other things.
  • The foul odor emanating from a malfunctioning system can cause property values to plummet.
  • Briefly stated, broken systems can have an impact on your family, neighbors, community, and the environment.
  • Septic systems are an effective, attractive, and reasonably priced method of treating and disposing of wastewater.

Figures 2 and 3 reprinted with permission from: CIDWT. 2009. Installation of Wastewater Treatment Systems. Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment. Iowa State University, Midwest Plan Service. Ames, IA.

History of the current status and revisions Published on the 15th of August, 2013. Published on March 28th, 2017 with a full review.

Septic System Owner’s Guide

What kind of computer system do you have? In North Carolina, there are many distinct types of septic systems in use, but the vast majority of the over 2 million systems in use throughout the state are minor variations of the typical septic system. This system includes a septic tank as well as a drainfield that is filled with gravel (usually two to six trenches). Since the mid- to late-1990s, classic gravel aggregate trenches have been phased out in favor of innovative gravel-less trench designs, which have become increasingly popular.

  1. Some of the most often used gravel-free trenches nowadays are either long and narrow, tunnel-shaped chambers in the trenche, or gravel replacements such as expanded polystyrene aggregate.
  2. A booklet from the Cooperative Extension Service, AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, outlines the typical system, easy adjustments to it, and the most significant maintenance requirements.
  3. The application of these technologies is now widespread, whether in new housing projects or in the replacement or repair of malfunctioning septic systems in residences and businesses.
  4. In order to address this, state regulations provide specified maintenance requirements for a number of these more advanced technology.
  5. Furthermore, state regulations mandate that the health department examine these systems on a regular basis.
  6. Are you familiar with the location of your septic system and repair area?
  7. If you do not have a copy of your septic system permit or a soil evaluation document, contact your local health department.

This Septic System Owner’s Guidefile folder should contain the following items: It is normally possible to establish the location of a septic tank and drainfield by looking at a copy of the permit and consulting with a septic contractor, a consultant, or the local health department A “repair area or replacement area,” in which a second drainfield might be constructed if necessary, has been required on nearly all home sites approved since the early 1980s, according to state law.

It should be noted on your septic system permit that this repair area was designated by the health department when the site was allowed.

Some Important Facts to Understand About Your Septic System

  • In what form of septic system do you have
  • Where is it situated
  • And where is the repair area situated? Is the septic system up and running? In the past, has it been kept up to date? What can you do on a day-to-day basis to ensure that your system continues to function properly? What kind of maintenance will be required in the future

On the grid labeledSeptic System Layout, draw a rough sketch of your home, septic system (including both the tank and drainfield), repair area, and any other essential features (such as your driveway). The distance between the home and the access port on the septic tank should be measured and recorded when having your septic tank drained. This will assist you in locating it again. You may also want to indicate the position of your tank as well as the limits of your drainfield in your yard. If you do not have a riser installed over the access port for your septic tank, you may want to consider having one put in.

  1. Even when properly maintained, septic tanks can contain harmful gases and pollutants, as well as bacteria and other germs that can cause major health problems if not addressed.
  2. Is your septic system in proper functioning order?
  3. Many individuals are unaware that untreated sewage that has accumulated on the surface of the ground might be a health threat.
  4. Before fixing a malfunctioning septic system, you must get a permit from the local health authority, according to state regulations.
  5. What kind of upkeep has been carried out?
  6. If you are purchasing an existing house, you should ask the seller a few critical questions, such as the following:
  • What is the age of the system
  • What is the location of the tank and drainfield (they may or may not be on the same property or even on the same parcel of land)
  • When was the last time the tank was pumped
  • What is the frequency with which it has been pushed
  • Is it necessary to clean the “effluent filter” in the septic tank on a regular basis (effluent filters are required for systems established after 1999)
  • Has there been any indication of a likely failure? In what location can I get a copy of the permit and documentation proving how effectively (or poorly) the system has been maintained
  • Do you know whether any improvements have been made to the house that would necessitate expanding the capacity of the system? Is the system still operational, and if so, when and by whom was it repaired?

If the house has only recently been constructed, request that the septic system contractor give you with a “as built” schematic, which may include elements that were not included in the permit. If the house is equipped with a pump, request that the contractor and the local health agency supply specifics on how the pump was initially installed. In order to properly care for your septic system, you must manage it on a day-to-day basis as well as perform periodic maintenance and repairs. Layout of a septic system.

  • However, the drainfield does not have an indefinite capacity. The average daily water use per person is 50 gallons. Even for brief periods of time, the soil drainfield has a maximum daily design capacity of 120 gallons per bedroom, which is routinely exceeded. Overloads can occur at any time of year, on a daily basis, or on weekends. Fix any leaky faucets or toilets you may have. Water conservation will help you get more use out of your system.

Keep waste disposal to sewage alone.

  • It is not acceptable to utilize your septic tank as a garbage can for items such as cigarette butts, tissues, feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, cat litter, coffee grinds, or disposable diapers. Reduce the amount of time you use your garbage disposal. These contribute a significant amount of additional solids. It is not recommended to throw fat or cooking oil down the drain. You should avoid putting toxic chemicals into your system, such as solvents and oils. You should avoid using paint thinners and paint thinners that have been dumped. You should avoid disinfectants and pesticides. Conserve your funds. Most of the time, commercial septic tank additives are not required.

Ensure that the system is protected against physical harm (site maintenance).

  • Maintain a layer of plants on the soil over the drainfield to prevent soil erosion from occurring. Don’t drive your car above the system’s limits. Try to avoid building over the system or in the repair area. The natural shape of the terrain immediately downslope of the system should be preserved, and this region should be protected against excavation (cutting and filling). Neither asphalt nor concrete should be used to cover the tank or drainfield.

All wastewater should be disposed of in a system that has been authorized.

  • You shouldn’t install a separate pipe to transport washwater to a side ditch or into the woods. This is against the law
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The house and the yard (site maintenance)

  • Conserve and preserve the area where your septic tank and drainfield are located
  • Trees that thrive in moist environments should be cut down and removed. Willows, elms, sweetgums, and certain maples are examples of such trees. Surface water should be diverted away from the tank and drainfield by landscaping the yard. Inspect the system to make sure that water from the roof, gutter, and foundation drains does not overflow
  • It is recommended that if your system is located at the base of a slope, you build a french drain to channel subterranean water. Ensure that drainage ditches, subsurface tiles, and drainage outlets are kept in good condition so that water may readily flow from them.

Sewage treatment system (Septic tank)

  • Tanks should be elevated if they are 6 inches or deeper below the surface. They offer quick and convenient access for solids measurement and pumping, as well as for cleaning the effluent filter. The rate at which sludge and scum build in the tank is measured. Make a note of this information and provide it to your expert pumper. Solids should be pushed out of the tank as necessary. Most septic tanks have two sections
  • It is necessary to have them drained out. More information about pumping frequency can be found in the Cooperative Extension Service document AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, which is available online. It is not necessary to wait till your drainfield collapses before having your tank pumped. By that time, the drainfield may have been completely destroyed. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to septic systems.
Preventive Maintenance Record
Date Work Done Firm Cost
Your Septic System Installer
Name:
Address:
Phone:
Date System Installed:
  • If sewage is backing up into your toilets, tubs, or sinks, call a plumber. Slowly draining fittings, especially after it has rained
  • Slow-draining fixtures A foul odor associated with damp soil or sewage dumped onto the ground or into neighboring ditches or wooded areas
  • Please keep in mind that sewage from pump systems may rise to the surface of the ground when the pump is switched on and then disappear when the pump is turned off. This is still a failure of the system, and it must be fixed. a red light blinking or beeping in the home or in the yard, signaling that a pump is not functioning correctly or that the water level in a pump tank is excessive and on the verge of failing
  • A rise in the number of diseases or illnesses related with swimming in nearby lakes or rivers

Regulations and safeguards are necessary.

  • Any system that includes a pump should be operated by a state-certified subsurface system operator. In the case of low pressure pipe (LPP) systems erected or repaired after July 1, 1992, as well as underground drip irrigation systems, aerobic treatment units (ATUs), peat biofilters, sand biofilters, textile biofilters, and other sophisticated systems, a permit will be required by law. Those interested in obtaining a list of state-certified subsurface system operators should contact the North Carolina Water Pollution Control System Certification Commission at 919-707-9089. Between planned maintenance visits, check to see that the pump and electrical components are still in proper operating order. Germs found in sewage have the potential to cause disease. Never go into a septic tank unless absolutely necessary. Toxic and explosive gases are present in the tank, posing a threat. Tanks that are more than a decade old may collapse. Electrical controls provide a risk of electric shock and sparking. Children should not be able to open the septic tank lid, hence it should be secured. Do not attempt to repair a malfunctioning system on your own time. Obtain a repair permit and employ a contractor with extensive expertise

For further information about septic systems, speak with an Extension agent in your county or the local public health agency. This paper is an updated version of a previous publication. It is with gratitude that we acknowledge Tom Konsler (Orange County Health Department), Deanna Osmond, Mitch Woodward, and Grace Lawrence (North Carolina Cooperative Extension) for their contributions to the document’s peer review, as well as Debra Ireland for her work on the document’s graphic design, layout, and editing.

Discrimination and harassment are prohibited at North Carolina Cooperative Extension, regardless of age, color, handicap, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political opinions, racism, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Septic Tank Installation and Pricing

To process and dispose of waste, a septic system has an underground septic tank constructed of plastic, concrete, fiberglass, or other material that is located beneath the earth. Designed to provide a customized wastewater treatment solution for business and residential locations, this system may be installed anywhere. Although it is possible to construct a septic tank on your own, we recommend that you hire a professional to do it owing to the amount of skill and specific equipment required.

Who Needs a Septic Tank?

For the most part, in densely populated areas of the nation, a home’s plumbing system is directly connected to the municipal sewer system. Because municipal sewer lines are not readily available in more rural regions, sewage must be treated in a septic tank. If you’re moving into a newly constructed house or onto land that doesn’t already have a septic tank, you’ll be responsible for putting in a septic system on your own.

How to Prepare for Your Septic Tank Installation

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to make sure your septic tank installation goes as smoothly as possible.

Receive Multiple Estimates

Receiving quotations from licensed septic tank installers and reading reviews about each firm using trustworthy, third-party customer evaluations should be done before any excavation or signing of any paperwork is done. Examine your options for a contractor and make sure they have the appropriate insurance and license, as well as the ability to include critical preparations such as excavation and drain field testing in their quotation.

Test the Soil and Obtain a Permit

For septic systems to function properly, permeable soil surrounding the tank must absorb and naturally handle liquid waste, ensuring that it does not pollute runoff water or seep into the groundwater. The drain or leach field is the name given to this region. Before establishing a septic tank, you are required by law to do a percolation test, sometimes known as a “perc” test. This test indicates that the soil fits the specifications established by the city and the local health agency. In most cases, suitable levels of permeable materials, such as sand or gravel, are necessary in a soil’s composition.

Note: If you wish to install a septic tank on your property, you must first ensure that the ground passes the percolation test.

Plan for Excavation

Excavation of the vast quantity of land required for a septic tank necessitates the use of heavy machinery. If you are presently residing on the property, be careful to account for landscaping fees to repair any damage that may have occurred during the excavation process. Plan the excavation for your new home at a period when it will have the least influence on the construction process if you are constructing a new home.

Typically, this occurs before to the paving of roads and walkways, but after the basic structure of the home has been constructed and erected. Adobe Licensed (Adobe Licensed)

The Cost of Installing a Septic Tank

There are a few installation charges and additional expenditures connected with constructing a new septic system, ranging from a percolation test to emptying the septic tank and everything in between.

Percolation Test

A percolation test can range in price from $250 to $1,000, depending on the area of the property and the soil characteristics that are being tested. Ordinarily, specialists will only excavate a small number of holes in the intended leach field region; however, if a land study is required to identify where to excavate, the cost of your test may rise.

Building Permit Application

A permit will be required if you want to install a septic tank on your property. State-by-state variations in permit prices exist, however they are normally priced around $200 and must be renewed every few years on average.

Excavation and Installation

When you have passed a percolation test and obtained a building permit, your septic tank is ready to be professionally placed. The cost of a new septic system is determined by the size of your home, the kind of system you choose, and the material used in your septic tank. The following is a list of the many treatment methods and storage tanks that are now available, as well as the normal pricing associated with each.

Types of Septic Tank Systems

Septic system that is used in the traditional sense Traditionally, a septic system relies on gravity to transport waste from the home into the septic tank. Solid trash settles at the bottom of the sewage treatment plant, while liquid sewage rises to the top. Whenever the amount of liquid sewage increases over the outflow pipe, the liquid waste is discharged into the drain field, where it continues to disintegrate. This type of traditional septic system is generally the most economical, with an average cost of roughly $3,000 on the market today.

Drain fields for alternative systems require less land than conventional systems and discharge cleaner effluent.

Septic system that has been engineered A poorly developed soil or a property placed on an uphill slope need the installation of an engineered septic system, which is the most difficult to install.

It is necessary to pump the liquid waste onto a leach field, rather than depending on gravity to drain it, in order to ensure that it is equally dispersed across the land.

Types of Septic Tanks

  • Concrete septic tanks are long-lasting and rust-proof, but they are difficult to repair if they are damaged. It is possible that concrete tanks will cost up to $2,000 depending on their size. Plastic —While plastic tanks are cost-effective, they are also susceptible to damage. They are around $1,200 in price. Fiberglass —While fiberglass septic tanks are more durable than their plastic counterparts, they are susceptible to shifting or displacement if the water table rises to an excessive level. Depending on the model, these tanks may cost up to $2,000

More information may be found at: Septic Warranty Coverage and Costs.

Using Your Septic Tank

It is important to maintain the area around your new septic tank’s drain field and to frequently check your tank using the lids included with it. Never use a trash disposal in conjunction with your septic tank since it might cause the system to clog. Additionally, avoid driving over the land where your septic tank is located or putting heavy gear on top of your septic tank or drain field to prevent damage. Most of the time, after five years of septic system use, you’ll need to arrange a cleaning and pumping of the system.

Consequently, there will be no accumulation of solid waste that will leach into the surrounding soil or groundwater. Send an email to our Reviews Team [email protected] if you have any comments or questions regarding this post.

Septic System Frequently Asked Questions

A septic system, sometimes known as a septic tank, is an underground system that processes the sewage that flows from your house before disposing of the treated, cleaner water. Septic systems are typically seen in residential areas. The treated water is subsequently re-introduced into the environment through filtration. This is critical because untreated sewage may harm nearby streams and water systems, as well as the soil around the perimeter of your septic system. Because your septic system is designed to cleanse and filter sewage, it is critical that it is in proper operating order.

What is a Drainfield?

The drainfield, also known as the leach field, is the area where the water from your septic system is sent after it has been cleansed and filtered. It is necessary to construct a drainfield in order to ensure that water is distributed uniformly back into the soil.

How do I find my septic system?

If you’re fortunate enough to have a contemporary septic system in your yard, it may be equipped with an access lid that is visible from the ground floor. If this is the situation at your residence, locating your septic system is as simple as taking a few steps into your backyard. It’s unfortunate that this isn’t true for older septic systems. It’s possible that you may locate an older system in your home by checking for greener, faster-growing grass or even an area with less growth than the rest of your yard if you live in an older home.

This will show you exactly where your septic system is located in your yard, if you have one.

You’ll need to look for the location where your septic system’s sanitary line exits your home and follow that line until you find your septic tank, which will take some time.

If you are unable to discover your septic system, your yard may need to be dug up by a septic system installation in order to locate your septic tank as a last option.

How long do septic systems last?

Septic systems are not designed to endure for a specific number of years, thus there is no defined time frame. In the event of adequate maintenance, you may expect your septic system to last several decades before it has to be replaced; but, if your system fails or deteriorates as a result of bad care, its lifespan will be drastically diminished. In order to obtain an accurate estimate of how much longer the life of your septic system may be extended, you must first have it checked thoroughly by an experienced septic system installation or repairer.

However, if you are confident that your tank is in good condition, the date of installation should provide you with an indication of how long it will endure.

What’s the advantage of installing a newer septic system rather than an older system?

Although it is not required to install a new system, there are advantages to having a modern septic tank rather than an older one. For starters, when you get a new septic tank, you can be confident that it will serve you for decades if it is properly maintained, and you will not have to worry about it being “too old.” Additionally, newer systems have been modified to reduce the likelihood of your system becoming clogged, and if something does go wrong with a new system or when it comes time to have your septic system pumped, a new system will likely be easier to locate because they are frequently constructed with ground-level lids.

See also:  What Is The Crust At The Top Of The Septic Tank?

New septic systems also provide a further treatment for your waste water, allowing it to be cleaner before it is released into the surrounding environment.

How much does a new septic system cost?

Installation of new septic systems may be a significant financial commitment, with costs typically reaching tens of thousands of dollars. Whenever you have to replace an outdated septic system, you should look into financing alternatives that will make it simpler for you to pay for a new septic system in the long run. Purchase further information from a septic system installation business on how to obtain septic systems at the most competitive prices while also taking advantage of low-interest financing options.

How big is my septic tank?

Septic tank capacity is determined by the amount of water consumed in your property as well as local codes and requirements. Check with your local health agency to find out how big your tank is before installing it.

Why should my septic system be pumped out?

Without regular pumping, the gases emitted by human waste accumulate in your septic system, increasing the risk of septic tank damage and the need for more frequent pumping. The regular pumping of your septic system will allow you to limit the rate at which your tank deteriorates and save money in the process. It’s crucial to remember, though, that degeneration is unavoidable in the long run. It is only via regular maintenance, such as pumping your tank, that your septic system will survive longer.

Does my tank need to be dug up to know if it needs to be pumped?

Risers are commonly found in newer septic systems, which allow you to access your tank from the ground level through a lid. It is straightforward for any septic system professional to determine whether or not your yard has risers placed, and whether or not it is necessary to pump it. If, on the other hand, your tank cannot be accessible from the ground level, it will need to be dug up in order to determine whether it has to be drained.

Instead of inspecting your septic system to see whether it needs to be pumped on a regular basis, set a timetable for having your system pumped every 2-3 years.

Why should I have risers and lids installed on my septic system?

As a result, when it comes time to find, pump, or repair your septic system, risers are the best choice since they provide ground-level access to your system. Having a septic system lid will allow you to mow your grass while still being able to find your system with no difficulty. Lids and risers also have the advantage of being accessible all year round, as opposed to earlier septic systems that could only be accessed by digging a trench through your yard. If your septic system has to be pumped or repaired for any reason during the winter months, getting beneath layers of frozen earth can be difficult, if not impossible, and you may be forced to wait until the spring to have access to your tank again.

How often should my septic system be pumped out?

A typical septic system contains a 1,500-gallon tank, which needs to be pumped around every 2-3 years for a household of four, according to industry standards. If you have less than four people living in your house, you will most likely be able to pump your septic system every five years rather than every three. You should speak with your local health agency to determine the exact size of your tank, and you should consult a septic system business to determine how frequently your tank should be pumped based on the size of your family and the size of your septic tank.

Do I need to have the septic tank pumped if I’m selling my house?

In most cases, a septic system has a 1,500-gallon tank, which needs to be pumped around every two to three years for a household of four people. The likelihood of you needing to pump your septic system every five years is higher if you have less than four persons in your house. In order to determine the exact size of your tank, you should speak with your local health department. You should also speak with a septic system provider to determine how frequently your tank needs to be pumped based on the size of your family and the size of your tank.

How do I find someone to pump my septic system?

It is important to be aware that not all septic system businesses are licensed and that not all firms properly dispose of or recycle the waste they pump from your septic system when you are looking for one to pump it. Finding a firm that complies with EPA standards should be your first concern, and then you should look at price, how pricing is split down, and which company is delivering the most honest, economical, and dependable service should be your next consideration. Investigate business evaluations, and when you select a septic system provider to pump your septic tank, be certain that they do the work properly, leaving enough water and waste to keep the sewage decomposing while leaving no visible trace more than a few inches of waste behind.

How much does it cost to have my septic system pumped?

It is recommended that you call many pumpers before making a selection, and that you ask as many questions as possible to ensure that you are receiving the best service for your money. Pumping may cost upwards of $200, so it is always wise to shop around before making a decision.

You should not consider it a waste of money to have your septic system pumped when the time comes. By correctly maintaining your septic system, you may avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars to replace your septic system long before it should have been replaced in the first place.

What happens if I don’t have my septic system pumped?

The sediments will pile up in your septic tank if you don’t pump it out regularly, ultimately overflowing into the drain field and clogging the drain field. Backups can occur, causing damage to your property and even necessitating the replacement of your drain field, which can be a very expensive error.

I just had my septic system pumped. Why is it full already?

Septic systems are designed to refill rapidly since the purpose of pumping is not to remove water but rather to remove non-biodegradable waste, and the water itself is not the aim of pumping. Once your septic system has been pumped and you begin to use the water in your house, your tank will quickly refill in order to maintain good operation of the system. If the water level rises to a point where it is above the outlet line, contact your septic system service provider for assistance immediately.

What do you look for when inspecting my septic system?

When we do an inspection, we make certain that your septic system is in good operating condition and that it satisfies the standards for receiving a Certificate of Compliance. If you’re planning to sell your home, you should have your septic system checked out by a professional who is certified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This will allow you to sell your home faster and for more money, if you can prove that your system has been checked out by an accredited professional. The level of liquid in your septic tank will be checked, and we’ll make sure there is no surface-level discharge.

The drains in my home aren’t draining as quickly as they normally do. Does this have to do with my septic system?

Drains that are clogged and that empty slowly are not necessarily a big source of concern. Before presuming that there is an issue with your septic system, check sure that there isn’t anything obstructing your drain first. In the case of one plumbing fixture in your house that is draining slowly, it is likely due to clogging; however, if all of the drains in your home are slow or leave waste backed up, it is probable that your septic system requires inspection and may even require pumping.

What happens when my septic system fails?

Symptoms of a failing septic system may include minor issues such as drain breaks or pipes that have been stopped, which can be caused by tree roots intersecting with the system. Septic system failure, on the other hand, might indicate that your septic tank has degraded to the point that it cannot be repaired and must be replaced. A blocked drainfield will hopefully not become your problem because it is the most expensive component of your system to replace; nevertheless, if it does, you must act quickly to make the necessary repairs or else your waste will continue to back up, perhaps causing damage to your property.

A blocked drainfield is likely the reason of your sluggish draining pipes, damp yard above your tank or drainfield, sewage stench coming from your yard, or tainted well water. You’ll need to replace the drainfield as soon as possible to avoid further pollution of drinking water sources.

How do I prevent my septic system from failing? How can I properly maintain my septic system?

Your septic system should degrade at a normal rate over the course of several decades if you maintain it on a regular basis. Maintenance normally consists of getting your septic system pumped on a regular basis and making certain that you do not flush or wash anything down the drain that might block your septic system.

What shouldn’t I flush down the toilet?

As a general rule, only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed. There are several reasons why flushing medicine down the toilet is not a good idea. First, medication might kill some of the bacteria in your septic tank, which is necessary to break down solid waste. Second, drugs can pollute adjacent well water. In addition, you should avoid flushing feminine hygiene items, paper towels, tissues, hair, cat litter (even if it is flushable), diapers, wipes, condoms, cigarettes, and anything else that seems to be inorganic and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet.

What shouldn’t I pour down the drain?

Grease from the kitchen, motor oil, anti-freeze, gasoline, paint, and food should not be flushed down the toilet or drain. You should avoid flushing anything down your drain other than soap and water, and you should especially avoid flushing any form of chemical down your drain that should not be recycled back into the environment, such as fertilizer.

Is using a garbage disposal bad for my septic system?

Using a trash disposal will result in the requirement to pump your septic system more frequently than you would otherwise need to do if you avoided flushing food particles down your drains. Too much food collection in your tank might cause your drainfield to clog since the microorganisms in your tank are not capable to digesting it. When using a trash disposal, check with your septic system company to find out how frequently the disposal should be serviced.

Should I add bacteria to my septic system?

Aside from being completely useless, introducing bacteria to your septic tank is also highly discouraged. The bacteria produced by human waste is sufficient to break down the solid sewage in your tank without the need of bacteria supplements or other methods. If, on the other hand, multiple members of your home are using pharmaceuticals, they will enter your septic system through human waste and kill some of the beneficial bacteria in your tank, causing it to malfunction. Please contact the firm who installed your septic system to see whether or not you should be worried about the amount of bacteria-killing compounds entering the system.

There’s a strong sewer odor outside of my house. Could this be my septic tank?

Strong sewage stench coming from your yard might be coming from your septic system, but it could also be coming from someplace else completely. Identifying the source of the smell is important. Check for propane or gas leaks in your home before concluding that your septic system is at fault; however, if your gas or propane lines are not leaking, determine how long it has been since you had your tank pumped, and whether there is any sewage waste in your yard or other signs of septic system failure before making your final decision.

Can my septic system contaminate nearby water?

It is possible for your septic system to pollute surrounding water sources if it is not properly managed or fails completely.

In the event that you suspect that your septic system is failing, make sure that it is routinely pumped and inspected by an expert.

My gutters’ downspouts drain into my yard above my septic system. Is this a bad thing?

The drainage of your gutters into your yard above your septic system, and particularly into your drainfield, can be hazardous to your septic system. All water should be diverted away from your septic system in order to minimize flooding and damage to your septic system’s tank or drain field.

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