How To Install Septic Tank With Potty Pond? (Correct answer)

  • Prepare and design your system by doing a site survey and soil test. Submit your application and wait for approval. Dig the hole for the tank and route the pipe from the tank to the house. Excavate the leach field.

How does a septic pond work?

A sewage lagoon is a large pond into which the sewage or effluent from the sewage system flows. Algae give the lagoon its greenish color. Algae helps the bacteria break down the sewage and effluent. The wind helps with the evaporation of the water and serves to get oxygen into the water.

Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?

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

How long does a septic lagoon last?

If properly designed, installed and maintained, a lagoon system can effectively treat household wastewater for up to 30 years.

Is a lagoon better than a septic tank?

When properly designed, built, and maintained, sewage lagoons are quite effective at cleaning wastewater. They’re inexpensive to install and fairly easy to maintain. Their biggest benefit is that they can allow you to have a septic system where you otherwise might not be able to do so.

How do poop lagoons work?

Anaerobic lagoons are created from a manure slurry, which is washed out from underneath the animal pens and then piped into the lagoon. The manure then undergoes the process of anaerobic respiration, whereby the volatile organic compounds are converted into carbon dioxide and methane.

What can I use instead of a septic tank?

Alternative Septic Systems

  • Raised Bed (Mound) Septic Tank Systems. A raised bed drain field (sometimes called a mound) is just like what it sounds.
  • Aerobic Treatment Systems (ATS) Aerobic systems are basically a small scale sewage treatment system.
  • Waterless Systems.

What is the alternative to a septic tank?

Mound systems work well as alternatives to septic tanks when the soil around your home or building is too dense or too shallow or when the water table is too high. Although they are more expensive and require more maintenance than conventional systems, mound systems are a common alternative.

Are septic tanks still legal?

Septic Tanks Explained… Septic tanks cannot discharge to surface water drains, rivers, canals, ditches, streams or any other type of waterway. you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.

How deep should a septic tank be in the ground?

The general rule of thumb is that most septic tanks can be buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground.

How long does it take to put a septic tank in the ground?

Rely on the Experts If the land is not ideal, it may take extra time to excavate or get the soil suitable for leaching. The permitting process could delay progress, or even weather can be a factor. However, on average, it takes about 7 days for a knowledgeable team to get your system set up.

How do you keep a lagoon from smelling?

Solutions for a smelly lagoon Increased aeration, recirculation, or bioaugmentation may be enough to mitigate a temporary odor issue until lagoon temperature and DO levels have stabilized. For a chronic odor problem, it is more cost effective in the long run to fix the underlying cause.

How do you maintain a sewage lagoon?

Lagoon maintenance is easy, if the following precautions are taken:

  1. Keep the berms (outside and inside) mowed.
  2. The lagoon is not a trash dump.
  3. Do not allow paints, paint thinner or large quantities of chemicals to flow to the lagoon.
  4. Lagoons may develop odors when they “turn over” in the spring and fall.

Why is my lagoon green?

A healthy, efficient wastewater lagoon has a clear sparkling green, blue or brown color. A firm blue-green color however indicates increased algae growth. Excessive algae growth prevents sunlight from reaching deeper areas of the lagoon so that oxygen levels decrease.

Do’s and Don’ts of Caring for Plumbing Septic and Sewage Lagoons

28th of February Plumbing, septic systems, and sewage treatment are all essential components of modern human existence all over the world. When we flush the toilet, operate the washing machine, clean our dishes, or take a shower, it’s not something we think about. However, these necessary actions have a significant influence on our waste and water treatment systems, which in turn might have a negative impact on our ecosystem. “4-in-One Plumbing, Septic, and Sewage” treatment was introduced by Nature’s Pond, which is powered by Koender’s Water Solutions, as part of its objective to rescue the planet’s water in a natural and environmentally friendly manner.

Problems with your plumbing might emerge regardless of whether you are on a septic system or sewage treatment.

They are subterranean holding tanks or small ponds where waste water from rural homes and businesses is collected and treated.

Bacteria that naturally reside in the environment assist in the breakdown process of separating these chemicals.

With the help of these helpful Dos and Don’ts, you can avoid causing problems with your plumbing, septic system, and sewage system, all while helping the environment.

  • Before you dump anything down the sink, toilet, or drain, take a moment to reflect.

It is hoped that this article will provide you with a good understanding of what should and should not be flushed down the toilet. Being aware of your water consumption and considering what is best for your system and the environment is an important first step.

  • Observe the manufacturer’s directions for the appropriate cleaning product dosages for your particular water type.

Soft water will necessitate fewer resources than hard water.

  • To prevent overburdening your system, use cleaning chemicals sparingly and frequently rather than in large quantities all at once.

This can lead to an imbalance in the bacteria culture and a slowing down of the waste breakdown process. Make use of cleaning products that are natural, ecologically friendly, and phosphate free.

  • Distribute your clothing washing and showers throughout the week to save time.

The days of laundry and showering add an excessive amount of water to the system, causing it to become unbalanced. Excess water will dilute your system, not allowing the solid waste a time to break down before water will be pushed out. When solid stuff attempts to travel through the system, this might result in system obstructions. To avoid this, do your laundry, dishes, and showers throughout the week to spread the workload. Toilets and shower heads with low flow rates might also be beneficial.

  • Powder soaps and detergents should be avoided since they might re-coagulate in your system and produce blockages.

Maintain consistency in your product selection.

Use the same soaps, detergents, and cleaning products over and over again since the bacteria in your system will work more efficiently to break down known compounds. Soaps and detergents that are phosphate free are the most environmentally friendly.

  • Empty your septic system in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The majority of septic tanks require emptying every 1-3 years. This will be determined by the number of people in your household, the typical amount of water used, and the size of the tank. There are additional causes that may increase the need for more frequent emptying such as if a member of the family is going trough chemotherapy treatments. A septic tank’s bacterial culture may be harmed by radiation emitted by humans, which can be harmful to the bacteria in the tank. If someone in your household is undergoing chemotherapy, it is possible that your septic tank will need to be emptied as frequently as every six months.
  • Anything other than toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet.

Tampons, sanitary napkins, wipes, baby diapers, incontinence pads, cotton pads, cotton swabs, rubber goods, or other non-biodegradable materials should not be flushed down the toilet. Keep an eye out for products that are labeled as “flushable,” such as wipes, because even these items can cause blockages in your digestive tract. Only flush toilet paper down the toilet if you want to be safe. Fats have the potential to interfere with the breakdown process. Approximately 1 litre of full cream milk has enough fat to fill the surface of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, according to some estimates.

It is not recommended to dispose of medications, nail polish removers, mouthwashes, motor oil, anti-freeze, fertilizer, paint thinner, bleach, dangerous acids and corrosive treatments, as well as any other goods that contain harsh chemicals, through septic or sewer systems.

  • Remove odors and clogs from your washing machine, dishwasher, and drains by using acid-based products.

The plumbing, septic, and sewage systems in your home might be adversely affected by even goods intended for the drains. In addition to being corrosive, the acid included in these items may also be harmful to microorganisms, polluting ground and surface water. The same may be said for acid treatments for grease traps in restaurants. These items can be replaced with Nature’s Pond 4-in-One, which is a decent alternative.

  • Food waste should be disposed of down the drain or through a garbage disposal (garburator). Plumbing, septic, and sewer systems were not designed to handle both types of waste since food waste breaks down differently than human waste. Food waste is better suitable for composting than disposal in the trash. Excessive use of the trash disposal to flush food waste down the toilet increases the organic load, which can lead to difficulties in your septic and sewage systems.

It should be possible to avoid difficulties with a properly built septic or sewage system by following the guidelines listed below. In spite of the fact that the only items entering the system at any given moment are water, excrement, and toilet paper, it takes time for the natural breakdown process to take place. Furthermore, these systems are frequently burdened with more than they are capable of handling. Water consumption by an average person ranges between 80 and 100 gallons per day. You can see why capacity is the most common problem for septic and sewage treatment plants, as well as backups, odors, and phosphate-polluted discharges, when you consider the following: Nature’s Pond 4-in-1 Plumbing, Septic, and Drainage Sewage was created in order to address these difficulties.

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It’s a straightforward, ready-to-use method to septic and sewage control that’s also safe and effective.

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  • Flooding is occurring in the home as a result of backed up water and sewage from toilets, drains, and sinks Bathtubs, showers, and sinks all drain at a snail’s pace
  • The plumbing system is making gurgling sounds. The presence of standing water or damp patches near the septic tank or drainfield
  • Noxious odors emanating from the septic tank or drainfield
  • Even in the midst of a drought, bright green, spongy luxuriant grass should cover the septic tank or drainfield. Algal blooms in the vicinity of ponds or lakes In certain water wells, there are high quantities of nitrates or coliform bacteria.

Septic systems, like the majority of other components of your house, require regular maintenance. As long as it is properly maintained, the septic system should give years of dependable service. If the septic system is not properly maintained, owners face the risk of having a dangerous and expensive failure on their hands. Septic systems, on the other hand, have a limited operating lifespan and will ultimately need to be replaced. Septic systems that have failed or are not working properly pose a threat to human and animal health and can damage the environment.

It is possible that a prompt response will save the property owner money in repair costs, as well as disease and bad influence on the environment in the future.

What happens when a septic system fails?

When a septic system fails, untreated sewage is dumped into the environment and carried to places where it shouldn’t be. This may cause sewage to rise to the surface of the ground around the tank or drainfield, or it may cause sewage to back up in the pipes of the structure. The sewage might even make its way into groundwater, surface water, or marine water without our ever seeing it. Pathogens and other potentially harmful substances are carried by the sewage. People and animals can become ill as a result of exposure to certain diseases and pollutants.

What are some common reasons a septic system doesn’t work properly?

The pipe between the home to the tank is obstructed. When this occurs, drains drain very slowly (perhaps much more slowly on lower floors of the structure) or cease draining entirely, depending on the situation. This is frequently a straightforward issue to resolve. The majority of the time, a service provider can “snake the line” and unclog the problem. Keeping your drains clear by flushing only human waste and toilet paper down the drain and having your system examined on an annual basis will help prevent clogs.

  1. Plant roots might occasionally obstruct the pipe (particularly on older systems).
  2. The inlet baffle to the tank is obstructed.
  3. In case you have access to your intake baffle aperture, you may see if there is a blockage by inspecting it.
  4. It is essential that you avoid damaging any of the septic system’s components.
  5. Avoid clogging your inlet baffle by just flushing human waste and toilet paper, and get your system examined once a year to ensure that it is in good working order.
  6. This may result in sewage backing up into the residence or surfacing near the septic tank as a result of the situation.
  7. If there is an effluent filter, it has to be cleaned or changed as necessary.

Preventing this sort of problem from occurring is as simple as cleaning your effluent filter (if you have one) and getting your system examined once per year.

It is possible for sewage to back up into the home when the drainfield fails or becomes saturated with water.

Additionally, odors may be present near the tank or drainfield.

It is possible that the system was run incorrectly, resulting in an excessive amount of solid material making its way to the drainfield and causing it to fail prematurely.

However, if too much water has saturated the drainfield (via high quantities of water traveling down the drain or from flood water on the drainfield), it’s conceivable that the drainfield can be dried out and repaired.

A connection to the public sewer system should be explored if the drainfield has failed and it is possible to make the connection.

It will be necessary to replace the existing drainfield if this does not take place. It is possible for a septic system to fail or malfunction for other reasons. Septic professionals should be contacted if your system isn’t functioning properly.

How can I prevent a failure?

The proper operation of your septic system, along with routine maintenance, will help it last a long and trouble-free life. Assuming that your septic system has been correctly planned, located, and installed, the rest is up to you to take care of. Inspect your system once a year and pump as necessary (usually every 3-5 years). Avoid overusing water, and be mindful of what you flush down the toilet and what you flush down the drain. Learn more about how to properly maintain your septic system.

Can my failing septic system contaminate the water?

Yes, a failed septic system has the potential to pollute well water as well as adjacent water sources. Untreated wastewater is a health problem that has the potential to cause a variety of human ailments. Once this untreated wastewater enters the groundwater, it has the potential to poison your well and the wells of your neighbors. It is possible that shellfish beds and recreational swimming areas will be contaminated if the sewage reaches nearby streams or water bodies.

Is there financial help for failing systems or repairs?

Yes, there are instances where this is true. Here are a few possible alternatives.

  • In addition, Craft3 is a local nonprofit financial institution that provides loans in multiple counties. Municipal Health Departments- Some local health departments provide low-interest loan and grant programs to qualified applicants. A federal home repair program for those who qualify is offered by the USDA.

More Resources

  • Basics of Septic Systems, 101 Video
  • Taking Good Care of Your Septic System
  • A video on how to inspect your septic system yourself
  • Using the Services of a Septic System Professional
  • Safety of the Septic Tank Lid

Small Septic System Cost

The cost of installing a small septic system can range between $2,910 and $18,600 depending on the size of the system. Get quotations from as many as three professionals! Enter your zip code below to get matched with top-rated professionals in your area. A septic system is far superior to an outhouse, whether you’re building a garage apartment or even a cottage off the grid. Due to the availability of more affordable systems, there is no need to purchase more than you require. Costs might vary significantly depending on the size of your tank, the nature of your soil, and the sort of system you choose.

How Much Does a Small Septic Tank System Cost by the Gallon?

A 750-gallon tank can fit one to two bedrooms, which is the smallest capacity you’re likely to find when installing a septic system. You may even go with a 1,000-gallon system, which can manage two to four bedrooms well. Keep in mind that certain towns need a minimum tank size of 1,000 gallons, so be sure to check the regulations in your region before purchasing. The following are some typical costs for septic systems, broken down by tank size:

  • 750 gallons cost between $2,910 and $13,900
  • 1,000 gallons cost between $4,030 and $18,600.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Small Septic System Yourself?

As much as you may like rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands filthy, this is a job that should be left to the professionals. When it comes to plumbing projects, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, especially when it comes to dealing with human waste. Things may get a little out of hand. This should be sufficient. Furthermore, in many areas, the installation of a septic tank system will be required to be done by a licensed professional. There’s also the issue of satisfying building code standards as well as passing inspections, which must be addressed.

Rather than putting yourself through the hassle (and potential disaster), hire a local septic tank installer.

Small Septic System Cost Breakdown

While you may enjoy rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty, this is a task that should be left to the professionals. When it comes to plumbing projects, there is a lot that can go wrong, particularly when it comes to dealing with human waste. Everything may end up in a shambles after that. This should be sufficient. Furthermore, in many areas, the installation of a septic tank system will be required to be completed by a licensed expert. As well as completing construction code requirements and passing inspections, there is the issue of financing.

The installation of an improperly constructed septic system may result in a fine in some situations. Hire a local septic tank installerinstead of dealing with the headache (and possibly tragedy).

Small Septic Tank

The tank itself will cost you anywhere from $750 and $1,500, depending on its size and configuration. As previously stated, some municipalities require a minimum of 1,000 gallons, so be sure to check your local regulations. Here are some rough size ranges to get you started:

  • 750 gallons cost between $700 and $1200
  • 1,000 gallons cost between $900 and $1500.

Leach Field

After the wastewater has been sorted and processed in the septic tank, it is sent to the aleach field for disposal. Here, it flows through soil, sand, and gravel, where it is naturally cleaned before reaching the groundwater table, where it is collected. Prices for leach fields can vary greatly depending on the kind and size of your septic system, as well as the soil makeup of your property. Here are some rough estimates based on the size of the object:

  • $800–$19,000 per 750-gallon container
  • $1,080–$12,000 per 1,000-gallon container
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Again, the size of your tank and the nature of the soil will have an impact on your excavation expenditures. According on the size of your little septic tank, you might expect to spend the following:

Perc Test

A perc test will normally cost between $750 and $1,300 in labor and materials. This test will measure the ground’s ability to absorb and filter water, as well as its ability to retain moisture. You will be required to provide documentation of this evaluation for both new installations and repairs.

Building Permits

Most municipalities will charge a fee for a building permit, which can range from $400 to $2,000 in most cases. The price will vary depending on the regulations in your area. Anne – Adobe Stock (

How Much Does a Small Septic System Cost by Type?

Concrete septic tanks, polyethylene septic tanks, and fiberglass septic tanks are the three most common forms. Concrete is a common material that can last for several decades, though it is prone to cracking and separation during the process. Plastic and fiberglass are more durable, but they are also more prone to damage during the installation process than other materials. Below are some general cost ranges to keep in mind for each of the options.

750-Gallon Septic Tank System

  • Concrete costs between $2,860 and $13,900
  • Plastic/poly costs between $2,660 and $13,900
  • And fiberglass costs between $3,360 and $13,900.

1,000-Gallon Septic Tank System

  • $2,860 to $13,900 for concrete, $2,660 to $13,900 for plastic/polyethylene, and $3,360 to $13,900 for fiberglass

How Much Does a Small Septic System Cost by Style?

Traditional septic systems are divided into two categories: anaerobic and aerobic systems. Septic systems that are anaerobic in nature are the most common, though aerobic septic systems are significantly more efficient (and costly).

Anaerobic Septic System

Anaerobic or aerobic septic systems are the most common configurations in the industry. Despite the fact that aerobic septic systems are significantly more efficient, anaerobic systems are the more popular (and costly).

Aerobic Septic System

The cost of an aerobic septic system can range from $10,000 to $18,600 dollars. These systems make advantage of aerobic microorganisms, which thrive in the presence of oxygen, to break down waste more effectively. While this system necessitates a larger budget, it is more efficient at breaking down waste in the tank, resulting in lower leach field expenditures.

What Factors Influence the Cost of a Septic Tank System?

From $10,000 to $18,600, an aerobic septic system may be installed.

On order to break down waste more effectively, these systems employ aerobic microorganisms that thrive in oxygen. While this system necessitates a larger budget, it is more efficient at breaking down waste in the tank, resulting in lower leach field costs.

  • The nature of the soil
  • The size and kind of the septic tank
  • The dimensions of the leach field
  • Expenses for excavation and other types of work in your region Obtaining all of the appropriate building approvals

FAQs About Septic Systems

The cost of having your small septic tank pumped is between $290 and $530 dollars. Prices vary depending on the size of the tank and the amount of time it is used. Get in touch with a septic tank cleaner in your area for an accurate estimate.

How do you know when to pump your septic tank?

It is a frequent misconception concerning septic systems that the tank must be pumped as soon as it “appeals” to be full, despite the fact that wastewater will ultimately drain onto the leach field. Instead, it is preferable to count the number of solids that have collected. An aseptic maintenance expert in your area can perform this test to determine whether or not pumping is required.

How much does it cost to repair a septic tank?

The typical cost of repairing a septic tank is between $500 and $2,600, although prices will vary depending on the extent of the repairs required. For an exact cost estimate, speak with a septic tank repair specialist in your neighborhood.

Septic System Basics for Realtors – Oklahoma State University

Sergio M. Abit Jr. and Larry Boyanton wrote this article. Whether in connection with the acquisition or sale of a plot of land or a house, the realtor is the primary source of information and guidance for both the buyer and the seller. Information about the neighborhood, accessibility to good schools, the number of rooms, kitchen amenities, the land area, and the number of bathrooms are all normal topics of conversation between a customer and a real estate representative. Although septic systems and other domestic wastewater treatment systems are commonly addressed in depth, they are rarely discussed in depth on the internet.

The realtor should inform the client whether the land for sale would necessitate the installation of a highly expensive septic system (say, $10,000) in order to obtain a construction permit, so that this fact may be taken into consideration during the purchase discussion.

This Fact Sheet will cover the following important aspects that realtors should be aware of when advising their customers: 1) The fundamentals of a septic system; 2) critical information for land buyers; 3) important information for home buyers; and 4) the many systems that are permitted.

Septic System Basics

Households that are not in close proximity to municipal sewage lines are required to have on-site wastewater treatment systems (OWTS or septic systems). Some of the most straightforward methods rely mainly on gravity for wastewater dispersion and soil treatment to achieve treatment results. Other systems, particularly those that rely on electricity and involve mechanical components that are powered by complicated electronics, are more expensive and need more frequent maintenance. Toilets and drains are among the components of a septic system, as are domestic plumbing, outside tanks for wastewater storage and pre-treatment, and soil on the property, which is responsible for ultimate treatment and decomposition of the waste.

  1. The specifics of the various OWTS that are permissible in Oklahoma are detailed further below.
  2. All efforts must be made to ensure that the suitable sort of system is installed for the desired household size, that it is adapted to the soil and site features of the location, and that it is professionally installed in order to achieve this.
  3. All systems require some level of maintenance at some point.
  4. Septic system failure has financial implications for customers (both property sellers and buyers), but it also has the potential to have negative health and environmental ramifications for the environment.

Chemicals and bacteria found in improperly treated wastewater pose a threat to the health of both the home’s residents and those who live nearby.

Land Buyers’ Questions that Realtors Should Address

In areas where the municipal or city sewage system does not reach or where the municipality does not have a centralized wastewater treatment facility, a septic system is required to handle the waste generated. If you are unsure, contact your local utility office.

Does the lot/area meet minimum requirements for installing a septic system?

Whether the land has enough room for both the home and the OWTS should be determined by the real estate agent. In the general intended installation area, it is recommended that at least 10,000 square feet be set aside for the OWTS. Aerial view of the property showing dry portions of the land that are immersed in water at different periods of the year. Additionally, the area should be accessible to installers and the equipment required for earth-working activities associated with the installation.

If public water will be used in the house, the minimum size for a residential lot that requires an OWTS is one-half acre.

Other site-related factors to be considered

Even if the terrain is sloping, it is possible to install OWTS on a sloping region. Installation of OWTS in reasonably level locations, on the other hand, is less difficult for installers and does not need extensive earthwork (meaning, less labor cost). The installation of an OWTS is not recommended in locations with a slope higher than 10%, according to general consensus. Proximity to a protected water body: The realtor should identify whether or not the property is located inside the Water Body Protection (WBP) area as defined by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality laws and regulations (DEQ).

This indicates that the consumer will have to pay a higher price for the OWTS services.

Codes and limits on subdivisions: If the property is located in a housing subdivision, it is best practice to double-check if the Subdivision Covenant/Agreement has any limits on septic systems or not before purchasing the property (e.g.

Separate from the space planned for OWTS installation, there should be sufficient space next to the intended OWTS installation site that might be designated as a “repair area.” If the initial system deployed fails, dispersion lines will be built in the repair area to prevent further damage to the environment.

What possible types of septic systems can be installed in the property of interest?

Septic systems that would be approved in the region would be determined mostly by the soil and site characteristics of the property. One must first understand the soil types present in the region before being able to get an initial impression of the types of systems that might be put in the area. It is possible to obtain information on the soils in the area by visiting the website. For further information on how to obtain the essential soil information, see the Oklahoma State University Extension leaflet L-430, Land Buyers’ Septic System Guide for Oklahoma.

System types that are approved in the state include six different types. The many sorts of systems that are permissible in Oklahoma will be examined in greater detail later.

How much money and time needs to be allocated for septic system installation?

The cost of installation varies greatly based on the type of system, the location, and the characteristics of the site. It is recommended that homebuilders consult with a local installer to determine the range of installation costs that are appropriate in their location. Installing the different OWTS is predicted to take a certain amount of time, as shown in Table 1. Table 1 shows the data. The estimated time required for the installation of different OWTS intended for a two-bedroom residence that produced 200 gallons of wastewater per day is shown in the table below.

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On-site Wastewater Treatment System Installation Time
Conventional System 1-2 days
Shallow Extended Subsurface Absorption Field 1-2 days
Low Pressure Dosing System 1-2 days
Evapotranspiration/Absorption System 1-2 days
Lagoon System 2 days
Aerobic Treatment System 1 day

Who can install septic system?

It is essential that you hire the services of a septic system installer who is certified by the state. For a septic system installation to be successful, the homeowner or installer must obtain a soil profiler to describe the soil in the area chosen for installation. The installer will construct the system and submit the necessary permits to the local DEQ office based on the description of the site and soil parameters supplied by the soil profiler. The performance of a percolation test, which measures the rate of downward water flow through the soil, may be required in particular circumstances.

A list of State-certified installers may be accessed at the following address: The list of licensed soil profilers may be obtained by contacting the local Department of Environmental Quality office.

Home Buyers’ Questions that Realtors Should Address

Possession of a comprehensive maintenance record demonstrates that the owner takes good care of the property and, to a certain extent, can testify that the system will continue to function for a fair period of time after the purchase. Consider the scenario in which a realtor, who is expected to be familiar with the specifics of a home, was unable to answer a simple question such as “When was the last time the septic tank was pumped?” or “When was the last time the aerator was serviced?” This would be analogous to a used vehicle dealer being unable to provide a response to the query concerning when the automobile’s last oil change was performed.

If a buyer inquires about this information, the selling agent should request that the seller supply it to the buyer.

Do I need to update the septic system if I make house expansions?

The septic system is built to accommodate a specific dwelling size (number of occupants and bedrooms). If more bedrooms are added to the property after the purchase in order to suit a bigger family size, the OWTS may need to be amended or adjusted to reflect this. It is important to verify with the local Department of Environmental Quality office.

Is the current OWTS covered by installation warranties and service agreements?

The septic system is built to accommodate the size of the home being constructed. (number of occupants and bedrooms).

If more bedrooms are added to the property after the purchase in order to suit a bigger family size, the OWTS may need to be amended or adjusted to reflect the new information. It is essential to check with the local Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) before traveling.

What if the septic system would have problems?

This is where knowing the installer’s and service provider’s details would be extremely beneficial. When there are issues with the system, it is best to contact someone who is knowledgeable with it. Additionally, it is critical to ensure that the property has a repair area (discussed earlier). The construction of structures on land that was originally designated as a repair area might pose a major threat to the integrity of the site.

What are the maintenance requirements of the existing system?

The amount and kind of maintenance required varies depending on the system. Especially if the purchasers have no prior experience with septic systems in a previous residence, it is preferable if the realtor can advise them of basic maintenance needs and advice. There may be cases in which homebuyers are unwilling to cope with the additional “hassle” of maintaining a system, which is why this is crucial to understand. Refer to Extension Fact SheetPSS-2914, Keep your Septic System in Working Order, for further information on the specific maintenance needs of different systems.

Here are a few simple maintenance tips a realtor could share with a homebuyer:

Work within the system’s daily treatment capacity to ensure a successful outcome. The volume of wastewater that a system can treat in a day is limited by the period of time the system is operational. It is the responsibility of the property owner to be aware of this restriction and to ensure that it is not exceeded. In certain circumstances, this might necessitate changes to the way key water-using appliances in the house are configured. For example, delaying washing until after visitors have left, limiting the number of loads of clothing laundered each day, and refraining from using the shower, clothes washer, and dishwasher at the same time are all examples of modifications.

  • Knowing how the present OWTS operates will give prospective home buyers an idea of the degree of care and skill required to keep the system in good working order.
  • Be mindful of what should and should not be flushed down the toilet.
  • Kitchen sink drains should not be clogged with grease or cooking oils that have been utilized.
  • Using the toilet or sink to dispose of household chemicals or unwanted drugs such as antibiotics or hormonal therapies is never a good idea.
  • Have your septic tanks inspected on a regular basis.

Septic tanks have a maximum capacity for the quantity of solid waste they can handle. Table 2 indicates the estimated frequency of septic tank pumping as determined by the manufacturer. Table 2 shows the estimated frequency of septic tank inspection and pumping in years (adapted from Mancl, 1984).

Number of People Using the System
Tank Size (gallons) 1 2 4 6 8
1000 12 6 3 2 1
1250 16 8 3 2 1
1500 19 9 4 3 2

Keep the spray field/drain field in front of the home in good condition. Knowing where the lines or spray heads in your drain field are located is the first step in properly managing your drain field. Homeowners should take the following steps to guarantee that the soil in the drain field outside the house is in proper working condition: Maintaining an appropriate grass cover over the drain field, diverting surface waters (runoff and water from gutters) away from the drain field, and keeping heavy traffic, such as vehicles and heavy equipment, away from the drain field are all important considerations to consider.

Permissible Systems in Oklahoma

Traditional on-site wastewater treatment systems are the most extensively utilized and least expensive form of on-site wastewater treatment system available. Essentially, it is comprised of two major components: 1) the septic tank, and 2) the soil treatment area (STA). If the site has deep, excellent soils (loamy sands, loam, clay-loam, sandy clay), and the soil size criteria of the STA are met, this is the ideal approach. In this system, wastewater treatment is performed in the soil, and wastewater distribution is accomplished by the use of gravity throughout the STA.

The schematic representation of a standard septic system is depicted in Figure 1.

Low Pressure Dosing (LPD) System

Although comparable to the traditional system, the low-pressure dosing system incorporates a pump tank instead of a pressure regulator. It is employed in locations where there are only minor restrictions in terms of soil texture, soil thickness, and area size. When employed in locations with coarse soils (such as sand or loamy coarse sand) that do not match the land area requirements of a traditional system, it can be very effective in improving water quality. The pressure created in the pump tank is utilized to spread the effluent evenly across the whole soil treatment area, as shown in the diagram below.

Evapotranspiration/Absorption System (ET/A)

A third alternative is the ET/A system, which is suitable for locations with fine-textured soils (high clay content). If you live in a location where evapotranspiration surpasses precipitation, this system is a very suitable alternative for you. One acre is the bare minimum lot size required for this system. In Oklahoma, this would be more appropriate in locations west of Interstate 35 (for example, the panhandle) than in the state’s southeast.

Aerobic Treatment System

In Oklahoma, the aerobic therapy approach is now quite popular among residents. It is employed in regions where there are significant limits in terms of soil texture, soil thickness, slope, and other site constraints. It is equipped with an aeration tank, in which the wastewater is bubbled with ambient air (has about 20 percent oxygen). Introduction of oxygen considerably increases microbial activity, which in turn improves wastewater treatment prior to application to the soil or groundwater Subsurface drip lines or a spray irrigation system can be used to disseminate effluent, or it can be used to apply it to the surface.

This system will require a significant amount of maintenance compared to comparable systems. A schematic representation of an aerobic treatment system is shown in Figure 2. The garbage tank, the aeration tank, and the pump tank are the three compartments/smaller tanks in another form of this system.

Treatment Lagoon

Using treatment lagoons in locations where evaporation exceeds total precipitation is a viable option. When it comes to wastewater disposal, it mostly relies on evaporation. In this system, a large open pond serves as the storage and evaporation area, while a septic tank serves as the pre-treatment area for wastewater. On any type of soil with a minimum lot size of two and a half acres, lagoons are permissible for construction.

Alternative Systems

When none of the systems outlined above can be implemented or is not practicable, there are other options. The use of an alternate OWTS is required in these situations. Contact your local DEQ office or call 405-702-6100 for more information about alternative systems, including the many types of systems that are available and how to apply for and get permission for alternative systems in your area. Refer to Extension Fact Sheet for a more in-depth description of the different OWTS that are authorized in Oklahoma.

Sergio M.

LB Home Services is owned and operated by Larry Boyanton, who is a certified installer, plumbing contractor, and licensed home inspector.

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