- Cut a 4 in (10 cm) hole in the first drum on the opposite side as the hole in the top. Place the hole about 4–5 inches (10–13 cm) down from the top of the drum and make sure it lines up with the hole on top of the tank. Cut the hole with a saber saw or a hole saw.
Can an IBC tote be used as a septic tank?
IBC Totes are large, tanks which are used to store and transport fluids and other bulk materials. Both the size and rigid structure of these caged tanks make them ideal for “repurposing”.
Do plastic septic tanks last?
Poly septic tanks generally have a lower lifespan than concrete tanks. Plastic tanks usually have low effluent levels and will “float” when the water level is higher than usual. This “floating” can destroy your plumbing system and the septic tank itself.
How long do plastic septic tanks last?
A septic tank can last between 20 and 40 years. The lifespan depends on the tank’s material. A steel tank lasts 20 years, while a concrete tank lasts 40 years. Plastic tanks can last as long as 30 years.
Can you bury an IBC tote?
Introduction: Underground Rainwater Storage in an IBC With Pumped Supply. To save money I wondered if you could bury an IBC and it turns out you can!
What is the smallest septic tank available?
If you’re looking to install a septic system, the smallest tank size you’re likely to find is 750-gallon, which will accommodate one to two bedrooms. You can also opt for a 1,000-gallon system, which will handle two to four bedrooms.
Are septic tanks plastic or concrete?
Concrete septic tanks are superior to fiberglass or plastic because they are watertight and heavy duty, making it the ideal preferred storage vessel for on-site septic storage and treatment. In the United States, there are 40 million septic systems in service.
What is the cheapest septic tank?
Types of Septic Tank Systems These conventional septic systems are usually the most affordable, with an average cost of around $3,000.
Should bath water go into septic tank?
In MOST household septic systems, yes. Probably 98%+ of septic systems receive all of the waste water from the house – tub, shower, sinks, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.
How deep can you bury a plastic septic tank?
The general rule of thumb is that most septic tanks can be buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground.
What are plastic septic tanks made of?
Our plastic septic tank are designed for durability and quick, easy installation. Since our plastic septic tanks are made out of polyethylene, they are unaffected by soil chemicals and by the chemicals and gases present in sewage, so our plastic septic tanks will not rust or corrode.
DIY septic tank advise – Small Cabin Forum
|xinullMember||Posted: 20 Aug 2019 23:24ReplyI’m building a septic tank based on this design instead of using 2x 55 gallon barrels, my first barrel will be a 275 gallon IBC tote and the second barrel will be 55 gallon.This is just a small system for my wife and I and usage on ever other week-ends, and almost no usage in the winter (as the land is not easily accessible in the winter).I first need to fill these 27555 gallon containers with water.first question, can i use river water to fill them up? i dont know much about septic tanks, and i’m not sure if the possibility of insects or parasites in the water might be detrimental to my septic tanksecond question is about the design. Should the entry point of the first tank have the pipe go down to the middle of the material in the tank, OR should it stay above the material and just fall in?Here’s a picture to show what i meanThanks|
|BrettnyMember||Posted: 21 Aug 2019 07:24ReplyFirst you need to find out if its legal to do this in your area.After that an IBC tote dosnt lend very well to being burried.They are very thin material.Have you priced out a small septic tank?There usualy about $1 per gallon, they make 200gal ones.It would be a shame to dig that big hole for the IBC tote and have things colapse in.Rain water is fine.The right pic would be fine.how ever you want your outlet of the big tank sucking from the middle of the tank.Having a hole near the top and a elbow down will be good.The second barrel is just acting as a drywell?If so theres other ways to accomplish this but a 55gal drum will work.Things you need to cosider is do you have easy acess to gravel or a machine to dig?This will be alot of digging by hand.|
|xinullMember||Posted: 21 Aug 2019 20:47ReplyThere’s quite a few people in the area who’ve done their septic tank using an IBC tote. I know they have, i just dont know them personally, just word to mouth kinda of thing.But i do know that as long as you fill the IBC tote before burring it, you’ll be fine and it wont collapse;)The picture was just a quick drawing, I only had a few minutes to write the post last night. i had already decided to have an elbow with a pipe going down and a tee (to prevent any solids from accidently floating up in the pipe) around the mid-point of the material as you suggested. I was just in a hurry to draw the picture and forgot to put it inThe second barrel should only hold liquids, but if any solids still exists they can continue to decompose in that one until they are released through 2x 20 feet drain pipes in a leach field of gravelI have the machine to dig right now, i rented an excavator, couldn’t get it delivered directly because of the bad trail and mud holes, obviously. But i had to drive almost half a day just to get it to my land.For the gravel, i’ll have to haul it with a small trailer during the dry season, when the mud holes are not too bad.that’s right now! It will take some time, but im in no rush. I ran out of money to start the camp this year, so all i’m doing is preparing the road and since i got the excavator, i’m also preparing the septic tank.Thanks for the reply|
|toyota_mdt_techMember||Posted: 21 Aug 2019 21:40ReplyBoth inlet and outlet need to go below the full level. You will need a baffle, a “T” works and allows you to access it from topside for cleanout. You have sludge and crust, sludge forms at the bottom, crust at the top.You dont want anything getting into the drain field. Why fill with water, let it fil naturally.|
|ICCMember||Posted: 21 Aug 2019 21:45ReplyQuoting: toyota_mdt_techWhy fill with water, let it fil naturally.Because those totes are not made to take pressure from the outside (dirt piled on) to the inside. Water in the tank will help resist collapse.|
|xinullMember||Posted: 22 Aug 2019 08:37ReplyQuoting: toyota_mdt_techBoth inlet and outlet need to go below the full levelI felt like having both my inlet and outlet go down to the middle of the material was better as you recommended. But i wasn’t 100% sure about the inlet one. I felt like if the inlet ended in the middle, then it would avoid the splash of material going in, and avoid the possibility of having top material, or crust as you call it, to being pushed down and possibly make it’s way to the second container. But i also wondered if the material going in might not always make it’s way entirely out of the inlet pipe, and material would just accumulate in the pipe and eventually make a blockage.I guess i’m also looking for confirmation that the concept of having the inlet end in the middle is technically sound.Toyota_mdt_tech, have you seen this design in real life?As for the baffle, was already part of my design tooI’m putting one on each tank, just in case i need to access either to cleanup anything.I could collect rain water, but that would take forever as i dont have a roof to act as collector (no cabin yet). That’s why i was also asking about using river water, if that wasn’t gonna cause issues with the septic. There is a shallow river that runs nearby, and would allow for easier and quicker transport. I just dont know what effect having whatever parasite or insects from the river in my septic is going to do to the system.Quoting: ICCBecause those totes are not made to take pressure from the outside (dirt piled on) to the inside.- exactly|
|creekyMember||Posted: 22 Aug 2019 09:32ReplyI would think those insects and bacteria from the river should help. Kinda like the “dead cat” starter kit some folks use for older not used in awhile septic systems.|
|BrettnyMember||Posted: 22 Aug 2019 10:26ReplyYou dont want the inlet to be in the “meterial”the fats and floating solids can stay in that vertical pupe filled with liquid making a clog.Put your inlet higher than your outlet so you will always have flow in.I have an IBC tote thats alreaty caving in the top just from weight and rain.Since by the sound of it you really only have once chance at putting this tank in get a real one.I would go off hear say on 3rd party info.A 300gal tank thats designed for your application is $400 online.A local septic supplier should beable to get the same tank and save you the shipping.Since an IBC tote is roughly $130 your really not saving much.Add in the cost to do the job again and you have saved next to nothing.|
|BrettnyMember||Posted: 22 Aug 2019 10:28ReplyI should note that i own my machine so machine time is the cost of diesel.i would never burry a IBC tote for anything.You are prob better off making your own concrete tank than burrying one of these.|
|FishHogMember||Posted: 22 Aug 2019 13:28ReplyIf your going to bury a tote under any amount of soil cover the top with wood to stop the soil from pushing down on the plastic. Even that isn’t a long term plan. I’d follow the advice of everyone else and avoid the ibc. You will be rebuilding your system way too soon. It will work but it won’t work for as long as you want it too.Build it right the first time and you will avoid a lot of headaches|
|mj1angierMember||Posted: 22 Aug 2019 13:48ReplyHere is what I did back in the 80’s at an old farm house I got to stay in for free. Last I checked(3 years ago) a family of 3 were still using it. Mine did not look as nice as this one, lol|
|BrettnyMember||Posted: 22 Aug 2019 16:17ReplyThats where i was going with the DIY concrete tank.That one they burried looks like an above ground tank.the one that caved in.I havnt priced out bags of concrete and cinder blocks but thats prety easy to do your self.|
|AtlincabinMember||Posted: 22 Aug 2019 18:35ReplyAnother option to avoid collapse would be to clad the tank with pressure-treated (or plain) wood.There are a lot of old septic systems around here that were built with just plain green wood and are still fine tens of years later.But I’m up north where rot doesn’t happen quite as fast as other places.My vote would be to get a decent tank to start with, but cladding the IBC thing might be an option if it is difficult to get a concrete tank in to your location.|
|necklessMember||Posted: 22 Aug 2019 22:23Replywhat happens when u pump them outthose tanks willfail|
|necklessMember||Posted: 22 Aug 2019 22:24Replywhat happens when u pump them outthose tanks willfailthe plastic totes|
|sparky30_06Member||Posted: 23 Aug 2019 06:59ReplyDon’t use the IBC tote tanks, The small plastic ball septic tanks are cheap and will save you lots of head aches down the road.if you are still wanting to do something else use 3 or 4 plastic 5 gallon drums in series.They will hold up better under ground.|
|xinullMember||Posted: 23 Aug 2019 23:19ReplyThanks for all the great advice. It sure made me think about lots over the past few days.Unfortunately i already purchase the IBC tote and all the parts weeks ago. My questions were just about how to refine my plan.I did speak to a friend of mine today who has a setup with an IBC tote and he explained the good and bad about it. He also mentioned that he personally knows a handful of people running the same setup for over 8 years with no issues.I guess i’ll have to make a hard decision in the next few days. But if i do go with this setup, i’ll definitly board the IBC tote around and on top with pressure treated wood to help reinforce the structure for when emptying it.thanks everyone|
|Old and SlowMember||Posted: 30 Aug 2019 13:20 – Edited by: Old and SlowReplyCheck out how to plumb a septic tank on line. Simply, the inlet pipe terminates in a tee with a short downward extension to prevent solids or sludge from entering the pipe. It should be on the opposite side from the outlet which should be lower and terminate in a tee. My only experience is in the US where a 750 gallon tank is the minimum for a one bedroom. Field line lengths are determined by number of bedrooms and soil perk test.The local authority has the final say as to legality and may be able to cause many problems if they find an illegal system. Fifty five gallon drums were outlawed years ago in the southeast. Note the article says the system is not legal if found in use fines can result.|
|FishHogMember||Posted: 30 Aug 2019 15:54ReplyQuoting: xinullover 8 years with no issuesso do you want to dig it up and redo it in 8ish years to save the cost of an IBC that you can use for something else?Don’t forget you will be 8 years older.These days I’m planning everything I do to be less maintenance when I’m older.Things are already getting harder so I don’t want my poor planning or cost cutting to stop me from enjoying my place 10 or 20 years from now.|
|Sprinkler GuyMember||Posted: 20 Sep 2019 21:09ReplyI am a little late to the party but this is what I installed a few weeks ago.I thought about the IBC tote but didn’t want to “rig” it.|
|BrettnyMember||Posted: 21 Sep 2019 10:12ReplyNice.How much did the tank cost?300gal?|
|Sprinkler GuyMember||Posted: 21 Sep 2019 10:19ReplyIt cost about $550.Yes it is 300 gallons|
|elighMember||Posted: 22 Sep 2019 08:49 – Edited by: elighReplyQuoting: Sprinkler GuyI am a little late to the party but this is what I installed a few weeks ago.HiWhat happens when this thing gets full? Do you have someone come with a pump truck and vacuum it out?Or does it naturally take care of itself via biology and microorganisms?Oh and how deep did you bury this? From the top lid to the surface how deep? Or does that Green lid sit flush with the ground so it can be unscrewed and vacuumed out easily?|
|mj1angierMember||Posted: 22 Sep 2019 09:04ReplyLooks like Home Depot has one for around $400|
|ICCMember||Posted: 22 Sep 2019 09:27ReplyQuoting: elighWhat happens when this thing gets full?If it is being used as a septic tank there will also be some pipes in a leach field. Google how s septic tankworks.If only a storage tank it would be pumped out. There are some lakeshore communities where everyone has a storage tank instead of septic because of the water level.How deep depends on the weather; how cold the winter.|
|Sprinkler GuyMember||Posted: 22 Sep 2019 18:40ReplyIt will get pumped when full but I would suspect with only weekend use once a month it will take a long tine to fill.Solids do break down.I buried it just enough to cover the tank and I was lucky to get it that deep due to the shale.It won’t see much winter use anyway as the water line isn’t buried below the frost line.|
How to Construct a Small Septic System
Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation There are two main sections to most private septic systems: the holding and digesting tanks, and the dispersion field or leach field. As the liquid waste in the first holding tank fills up, it will be transferred to the second holding tank. Once the second tank is completely filled with liquid, the liquid will dissipate into the earth underneath it. The system displayed here is a modest system that is intended for limited use by two persons who do not need to do laundry.
When compared to a conventional house septic system, this system employs two 55 US gallon (210 L) drums, rather than the 1,000–2,000 US gallon (3,800–7,600 L) tanks that are utilized in a standard home septic system.
Property owners considering installing a system similar to this one should be advised that this system would fail inspections by any public health department in the United States, and that the owner may be liable to a fine if the system was discovered in operation by a health official.
Toilets that conserve water nowadays utilize less than two litres of water every flush.
It might be a lifeline for those who live in areas where septic treatment is not available.
Part 1 of 3: Cutting the Tanks
- 1Cut a hole in the center of the top of each drum that is the same size as the outer measurement of the toilet flange. Take the outside diameter of the toilet flange that you’re using and multiply it by two. Place the hole close to the edge of the drum so that you may simply connect them to pipes in the near future. Cut the drums using a saber saw to make them lighter
- 2 Each hole should be capped with a 4 in (10 cm) toilet flange. Push the flanges into the top of each tank until they are flush with the surface. As soon as the flanges are in position, tighten them down so they don’t move or shift once they are in place. Advertisement
- s3 Cut a hole in the first drum that is 4 in (10 cm) in diameter on the opposite side of the drum from the hole in the top. Placing the hole approximately 4–5 inches (10–13 cm) below the top of the drum and ensuring that it lines up with the hole on the top of the tank are the most important steps. 4 Make a hole in the wall with a saber saw or a hole saw. Cut two holes in the side of the drum at 45-degree angles to the center of the hole on the top, one on each side of the drum. The center line is the line that runs through the middle of the hole on the top of the drum. Make 45-degree angles from either side of the centerline, then mark them on the second drum using a permanent marker. Make your holes in the barrel by cutting through the side with a saber or a hole saw and drilling them out. Advertisement
Part 2 of 3: Placing the Tanks Underground
- 1 Dig a trench that is 4 ft 26 ft 3 ft (1.22 m 7.92 m 0.91 m) in length and width. Excavator or shovel are both good options for digging a hole in the ground where you wish to put your tank. Continue excavating until the hole measures 4 feet (1.2 m) in width, 26 feet (7.9 m) in length, and 3 feet (0.91 m) in depth.
- Excavators for excavating are often available for hire from a heavy machinery supply company. Look for equipment rentals on the internet
- 2Place the drum at the end of the trench, with one side hole drilled in it. When you place the drum on the floor, make sure it is level. Check to see sure the drum’s top is at least 4 inches (10 cm) below the surface of the water. 3 Dig a hole that is one foot (30 cm) deeper than the first to accommodate the positioning of the second drum in front of the first. In order to ensure a tight fit and prevent the drum from shifting, make your hole the same diameter as the drum you’re inserting in it. 4 The hole should be leveled with gravel until a 90-degree curve can be made to connect the top drum’s hole on one side to the toilet flange on the other. Check the alignment of the holes in the 90-degree bend between the two drums by dry fitting it between the two drums. If you need to improve the alignment of the pipe line, dig the hole a little deeper. 5 To make the bend, cut 31 2in (8.9 cm) pieces of ABS pipe and adhere them to the bend with epoxy or hot glue. With a hacksaw, cut the ABSpipe parts, also known as nipples. 6 Insert the pieces into the bend and hold them in place using PVC adhesive. Check the fit between the two drums to ensure that they are in alignment. Insert the end of the 21 2in (6.4 cm) nipple into the side hole of the first drum and tighten the nut. 7Glue the end of the 31 2in (8.9 cm) nipple into the toilet flange on the second tank, making sure that the nipple on the other end aligns with the hole on the top of the second drum. To hold the bent in place, apply PVC adhesive to the inside of the curve. Don’t be concerned about the link to the first drum just yet
- You’ll make that connection later. 8. Glue a Y-bend to a 31 2in (8.9 cm) nipple, and then bend the angled piece of the Y-bend at a 45-degree angle. Using your PVC adhesive, attach a nipple to the end of the Y-bend and let it dry. Assemble the Y-bend and align the angled pipe on it so it meets the incoming waste line, then glue it onto the toilet flange. 9 21 2in (6.4 cm) nipples are cut and glued to one end of the 45-degree bends at the bottom of the lower drum, and they are then inserted into the side of the lower drum. Directional bends are defined as those that are perpendicular to the bottom of the trench at their ends. Advertisement
Part 3 of 3: Connecting the Drain Pipes
- Put a stake into the ground and level it with the bottom of each of the 45-degree bends. 2Put a stake into the ground and level it with the top of the 45-degree bends. It doesn’t matter what sort of stakes you use since they all work. Use a mallet or hammer to pound the stakes into the ground. Attach a one-inch-wide block to the end of a four-foot-long (1.2-meter-long) level using duct tape. This will assist you in ensuring that you create sloped drain pipes so that your tanks can empty
- 3Place another stake approximately 37 8ft (1.2 m) down the trench from the first one
- 4Place another stake approximately 37 8ft (1.2 m) down the trench from the first one
- 5Place another stake approximately 37 8ft (1.2 m) down the trench from the first one. Drive the stake down until it is the same height as the first one using your hammer or mallet
- 4 Place the end of the level without the block on the first stake and the block on the second stake to complete the level without the block. Continue to pound the second stake into the ground until the level is balanced. 1 inch (2.5 cm) lower than the previous post, or 1 inch (0.64 cm) lower per 1 foot (30 cm)
- 5Repeat this method until you have stakes running the whole length of the trench
- Continue to place stakes down the rest of the trench every 37 8feet (1.2 m) from the last one, ensuring that the stakes slope away from the drums
- 6Place gravel in the trench until the top of the gravel is level with the top of the stakes
- 7Place gravel in the trench until the top of the gravel is level with the top of the stakes The gravel will now slope away from the drums at a rate of 1 4 inch (0.64 cm) per 1 foot (30 cm) of horizontal distance
- 7Place 20 ft (6.1 m) of perforated drain pipe into each hole on the second drum
- 8Place 20 ft (6.1 m) of perforated drain pipe into each hole on the third drum
- 9Place 20 ft (6.1 m) of perforated drain pipe into each hole on the fourth drum
- 10P Insert the ends of the drain pipes into the 45-degree bends on the lower drum to complete the installation. 9Make certain that the perforations in the pipes are facing down so that liquids may soak back into the earth
- 8checking the pipes with a level to ensure that the 1 4in (0.64 cm) slope is consistent throughout the length of the pipe. Fill up any gaps in the slope by adding or removing gravel under the pipe. Seal the 45-degree and 90-degree bends that connect the lower and top drums, respectively, with silicone. For the greatest seal possible on your drain pipes, use a two-part epoxy or silicone caulk. For this purpose, consider utilizing flex pipe, which will yield a little bit if the ground changes. Tenth, fill the lower drum halfway with water to keep it from collapsing under the weight of all the gravel. Place the remaining gravel over the trench and into the bottom drum, covering it completely. 11Lay landscape fabric over the top of the gravel. As a result, the dirt will not be able to seep into the gravel and you will be able to keep proper drainage on your tanks
- 12Fill the remaining trench area with soil, compacting it to the original grade. When you have finished filling up the area with your dirt, check to see that the ground is level. 13Fill the upper drum with water, leaving the top pipe from the first tank exposed so that you can readily reach the tanks if you need to drain them later. 14Fill the lower drum with water. Fill the top drum with water and pour it directly down the exposed pipes on the bottom drum. Continue filling the drum until it is completely filled, then secure the top with a cap to keep out the elements. Advertisement
Community Q A
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- Question What is considered a low level of use? Low consumption is defined as less than 125 gallons per day. Question Was the ‘y’ elbow on the first tank’s tank for any particular reason? Is it left open or sealed when it has been completed? Isn’t it going to stink if it’s left open? The clean out requires a threaded cap or plug, which is provided. Question What kind of water do you use to fill it? “Fill” is the most important term here. Continue to fill the drum with water until the level does not rise any more
- Question Suppose I neglected to attach a slip coupler to the perforated pipe and only had 10 feet of it. Is it still possible to use this? Yes, however you will need to raise the depth of the field in order to get the same cubic feet of capacity
- Nevertheless Question What is the best way to find out if something is legal in my state? This is a quick and easy approach that is unlikely to be appropriate for long-term usage in the majority of states. It is possible that the property owner and/or the installation will be penalized if this is uncovered. Question Is it possible to utilize two or three 275-gallon water totes instead, or a water tote and barrel combination? It doesn’t matter either direction you go. It’s best to utilize a single tote and a barrel as a digestion tank and a distribution box if you have only one tote. Question What is the purpose of filling the higher barrel with water? You fill the top barrel with water so that when sewage waste is introduced into the barrel, it flows into a sufficient amount of water to initiate the anaerobic digestion process. Question What is the best way to clean up this system? If there is enough bacteria in it, it will clean itself with minimal effort. If it starts to fill up, you may call a septic service to have it emptied
- If it doesn’t, you can do it yourself. Question What is the correct grade slope of the drain field for every ten feet of length of the drain field? It is possible for the field’s bottom to be level. When running away from the drums, the pipe system should be sloped at 2 percent, or 2.5 inches every 10 feet. Question Is it possible for this system to freeze in the winter? And might I use antifreeze in the mix as well? Antifreeze will destroy the beneficial bacteria that are required for the process to function properly. The process is biological, and it will generate some of its own heat as part of the process. It’s always possible to dig a little deeper to gain a little extra insulation above it.
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- The horizontal side of the “Y” links to the waste source, and it should be fitted with a connector that is compatible with the source supply line
- Instead of using a 90° elbow, you should join two of them together to produce a U-shaped connection. In this manner, the end that is in the first barrel will be pointed towards the bottom of the tank, rather than the top. This should be reinforced with a short segment of straight pipe that is several inches deeper towards the bottom. Solids either float or sink depending on their density. They don’t seem to congregate in the middle. As a result, only the broken down liquid waste makes it to the second tank, and the solids are never seen again. The same procedure should be followed for each of the drainage pipes that originate from the second barrel. Just to be completely certain that no solids find their way into the global drain field, the waste is dumped into the first tank, with the solids settling to the bottom of the first tank. Whenever the liquid level exceeds the outfall to the second tank, it is drained into the tank below it. If there are any solids present, they will sink to the bottom. Whenever the liquid from the second tank reaches one of the two outfalls, it is transported to the gravel leaching field for dispersion. Over time, the vast majority of the solids will liquefy and disperse. Solids may accumulate at the top of the tank after many years, necessitating the removal of the solids. Thirty percent of the waste is absorbed into the earth, with the remaining seventy percent being dissipated by sunshine. It is important not to compress the soil since this would interfere with the evaporation process
- The vertical side of the “Y” will be used to pump out the tank after it is entirely filled with solids
- The depth of the trench should be proportional to the depth of the waste source line. If the line is deeper or higher than the one depicted, you will need to dig the trench deeper or shallower to suit the new line depth or height. It’s not that difficult to find out. In the event that you have a septic system that is too shallow, it may be more susceptible to damage. After a period, you may discover that the ground has sunk below the trench’s location. Fill it in with extra dirt and compact it
- It is assumed that you are familiar with working with ABS plastic pipe. In addition, you must have the necessary tools to dig the trench (or be ready to put in a lot of effort).
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- This is a system with a relatively limited capacity. This is not intended to suit the demands of a big family or group of people. It is intended for use with a modest travel trailer and two individuals. In order to extend the life of this little septic system, it is recommended that you do not place anything else in it but water, trash, and toilet paper. You may have to pump the upper drum once or twice a year if you don’t do so. During the course of five years, the system depicted here will only require pumping twice. Do not drive through the area where the drums are located. When establishing a septic system, make sure to adhere to all applicable municipal regulations. It is against the law to establish a septic system without first obtaining a permission. In the permission, you can find information on the local regulations for installing a septic system. You should avoid situating a septic system too close to trees since tree roots will grow into your lines, block them, and eventually cause damage to your system.
Things You’ll Need
- 3/4 or 1 1/2 crushed rock or blue metal
- 80 square feet (7.4 m 2) of landscaping fabric
- 9 cubic yards (6.9 m3) of 3/4 or 1 1/2 crushed rock or blue metal 55 US gal (210 L) plastic drums
- 10 feet (3.0 m) of ABS plastic pipe with a diameter of 4 in (10 cm)
- 4 in (10 cm) ABS 90-degree bend
- 4 in (10 cm) ABS Y-bend
- 3 ABS 45-degree bends with sizes of 4 in (10 cm)
- 2 55 US gal (210 L) plastic drums A total of 40 feet (12 meters) of 4 inch (10 cm) perforated drain pipe
- Two 4 inch (10 cm) diameter drain pipe couplers
- And two toilet flanges with 4 inch (10 cm) diameters are included. PVC glue, two-part epoxy or silicone sealant, a level, and ten wood stakes are all required. 1 in (2.5 cm) thick wood block
- Duct tape
- 4 in (10 cm) ABS detachable cap
- 1 in (2.5 cm) thick wood block
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DIY Septic System Tutorials – 55 Gallon Drum & Tank Systems
You read that correctly: this article is about making a handmade DIY septic system out of inexpensive plastic barrels and repurposed tote tanks! Not only is it not thrilling, but it is also not seductive, yet it is really vital. If you’re only going to be camping or staying somewhere for a few weeks, a simple latrine will suffice. However, if you plan on spending months or years in a log cabin that you constructed yourself in an off-grid region, you’ll need something more effective to deal with the normal human waste.
The three ‘Do It Yourself’ house septic systems shown here are all relatively inexpensive to construct — from a small size 55 gallon drum septic system to two bigger tote tank septic systems.
1 – DIY 55 Gallon Drum Septic System
This excellent step-by-step video demonstrates how to rapidly and affordably construct a modest 55-gallon drum septic tank. Only human waste should be used in this handmade plastic barrel septic system; it is not large enough to handle laundry or other household garbage. Although the lesson specifies that this system is designed for two adults, I believe that with cautious use, it may meet the demands of a small family consisting of two adults and two young children. Take a look at it. An inexpensive and straightforward plastic barrel septic system for one to two persons is demonstrated here.
It is unable to deal with washing and other household chores.
2 — DIY Tote Tank Septic System
UnitedStatesofBuild has created an outstanding video instruction, which you can see here. The video demonstrates how to create a low-cost, off-grid tote tank septic system from the ground up. Totes are big plastic liquid containers that are encased in a protective steel or aluminum frame for added strength and durability. For transportation purposes, they are frequently shipped on pallets. Totes may be purchased at a low cost since they are typically considered a waste product once they have been used.
Tote tanks are also excellent for large-scale rainwater gathering systems.
3 – A Larger DIY Tank Septic System
Make Science Fun created this video lesson for you. It includes instructions on how to construct a larger-scale above-ground aerated water waste treatment system using totes. However, while this system is a bigger and more expensive version of the DIY tank septic system, it is still less expensive than a properly constructed commercial system. Even though this is a larger and more intricate septic system, it is extremely efficient and has the ability to break down and handle far more waste. TUTORIAL – How to create your own sewage system from the ground up.
With this information, you should be able to make an informed decision on whether to invest in an expensive professional prepared system or to create a more affordable DIY system for yourself.
(Photo from: WikiHow)
The prospect of installing a septic system might be intimidating for some people. It may be frustrating to attempt to figure out the most cost-effective approach to build a septic system, especially if you’re working with a limited budget. The most cost-effective method of installing a septic system is to use a heavy-duty IBC tank or repurposed barrels. These materials are less expensive than concrete and do not need the use of expert installers to complete the installation. Furthermore, utilizing either approach is far faster than using concrete or steel to construct a structure.
Continue reading for a step-by-step instruction and helpful hints on how to keep these systems running smoothly.
How To Build a Cheap Septic Tank Using a Heavy-Duty IBC Tank
A number of items are required in order to construct a septic system using this approach. The following materials are required:
- An IBC tank that is heavy-duty
- A cordless drill
- A pair of pliers
- And a cutting tool with a drill bit. 4 inch (10.16 cm) hole saw with a 120 mm (12 cm) cutting capacity
- Two 4 inch (10.16 cm) by 110 mm (11 cm) flanges
- Two 110 mm (11 cm) donut washers
- Two 110 mm (11 cm) baffles or 90-degree angle pipes
- Two 110 mm (11 cm Two 5.5 x 25 screws are used. WD40 aerosol can
- Goggles for eye protection are included with the lid and frame.
If you don’t already have a cordless drill, I recommend the DeWalt Cordless Drill (which can be found at a reasonable price on Amazon here—affiliate link) as a good starting point. It is small and lightweight, and it is equipped with an LED light ring to improve visibility in low-light conditions. Once you have obtained the aforementioned tools, proceed as follows:
Identify Where You Will Install the Septic Tank
Identify and stake out the location of the septic tank in your yard or on the grounds of your property. Check to see that it is level and that there are no impediments beneath it. This will prevent any complications that may develop while excavating the hole for your septic tank, such as accidentally cutting through water or gas lines while drilling through them by mistake!
Drill a Hole in the Lid of the IBC Container
This is for attaching the riser, which will be discussed in further depth later. This may be accomplished by drilling a hole in the lid of the IBC container with a 4-inch (10.16 cm) hole saw and a drill bit to create an entrance. Steel screws with a length of 5.5 inches (13.97 cm) and a diameter of.030 inch (1.97 cm) have been given specifically for this purpose.
Attach the 120 mm Holes Into Two Flanges
Drill two holes into each of two flanges so that they may be used to support the tank underneath it during the installation of your septic system. Before tightening the screws, double-check that both holes are properly aligned with one another. Once you have tightened them, it will be difficult to move them back into their original places. After that, put in two more screws, aligning up each hole in between, to provide further support. The flanges may then be screwed into the two 120 mm (12 cm) holes that have been drilled into the lid of the IBC container.
Put On the 110 mm Donut Washers and Baffles
Attach the baffle to the riser by attaching it to one end with two washers and the other end with another washer. Once this is completed, insert a second baffle into which you may insert another pair of donut washers. Then simply insert the third one through the hole on the lid of the IBC container.
Check to see that each baffle is balanced out with the others so that there isn’t too much weight on one end of the baffle that it can’t support throughout the installation. It is possible that you will want more screws for additional support.
Add the Riser
After you have completed all of the previous stages, it is time to put your riser on. Maintain the level of this with your IBC container so that when you pour water into it, there is no leaking from your septic tank throughout the installation process. In order to do this, align the holes on each side of the riser and the screws on each end with the holes and holes supplied beneath the baffles and riser. Once they are properly aligned, a screw for stability should be added, and everything should be tightened to the appropriate degree.
Put On the Lid
After completing all of the preceding processes, it is finally time to attach your lid. Put your septic tank lid on and double-check that everything else is in its proper location. If you prefer another option, you might follow the instructions outlined in the following video: Caveat: When constructing a septic tank, there are several factors to consider. Taking into consideration the local construction laws and ordinances is essential to prevent breaking any rules or regulations. Additional considerations include being environmentally conscious in order to prevent causing harm to nature or other people’s property.
How To Build Cheap DIY 3-Barrel Septic System
Alternatively, you might construct a low-cost septic system out of repurposed wine barrels. The following materials are required:
- 3 plastic barrels with a capacity of 40 gallons (151.41 L)
- • Drill
- • A plastic pipe measuring about 9 ft (2.74 m) in length and fittings to connect all three barrels
Take the following steps:
Arrange the Barrels With Holes in a Well Drained Spot
Excavate 2 to 3 foot (0.60 to 0.91 m) holes beneath each barrel to ensure that they do not sink into the earth when filled with water or garbage. You want to make sure that your barrels are aligned. Place them approximately 2 feet (0.60 meters) apart so that when you close the top lid, it will cover the majority of the stuff within. If you arrange them too close together, the flow of liquids within will be hampered. Make sure there is enough room between them. You will have septic tank failure as a result of this.
Prepare for Digging
Prepare shovels, buckets, wheelbarrows, and any other hand equipment that will be required to dig trenches extending from your barrels to a central spot in your yard or garden. Wearing gloves and boots when putting down a 10-inch (25.4-cm) broad trench to keep other materials out of the way, such as pebbles or tree roots, can help you do this operation more carefully.
Add Good Soil on the Top of Each Hole
Overfilling each hole with rich, healthy soil will function as a barrier to waste entering the hole, ensuring that when you pour water from your barrels, it does not flood the whole area. It is also critical that you keep sharp rocks and other foreign debris away from the septic system to prevent blockages.
Move Over the Barrels in Their Respective Position
The barrels may now be transferred one by one over their corresponding holes after making sure that everything is flat and securely fastened to the ground. Fill them with water to flush out any foreign objects, sand, or other contaminants that might block the system and cause it to malfunction.
Finish Off the Lids and Fill Up the Trenches, Then Put in Soil
Finish with the lids of your barrels, which you should fit over each of the holes. The tops of the containers should be closed to prevent liquids from spilling out and getting into the soil. Fill up the remaining trenches with a shovel to ensure that the dirt surface is exactly flat and level. In fact, you could even add some landscaping on top of it. Results to Be Expected: At this point, you have constructed an economical septic system for as little money as possible, one that will endure for more than ten years after it is first installed.
Nothing more than a visual inspection every year or two for cracks in the pipes is required, which is especially important when temperatures soar to dangerous levels during the summer months.
Due to the fact that septic tank effluent will wear down these pipes until they become so thin that they will eventually fail altogether, regular maintenance is essential.
Tips for Maintaining Your Septic System
It is critical that you pump out your septic tank once or twice a year at the absolute least. This aids in the removal of sludge from within your septic system, allowing it to operate more efficiently. It also minimizes the likelihood of obstruction, which prevents wastewater from leaking into your drain field and causing a major mess.
Keep the System Clean by Adding a Septic Tank Feeder
If you have built your system on a tight budget, you may find that you need the aid of a septic tank feeder to keep it running well. This would guarantee that all of your pipes are free of obstructions and that they can continue to work correctly for as long as feasible. It is an additional price, but if it prevents you from experiencing serious issues in the future, it is very necessary. This will assist in the removal of any remnants of garbage or sludge over time, so preventing clogs and ensuring that wastewater runs easily through your system
Give the Drain Field a Thorough Cleaning Every Year or Two
Another thing you should do to prevent blockages from occurring is to clean up the drain field on your property. Use a toilet bowl cleaner to clear away any clogs that may be present in your drain field and to guarantee that there are no signs of blockages left behind. It is possible that you may need to remove any roots or tree stumps that are present in the soil medium before you can clean it. If you go cautiously, you will most likely find that you are removing waste from your septic tank on a less frequent basis than you were previously.
Maintain Your Septic System Yearly
Finally, but certainly not least, you must maintain your septic system by cleaning out the diffuser discharge ports on your tank. You may use a pressure washer to thoroughly clean these areas, removing any residues of sludge or growths that may be present.
The Pros and Cons of a Cheap Septic System
The ability to construct a low-cost septic system for your own use is a distinct benefit. If you already have all of the necessary tools and equipment, you won’t have to spend nearly as much money as you may expect. You just require a few basic components, which means it will be less expensive than acquiring an expensive septic tank or a whole system from a professional. It also saves you time because you won’t have to wait for contractors to compute their prices, organize meetings with them, or even pay them after they are finished constructing your tanks and pipelines, as you would otherwise.
It can be difficult, though, because everything must be leveled before the barrels can be placed in their final positions.
Frequently Asked Questions
A biosolids digester can be used as an alternative to a septic tank. This technique makes use of microorganisms to break down organic materials into liquid and gaseous components, which are then recycled.
In general, it has a greater initial installation cost but a lower ongoing maintenance cost. This 4-minute video illustrates the operation of a biodigester, including:
How Deep Should a Septic Tank Be Buried?
The best practice is to have the tank buried at least 4 inches (10.16 cm) to 4 feet (1.21 m) underground, or as deep as recommended by the local authorities. Because of the shallow burial of the septic tank, it has the potential to contaminate neighboring groundwater and surface water. An average septic system should be buried deep enough that the tank does not freeze when temperatures drop to freezing during the harsh winter months. It’s better if you can keep your tank above the frost line.
By keeping organisms and leaves out of your drain field, it can also help to limit the amount of possible pollution that enters your leach field.
What Is the Best Septic System To Install?
Precast concrete septic systems are the ideal type of system to construct since they are hefty, endure longer than other systems, and can remain in place even if a building collapses on top of them. Installation is simple, since they can be filled in a single day without creating a lot of messes. In addition, concrete is impervious to rust and corrosion, unlike steel.
It is not always simple to determine the most cost-effective method of installing a septic system. Heavy-duty IBC tanks or repurposed barrels may be your best option if you are on a tight budget but yet want something that will be effective. These materials may be acquired for less money than concrete and do not necessitate the use of expert installers to complete the installation. They not only save time, but they also save money since they reduce the labor expenses involved with installing alternative systems like as concrete or steel.
- The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States: How Your Septic System Works
- Forbesgroup.co.uk: Minibulk MB Range
- Minibulk MB Range NCBI: Microbial Anaerobic Digestion (Bio-Digesters) as an Approach to the Decontamination of Animal Wastes in Pollution Control and the Generation of Renewable Energy
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Microbial Anaerobic Digestion (Bio-Digesters) as an Approach to the Decontamination of Animal Wastes in Pollution Control and the Generation of Renewable Energy
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Microbial Anaerobic Digestion (Bio-Digesters) as an American Standard Building Code Requirements for Minimum Design Loads in Buildings and Other Structures
- GovInfo.gov: American Standard Building Code Requirements for Minimum Design Loads in Buildings and Other Structures
Trying to build a DIY redneck style septic tank.
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|02-09-2020, 04:09 PM||1|
|MemberJoin Date: Dec 2019Location: Stapleton, AlabamaPosts: 41||Trying to build a DIY redneck style septic tank.
Does any one have experience with building DYI septic tanks with plastic barrels for an Rv?So I have one empty plastic barrel and I’m considering drilling some holes in it.Just dug a 5 ft hole.I’m considering putting rocks on the bottom and around the sides of the barrel.Would this work? If not, what would you recommend?
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|02-09-2020, 04:13 PM||2|
|Senior MemberJoin Date: Sep 2007Location: Grasonville, MD – Golden, COPosts: 6,210||Quote:Originally Posted byethan1Does any one have experience with building DYI septic tanks with plastic barrels for an Rv?So I have one empty plastic barrel and I’m considering drilling some holes in it.Just dug a 5 ft hole.I’m considering putting rocks on the bottom and around the sides of the barrel.Would this work? If not, what would you recommend?Attachment 274702 Attachment 274703Simple -Need a couple barrels to do it right.Best of Luck,_Busskipper Location – Grasonville, Maryland – and/or – Superior, Colorado 2005 Travel Supreme 42DS04 – GX470 Toad|
|02-09-2020, 04:42 PM||3|
|Registered UserJoin Date: Oct 2011Posts: 2,183||Do a percolation test first.You can add course stone for a french drain, drain’s if need be.Aeration Aerobic medium activity creats a working system more odor free.|
|02-09-2020, 04:49 PM||4|
|Senior MemberJoin Date: Aug 2016Location: payson, azPosts: 925||how about checking with the local building authority (city / county) to determine how to proceed?|
|02-09-2020, 04:52 PM||5|
|Senior MemberJoin Date: Jun 2017Posts: 2,807||I have a 3 barrel system for the bathroom in my shop with a single 40 foot drain field.I also have a single barrel system for the RV with a single 20 foot drain field.Dig the barrel hole over a foot deeper than the height of the barrel the inlet pipe should go down to about 6″ from the bottom of the barrel. The effluent pipe comes out of the top of the barrel and turns 90 degrees to the drain field pipe. You can put some small holes around the sides of the top of the barrel as well. If you do this use rocks to back fill the barrel as well as in your drain field trench. Cover both with dirt and sod for the last 2″ to 3″ at least.|
|02-09-2020, 04:55 PM||6|
|Senior MemberJoin Date: Jun 2017Posts: 2,807||Quote:Originally Posted bybigchickhow about checking with the local building authority (city / county) to determine how to proceed?That’s an easy way to get immediately shut down. Most have a minimum septic tank size in the hundreds to over a thousand gallons, require a soil scientist to do a soil test, and have minimum drain field size requirements; all based on a multi-bedroom house size, not an RV holding tank.|
|02-10-2020, 06:19 AM||8|
|Junior MemberJoin Date: Aug 2018Location: IndianaPosts: 11||Search on You tube several very good options that work very well and are I expensive to make!|
|02-10-2020, 08:23 AM||9|
|Senior MemberJoin Date: Sep 2012Location: Palm Coast FloridaPosts: 10,778||My initial though is that is not going to work and is illegal.How far are you from a state park with a dump station. Also can you have a sewage truck come and pump you out?Here is what I do camping on my unimproved wooded property. I alternate between using the state park and a pump out truck. I bought a 35 gallon sewage tote. I use that the for the 1st black tank dump. Then for the second dump I call a company to come pump out the tote and pump out the trailer.or depending on my mood I will pull my trailer 9 miles to the state park dump station and pay $9 to dump. While there I fill my fresh water tank and my fresh water containers.If you do the research you will find the land needs to perk. If it perks then you need a large sewage system. Probably 15k to do it right.Looks like you have improved property. If so, get a small tote that you can carry into the house to dump in the toilet. I would worry my neighbors would report a illegal sewage dumping situation if I did not do it the way I do. Plus I do not want to stink up my camp area.|
|02-10-2020, 09:05 AM||10|
|Senior MemberJoin Date: Feb 2020Posts: 327||Ask your county first. There may be issues you’ve not considered. Maybe neighbors with wells? If you feel compelled to do something illegal, you probably shouldn’t post about it on the internet.|
|02-10-2020, 09:23 AM||11|
|Senior MemberJoin Date: Jan 2020Posts: 431||I have been to a campground that had/has the plastic barrel thing, he is grandfathered, campground has a well, no one is dead yet. They last for a long time, and when goes bad, he rents a small excavator and digs up and puts in a new barrel, leaves old one where it is. Another option is the composting toylet, or outhouse, make it look like a shed. Good luck.|
|02-10-2020, 10:20 AM||12|
|Senior MemberJoin Date: Jul 2014Posts: 29,475||Don’t tell anybody in charge, but my summer house has a 55 gallon drum septic system. It has a pump in it that leads to the river but its not wired anymore. Built in the 40s when no one worried.It started flooding over so I dug a 10″ deep trench and layed 30 ft of 3″ leaching pipe in it. I dropped a solid section of the pipe into the top of the barrel and haven’t had a problem since.While wrenching, by hand, I discovered the old leaching pipe that had been chopped off by the trench for city water installation. Hey, it passed some kind of septic test when I bought it.I plan in burying another barrel or two, on the other side of the yard, so I can dump my RV in, and maybe add a second bathroom to the house some day.Until the Town tells me to upgrade to a modern system, I’ll use what I got.|
|02-10-2020, 10:29 AM||13|
|Senior MemberJoin Date: Sep 2007Location: Grasonville, MD – Golden, COPosts: 6,210||Quote:Originally Posted bytwinboatDon’t tell anybody in charge, but my summer house has a 55 gallon drum septic system. It has a pump in it that leads to the river but its not wired anymore. Built in the 40s when no one worried.It started flooding over so I dug a 10″ deep trench and layed 30 ft of 3″ leaching pipe in it. I dropped a solid section of the pipe into the top of the barrel and haven’t had a problem since.While wrenching, by hand, I discovered the old leaching pipe that had been chopped off by the trench for city water installation. Hey, it passed some kind of septic test when I bought it.I plan in burying another barrel or two, on the other side of the yard, so I can dump my RV in, and maybe add a second bathroom to the house some day.Until the Town tells me to upgrade to a modern system, I’ll use what I got.Just try to stay at least 75′ from the well – oh you have public water- I did a knock down/demo of an old house a few years back and they had half a dozen 55 gallon double tanks in the yard that we dug up – was just one person in the house so as long as the water usage is low they will work. Just be sure you add the drain field to the tank and give it time to work before running a great volume of water._Busskipper Location – Grasonville, Maryland – and/or – Superior, Colorado 2005 Travel Supreme 42DS04 – GX470 Toad|
|02-10-2020, 11:18 AM||14|
|Senior MemberJoin Date: Oct 2016Posts: 1,039||you don’t say, but are you going to live in the R/V or is it just to dump your holding tanks when you’ve come back form a camping trip. what ever you do DON’T tell anybody what your doing. it could cost you thousands. Jay D.|
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