The simplest way to add to your septic tank while remaining connected to existing sewer lines is to simply add an additional septic tank. This gives your home a larger wastewater capacity, and gives your septic system more time to treat the wastewater before draining.
- The best and most cost-effective way to increase the working capacity of your existing septic tank is to boost its efficiency from the inside out. Installing a septic aerator can provide significant increases in decomposition rates and remediation processes within the tank by providing a fertile environment for highly efficient aerobic bacteria.
Can you enlarge a septic system?
ENLARGING THE SYSTEM The increase from three to five bedrooms will require more septic tank capacity (usually 1.5 times), and that will involve replacing the current tank or adding an additional tank in series. The drainfield or other soil treatment component (mound, at-grade) will need to be enlarged by two-thirds.
Should you add anything to your septic tank?
There is little scientific data to suggest that you should add bacteria or enzymes to your septic system. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reported that biological additives do not appear to improve the performance of healthy septic tanks.
How do I add good bacteria to my septic tank?
Flush a packet of brewer’s dry yeast down one toilet on the bottom floor of your house once a month. The yeast will help add “good” bacteria to your septic tank and break down waste.
How do you extend a leach field?
Another way to extend the life and efficiency of your drain field is to cover it with a layer of dense grass. You can also plant small plants with very shallow root systems over it, such as flowers and ferns. A plant cover will reduce soil erosion and absorb excess moisture from the drain field soil.
Can you add onto a drain field?
You may damage the drainfield. Don’t pave over the drainfield. Drainfields need air to function properly. Soil compaction prevents oxygen from getting into the soil and prevents water from flowing away from the drainfield.
Do I need to add enzymes to my septic tank?
But septic tanks don’t really need help from extra additives. As long as you are only putting wastewater and toilet paper down the pipes, the tank can take care of its job on its own. Putting anything extra in can cause more harm than good and it’s best to stick to the tanks natural ecosystem when possible.
How do I keep my septic tank healthy?
Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system
- Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Pump your septic tank as needed.
- Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
- Be water-wise.
- Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
- Landscape with love.
- Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.
Is Ridex good for a septic system?
How additives, like Rid-x, interfere with your septic system’s eco-system. According to the EPA and the Ohio Department of Health, not only are additives like Rid-X not recommended, but they actually have a detrimental and potentially hazardous effect on your septic system’s waste treatment process.
Can you put too much bacteria in your septic tank?
Too much of a good thing can cause problems. A septic system relies on the correct balance of bacteria to do its job. An overpopulation of bacteria can deplete the oxygen in the septic tank and turn the environment septic. A septic, septic system is one in which the ecosystem within the tank is out of balance.
Can you add too much bacteria to septic?
Healthy septic tanks already have enough bacteria to support the biological processes that treat human waste and wastewater. By adding more bacteria in the tank, you create conditions in which bacterial populations compete against each other. This competition can do more harm than good.
How often should I add bacteria to my septic tank?
When solids enter the tank, they settle to the bottom and collect there. Over time, those solids will start to build up. This is why the tank needs pumping every three to five years — because the solids in the tank always rise to the top.
How do you fix a saturated leach field?
Additional ways to help keep the soil in your drain field from becoming over-saturated include:
- Avoid using too many water fixtures in the home at once.
- Ensure all home gutter downspouts are directed away from the drain field.
- Don’t point lawn sprinklers toward drain field.
Can you add dirt on top of leach field?
Never add additional soil over the drain field unless it is a minimal amount used to restore an area that may have been eroded or pulled up by removing another plant. Try not to be overly zealous when tilling the soil for planting. Remember that the drain lines may be as close as 6 inches from the soil surface.
Can a leach field be restored?
A drainfield that isn’t working properly could result in clogged drains and the release of raw sewage on the ground’s surface. A failing drainfield can, and should, be restored quickly to avoid permanent damage. Biological, organic, and inorganic additives can be used to restore functionality to a failing drainfield.
The secrets on how to improve your septic system
The key to a well functioning septic system! Almost all of us prefer to forget that we have a septic system at all most of the time. When something is out of sight, it is definitely out of mind! When your septic system isn’t functioning properly, it may quickly turn into a real nightmare situation for you. Bad stench, water backing up in your home, and perhaps tainted wastewater ponding on your lawn are all possible consequences. Mr. Michael Deighan, our in-house septic system specialist, explains how to keep your septic system in good operating order so that you never have to deal with these concerns again, in plain English.
Because our septic system is buried in the ground, we don’t usually think about it, and it’s not an issue until it’s too late, which is often the case.
It’s difficult to think of everything, but it’s critical to plan regular pumping of your septic system since it will save you hundreds of dollars over the course of your whole life.
As the solids pile up in your septic system, the solids settling rate decreases, increasing the likelihood of short-circuiting and resulting in lower treatment effectiveness.
Inspection on a regular basis Confide in your industry specialist and the advice they give you.
These routine inspections provide you the opportunity to detect an issue before it becomes too late.
3: Maintain complete and accurate records It is critical to keep accurate records on your septic system, which should include the following information: – Septic system pumping records– Septic system maintenance records– Septic system location drawings that have been updated Selling your house, doing septic system maintenance, and completing repairs on your property will be much easier if you keep good records.
- Reduce the amount of water you use.
- It is possible to prevent overburdening your septic system and leachfield by installing high-efficiency equipment such as toilets, high-efficiency shower heads, washer/dryers, and dishwashers in your home.
- Among the things you should avoid taking into your system are the following: -Fats and/or Greasing -Motor oils or fuels are a type of fuel.
- -Coffee grinds, egg shells, and nutshells are all good options.
- Traditional septic systems have a lifespan of between 10 and 25 years, depending on the model.
- The existing septic tank may be used to increase the overall performance of the septic system by installing an aerobic treatment unit.
- ClearPod is a drop-in, fixed-film aerobic treatment system that treats onsite wastewater while leveraging existing infrastructure and equipment.
If you have a flash load of solids due to a high number of people attending your event, an aerobic treatment unit can assist in treating the organic load and reducing the impact on the entire system.
Better-quality wastewater exiting the septic tank implies less stress on the leachfield, allowing the system to recover more quickly.
Installation is straightforward and takes no more than an hour on average.
As a result, these pollutants have the potential to seep into the soil and contaminate the surrounding ecosystem and groundwater supplies.
This might cause damage to infrastructure or compress the soil layer, making it impossible for water to percolate freely through the Soil Layer any more.
Roof drains, sump pumps, and other drainage systems should all be installed at a downward slope from your septic system’s gradient.
Water that is not used up during the wastewater treatment process is called surplus water. Sources: If you would like more information or would like to request information on purchasing and direct shipment, please contact Mike Deighan at +1 902 940 0836 or [email protected]
Bedroom Count Misrepresentation With Septic Systems
Misrepresentation of the number of bedrooms in septic systems occurs significantly more frequently than you might expect. When it comes time to put your home on the market, you naturally want to include as many bedrooms as you reasonably can since, more often than not, more bedrooms translate into a higher selling price for your property. However, if you have a septic system, you will want to take a deep breath before putting that listing on the market. A faulty septic system that is not rated for the number of bedrooms claimed by the property owner might result in significant consequences, including the possibility of a legal action being brought against the property owner.
- The majority of the time, it is the real estate agent who is at fault for failing to comprehend this area of the company properly.
- Unfortunately, the real estate agent sector is filled with agents who should not be permitted to possess a license, yet are still permitted to practice their profession.
- When you don’t take your work and the ongoing education that comes with it seriously, you may find yourself in the position of being sued.
- Consequently, if your home has four real bedrooms but the septic system capacity is only capable of supporting three, you have a three-bedroom home on your hands.
- It mentions “system information” on page six of the paper, which is where the section is located.
- When promoting a house, the real estate agent should use the number of bedrooms the septic system is built to handle, not the number of bedrooms that are really there.
How Septic Systems Relate to Bedrooms in a Home
Whatever their size or age, whether they’re large or tiny, old or new, all septic systems are intended to handle a set amount of waste. In order to be an informed homeowner, and particularly a home seller, you must be aware of the size of your septic system. Knowing the capacity of your septic system will allow you to establish the number of bedrooms that your home is supposed to have on the inside.
Septic system capacity is measured, or “rated”, in bedrooms.
If you look at a septic system from the outside, you may imagine that its capacity is measured in bathroom square footage. Isn’t it true that a larger septic system should be able to manage additional bathrooms? No, it is not always the case. In reality, the quantity of restrooms isn’t a major source of worry. The number of bedrooms is the source of contention. The number of bedrooms indicates the number of people who may reside in the house and, thus, the number of people who may utilize the septic system.
The design flow of a septic system is determined by the anticipated demand depending on the number of bedrooms.
The systems are developed with a daily water use of 110 gallons per bedroom in mind. 310 CMR 15.203 contains the relevant regulations. Consequently, if you have a four-bedroom house, your septic system would be able to handle 440 gallon of water every day.
You cannot have more bedrooms than the septic system can handle.
When it comes to real estate listings, you cannot advertise for more bedrooms in a property than the septic system is capable of supporting on its own. Now, the reality of the issue can be different; you might have more bedrooms in your home than the system is designed to accommodate. The residence cannot, however, be listed for sale with the buyer under the representation that the house has more bedrooms than the septic system’s bedroom capacity. The buyer may file a lawsuit if he or she discovers that the system is not rated for the number of bedrooms in the house they are considering purchasing.
Listing a home with more bedrooms than the septic system is rated for is illegal in Massachusetts.
Every state has its own set of rules governing real estate, so it’s crucial to research what you can and cannot do lawfully in your particular state before getting started. It is against the law in Massachusetts to attempt to sell your house by advertising more bedrooms than the septic system is capable of handling. Although this is not the preferred method of selling properties in the state, Realtors and home sellers continue to attempt it, most likely because they are uninformed of the regulations involving septic system ratings and home sales.
What is Considered a Bedroom Anyway?
Septic systems are one method of determining the number of bedrooms, but do you know what a bedroom is actually defined as? There is considerable ambiguity in defining a bedroom, to be sure. The following characteristics must be met in order for a room to be called a bedroom, according to standard practice:
- Keep the space to a minimal size – the square footage of the room should be at least 70-80 square feet in most cases. It is necessary to have an escape route – normally, you will require an entrance and an exit, as well as a door and a window wide enough to allow for escape. According to the International Residential Code, a window must have a minimum opening area of 5.7 square feet, a minimum opening height of twenty-four inches, and a minimum opening width of twenty inches in order to meet the requirements of the code. In certain cases, the gap between a finished floor and a finished window sill might be as much as 44 inches. In most cases, a person must be at least seven feet tall in order to be able to walk comfortably in the space. According to your local construction rules, you may be required to install a closet in your residence. This is less clear-cut than the majority of people believe. Many individuals are under the impression that you always need a closet.
In addition to the septic system standards, you should never refer to a room as a bedroom if it does not match the conditions outlined above.
How Do Sellers Wind Up Breaking the Law?
It is the great majority of house sellers and the vast majority of realtors who do not intend to contravene the law when they misrepresent that their property has more bedrooms than the septic system is designed to handle. They are only interested in extracting as much money as possible from the property. Some of the most prevalent reasons for misrepresentation include the following:
Additions to the home
When homeowners build an addition to their house, they don’t usually consider the septic system that will be installed. A expanding family, for example, necessitates an increase in the square footage of the home, while improving resale value is an additional motivation for many people. When considering the addition, it is usual to overlook the consequences of what will happen to the septic system as a result of the decision. A increasing number of homeowners are also failing to get the necessary construction licenses before carrying out renovations on their properties.
In addition to breaking the law, doing so can be a huge pain in the neck when it comes time to sell your home later on.
A considerable number of purchasers will either refuse to purchase a house when the sellers have not obtained the necessary permissions, or they will require the sellers to obtain the necessary permits.
While many cities may allow a property owner to go through the permitting process, some areas are increasingly requiring property owners to pull down all of their unpermitted construction.
No one should waste their time! While you may be able to save some money by defrauding the municipality of tax funds in order to purchase a more substantial property, this may come back to haunt you in the rear end.
Basement or attic conversions
Basements and attics, in certain cases, present appealing opportunities for increasing the amount of habitable space in a property. It’s possible that they won’t be as pleasant or perfect as the original living rooms in the house, but they may be constructed of a high enough quality to be both fun and helpful. It goes without saying that completing a basement or attic has no effect on the overall capacity of the septic system. Over the years, persons selling homes in and around Metrowest, Massachusetts, have finished extra portions of the property, which has been a key contributing factor to misrepresenting the number of bedrooms in the home.
This is an obvious example of bedroom deception.
Turning small rooms into bedrooms.
Bedrooms are often defined as rooms that include at least one closet, one door, and one window that is large enough to allow for escape. The septic system rating, on the other hand, is not taken into consideration in a rapid bedroom conversion like this. What appeared to be a simple and brilliant concept for increasing the value of a property may rapidly turn into a nightmare. It happens all the time to real estate agents and house sellers – don’t be one of them! To send a tweet, simply click here.
How to Determine the Septic System Rating
It’s possible that you have documentation that demonstrates what your septic system rating is. If you do, make sure to consult with them before making any decisions about what to include in your listings. If you do not have these documents, you can ask your Realtor to check the facts at your local town hall on your behalf if you do not have them. Most board of health departments will have the information, which will be categorised as either a septic system design or a “septic as constructed.” In Massachusetts, there is another method of determining the rating of septic systems, which is referred as as a Title V rating.
In the course of the inspection and assessment, the septic system business will prepare a Title V report, which will reveal how much capacity the septic system has.
Room Counts Also Determine Septic System Capacity
One of the more obscure provisions of the Title V statute that less people are aware of is the method through which room counts are used to calculate septic system capacity. To calculate septic capacity with room counts, divide the number of rooms by two to obtain the suitable size for which the system should be developed. For example, if there are ten real rooms in a house, the house should be planned to accommodate five bedroom configuration. Taking ten rooms and dividing by two results in five bedrooms.
When there are two rooms that are back to back and have an openness that is equal to or larger than eight feet, this is referred to be one room.
Years ago, it appeared as if this section of the legislation was never enforced, but it is now being enforced by a growing number of jurisdictions.
What About a Deed Restriction?
Homeowners in several Massachusetts areas have been given the option of placing a deed restriction on their property rather than being required to update their septic system. The deed limitation effectively states that the homeowner promises that they will only advertise their house for the number of bedrooms indicated by the septic system on the property. The deed limitation is passed along with the house, therefore the new owner will be required to adhere to the restrictions as well. Some communities will enable a deed limitation to be placed on a property so that a construction permit can be given for residences that have a total room count that exceeds the allowed septic design flow.
Consider the following scenario: you currently own a nine-room home and want to add a “gaming room” to your property.
The deed restriction is a middle-of-the-road solution.
Do Not Expect Your Realtor to Know This!
Numerous Realtors are not aware of the legal ramifications of marketing a house with more bedrooms than the septic system is designed to handle. This is a terrible truth that must be addressed. Every now and again, real estate advertisements are posted that claim a property has a specific number of bedrooms—more bedrooms than the septic system is capable of supporting. The mistake may go undiscovered for a short period of time, but it is equally probable that the blunder will be pointed out and that ramifications will follow.
However, much as some real estate brokers utilize bad photographs, fail to advertise a house outside the Multiple Listing Service, and lack negotiating skills, some real estate agents are also oblivious of the regulations that they should be aware of.
Typically, this occurs after they have been duped into purchasing a bag of goods by a real estate agent who misrepresented the true number of bedrooms.
One More Word of Advice on Title V Inspections
What many purchasers, their real estate agents, and even lenders are unaware of is that the Title V report on which they rely may not be approved by the lender. It is common practice and assumed that the Title V report that has been circulated around has been accepted. That is not the case! From the time of the inspection, the Title V inspector has up to thirty days to submit the report to the local board of health or the DEP, whichever is sooner. It is conceivable that these entities will be unable to authorize a portion of the inspection as a result of this.
And yes, you are accurate in your interpretation of the text! It is possible that you will close on your property and subsequently discover that your Title V application has been denied!
The regulations governing septic systems might differ from one state to another. When purchasing or selling a house that is serviced by a septic system, it is critical that you be aware of the applicable laws and traditions in the area. Make careful to conduct thorough research before making a decision, or it might come back to haunt you. The ability to comprehend disclosure regulations is always important when selling a house.
Additional Home Selling Articles Worth a Look
- Depending on where you live, septic system legislation might differ. When purchasing or selling a property with a septic system, it is essential to be aware of and understand the local laws and practices. Make certain you conduct thorough research, or it might come back to haunt you later. The ability to comprehend disclosure regulations is always important when selling a house.
Make use of these extra articles to expand your knowledge of what it takes to be a successful home seller in your area. a little about the author: Real estate information on bedroom count misrepresentation with septic systems was contributed by Bill Gassett, a nationally acknowledged authority in his profession, and is used here with permission. If you need to reach Bill, you may do so through email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has been assisting people with their relocations in and out of various Metrowest areas for more than three decades.
I have a strong interest in real estate and like sharing my marketing knowledge with others.
What is a bedroom? Why does it affect your septic system?
This may appear to be a strange question demanding a straightforward response. However, it is one of the most commonly misunderstood and misrepresented aspects of a house. Much more important is to ask: “Why does it matter?” and “To whom does it matter?” The topic of what constitutes a bedroom has implications for persons who are:
- Building a new house, remodeling or adding an extension to a current home, and purchasing an existing property from either a private seller or a real estate agent are all options for homeowners.
A new house, renovations or an extension to a current home, or the purchase of an existing property from a private seller or a real estate agent are all possibilities for them.
First, why did the sanitarian consider the spaces to be bedrooms?
The sanitarian decided that they had easy access to the restroom on the first level in this particular instance. As a result, based on his assessment, he concluded that the second-floor spaces may be utilized as bedrooms, or as private sleeping quarters for people. However, even if the present owner intends to use the rooms as an office and a hobby room, the spaces would be deemed a third or fourth bedroom and might be utilized as such by new owners if the house is sold in the future.
Second, what did that have to do with the size of the septic system?
Many people believe that the size of a septic system is proportional to the number of bathrooms in a house. This is not true. This is completely false! The number of bedrooms in a house determines the size of the septic system required. Consider the following scenario: if your home was initially built as a three-bedroom house, the septic system was most likely intended to accommodate the projected capacity of the house (6 people; 2 per bedroom). To satisfy the demands of an additional two people, you must expand your septic system to include a fourth room or whatever the building authority or health code considers a bedroom.
As a result of the need, it is possible that you will have to upgrade the capacity of your septic system, which would be quite expensive.
Septic Systems and Additions To Your Home
The lesson here is that if you have a septic system, you must take into account the system’s present capacity when planning a new addition or renovation that may be deemed a new bedroom. This is also a useful reminder for real estate professionals. There have been a few instances when Realtors have listed properties on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) when the number of bedrooms did not match the capacity of the septic system. For example, the listing said that the home had 4 bedrooms, but the buyer subsequently learns that the septic system is only rated for 3 bedrooms.
The buyer has the right to file a lawsuit against the seller and the Realtor.
The majority of health agencies should have information on file in the form of a septic design or “septic as-constructed.” You may look forward to a follow-up article in a few days in which we will discuss bedrooms in further detail and how they are defined by ambiguous health code criteria.
How to Live With a Small Septic System
Your septic system may be put under strain as your family grows. Depending on the size of your home, each system is designed to handle a maximum user load, which is normally determined by the average water use for that size of home. It is possible that your septic system will not be able to keep up with your growing household demands and will overflow if you add more people or more water-using appliances to the mix. An overflowing tank can result in sewage backups in the residence, leaks in the sewer lines, and failures in the tank and drain field, among other things.
- The Dimensions of a Septic Tank It is critical to understand the very minimal standards and to determine where your tank sits within these parameters.
- These minimums may become obsolete as a result of changes in usage over time.
- The size of the tank rises in proportion to the amount of water used, although the regulation only mandates an increase in capacity of 100 gallons for each new bedroom in the residence.
- Tank Capacity You must first establish the size of your tank before you can evaluate whether it is too tiny.
- If none of these solutions work for you, a service expert can help you figure out what size tank you require.
- You have three possibilities, which is fortunate for you.
- The most apparent answer is to limit the amount of water you use in your home so that your water consumption habits are still consistent with those of a smaller family.
When you limit or remove the usage of equipment such as the trash disposal, which discharge solid waste into the septic tank, you may also reduce or eliminate the capacity requirements of your household.
An average-sized household of six with a 1250-gallon tank may require pumping as frequently as every two years, or more frequently if they use a hot tub or a garbage disposal, for example.
Adding an extra pumping session or two over the following several years may be the most cost-effective choice if you plan to relocate within ten years, for example.
While typically this has been accomplished by the installation of a bigger replacement tank, there is an alternative option.
This can save you the money you would have spent on having the old tank decommissioned and hauled away.
Whether you want to reduce the amount of water that goes into your tank, change the cleaning and maintenance schedule, or expand the size of your tank, you may discover solutions that will allow your septic system to grow along with your family’s needs.
For additional information on how to manage your home’s septic system, please contact us at Walters Environmental Services Inc.
It’s Bad Advice: You Want Another Bedroom? Just Add a Closet!
He is an emeritus professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Soil, Water, and Climate and the winner of the Ralph Macchio Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the pumping industry. Jim may be reached at [email protected] with questions concerning septic system care and operation. A reader wrote in to share his thoughts on a behavior he had recently witnessed as well as a query about system sizing depending on the number of bedrooms in a home. According to the reader, some installers advise customers that the best way to avoid needing a larger system is to build more rooms without closets because they would not be considered bedrooms.
- The reader wanted to know whether I’d seen a lot of similar debates and whether or not getting rid of the closets made a difference.
- And, sure, it may make a significant difference in the size of a system and, consequently, the expense of establishing a system.
- When our children were still living at home, we had a four- or five-bedroom house to accommodate them.
- One extra room was equipped with a closet, while the other did not.
In order to maximize the amount of money we could obtain for our property when it was time to sell, our real estate agent looked around and suggested that we promote the house as having five bedrooms, which means we could get more money because families with children want them to have their own bedroom.
- When the ad went live, we were the only ones in the neighborhood with a five-bedroom house.
- Remember that the house we sold was connected to a municipal sewer system, so system size was not a problem in this case.
- As part of the inspection process for a real estate transaction, information on the current system size should be gathered to the extent that it is authorized by the local unit of government in question.
- Typically, the permit size will not correspond to the size of the real estate listing.
- People who purchase a home based on the number of bedrooms it has as opposed to the number of bedrooms it has as opposed to the number of bedrooms it has as opposed to the number of bedrooms it has as opposed to the number of bedrooms it has.
- As a result, sewage flows are often higher than they are for the existing occupants of the neighborhood.
- As an example, the difference between the flow estimates based on 150 gallons per bedroom and day would be 300 gallons per day, or 300 gallons per day in total.
The possibility of litigation and recriminations arises as a result of this.
Because the system is small, it must either be upgraded prior to the sale or the price must be cut in order to pay the costs of upgrading the system before it can be sold.
It will be necessary to increase the size of the drainfield or other soil treatment component (mound, at-grade) by two-thirds.
For those with tiny lots or soils on other portions of their property that are not appropriate for drainfield trenches, the expense and difficulties of installing drainfields will increase significantly.
When putting in a correctly sized system from the start is the most efficient and cost-effective option, one or both parties will be on the hook for the difference in cost.
If there are a number of these circumstances (one is too many), perhaps local regulators become aware of the practice and try to develop a new standard to eradicate it.
Septic Tank Size: What Size Septic Tank Do You Need?
Septic tanks are used for wastewater disposal and are located directly outside your home. Private wastewater management is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with more than 30 percent of newly constructed residences incorporating on-site wastewater management. Do you require septic tank installation and are unsure of the amount of septic tank you require? When establishing a septic tank, the most important element to consider is the type and size of septic tank that you will be installing.
A number of factors influence the size of a septic tank, which are discussed in this article.
Basics of Septic Tanks
In the vicinity of your home, septic tanks handle the disposal of wastewater. Private wastewater management is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with more than 30% of newly constructed residences incorporating on-site wastewater management. Need septic tank installation and not sure what size septic tank to get? Here’s what you should know. When establishing a septic tank, the most important element to consider is the type and size of septic tank that you will be using. The proper septic tank sizing is critical to the smooth operation of your private sewage disposal system.
The Main Types of Septic Tanks
Septic tanks are used to handle wastewater disposal on your property’s perimeter. Private wastewater management is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with more than 30% of newly constructed residences opting for on-site wastewater management. Do you require septic tank installation and are unsure of what size septic tank you would require? When establishing a septic tank, the first important element to consider is the type and size of septic tank that you will require. The proper septic tank size is critical to the smooth operation of your private sewage disposal system.
- Septic tanks made of fiberglass
- Septic tanks made of plastic
- Septic tanks made of concrete
Septic tanks made of fiberglass; septic tanks made of plastic; septic tanks made of concrete.
Why Septic Tank Sizes is Important
If the capacity of your home’s septic tank is insufficient to satisfy your requirements, it will be unable to handle the volume of wastewater generated by your home. As a result, a wide range of annoying difficulties can arise, including bad smells, floods, and clogs. Nonetheless, the most common consequence of a septic tank that is too small is that the pressure that builds up will cause the water to be released before it has had a chance to be properly cleaned. This suggests that the solid waste in the septic tank will not be sufficiently broken down, and will thus accumulate more quickly, increasing the likelihood of overflows and blockages in the system.
A septic tank that is too large will not function properly if it does not get the required volume of wastewater to operate.
If your septic tank is too large for your home, there will not be enough collected liquid to support the growth of the bacteria that aids in the breakdown of solid waste in the septic tank if the tank is too large.
What Determines Septic Sizes?
Here are some of the elements that influence septic tank sizes; keep them in mind when making your purchase to ensure that you get the most appropriate septic tank for your property.
Consider Your Water Usage
The most accurate and practical method of estimating the appropriate septic tank size for your property is to calculate the quantity of water you use on a regular basis. The size of the septic tank required is determined by the amount of water that can be held in it before being drained into the soil absorption field. In many places of the United States, the smallest capacity of septic tank that may be installed is 1,000 gallons or less. The following are the suggested septic tank sizes for your household, which are based on your household’s entire water use.
- A septic tank with a capacity of 1,900 gallons will handle less than 1,240 gallons per day
- A septic tank with a capacity of 1,500 gallons will handle less than 900 gallons per day. A septic tank with a capacity of 1,200 gallons is required for less than 700 gallons per day
- A septic tank with a capacity of 900 gallons is required for less than 500 gallons per day.
Consider the Size of Your Property
Another factor to consider when determining the most appropriate septic tank size for your home is the square footage of your home. The size of your home will determine the size of the septic tank you will require. For example, a dwelling with less than 1,500 square feet typically requires a tank that holds 750 to 1,000 gallons. On the other side, a larger home of around 2,500 square feet will require a larger tank, one that is more than the 1,000-gallon capacity.
The Number of Bedrooms Your Property Has
An additional issue to consider is the amount of bedrooms in your home, which will influence the size of your septic tank. The size of your septic tank is proportional to the number of bedrooms on your home. The following table lists the appropriate septic tank sizes based on the number of bedrooms.
- In general, a 1-2 bedroom house will require a 500 gallon septic tank
- A 3 bedroom house will demand 1000 gallon septic tank
- A 4 bedroom house will require 1200 gallon septic tank
- And a 5-6 bedroom house would require a 1500 gallon septic tank.
The Number of Occupants
In general, the greater the number of people that live in your home, the larger your septic tank must be. In the case of a two-person household, a modest septic tank will be necessary. If your house has more than five tenants, on the other hand, you will want a larger septic tank in order to handle your wastewater more effectively and hygienically. When determining what size septic tank to purchase, it is important to remember that the size of your septic tank determines the overall effectiveness of your septic system.
As a result, it is critical that you examine septic tank sizes in order to pick the most appropriate alternative for your property in order to avoid these difficulties.
Septic Tank Installation and Pricing
To process and dispose of waste, a septic system has an underground septic tank constructed of plastic, concrete, fiberglass, or other material that is located beneath the earth. Designed to provide a customized wastewater treatment solution for business and residential locations, this system may be installed anywhere. Although it is possible to construct a septic tank on your own, we recommend that you hire a professional to do it owing to the amount of skill and specific equipment required.
In this post, we’ll go over the several types of septic systems that are accessible to homeowners, as well as the procedure and costs associated with installing one.
Who Needs a Septic Tank?
For the most part, in densely populated areas of the nation, a home’s plumbing system is directly connected to the municipal sewer system. Because municipal sewer lines are not readily available in more rural regions, sewage must be treated in a septic tank. If you’re moving into a newly constructed house or onto land that doesn’t already have a septic tank, you’ll be responsible for putting in a septic system on your own.
How to Prepare for Your Septic Tank Installation
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to make sure your septic tank installation goes as smoothly as possible.
Receive Multiple Estimates
Receiving quotations from licensed septic tank installers and reading reviews about each firm using trustworthy, third-party customer evaluations should be done before any excavation or signing of any paperwork is done. Examine your options for a contractor and make sure they have the appropriate insurance and license, as well as the ability to include critical preparations such as excavation and drain field testing in their quotation.
Test the Soil and Obtain a Permit
For septic systems to function properly, permeable soil surrounding the tank must absorb and naturally handle liquid waste, ensuring that it does not pollute runoff water or seep into the groundwater. The drain or leach field is the name given to this region. Before establishing a septic tank, you are required by law to do a percolation test, sometimes known as a “perc” test. This test indicates that the soil fits the specifications established by the city and the local health agency. In most cases, suitable levels of permeable materials, such as sand or gravel, are necessary in a soil’s composition.
Note: If you wish to install a septic tank on your property, you must first ensure that the ground passes the percolation test.
Plan for Excavation
Excavation of the vast quantity of land required for a septic tank necessitates the use of heavy machinery. If you are presently residing on the property, be careful to account for landscaping fees to repair any damage that may have occurred during the excavation process. Plan the excavation for your new home at a period when it will have the least influence on the construction process if you are constructing a new home. Typically, this occurs before to the paving of roads and walkways, but after the basic structure of the home has been constructed and erected.
The Cost of Installing a Septic Tank
There are a few installation charges and additional expenditures connected with constructing a new septic system, ranging from a percolation test to emptying the septic tank and everything in between.
A percolation test can range in price from $250 to $1,000, depending on the area of the property and the soil characteristics that are being tested.
Ordinarily, specialists will only excavate a small number of holes in the intended leach field region; however, if a land study is required to identify where to excavate, the cost of your test may rise.
Building Permit Application
A permit will be required if you want to install a septic tank on your property. State-by-state variations in permit prices exist, however they are normally priced around $200 and must be renewed every few years on average.
Excavation and Installation
When you have passed a percolation test and obtained a building permit, your septic tank is ready to be professionally placed. The cost of a new septic system is determined by the size of your home, the kind of system you choose, and the material used in your septic tank. The following is a list of the many treatment methods and storage tanks that are now available, as well as the normal pricing associated with each.
Types of Septic Tank Systems
Septic system that is used in the traditional sense Traditionally, a septic system relies on gravity to transport waste from the home into the septic tank. Solid trash settles at the bottom of the sewage treatment plant, while liquid sewage rises to the top. Whenever the amount of liquid sewage increases over the outflow pipe, the liquid waste is discharged into the drain field, where it continues to disintegrate. This type of traditional septic system is generally the most economical, with an average cost of roughly $3,000 on the market today.
Drain fields for alternative systems require less land than conventional systems and discharge cleaner effluent.
Septic system that has been engineered A poorly developed soil or a property placed on an uphill slope need the installation of an engineered septic system, which is the most difficult to install.
It is necessary to pump the liquid waste onto a leach field, rather than depending on gravity to drain it, in order to ensure that it is equally dispersed across the land.
Types of Septic Tanks
- Concrete septic tanks are long-lasting and rust-proof, but they are difficult to repair if they are damaged. It is possible that concrete tanks will cost up to $2,000 depending on their size. Plastic —While plastic tanks are cost-effective, they are also susceptible to damage. They are around $1,200 in price. Fiberglass —While fiberglass septic tanks are more durable than their plastic counterparts, they are susceptible to shifting or displacement if the water table rises to an excessive level. Depending on the model, these tanks may cost up to $2,000
More information may be found at: Septic Warranty Coverage and Costs.
Using Your Septic Tank
It is important to maintain the area around your new septic tank’s drain field and to frequently check your tank using the lids included with it. Never use a trash disposal in conjunction with your septic tank since it might cause the system to clog. Additionally, avoid driving over the land where your septic tank is located or putting heavy gear on top of your septic tank or drain field to prevent damage. Most of the time, after five years of septic system use, you’ll need to arrange a cleaning and pumping of the system.
Consequently, there will be no accumulation of solid waste that will leach into the surrounding soil or groundwater. Send an email to our Reviews Team [email protected] if you have any comments or questions regarding this post.
Septic System Owner’s Guide
What kind of computer system do you have? In North Carolina, there are many distinct types of septic systems in use, but the vast majority of the over 2 million systems in use throughout the state are minor variations of the typical septic system. This system includes a septic tank as well as a drainfield that is filled with gravel (usually two to six trenches). Since the mid- to late-1990s, classic gravel aggregate trenches have been phased out in favor of innovative gravel-less trench designs, which have become increasingly popular.
- Some of the most often used gravel-free trenches nowadays are either long and narrow, tunnel-shaped chambers in the trenche, or gravel replacements such as expanded polystyrene aggregate.
- A booklet from the Cooperative Extension Service, AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, outlines the typical system, easy adjustments to it, and the most significant maintenance requirements.
- The application of these technologies is now widespread, whether in new housing projects or in the replacement or repair of malfunctioning septic systems in residences and businesses.
- In order to address this, state regulations provide specified maintenance requirements for a number of these more advanced technology.
- Furthermore, state regulations mandate that the health department examine these systems on a regular basis.
- Are you familiar with the location of your septic system and repair area?
- If you do not have a copy of your septic system permit or a soil evaluation document, contact your local health department.
This Septic System Owner’s Guidefile folder should contain the following items: It is normally possible to establish the location of a septic tank and drainfield by looking at a copy of the permit and consulting with a septic contractor, a consultant, or the local health department A “repair area or replacement area,” in which a second drainfield might be constructed if necessary, has been required on nearly all home sites approved since the early 1980s, according to state law.
It should be noted on your septic system permit that this repair area was designated by the health department when the site was allowed.
Some Important Facts to Understand About Your Septic System
- In what form of septic system do you have
- Where is it situated
- And where is the repair area situated? Is the septic system up and running? In the past, has it been kept up to date? What can you do on a day-to-day basis to ensure that your system continues to function properly? What kind of maintenance will be required in the future
On the grid labeledSeptic System Layout, draw a rough sketch of your home, septic system (including both the tank and drainfield), repair area, and any other essential features (such as your driveway). The distance between the home and the access port on the septic tank should be measured and recorded when having your septic tank drained. This will assist you in locating it again. You may also want to indicate the position of your tank as well as the limits of your drainfield in your yard. If you do not have a riser installed over the access port for your septic tank, you may want to consider having one put in.
- Even when properly maintained, septic tanks can contain harmful gases and pollutants, as well as bacteria and other germs that can cause major health problems if not addressed.
- Is your septic system in proper functioning order?
- Many individuals are unaware that untreated sewage that has accumulated on the surface of the ground might be a health threat.
- Before fixing a malfunctioning septic system, you must get a permit from the local health authority, according to state regulations.
- What kind of upkeep has been carried out?
- If you are purchasing an existing house, you should ask the seller a few critical questions, such as the following:
- What is the age of the system
- What is the location of the tank and drainfield (they may or may not be on the same property or even on the same parcel of land)
- When was the last time the tank was pumped
- What is the frequency with which it has been pushed
- Is it necessary to clean the “effluent filter” in the septic tank on a regular basis (effluent filters are required for systems established after 1999)
- Has there been any indication of a likely failure? In what location can I get a copy of the permit and documentation proving how effectively (or poorly) the system has been maintained
- Do you know whether any improvements have been made to the house that would necessitate expanding the capacity of the system? Is the system still operational, and if so, when and by whom was it repaired?
If the house has only recently been constructed, request that the septic system contractor give you with a “as built” schematic, which may include elements that were not included in the permit. If the house is equipped with a pump, request that the contractor and the local health agency supply specifics on how the pump was initially installed. In order to properly care for your septic system, you must manage it on a day-to-day basis as well as perform periodic maintenance and repairs. Layout of a septic system.
- However, the drainfield does not have an indefinite capacity. The average daily water use per person is 50 gallons. Even for brief periods of time, the soil drainfield has a maximum daily design capacity of 120 gallons per bedroom, which is routinely exceeded. Overloads can occur at any time of year, on a daily basis, or on weekends. Fix any leaky faucets or toilets you may have. Water conservation will help you get more use out of your system.
Keep waste disposal to sewage alone.
- It is not acceptable to utilize your septic tank as a garbage can for items such as cigarette butts, tissues, feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, cat litter, coffee grinds, or disposable diapers. Reduce the amount of time you use your garbage disposal. These contribute a significant amount of additional solids. It is not recommended to throw fat or cooking oil down the drain. You should avoid putting toxic chemicals into your system, such as solvents and oils. You should avoid using paint thinners and paint thinners that have been dumped. You should avoid disinfectants and pesticides. Conserve your funds. Most of the time, commercial septic tank additives are not required.
Ensure that the system is protected against physical harm (site maintenance).
- Maintain a layer of plants on the soil over the drainfield to prevent soil erosion from occurring. Don’t drive your car above the system’s limits. Try to avoid building over the system or in the repair area. The natural shape of the terrain immediately downslope of the system should be preserved, and this region should be protected against excavation (cutting and filling). Neither asphalt nor concrete should be used to cover the tank or drainfield.
All wastewater should be disposed of in a system that has been authorized.
- You shouldn’t install a separate pipe to transport washwater to a side ditch or into the woods. This is against the law
The house and the yard (site maintenance)
- Conserve and preserve the area where your septic tank and drainfield are located
- Trees that thrive in moist environments should be cut down and removed. Willows, elms, sweetgums, and certain maples are examples of such trees. Surface water should be diverted away from the tank and drainfield by landscaping the yard. Inspect the system to make sure that water from the roof, gutter, and foundation drains does not overflow
- It is recommended that if your system is located at the base of a slope, you build a french drain to channel subterranean water. Ensure that drainage ditches, subsurface tiles, and drainage outlets are kept in good condition so that water may readily flow from them.
Sewage treatment system (Septic tank)
- Tanks should be elevated if they are 6 inches or deeper below the surface. They offer quick and convenient access for solids measurement and pumping, as well as for cleaning the effluent filter. The rate at which sludge and scum build in the tank is measured. Make a note of this information and provide it to your expert pumper. Solids should be pushed out of the tank as necessary. Most septic tanks have two sections
- It is necessary to have them drained out. More information about pumping frequency can be found in the Cooperative Extension Service document AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, which is available online. It is not necessary to wait till your drainfield collapses before having your tank pumped. By that time, the drainfield may have been completely destroyed. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to septic systems.
|Preventive Maintenance Record|
|Your Septic System Installer|
|Date System Installed:|
- If sewage is backing up into your toilets, tubs, or sinks, call a plumber. Slowly draining fittings, especially after it has rained
- Slow-draining fixtures A foul odor associated with damp soil or sewage dumped onto the ground or into neighboring ditches or wooded areas
- Please keep in mind that sewage from pump systems may rise to the surface of the ground when the pump is switched on and then disappear when the pump is turned off. This is still a failure of the system, and it must be fixed. a red light blinking or beeping in the home or in the yard, signaling that a pump is not functioning correctly or that the water level in a pump tank is excessive and on the verge of failing
- A rise in the number of diseases or illnesses related with swimming in nearby lakes or rivers
Regulations and safeguards are necessary.
- Any system that includes a pump should be operated by a state-certified subsurface system operator. In the case of low pressure pipe (LPP) systems erected or repaired after July 1, 1992, as well as underground drip irrigation systems, aerobic treatment units (ATUs), peat biofilters, sand biofilters, textile biofilters, and other sophisticated systems, a permit will be required by law. Those interested in obtaining a list of state-certified subsurface system operators should contact the North Carolina Water Pollution Control System Certification Commission at 919-707-9089. Between planned maintenance visits, check to see that the pump and electrical components are still in proper operating order. Germs found in sewage have the potential to cause disease. Never go into a septic tank unless absolutely necessary. Toxic and explosive gases are present in the tank, posing a threat. Tanks that are more than a decade old may collapse. Electrical controls provide a risk of electric shock and sparking. Children should not be able to open the septic tank lid, hence it should be secured. Do not attempt to repair a malfunctioning system on your own time. Obtain a repair permit and employ a contractor with extensive expertise
For further information about septic systems, speak with an Extension agent in your county or the local public health agency. This paper is an updated version of a previous publication. It is with gratitude that we acknowledge Tom Konsler (Orange County Health Department), Deanna Osmond, Mitch Woodward, and Grace Lawrence (North Carolina Cooperative Extension) for their contributions to the document’s peer review, as well as Debra Ireland for her work on the document’s graphic design, layout, and editing.
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