Is your septic system absorbing wastewater?
- This, however, is not true. The most common cause of septic system problems and failure is their septic system absorption component, more commonly known as a drainfield, becoming impermeable so that the wastewater can no longer be absorbed into the soil. There are many design variations of drainfields.
What kind of soil is best for a septic system?
Soil Permeability Sandy soils feel gritty and can allow air and water to move rapidly through the soil. Clay soils are sticky and very dense, restricting the movement of air and water. The soils best suited for wastewater treatment are mixtures of sand, silt, and clays referred to as loamy soils.
What soil features may limit the use of a site for a septic tank drain field?
The limiting layer may be bedrock, an impervious soil layer or the seasonal high water table.
How is the ability of the soil to absorb wastewater determined?
Soil texture: There are three textures of soil: sand, silt, and clay. Soil texture affects how fast the wastewater filters into the soil (called hydraulic conductivity ) and how big an absorption field you need. Sand transmits water faster than silt, which is faster than clay.
Is sand good for a septic system?
A sand filter septic system is a good option for wastewater treatment issues in any areas that have insufficient soil. Septic system companies fill in the area with sand to make up for a lack of soil, often by using a large concrete box filled with sand. Above the sand is a layer of gravel with a series of small pipes.
What does land will not perk mean?
NO PERC, NO HOUSE On rural sites without municipal sewage systems, a failed perc test means that no house can be built – which is why you should make any offer to purchase land contingent on the site passing the soil and perc tests.
How deep should leach field be?
Septic drainfield trench depth specification: A typical septic drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36″; or per the USDA, 2 feet to 5 feet in depth.
Can you bury a leach field?
Drain fields are made by laying a series of perforated pipes into a gravel bed. Generally, a finished bed contains 12 inches of gravel below the pipe and another 2 inches on top. The field is then backfilled with 18 to 30 inches of soil to finish the bed and bring it even with the surrounding ground.
Will red clay soil perc?
Clay soils have notoriously slow percolation speeds of 0.1 inch or less per hour. These soils easily become waterlogged, and plant roots can suffocate as a result.
What is the alternative to a septic tank?
Mound systems work well as alternatives to septic tanks when the soil around your home or building is too dense or too shallow or when the water table is too high. Although they are more expensive and require more maintenance than conventional systems, mound systems are a common alternative.
How far do field lines extend from septic tank?
Your septic system site plan is typically drawn right on top of your property survey showing the septic tank ‘setbacks’ with tank 5-10 feet from the house, the leach field at least 20 feet from the house, at least 100 feet away from wells and streams, 25 feet away from dry gulches, and 10 feet away from the property
What are the three 3 bacteria that separates by septic tank?
Septic tanks work by allowing waste to separate into three layers: solids, effluent and scum (see illustration above). The solids settle to the bottom, where microorganisms decompose them. The scum, composed of waste that’s lighter than water, floats on top.
How deep should an absorption trench be?
Trenches are usually 500 to 700 millimetres deep and up to around 600 millimetres wide. Beds are usually no deeper than 600 millimetres, but up to several metres wide and contain a number of distribution pipes or arches.
What does an absorption trench do?
Absorption trenches or beds are used to release effluent below the surface through narrow and deep trenches, or wide and shallow beds. Effluent flows by gravity or is pumped along the length of the trench or bed through distribution pipes, and is then filtered through gravel or sand to the underlying soil.
What is a dispersion trench?
A dispersion trench is a stormwater facility designed to receive stormwater runoff and disperse it evenly through vegetated areas on your project site. Dispersion trench, downspout splash blocks and rock pads are dispersion devices for stormwater mitigation BMPs, particularly for full dispersion (BMP T5.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- If you have a septic system, you may already be aware of this fact. Here are some tell-tale indicators that you most likely do, if you don’t already know:
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
Septic Systems-What To Ask Before You Buy Land
Articles on Septic Systems Testing of the Soil and Perc What a Septic System Is and How It Works Septic System Upkeep and Repair NEW! Septic Systems that are not conventional See Also: Septic System Frequently Asked Questions See all of our LAND BUYING articles In order to buy land in the country if you’re from an urban or suburban region, you’ll need to become familiar with wells and septic systems. For city dwellers, water arrives out of nowhere at the faucet, and wastewater travels off to a distant location just as effortlessly.
Problems with either the well or septic systems can result in major health consequences as well as significant repair costs.
HOW A SEPTIC SYSTEM WORKS
In locations where there are no municipal sewage systems, each residence is responsible for treating its own sewage on its own property, which is known as a “on-site sewage disposal system,” sometimes known as a septic system. Septic systems are typically comprised of a waste pipe from the home, a big concrete, fiberglass, or plastic septic tank, and an aleach field, among other components.
One of the most frequent types of leach fields is composed of a succession of perforated distribution pipes that are placed one after another in a gravel-filled absorption trenches.
SEPTIC SYSTEM CAREMAINTENANCE
Many individuals don’t pay attention to their septic system until they experience difficulties, such as slow drains or backups of sewage. If the drain field is entirely blocked by that time, it may be beyond repair and may require replacement. Fortunately, basic care and affordable maintenance may keep your system functioning for decades without requiring any major repairs. click here to find out more
SOIL AND PERC TESTING
Traditional septic systems can only function properly if the soil in the leach area is sufficiently porous to allow the liquid effluent flowing into it to be absorbed by the soil. There must also be at least a few feet of decent soil between the bottom of the leach pipes and the rock or impermeable hardpan below, or from the bottom of the leach pipes to the water table. Depending on the municipality, particular criteria may differ, however any of these qualities may exclude the installation of a basic gravity-fed septic system.
ALTERNATIVE SEPTIC SYSTEMS
If your lot does not pass the perc test, some towns may enable you to construct an engineered system as a backup plan if the perc test fails. Because a “mound” system functions similarly to a normal system, with the exception of the fact that the leach field is elevated, it is frequently used when the issue soil is too thick (or, in certain situations, too permeable), too shallow (over bedrock or hardpan), or the water table is too high. The mound is comprised of a network of tiny distribution pipes that are embedded in a layer of gravel on top of a layer of sand that is normally one to two feet deep.
Whether or not alternative septic systems are permitted.
How Much Slope Do You Need for a Septic Line?
Should I use a Sand Filter with my existing septic system?
This Article Discusses If you don’t have a perc, you don’t have a house. Test with a Deep Hole Testing with Percs SetbacksClearances Alternatives in the Event of a Site Failure View and post commentsQuestions Septic System Frequently Asked Questions SEPTIC SYSTEM articles can be found here. Traditional septic systems can only function well if the soil in the leach field region is sufficiently porous to allow the liquid effluent flowing into it to be readily absorbed by the soil. A failure to do so will result in untreated wastewater backing up and pooling on the surface.
It is in this soil layer that the majority of the treatment takes place.
This happens less frequently.
Depending on the municipality, particular criteria may differ, however any of these qualities may exclude the installation of a basic gravity-fed septic system.
In rare instances, an alternate septic system that is more expensive may be permitted. A percolation test (often referred to as a “perc test” or “perk test”) is necessary to assess if a construction site is appropriate for a septic system installation.
NO PERC, NO HOUSE
A failed perc test on a rural site without municipal sewage services implies that no home may be built, which is why you should make any offer to acquire property contingent on the site passing both the soil and the perc tests before proceeding with the purchase. Percolation or perc tests are becoming increasingly popular in rural areas as prime building sites become increasingly uncommon (or prohibitively costly) in many sections of the country. Rural sites that do not pass the percolation or perc test are becoming increasingly common.
- Soils are often classified as either coarse sand and gravel particles or microscopic silt particles, with minuscule clay particles — the tiniest – making up the majority of their composition.
- Before investing time and money in testing, dig down to the lighter soil beneath the first few inches of topsoil (loam) and get a handful of it to have a good notion of what you’re dealing with.
- It shows that the soil has a high clay content and that it may fail a typical perc test if you are able to construct a ribbon of dirt 2 inches or longer in the ribbon test.
- Testing requirements differ significantly from state to state and frequently from town to town, since most governments let small municipalities to develop their own laws within the framework of state regulations.
DEEP HOLE TEST
The majority of studies begin with a deep hole test that is excavated by machine to a depth that is considerably below the bottom of the planned leach field – often 7 to 10 feet deep or more. High water tables, as well as the presence of rock ledges or impermeable soil that will prevent water from being absorbed, are sought for by the testers. In certain regions, testers are also looking for drainage features in the soil. It may not be necessary to carry soil samples back to the lab; instead, visual observations of the soil strata may be adequate.
- It requires a trained eye to spot soil mottling, which is a sign of a seasonal high water table – at a depth of about 2 feet here, the water table is around 2 feet deep.
- Actual observations are utilized to determine the “limiting zone,” which is the area of soil where the soil is unsuitable for sewage treatment.
- The existence of a seasonal high water table may be visually determined by checking for “mottling,” which are splotches or streaks of color in the soil that indicate the presence of water on occasion.
- For situations when the limiting zone is too close to the surface to be accommodated by a normal leach field, a mound or other alternate septic system may be necessary.
- However, while the vast majority of soil specialists think that soil observation may offer sufficient information for the design of a functional septic system, most states now mandate perc testing to directly quantify the rate at which water percolates through the soil (perc testing).
The speed at which water drains into a standard-sized hole in the ground is measured by this test. The results indicate whether or not a septic system can be implemented in a given community, and the results are used by system designers to calculate the size of the leach field.
SEASONAL HIGH WATER TABLE
Under specific situations, certain towns may additionally require direct testing of the seasonal high water table to be performed. For example, this may be necessary for some types of alternative energy systems or in places where the water table is known to be high. The most common method is to dig tiny monitoring wells, which are also known as piezometers. The monitoring wells are simply plastic pipes that are screwed into holes that have been dug into the earth. Water is monitored in the pipes during the wettest time of the year, which is between June and September.
To conduct a perc test, first consult with a representative from the local health department. Requirements can differ significantly from town to town in terms of who can conduct the test, the minimum number of holes, the depth of the holes, the required absorption rates, and the time period during which the tests can be conducted. In general, tests cannot be performed in frozen or disturbed soil, and some regions only allow tests to be performed during specific months of the year – so prepare ahead of time.
- If the test fails, you may be forced to invest in a more expensive alternative technology, or the site may be deemed unusable.
- A typical perc test consists of two or more holes drilled around 30 to 40 feet apart in the planned drain field region, with the holes being approximately 30 to 40 feet apart (see illustration).
- After that, either you or the technician should fill the bottom of the hole with 2 inches of clean gravel.
- Remove any loose soil from the bottom of the hole with a sharp tool as well.
- Continue to add water until there is approximately 12 inches of water in the hole for at least 4 hours.
- The next day, carefully wipe away any loose dirt that has fallen to the bottom of the holes and gently fill each hole with water to a depth of 6 inches over the level of the gravel in each hole.
- The timings are then meticulously recorded and used to compute the percolation rate, which is the amount of time it takes for one inch of water to descend into the ground.
- When using a normal gravity-flow septic system, a 60-minutes per inch (MPI) rate is commonly used as the cutoff point, indicating that the water dropped one inch in 60 minutes.
- Some municipalities demand extra “hydraulic” soil testing for locations that test higher than 30 minutes per inch in some instances.
- Water absorbs too quickly below that level to be efficiently treated before it reaches the groundwater table.
The hole with the weakest performance is the one that matters. The presence of a town official to witness the test is required in certain communities. Perc test regulations differ significantly from one municipality to the next. The following are some general ranges for soil permeability:
- Lower than 5 MPI: Extremely porous soil. Alternative systems, such as pre-treatment of effluent, pressured dosing, or the addition of denser soil surrounding trenches, may be permitted. A conventional leach field with a flow rate of 5 to 60 MPI is authorized. 60 – 120 MPI: Soil with a low water-holding capacity. Alternative systems, such as pre-treatment of effluent, pressurized dosing, improved treatment, mound systems, and other alternative systems, may be permitted. When the MPI is more than 120, the soil is said to be very low-permeable. It may be possible to use alternative technologies that provide improved wastewater treatment under certain situations.
In most circumstances, test findings are valid for two to five years, and in some cases they can be extended. However, like with all things perc, rules vary significantly from town to town, so don’t make any assumptions about what to expect. Always check with the local health department before embarking on a project.
OTHER SITE CONDITIONS
Septic system rules vary greatly from municipality to municipality, although the majority of municipalities demand that the leach field satisfy specified specifications in addition to passing the perc test. Some of the most typical stumbling blocks are as follows:
- Slope with a lot of incline. Typically, the maximum permitted slope for a conventional system varies between 20 and 30 percent
- Filled land Most of the time, native soils are necessary, while manufactured fill may be acceptable in rare instances. Wetlands and floodplains are two terms that are used to describe the same thing. This is not suitable for the leach field. Site drainage is important. During rain storms, the leach field should not be in the path of runoff, which might result in system erosion or flooding.
It is necessary to maintain a minimum distance between the septic tank and leach field and any structures, property lines, water pipelines, wells, or bodies of open water. In the case of tiny locations, a variance may be necessary in order to provide adequate space. It is possible that you will be required to find adequate area for both the current leach field and a replacement field, which will be used in 20 or 30 years after the original field has been depleted of its capacity. The number of clearances varies from one town to the next.
|SEPTIC SYSTEM MIN. CLEARANCES (typ.)|
|Distance to||Septic Tank||Leach Field|
|House||10 ft.||10-20 ft.|
|Property line||10 ft.||10 ft.|
|Private well||50 ft.||50-100 ft.|
|Potable water piping||10-25 ft.||25 ft.|
|Open water(stream,pond, wetland, etc.)||50-100 ft.||100 ft.|
|Dry gulch/stream bed||10 ft.||25 ft.|
|Subsoil drains||10 ft.||25 ft.|
|Note:Always check with local codes|
OPTIONS IF SITE FAILS
Even if your site fails a perc or deep-hole test, it is not always doomed to failure. It may be possible to “de-water” the drain-field area on sites with high water tables by strategically constructing gravel-filled trenches and subsurface drain pipes to divert water away from the drain-field region. To complete this project, you’ll need the services of a highly skilled earthwork contractor, as well as the assistance of a civil engineer or geotechnical engineer. Additionally, in recent years, a diverse range of alternative septic systems have been created for use on a variety of different types of sites.
- In general, these systems are more expensive, and many of them require additional components such as pumps, alarms, and other devices that necessitate more monitoring and maintenance than a normal sewage system.
- Building lots that were formerly considered unbuildable may become authorized building lots when alternative solutions become more prevalent and broadly recognized.
- Look for a contractor that has previous expertise installing the precise system you are considering as a second option.
- A clogged septic system is not a pleasant sight or scent to see.
- In order to do a perc test, who should I hire?
- Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime?
How Much Slope Do You Need for a Septic Line? Performing an Inspection on a Septic System When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test? Should I use a Sand Filter with my existing septic system? Examining the condition of the wellSEPTIC SYSTEMView all articles
Investigate Before You Invest
If you are considering purchasing a building lot for the construction of a new house, do your research beforehand. Depending on whether a public sewer system is accessible, you may be required to install a septic tank and soil treatment system (septic system) to treat and dispose of sewage from the residence you intend to construct on the property. If a septic system is required, the following actions should be taken before purchasing land:
- In the event that you want to obtain a building lot for the construction of a new home, do your research beforehand. The installation of a septic tank-soil-treatment system (septic system) to treat and dispose of sewage from the home that you will be building on the land may be necessary if there is no public sewer system available. Considering the following procedures before purchasing land if a septic system is needed:
The majority of residences in rural and outer suburban regions rely on individual septic systems to dispose of their waste water and sewage. This system is normally comprised of a subterranean septic tank with a capacity of 1,000 gallons and a drainfield that may be accommodated inside the front yard or backyard of the homesite, depending on the situation. Water from the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry area is discharged into the septic tank, where the particles are collected and disposed of as trash.
- Unfortunately, not all soils are capable of absorbing or purifying wastewater.
- The sewage may include germs and viruses that are lethal.
- As a result, state law mandates that the local health department do a full soil and site examination in order to establish the appropriateness of the soils and topography of the lot.
- If you are comparing a number of different lots, you must obtain a permission for each one.
- In order to make an informed conclusion, you need speak with a competent consultant who has extensive knowledge in soils evaluation.
- The steps listed below might assist you in screening the lots and determining their appropriateness.
- Whether or whether there are gullies, ravines, overly steep slopes, or other topographic challenges that would make the installation of a system problematic
- Is the area adjacent to a stream or river that has the potential to flood it
- The property appears to be muddy and marshy
- Does the site contain any wetlands that have been designated? Is it possible to obtain a map showing the extent of any designated wetlands on the property? Are there any rocky areas on the land? A septic tank system would be incompatible with bedrock because it would interfere with the installation and functioning of the system. The building lot should have adequate room for the house, septic system, and a water supply well (should one be required).
Your well, as well as all of your neighbors’ wells, should be at least 100 feet away from the septic system. In addition, there must be enough space to accommodate a “maintenance area,” which may be used in the event that the system requires extension or repair in the future. One acre of land with adequate soils and suitable terrain is typically considered to be the minimum required space. However, in areas where soil and site characteristics are less favorable, significantly bigger lots are typically required.
- To learn more about the soils in your region, contact your county Extension office or the local soil and water conservation district (if one exists).
- You may utilize this report to assist you in screening property parcels and concentrating your efforts on those lots that have the most ideal soil and site qualities, which will help you achieve your goals.
- It should not be used as a substitute for an on-site study of soil and ground conditions.
- A complete onsite examination must be carried out by the local health authorities to determine whether or not the property is suitable for a medical facility.
- It is important to remember, however, that unsuitable soils and acceptable soils can coexist on the same parcel of land.
- The standard septic system, which consists of a septic tank and a number of trenches that are sunk 2 to 3 feet deep, is installed on over half of the homesites in North Carolina that have septic systems.
- These systems are quite affordable; the average installation cost ranges from $650 to $2,000, depending on where in the state you reside.
Alternative septic systems include low-pressure pipe (LPP) systems, fill systems, and other systems that have been expressly built for a particular use.
It is also possible that fill systems will be prohibitively expensive and impossible to implement.
Although there are many soils that are ideal for alternative septic systems, there are others that are not.
Make an application for an improvement permit with your local health department.
Inquire as to whether the permission will have an impact on the number of bedrooms that may be created in the home, as well as the location of the house, driveway, or the presence or absence of a swimming pool.
Additionally, you may decide to condition your sale on the issue of a permit for an approved type of wastewater treatment system (sewage treatment plant).
For additional information on the types of septic systems that are currently in use in your region, contact your local health authority.
A guide to Land Suitability for Septic Tank and Soil Treatment Systems explains how sewage effluent is cleansed in soils and how to evaluate the suitability of soils on your property for a sewage treatment system.
When evaluating the acquisition of a building lot, other information such as subdivision and land use rules, zoning, deed limitations, construction setbacks and ordinances, and financial information should be considered.
Landscaping Around a Septic System: Do’s and Don’ts
Riverside, California 92504-17333 Van Buren Boulevard Call us right now at (951) 780-5922. A big number of large plants, patios, and other structures are likely to be absent from the region surrounding your septic system. Indeed, conventional thinking is that you should avoid both large landscaping and septic systems in the vicinity of one other. This is a reasonable guideline to follow since roots can entangle themselves around pipes and cause them to burst. Plants, on the other hand, can absorb excess rainfall and decrease erosion, so landscaping around your septic system might not be such a bad idea after all.
You don’t want roots to penetrate the perforations and clog the system, so keep them out.
Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts
- Plants that do not require a lot of water should be used. This stops plant roots from looking for water and interfering with your system’s functionality. Make use of herbaceous plants with shallow roots, such as flowers and ground cover. When planting quarts, gallons, or plugs, make sure to keep your plants somewhat near to one another to prevent erosion. This will help restrict the growth of weeds. If you have any trees or shrubs growing in your yard in the future, consider how their development may impede access to the septic tank lids, leach field, and sprinkler system. Using a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn ornament just above your access hatch, you may mark the position of your access hatch. When it comes time to dig it up, it will be much simpler to do so. Allow tall Kentucky bluegrass or another type of lawn to grow over the plot of ground that serves as a septic tank cover. Consider the benefits of growing perennials. Because both grasses and perennials have a shallow root structure, they should have no negative impact on your tank or drain field. Make use of tiny, non-woody groundcovers to disguise weeds. Think about planting shallow-rooted trees and vegetation (such as cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly bushes, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs) in the area around your septic system, but make sure they are at least 10-15 feet away from the tank.
- Get so concerned about plants and grasses hurting your septic tank that you completely demolish the surrounding region. Some grasses and plants are particularly effective at collecting excess rainwater surrounding the drain field, hence reducing the likelihood of drainage problems. Overwatering your lawn may encourage freshly planted plants to flourish more quickly. Overwatering can cause soil to contract over your leach field, which can cause your septic system to get clogged. Root vegetables can be grown in the vicinity of your system. If these nutrient-absorbing plants are planted too near together, they may cause problems with microorganisms.
- Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the water out. These characteristics obstruct effective drainage from the tank to the leach field. Overlook the septic tank or leach field and construct walkways and high-traffic routes
- Don’t forget that the placement of fencing and gates might have an impact on septic pumper truck access. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not recommend that you use them to cross fences. The majority of pumpers like to have access within 50 feet of their vehicle. Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. Forestry professionals recommend planting trees 20 feet or more away from water, but trees that are known to hunt for water should be planted 50 feet or more away from water. Planting shrubs near the system is a good idea. Vegetables that are nutrient-rich can be grown on a septic system. However, contamination is a worry depending on how efficiently your soil filters microorganisms, even if it appears to be excellent for a garden. Susan Day, an expert on urban forestry at Virginia Tech, advocates planting aboveground veggies rather than root vegetables in close proximity as a safeguard. Disrupt the drainage system by constructing ponds, using plastic sheeting, or planting plants that require a lot of upkeep. Increase foot traffic in regions that are already established. The greater the amount of foot traffic, the more compacted the earth gets.
Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields
Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the water from escaping. Due to these characteristics, adequate drainage from the tank to the leach field is not possible. Overlook the septic tank or leach field and build walkways and high-traffic routes. Keep in mind that the location of fencing and gates might restrict the access of septic pumper trucks. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not recommend that you use them to cross any fences. Pumpers want to be within 50 feet of their trucks when they work.
- Forestry professionals recommend planting trees 20 feet or more away from water, but trees that are known to seek for water should be placed 50 feet or more away from it.
- However, contamination is a risk depending on how effectively your soil filters microorganisms and if it is suitable for a garden or not.
- Disrupt the drainage system by constructing ponds, using plastic sheeting, or planting high-maintenance plants.
- Compression of soil occurs as a result of increased foot activity.
- Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the bugs away. These characteristics interfere with effective drainage from the tank to the leach field. Construct walkways or high-traffic routes above the septic tank or leach field to reduce flooding. Don’t forget that the location of fencing and gates might limit the access of septic pumper trucks. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not advocate using them to cross fences. The majority of pumpers like to have access within 50 feet of the truck. Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. Trees should be planted at a distance of at least 20 feet, but trees that are known to hunt for water should be planted at a distance of at least 50 feet. Planting shrubs near to the system is one option. Vegetables that love nutrients may be grown on a septic system. However, contamination is a risk depending on how effectively your soil filters microorganisms and whether or not it is good for a garden. Susan Day, a Virginia Tech Urban Forestry expert, advises growing aboveground veggies rather than root vegetables close by as a precaution. Installing ponds, plastic sheeting, or high-maintenance plants that interfere with the drainage system is not recommended. Increase foot traffic in high-traffic regions. The greater the amount of foot movement, the more compacted the earth gets
The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems
Planting huge, rapidly growing trees is often discouraged. However, some of the greatest offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that are aggressively seeking out sources of water, which makes them particularly difficult to control. They are not picky about the water source from which they draw their water, which means the pipes in your septic tank drain field are completely fair game. Weeping willow trees are a well-known example of this. There are several trees and bushes to avoid, however the following are only a few examples:
- The following are examples of plants and trees: Pussywillow bushes, Japanese willow shrubs, Weeping willow trees, Aspen trees, Lombardy poplar trees, Birch trees, Beech trees, and Elm trees The majority of maple trees, with the exception of Japanese maples
- American sweetgum trees
- Ash trees
- Tulip trees
It is advised that a layer of vegetation, such as a lawn, be placed over the drain field to help hold the dirt in place and boost the effectiveness of the system. Certain principles, on the other hand, should be followed in order to avoid costly and unpleasant situations. Perhaps the greatest piece of advise would be to keep trees and bushes out of the landscaping surrounding this location. The most important factor should be the best possible functioning of your septic system, but each homeowner will need to do a cost/benefit analysis of the plants they choose on an individual basis.
If you suspect that encroaching tree roots are causing damage to your system, please contact us at (951) 780-5922 as soon as possible. If you have any questions, we have specialists standing by to help you resolve them and get your system back up and running.
Land for Potential Home Sites Evaluation The purchase of a home is a significant financial commitment for most individuals. A thorough investigation of the soil conditions before to building can help individual families and communities avoid construction and maintenance difficulties in the future. It is possible to utilize soil knowledge to forecast potential difficulties related with future or existing housing sites. Consider the following factors when developing or purchasing a home:
- There is a risk of flooding. A flood plain should be avoided unless there is adequate flood protection
- Drainage is an issue
- The soils have high shrink-swell properties
- The slope and unstable soil make erosion and soil movement a major problem
- Soil conditions exist that corrode pipes easily and require frequent replacement
- Extensive grading and soil removal were required
- The surface soil has been replaced
- The soil qualities are beneficial for lawn, shrubs, trees, flowers, and vegetables without the need for major soil modification
- The surface soil has been replaced
The purpose of this event is to bring attention to the importance of soils and the limits they impose on building sites. Also taken into consideration is a soil’s potential to be used for a variety of purposes such as parks, playgrounds, roads, and streets, amongst others. Many of the characteristics that are necessary for agricultural applications are equally significant for urban applications. While the qualities are the same, a distinct set of criteria is employed to evaluate urban uses, even if the attributes are the same.
- The soils are classified as having minor, moderate, severe, or extremely severe limits in homesite assessments.
- It is reasonable to anticipate low maintenance requirements.
- With specific planning, design, treatment, and maintenance, limitations can be bypassed or adjusted to some extent.
- It is extremely difficult and expensive to change or overcome limitations in order to achieve the required application.
- Extremely severe constraints- Soils or locations have characteristics that are so unfavorable for a specific application that overcoming the restrictions is extremely difficult and expensive, and they should typically not be utilized for the purpose for which they are being assessed.
- Ratings for other purposes can be created, but they will not be considered for this contest.
- Soil depth, slope, shrink-swell potential, water table, and floods are all key soil features that might have an impact on building foundations and should be considered.
The soil qualities that are most essential are those that have an impact on the establishment and maintenance of plantings.
Subsurface systems of tile or perforated pipe that transfer waste water (effluent) from a septic tank into the soil for purification are known as absorption fields.
Stones and shallow depths might make installation difficult, and an excessive slope can have an adverse effect on the system’s performance.
It is necessary to take into account the soil’s capacity to impound water and its suitability for usage as embankment material.
Suitability is influenced by a number of factors.
Septic systems and sewage lagoons do not require consideration of surface roughness since the lagoons and lateral lines are excavated below the surface of the ground.
– It may be necessary to stabilize the soil with organic material and/or loamy topsoil in order to promote moisture and nutrient retention, as well as to increase the capacity for plant development.
Moderately Coarse, medium, and somewhat coarse are all acceptable.
Fine: Strict restrictions on all uses, with the exception of sewage lagoons, which have none to minor restrictions.
For plant development, the soils must be watered often and at a moderate pace since they crack when dry and expand when wet.
Internal drainage might be addressed in this case.
It is recommended that the final design be founded on a thorough investigation of permeability, the presence of seasonal high water tables, and the results of a conventional percolation test to evaluate infiltration rates in soils that are slow or very slowly permeable.
Most of the time, soils that are unsuitable for septic systems are far better suited for lagoons.
Note: For the purposes of the contest, the permeability of the soil will be calculated by the subsoil texture box.
Lawns and landscaping planting are subject to moderate restrictions.
It is a sandy soil with a coarse texture.
As soon as the water permeability exceeds 6 inches per hour, seepage from lagoons occurs, making it impossible to maintain an acceptable water depth and perhaps contributing to ground water contamination.
Septic systems and lagoons are deemed to be severely limited when the permeability is more than 6 inches per hour, which is considered to be a very severe constraint.
Moderately coarse and medium-textured soils with weak prismatic to blocky and strong granular structure are found in this area of the world.
Lawns and landscaping plants are subject to no or little restrictions.
Soils are often fine grained with a subangular blocky structure and a relatively fine texture.
The permeability ranges from 0.06 to 0.6 inches per hour, depending on the material.
The cost of improvements and the size of the filter field would be prohibitively expensive at the pace of.06 inch per hour (1 1/2 inches per day).
Very Slow: There are substantial restrictions to the absorption field of a septic system.
In order to efficiently dispose of the effluent, either a prohibitively vast field of laterals or expensive changes would be necessary.
There are no to very minor restrictions on sewage lagoons.
Subsoils are found in a variety of colors and textures.
There are severe restrictions on lawns and landscaping vegetation.
The severity of limits caused by depth varies substantially depending on the application.
A slope is defined as the amount of vertical rise or fall over a 100-foot distance expressed in percent of the surface’s steepness or vertical rise or fall.
Table 7 will assist in the assessment of the slope condition for the purpose of evaluating a homesite.
Gullies that are very severe will place further restrictions on the absorption fields of septic systems.
For every use, there are severe:moderate restrictions.
Typically, highly gullied areas need considerable filling and leveling, additional expenditure for the septic system’s absorption field, and extensive modification for flower beds, lawns, and other landscaping features.
It is necessary to pay particular attention to the surrounding surroundings.
When it comes to sewage lagoons, surface runoff is not a concern because they will be shielded from intruding water.
Lawns and gardens have severe limits and need special attention in order to preserve and avoid erosion.
Moderate: There are no to very minor restrictions on foundations and septic systems.
This condition occurs on slopes ranging from 3 percent to 5 percent.
If there are moderate restrictions, it is possible that foundation modifications and unique design of septic system absorption fields may be required.
There are no to very minor restrictions for other applications.
Because it is critical in the design of foundations, it should be given special study.
When it comes to lawns and landscape plantings, shrink-swell is often not a consideration.
Moderate: Medium and medium fine grained soils have moderate constraints for all applications, with the exception of sewage lagoons, which have none to minor restrictions.
In the case of the water table The interior wetness of a space is impacted by the majority of the components described thus far in this article.
The presence and depth of a water table, on the other hand, are more a reflection of the temperature, the season, and the location of the terrain.
This necessitates conducting research at various times of the year and under a variety of climatic conditions. The depth of the water table will be provided for the purposes of the contest. A water table is defined as follows:
- A deep well if it is larger than 72 inches in depth
- A moderately deep well if it is between 40 to 72 inches in depth
- A shallow well if it is less than 40 inches in depth
Flooding Flooding is a problem that is sometimes disregarded when it comes to land use and management planning and decision-making. Despite the fact that flooding may not occur in a certain location for many years, a severe flood may occur. It is possible for urban expansion on the watershed of a minor stream to increase runoff by up to 75%, so significantly raising the flood danger. Although soils may indicate floods, it is necessary to examine historical data in order to ascertain the exact situation.
- In contests, this is typically provided as information to the participants.
- Flooding occurs on an irregular basis, with flooding occurring fewer than once every two years.
- Moderate restrictions on the absorption field of a septic system.
- Flooding is more common than once every two years, on average.
- Performing a site evaluation for a new home Homesite evaluation contests are done in the same way that land judging contests are carried out.
- 15 minutes should be allotted to each contender in order to complete a scorecard.
- Several methods are available to avoid the contest becoming overly lengthy and the grading difficult as a result of the addition of homesite appraisal.
- It is simply necessary to ensure that there are sufficient interpretive uses to evaluate the candidates’ ability in homesite evaluation that is a source of worry.
How a Septic Tank Works
Wherever you reside, you have one of two types of wastewater systems: either you are connected to a town or city sewage network with a centralized water treatment facility, or you have your own onsite septic system, depending on your situation. If you fall into the latter category, this article will introduce you to the fundamentals of septic systems, including how they operate, how to maintain them, and why they are a safe and dependable option.
What is a Septic System?
A septic system is a type of onsite wastewater treatment system that processes and filters waste generated by a home or business (effluent). The effluent is composed of two types of water: blackwater (toilet wastes) and graywater (kitchen sink, bathtub and laundry wastes). A septic system is made up of two parts: a septic tank and a leachfield or drainfield (also known as a drainfield) (soil absorption field). The septic tank serves as the primary treatment facility, where microorganisms break down organic compounds in the effluent.
In this location, bacteria finish the digestion and purification process while wastewater slowly seeps into the soil or infiltrates into the groundwater supply.
On-site solutions make optimum use of available space at a time when land expansion is placing increasing demands on natural resources. Please see our Homeowner’s Septic System Manual for more information.
Maintaining a Healthy Septic System
Proper wastewater management may help you protect your family’s health as well as the environment. Maintenance and upkeep for your septic system on a regular basis will help you prevent a calamity. Obtain Our Healthy Septic System Tips by downloading the PDF file.
Winter Maintenance of Your Septic System
Septic system problems can occur at any time, but preventative maintenance is especially crucial during the harsh winter months when temperatures drop. These suggestions might assist you in keeping your septic system in peak operating condition. Download Our Winter Maintenance Tips ›
Public Health and Safety
When it comes to onsite wastewater recycling, the primary concerns are the protection of public health and the preservation of the environment. Before wastewater can be re-injected into the groundwater, it must be thoroughly disinfected to ensure that no harmful bacteria, germs, or pathogens are present. By utilizing the soil’s natural treatment capabilities, infiltrator products are scientifically intended to deliver more efficient wastewater treatment than conventional methods. On-site wastewater treatment systems are a passive, dependable method of wastewater treatment that is reasonably inexpensive and does not degrade environmental quality.
Field training, continuing education for installers, and curriculum assistance for onsite system design studies are just a few of the activities that Infiltrator funds and participates in.