What Size Septic Tank For 4 Bedroom In Pa?

Minimum Septic Tank Capacity Table

Number of Bedrooms Minimum Septic Tank Size Minimum Liquid Surface Area
2 or less 1000 – 1500 Gallons 27 Sq. Ft.
3 1000 – 2000 Gallons 27 Sq. Ft.
4 1250 – 2500 Gallons 34 Sq. Ft.
5 1500 – 3000 Gallons 40 Sq. Ft.

1 •

  • 3 bedroom homes, less than 2,250 sq. ft. – minimum of 1,050 Gallons Tank 4 bedroom homes, less than 3,300 sq. ft. – minimum of 1,200 Gallons Tank For each additional bedroom as 60 Gallons of Daily Capacity; For each additional occupant add 50 Gallons of Daily Capacity

How do I determine the size of my septic tank?

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

How often does a 2000 gallon holding tank need to be pumped?

How often does my holding tank need to be pumped? A holding tank may need to be pumped every 30 to 90 days depending on how much waste is generated and the size of the tank.

How do you calculate septic tank per person?

Septic Tank Size Calculation based Per User Consumption

  1. Cooking – 5 Liters.
  2. Bathing & Toilet – 85 Liters/Person, So for 5 person – 425 liters/Day.
  3. Washing cloths & Utensils – 30 Liters.
  4. Cleaning House – 10 Liters.
  5. Other – 5 Litres.

How many covers does a 1000 gallon septic tank have?

Single Compartment 500 – 1,000 Gallon Septic Tanks: Installed up to approximately 1976, this tank style will have one main lid and two smaller baffle lids on both ends of the tank as shown in the diagram below.

What is the standard size of septic tank?

Length of septic tank (L) should be taken as 9feet 9 inches or 9.75 feet. Breadth of septic tank (B) should be taken as 6 feet 3 inches or 6.25 feet. The standard height (D) of septic tank should be taken as 5 feet 9 inches or 5.75 feet.

Are holding tanks legal in PA?

Holding tanks will be permitted only with appropriate Pennsylvania DEP approval. Holding tanks will not be permitted if the site can be served by a conventional or alternative system designed to function as an on-lot septic system.

What’s the difference between a septic system and a holding tank?

HOLDING TANKS ARE DIFFERENT FROM SEPTIC TANKS However, instead of releasing treated wastewater into the ground through a drainfield, the holding tank temporarily stores the effluent for removal and transportation to a treatment facility.

What size are sewage holding tanks?

Underground septic tanks are available in sizes ranging from 200 gallons up to 1500 gallons. An inlet and outlet may be added to tanks sized 200 gallons to 500 gallons for $75.00.

Is a 500 gallon septic tank big enough?

The minimum tank size for a three bedroom house is 1200 gallons. 500 or 750 gallon tanks used to be quite common in old houses, but they are not large enough for modern households, and are from a time without automatic washers, large spa tub, dishwashers, or multiple daily showers.

How do I calculate the size of my septic drain field?

Drainfield Size

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

What size are septic tank lids?

Available in 12″, 16″, 20″ and 24″ diameters. Green only. 12″ Tall Riser – For septic tanks.

How far down is septic tank lid?

Often, septic tank lids are at ground level. In most cases, they have buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground.

Do septic tanks have 2 lids?

A septic tank installed before 1975 will have a single 24-inch concrete lid in the center of the rectangle. A two -compartment tank installed after 1975 will have two lids of either fiberglass or polyethylene, centered at opposite ends of the rectangle.

What Size Septic Tank Do I Need

The size of an underground septic tank is referred to as its total volume handling capacity in this article, and it will be discussed in further detail later in this article. For additional information on above-ground septic tanks and systems, see our page on above-ground septic tanks. The minimum septic tank capacity requirements are determined by a variety of variables. State, county, and/or city regulations may specify permitted tank sizes, as well as tank materials and installation.

The size of the septic tank will vary depending on whether it is intended for domestic or commercial usage; in this section, we will cover residential use.

Shortly stated, the required size of a septic tank will be determined by the following factors: (1) the specific septic system type; (2) local government requirements; (3) the compatibility of the ground geology; and (4) the anticipated volume of wastewater depending on the size of the residence.

However, this is not true.

Furthermore, plastic septic tanks will not corrode, are weatherproof, are waterproof, are less expensive, are lighter, and are easier to build.

1) The Specific Septic System Type

There are seven different types of septic tank systems, and the size of the tank required will vary depending on the system you choose. The scope of this article does not allow for a comprehensive discussion of each system type and its associated size requirements. We are referring to traditional gravity-fed anaerobic septic systems in this context when we say “system type.” The anaerobic septic system is the most prevalent type of septic system, and it is the one that most people think of when they imagine a septic tank.

  1. The following systems are available: conventional, gravity-fed, anaerobic systems
  2. Above-ground septic systems
  3. Pressure systems
  4. Anaerobic systems
  5. Mound systems
  6. Recirculating sand or gravel filters systems
  7. Bottomless sand filters systems

If your septic tank system is anything other than a traditional, anaerobic system, the instructions in this page may not be applicable in their entirety to your situation.

2) Local Government Regulations

The laws for septic tanks imposed by local governments vary greatly across the United States. In part, this is due to the significantly diverse soil geography and water features that exist from state to state and can even differ by a few miles in some cases. In order to determine the appropriate septic tank size and the best position on the land for installation, it is essential to consult with local government rules first. Take, for example, theWastewater Treatment Standards – Residential Onsite Systemsdocument from the New York State Department of Health, which provides a comprehensive informational overview of codes, rules, and regulations frequently promulgated by governing bodies, as well as common terminology and definitions in the industry.

3) Suitability of the Ground Geology

The subterranean soil type has a significant impact on the efficacy of the system and, consequently, the size of the septic tank. This topic is highly tied to the rules of the local government. In most cases, it is related to the standards and recommendations of a designated authority that regulates septic tank installations, which is typically the department of health. In order to determine whether or not the ground is suitable for a septic tank system, a trained specialist must come out to the prospective installation site and conduct a series of tests.

A perc test will assess whether or not the subterranean soil is capable of handling and filtering septic tank effluent in an appropriate manner.

Whether you are hiring an experienced professional or doing it yourself, it is your obligation to contact your local oversight agency and arrange for perc tests and/or ground area evaluations to be performed.

4) The Expected Volume of Wastewater

The typical amount of wastewater that will be generated and that the septic tank will be able to manage is the most essential factor in determining the size of the septic tank that is required. In a home with simply a septic system, all wastewater is disposed of in the septic tank unless a separate system for managing greywater is in place to handle the waste. In order to calculate and approximate these values for residential dwellings, business structures, and facilities, extensive study has been carried out.

Starting with a 1000-gallon septic tank for residential usage, the advice is to go from there.

Some experts propose adding an additional 250 gallons of septic tank capacity for each additional bedroom over three bedrooms.

This is frequently the case when considering the situation collectively for the entire household rather than individually.

This article has demonstrated that septic tank recommendations are extremely diverse and depend on a variety of factors like where you reside, local government rules, subterranean soil type, house size, and the amount of wastewater that your unique home is predicted to produce.

Minimum Septic Tank Capacity Table

For further information on the minimum septic tank capacity dependent on the number of residential bedrooms, please see the following table:

Number of Bedrooms Minimum Septic Tank Size Minimum Liquid Surface Area Drainfield Size
2 or less 1000 – 1500 Gallons 27 Sq. Ft. 800 – 2500 Sq. Ft.
3 1000 – 2000 Gallons 27 Sq. Ft. 1000 – 2880 Sq. Ft.
4 1250 – 2500 Gallons 34 Sq. Ft. 1200 – 3200 Sq. Ft.
5 1500 – 3000 Gallons 40 Sq. Ft. 1600 – 3400 Sq. Ft.
6 1750 – 3500 Gallons 47 Sq. Ft. 2000 – 3800 Sq. Ft.

Take note of the following in relation to the table above:

  • As defined by the State of New York, the Minimum Liquid Surface Area is the surface area given for the liquid by the tank’s width and length measurements. The range of Drainfield Sizes is depending on the kind of groundwater present. The State of Michigan provides the above-mentioned drainfield recommendations, which might vary greatly depending on local standards and terrain.

Additional Thought: Can a Septic Tank Be Too Big?

In the absence of consideration for cost, it is reasonable to ask: “Can a septic tank be too large?” The answer is a resounding nay. As long as the septic tank is placed appropriately, it is impossible for a septic tank to be too large; the only thing that can happen is that it is too little. According to the majority of suggestions, constructing a larger-capacity septic tank is frequently the safer and more preferable solution. The following are the reasons behind this:

  1. With a bigger septic tank, you can adapt for changes in household consumption, such as those caused by parties or long-term guests. In the event that your family grows in size or you want to make improvements to your house, such as adding more bedrooms and bathrooms or installing new plumbing fixtures, having a bigger septic tank can save you the expense of installing a new tank.

Takeaways | What Size Septic Tank Do I Need

The septic tank size recommendations offered here are merely that: suggestions. They are built on a foundation of information gathered from government and academic sources. The actual size of the septic tank you require will vary depending on the factors discussed in this article. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to determining the appropriate septic tank size for your property. There is a great deal of variation depending on where you reside. With addition to providing a basic insight into the septic tank and system size that may be most suited to your application, the providedMinimum Septic Tank Capacity Tablecan also assist in cost estimations.

Before beginning any septic tank installation project, check and double-check with the state, city, or local county’s agency that is in charge of septic tanks, soil testing, and permissions.

If you’re searching for a chart of tank sizes, have a look at our page on the many sizes and quantities of septic tanks available.

They are available in both single chamber and double chamber designs.

What size of septic tank do I need?

Probably one of the last things on your mind when you are constructing a new house is the location of your septic system. After all, shopping for tanks isn’t nearly as entertaining as shopping for cabinetry, appliances, and floor coverings. Although you would never brag about it, your guests will be aware if you do not have the proper septic tank placed in your home or business.

septic tanks for new home construction

The exact size of the septic tank is determined mostly by the square footage of the house and the number of people who will be living in it. The majority of home septic tanks have capacities ranging from 750 to 1,250 gallons. A 1000 gallon tank will most likely be required for a typical 3-bedroom home that is smaller than 2500 square feet in size. Of course, all of this is dependent on the number of people who live in the house as well as the amount of water and waste that will be disposed of through the plumbing system.

For the most accurate assessment of your septic tank needs, you should speak with an experienced and trustworthy sewer business representative. They can assist you in planning the intricacies of your septic system, including which sort of septic system will be most beneficial to you.

planning your drainfield

Here are some helpful hints for deciding where to locate your drainfield when you’re designing it.

  • Vehicles should not be allowed on or around the drainfield. Planting trees or anything else with deep roots along the bed of the drain field is not recommended. The roots jam the pipes on a regular basis. Downspouts and sump pumps should not be discharged into the septic system. Do not tamper with or change natural drainage features without first researching and evaluating the consequences of your actions on the drainage field. Do not construct extensions on top of the drain field or cover it with concrete, asphalt, or other materials. Create easy access to your septic tank cover by placing it near the entrance. Easy maintenance and inspection are made possible as a result. To aid with evaporation and erosion prevention, plant grass in the area.
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a home addition may mean a new septic tank

Do not make any big additions or renovations to your house or company until you have had the size of your septic system assessed. If you want to build a house addition that is more than 10% of your total floor space, increases the number of rooms, or necessitates the installation of new plumbing, you will almost certainly need to expand your septic tank.

  • For a home addition that will result in increased use of your septic system, your local health department will require a letter from you that has been signed and authorized by a representative of your local health department confirming that your new septic system is capable of accommodating the increase in wastewater. It is not recommended that you replace your septic system without the assistance of a certified and competent contractor.

how to maintain your new septic system

Septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services are provided by Norway Septic Inc., a service-oriented company devoted to delivering outstanding septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to households and business owners throughout the Michiana area. “We take great delight in finishing the task that others have left unfinished.” “They pump, we clean!” says our company’s motto. Septic systems are something we are familiar with from our 40 years of expertise, and we propose the following:

  • Make use of the services of a qualified specialist to develop a maintenance strategy. Make an appointment for an annual examination of your septic system. Utilize the services of an effluent filter to limit the amount of particles that exit the tank, so extending the life of your septic system. Waste items should be disposed of properly, and energy-efficient appliances should be used. Make sure you get your septic system professionally cleaned every 2 to 3 years, or more frequently if necessary, by an experienced and qualified expert
  • If you have any reason to believe that there is an issue with your system, contact a professional. It is far preferable to catch anything early than than pay the price later. Maintain a record of all septic system repairs, inspections, and other activities

common septic questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by our septic customers.

How do I determine the size of my septic tank?

If you have a rectangular tank, multiply the inner height by the length to get the overall height of the tank. In order to find out how many gallons your septic tank contains, divide the number by.1337.1337

How many bedrooms does a 500-gallon septic tank support?

The exact size of the septic tank is determined mostly by the square footage of the house and the number of people who will be living in it. The majority of home septic tanks have capacities ranging from 750 to 1,250 gallons. A 1000 gallon tank will most likely be required for a typical 3-bedroom home that is smaller than 2500 square feet in size.

How deep in the ground is a septic tank?

Your septic system is normally buried between four inches and four feet underground, depending on the climate.

On-Lot Wastewater Systems; The Basics

Unless you reside in a rural region, there is a good chance that your home is not linked to the city’s sewage system. On-lot wastewater treatment and disposal may be the only option available for disposing of the wastewater generated by toilets, sinks, and other appliances in your house or other building. When it comes to sewage treatment on a small scale, a three-stage process is used. It includes a treatment tank (most typically a septic tank), a distribution system (the pipes), and a soil absorption region.

The treatment tank effluent is distributed as evenly as possible to the soil absorption area through distribution pipes.

Because you are the owner and operator of this “small” treatment system, your understanding of and care for the system will play a role in determining whether and how long it will continue to work well or fail.

On-lot sewage systems are need to be approved by the SEO before they can be installed on any property in their municipality.

When you understand how on-lot soil absorption systems work, you can correctly maintain your system and limit the chance of poor performance and even system failure. The SEO must authorize the installation of a new system if repairs are required or if a new system is required.

Specifications for Your System

Design guidelines for on-lot wastewater systems were established in Pennsylvania to safeguard your family, your neighbors, and the rest of the community from the possible health consequences of improperly sited or poorly operating on-lot wastewater systems, among other things. Within the earth, gravity absorption regions can be installed on sites with percolation rates (Perc Rates) ranging from 6 to 60 minutes per inch of soil thickness, and land slopes that do not exceed 25 percent. It is necessary to have four feet of appropriate soil under the soil absorption area in order to give effective treatment of the liquid released from your treatment tank.

The limiting zone is defined as any layer that prevents adequate wastewater treatment from occurring.

Bedrock, a very slowly permeable soil layer, a high water table, a seasonal high water table, or a fragmented rock layer with inadequate particles are all examples of limiting zones.

Septic Tank for Solids Removal

All on-lot sewage systems must be equipped with a treatment tank, which will accept the wastewater that is discharged from your residence. Septic tanks account for a disproportionately large proportion of all treatment tanks. Septic tanks are waterproof chambers made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic that are designed to hold waste. It is necessary to use two septic tanks that are connected in series or a two-chamber septic tank. Figure 1 depicts the flow of wastewater from the residence into the first septic tank or the first chamber of a two-chamber septic tank after leaving the house.

  • Solids are held in the first chamber for one to two days before being released.
  • Finally, the wastewater, which is now referred to as effluent, is discharged from the septic tank through the baffled exit and transported to the absorption area.
  • The exit baffle should also include an exit filter, which will trap any particles present in the tank effluent as it exits the tank.
  • Diagram of a typical two-compartment septic tank, shown in cross section in Figure 1.

Depending on how many bedrooms the home has, the overall tank capacity will be determined. If you live in a three-bedroom or smaller house, you are only permitted to have a tank of 900 gallons. The tank capacity must be raised by one for every extra bedroom.

Soil Absorption Area For Wastewater Renovation

When wastewater travels through the septic tank, where the majority of the particles are caught, the liquid effluent is transferred to the absorption region, which can be accomplished either via gravity or by a pressurized pump. The effluent from the treatment tank is then distributed evenly throughout the soil, where it is absorbed and treated. For absorption regions, there are a variety of alternatives available, but the most ideal and often employed is a seepage bed or a network of trenches.

  1. On locations with slopes of up to 8%, a seepage bed may be utilized to collect water.
  2. Generally speaking, they are most commonly employed in locations with steep terrain slopes.
  3. Cutting-apart view of a typical trench soil absorption system in Figure 2.
  4. excavating 24 inches of dirt and placing at least 6 inches of aggregate at the bottom of the trench or seepage bed, the top of which must be level.
  5. Using a thin layer of straw, untreated construction paper, or a geotextile, cover the aggregate with soil before backfilling it.
  6. It doesn’t matter whether you use a trench network or a seepage bed system; the pipe distribution system’s role is to uniformly transfer the treatment tank effluent on to the soil lying below the aggregate layer of the soil absorption region.
  7. The idea is to get the effluent into the soil and allow it to percolate down through the 4 feet of appropriate soil at a rate that will keep the soil environment aerobic (or oxygenated).
  8. As a result, the absorption area must be proportionate to the percolation rate (Perc Rate).
  9. It will be necessary to install an Individual Residential Spray Irrigation System (IRSIS) or a more expensive alternative system that does not use soil as a treatment medium if the Perc Rate on your site is greater than 3 minutes per inch or less than 180 minutes per inch.

When the absorption area is properly sized, taking into consideration the site’s Perc Rate as well as the maximum expected wastewater flow from the home, which is based on the number of bedrooms, the effluent from the treatment tank will be properly treated as it flows into and downward through the 4 feet of suitable soil below the absorption area.

For example, if the Perc Rate is 6 minutes per inch, a three-bedroom residence will require an absorption area as little as 476 square feet. If the Perc Rate is 60 minutes per inch, the same three-bedroom residence will necessitate an absorption area of up to 1,064 square feet.

Wastewater Distribution For Disposal Into The Soil

Gravity distribution systems are frequently employed when the geography of the location enables them. Gravity distribution is the process of transporting septic tank effluent to an absorption region through a conduit that is not perforated. If you want to employ a network of trenches, a distribution box will be necessary to distribute the effluent flow evenly throughout the trenches, as shown in Figure 3. If you are using a seepage bed, you may want to consider using a distribution box or a header pipe to divide the effluent flow into the various in-bed distribution pipes.

Figure 3 shows an on-lot sewage system that includes a septic tank and trenches for absorption.

Pressure Distribution

A pressure distribution system is necessary on locations where the treatment tank effluent must be delivered uphill to the absorption region, or on sites where the Perc Rate is less than 60 minutes per inch. Float-switch operated pumps raise the effluent to the absorption area, where it is dispersed equally to the soil under the absorption area in pressure distribution (or pressure dosing) systems.

Septic Tank-Soil Absorption Area Maintenance

Unless properly maintained, septic tanks and soil absorption systems have a relatively short useful life. The most crucial maintenance technique is to have your septic tank emptied out every two years, as recommended by the manufacturer. Or, even better, get it pumped the day before you depart for your summer vacation once every two years instead. For further information about system maintenance, please see the relevant information sources listed beneath the table.

For additional assistance contact

  • Unless properly maintained, septic tanks and soil absorption systems have a relatively short life span. Having your septic tank drained every two years is the most crucial maintenance treatment you can do for your system. Or, even better, get it pumped the day before you depart for your summer vacation once every two years. For further information about system maintenance, please see the relevant information sources listed beneath.

Septic Systems

Even the most carefully constructed and meticulously built onlot sewage disposal system will fail if the homeowner does not properly run and maintain the system on a regular basis. Broken or malfunctioning systems not only require costly repairs, but they can also contaminate surface and groundwaters, cause a variety of illnesses and spread disease. When raw sewage surfaces or backs up into the home, it causes unsightly messes and foul odors, as well as create unsightly messes and foul odors.

How an Onlot (aka “Septic”) System Functions

There are two major forms of anaerobic (non-oxygenating) onlot systems: those with gravity distribution systems and those with pressure distribution systems. Gravity distribution systems are the more common type. There are three key components in both types of systems:

  1. The septic tank, the distribution box (gravity system) or the dosing tank (pressure system), and the absorption area are all components of the septic system.

After flowing into the septic tank, the initial treatment procedure is carried out on the waste. In the tank, the heaviest stuff falls to the bottom (forming sludge), while the lighter matter (scum) floats on top of a rather transparent liquid known as effluent. The heaviest matter settles to the bottom (forming sludge). While the sludge and scum must be pumped out on a regular basis, the clear liquid flows out of the tank and into a distribution box or dosing tank, where it is then directed to the absorption region either by gravity flow or by pressured pipes to complete the cycle.

When it reaches the absorption region, the effluent flows through pipes into a layer of gravel and subsequently percolates into the soil, where it receives further treatment. The bacteria in the soil are responsible for neutralizing a large number of the pollutants in the wastewater.

Signs of an onlot system in trouble include:

  • The toilet is slow to flush
  • Smells from the sewer in the residence and/or drinking water
  • Illness that often affects guests to the home
  • There is some swelling surrounding the septic tank, distribution box, or dosing tank, as well as the absorption region. exposing raw sewage to the public
  • The dosing pump is either continually running or not running at all. The dosing tank alert light is illuminated
  • Sewer backup into washing tubs or other plumbing devices

A large number of these indicators point to a malfunctioning onlot system.

Preventing Malfunctions

Homeowners may assist in preventing faults and ensuring the long-term usage of their onlot system by following the recommendations below:

  • Conserving water and decreasing waste discharge into the septic tank are two important goals. Having the septic tank drained at least once every 3-5 years, depending on the tank size and the number of people in the household
  • Averting the introduction of chemicals into the septic system
  • It is not proper use of the toilet to dispose of large, slowly decaying wastes
  • Performing a yearly inspection of the septic tank, pipes, and drainage field
  • Preserving accurate records of the septic system (design, installation, placement, inspections, pumpings, malfunctions, and repairs)
  • Maintaining the integrity of the septic system by preventing runoff from downspouts, sump pumps, and paved surfaces from entering
  • Keep large vehicles, machinery, and cattle away from the sewage treatment system
  • Avoiding the planting of trees and bushes over or near a septic system
  • And
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Conserving Water and Reducing Wasteflow

Onlot systems not only treat and dispose of domestic sewage from toilets, but they also receive wastewater from a variety of other household fixtures, such as bathtubs, showers, kitchen sinks, trash disposals, automated dishwaters, and laundries, and treat and dispose of that wastewater. Conserving water and lowering the amount of waste generated by home activities is a critical step in maintaining its long-term usage and sustainability. As a home grows in number of water-using gadgets, the load placed on the municipal water supply grows.

  1. Do not use the dishwasher or the laundry washer unless they are completely full with laundry.
  • Top-loading laundry washer with a capacity of 35-50 gal. per load
  • Front-loading washer with a capacity of 22-25 gal. per load
  • Fix dripping faucets and leaking plumbing fixtures as soon as possible. Install flow control (regulator) devices on faucets to regulate water flow.
  • Aerator for regular faucets (2.5-6 gal./min)
  • Aerator for controlling flow rate. 5 to 2.5 gallons per minute
  • Instead of taking long baths, take brief showers. Showerheads and other plumbing fixtures should be equipped with flow control or water conservation systems to conserve water.
  • Showerheads with a conventional flow rate of 3-15 gal./min
  • Water Saving Showerheads with a flow rate of 2-3 gal./min
  • Every time you flush the toilet, reduce the amount of water you use. Put a heavy device, such as a brick in a plastic bag or a water-filled plastic bottle in the reservoir, or build a low-flow toilet to make the water go further.
  • Conventional toilets use 4-6 gallons of water every flush, whereas water-saving toilets use 1.6-3 gallons per flush.
  1. Use the garbage disposal only when absolutely necessary. The septic system is put under more stress as a result of these wastes. Instead, if you have a garden, you may compost the waste stuff.

Pumping Your Septic Tank

Solids (sludge) and scum build up in a septic tank over time, and the tank should be pumped out at least once every three to five years. The frequency with which the tank is pumped is determined by the tank’s capacity and the size of the family. Pumping is often required more frequently in larger houses (every one or two years). In Pennsylvania, particular tank sizes are often determined by the number of bedrooms in the residence, as the number of bedrooms is a good predictor of the size of the household.

The septic tank must be larger in proportion to the number of beds.

Your Toilet Is Not A Trash Can

In a septic system, trillions of live, helpful bacteria are continually working to clean and degrade raw sewage. If dangerous substances and chemicals are introduced into the septic system, the efficacy of these bacteria may be reduced. The following are examples of harmful substances/chemicals:

  • Gasoline, oil, grease, antifreeze, varnishes, paints, and solvents, strong drain and toilet bowl cleaners, laundry detergents with high sudsing ingredients, bleach, and pesticides are all prohibited.

Keep in mind that everything you flush down the toilet and down the drain may come up back in your drinking water at some point. To clean your toilet bowl instead of using caustic cleansers or bleach, use a gentle detergent, baking soda, or one-half cup of borax per gallon of water instead. Do not flush bulky, difficult to disintegrate materials down the toilet, such as sanitary napkins, diapers, paper towels, cigarette filters, plastics, eggshells, bones, or coffee grounds, since they might clog the system.

How Big of a Septic Tank Do I Need?

The size and kind of tank required for a new septic system are the two most important considerations to make before beginning the installation process. Private sewage disposal is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with 33 percent of newly constructed residences choosing for on-site wastewater treatment as part of their construction. Septic tank systems, in conjunction with a soil absorption system, or a drain field, are the least costly way of treating residential wastewater currently available on the market.

  • The typical size of a home septic tank is from 750 gallons to 1,250 gallons in capacity.
  • The system is made up of two major components: the tank and the drain, often known as the soil absorption field or drain field.
  • Oil, grease, and soap residue combine to form the scum layer on the surface of the water.
  • With each filling of the tank, the effluent drains out of the tank and into the drain field, where it is absorbed by the earth.
  • Septic tanks are commonly utilized in residential construction and can be classified into three categories.
  • Polyethylene and fiberglass are one-piece products that are significantly lighter than steel.
  • In order to determine whether or not you need a septic tank system, check with your local building department to see what laws and requirements apply to onsite wastewater treatment.
  • The square footage of the property, the number of bedrooms, and the number of people who will be living there are all important considerations.
  • Septic tanks for one and two bedroom homes that are less than 1,500 square feet and 1,000 gallon septic tanks for three bedroom homes that are less than 2,500 square feet are recommended.
  • The figures listed above are only estimates.
  • Before acquiring a septic tank system, speak with a professional plumbing contractor who is licensed in your region about the many septic tank alternatives that are available to you.

Get in touch with the Pink Plumber right away if you have any queries or concerns about your septic tank. Image courtesy of Flickr OUR EXPERT PLUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU.

Septic Systems (PA Perspective)

The Pennsylvania Perspective on On-lot and Land-based Wastewater Disposal Systems is being supplied by B. F. Environmental Consultants, Inc., the Water-Research Center, and theWP Online University, with additional support from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. A general overview of permitted, alternative, and experimental land-based wastewater disposal and recharge methods in Pennsylvania may be found in this online guide on on-lot wastewater disposal. For residential, commercial, and community applications, this online resource contains general information on the selection, siting, size, and maintenance of on-site wastewater disposal systems, as well as links to other resources.

Table of Contents

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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

Before you start thinking about septic tank sizes, it’s important to understand the many types of septic tanks that exist.

  • Septic tanks made of fiberglass
  • Septic tanks made of plastic
  • Septic tanks made of concrete

Concrete septic tanks are the most prevalent variety, but since they are so massive, you will need big and expensive equipment to build them. Fiberglass and plastic septic tanks are lighter than concrete and are therefore more suited for difficult-to-reach and distant locations. Before purchasing a septic tank, you should check with your local building department to learn about the rules and guidelines governing private wastewater management. You may also be interested in:Do you have a septic tank?

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.

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.

Types of Septic Systems

The size of your septic tank is proportional to the number of people that live in your home. For example, if your house has just two tenants, you will only require a tiny septic tank. If your home has more than five people, on the other hand, you will want a larger septic tank in order to manage your wastewater more effectively and hygienically. Consider the following when determining the amount of septic tank you require: septic tank sizes impact the overall effectiveness of your septic system; It is possible for wastewater to back up your house when the holding capacity of your septic tank is exceeded, producing clogs and floods, and placing you and your family in danger.

See also:  How To Get A Septic Tank Permit In Marion County Florida? (TOP 5 Tips)

Septic system sizes for North Atlanta, GA homes may be determined by contacting us.

  • Septic Tank, Conventional System, Chamber System, Drip Distribution System, Aerobic Treatment Unit, Mound Systems, Recirculating Sand Filter System, Evapotranspiration System, Constructed Wetland System, Cluster / Community System, etc.

Septic Tank

This tank is underground and waterproof, and it was designed and built specifically for receiving and partially treating raw home sanitary wastewater. Generally speaking, heavy materials settle at or near the bottom of the tank, whereas greases and lighter solids float to the surface. The sediments are retained in the tank, while the wastewater is sent to the drainfield for further treatment and dispersion once it has been treated.

Conventional System

Septic tanks and trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration systems are two types of decentralized wastewater treatment systems (drainfield). When it comes to single-family homes and small businesses, a traditional septic system is the most common type of system. For decades, people have used a gravel/stone drainfield as a method of water drainage. The term is derived from the process of constructing the drainfield. A short underground trench made of stone or gravel collects wastewater from the septic tank in this configuration, which is commonly used.

Effluent filters through the stone and is further cleaned by microorganisms once it reaches the soil below the gravel/stone trench, which is located below the trench.

In terms of total footprint, gravel and stone systems are very substantial, and therefore may not be appropriate for all residential sites or situations.

Chamber System

Gravelless drainfields have been regularly utilized in various states for more than 30 years and have evolved into a standard technology that has mostly replaced gravel systems. Various configurations are possible, including open-bottom chambers, pipe that has been clothed, and synthetic materials such as expanded polystyrene media. Gravelless systems can be constructed entirely of recycled materials, resulting in considerable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during their lifetime. The chamber system is a type of gravelless system that can be used as an example.

  1. The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.
  2. This sort of system is made up of a number of chambers that are connected to one another.
  3. Wastewater is transported from the septic tank to the chambers through pipes.
  4. The wastewater is treated by microbes that live on or near the soil.

Drip Distribution System

An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is very versatile. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a vast mound of dirt because the drip laterals are only placed into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive.

Aerobic Treatment Unit

Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are small-scale wastewater treatment facilities that employ many of the same procedures as a municipal sewage plant. An aerobic system adds oxygen to the treatment tank using a pump. When there is an increase in oxygen in the system, there is an increase in natural bacterial activity, which then offers extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent. It is possible that certain aerobic systems may additionally include a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank that will include disinfection in order to further lower pathogen levels.

ATUs should be maintained on a regular basis during their service life.

Mound Systems

Using mound systems in regions with short soil depth, high groundwater levels, or shallow bedrock might be a good alternative. A drainfield trench has been dug through the sand mound that was erected. The effluent from the septic tank runs into a pump chamber, where it is pumped to the mound in the amounts recommended. During its release to the trench, the effluent filters through the sand and is dispersed into the native soil, where it continues to be treated. However, while mound systems can be an effective solution for some soil conditions, they demand a significant amount of land and require regular care.

Recirculating Sand Filter System

Sand filter systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the use. The effluent is discharged from the septic tank into a pump compartment. Afterwards, it is pushed into the sand filter. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. The effluent is pushed through the pipes at the top of the filter under low pressure to the drain. As the effluent exits the pipelines, it is treated as it passes through the sand filtering system.

However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system because they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus better suited for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to bodies of water.

Evapotranspiration System

Evaporative cooling systems feature drainfields that are one-of-a-kind. It is necessary to line the drainfield at the base of the evapotranspiration system with a waterproof material. Following the entry of the effluent into the drainfield, it evaporates into the atmosphere. At the same time, the sewage never filters into the soil and never enters groundwater, unlike other septic system designs. It is only in particular climatic circumstances that evapotranspiration systems are effective. The environment must be desert, with plenty of heat and sunshine, and no precipitation.

Constructed Wetland System

Construction of a manufactured wetland is intended to simulate the treatment processes that occur in natural wetland areas. Wastewater goes from the septic tank and into the wetland cell, where it is treated. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media that eliminate pathogens and nutrients. Typically, a wetland cell is constructed with an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the necessary wetland plants, all of which must be capable of withstanding the constant saturation of the surrounding environment.

The operation of a wetland system can be accomplished by either gravity flow or pressure distribution. As wastewater travels through the wetland, it may escape the wetland and flow onto a drainfield, where it will undergo more wastewater treatment before being absorbed into the soil by bacteria.

Cluster / Community System

In certain cases, a decentralized wastewater treatment system is owned by a group of people and is responsible for collecting wastewater from two or more residences or buildings and transporting it to a treatment and dispersal system placed on a suitable location near the dwellings or buildings. Cluster systems are widespread in settings like rural subdivisions, where they may be found in large numbers.

Standard Septic Systems

When it comes to treating residential wastewater, a regular wastewater system combined with a soil absorption system is the most cost-effective technique currently available. However, in order for it to function correctly, you must select the appropriate septic system for your home size and soil type, and you must keep it in good working order on a regular basis.

What size septic tank do I need?

In terms of economic efficiency, the most cost-effective technology available for treating residential wastewater is a basic wastewater system with a soil absorption system. If you want your septic system to function correctly, you must select the appropriate kind for your household’s size and soil type, and you must do regular maintenance on it.

Bedrooms Home Square Footage Tank Capacity
1 or 2 Less than 1,500 750
3 Less than 2,500 1,000
4 Less than 3,500 1,250
5 Less than 4,500 1,250
6 Less than 5,500 1,315

How often should my tank be pumped?

A regular pumping of the tank is required to maintain your system operating properly and treating sewage efficiently. Sludge collects at the bottom of the septic tank as a result of the usage of the septic system. Because of the rise in sludge level, wastewater spends less time in the tank and solids have a greater chance of escaping into the absorption region. If sludge collects for an excessive amount of time, there is no settling and the sewage is directed directly to the soil absorption region, with no treatment.

  1. You can find out how often you should get your tank pumped by looking at the table below.
  2. If you fail to maintain the tank for an extended period of time, you may be forced to replace the soil absorption field.
  3. Solids can enter the field if the tank is not pumped on a regular basis.
  4. Wet soils that have been saturated by rains are incapable of receiving wastewater.

Other maintenance

Another maintenance activity that must be completed on a regular basis to protect the system from backing up is to clean the effluent filter, which is located in the tank’s outflow tee and is responsible for additional wastewater filtration. This filter eliminates extra particulates from the wastewater and prevents them from being clogged in the absorption field, which would cause the absorption field to fail prematurely.

You may clean the filter yourself by spraying it with a hose, or you can have your maintenance provider clean the filter for you if necessary.

Two critical components

A septic tank and a soil absorption system are the two primary components of a standard treatment system.


The septic tank is an enclosed, waterproof container that collects and treats wastewater, separating the particles from the liquid. It is used for primary treatment of wastewater. It works by retaining wastewater in the tank and letting the heavier particles (such as oil and greases) to settle to the bottom of the tank while the floatable solids (such as water and sewage) rise to the surface. The tank should be able to store the wastewater for at least 24 hours in order to provide time for the sediments to settle.

Up to 50% of the particles stored in the tank decompose, with the remainder accumulating as sludge at the tank bottom, which must be cleaned on a regular basis by pumping the tank out.


Ultimately, the soil absorption field is responsible for the final treatment and distribution of wastewater. Traditional systems consist of perforated pipes surrounded by media such as gravel and chipped tires, which are then coated with geo-textile fabric and loamy soil to create a permeable barrier. This method depends mainly on the soil to treat wastewater, where microorganisms assist in the removal of organic debris, sediments, and nutrients that have been left in the water after it has been treated.

As the water moves through the soil, the mat slows its passage and helps to prevent the soil below the mat from being saturated.

The grass that grows on top of the soil absorption system takes use of the nutrients and water to flourish as well.

Septic tank types

There are three primary types of septic tanks used for on-site wastewater treatment: cisterns, septic tanks, and septic tanks with a pump.

  • Concrete septic tanks are the most popular type of septic tank. Fiberglass tanks – Because they are lightweight and portable, they are frequently used in remote or difficult-to-reach sites. Lightweight polyethylene/plastic tanks, similar to fiberglass tanks, may be transported to “difficult-to-reach” sites since they are one-piece constructions.

It is necessary for all tanks to be waterproof in order to prevent water from entering as well as exiting the system.

Factors in septic maintenance

A critical consideration in the construction of a septic tank is the link between the amount of surface area it has, the amount of sewage it can hold, the amount of wastewater that is discharged, and the rate at which it escapes. All of these factors influence the effectiveness of the tank as well as the quantity of sludge it retains. The bigger the liquid surface area of the tank, the greater the amount of sewage it can hold. As more particles accumulate in the tank, the water level in the tank grows shallower, necessitating a slower discharge rate in order to give the sludge and scum more time to separate from one another.

An aperture must be utilized on the tank lid if it is more than 12 inches below the soil surface, and a riser must be used on the openings in order to bring the lid to within 6 inches of the soil surface.

In most cases, the riser may be extended all the way to the ground surface and covered by a sturdy lid. It is quite simple to do maintenance on the tank thanks to these risers.

Soil types

There are three types of soil textures: sand, silt, and clay, and each has an impact on how quickly wastewater filters into the soil (a property known as hydraulic conductivity) and how large an absorption field is required. Sand transports water more quickly than silt, which transfers water more quickly than clay. According to Texas laws, these three soil textures are subdivided into five soil kinds (Ia, Ib, II, III, IV). Sandy soils are classified as soil type I, whereas clay soils are classified as soil type IV.

The Hydraulic Loading, which is the quantity of effluent applied per square foot of trench surface, is also significant in the design.

For this reason, only nonstandard drain fields are suitable for use in clay soils due to the poor conductivity of clay soils.

The Texas A&M University System’s Agricultural Communications department.

L-5227 was published on April 10, 2000.

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