What Are The Requiremnts For A Convetional Septic Tank? (Perfect answer)

Minimum Septic Tank Capacity Table

Number of Bedrooms Minimum Septic Tank Size Drainfield Size
2 or less 1000 – 1500 Gallons 800 – 2500 Sq. Ft.
3 1000 – 2000 Gallons 1000 – 2880 Sq. Ft.
4 1250 – 2500 Gallons 1200 – 3200 Sq. Ft.
5 1500 – 3000 Gallons 1600 – 3400 Sq. Ft.

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  • Typically the septic tank volume for a conventional tank and onsite effluent disposal system (such as a drainfield) is estimated at a minimum of 1000 gallons or 1.5 x average total daily wastewater flow. Here we also discuss the smallest recommended septic tank sizes based on building occupancy or wastewater volume.

What is a conventional septic tank?

A decentralized wastewater treatment system consisting of a septic tank and a trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration system (drainfield). A conventional septic system is typically installed at a single-family home or small business. The name refers to the construction of the drainfield.

What are the regulations regarding septic tanks?

According to new regulations passed in 2015, if your septic tank discharges to surface water such as a ditch, stream, canal or river, you will have to upgrade your system to a sewage treatment plant or install a soakaway system by 1 January 2020.

What a conventional septic system is composed of?

The conventional septic system is composed of two basic components, a septic tank (for solids and scum) and a tile bed for effluent to drain into. The septic tank is a buried, watertight container made from concrete, polyethylene or fiberglass.

Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?

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

What is the difference between conventional and aerobic septic systems?

Liquid and solid waste enters the trash tank and settles into layers, just like conventional septic systems. The difference occurs when wastewater travels to the treatment plant, where an aerator circulates oxygen bubbles throughout the effluent, similar to a fish tank pump.

What are the 2020 septic tank regulations?

Under the new rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.) you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.

Does a septic tank have to be registered?

A septic tank discharges water into the ground, and the quantity of such is important so as to avoid damage to the environment. If your septic tank discharges two cubic metres or less above ground, then you don’t need to register it. If it releases five cubic metres, or less, below ground level then it is also exempt.

Is my septic tank illegal?

No, septic tanks aren’t going to be banned. Septic tanks do a good job of holding back solids and separating solids from liquid, they also offer a small degree of biological cleaning, however the waste that is discharged from them is still very high in ammonia and requires treatment before entering the environment.

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 much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.

How close can you build to a septic tank?

Septic tanks should be at least 7 metres away from any habitable parts of the building. They should also be located within 30 metres of an access point so that the tank can be emptied.

Does shower water go into septic tank?

From your house to the tank: Most, but not all, septic systems operate via gravity to the septic tank. Each time a toilet is flushed, water is turned on or you take a shower, the water and waste flows via gravity through the plumbing system in your house and ends up in the septic tank.

Do all septic tanks have filters?

First, not all septic tanks have a filter, especially the older septic tanks. Now many government agencies require or recommend a filter when a septic tank is installed. Cleaning a septic tank filter is different than pumping out a septic tank and cleaning it.

How often should a septic tank be pumped?

Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.

Types of Septic Systems

Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of variables. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all considerations to take into consideration. The following are 10 of the most often encountered septic system configurations. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list; there are several additional types of septic systems.

  • 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.

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.

The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.

This sort of system is made up of a number of chambers that are connected to one another.

Wastewater is transported from the septic tank to the chambers through pipes. The wastewater comes into touch with the earth when it is contained within the chambers. 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

Mound systems are an option in areas of shallow soil depth, high groundwater, or shallow bedrock. The constructed sand mound contains a drainfield trench. Effluent from the septic tank flows to a pump chamber where it is pumped to the mound in prescribed doses. Treatment of the effluent occurs as it discharges to the trench and filters through the sand, and then disperses into the native soil. While mound systems can be a good solution for certain soil conditions, they require a substantial amount of space and periodic maintenance.

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.

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.

How a Conventional Septic System Works

Despite the fact that conventional septic systems are straightforward equipment for treating residential sewage, many homeowners are unfamiliar with them. Using gravity, sewage is transported from the building into the first chamber of a two-chamber tank, where solids settle, fats, oils, and grease float, and bacteria slowly decompose and decontaminate the waste. In a second chamber, there is more settling to take place. It is then released through perforated pipes into a specified area of the yard or drain field/leach field, where the biological breakdown of the sewage proceeds as the effluent leaches through the soil and finally into the groundwater supply.

  1. Even though a system is constructed to meet current requirements, a defective or underperforming system might cause sewage to be discharged into the yard.
  2. During periods of high water use, sewage does not have enough time to settle completely and will overflow into the drain field, where the effluent will eventually make its way to the surface of the grass.
  3. This sort of overflow is one of the most common reasons that traditional septic systems fail public health inspections, which are required when a property is put on the market for sale.
  4. These air pumps provide oxygen to sewage populations, allowing them to break down more of the sewage before it is discharged into the environment.

Filters are infrequently employed in traditional septic systems, and they are much less common in aeration systems, to trap sediments and germs and keep them from entering the distribution system.

Tangent’s Solution – Membrane Technology

In contrast to other systems on the market, the LandSaver® MBRseptic system from Tangent Company is specifically intended to equalize heavy flow events and avoid pollutants from spilling into the dispersion system and yard. The LandSaver® MBR integrates a state-of-the-art membrane Ultrafiltration Barrier to generate an effluent that is free of bacteria and viruses. It is possible to avoid exposure to large quantities of viruses that can be present in home wastewater when using a combination of UV light disinfection and other methods.

OWTS: Conventional Septic Tank/Drain Field – AgriLife Extension Service

Our work has a positive impact on the lives of Texans as well as the state’s economy. View Economic Impacts» for further information. HomeLibrary WaterOWTS: Septic Tank/Drain Field with Conventional Design Contributed by Bruce Lesikar, Extension Agricultural Engineering Specialist for the Texas A & M University System. For decades, conventional septic systems have been the most widely utilized technique for the treatment of wastewater. Gravity-based wastewater treatment and distribution systems are used to treat and disperse wastewater in the soil.

  • They are also the most environmentally friendly.
  • Prior to entering the distribution system, the wastewater is treated in the septic tanks, which settle out solids and partially treat the wastewater.
  • They are made up of gravel-filled trenches, plastic chambers, or plastic piping that is erected underground to contain the wastewater that is discharged from the tanks until it can soak into the surrounding soil and be treated.
  • Solids and organic debris are removed from wastewater by the filtering action of soil particles.
  • The size of the tanks and distribution system is determined by the number of bedrooms in the house as well as the kind of soil in the area where the distribution system is to be put.
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Advantages

The standard gravity flow septic system is often the most affordable system to construct and run for on-site wastewater disposal since it is simple and straightforward.

Disadvantages

It is not possible to build conventional gravity flow septic systems on a clay or rocky soil or on a shallow soil or on rock, or on soils that get inundated during the rainy season or on soils with a high water table. In order to prevent flooding, a two-foot gap must be maintained between the bottom of the distribution system and saturated or restrictive soils like as thick clay or rock.

How to keep it working

  • It is necessary to have the septic tank pumped at least once every two to three years. The frequency with which the tanks should be pumped is determined by their size, the number of people who live in the residence, and their waste management practices.

At the very least, every 2 to 3 years, the septic tank must be emptied out.

The frequency with which the tanks should be pumped is determined by their size, the number of people who live in the residence, and their waste management practices.

  • To be able to absorb wastewater from the residence, the distribution area should be shielded from excessive rainfall runoff in general. Water may be removed from the soil more effectively if a grass cover is maintained over the soil distribution system. Specifically, the system is intended to handle a specified volume of water. Faucets and toilets that are leaking must be repaired. Low-flow devices will assist in reducing the volume of wastewater produced.

Estimated costs

The cost of installation varies between $2,000 and $6,000, depending on the soil type, the size of the house, and other criteria. Based on a three-year pump out, the cost of septic tank maintenance is around $75 each year. The cost of maintenance grows when it is performed more often. Do you have a question – or do you require the assistance of an expert? Make contact with the appropriate county office.

Septic Tank Installation and Pricing

To process and dispose of waste, a septic system has an underground septic tank constructed of plastic, concrete, fiberglass, or other material that is located beneath the earth. Designed to provide a customized wastewater treatment solution for business and residential locations, this system may be installed anywhere. Although it is possible to construct a septic tank on your own, we recommend that you hire a professional to do it owing to the amount of skill and specific equipment required.

Who Needs a Septic Tank?

For the most part, in densely populated areas of the nation, a home’s plumbing system is directly connected to the municipal sewer system. Because municipal sewer lines are not readily available in more rural regions, sewage must be treated in a septic tank. If you’re moving into a newly constructed house or onto land that doesn’t already have a septic tank, you’ll be responsible for putting in a septic system on your own.

How to Prepare for Your Septic Tank Installation

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to make sure your septic tank installation goes as smoothly as possible.

Receive Multiple Estimates

Receiving quotations from licensed septic tank installers and reading reviews about each firm using trustworthy, third-party customer evaluations should be done before any excavation or signing of any paperwork is done. Examine your options for a contractor and make sure they have the appropriate insurance and license, as well as the ability to include critical preparations such as excavation and drain field testing in their quotation.

Test the Soil and Obtain a Permit

For septic systems to function properly, permeable soil surrounding the tank must absorb and naturally handle liquid waste, ensuring that it does not pollute runoff water or seep into the groundwater. The drain or leach field is the name given to this region. Before establishing a septic tank, you are required by law to do a percolation test, sometimes known as a “perc” test. This test indicates that the soil fits the specifications established by the city and the local health agency. In most cases, suitable levels of permeable materials, such as sand or gravel, are necessary in a soil’s composition.

Note: If you wish to install a septic tank on your property, you must first ensure that the ground passes the percolation test. Prior to acquiring the land that you want to utilize for residential purposes, we recommend that you obtain a soil test.

Plan for Excavation

Excavation of the vast quantity of land required for a septic tank necessitates the use of heavy machinery. If you are presently residing on the property, be careful to account for landscaping fees to repair any damage that may have occurred during the excavation process. Plan the excavation for your new home at a period when it will have the least influence on the construction process if you are constructing a new home. Typically, this occurs before to the paving of roads and walkways, but after the basic structure of the home has been constructed and erected.

The Cost of Installing a Septic Tank

There are a few installation charges and additional expenditures connected with constructing a new septic system, ranging from a percolation test to emptying the septic tank and everything in between.

Percolation Test

A percolation test can range in price from $250 to $1,000, depending on the area of the property and the soil characteristics that are being tested. Ordinarily, specialists will only excavate a small number of holes in the intended leach field region; however, if a land study is required to identify where to excavate, the cost of your test may rise.

Building Permit Application

A permit will be required if you want to install a septic tank on your property. State-by-state variations in permit prices exist, however they are normally priced around $200 and must be renewed every few years on average.

Excavation and Installation

When you have passed a percolation test and obtained a building permit, your septic tank is ready to be professionally placed. The cost of a new septic system is determined by the size of your home, the kind of system you choose, and the material used in your septic tank. The following is a list of the many treatment methods and storage tanks that are now available, as well as the normal pricing associated with each.

Types of Septic Tank Systems

Septic system that is used in the traditional sense Traditionally, a septic system relies on gravity to transport waste from the home into the septic tank. Solid trash settles at the bottom of the sewage treatment plant, while liquid sewage rises to the top. Whenever the amount of liquid sewage increases over the outflow pipe, the liquid waste is discharged into the drain field, where it continues to disintegrate. This type of traditional septic system is generally the most economical, with an average cost of roughly $3,000 on the market today.

Drain fields for alternative systems require less land than conventional systems and discharge cleaner effluent.

Septic system that has been engineered A poorly developed soil or a property placed on an uphill slope need the installation of an engineered septic system, which is the most difficult to install.

It is necessary to pump the liquid waste onto a leach field, rather than depending on gravity to drain it, in order to ensure that it is equally dispersed across the land. The average cost of these systems is roughly $8,000.

Types of Septic Tanks

  • Concrete septic tanks are long-lasting and rust-proof, but they are difficult to repair if they are damaged. It is possible that concrete tanks will cost up to $2,000 depending on their size. Plastic —While plastic tanks are cost-effective, they are also susceptible to damage. They are around $1,200 in price. Fiberglass —While fiberglass septic tanks are more durable than their plastic counterparts, they are susceptible to shifting or displacement if the water table rises to an excessive level. Depending on the model, these tanks may cost up to $2,000

More information may be found at: Septic Warranty Coverage and Costs.

Using Your Septic Tank

It is important to maintain the area around your new septic tank’s drain field and to frequently check your tank using the lids included with it. Never use a trash disposal in conjunction with your septic tank since it might cause the system to clog. Additionally, avoid driving over the land where your septic tank is located or putting heavy gear on top of your septic tank or drain field to prevent damage. Most of the time, after five years of septic system use, you’ll need to arrange a cleaning and pumping of the system.

Send an email to our Reviews Team [email protected] if you have any comments or questions regarding this post.

Basics for Septic Systems

On-site sewage facilities, also known as OSSFs, must be developed on the basis of a site evaluation that takes into consideration the specific requirements of the location. The system of choice for around 20% of new homes being built in Texas is the radon mitigation system. An On-Site Sewage Facility (OSSF), sometimes known as a “septic system,” is a sewage treatment system that is located on a property. As a result of the unexpected surge in new housing construction in suburban and rural regions, more Texas families are reliant on an OSSF for the treatment and disposal of their domestic sewage.

  1. Systems that accomplish their jobs well while also protecting the environment are made possible by new methods to design and oversight of OSSFs.
  2. A number of soil tests are ruling out traditional systems, which separate liquids from solid waste in a holding tank and then distribute them throughout a drainfield using underground pipes or other proprietary items in many regions of the state.
  3. However, because the majority of Texas soils are incapable of adequately absorbing contaminants, different treatment procedures are necessary.
  4. Any work on an OSSF must be done by a licensed installer or, in the case of a single-family property, by the homeowner himself or herself.

Who checks to make sure the requirements are followed?

Local governments in most parts of the state have taken on the obligation of ensuring that OSSFs in their jurisdictions comply with all applicable state regulations and procedures. There are several local governments that serve as “authorized agents” (AA) of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which is in charge of managing the OSSF Program. A “designated representative” (DR) assists the AA in carrying out their tasks, which include examining plans for constructing, changing, extending, or repairing each OSSF; granting permits; and checking the system’s installation, among others.

The OSSF’s authorized agents and representatives also investigate and respond to complaints to verify that the OSSF is in compliance with minimal requirements.

After that, the agent can file a criminal complaint with the local judge of the peace, who will then investigate the matter.

Industrial or hazardous waste cannot be introduced into an OSSF; instead, this waste will be handled in the soil, destroying the OSSF by actually killing the microorganisms that break down the biosolids and causing it to fail.

Keep in mind that septic systems are intended to manage human waste rather than chemicals.

Maintenance

All OSSFs will require maintenance at some point in their lives. Conventional anaerobic systems require the septic tank to be pumped out on a regular basis in order to remove sediments and prevent the system from backing up. It is advised that you pump your septic tank once every three to five years in order to avoid short circuiting the treatment process and causing damage. To acquire a list of registered sludge transporters in your region, go to theSludge Transporter Queryonline. Aerobic systems are more complicated and require more upkeep than anaerobic ones do.

  • A number of regulatory authorities have enacted more strict rules, which may include homeowner training or even prohibiting homeowners from performing upkeep on their properties.
  • In order to guarantee that the system runs appropriately, it is recommended that you contract with a licensed maintenance provider to verify, debug, and test the system as required by 30 TAC 285.91(4).
  • Once every six months if the system employs an electronic monitor, automated radio, or telephone to alert the maintenance provider of system or component failure as well as to monitor the quantity of disinfection remaining in the system, reporting might be lowered to once every six months.
  • If any needed repairs are not completed, the permitting authority will be notified of the failure.
  • The pills are extremely reactive, and within 10 minutes, they will have killed 99 percent of the germs present in the effluent.
  • AVOID USING TABLETS DESIGNED FOR SWIMMING POOL USE DUE TO THE POSSIBILITY THAT THEY MAY RELEASE A HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE GAS KNOWN AS NITROGEN CHLORIDE.
  • Please contact us at (800) 447-2827.
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Where can I find more information and assistance?

The Small Business and Local Government Assistance Section of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) provides free, confidential assistance to small enterprises and local governments seeking to comply with state environmental requirements.

Call us at (800) 447-2827 or visit our website at TexasEnviroHelp.org for more information.

Septic System Owner’s Guide

What kind of computer system do you have? In North Carolina, there are many different types of septic systems in use, but the vast majority of the nearly 2 million systems in use throughout the state are minor variations of the conventional septic system. This system includes a septic tank as well as a drainfield that is filled with gravel (usually two to six trenches). Since the mid- to late-1990s, classic gravel aggregate trenches have been phased out in favor of innovative gravel-less trench designs, which have become increasingly popular.

  1. Some of the most commonly used gravel-free trenches today are either long and narrow, tunnel-shaped chambers in the trenche, or gravel substitutes such as expanded polystyrene aggregate.
  2. A booklet from the Cooperative Extension Service, AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, outlines the typical system, easy adjustments to it, and the most significant maintenance requirements.
  3. The application of these technologies is now widespread, whether in new housing projects or in the replacement or repair of malfunctioning septic systems in residences and businesses.
  4. In order to address this, state regulations provide specified maintenance requirements for a number of these more advanced technology.
  5. Furthermore, state regulations mandate that the health department examine these systems on a regular basis.
  6. Are you familiar with the location of your septic system and repair area?
  7. If you do not have a copy of your septic system permit or a soil evaluation sheet, contact your local health department.

This Septic System Owner’s Guidefile folder should contain the following items: It is usually possible to determine the location of a septic tank and drainfield by looking at a copy of the permit and consulting with a septic contractor, a consultant, or the local health department A “repair area or replacement area,” in which a second drainfield could be constructed if necessary, has been required on nearly all housing sites approved since the early 1980s, according to state law.

It should be noted on your septic system permit that this repair area was identified by the health department when the site was permitted.

The law also requires you to protect this area from activities such as excavation, the construction of a house addition, garage, or outbuilding on top of it, the construction of a swimming pool, and any other soil disturbance activities. Some Important Facts to Understand About Your Septic System

  • In what form of septic system do you have
  • Where is it situated
  • And where is the repair area situated? Is the septic system up and running? In the past, has it been kept up to date? What can you do on a day-to-day basis to ensure that your system continues to function properly? What kind of maintenance will be required in the future

On the grid labeledSeptic System Layout, draw a rough sketch of your home, septic system (including both the tank and drainfield), repair area, and any other essential features (such as your driveway). The distance between the house and the access port on the septic tank should be measured and recorded when having your septic tank pumped. This will assist you in locating it again. You may also want to indicate the position of your tank as well as the limits of your drainfield in your yard. If you do not have a riser installed over the access port for your septic tank, you may want to consider having one put in.

  1. Even when properly maintained, septic tanks can contain harmful gases and pollutants, as well as bacteria and other germs that can cause major health problems if not addressed.
  2. Is your septic system in proper functioning order?
  3. Many individuals are unaware that untreated sewage that has accumulated on the surface of the ground might be a health threat.
  4. Before fixing a malfunctioning septic system, you must get a permit from the local health authority, according to state regulations.
  5. What kind of upkeep has been carried out?
  6. If you are purchasing an existing house, you should ask the seller a few critical questions, such as the following:
  • What is the age of the system
  • What is the location of the tank and drainfield (they may or may not be on the same property or even on the same parcel of land)
  • When was the last time the tank was pumped
  • What is the frequency with which it has been pushed
  • Is it necessary to clean the “effluent filter” in the septic tank on a regular basis (effluent filters are required for systems established after 1999)
  • Has there been any indication of a likely failure? In what location can I get a copy of the permit and documentation proving how effectively (or poorly) the system has been maintained
  • Do you know whether any improvements have been made to the house that would necessitate expanding the capacity of the system? Is the system still operational, and if so, when and by whom was it repaired?

If the house has only recently been constructed, request that the septic system contractor give you with a “as built” schematic, which may include elements that were not included in the permit. If the house is equipped with a pump, request that the contractor and the local health agency supply specifics on how the pump was initially installed. In order to properly care for your septic system, you must manage it on a day-to-day basis as well as perform periodic maintenance and repairs. Layout of a septic system.

  • However, the drainfield does not have an indefinite capacity. The average daily water use per person is 50 gallons. Even for brief periods of time, the soil drainfield has a maximum daily design capacity of 120 gallons per bedroom, which is routinely exceeded. Overloads can occur at any time of year, on a daily basis, or on weekends. Fix any leaky faucets or toilets you may have. Water conservation will help you get more use out of your system.

Keep waste disposal to sewage alone.

  • It is not acceptable to utilize your septic tank as a garbage can for items such as cigarette butts, tissues, feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, cat litter, coffee grinds, or disposable diapers. Reduce the amount of time you use your garbage disposal. These contribute a significant amount of additional solids. It is not recommended to throw fat or cooking oil down the drain. You should avoid putting toxic chemicals into your system, such as solvents and oils. You should avoid using paint thinners and paint thinners that have been dumped. You should avoid disinfectants and pesticides. Conserve your funds. Most of the time, commercial septic tank additives are not required.

Ensure that the system is protected against physical harm (site maintenance).

  • Maintain a layer of plants on the soil over the drainfield to prevent soil erosion from occurring. Don’t drive your car above the system’s limits. Try to avoid building over the system or in the repair area. The natural shape of the terrain immediately downslope of the system should be preserved, and this region should be protected against excavation (cutting and filling). Neither asphalt nor concrete should be used to cover the tank or drainfield.

All wastewater should be disposed of in a system that has been authorized.

  • You shouldn’t install a separate pipe to transport washwater to a side ditch or into the woods. This is against the law

The house and the yard (site maintenance)

  • Conserve and preserve the area where your septic tank and drainfield are located
  • Trees that thrive in moist environments should be cut down and removed. Willows, elms, sweetgums, and certain maples are examples of such trees. Surface water should be diverted away from the tank and drainfield by landscaping the yard. Inspect the system to make sure that water from the roof, gutter, and foundation drains does not overflow
  • It is recommended that if your system is located at the base of a slope, you build a french drain to channel subterranean water. Ensure that drainage ditches, subsurface tiles, and drainage outlets are kept in good condition so that water may readily flow from them.

Sewage treatment system (Septic tank)

  • Tanks should be elevated if they are 6 inches or deeper below the surface. They offer quick and convenient access for solids measurement and pumping, as well as for cleaning the effluent filter. The rate at which sludge and scum build in the tank is measured. Make a note of this information and provide it to your expert pumper. Solids should be pushed out of the tank as necessary. Most septic tanks have two sections
  • It is necessary to have them drained out. More information about pumping frequency can be found in the Cooperative Extension Service document AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, which is available online. It is not necessary to wait till your drainfield collapses before having your tank pumped. By that time, the drainfield may have been completely destroyed. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to septic systems.
Preventive Maintenance Record
Date Work Done Firm Cost
Your Septic System Installer
Name:
Address:
Phone:
Date System Installed:
  • If sewage is backing up into your toilets, tubs, or sinks, call a plumber. Slowly draining fittings, especially after it has rained
  • Slow-draining fixtures A foul odor associated with damp soil or sewage dumped onto the ground or into neighboring ditches or wooded areas
  • Please keep in mind that sewage from pump systems may rise to the surface of the ground when the pump is switched on and then disappear when the pump is turned off. This is still a failure of the system, and it must be fixed. a red light blinking or beeping in the home or in the yard, signaling that a pump is not functioning correctly or that the water level in a pump tank is excessive and on the verge of failing
  • A rise in the number of diseases or illnesses related with swimming in nearby lakes or rivers

Regulations and safeguards are necessary.

  • Any system that includes a pump should be operated by a state-certified subsurface system operator. In the case of low pressure pipe (LPP) systems erected or repaired after July 1, 1992, as well as underground drip irrigation systems, aerobic treatment units (ATUs), peat biofilters, sand biofilters, textile biofilters, and other sophisticated systems, a permit will be required by law. Those interested in obtaining a list of state-certified subsurface system operators should contact the North Carolina Water Pollution Control System Certification Commission at 919-707-9089. Between planned maintenance visits, check to see that the pump and electrical components are still in proper operating order. Germs found in sewage have the potential to cause disease. Never go into a septic tank unless absolutely necessary. Toxic and explosive gases are present in the tank, posing a threat. Tanks that are more than a decade old may collapse. Electrical controls provide a risk of electric shock and sparking. Children should not be able to open the septic tank lid, hence it should be secured. Do not attempt to repair a malfunctioning system on your own time. Obtain a repair permit and employ a contractor with extensive expertise

For further information about septic systems, speak with an Extension agent in your county or the local public health agency. This paper is an updated version of a previous publication. It is with gratitude that we acknowledge Tom Konsler (Orange County Health Department), Deanna Osmond, Mitch Woodward, and Grace Lawrence (North Carolina Cooperative Extension) for their contributions to the document’s peer review, as well as Debra Ireland for her work on the document’s graphic design, layout, and editing.

Discrimination and harassment are prohibited at North Carolina Cooperative Extension, regardless of age, color, handicap, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political opinions, racism, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Understanding Your Septic System and How It Works

The first step in comprehending your septic system is to get familiar with what you are dealing with. Important to understand is that your system was customized for your property, taking into account factors such as the number of bedrooms (estimated number of people), soil type, and depth from the water table or other restricting layer. If you do not already have a copy of your septic system drawing, you can obtain one by contacting the county permitting office. An underground septic tank and a soil dispersal area, or drainfield, are two components of the septic system on your property.

  • The inlet is the point at which household wastewater enters the septic tank.
  • Solid trash from the wastewater settles to the bottom of the tank, where anaerobic bacteria breakdown a part of the sludge, releasing nutrients into the water.
  • Filters can be installed in the outflow baffle to increase the amount of scum and sludge retained.
  • Newer tanks may additionally feature two manhole covers, one over each baffle, which are located above the baffles.
  • Not only would having the manhole cover on the ground level make access easier, but it will also save you money when a professional comes to work on your tank since it will be less expensive.
  • In a normal septic system, the drainfield is where the majority of the treatment takes place.
  • In the drainfield, the water slowly seeps into the underlying soil, where it remains.

Afterwards, the cleaned wastewater either travels into the groundwater or evaporates from the ground surface.

Sand mounds are typically employed when the underlying soil has too much clay to enable water to soak through adequately, or when the water table is too close to the surface to be effectively drained.

Flowing liquid is pushed from the tank to perforated plastic pipes that are buried behind a mound of sand that has been constructed on the ground’s surface.

See also:  How To Fix Clogged Sink If You Have Septic Tank? (Solution)

The vegetation that has grown atop the mound has assisted in the evaporation of part of the liquid.

It is intended to lower the quantity of nitrogen entering drainfields, surface and ground waters, and groundwater by using a BAT unit or an aerobic treatment unit (ATU) for increased nitrogen removal.

BAT units can reduce nitrogen by 55 to 80 percent when compared to a regular septic tank, which can only reduce nitrogen by 5 percent.

Please visit the MDE’s Onsite Division website for further information about BAT units, including price, efficiency, and running expenses.

In order to limit the possibility of contamination of drinking water, it is critical that your system be properly maintained for both public and environmental health reasons.

All This Rain – Does It Harm My Septic System?

Basic hydraulic capacity and design flow of a septic system are covered in this webinar. It also discusses how excessive surface water can have a negative impact on the system’s performance and cause possible harm to the system and the environment.

Upgrading to Best Available Technology Septic Systems

Continue to the main content Septic System Frequently Asked Questions

  • In order to establish what sort of septic installation is present on my land, where can I find information? Your County Health Department has records of the systems that have been approved, and you can request those information by initiating an investigation. A list of county offices in Maryland may be found by clicking here.
  • It is clear where my septic tank is located, however I am unsure as to where my drain field is located. In order to find out where the drain field is, I need to know where to go. Is it necessary for me to be aware of the location of my drainage system? Once again, the County Health Department keeps track of the systems that have been approved. It is critical to understand the position of your drain field since you do not want to put anything over it that might cause harm, such as planting trees, paving over it, or driving over it, for example. In addition, you do not want to establish a vegetable garden on top of it. Is the installation of septic tanks governed by any regulations? And, if so, who is responsible for it? Maryland’s County Health Departments are in charge of regulating the installation of septic systems, which has been assigned power from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).
  • What exactly is a perc test, and why is it necessary to do one? Performing a percolation test (often referred to as a perc test) as part of an overall site evaluation is necessary to establish the permeability of soils and geology. The results of a perc test and site appraisal are used to identify limiting constraints in the soils and geology, such as groundwater levels, solidified material that prevents water from permeating, soil texture, structure and consistence, and other issues. Performing perc tests can assist in determining the most appropriate design for a drainfield that will be used as a component of the overall septic system.
  • What is the expected lifespan of my septic system before it has to be replaced? Septic systems are normally good for 20 to 30 years before they need to be replaced. Depending on whether the system has been improperly maintained, if surface or groundwater has been penetrated, whether tree roots have entered the system, and whether it has been unduly abused, this time limit may be reduced.
  • What symptoms should I look for in order to identify whether or not my septic tank needs replacing? Slow drains, surfacing effluent (wet spots in the yard or near the tank), sewage backing up into a bathtub or basement drain (usually on the lower level of the house), a sounding alarm (pump system or BAT), unexplained illness, or foul odors are all indications that your septic system is not performing as designed.
  • What is the recommended frequency of septic tank pumping? The frequency with which traditional septic tanks must be pumped is determined by the size of the tank and the number of people that live in the house. Special pumping techniques and frequencies are required for BAT devices, and the frequency varies depending on the unit — for further information, contact your BAT service provider or installation.
  • Where do the filters in a septic system reside, and who should be responsible for replacing them, the homeowners or a licensed contractor? There are not all septic tanks that have filters in them
  • Nevertheless, if your septic tank is one of those that does have filters, cleaning or replacement of these filters should be left to the professionals on a yearly basis at the very least.
  • What is the purpose of septic tank pumping? Is it possible for liquids to be discharged through the septic tank? Solids and FOG (fats, oils, and grease) collect in septic tanks, necessitating the need to pump the tanks out periodically. In the absence of regular pumping of septic tanks, sediments and foul-smelling gas (FOG) accumulate to the point where they are discharged into the drainfield, where they might cause blockage of the drainfield. This generally results in the need for an expensive system replacement, which is why it is critical to regularly pump your tank. Consider it similar to getting your car’s oil changed. In the event that you don’t replace the oil in your automobile, it will continue to function for a time, but it will eventually fail and leave you stranded.
  • Can you tell me how much it would cost to have your septic tank pumped? Septic tank pumping prices typically range between $250 and $400, depending on the size of the tank and its location.
  • When it comes to garbage, what types of waste will not breakdown in septic tanks? It is critical not to dispose of chemicals, paint, grease, food, or anything else that is not body waste, toilet paper, or wastewater from bathing, handwashing, dishwashing, or laundry in the trash.
  • I haven’t had my septic tank emptied in almost 15 years. What is the recommended frequency of septic tank pumping given the fact that I have been the only one residing in the residence? The size of the tank is dependent on its capacity. In the event that you haven’t pumped your tank in 15 years, you have almost likely waited too long and may have unwittingly caused harm to your drain field. You should pump your tank as quickly as possible to avoid causing more harm to your drain field. When your septic tank is being pumped, pay attention to what the pumper has to say regarding the condition of your tank. In the future, this will influence your decision on how often you will pump — it is suggested that you do not go more than 5 years between pump outs.
  • Is the usage of a garbage disposal harmful to the operation of a septic tank? Otherwise, are there any foods that should not be placed in a garbage disposal that you should be aware of? Absolutely. When a building is supplied by on-site sewage disposal, we do not recommend the use of garbage disposals. The ground-up food wastes are not properly broken down in the tank and may reach the drainfield, causing early blockage and failure.
  • What should consumers believe when it comes to the packaging of toilet paper and other items that claim to be suitable for septic systems? Even still, some in the business believe that toilet paper infused with lotions and aloe does not decompose as quickly as other types of toilet paper do. Water-soaked wipes, as well as other wipes of any sort, should not be flushed down the toilet (even if they are labeled as flushable).
  • Is it possible to use cleansers in the toilets on a regular basis, such as bleach? Many cleansers have the ability to destroy germs as one of their properties. If you flush these sorts of cleansers down the drain, you are effectively killing off the good bacteria in your septic system, which will make it less efficient in the long run. It is understood that the bathroom and kitchen in the home must be cleaned on a regular basis in order to maintain a healthy environment, and so only a limited amount of time is permitted. Flushing bacteria-killing cleaning agents through a system on a regular basis (daily) is not suggested.
  • So, what exactly does the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) fund take care of? In order to qualify for full or partial BRF financing, you must have a failing septic system as opposed to new construction, be located in or outside of a critical region, and have an annual income of more than or less than $300,000 in the previous year. Depending on your circumstances, the fund may be able to assist you with any of the following:
  • Extraction of existing tank
  • Crushing and filling of existing tank
  • Or removal of existing tank Installation of a BAT system (this does not include the cost of replacing the drainfield)
  • BAT has been in operation and maintenance for two years. All of the necessary permissions
  • Electrician and all electrical work (with the exception of the requirement to add a sub-panel, which is included). Final grading and seeding (does not include landscape restorations, such as, but not limited to, the removal of decks, patios, and fence, as well as the installation of new fencing)
  • Visit for follow-up
  • If you own a piece of land and are thinking of constructing a structure on it. Is it possible to use BRF for a new build? Using BRF funds to install BAT systems with new building is not out of the question, but it is the county’s lowest priority. It is only when there is more funds available after all higher priority applications have been funded that these low priority proposals can be funded. More information on the BRF program may be found by clickinghere. Remember that applications for BRF financing must be submitted to the respective county health departments.
  • If you own a piece of property and are thinking of constructing a structure on it, read on. Is it possible to employ BRF for a new construction project. The utilization of BRF funds to install BAT systems in new building is not out of the question
  • Nonetheless, it is the county’s lowest priority at this time. It is only when there is more funds available after all higher priority applications have been funded that these low priority proposals can be considered. More information about the BRF program may be found by clickinghere. It is important to note that applications for BRF financing are submitted to the County Health Departments.
  • Is it necessary to rebuild the drain field when a septic system is replaced with a new conventional system or BAT system in order to avoid a septic system backup? No, this is not always the case. The tank system and drain field are two separate components of your septic system, and either one can become damaged (and hence require repair) without affecting the operation of the other. Suppose you have to replace your tank because it cracked due to settling or water seepage
  • The new system could potentially be connected to your existing drain field
  • Or suppose you have to replace your tank because it cracked due to settling or water seepage
  • What types of plants should I put on my drainfield? Turfgrass, such as fescue, is commonly found growing over drainfields in most residential areas. Also suitable are grasses and shallow-rooted native plants (including flowers) that are not too tall. By absorbing both water and nutrients, the plants perform a valuable service for the environment. Trees, on the other hand, should not be planted since the roots of the trees might infiltrate the system and block the pipes, causing the system to collapse.
  • What can I do to ensure that my drainfield lasts as long as possible? Maintain your vehicle by following these guidelines:
  • Conserve water by repairing leaks and installing water-saving appliances. Avoid using garbage disposals and dripping fats, oils, and grease down the drain. Water treatment backwash from a septic system should be diverted. Do not flush chemicals down the toilet or down the sink. Only toilet paper should be flushed – no wipes or other items. Ascertain that stormwater is directed away from the tank and drainfield. Keep traffic away from the drainfield. Planting trees near a tank or drainfield is not recommended. Have your tank pumped every 2-5 years — this is the typical method. BAT- depending on the service provider
  • Maintain the tank filter on a regular basis (if applicable)
  • Keep the BAT powered up and provide service as usual. Using a BAT unit, wastewater is cleaner (has less dissolved particles) than wastewater from a traditional system, allowing a drainfield to last longer.
  • Is it required to use septic tank additives? Septic system efficiency is not improved by the addition of bacteria or enzymes, according to the findings of recent research. In addition, it is crucial to remember that average household wastewater includes up to several trillion bacterial cells per gallon, which provides all of the bacteria required for organics breakdown. For as long as toilets are flushed, there will be an ample supply of bacteria to break down organic matter. Additional research has revealed that some addition products can actually cause organics to remain in suspension, which is not what we want in our environment. One of the functions of a septic tank is to enable sediments to settle and become less concentrated. With an increase in the amount of organic matter entering the drainfield, the creation of a biomat can grow, which can block the soil pores and reduce the capacity of wastewater to percolate into the soil.

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