Why the Installation of Septic Tank Systems Requires Planing and Preparation

Preparing the installation of septic tank systems requires careful planning and preparation. From choosing the right location to ensuring that the tank is properly installed and maintained, there are many steps involved in the process. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what you need to know before you install a septic tank on your property.

Types of Septic Tank Systems

types of septic tank systems

When it comes to the installation of septic tank systems, there are various types of systems available to choose from. Each septic tank system is designed to break down solid waste and pump excess water out of the tank. In this article, we will discuss the different types of septic tank systems and how they work.

  • Conventional Septic Tank System: This is the most common type of septic tank system. The system consists of a large underground tank made of concrete, fibreglass, or plastic.  The wastewater flows from the home into the tank where it separates into three layers: solid waste settles at the bottom, scum floats to the top, and liquid wastewater is in the middle.  The wastewater is then passed through a series of perforated pipes located in a drainage field where it’s absorbed into the soil. The solid waste remains in the tank and is periodically pumped out by a licensed waste carrier.
  • Aerobic Septic Tank System: The aerobic septic tank system uses an aeration chamber to break down solid waste. The aeration chamber is a separate compartment attached to the main septic tank. Air is pumped into the chamber to provide oxygen to the bacteria, allowing them to break down the solid waste more efficiently. This system is suitable for properties with poor soil quality or those with a high water table.
  • Underwater Sedimentation Septic Tank System: This type of septic tank system is installed in areas with coarse soil. The system contains a sedimentation chamber, which separates the solid waste from the liquid. The liquid wastewater is then pumped out of the tank using a pump chamber.

All septic tank systems aim to provide basic treatment of domestic sewage, which involves removing solid waste and reducing the number of bacteria to avoid health hazards. The basic treatment is achieved through the use of septic tank systems, which are designed to maintain a balance of bacterial activity to break down solid waste.

Choosing the right type of septic tank system is essential in ensuring efficient wastewater management.

The type of septic tank system chosen depends on various factors such as soil quality, property size, and the number of occupants. It’s crucial to seek professional advice before installing a septic tank system to ensure compliance with building regulations approval and health inspector recommendations.

Common Soil Conditions for Septic Tank Installation

septic tank soil types

When it comes to installing a septic tank, one of the most important factors to consider is the soil quality on your property. Soil conditions can greatly affect the performance of your septic system, so it’s crucial that you choose the right system for your specific soil type, especialy when you need to consider nutrient neutrality too.

Types of Soil

When it comes to installing a septic tank, the soil type on the proposed installation site is a crucial factor that needs to be taken into consideration. It can have a significant impact on both the system’s design and suitability. Here are five types of soil that need to be considered when installing a septic system.

  • Sandy Soil: Sandy soil has a low clay and organic matter content, which makes it very well drained. However, such soil lacks the ability to retain water and nutrients, making it easier for water to percolate through it. This makes sandy soil ideal for systems that require more drainage or leaching, such as gravelless systems.
  • Compacted Soil: Compacted soil refers to soil that has been densely packed or compressed which can lead to decreased water flow and make the soil less porous and able to take water into it. For compacted soils, systems that have a pressurized drainage system may be needed to be installed.
  • Gravel-rich Soil: Gravel-rich soil contains a lot of large rocks and gravel, which allows water to easily flow into the ground. If this type of soil is found during the survey process, a gravel drain field may be the best option.
  • Loose Soil: Loose soil, also known as well-drained soil, is soil that is not compacted and has good drainage properties. These soils are ideal for trench-based septic systems.
  • Undisturbed Soil: Undisturbed soil is soil that has not been altered or shaped by construction or human activities. This soil is frequently the best option for conventional systems that involve trenches and a drain field because it is better at absorbing water than other soil types.
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It is crucial to assess the soil quality during the survey process before installation to determine how the system will be set up and the design of the corresponding drain field. Understanding the type of soil present at the installation site can help determine the best septic system type to install, resulting in more efficient and cost-effective installation and operation in the long run.

Soil Quality Requirements

Soil quality is a critical factor to consider when installing a septic tank. Certain types of soil are better suited for allowing proper filtration and drainage, while others may cause issues with water-logging or filter effectiveness. When preparing for the installation of a septic tank, it is important to assess the soil composition of the area and take appropriate measures to ensure the best results.

Two primary types of soil are preferred for septic tank installation: sandy and undisturbed soil.

Sandy soil is well-drained and allows for water to percolate through it easily, making it ideal for systems that require more drainage or leaching. Undisturbed soil, soil that has not been altered by construction or human activities, is frequently the best option for conventional systems that involve trenches and a drain field because it is better at absorbing water than other soil types.

On the other hand, gravel-rich or compacted ground soil can cause issues with water drainage and filter effectiveness. Gravel-rich soil contains a lot of large rocks and gravel, which may be ideal for drainage. However, it can also interfere with the filter’s ability to properly treat the water.

Compacted soil refers to soil that has been densely packed or compressed which can lead to decreased water flow and make the soil less porous and able to take water into it. In such soils, systems that have a pressurized drainage system may be needed to be installed.

The permeability of the soil will also determine the size and location of the soakaway, which plays a critical role in preventing water logging. The soakaway is a crucial part of the septic tank system, as it is responsible for filtering and dispersing the treated wastewater into the surrounding soil. The soakaway must be positioned in an area of the soil with good permeability to ensure optimal filtration and draining of the wastewater.

In conclusion, understanding the soil quality requirements of a septic tank installation is essential to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the system. When preparing for the installation, it is important to assess the soil composition of the area to determine its suitability and ensure proper filtration and drainage.

Ground Conditions for Installation

Installing a septic tank is a significant undertaking that requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure safe and efficient functioning. One of the critical aspects that cannot be overlooked is the suitability of the ground conditions for the installation.

Before initiating any septic tank installation, it is crucial to assess the ground conditions and confirm that they meet the necessary requirements. The following are some critical considerations that must be made when assessing the ground conditions:

Soil Absorption

The soil in the installation area should have a sufficiently high absorption rate to allow for efficient septic system functioning. The soil’s ability to absorb and filter wastewater is essential in preventing groundwater contamination and ensuring that the septic system works effectively. Generally, sandy soil is preferred because it allows water to pass through easily. Avoid installing septic tanks on clay, rocky, or heavily compacted soil, which may prove inadequate in handling wastewater.

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Water Table

The water table’s depth is a critical consideration when installing a septic tank system. The water table is the level of water in the ground, and if it is too close to the surface, it can cause problems such as flooding and make drainage difficult. The ideal condition is to install the septic tank in an area where the water table is relatively low to enable efficient water absorption.

Drainage

Proper drainage is essential to prevent water from pooling around the septic tank. The ground should be sloping away from the septic tank to ensure that water from the surrounding area does not enter the tank. The drain field should also be placed in an area that is well-draining to ensure that wastewater disposes of correctly.

Flooding

It is essential to avoid installing septic tanks in flood-prone areas. Flooding can cause damage to the septic system and contaminate the surrounding groundwater with wastewater, making it a health hazard.

Protected Areas

Septic tanks should not be installed near any protected areas such as water sources, which could become contaminated and harm the environment. It is important to comply with local building regulations to ensure that the installation does not violate environmental laws.

The ground conditions play a significant role in the installation of a septic tank system. It is vital to assess the soil’s absorption rate, the depth of the water table, the drainage, and the proximity to potential hazards before making any installation decisions.  By paying close attention to these factors, one can ensure the efficient and safe functioning of the septic tank system.

Regulations and Permits Required for Septic Tank Installation

Regulations and Permits Required for Septic Tank Installation

Proper installation of a septic tank requires more than just suitable ground conditions and the right type of tank. It is also crucial to comply with local regulations and obtain the necessary permits. Failing to do so can lead to fines, penalties, and costly system repairs. In this article, we will discuss the regulations and permits required for septic tank installation, so you can ensure that your system is installed legally and safely.

Building Regulations

Septic tank installation is a regulated activity, and property owners who wish to have these systems installed must abide by certain building regulations. The primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with these regulations rests with the property owner.

The first requirement of septic tank installation is determining the correct location for the tank. The location should be within the property boundary, not be positioned where it could pollute any water sources, and be at an adequate distance from the property and any other water sources.

The next step is sizing the tank appropriately based on the size of the property or properties to be serviced and the number of occupants. The tank size should not be more than required to avoid environmental pollution. The appropriate size of the septic tank should be determined based on the property usage and the number of occupants.

Suitability for local ground conditions is also an important aspect to consider during septic tank installation. The drainage field should be installed in a location with adequate soil quality and be large enough to allow wastewater to percolate to the ground efficiently.

Septic tanks require regular maintenance to avoid environmental pollution. Therefore, it is essential to arrange regular checkups and maintenance of the septic tank system by a licensed waste carrier and health inspector. They will check if the tank is not leaking and if the waste is disposed of according to regulations.

The 2015 regulations prohibit the installation of septic tanks that discharge directly to a watercourse. The new regulations require pipe work that will discharge through an underground drainage field. The government has acknowledged that such drainage fields are not always practical in older buildings or in locations with access constraints, and therefore, an exemption can be provided based on the property’s circumstances.

Several building regulations directly impact the installation of septic tanks. For example, following the discharge limits, which dictate the quality of the wastewater that can be discharged to groundwater, a surface water source, or an energy system, is essential. Additionally, if the property is or has the potential to be connected to the main drainage, then the installation of a septic tank may require approval from building regulations.

In conclusion, septic tank installation is a regulated activity that requires compliance with building regulations. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that the septic tank location is appropriate, the size is appropriate to the property size, the tank is maintained adequately, and regulatory requirements are met. In summary, septic tank installation demands professional advice to ensure compliance with regulations and ensure minimal impact on the environment.

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Contacting Your Local Authority

Before beginning the installation process of a septic tank, it is essential to get in touch with the local authority responsible for governing your area. The local authority contact form is a crucial step in the process, and it can be easily accessed through the official website of the local government.

To find the local authority contact form, visit the official website of the local government governing your property. The website should have an easily accessible section that provides information regarding the installation of septic tanks and the necessary permits required to carry out the work.

In case you’re unable to find the local authority contact form on the website, a simple Google search can help you locate the form promptly. Once you have found the local authority contact form, ensure that you fill it out correctly by providing all the necessary details. This will prevent any delays in the installation process and ensure that the work can be carried out smoothly.

It is crucial to submit the local authority contact form in a timely manner to avoid any setbacks in the installation process. Once the form has been submitted, the local authority will review the application and provide you with the necessary permissions and permits that are required for the installation of the septic tank.

Expert Advice on Mains Sewer Connections or Public Sewers

If you are considering off-main drainage systems for your property, you may be wondering whether it is best to connect to a public sewer or install your own septic tank system.

Mains sewer connections can be a good option if your property is already connected to a nearby public sewer. This may be the case if you are located in an urban or suburban area. In this case, you may simply need to install a connection from your property to the sewer line. However, if a public sewer is not available, you will need to explore other options.

On the other hand, a septic tank system can be a viable alternative in areas where a public sewer is not accessible. These systems can be designed to suit the specific needs of your property and can be more cost-effective in the long run. However, it is important to note that you will be responsible for maintaining and monitoring your septic system to ensure it remains in good working condition.

When it comes to connecting to a public sewer, it is important to comply with any relevant regulations and obtain the required permits. Your local authority will be able to guide you in the process of obtaining these permits. Additionally, you may need to engage the services of a licensed waste carrier or installation team to ensure the connection is done correctly.

One of the benefits of connecting to a public sewer is that you do not have to worry about the regular maintenance and repairs required with a septic tank system. However, you may be subject to fluctuations in sewer rates or fees, which can impact your budget over time.

The decision on whether to connect to a public sewer or install a septic tank system will depend on your specific circumstances. It is important to seek professional advice and consider all factors before making a decision and at Septic Tanks Northwest we are here to provide you with the confidence to make the right decision.

Choosing the Right Size of Septic Tank System For Your Needs

Choosing the Right Size of Septic Tank System For Your Needs

Choosing the Right Size of Septic Tank System is an essential consideration when installing a septic tank on your property. It involves assessing the needs of your household and selecting the appropriate size of septic tank system to cater to those needs.

Factors such as the number of occupants in your home, the frequency of water use, and the size of your property’s drainage field all come into play when determining the appropriate size of the septic tank system. It is essential to choose the right size to avoid frequent pump-outs and system overloads, which can result in costly repairs.

Larger Tanks Require More Space

When it comes to installing a septic tank system, one of the most important considerations is the size of the tank. As a general rule, larger septic tanks are required for properties with more residents or a higher volume of water usage. However, it’s important to keep in mind that larger tanks also require more space.

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When determining the size of your septic tank, it’s imperative to take into consideration the size of your property and the number of people living there. A larger tank may be required for properties with a larger number of occupants or those with a high volume of water usage.

It’s important to remember that a larger tank will also need a corresponding leach field to properly disperse treated wastewater into the ground. For this reason, it’s essential that you leave enough space for both the tank and the leach field.

In some cases, larger tanks can be installed underground to save space. However, this method requires careful planning and may ultimately lead to higher costs due to the additional excavation and construction necessary.

The key to ensuring a successful installation of your septic tank system is to seek expert advice from licensed septic tank installers. They will be able to assess your specific needs and provide you with professional advice on the best type and size of septic tank for your property, as well as advice on the necessary space requirements.

If you require a larger tank, it’s important to make sure that you have enough space to accommodate both the tank and leach field. Investing in a larger septic tank system will provide you with the necessary capacity to handle your sewage needs while ensuring that your system operates safely and efficiently.

Aerobic Tanks vs. Conventional Tanks

When it comes to choosing the right septic tank for your property, there are two main types to consider: aerobic tanks and conventional tanks. While both serve the same purpose of treating and disposing of wastewater, they operate in slightly different ways.

Aerobic tanks, as the name suggests, require oxygen to support the bacteria that break down and treat the wastewater. This means that an oxygen pump is needed to provide aeration to the tank.

With the added oxygen, the bacteria are able to work more efficiently, resulting in a more effective treatment process. Aerobic tanks are especially useful in areas with poor-quality soil or high water tables, where drainage may be difficult.

However, the downside is that the oxygen pump adds an extra component that requires maintenance and can increase the overall cost of the system.

Conventional tanks, on the other hand, are typically made of high-quality plastic or MDPE and do not require an oxygen pump. Instead, the bacteria in the tank rely on the natural oxygen levels within the wastewater to facilitate the treatment process. The choice of tank material is often influenced by the soil type and depth of the existing inlet pipework.

Conventional tanks are still effective in most situations, but they may not be as efficient as their aerobic counterparts, especially in areas with poor soil quality or high water tables.

Both aerobic tanks and conventional tanks are effective at treating and disposing of wastewater, but they operate differently. Aerobic tanks require an oxygen pump to support the bacteria and are useful in areas with poor soil or high water tables.

Conventional tanks rely on the natural oxygen levels in the wastewater and are often influenced by the soil type and depth of the existing pipework. When choosing between the two, it is important to consider the specific needs of your property and seek expert advice from licensed septic tank installers.

Considerations for Different Sizes of Septic Tank Systems

The size of a septic tank system is a crucial factor in determining its cost, as larger tanks generally require more materials and labour for installation.

In addition, larger tanks require more space and may incur additional excavation and installation costs. Understanding the different sizes of septic tanks available and their corresponding price ranges can help homeowners determine the best option within their budget.

The most common septic tank sizes range from 750 gallons to 1,500 gallons. A 750-gallon tank is suitable for a small household with one to two bedrooms, while a 1,000-gallon tank can accommodate a larger household with up to four bedrooms.

For households with five or more bedrooms, a 1,500-gallon tank or larger may be necessary.

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Other factors may also affect the cost of a septic tank system, such as the type of soil in the area. If the soil is composed of coarse soil or other types of soil that may impede proper drainage, additional components such as a drainage field or network of pipes may need to be installed, adding to the total cost of the system.

The material of the tank is also a consideration, with options ranging from high-quality plastic to concrete and fibreglass. Concrete and fiberglass tanks tend to be more expensive than plastic, but offer greater durability and longevity.

Permits and other building regulations approval may also be required before installation can begin, which can add to the overall cost. It is important to consult with local health departments or health inspectors to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

Professional advice from licensed septic tank installers can also help homeowners understand the overall cost considerations for a septic tank system and determine the best option for their specific needs.

The size of a septic tank system is a major consideration in determining its cost, with larger tanks generally costing more due to additional materials, excavation, and installation labour.

Homeowners should also consider other factors such as soil type, tank material, and regulatory requirements when making their decision.

Consulting with a professional installer can provide valuable insights into the different cost considerations for different sizes of septic tank systems.

Preparing a Site for Installation of Septic Tank Systems

Preparing a Site for Installation of Septic Tank Systems

Preparing the site for the installation of a septic tank is a crucial step towards ensuring the proper functioning of the entire sewage system. The following are specific steps that should be taken to prepare the site:

  • Pre-Works Meeting:

Before any work can commence, it is essential to conduct a pre-works meeting on-site. This meeting should involve the homeowner and any other relevant parties to ensure that everyone is aware of the process and expectations. Any questions or concerns can be raised at this meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

  • Surveying the Site:

Once the stakeholders are aware of the process and expectations, the site should be surveyed to determine the size and type of tank that is required. This survey will help to evaluate the ground conditions for optimal installation. The survey is conducted to make sure that the septic tank is installed in a location that is appropriate for the household sewage system. It also considers the location of underground pipes, water mains, and electrical lines in the vicinity.

  • Type and Size of Tank:

The type and size of the tank to be installed will depend upon survey findings. The size of the tank should be determined based on the number of bedrooms in the house, the size of the household, and the expected water usage. Different types of tanks are available in the market and selection should be based on homeowner requirements, local building regulations, and soil type.

  • Safe Installation

During the installation process, the installation team should ensure that the site is safe and that household members are not disrupted. The installation team should work with care to ensure that the site is not damaged. If necessary, precautions should be taken to protect items such as trees, shrubs, and fences that may be adjacent to the installation site. The installation team should make sure that excavation is carried out carefully and that the site is left in a clean and safe condition.

  • Reinstatement

After installation of the septic tank, work should commence to reinstate any obstacles to access and installation, such as fences, walls, shrubs, or any other structures that were removed. The goal is for the site to be restored as closely as possible to its original condition.

Summary

  • A septic tank is a system designed to break down solid waste and pump excess water out of the tank.
  • There are different types of septic tank systems, including conventional, aerobic, and underwater sedimentation systems, each designed for different soil conditions and property sizes.
  • Choosing the right type of septic tank system is crucial for efficient wastewater management and compliance with building regulations and health inspector recommendations. Soil conditions on the installation site can greatly affect the system’s performance, so it’s important to consider the type of soil when choosing a septic system as well as the installation of septic tank systems.

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Updated: June 15, 2023

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Septic TanksWhy the Installation of Septic Tank Systems Requires Planing and Preparation