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SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSTALL REPAIR
SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE
SEPTIC FAILURE SIGNS
SEPTIC INSPECTION & TEST GUIDE
SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
SEPTIC SUPPLIES & PARTS
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
SEPTIC SYSTEMS, HOME BUYERS GUIDE to
SEPTIC SYSTEM SAFETY WARNINGS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Chamber type no-rock septic drainfield design: This article discusses the properties & installation of a chamber type gravelless or "no gravel" or "no rock" septic drainfield systems, offering installation specifications. Drainfields, also called leach fields, absorption beds, soil absorption systems, and leaching beds, perform the functions of septic effluent treatment and disposal in onsite wastewater treatment systems, conventionally called "septic systems"
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Gravelless septic systems or "no gravel" septic system trenches use plastic or other prefabricated wastewater distribution systems which are buried in soil without the use of surrounding gravel.
There are three typical gravel-less effluent disposal systems in current use and shown in the US EPA sketches below (originally from NSFC) and I describe a fourth variation which is provided by some manufacturers:
This article describes the third type, chamber septic systems for effluent disposal.
Typical gravelless septic systems use a plastic chamber, a geotextile-wrapped pipe, or a polystyrene-wrapped pipe to distribute effluent into the soil. The necessary soil absorption area is provided by the perforated surface of the gravelless septic system components (or by soil at the bottom of a chamber) themselves rather than by the gravel and trench walls of a conventional septic drainfield.
Gravelless or "no rock" septic systems can provide an acceptable effluent disposal system for sites with limited space for a drainfield or where gravel is not available or is quite expensive.
3. Chamber systems, using pre-formed plastic chambers buried in an earthen trench. Wastewater is delivered to the top of the chamber by a solid plastic pipe. Effluent seeps into soil across the bottom of the chamber.
The empty chamber also provides effluent storage volume to handle peak wastewater flow loads.
Chambers are available in widths varying from 16" across (at the bottom) to 34" wide and are placed in trenches ranging in width from 18" to 36".
Synonyms for this design include "leaching chambers", "galleys", and "flow diffusers". Illustration courtesy of Infiltrator Systems, Inc., used with permission. (Infiltrator Systems Inc. contact information is listed below).
4. Vertical thin wall chambers: A fourth variation on gravelless effluent disposal systems is similar to the chamber system (#3 above), but uses pre-formed but thin plastic "chambers" which are inserted into a narrow slot cut into the soil; these systems diffuse effluent primarily through their sides into the soil.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
Design Manuals for Septic Systems
Onsite Wastewater Disposal Books