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The septic system biomat: this article explains the formation of the biomat below septic drainfield trenches and around cesspools and some drywells and explains
what the biomat does.
The biomat, a bacterial slime layer in the soil below the leachfield and around other wastewater disposal systems, is
a critical component of private septic systems - it is responsible for treatment and reduction of biological solids and pathogens in
septic wastewater effluent which is discharged into the soil from a septic tank. The most common and most expensive failure of private
systems occurs as soil clogging and failure of the absorption system to continue to accept water.
We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.
What is a septic biomat? - what is the septic drainfield "biomat" layer?
Here we'll describe how the biomat
forms, how the soil eventually becomes clogged by a too-thick and too-extensive biomat, and how you can extend the life of the soil
absorption system by protecting the formation of the biomat. The origin of this text is the Winter 2005 issue of Pipeline, a publication of
the National Environmental Services Center, used with permission. [Edits and additions to the text are by the website author.]
The biomat is a bacteria layer which forms in soil below and around drainfield trenches where septic effluent or wastewater
is discharged. This layer is critical in the processing of fine biological solids and pathogens which are in the effluent, and
without it the septic system would not be adequately treating the effluent. Inadequately-treated effluent released into the ground
risks contamination of nearby ponds, wells, streams, etc. A similar layer also forms around drywells used to accept graywater from
Septic effluent, (or onsite wastewater), is discharged into a soil absorption system (or drainfield, seepage pit, or cesspool) from
the septic tank which should, if it's working properly, have retained all large solids. The job of the soil absorption system, or "SAS", is
to further treat the effluent to reduce the level of biological solids and pathogens to a level acceptable for further movement of
the liquid into remaining soils. Inadequate treatment of effluent would mean that sewage and pathogens would be discharged into
and contaminate nearby ground water.
How the biomat forms: how does the Biomat Form in a septic system effluent absorption system?
As the effluent is discharged into the SAS, bacterial growth develops beneath the distribution lines where they meet the gravel or
soil. This layer is known as the clogging mat, clogging zone, biocrust, and bioformat.
It's also referred to by some as the "slime layer" and it's
easily visible as a usually-gray slimy layer in the soil displayed if one excavates a cross-section of an absorption system trench.
This biomat (biological mat) is a black, jelly-like layer that forms along the bottom and sidewalls of the drainfield trench.
This clogging zone [eventually] reduces infiltration of wastewater into the [surrounding] soils.
Septic biomat constituents: what is the biomat made from?
The biomat is composed of anaerobic microorganisms (and their by-products) that anchor themselves to soil and rock particles.
"Anaerobic" refers to microorganisms which do not require high levels of oxygen, as opposed to "aerobic" organisms which do. Septic
waste and wastewater treatment involves both aerobic and anaerobic organisms. "Aerobic" bacteria require oxygen.
In either case but digesting different pathogens, the bacteria's food is the organic matter in the septic tank
Less than one centimeter to several centimeters thick, the biomat acts as the actual site for effluent treatment.
Septic biomat formation patterns in soil trenches: the Biomat formation pattern in leach field trenches
The biomat forms first along the trench bottom near the perforations [in the drainfield piping which delivered the effluent along
the trench] where the effluent is discharged, and then up along the trench walls.
[As the bottom becomes clogged effluent rises in the
trench and seeps into the soil along the trench sides.]
The biomat-coated soil is less permeable than fresh soil, so incoming effluent
will move across the biomat and trickle along the trench bottom to an area where there is little or no biomat growth. (See growth pattern
in the diagram on this page.)
What is a septic biomat? - what is the septic drainfield "biomat" layer?
How the biomat forms: how does the Biomat Form in a septic system effluent absorption system?
Septic biomat constituents: what is the biomat made from? Septic biomat formation patterns in soil trenches How septic biomat formation, though necessary, clogs & ultimately can cause septic drain field clogging and expensive drainfield repairs Septic drainfield clogging process: how the soakaway bed or drainage trench fails: the biomat clogging process How to Extend the Life of A Septic Drainfield by Protecting the Biomat
Septic drainfield clogging process: how the soakaway bed or drainage trench fails: the biomat clogging process
Biomats tend to restrict the flow of effluent through the drainfield, but are crucial because they filter out viruses and pathogens.
As the biomat develops, the soil infiltration rate decreases. Once the hydraulic loading rate exceeds the soil infiltration rate, ponding
starts. At some point wastewater will either back up into the home or break out onto the soil surface.
Septic loading and dye tests look for this "breakout" of effluent on the soil surface - a condition which will occur
when the biomat has become so thick that septic effluent no longer percolates through it to the soils below.
If you dig a neat cross section of a traditional leach field trench, and if it was properly constructed,
you'll see the perforated effluent pipe surrounded first by gravel, and then the sides of the trench as it was originally
cut through the soil. You will also see a 1cm (about 1/2") to 5cm (about 2") thick gray band around the perimeter of the trench - this is where the
soil clogging has occurred.
During the septic loading and dye test, an aggressive volume of water, but not exceeding reasonable septic system
design parameters, is run into the system, forcing effluent in a failed system to the surface (maybe).
The septic dye itself is a harmless but intense dye - it does not "make anything happen, but its
sole purpose is to permit the inspector to distinguish between breakout of (dyed) septic effluent during a septic test and other
site water which might be present, say from a spring or surface runoff.
Extend the biomat life - How to Extend the Life of A Septic Drainfield by Protecting the Biomat
Pump the septic tank: Biomat formation cannot and should not be prevented, but septic tank filters, proper organic loading, and proper maintenance of the
septic tank can slow the rate at which it forms [thus extending the life of the drainfield].
Septic tank filters prevent excess suspended solids
from flowing into the drainfield and can be retrofitted to existing systems.
Washing machine lint filters can reduce the movement of lint into the drainfield. (We've seen promotions for this product but not
any studies supporting the effectiveness of this measure.)
Septic tank outlet baffle filters are sold to reduce movement of fine particulates into the leach field.
Use of these filters will require a suitable access port and regular maintenance at the septic tank.
(We've seen promotions for this product but not
any studies supporting the effectiveness of this measure.)
Drywells to handle graywater can reduce the total liquid load on the leach field - a step often taken at sites with
limited drainage capacity.
Reduce unnecessary water usage, and in particular, be alert for plumbing fixtures that run continuously such as
toilets and leaky faucets.
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS should be checked for proper settings for backwash frequency, volume, and salt dose.
Other maintenance that should be performed on the septic system includes having the system inspected and the tank pumped at
regular intervals. Pumping the tank allows it to better settle out solids [by maintaining a larger liquid volume or "net free area" in the
septic tank], also reducing the organic load to the drainfield.
Magic bullets which promise to restore drainfields are either unlikely to produce any lasting effect or
are at risk of contaminating the environment with toxic and perhaps caustic chemicals. These processes are prohibited
in some jurisdictions.
We have seen drain fields still working fine after 25 years and others which failed in the first week of
occupancy of a new home.
In a properly designed septic absorption field the level of usage of the system, site characteristics such
as slope, rock, groundwater level, and soil percolation rate have all been considered.
foul ups such as we discuss in this document, such a field may
last from 10 to 20 years. USDA sources assert that a properly operated and maintained ST/SAS (septic tank / soil absorption system) should last at least 20 years.
But it's easy to ruin or shorten the life of a drainfield/leaching bed. In fact the same USDA source states that
Studies reported at an Environmental Protection Agency seminar, Orlando FL, November 1979, show that over half [ST/SAS] fail prematurely due to improper operation or lack of adequate maintenance. Generally, these failures occur when the soil-absorption system [drainfield] becomes clogged. Preventable clogging, due to a buildup of solids in the [septic] system, is usually extensive enough to require expensive reconstruction of the system. Failures can also cause nearby ground areas, streams, lakes, and water supply systems to become contaminated. This exposed the public [and USDA, EPA, NPS, FPS, and other government employees] to health threats such as hepatitis, typhoid, diarrhea, and dysentery.
... [ in contrast] The unpreventable failure of the soil-absorption system eventually occurs when growth of the organic material in the wastewater [the biomat (SEPTIC BIOMATS) that forms under and along the sides of a drainfield trench] becomes so large [thick] that they plug up the soil.
Similar studies of advanced wastewater treatment systems such as aerobic systems, sand beds, mound systems similarly found that improper or inadequate operation and maintenance were the primary causes of premature failure of those systems as well.
Reader Question: What is the effect of epsom salts on the septic tank or the biomat: Counteracting the effect of epsom salts in the septic system
2015/10/22 Catherine Holmes Clark said:
I have a severe medical condition which requires me to use 4-5 cups of Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate) a day in a bath. Also to do a lot of laundry. I can't get along without these strategies. My new septic system has had an excessive amount of black gunk in the filter the first two years it has been changed. Are my medical strategies causing this? How can I best counteract the effect?
I should have said that after the first year's filter change, I have religiously been using a tie-on filter on my washing machine's exhaust hose. But there is still too much gunk.
I've also been thinking about the fact I use hydrogen peroxide for cleaning surfaces, wondering if this is a problem.
Reply: A diagnostic test & two fixes for rapid sludge formation in the septic tank
First the easy question: a washing machine lint filter won't reduce the level of epsom salts nor affect black goop formation in the septic field; rather it avoids clogging the system with lint.
I'm not sure what the black gunk is, how "excessive" was determined, nor where that gunk was originating. It is normal for septic filters to require more frequent changing than every two years - that may be the root problem. Tell us the septic filter type, manufacturer, and where you live and perhaps we can get an opinion from the filter manufacturer.
Your usage is more than a typical homeowner's bath soak of epsom salts: a typical epsom salt bath soak (recommended by saltworks.com) uses two cups of epsom salt in warm water in a normal sized bath tub (about 40 gallons of water), three times a week, soaking for at least 12 minutes. You are using 2-3 times that dose volume.
I agree that your question is very sensible. Epsom salts can include sulfates, calcium and magnesium; the sulfates might encourage growth of a sulphur-loving bacteria. (See my citations below).
I've read an "builder" opinion that unless you dumped 100 times epsom salts into the septic (500 cups a day) as much as you cite (5 cups a day) there'd be no impact on the septic system, but Id did not see any authoritative source supporting that view. Nevertheless it's not likely that normal household use of epsom salts harms a septic system.
A diagnostic test that would be very helpful would cost you very little
The next time you prepare your epsom salts bath, collect a sample of the bath water (when the epsom salts are fully dissolved) and ask your local water test lab to give you a report of the salt concentration.
Calculate or estimate the water volume in your bath tub
Note the total daily wastewater volume that is discharged into your septic system
That will let us (or a web page calculator) calculate the concentration of salt discharged into your septic system: remember the epsom salt solution from your bath is diluted by the rest of wastewater discharged into the system each day.
I suspect that we'll find that the total salt concentration in your diluted total wastewater daily discharge will be so low as to be harmless. Certainly Cobleigh found no evidence of a concern (Cobleigh 1911).
The following fixes provide a separate combination of actions that both avoid discharging salty bathwater into the septic (even though it's probably ok) and observing the effect of a change in discharge on the septic tank sludge formation rate
A "fix" that might both prove the theory (that epsom salts or the sulphur therein are contributing to slime formation in the septic filter system) would be to route your tub drain to a separate graywater system. Some gardeners even recommend use of epsom salts to soil around rose bushes.
A more evidence-based opinion about the effect of epsom salts on your particular septic tank could be obtained by measuring the sludge and scum layer thickness annually for a few years; if nothing else is changed except a re-routing of the epsom-salt-soak bathtub drainage and if you see a difference in the sludge thickness formation rate that woudl be quite credible.
Citations on research describing effects of epsom salts on water and on septic systems
Cobleigh, William Merriam, Harry Elwood Morris, and Deane Brit Swingle. Preliminary Report on the Analyses of Montana Waters. Vol. 7. Montana Agricultural College, Experiment Station, 1911.
Pfost, Donald L., Charles Duane Fulhage, and Stan W. Casteel. "Water quality for livestock drinking." Extension publications (MU) (2001).
Trumpolt, Clayton W., Michael Crain, Geoffrey D. Cullison, Susan JP Flanagan, Lenny Siegel, and Stephen Lathrop. "Perchlorate: sources, uses, and occurrences in the environment." Remediation Journal 16, no. 1 (2005): 65-89.
Waring, R.H., Dr., "Report on Absorption of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) across the skin", School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham. B15 2TT, U.K.
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Review of the Effectiveness of Drainfield shock treatment using BioMat-X
(May 3, 2014) Nathan said:
I have begun researching a product called BioMat-X which is described as a "drain field shock treatment". It claims to provide "trillions" of enzimes into the drain field to absorb the thgick biomat layer preventing adequate water absorption. It also claims to be beneficial to the environment as it reduces the runoff of untreated sewage. Is there any scientific basis for this claim? The $185 per gallon cost surely compares favorably with the cost of field replacement. Is it worth the risk to try it?
If you want to try the product and if it is not prohibited by your local or state health department (as many septic treatments and additives are indeed prohibitd), I can't object.
The appeal for a magic bullet we could pour into drains, a d-box, septic tank, or drainfield line is very great considering the cost of replacing a failed drainfield. If we eschew for a moment the illegal, toxic or harmful chemicals used in some processes and just address benign treatments, I remain disappointed that after decades of working in this area and of inviting product marketers to allow us to see independent third party research that shows that the products actually work that invitation has gone un-satisfied. I've yet to receive supporting data. We have received some reader reports of having used septic field treatment products that did *not* work, leaving me a bit skeptical about online testimonials and white papers produced by product manufacturers or marketing companies.
If we were going to perform a test of a drainfield treatment chemical that was safe to use (as enzymes may well be) I'd like to see the a sound experimental design that allowed examination of the soil in cross section, visually and chemically as well as for percolation rate changes. It's a difficult thing to test considering that there are many variables: soil conditions, septic use, weather, and disturbance of the soil just to look at it.
My OPINION is that the products generally are not effective.
If you'd like to give it a try, why not purchase a single gallon and obtain the seller's advice on how to use it in a single small drainfield area that you might then be able to monitor for changes in the soil percolation rate?
Nathan, I've repeated this discussion and added more comments in a companion article that you should see on drainfield restorer chemicals and treatments
Question: biomat break-down time or rate in an un-used septic field
(June 10, 2014) bob said:
If a field remains unused, I presume the biomat will breakdown, how long a rest would it need to restore proper function? What variables will affect this length of time?
Bob, good question.
Several years, possibly much longer will be needed. Some of the variables are
- original thickness of the biomaterial
- soil moisture
- depth of the biomat (deeper =longer)
- soil chemistry
- other soil properties, sand vs clay for example
- disposal in the field of salts, grease, oil, detergents, chemicals
Question: massive root invasion problems in the septic field
(Mar 29, 2015) FedupFred said:
Pulling out my hair because it has only been 7 yrs since our new system (2-1,000 gal tanks + 2" line pump to field that is 18'x50'and VERY deep) we are only 2 ppl in the house with ALL high efficient appliances.
Did a video snake and revealed massive root invasion, having the d-box and lines to chambers(pieces of s#it in my opinion) hydro-jetted and then root killer foaming done this week. Hoping that this gets everything working properly without another break out of water on the top of the field.
Also just added a DIY aeration set-up to my liquid tank in case the is too much bio-mat forming.
I'd pull my hair too if I had any left. It sounds to me as if
1. the original installation was faulty as sound pipe joints ought not invite roots -unless you mean the roots are in the drainfield
2. if roots are in the drainfield then you've got trees or plants where they don't belong and no amount of hydrojetting is going to fix that
3. adding an aerator to a septic system not completely designed for aerobic treatment may be inviting a disaster. If you keep the solids in the septic tank agitated and broken up by an add-on aerator these easily flow out into and clog and destroy the drainfield.
You'd need outlet filters at the tank exit (frequent maintenance needed) or a multiple tank or settling chamber system for what you are doing to work. - DF
(Apr 17, 2015) ekdigdirt said:
I'll second what DanJoe said (especially about agitating the solids in the tank with an aerator) and ask the follow-up questions of whether you have a single compartment septic tank or multiple compartments (usually it's a 3-compartment tank if you have an aerator), and whether the end of the field is vented. The depth of the SAS is integral in proper functioning, and usually anything over 36" deep wouldn't be approved - at least here in MA. There shouldn't be any deep-rooted vegetation less than 10' around the perimeter of the leachfield.
A side-question: Is your house new? And if so, did the contractors rinse their paintbrushes in the inside plumbing? Latex paint is perfect for clogging a leachfield, especially with infiltrators. Historically, if this is the case, the only fix is to take out the infiltrator chambers, scrape out the 6 or 8" of clogged sand, put down the same amount of new, clean sand, and then either pressure wash the infiltrators (if you can do it without breaking them) or put down new ones. Much much cheaper than installation of a whole new system, but still not cheap in and of itself. Good luck.
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Questions & answers or comments about the septic biomat: what is it, how does it form, what does it do, how long does the biomat last?.
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Percolation Testing Manual, CNMI Division of Environmental Quality, Gualo Rai, Saipan provides an excellent English Language manual guide for soil percolation testing. Original source: www.deq.gov.mp/artdoc/Sec6art108ID255.pdf
Soil Test Pit Preparation, fact sheet, Oregon DEQ Department of Environmental Quality, original source www.deq.state.or.us/wq/pubs/factsheets/onsite/testpitprep.pdf The Oregon DEQ onsite water quality program can be contacted at 811 South Ave, Portland OR 97204, 800-452-4011 or see http://www.oregon.gov/DEQ/
Thanks to reader Michael Roth for technical link editing 6/29/09.
Septic Tank/Soil-Absorption Systems: How to Operate & Maintain [ copy on file as /septic/Septic_Operation_USDA.pdf ] - , Equipment Tips, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 8271 1302, 7100 Engineering, 2300 Recreation, September 1982, web search 08/28/2010, original source: http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfimage/82711302.pdf.
Pennsylvania State Fact Sheets relating to domestic wastewater treatment systems include
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-161, Septic System Failure: Diagnosis and Treatment
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-162, The Soil Media and the Percolation Test
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-l64, Mound Systems for Wastewater Treatment
Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-165, Septic Tank-Soil Absorption Systems
Document Sources used for this web page include but are not limited to: Agricultural Fact Sheet #SW-161 "Septic Tank Pumping," by Paul D. Robillard and
Kelli S. Martin. Penn State College of Agriculture - Cooperative Extension, edited and annotated by
Dan Friedman (Thanks: to Bob Mackey for proofreading the original source material.)
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Advanced Onsite Wastewater Systems Technologies, Anish R. Jantrania, Mark A. Gross. Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., P.E., M.B.A., is a Consulting Engineer, in Mechanicsville VA, 804-550-0389 (2006). Outstanding technical reference especially on alternative septic system design alternatives. Written for designers and engineers, this book is not at all easy going for homeowners but is a text I recommend for professionals--DF.
Builder's Guide to Wells and Septic Systems, Woodson, R. Dodge: $ 24.95; MCGRAW HILL B; TP;
Quoting from Amazon's description: For the homebuilder, one mistake in estimating or installing wells and septic systems can cost thousands of dollars. This comprehensive guide filled with case studies can prevent that. Master plumber R. Dodge Woodson packs this reader-friendly guide with guidance and information, including details on new techniques and materials that can economize and expedite jobs and advice on how to avoid mistakes in both estimating and construction. Chapters cover virtually every aspect of wells and septic systems, including on-site evaluations; site limitations; bidding; soil studies, septic designs, and code-related issues; drilled and dug wells, gravel and pipe, chamber-type, and gravity septic systems; pump stations; common problems with well installation; and remedies for poor septic situations. Woodson also discusses ways to increase profits by avoiding cost overruns.
Country Plumbing: Living with a Septic System, Hartigan, Gerry: $ 9.95; ALAN C HOOD & TP;
Quoting an Amazon reviewer's comment, with which we agree--DF:This book is informative as far as it goes and might be most useful for someone with an older system. But it was written in the early 1980s. A lot has changed since then. In particular, the book doesn't cover any of the newer systems that are used more and more nowadays in some parts of the country -- sand mounds, aeration systems, lagoons, etc.
Design Manuals for Septic Systems
US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual [online copy, free] Top Reference: US EPA's Design Manual for Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal, 1980, available from the US EPA, the US GPO Superintendent of Documents (Pueblo CO), and from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Original source http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/625R00008.htm Onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems,
Richard J Otis, published by the US EPA. Although it's more than 20 years old, this book remains a useful reference for septic system designers.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water Program Operations; Office of Research and Development, Municipal Environmental Research Laboratory; (1980)
"International Private Sewage Disposal Code," 1995, BOCA-708-799-2300, ICBO-310-699-0541, SBCCI 205-591-1853, available from those code associations.
"Manual of Policy, Procedures, and Guidelines for Onsite Sewage Systems," Ontario Reg. 374/81, Part VII of the Environmental
Protection Act (Canada), ISBN 0-7743-7303-2, Ministry of the Environment,135 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto Ontario M4V 1P5 Canada $24. CDN.
Manual of Septic Tank Practice, US Public Health Service's 1959.
Onsite Wastewater Disposal Books
Onsite Wastewater Disposal, R. J. Perkins;
Quoting from Amazon: This practical book, co-published with the National Environmental Health Association,
describes the step-by-step procedures needed to avoid common pitfalls in septic system technology.
Valuable in matching the septic system to the site-specific conditions, this useful book will help you install a reliable system in
both suitable and difficult environments. Septic tank installers, planners, state and local regulators, civil and sanitary engineers,
consulting engineers, architects, homeowners, academics, and land developers will find this publication valuable.
Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, Bennette D. Burks, Mary Margaret Minnis, Hogarth House 1994 - one of the best septic system books around, suffering a bit from small fonts and a weak index. While it contains some material more technical than needed by homeowners, Burks/Minnis book on onsite wastewater treatment systems a very useful reference for both property owners and septic system designers.
Septic Tank/Soil-Absorption Systems: How to Operate & Maintain [ copy on file as /septic/Septic_Operation_USDA.pdf ] - , Equipment Tips, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 8271 1302, 7100 Engineering, 2300 Recreation, September 1982, web search 08/28/2010, original source: http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfimage/82711302.pdf
Septic System Owner's Manual, Lloyd Kahn, Blair Allen, Julie Jones, Shelter Publications, 2000 $14.95 U.S. - easy to understand, well illustrated, one of the best practical references around on septic design basics including some advanced systems; a little short on safety and maintenance. Both new and used (low priced copies are available, and we think the authors are working on an updated edition--DF.
Quoting from one of several Amazon reviews: The basics of septic systems, from underground systems and failures to what the owner can do to promote and maintain a healthy system, is revealed in an excellent guide essential for any who reside on a septic system. Rural residents receive a primer on not only the basics; but how to conduct period inspections and what to do when things go wrong. History also figures into the fine coverage.
Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank, Bombeck, Erma: $ 5.99; FAWCETT; MM;
This septic system classic whose title helps avoid intimidating readers new to septic systems, is available new or used at very low prices.
It's more entertainment than a serious "how to" book on septic systems design, maintenance, or repair. Not recommended -- DF.
US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual Top Reference: US EPA's Design Manual for Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal, 1980, available from the US EPA, the US GPO Superintendent of Documents (Pueblo CO), and from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Original source http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/625R00008.htm
Water Wells and Septic Systems Handbook, R. Dodge Woodson. This book is in the upper price range, but is worth the cost for serious septic installers and designers.
Quoting Amazon: Each year, thousands upon thousands of Americans install water wells and septic systems on their properties. But with a maze of codes governing their use along with a host of design requirements that ensure their functionality where can someone turn for comprehensive, one-stop guidance? Enter the Water Wells and Septic Systems Handbook from McGraw-Hill.
Written in language any property owner can understand yet detailed enough for professionals and technical students this easy-to-use volume delivers the latest techniques and code requirements for designing, building, rehabilitating, and maintaining private water wells and septic systems. Bolstered by a wealth of informative charts, tables, and illustrations, this book delivers:
* Current construction, maintenance, and repair methods
* New International Private Sewage Disposal Code
* Up-to-date standards from the American Water Works Association
Wells and Septic Systems, Alth, Max and Charlet, Rev. by S. Blackwell Duncan, $ 18.95; Tab Books 1992. We have found this text very useful for conventional well and septic systems design and maintenance --DF.
Quoting an Amazon description:Here's all the information you need to build a well or septic system yourself - and save a lot of time, money, and frustration. S. Blackwell Duncan has thoroughly revised and updated this second edition of Wells and Septic Systems to conform to current codes and requirements. He also has expanded this national bestseller to include new material on well and septic installation, water storage and distribution, water treatment, ecological considerations, and septic systems for problem building sites.
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