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Septic drop box splitters: use of special control valves in the septic system D-box or distribution box can give sections of the septic soak bed or leachfield or drainfield a rest, allowing for drainfield recovery. This article describes septic d-box splitters & their use and gives product sources - where to buy a D-box splitter for drainfield R&R.
Septic system D box installation, specifications, inspection, diagnosis, and repair: in this article series about septic system drop boxes we describe the best procedures for locating and inspecting, repairing or replacing the septic drainfield distribution box, or the "D-box" or "Splitter box".
Septic System D-Box Splitters - Drainfield Resting
Reader Question: What's the difference between a septic system D-box and a Splitter?
What is the difference in splitter box and a D box? - T.C.
Reply: why we might need a Zoeller Tru-Flow Splitter in place of a conventional Septic D-box - alternating drainfields & effluent flow balancing
Basically there is no difference in function between a D-box and a Splitter box. All D-boxes have some capability of adjusting the flow of effluent among different D-box outlets - a technique that can extend drainfield life by giving some drainfield sections a rest for two years or so between services. In some literature the control that permits diverting effluent among drainfield segments, or shutting it off entirely, is called a splitter valve. In other installations, a simple manual plug or cap is inserted or adjusted at each outlet opening inside the distribution box.
Some "splitter" boxes such as Zoeller's are more sophisticated than the simple concrete or plastic Distribution Boxes illustrated in the article above.
Zoeller Pump Co who make septic system grinder pumps and other onsite wastewater piping and pump components, also produce and sell component that most of us call a "distribution box" and that accomplishes that function - routing effluent among drainfield lines: the Zoeller Splitter System. What's the difference?
In a conventional concrete D-box, it's just that: a plastic or concrete or fiberglass "box" into which one pipe delivers septic effluent from the septic tank, and from which two or more pipes carry effluent to drainfield trenches, galleys, or other disposal systems. The box routes effluent among the various lines and if properly installed we hope effluent is distributed evenly. Some D-boxes include a round cover with an eccentric hole that can be rotated up or down to balance the effluent load among different drainfield sections.
Higher velocity pumped septic effluent may require careful effluent distribution control in the D-box - the Splitter
Zoeller's Splitter uses a series of internal baffles to control the routing of effluent among drainfield lines. One raison we might need the baffles and more precise control of effluent distribution through the D-box (or Splitter) is that Zoeller, who manufacture sewage grinder pumps and septic effluent pumps, (we pose) may have found that pumped septic effluent arrives in the Splitter (or D-box) at a higher velocity than effluent that drains into the box from a septic tank by gravity.
At high velocity, effluent entering a conventional D-box may not flow uniformly among the multiple box outlets - instead it would charge across the box and flow mostly into the effluent line directly across from the inlet pipe. Zoeller's baffles appear intended to prevent that problem by diverting flow uniformly among the various Splitter box outlets.
Zoeller's Tru-Flow [D-box] Splitter system includes diverter adjustments that help you fine tune and balance the effluent flow among various drainfield sections. The system can handle varying septic flow rates depending on the number of openings in use in the "box" - that is, depending on the number of outlets and drainfield sections that are in use.
Number of outlet openings (drainfield segments fed)
Maximum effluent inflow rate handled by the Splitter
See our contact information for Zoeller just below and also at at the reviewers section at the end of this article for a link to the Zoeller D-Box-Splitter for septic effluent distribution system information.
Watch out: Zoeller warns that if you use this device, which does a more careful job of routing effluent among the different drainfield branches, it is clog-prone if you don't include a septic filter in the system at the effluent outlet end. Indeed, an effluent filter will protect and extend the life of any drainfield and its components.
Zoeller Pump Co.,3649 Cane Run Rd.
Louisville, KY USA 40211, USA, Tel: 001-502-778-2731, Website: www.zoeller.com, Email for Technical Support: email@example.com, International Accounts
Phone: +1-502-778-2731 ext. 8208
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Zoeller also has offices also in Taiwan, Canada, and Mexico.
"Zoeller On-Site Wastewater Products Tru-Flow Splitter System Installation Instructions and Preinstallation Checklist", retrieved 7/12/2014, original source: http://literature.puertoricosupplier.com/002/HJ1253.pdf
Reader Question: one side of my fields never dries out, we installed speed levelers and a new D-box. Should we cap off the wet area lines?
I have 8 lines coming off my d box. my yard is slightly pitch to one side. that side also sees most of the rain water. The surface never seems to fully dry like my other lines. speed levelers were installed when the dbox was replaced. should those 2 lines be capped and shut off for a while to regain a better saturation point? i you, JB 5/10/12
I agree with your idea to cap off saturated drainfield lines. Drainfield trenches tend to wear out (clog the soil) beginning at the trench end most distant from the D-box, slowly working the clogging back towards the D-box. Giving the drainfield a rest for 5 years or more might help those sections recover provided that they are not being soaked from some other water source.
Keep in mind that effluent breakout at ground surface is not only a failure indicator, it is unsanitary. In sum, if the area is wet, the effluent distribution lines in that area are not treating effluent anyway, just contaminating the environment.
Finally, if the wet area were in say the last 5 feet of a 60-foot line, you might try excavating and capping off the wet ends to see if that gives you longer use of the rest of the leach line.
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 Thanks to reader Nicholas Day for discussing D-box troubles and repairs, September 2010
 Zoeller Pump Company, 3649 Cane Run Rd., Louisville, KY 40211, Phone: 1-800-928-7867, 502-778-2731
Fax: 502-774-3624. Technical support and/or quote related emails: email@example.com. Zoeller produces just about every kind of septic, sewage, effluent, grinder, and sump pump. Homeowners who need a sewage pump are asked to contact their local representative or retail sales outlet. Zoeller classes their pumps into these categories:
Grinder pumps, such as Zoeller's 810/815 Turnkey Grinder Systems, 800-series Grinder Pumps, Cold-Climate grinder pumps, Simplex prepackaged grinder pump systems, and Simplex and Duplex (two pumps) grinder systems including four outdoor use.
Utility, pedestal, & gas engine pumps. These are portable gas-engine powered pumps used typically in construction, service, or emergencies
Sewage & Dewatering pumps, such as certain Aqua-Mate Models and Waste-Mate models, and Sewage-Waste 600-series pumps
Splitter for septic effluent distribution. Web search 5/1/12, original source
https://app.qleapahead.com/rtp/LibraryGet.aspx?asset=85356,63 [copy on file as septic/D-boxes/Zoeller_D-BOx_Splittert.pdf ] Website: www.zoeller.com
Sump, Effluent, Dewatering pumps, such as Water Ridd'r , Mighty-Mate, Aqua-Mate, Flow-Mate, and High Head Flow-Mate pumps - of certain models - be sure to read the manufacturer's intended use for a pump model before purchasing it
 "Drainfield Rehabilitation", Pipeline, Winter 2005, Vol. 16, No. 1, NESC, National Environmental Services Center, 800-624-8301 [copy on file as [/septic/D-boxes/NESC_2005-16_1.pdf
 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.
 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. (DF volunteers to serve as indexer if Burks/Minnis re-publish this very useful volume.)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. We refer to it often.
While Minnis says the best place to buy this book is at Amazon (our link at left), you can also see this book at Minnis' website at http://web page .pace.edu/MMinnisbook
 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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The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
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