Septic holding tank guide: this document discusses holding tanks in septic system design applications.
US EPA information has been expanded upon with supplemental documentation, references, and comments.
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What are septic holding tanks, how, where, and why are they used?
Holding Tank Septic Systems use a sealed
tank to hold household waste and wastewater until the tank can be pumped out by a septic pumping company.
jurisdictions do not permit septic holding tanks as a permanent wastewater handling method for full-time occupied
residences, but holding tanks may be permitted during new home construction and in other special cases.
In New York
State we've seen holding tank systems in use on small-lot properties located along the Hudson River. Generally such systems
will not be acceptable for full time occupied residences as even a large tank of several thousand gallons will require
frequent and costly pumping and disposal.
Holding Tank Septic System Regulations for Installation and Use
The use of holding tanks shall not be permitted for new home construction except where occupancy of a home is permitted
while the sewage treatment system is under construction.
Tank size shall be based upon five days design flow or 1,000 gallons, whichever is
greater and meet the same construction as a septic tank except that the holding tank shall not have an outlet.
Holding tanks are not acceptable
for long term use on year-round residences.
The above sanitary code citation is from: New York State Appendix 75-A.10 Other systems.
Septic Holding Tanks and Septic Hauling Systems
Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Special Issues Fact Sheet 4 EPA 625/R-00/008
Description of Septic Holding Tank Systems
A holding tank or vault receives wastewater from a home or commercial establishment and stores it until it is pumped out and hauled to a receiving/processing facility. Although similar to septic tanks, vaults have no outlet piping and must be watertight. The volume can range from 1,000 gallons to 4,000 gallons or more. The vault should be equipped with an audible and visible high-water alarm, which alters the resident to the need for pumping.
Different sizes of vaults and tank trucks can be used; water conservation can reduce costs considerably by reducing the frequency of pumping. A vault can be equipped with a standpipe and a quick disconnect to which the pumping truck can be directly connected for efficient (minimal spillage) emptying of the vault.
Holding tanks can be used for the entire wastewater flow in cases where conventional and typical alternative systems are not feasible. They are often used this way for seasonal homes in sensitive environmental settings. Holding tanks can also be used to collect only a part of the wastewater flow. Usually, they are used to collect the greywater when non-water-carriage toilets are employed in sensitive areas.
This option permits a significant reduction (usually one-third or more) in the number of tank pumpings as compared to the whole wastewater collection option. Another holding tank option is to collect only the blackwater fraction of the wastewater while the graywater is treated in an OWTS. This option is most popular in estuarine areas where significant nitrogen removal is required because the blackwater may contain from 70 to 90 percent of the total nitrogen load. In this case the reduction in pumping frequency from the whole wastewater option would be about two-thirds.
Over and above these combinations a program to reduce water use can be overlaid. The critical contribution of such a program (see chapter 3) is to reduce the daily volume of wastewater (blackwater, graywater, or combined) produced and the required frequency of holding tank pumping. Some onsite wastewater recycling can be added to this program in arid regions where gravity feed and belowground watering of non consumable vegetation can be accomplished. However, such a program must meet all local public health requirements.
Applications of Septic Holding Tank Systems
Pump and haul collection is best used when soil absorption fields do not work (for example, where bedrock or ground water levels are near the ground surface) and there is no sewer system.
Typical applications are second homes, where annual occupancy may be only a few days to a few months; where a nuisance or public health hazard must be abated; where an isolated building has no running water; in temporary structures or gathering places; or where nutrients must be excluded from ground water to protect environmentally sensitive areas. Pump and haul collection may also simply be the least expensive alternative in some places.
Pump and haul systems are viable only under a wastewater authority that guarantees service. Pump and haul collection can became prohibitively expensive when homes are occupied all the time or where the distance from the treatment plant to the home is more than a few miles.
Management needs of Septic Holding Tank Systems
Holding tanks should be used only where a proper management program is in place. Construction requirement are essentially the same as for a septic tank in that the onsite testing for tank leakage is vital to a successful design and the alarm system must be dredged for proper functioning before acceptance.
In addition to timely pumping, operation and maintenance requirements should include checking the alarm function, cleaning the activation floats, and comparing volume used vs. volume accumulated in the tank. The skill requirements at the site are minimal and can be estimated as approximately 1 hour per pumping. There are normally no energy requirements; the residuals are the tank contents, and confined-space entry safety requirements must be followed if tank entry is required.
Risk management issues of Septic Holding Tank Systems
Holding tanks are not subject to upset by flow variation, toxic loads or power outages. They should be insulated and possibly heat-treated in extremely cold climates. If properly vented through the building sewer, they should not exhibit odor problems, but use in hot climates may require an increase in pumping frequency or a regular addition of lime for mitigation. There is a release of objectionable odors during tank pumping, which can cause some discomfort to residents.
Costs of Septic Holding Tank Systems
More recent cost estimates for holding tank-hauling wastewater disposal indicate that tank installation is about $1 per gallon of capacity (up to 5,000 gallons) while the alarm system is about $400.
Tank pumping is generally in range of 10 to 30 cents per gallon, to which labor, travel and equipment amortization may be added (or these costs may be included in a flat fee). Travel costs will dominate if the round-trip distance to the holding tank, to the disposal site, and back to home base exceeds 50 miles. The permit costs to discharge at an appointed sit (treatment plant, land spreading site, or independent treatment facility) is also escalated, multiple pumping from a year-round house can become extremely expensive.
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Technical Reviewers & References
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Click to Show or Hide Citations & References
- New York State Department of Health, "Appendix 75-A Wastewater Treatment Standards - Individual Household Systems", [PDF] New York State Department of Health, 3 February 2010, retrieved 3/1/2010, original source: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/nycrr/title_10/part_75/appendix_75-a.htm
- US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual - original citation http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/pubs/625r00008/html/fs4.htm
- Septic Tank Soil Absorption Systems - Decentralized Sysetms Technology Fact Sheet, US EPA, EPA 932-F-99-075, September 1999 - original citation www.epa.gov
- Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. (727) 595-4211 mark@BestTampaInspector.com
- Victor Faggella, is a senior home inspector in New York and can be reached at Centurion Home Inspections, Inc. Mahopac, NY 10541. 845-628-0941 firstname.lastname@example.org The company has offices in Mahopac, NY, Woodbury CT., and Mansfield Center, CT.
- Hankey and Brown home inspectors, Eden Prairie, MN, technical review by Roger Hankey, prior chairman, Standards Committee, American Society of Home Inspectors - ASHI. 952 829-0044 - hankeyandbrown.com
- Rissy Plastics, 350 Cedar Lane, Torrington, CT 06790 USA, Tel: 877-221-4426, Email: email@example.com, for information about the the Flout™ floating outlet valve dosing system control for septic systems and onsite wastewater disposal.
- InspectAPedia.com® - Daniel Friedman - Publisher & Editor.
- Construction Guidelines for Gravity and Flood-Dose Trench Onsite (Septic) Systems, Indiana state health department
- Maintenance of Low Pressure Distribution Septic Systems, Vermont Cooperative Extension
- Dosing Gravity Drainfield Systems, Recommended Standards and Guidance for Performance, Application, Design, and Operation & Maintenance, Washington
State Department of Health, July 1, 2007
Holding Tank Septic System Design References & Product Sources
- Anderson, C.D. 1986 Trucked Collection Systems Experience in the Northwest Territories. In Proceedings of Appropriate Wastewater Management Technologies for Rural Areas Under Adverse Conditions. Technical University of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS.
- Burrows, R., and N. Bouwes. The Cost of Holding Tanks for Domestic Wastewater. Small Scale Waste Management Report. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.
- Dix, S.P. Case Study Number 4: Crystal Lakes, Colorado. National Small Wastewater Flows Clearinghouse, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.
- Mahoney, W.D., ed.-in-chief. 1989. Means Site Work Cost Data. R.S. Means Co., Kingston, MA.
- Mahoney, W.D., ed.-in-chief. 1990. Means Site Work Cost Data. R.S. Means Co., Kingston, MA.
- Manci, K. No date. Wastewater Treatment Alternatives.Holding Tanks. The Pennsylvania State University, College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University Park, PA.
- Mooers, J.D., and D.H. Waller. 1996. Onsite Wastewater Research Program: Phase III. TUNS/Centre for Water Research Study, Halifax, NS.
- National Association of Waste Transporters (NAWT). 1998. Introduction to Proper Onsite Sewage Treatment. National Association of Waste Transporters, Scandia, MN.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). 1984. Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement: Wastewater Management in Rural Lake Areas. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Chicago, IL.
- Waller D.H., and A.R. Townshend. 1987. Appropriate Wastewater Management Technologies for Rural Areas Under Adverse Conditions. Special Publication, Technical University of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
- Inspecting Septic Systems: Online Book, Inspection, Test, Diagnosis, Repair, & Maintenance: our Online Septic Book: Septic Testing, Loading & Dye Tests, Septic Tank Pumping, Clearances, details of onsite waste disposal system inspection, testing, repair procedures.
- 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), Advanced Onsite Wastewater Systems Technologies.
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 we recommend for professionals--DF. >I>
- 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.
Composting Toilets - Books & References
- Composting Toilet System Book: A Practical Guide to Choosing, Planning and Maintaining Composting Toilet Systems, David Del Porto, Carol Steinfeld. Quoting an Amazon review: Del Porto's book is the definitive composting toilet book at this time. There is nothing even close. His book covers all aspects of composting toilet systems and touches on graywater issues as well. He treats the composting toilet as part of the home system. If a person is seriously interested in installing/having a composting toilet, this book can save him/her all of the mistakes people usually make. He even (carefully) explodes some of the advertising myths that the purveyors of composting toilets would have us believe. The book covers ready-made systems as well as home built systems. As trite as this sounds, the book truly is a must for someone considering installing composting toilet.
- The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, 3rd Ed.,
Joseph C. Jenkins. Quoting part of an Amazon review: The Humanure Handbook provides a wealth of thoroughly researched, hands-on experience and scientific data that demonstrates that after a natural process called "thermophilic" bacterial digestion, which occurs in a compost bin and where all pathogens are killed, excreta is then converted to a valuable nutrient for agriculture and thereby completing a full-circle life cycle. Most importantly, effluent can then be kept out of our drinking water and not treated or referred to as an undesirable "waste product".
The information is conveyed in a humorous, folksy, down-to-earth easy to understand style along with drawings, charts, tables, photos and a wealth of resource info for further research. Jenkins' website has a forum for sharing more info, experiences and to answer any and all questions in the process of humanuring and constructed wetland gray water treatment.
- Thermal composting of fecal matter as treatment and possible disinfection method--laboratory-scale and pilot-scale studies,
B. Vinneras, A. Bjorklund, H. Jonsson. Quoting Amazon review: When using toilets where the urine and faeces are collected separately for reuse as nutrients in agriculture, the collected matter should be disinfected. One way to do this is by thermal composting. Composting of different material mixes was investigated in a laboratory-scale experiment. This showed that the best mixture for dry thermal composting was a mix of faeces, food waste and amendment. The urine was collected separately by use of urine-diverting toilets. A new method was developed to mathematically evaluate and estimate the safety margins of pathogen inactivation during thermal composting. The method is based upon a mathematical calculation of the number of times total inactivation (at least 12log"1"0 reduction) of the organisms is achieved. In a pilot-scale experiment, the disinfection of a faeces/food waste mix was performed with a calculated safety margin of more than 37 times the total die-off of Enteroviruses and some 550 times that of Ascaris. Thus, well functioning composting seems to be
effective for disinfection of faecal matter. To get a high temperature in all of the material, the reactor has to have sufficient insulation. A major disadvantage is the initial need for handling the raw un-disinfected material. The degradation of the organic matter in the compost was almost 75%, resulting in a small final volume that could safely be recycled.
- Experiences with a composting toilet article from: Countryside & Small Stock Journal, available as HTML download.
Quoting Amazon review: This digital document is an article from Countryside & Small Stock Journal, published by Countryside Publications Ltd. on May 1, 1994. The length of the article is 1516 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.
From the supplier: A composting toilet is a good alternative to propane burning toilets, but it also has many problems. The worst part is emptying the waste and compost every 4-6 weeks. Other problems are the fan that must be kept running constantly and bug infestation.
- Decentralized Systems Technology Fact Sheet: Septic Tank - Soil Absorption Systems, U.S. EPA, PDF Document provides basic information about septic tanks and drainfields.
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)
- Eco John® Innovative Toilet Solutions, Global Inventive Industries, Fountain Valley CA, PDF, product brochure
- "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.
Greywater System Books
- The New Create an Oasis With Greywater, Art Ludwig; Buy New: $14.25. Ludwig is one of the most thoughtful, prolific, and sometimes controversial writers on gray water systems and alternative designs. We recommend his book as clear, easy-to-understand writing aimed at property owners who want or need to consider a graywater installation to conserve water, recycle water, reduce water use, or to reduce the load on their septic system. This is the latest edition of this Art Ludwig's greywater design book classic.
- Builder's Greywater Guide, Art Ludwig; Buy New: $10.17. Installation of Greywater Systems in New Construction & Remodeling; A Supplement to the Book "Create an Oasis With Greywater" (Paperback).
Quoting a review from Amazon: I recommend that you get the 3 companion books on greywater treatment "Create an Oasis", "Branched Drain Greywater Systems" and "Builder's Greywater Guide". The information in these volumes will keep most of us far more informed than most of the regulators, the system builders, and the experts-in-theory. These volumes are real-world gems.
Art Ludwig has cut to the core of wastewater issues. He's obviously done all of his homework, mulled-over the variables, and come up with a common sense, economically reasonable, environmentally responsible approach to wastewater. I expect to save money that I would have spent on a post-septic tank, aerobic unit that would seemingly have been ecologically responsible; but because of the technological overkill, ultimately that system would have defeated my altruistic environmental concerns.
... These books talk the talk and walk the walk better than anything else that I've seen. Buy a set for yourself, a set for your neighbors, and a set for the regulators.
- Branched Drain Greywater Systems [superseded by "The New Create an Oasis with Greywater"], Art Ludwig. If you already have this book but are in the process of installing new gray water systems you should take a look at the newer
edition listed first above in this section of our Greywater book recommendations.
You may prefer the newest edition, but there is great information in this older version, perhaps all you need, and these copies are
sold at very low prices - an aid to people of limited means.
- Create an Oasis With Greywater: Your Complete Guide to Choosing, Building and Using Greywater Systems, Art Ludwig, [superseded by new edition] (Paperback) You may prefer the newest edition, but as I said above, there is great information in this older version, perhaps all you need, and these copies are
sold at very low prices - an aid to people of limited means.
- Rainwater Catchment Systems for Domestic Supply: Design, Construction and Implementation,
Erik Nissen-Petersen, John Gould. (Mr. Ludwig, while much appreciated, is not the only author providing really useful design guides for graywater systems--DF)
Quoting from an Amazon review: This book reviews the art of roof and ground catchment systems for rainwater. The water collected can be used for household or other purposes. The designs are aimed for individuals with limited access to electricity and/or civic water utilities. The text includes drawings, photographs and step-by-step instructions.
One might say the book is really written for the 'aid worker' since it also considers ethnic and gender issues that would be 'obvious' to the future owners of the the systems.
- Guidelines on rainwater catchment systems for Hawaii, (CTAHR resource management publication)
Patricia S. H Macomber. This more technical document may be especially helpful for rainwater collection and recycling systems for climates
where there is heavy rainfall such as demonstrated for Hawaii.
- Design for Water: Rainwater Harvesting, Stormwater Catchment, and Alternate Water Reuse, Heather Kinkade-Levario. Quoting from Amazon's review: Design for Water is an accessible and clearly written guide to alternate water collection, with a focus on rainwater harvesting in the urban environment. The book:
Outlines the process of water collection from multiple sources-landscape, residential, commercial, industrial, school, park, and municipal systems
Provides numerous case studies, Details the assembly and actual application of equipment, Includes specific details, schematics, and references.
All aspects of rainwater harvesting are outlined, including passive and active system setup, storage, storm water reuse, distribution, purification, analysis, and filtration. There is even a section on rainwater harvesting for wildlife.
In addition to rainwater, there are several affordable and accessible alternate sources, including cooling tower bleed-off water, air conditioning condensate, gray water, and fog collection. Design for Water is geared to providing those making development decisions and guidelines with the information they need to set up passive harvesting techniques. The book will especially appeal to engineers, landscape architects, municipal decision-makers, developers, and landowners.
Heather Kinkade-Levario is a land-use planner in Arizona and the author of the award-winning Forgotten Rain. She is president of Forgotten Rain L.L.C., a rainwater harvesting and stormwater reuse company.
- The Toilet Papers: Designs to Recycle Human Waste and Water : Dry Toilets, Greywater Systems and Urban Sewage (Paperback) Sim Van Der Ryn, Wendell Berry; Quoting from an Amazon review: With a title like "Toilet Papers" and from a distinguished eco-architect like Sim Van der Ryn, I needed no intro or review to buy a copy of this little, but well researched historical over-view of effluent mitigation and current eco-friendly toilet design.
This book is filled with good line drawings and photographs to depict everything from the historical perspective to the current dry toilets and their construction..
- Rainwater Reservoirs Above Ground Structures for Roof Catchment: Most Common Rainwater Tanks in Comparison and Construction Manual, (Paperback) Rolf Hasse. [I have not reviewed this book --DF, but it may be helpful to people constructing rainwater collection and reservoir systems for use in arid climates such as Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.
- Quality issues in harvested rainwater in arid and semi-arid Loess Plateau of northern China,
K. Zhu, L. Zhang, W. Hart, M. Liu, H. Chen (out of print, find by search and deferred order).
Amazon's description may be helpful: Loess soils cover vast areas in the arid and semi-arid regions of northern China. Due to the lack of reliable surface water and ground-water, rainwater harvesting has played a prominent role in farmers' domestic usage and agricultural irrigation. An economical and valid type of water storage cistern with optimum design of components has been introduced to rural areas in the Loess Plateau. Different collection alternatives showed apparent variations in rainwater quality. By using different catchments, such as mortar roofs and cement-paved courtyards, compacted land or road surfaces, rainwater can be effectively collected for storage in cisterns. This study focused mainly on the quality of rainwater harvested from the different catchment systems and stored for different periods of time. By analysis of the water samples stored in these cisterns, it was evident that rainwater quality could be improved significantly by self-purification during the storage. With emphasis on rainwater quality affected by the
different catchment systems, it was found that the measured inorganic compounds in the rainwater harvested from roof-yard catchment systems generally matched the WHO standards for drinking water, while the concentrations of some inorganic compounds in the rainwater collected from land and road surfaces appeared to be higher than the guideline values for drinking water, but generally not beyond the maximum permissible concentrations. However, Fecal Coliform, which is an important bacteriological parameter for the three catchment systems, exceeded the limits of drinking water to a greater extend. Trace amounts of 55 organic pollutants were identified, including aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic compounds and phthalate esters, etc. The analytical results indicated that roof-yard catchments that included the ''first flush'' usually provided safe drinking water with low organic contents, even for rainwater collected immediately after rainfall. In contrast, rainwater harvested from road surfaces had poor quality
with respect to the organic constituents, regardless of stored time.
- City eying home water-recycling technology; uses bath and washer water for irrigation., (ReWater Systems' equipment for greywater irrigation):
This is an article from: San Diego Business Journal [HTML] (Digital) available online in digital format. I have not (yet) reviewed it -- DF
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. (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
- Soil Percolation Tests soil perc testing guide and instructions
- Percolation Testing Manual, CNMI Division of Environmental Quality, PO Box 501304, Saipan, MP 96950
- Planting Over Septic System Component", Daniel Friedman (author/editor, InspectAPedia.com), The Innovator, Winter/Spring 2008, BCOSSA, British Columbia OnSite Sewage Association, 201-3542 Blansard St., Victoria BC V8X 1W3 Canada
- Save the Septic System - Do Not Flush These Items Down the Toilet, Daniel Friedman, InspectAPedia.com - PDF document, printable
- SEPTIC STANDARDS
- SEPTIC MAGAZINES
- 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.
- Test Pit Preparation for Onsite Sewage Evaluations, State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Portland OR, 800 452-4011. PDF document. We recommend this excellent document that offers detail about soil perc tests, deep hole tests, safety, and septic design. Readers should also see Soil Percolation Tests and for testing an existing septic system, also see Dye Tests
- 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.
- The NSFC Products List has an excellent list of design manuals/modules available from their website or by telephone 800-624-8301
- Submissions welcome. send us a suggested document link or request an exchange of website links