Septic System Design
How to Design & Build a Septic System
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN - home - CONTENTS: Detailed articles on how to specify, design, and install a conventional or advanced/alternative septic system such as a septic tank and septic drainfield, mound systems, aerobic septic systems, and others. How to determine the necessary capacity of a septic system, its space requirements, and its basic layout. How to choose a septic tank size and type. How to calculate the necessary size of a septic drainfield, leach field, or soil absorption system for final wastewater dispersal
POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to find out design information for alternative types of septic systems and onsite wastewater treatment and dispersal or disposal
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Septic system design: alphabetical index to "how to articles about septic systems & onsite wastewater treatment.
Here we list detailed "how to" articles on the design of septic systems of both conventional (tank and drainfield)
and alternative (aerobic, mound, raised bed, sand filter, media filter, etc) septic system designs for difficult sites.
We give in-depth information about conventional septic tanks, drain fields, septic pipes, and septic waste handling.
We include tables for septic tanks: pumping frequency, septic tank size, septic tank design, and clearances between septic systems, wells, and other
site features and boundaries.
Septic System Design & Installation
"Septic tanks" are what home owners or home buyers think of when buying or maintaining a home with a private septic system. But we should be thinking about the whole septic system
- since the drain field or leach field makes up half of a typical septic system cost.
We are also quite concerned with septic system health and safety since there are potential collapse hazards which can be fatal, and
there are bacterial and pathogen hazards for both site occupants and for the environment if a septic system is not working properly. The articles listed at this website form an extensive guide to septic systems care, inspection, testing, and installation. We welcome questions and suggestions for content.
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS, step by step, how do we set up a conventional septic tank and drainfield?, including septic maintenance and septic care instructions for home owners and home buyers; steps to take when buying a home with a septic tank and septic fields, and basics septic system information about:
Septic soil & percolation tests, septic tank size, septic tank depth, septic tank tees, filters, graywater, clearances septic system to other site features, drainfield size, drainfield shape, tank pumping frequency, tank pumping procedure, tank repair, septic treatments & chemicals, steep slope systems
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If you need basic septic system design parameters such as finding the recommended septic tank volume and conventional
recommended leach field or drainfield size, along with some notes on how to calculate these from simple water usage and site conditions,
here are links to that information. Also take a look at the septic publications, septic design manuals, and onsite waste disposal standards links and articles above and
below this section. I am re-writing and reorganizing this design material into a separate guide for laymen (like myself). Septic
engineers already know all this stuff. Meanwhile look at the articles listed below as they will allow you to answer basic septic system design questions.
Septic Tank Sizing: to determine the required septic tank size you would need to look at article #1 to see the required tank size based on
daily water volume usage and perhaps article #2 to confirm that you're estimating the water volume reasonably.
Tank Retention Time if you just wanted to know our opinion about tank size as a function of effluent retention time, see item #3.
Septic field size planning: see article #4 which sizes the field based on its percolation rate and #9 which
describes performing a perc test, with perhaps a look at #10 to understand biomats and why a leach field in a wet area won't treat the effluent.
SEPTIC TANK SIZE REQUIREMENTS Capacity: Table of Required Septic Tank Sizes: Septic Tank Capacity vs Usage is a table of required septic tank sizes
BIOMAT FORMATION in the Septic System Drainfield Absorption System - what leads to drain field clogging and expensive drainfield repairs
What is a Septic System
A "septic system," also referred to as a private, on-site waste disposal system, receives waste water and solids
from a Building's plumbing facilities (bathrooms, kitchens, shower, laundry), treats, and then disposes of the
effluent from this waste, by permitting it to absorb into soils at the property. "Treatment" is accomplished by bacterial
action in the "septic" or "treatment" tank and it is mostly accomplished by bacteria in the soil around and below
the effluent absorption system, or "drain field." This bacterial action is needed to reduce the
level of pathogens in the effluent discharges from the waste system into the soil. The principal components of a private on-site waste
disposal system usually include the following:
piping connecting the Building to the treatment tank
a septic or treatment tank which retains solid waste
piping connecting and conducting clarified effluent from the treatment tank to a distribution box
a distribution box connecting the effluent line from the tank to the absorption system or "drain field"
an absorption system which permits effluent to drain to soils below
a bio-mat or bio-mass of pathogen-digesting bacteria which forms in soil below the absorption system.
Many variations on this general scheme are used, depending on local climate, soil conditions, available space, economy,
and available materials. Special equipment and systems may be designed for problem or difficult sites such as
rocky or wet ground, permafrost, or wet tropical marshlands.
Readers who are unfamiliar with what a private septic system is and the types of systems installed should
review articles and sketches of septic system components found at
The Septic System Information Website
Types of treatment tanks, adsorption systems, pumps, and other special
equipment are discussed in some further detail in this text, and are listed in the septic system inspection
checklist data. For a more detailed introduction you may want to read our Lockwood article
"What is a Septic System" and then return here to continue by using your browser's "BACK" button.
Absorption System Design & Maintenance Soil Perc Tests & Septic Drain Field Design & Maintenance
Soil Percolation Requirements and Soil Depth Requirements for Septic Absorption Systems / Septic System Drainfields
What is a septic system soil percolation test?
In specifying the size and type of absorption field (leach field, seepage pits, galleys, other) a septic engineer or health
department official will require that a soil percolation test or "perc" test be performed. You may hear it described as a
"deep hole test." The first time I participated in this procedure I found myself smiling with surprise at how low-tech the procedure
actually was (in New York State.)
After identifying the most-likely location on the lot for placement of a septic drainfield,
the excavator used a backhoe to dig a rough hole about 5 ft. deep. Happily no groundwater immediately filled in the hole (which would
have been bad news).
Perhaps this is why builders try to have this test done in July which is the period of most-dry weather and lowest
groundwater table levels. After digging this rough hole, the septic engineer poured a 5-gallon (joint compound) bucket of water into the hole.
In some cases a few buckets might be dumped therein. After that sophisticated move, the observers simply watched the rate at which the water disappeared.
a one-inch drop in water level in this hole in three minutes was considered very good. If the water was found still in the hole at no
drop in level the next morning, this was considered seriously bad and probably requiring some soil exchange or other special design measures.
What are the soil perc and other soil requirements for septic systems?
I like the Massachusetts Title 5 Septic Inspection criteria for defining a (at least possibly) functional drainfield, as the
text explains the role of the biomass below the absorption bed, sets soil depth requirements, and recognizes the importance of
keeping the bottom of the working biomass area in well drained soil sufficiently above the seasonal high water table.
Here is an example of soil requirements for a functional drainfield. This version is particularly clearly written and is for
residents of Ohio but the principles apply anywhere.
"In Ohio, soil absorption systems can be used in areas where the percolation rate of the soil is between 3 and 60
minutes per inch (soil permeability between 1 and 20 inches per hour). At least 4 feet of suitable soil is required
under the soil absorption system to provide adequate treatment of the septic tank effluent. To accommodate the
construction of the system and provide adequate soil cover to grade, a minimum of 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 feet of suitable soil is
needed above the limiting layer.
A limiting layer may be bedrock, an impervious soil layer (hardpan, fragipan) or a
seasonally high water table (gray soil or mottles). The soil absorption system must be at least 8 feet from any drain
line on the lot, 50 feet from a water supply, and 10 feet from the property line, right-of-ways and the house. Septic
systems cannot be placed on the flood plain and are limited to areas with less than a 15 percent slope." http://ohioline.osu.edu/aex-fact/0743.html Ohio State University Fact Sheet "Septic Tank - Soil Absorption Systems"
How large does the absorption field need to be?
The size of the absorption field needed (in square feet of area, presumably
also unencumbered by trees, driveways, buildings, etc.) can range considerably depending on the soil percolation rate.
A lot with a good percolation rate or "perc" of perhaps one inch of percolation
in three minutes might require about 4500 square feet for a typical three bedroom home. If the same home were
built where there was a poor a soil percolation rate of an hour per inch, 9000 square feet or more might be required
for the absorption area.
Drainfield size and location also have to take into account local zoning - setback requirements from property borders, setbacks from
streams, wetlands, wells, water supply lines, and other encumbrances.
Drainfield trench/line specifications
In the most common design of drainfield, perforated pipes are buried in gravel-filled trenches to form the drainfield. Pipes are
placed across the slope line of sloped property (so that all of the effluent doesn't simply rush down to and leak out at the end of the drain
line pipe). While some experts describe the bottom of these trenches as "level" in practice they are dug to slope slightly, perhaps
1/8" per foot or less. A typical trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, and 8 to 12 inches wide.
The septic drainfield trenches are dug about 6 feet apart which allows,
in good design, space for a set of replacement trenches to be placed between the original ones when the first set fails.
The maximum length of a trench is typically about 150 feet but I've found installations that were three times that length.
Where lot space does not permit drainfield trenches such as I've just described, a septic engineer may specify that seepage pits
or galleys are to be installed. These fit in a smaller space since a single pit may be 6' to 8' in diameter. But the depth to which effluent is
being delivered (4' or more) means that the sewage effluent is unlikely to be fully treated by a biomass. These systems may successfully "dispose" of
effluent but they are probably not adequately "treating" it.
What destroys or shortens the life of drainfields?
It's easy to ruin or shorten the life of a drainfield:
install a drainfield in wet weather (which compacts the soil)
drive over the drainfield or build a parking lot over it (compacts soil, breaks pipes)
plant trees on the septic absorption field (roots enter pipes)
put a swimming pool in the middle of a drainfield - yes I've seen people do this!
forget to pump out the septic tank regularly (solids/grease are discharged into the fields, clogging the soil)
direct roof runoff or surface runoff across the drainfield or into the septic tank (flooding the system)
install the drainfield in an area of high seasonal water tables (flooding the system)
use the septic system to dispose of illegal oils, chemicals, fats, greases - one system in New York near the Taconic State Parkway
was connected to house in which was operated an illegal drug manufacturing operation. So much contaminant was flushed down house drains
that the workers contaminated their own well and poisoned themselves
"EPA Design Manual: Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems," R.
Otis et al, EPA 625/1-80-012. GPO Bookstore, 26 Federal Plaza, Room 110, New
York NY 10278 212-264-3825.
"Septic Systems," T. & A. Ferrero, Tri State ASHI Seminar, November 6-7
1993, and attachments listed below.
"Septic Tank Pumping," Paul D. Robillard, Kelli S. Martin, Penn
of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, Agricultural Engineering Fact Sheet
SW-161, Agricultural Engineering Department, 246 Agricultural Engineering
Building, University Park PA 16802 814-865-7685 814-863-1031 FAX.
"Preventing Septic System Failures," Paul D. Robillard, Kelli S. Martin,
PennState College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, Agricultural
Engineering Fact Sheet SW-162.
"Mound Systems for Wastewater Treatment," Paul D. Robillard, Kelli S.
Martin, Penn State College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, Agricultural
Engineering Fact Sheet SW-164
"Septic Tank Soil Absorption Systems," Paul D. Robillard, Kelli S.
Martin, Penn State College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, Agricultural
Engineering Fact Sheet SW-165
"The Soil Media and Percolation Test," Paul D. Robillard, Kelli S.
Martin, Penn State College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, Agricultural
Engineering Fact Sheet SW-163
"Level 1 Septic System Inspections During Real Estate Transactions," Paul D.
Robillard, Kelli S. Martin, Penn State College of Agriculture, Cooperative
Extension, Agricultural Engineering Fact Sheet SW-166
"Take Care of Your Septic Tank," Washington State Septic Tank Pumpers
Association, (WSSTPA) (Les Eldredge, President, 206-334-8263); Courtesy of Bob
Items 3-9 provided courtesy of Jules Falcone.
"Cottage Country, Environmental Manual for Cottages," 6th Ed., 1989, ISBN
0-7729-5085-7, Environment Ontario, 135 Clari Ave. West, Suite 100, Toronto
Ontario M4V 1P5
Septic Tank Maintenance," Circular 1343/January 1990, and "Why Do Septic
Systems Fail?," K. Manci & J.A. Moore, Extension Circular 1340/January 1990,
Oregon State University Extension Service, and "Know your Septic System," a
home buyer's guide to on-site septic systems, Washington Association of
Realtors, Govt. Affairs Dept, PO Box 719, Olympia WA 98507 206-943-3100,
provided by Len Sherr, Bend OR
One and Two Family Dwelling Code, Section P-2506, Septic Tank Design and
"The Septic Tank Home Wastewater Treatment and Disposal System," Southern
Rockingham Regional Planning District Commission, 19 Main St., Salem NH 03079
"Septic Tank News & Views," Stanley Carraway, Florida ASHI Seminar, October
9-10, 1993 available from FLASHI Chapter, includes some USDA tables and charts
on design, loading, and references the New (1992) Chapter 10D-6, Florida
Administrative Code, Standards for Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems.
"A Homeowner's Manual for Septic Systems," Robert Berg, Wastewater
Facilities Management Element Bureau of Construction and Connection Permits,
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water
Resources, January 1990, 609-984-4429, courtesy of Lewis Home Inspections
"What Remodelers Should Know About Septic Systems,", Russ Lanoie, Journal
of Light Construction [New England Builder], July, 1988, p. 31-36, RR#2, PO Box
146, Richmond VT 05477
"Water Conservation and Wastewater Disposal," R. Siegrist et al., 1978, ASAE
"Soil Infiltration Capacities as affected by septic tank effluent
application strategies. In: Proceedings of the 3rd national Symposium on
Individual and Small Community Sewage Treatment." ASAE Pub. 1-82 pp. 72-74.
ASAE PO Box 410, St.Joseph MI 49085
"Aerobic on-site systems studied in New Mexico," Asbury R. and Hendrickson
C., 1982, Journal of Environmental Health, 45:86-87
"Soil Clogging: Mechanisms and Control," R. Otis, Proceedings of the 4th
National Symposium on Individual and Small Community Sewage Treatment, ASAE
Pub. 07-85 pp. 238-250, ASAE, 2590 Niles Rd., St. Joseph MI 49085-9659
"Residential Graywater Management in California," A. Ingham, 1980.
California State Water Resources Control Board, PO Box 100, Sacramento CA 95081
"On-site disposal of small wastewater flows," R. Otis, 1977, Department of
Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
NAHB Library, several resources listed, contact NAHB, 15th and M Streets NW,
Washington, DC 20003 202-822-0203. "Pumped septics - improved waste-water
systems distribute effluent from septic tanks over a wide area, preventing
contamination of drinking water," Noele Stuart, Popular Science, My 1989, p.
84; "Septic tank effluent pump systems: an alternative to conventional sewers
and grinder pump systems," Small Flows, October 1991, p 4. Courtesy of Heather
Groves, NAHB Library and Information Center. 800-368-5242 Ext 204 (CD ROM
search service, fees involved, for GTHBA members and NHBA members)
"Septic Tank/Water Softener, potential effects of water softener use on
septic tank soil absorption on-site wastewater systems; the effect of home
water softener waste regeneration brines on individual aerobic wastewater
treatment plants," Water Quality Research Council, Water Quality Association,
477 E. Butterfield Road, Lombard IL 60148
"Design Handbook, Grinder Pumps, Low Pressure Sewer Systems," Environment
One Corporation, 2773 Balltown Road PO Box 773, Schenectady NY 12301
518-346-6161 (Richard C. Grace, Sales Mgr.)
"What you should know before buying a home served by a septic system,"
State of Connecticut, Department of Health Services, 150 Washington St.,
Hartford CT 06106, via Allspect, Westhaven CT and Butterly's Building
Inspection Service, CT.
"Soil infiltration capacities as affected by septic tank effluent
application strategies," D.L. Hagett, et al, 1982, In: Proceedings of the 3rd
National Symposium on Individual and Small Community Sewage Treatment." ASAE
Pub. 1-82, pp. 72-84. ASAE, PO Box 410, St Joseph MI 49085, current address:
ASAE, 2950 Niles Rd., St Joseph MI 49805-9659, courtesy of Bob Stead, ASHI.
"Aerobic on-site systems studied in New Mexico," R. Asbury and C.
Hendrickson, Journal of Environmental Health 45: 86-87,
"Soil clogging: mechanisms and control," R. Otis, 1985, in
National Symposium on Individual and Small Community Sewage Treatment." ASAE
Pub. 1-82, pp. 238-250.
"Residential Greywater Management in California," California State Water
Resources Control Board, PO Box 100, Sacramento CA 95801
"EPA Design Manual: Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems," R.
Otis, et al., No. EPA-625/1-80-012 (or later edition if avail.)
"On-site disposal of small wastewater flows," R. Otis, Dept. of Civil and
Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI
Private communication and "Private Sewage Disposal System," septic
checklist developed for ITA, Inspection Training Associates, Kevin
O'Malley, 1016 S. Tremont Street, Oceanside CA 92054, 800/323-9235
Private communication, K. Oberg to DJ Friedman, 12/15/93, 12/16/93, 7/22/94
Private communication, J. Appleby to DJ Friedman, 9/16/93, Venice FL
Private communication, D. Barnett to DJ Friedman, 9/15/93, Evansville IN
Private communication, N. Becker to DJ Friedman, 9/15/93
Private communication, E. Fitzgerald to DJ Friedman, 9/94, Adoption of New
Jersey environmental protection law addressing septic system operation and
maintenance, Subchapter 12, documented in New Jersey Register, 8/21/89, Cite 21
NJR 2635. Requires annual inspection beginning in 4th year after construction,
describes acceptability criteria, inspection steps, conditions of failure.
Private communication, T. Moore to DJ Friedman, 1/15/94, "Private Septic System Evaluation,"
Goshen NY, 914-294-3398
Private communication, S. Vermilye to DJ Friedman, 1/15/94, and sample checklist,
Private communication, D. Surette to DJ Friedman, 5/6/94
Private communication, R. Klewitz to DJ Friedman, 10/1/93
Private communication, L. Scherr to DJ Friedman, 10/1/93, Cascade Home Inspection, Bend OR
Private communication, G. Reid to DJ Friedman, 12/6/93
Private communication, G. Carroll to DJ Friedman, 11/29/93, Action Inspection Service,
Private communication, R. Johnson to DJ Friedman, 11/5/93, The Home Specialist, Inc.,
Private communication, E. Rawlins to DJ Friedman, 10/7/93, Boca Raton FL,
and "You and Your Septic Tank, a guide to the proper operation and maintenance
of a septic tank system," Department of Natural Resource Protection, 500 E.
Broward Blvd, Suite 104, Fort Lauderdale FL 33394 305-765-5181, Broward County, FL, January 1993
Private communication, R. and B. Williams to DJ Friedman, 11/20/93, Williams Home Inspection
Co, Hollis NH
Private communication, A. Carson and R. Dunlop to DJ Friedman, 2/6/92, 11/10/93
Private communication, L. Cerro to DJ Friedman, 8/22/93
Private communication, R. Passaro to DJ Friedman, 9/15/93, 10/15/93,
Res-I-Tec Corp., Bethel CT; also see Passaro's "Private Sewage Disposal, Some
Suggestions," NY Metro ASHI Seminar, October 1993 (cc on hand)
Private communication, J. Falcone to DJ Friedman, 10/15/93
Private communication, C. Greenberg to DJ Friedman, 9/9/93
Private communication, V. Faggella to DJ Friedman, 9/14/93, 9/24/93, Yorktown Heights, NY
Private communication, R. Stead to DJ Friedman, 9/20/93, Charlton MA
Private communication, T. Lewis to DJ Friedman, 9/20/93, Lewis Home Inspection,
Private communication, G. Guarino to T. Lewis, 12/12/91, Septic system
failure and inspection limitations, Township of Hopewell, Department of Health,
201 Washington Crossing, Pennington Rd., Titusville NJ 08560
Private communication, C. Eldredge to J. Falcone, 3/27/91, Septic
Certification and Testing Information from the Pennsylvania Septage Management
Association, Curt Eldredge, General Manager, Wastewater Management, Inc., West
Chester PA 19380 215-436-4045.
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.
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
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.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones