Septic System Survival

 (what everyone who owns a septic system wants)

Strategy - System Knowledge: These homeowners, with the permission of local health, decided to build their own system pictured here with their new three bedroom home in the background. Knowledge of the system and how it works are excellent strategies for avoiding trouble with the septic system in the future.

Strategy - Use Technology Wisely: This image shows part of the drainfield for a lakeside resort across the highway in the distance. A mechanical automatic distributing valve utilizes six drainfields on the sloping hillside. The valve shown here in dark grey at the bottom-right of the image allows the use of smaller and simpler pumps by sending effluent to each of six parts of the drainfields in turn instead of dosing the entire drainfield in one shot (the usual approach). This strategy, the appropriate use of technology, in this case means smaller, cheaper, standard pumps, a considerable saving for the owner and cheaper to repair.

Strategy - Keep Local Authorities Informed: The local county health inspector above is locating the system for the county record with a hand-held GPS unit during a final inspection. Getting a smooth flow with the local health district as well as supplying clear construction drawings will ensure that the system complies with state and local laws. Being late for meetings, avoiding inspections and side-stepping regulations can put your system operation in jeopardy down the road, particularly when the project goes for refinancing, and the septic system is found to be out of compliance with some regulation or other. The garden hose in the bottom of the view is being used to charge the system with fresh water for the squirt test. The green risers provide access to the tanks, filters, floats and pumps once the system is backfilled.

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Last Revised: 01/03/2004
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