Install Conventional Septic Tanks and Lateral Lines

Before the installation of any septic system you must first have proper documentation and permits from the department of environmental quality a.k.a. the DEQ. In order to attain the proper documentation for a septic system installation you must first have a soil profile test or a perk test performed in the area of the property where you intend to have the septic system installed. These test have to be performed by a progressional that had been licensed by the department of environmental quality to perform theses test. The soil profile test and perk test are two different license’s. So be sure to contact the correct professional for which ever test you need performed on your property.

After you’ve received the results from your soil profile test or your perk test, that test will tell us which system your home will require, rather you’ll need an conventional septic system and how many feet of laterals or if an aerobic system would be a better fit. This determination of which system you will need and or how large the system needs to be is a equation of how well the soil will absorb and evaporate water an the size of the home you plan on building or is already existing at that property.

When it comes to which type of septic system you need and how large that system needs to be, every situation is a little different. You may need a conventional system which is normally 1000 gallon septic tank with lateral lines a.k.a. a leach field to absorb the affluent water . The definition of Affluent water is an outflowing of water or gas to a natural body of water, from a structure such as a sewage treatment plant, sewer pipe, industrial wastewater treatment plant or industrial outfall. Basically it’s the waste water produced by the occupants of the home dispersed from the septic tank and is evaporated from the soil. These systems have been the most common type of septic systems installed for residential needs The past. They are still an excellent system to install if the situation and soil allow. A conventional system operates by a process known as an anaerobic process. Anaerobic septic systems involve the use of bacteria that do not require oxygen to live. In an anaerobic system, you’ve got a septic tank with 2 main pipes. One of these goes to the house, and the other heads out into your yard. That main pipe splits into several pipes that sit just below the surface of your lawn.
Inside the septic tank, solid waste settles and is eaten by the anaerobic bacteria. Liquid waste floats to the top. Wastewater from the tank moves out to the smaller perforated pipes under the surface, which have holes at their ends. The wastewater then filters or “percolates” out into the soil and then eventually evaporate.

Is extremely important when installing the lateral field of a conventional septic system to be installed in a very specific and technical way. We have seen countless number of times where homeowners try to save money and install their septic systems themselves or by a non-licensed contractor only to find out later that the system was not properly installed. Unfortunately they find out after the system fails and sewage begins to back up into the home. This nightmare can easily be avoided by making sure your septic installer is licensed by the department of environmental quality and has a trusted name in the septic industry.

With all things being normal Milty’s Boys Septic can usually install a conventional septic system in one days time. There are exceptions to the rule. In some areas the soil may consist of a very high rock content. Depending on how much rock there is, how deep the soil is before we get to the rock , what type of rock and how much of the designated area for the septic system consist of rock will determine how long the install may take. In the situations the cost of the install would need to be adjusted due to the additional equipment manpower and materials to install a conventional septic system properly. This is when an alternate septic system may need to be taken into consideration to avoid unwanted complications and additional costs.

Lateral lines/drainage field.

Lateral lines are the lifeline of a conventional septic system. If there were no lateral lines installed then the average family would have to have the septic tanks pumped out every 1000 gallons or every 4 to 6 days to keep from having sewage back ups in the house.

Lateral lines go back to the beginning of septic system installations and have been made up of different types of materials over the years. Back in the 40s, 50s and 60s lateral lines were made mostly from clay tile and laid in gravel beds. The clay tiles would fit into one another and the excess water would drain from between each clay tile connection out into the gravel and into the soil. One of the biggest problems with clay tile lateral lines was that they were very susceptible to cracking and eventually collapsing. This would calls and I obstruction for the rest of the system to receive the water and limit how much lateral lines were actually continuing to function. This is very important because each soil profile and size of the home calls for a specific amount of footage to properly and adequately service each home. If half of the system is not receiving the affluent water from the septic system then it will limit how much water can be used at a specific time by that particular home.

In the late 60s and early 70s there was also an area where concrete laterals were being installed. But the concrete laterals were proven to be problematic as well due to the fact that they were just as vulnerable to collapsing as clay tiles were. They also proved very difficult to try to repair the collapsed area due to how brittle they would become overtime. in situations where existing homes have clay tile or cement tile laterals and are suffering problems usually the complete lateral field needs to be replaced in order to get system back up and running properly.

After the invention of plastic in the late 60s they begin to make what would become one of the most lasting and durable types of laterals that is known today as PVC piping. Laterals made of PVC piping proved to be a long lasting and more permanent solution to lateral lines. When installed properly PVC piping could last the duration of the home because they were not subject to deteriorating and or collapsing due to being brittle over time. Also the installation of PVC piping did not require the same amount of physical labor Due to the weight of the PVC piping and the length of each section of the PVC piping. Where as the clay tile and cement laterals would leach water through their connection points, the PVC piping is perforated the whole 10 foot length of the pipe allowing for more area for waste water dispersement.

Important to know that if a septic tank is not routinely pumped out then sludge will build up in the laterals clogging up the perforation and eventually call for the laterals to be serviced by having them Hydro jetted out. Also if your lateral line are in a area with lots of vegetation such as shrubs, bushes and trees know that roots can and will get into the system and cause clogs as well. In that case it’s important to use root killer routinely to keep roots from clogging up lateral lines.

In the last few years there has been more innovation when it comes to lateral line installation and the type of materials available. One of these innovations are called chambers. Chambers perform and do the same thing that all the laterals do by allowing the water to move underground and be absorbed into the ground and eventually evaporated. The good thing about the chambers are they are more of an underground tunnel system that doesn’t require a gravel lining underneath or piping of any sort. They are very wide and tall and require 20 to 30% less material and area when it comes to meeting installation requirements. The chambers have end caps where the PVC piping is used to connect to the outlet side of the tank and drain water into the chambers which have perforated walls for the water to absorb through. They are not small in diameter like pvc or clay tile piping therefore it is highly unlikely that roots will ever clog up and prevent water from moving throughout the system. This intern limits how much of the property must be used to accommodate the necessary square footage to address and service the affluent water from the families waste water usage.