OUTLINE • SEPTIC SYSTEM BASICS • ALTERNATIVE SYSTEMS – A PRIMER • QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS • JR SINGS HIS COLLEGE FIGHT SONG
SEPTIC SYSTEM VS PUBLIC SEWER • Average 4 Person Family pays $50-$80 per month for public water/Sewer in Stafford County. • Half of that is for public sewer • At $25/month >>> $1,500 in Five Years • Traditional Septic System maintenance is about $200 every 5 years (pumping the septic tank).
Septic System Maintenance • A septic system can last 50 years, but many in the US fail after 15-20 years • Avoid putting the following in your septic system: Coffee grounds, dental floss, disposable diapers, cat-box litter, sanitary napkins, tampons, cigarette butts, plastics, facial tissues, paper towels, fat, grease, or oil and household hazardous wastes • Pump your septic tank every 3-5 years • Don’t Drive on your septic field
Indications of System Failure • Sluggish drains • Plumbing backups • Seepage at ground surfaces
Alternative Treatment Systems • Raised Bed and Septic Mound systems • Advanced Material Media Filtration systems • Aerobic Septic Systems • Wetlands and Constructed Wetlands • Waterless and Low-Water and Greywater-Separation systems
Waterless and Low-Water • Think of a modern outhouse in the house. Yes, it works, but you probably need a “granola” client to accept it. • The home will also need a means to handle gray water (dishwater, shower water, etc) • Many designs, but basically it composts and the “dirt” is removed at the end of the composting period.
Acknowledgements • A Guide to Septic Systems and Alternatives (Virginia Water Resources Research Center) http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/publications/Septic%20Systems%20Guide.pdf • InspectAPedia -- http://www.inspect-ny.com/septic • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/gemare/gemare_009.cfm • University of Minnesota --http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/naturalresources/components/6583[f03].html • King County (Washington State) Public Health http://www.metrokc.gov/health/wastewater/owners/types.htm#sand • TOOLBASE -- http://www.toolbase.org/Technology-Inventory/Plumbing/aerobic-wastewater-treatment • Wikipedia -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructed_wetland