Your Septic System Design Questions Answered

Posted by Hogan Land Services on Aug 15, 2018 10:30:00 AM

septic-system-designSeptic system design is one of the many services that our Civil Engineering team at Hogan Land Services is qualified to provide. Projects that involve septic design, testing and evaluation, permitting assistance provided by Hogan Land Services. Below, we have answered some of the frequently asked questions about septic system design.

What is a septic system?

In the simplest of terms, a septic system is a self-contained wastewater treatment system. In rural areas, with large lot sizes, and homes that are far apart, disposing of wastewater through centralized sewer systems is costly and inefficient; therefore, septic systems are often the ideal solution in these situations. Instead of being connected to a central sewer system and water treatment plant, which is common in urban areas, homes in more rural parts of the country often have individual septic systems. These systems serve the same fundamental purpose as a centralized sewer system, but for one home instead of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands.

A standard septic tank will have two primary components. The first is the septic tank itself. Wastewater flows from the house through an inlet pipe into the septic tank. The septic tank then treats the wastewater from the home’s toilets and drains. The goal of the septic tank is to separate wastewater into three “layers” inside the reservoir. On top, you would find the liquid-solids, materials like oil and grease that are lighter than water and thus float to the top. Solids present that are heavier than water sink to the bottom of the tank forming a third layer. These layers are referred to in the septic business as “scum” and “sludge.” The middle layer is known as “clarified wastewater.”

The second part of a septic system is the leach field. The leach field is a system of typically including gravel, sand, and soil where the clarified wastewater is drained once it has been cleaned. The septic system distributes the water evenly throughout the leach field using a network of perforated pipes. The water then percolates through the soil, sand, and/or gravel which naturally filters it, allowing it to flow back into the earth without causing contamination. The scum and sludge, meanwhile, remain in the septic system, either to break down naturally over time or to be removed when the septic tank is pumped.

When do I need a septic system?

As we mentioned above, septic systems are most common in rural areas. If you are buying a plot of land in a rural area outside of a municipal sewer district, there is a good chance you will need a septic system. The first step is finding out whether a centralized sewer system serves the property. If it is, the second step is determining how much it would cost to connect to the existing sewer system. If the property isn’t served by a central sewer system, or if it would cost more to pipe into the sewer system than it would to design and build a septic system, your best option may be to install a septic system on the property.

Why do I need a septic system?

Between bathing, cooking, using the bathroom, washing hands, and washing dishes, every household produces gallons of wastewater every day. This wastewater has to go somewhere where it can be treated and reintroduced back into the environment safely. As such, every house needs either a sewer connection or a septic system. If a sewer connection is not an option for your home, then you need a septic system to drain wastewater in a sanitary and ecologically friendly fashion.

How much does a septic system cost?

Building a septic system involves more than buying the tank and putting it underground. Indeed, septic tank design involves choosing the right tank system for the size of your home, finding a suitable location for the leach field, and running tests on the field to make sure that it will absorb wastewater correctly. Once all these preparation steps are completed, and you have obtained the necessary permits, the installation and connection process can begin. The cost of a septic system can vary dramatically depending on your location, the size of your home, and the type of soils on your property, among other factors. According to local contractors, system costs can typically range between $20,000 to $60,000.

Get a Price Quotation for Septic System Design

At Hogan Land Services, our civil engineers routinely perform septic system design jobs in the greater Bay Area and Central Coast. If you intend to build on a property that needs a septic system, we can help you with the planning process. To get a price quotation for your septic system design, get in touch with one of our offices today. You can reach us at 877-544-2104 or by filling out our online contact forum here.

Topics: septic services