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The Basics of Designing a Septic Tank

If you’ve dreamed of being self-sufficient and living off the grid, a septic system in San Francisco is the right choice for you. Not only are they highly reliable, but septic systems are also relatively cost-effective to run. Properly functioning and efficient systems have to be designed to meet the needs of their particular homes, so do your research and plan accordingly. When you’re ready to take the plunge, consult with a professional who specializes in septic tank installation.

The Right Tank Size for Your Septic Project

Most counties recommend a minimum capacity of 1,000 gallons, which correlates to about 500 gallons of wastewater produced daily. Ultimately, the size of tank you will need for your project depends on your household’s water usage. In order to make the most informed decision, you have to consider these factors: the number of people who will be producing wastewater, the average amount of water being used on a daily basis, and the amount of time the septic tank can retain waste solids. Regarding retention of waste, choose a tank size that allows the necessary amount of time for solids and liquids to properly separate.

Where to Locate Your Septic Tank

Ideally, septic tanks should be placed near buildings or homes to accommodate shorter waste lines—i.e., the lines that directly carry wastewater to the tanks. However, certain sites may have features or shapes that may become installation obstacles. If your property poses this kind of problem, work with your septic specialist to determine the best place to install your septic tank.

Plan a Proper Drainfield

Treated wastewater travels from the septic tank to a leaching area known as the drain field. The proper size for a drain field depends on the rate of percolation of treated wastewater through a layer of gravel and into the soil below. Factors to take into consideration when planning a drain field include the length of perforated pipes needed to carry treated water to the drain field, the size and depth of gravel trenches, the type of soil beneath the leaching layer, the prevalence of microorganisms in the soil, and the wetness of the soil. Again, if your property includes features that may cause problems, enlist the help of a professional to solve your design issues.

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