Septic system basics
What is a Septic System?
In areas where a public sewer is not available, property owners must install a wastewater management system on their property commonly referred to as a “septic tank.” These types of systems treat water coming from homes and buildings by using beneficial bacteria found naturally in either soil or sandstone bed filters to break down organic material so that it does not contaminate groundwater in the surrounding area.
Typical Septic System components
A typical septic system is comprised of two main components: a septic tank and a drainfield.
The septic tank is a container that holds water. It is buried underground and has watertight walls. The tank is designed to store wastewater for long enough so that solids sink to the bottom (sludge) and liquids rise to the top (scum). Within the tank, “good” bacteria catalyze an anaerobic breakdown reaction, which decomposes the solid materials, and prevents them from getting into the drainfield. Most typical septic tanks need to be emptied every 3-5 years to remove the scum and sludge build that build over that duration of time.
A drainfield, also commonly referred to as a leach field, is an underground system of pipes where wastewater exits and leaves the septic tank. It removes contaminants and impurities from the water, leaving it clean. Drainfields are typically quite large and are located in a flat and open area of the property in which they are installed.
How a Septic System and Drainfield operate
Signs of a Septic problem
Frequently asked Questions
Full Installation Guide
Preparing trenches and placing concrete chambers
After the work area has been prepared for installation according to approved plans, excavate trench 88″ wide. When the trench has been excavated to the plan’s specified length and the bottom has been leveled, start installing the Cur-Tech concrete chambers.
Each chamber has knockouts on the ends and sides. Break out all the knockouts on the 8′ long sides of the chambers. Break out any chamber end knockouts that are to be set against another chamber end. Leave the knockouts intact on the first wall of the first chamber and the end wall of the entire row. This will leave the end walls free from soil migration into the chambers. Cover the seam between the concrete chambers with an 8-10 inch wide piece of filter fabric.
Preparing the Goodflow plastic fins
After the chambers have been installed level and in proper alignment, make sure the side bottom areas are level with the bottom of the concrete chambers. Place the 4′ long pre-assembled CTL plastic fin segments on top of the concrete chambers. Connect Two 4′ segments together by using the provided back pieces, top straps, and base pieces to create 8′ lengths.
Pick up each 8′ segment and place it alongside the concrete structure with the fabric covered side facing away from the structure. Align the plastic with the concrete chamber side so the ends line up and all the side openings are covered. If any gaps are present between the plastic and concrete parts. Carefully tap back piece tops, base pieces, and on CTL 48 middle connector to close any gaps that might occur.
Repeat these procedures until both sides of the concrete chambers are tightly fitted with the plastic structures to the designed lengths. These steps are illustrated on the directions provided with the system at delivery.
Once the concrete and plastic parts have been installed properly backfill the system with washed concrete sand ASTM C-33 or state-approved septic fill. Place backfill material between the fins along the filter fabric wrap and in front of the fins. Backfill in 12″ lifts using a modified hand tamper (available from GoodFlow) or equal form of compaction. Compact material as tight as possible. Be careful not to tear or pull away filter fabric. Repeat the process until the backfill is equal to the top of the plastic on the plastic parts.
Cover the entire GoodFlow system with filter fabric. Backfill with clean soil at a minimum of 6″ of cover. The distribution application used is to be determined by that system’s specific designer.
GoodFlow recommends that the design engineer for each job specify the proper H-20 loading subsurface preparation. GoodFlow also requires in an H-20 application that after the fabric is placed on top of the system as described in the installation instructions, the area on top of the plastic fins be filled level with the top of the concrete chambers with the same approved material used for the system’s installation. GoodFlow also requires that the area on top of the entire structure should be filled with a minimum of 10″ of compacted gravel or 3/4″ process material.