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Septic tanks and lot size

Vlaude

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
I am interested in information on how a septic tank effects the environment. A proposed development has 140 houses roughly on 1 1/2 acre lots. All the houses will be on a septic system. A near by (small) development is worried about there water supply and a large pond that is in the watershed of the proposed development. The soil is conducive to a septic system, but the concern is the number and density.

Any help is appreciated...
 
Messages
77
Points
4
A lot size of 1.5 acres is generally considered to be large enough for a drain field plus a replacement drain field. Therefore, it would receive health department approval in most places, with good soils.

Septic tanks are supposedly a "temporary" solution to waste control, though few places take that to heart. Septic systems supposedly, inevitably, leak. In environmentally sensitive areas, a requirement to pump them out on a five year schedule may be advisable, with a homeowners association or someone else required to monitor compliance with such a requirement.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,077
Points
33
Many of the lake areas in Southeastern Wisconsin were developed on septic and wells beginning in the early 1900's. A few of these communities have had to go through the painful and expensive process of retrofitting municipal water and waste water facilities after massive numbers of failures, ground water problems, etc. Paddock Lake, I think, was one. The one advantage they had is that the lots were narrow. You have to decide if there is likely to be a similar problem 50 years down the road.
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,371
Points
28
The impact of on-site waste disposal systems depends on how well they are built (some states still enforce standards dating back to the early '60s, so do not assume state standards are of much value) and the soil in which they are sited. For the most part, these systems work on the "dilution is the solution to pollution" principle and it is possible that 1.5 acre lots are not large enough. Everything depends on the soil and underlying geology. Find a soil scientist who is familiar with your area and pick his/her brain.
 

Sandy Coyman

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
Maintenance, maintenance and maintenance. Out of sight, out of mind has been the watch-word for septics. We are undertaking a septic tracking system and will provide "friendly reminders" about pump-outs. Three year cycle is recommended for our area (Eastern Shore, MD).
 

David Danenfelzer

Cyburbian
Messages
20
Points
2
I have also looked into the effects of septic systems, and for the most part have found that they are as good if not better for the environment when properly taken care of. Of course the big question is how to enforce compliance and maintenance. Your first questions have to be directed at local environmental engineers and geologist to determine your local soil types. Some are better than others for septics. You also have to find out what regs you can place on the quality of the tanks. There are better systems but they cost a lot more. Finally, one thing that is most promising is whether or not you might consider a community drain filed, one that is linked to a natural or man made wetland that will do a lot of the cleaning for you. These can be very good. It has been some time since I looked into this so I can't think of good resources right now, but best of luck.
 

EMSteere

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
Septic systems are not an enemy. I would disagree with the "temporary" solution mentioned above. The greatest benefit of septic is the infusion of water back into the ground, rather than directly to a surface water runoff system from a sewage treatment facility. Probably one of the greatest contributions to the declining water table in urban areas is the lack of appropriate infiltration of water. Public water/sewer systems tap water from the ground and surface sources, process it through homes and businesses and then treat and discharge it to surface running streams, all in a closed system that prevents infiltration.

Properly drilled/installed wells should be tapping water at far deeper stratas that have filtered any perched water of a shallow septic system.

I have a 0.5 acre lot with three drilled wells (poor yield volume) and two septic dry-wells. All function and test beautifully. My home and my deighbors are about 50 years old.
 
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