Septic Systems Handbook, Second Edition covers all aspects of such topics as septic tanks, perk tests, leachlines, and onsite disposal technologies. This handy reference is filled with numerous practical tips for troubleshooting and creative problem solving. The many appendices offer valuable information, including dealing effectively with bureaucracy and the legal system, as well as presenting various technical aspects of septic systems.
"…anecdotal and highly readable, and the sample problems are interesting and helpful…highly practical…I recommend it to septic system practitioners nationwide."
-Randall B. Brown, Journal of Environmental Quality
WHY PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCIES CONTROL THE DISPOSAL OF DOMESTIC SEWAGE. Consequences of Improper Disposal of Sewage. Categories of Causative Agents and Specific Diseases. The Cost of Prevention. Relevance. THE SEPTIC SYSTEM. The Septic Tank. Leachfield. ECONOMICS OF LEACHFIELD SIZE. A Lowest-Cost Leachline Is Built to Last Indefinitely. Optimal Size of Leachfields. SOILS AT A GLANCE. SOIL WATER MOVEMENT. Infiltration and Percolation. Capillary Flow. Plant Transpiration. "Rest and Digest" Suggestion. Problems. THE PERCOLATION TEST, OR "PERK" TEST. Historical Background and Development of the Perk Test. Evolution of the Standard Perk Test. Evaluation of and Improvements Needed in the EPA Standard Perk Methodology. Problems. SIZE OF LEACHLINE. Practical Size of Leachline. FACTORS AFFECTING FAILURE OF LEACHLINES. Amount and Frequency of Effluent Discharge. Composition of Effluent. Type of Soil, Vegetation, and Climate. Amount and Configuration of Absorption Surface. Installation. User Habits and Behavior. Time (Age). Miscellaneous. A Word to the Wise. SIZE OF SEEPAGE PITS. Sizing Pits Through Standard Leachline Tests. The Falling Head Test. Longevity and Absorption Capacity of Seepage Pits. Sizing Recommendations. Problems. VARIOUS ONSITE SEWAGE DISPOSAL TECHNOLOGIES. "Innovative" Technologies. Comparisons and Recommendations. Fills for Leachlines. DEGRADATION OF GROUNDWATER BY SEPTIC SYSTEMS. Soils as a Sieve. Microbial Retention Within the Soil. Vertical Separations Between Leachfields and Groundwater or Impermeable Bedrock. Contamination by Extraneous Chemicals. Degradation by Natural Sewage Components. NITRATE IN GROUNDWATER. A Septic System's Nitrogen Inflow and Outflow. What Is Being Done. Dealing with a Specific Problem of Nitrate Pollution. MOUNDING. Mounding Over a Low-Permeability Stratum. Mounding Over a Groundwater Table. Problems. SEPTIC SYSTEMS, SEWERS, AND LAND USE. Availability. Convenience. Cost. Health and Pollution Hazards. Land Use and Environmental Impact. THE UPC, UNIFORM PLUMBING CODE. Provisions in the Uniform Plumbing Code. ETHICS. Land Use. Restrictive Standards. Disciplinary Actions Against Perk Consultants. WORK PRIVILEGES AND CERTIFICATION OF PERK CONSULTANTS. STANDARD SITE SUITABILITY/PERK REPORT. STRATEGIC CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE USE OF SEPTIC SYSTEMS. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS. APPENDIX A. Organisms in Sewage. APPENDIX B. "Failure" of Leachfields. Fluctuation of Sewage Levels in Seepage Pits and Leachlines. APPENDIX C. Comment. The Unwanted Irrigation Canal. Measuring k. Wetting Fronts. Evaporation. Balance. Seepage. APPENDIX D. Geometric Mean Versus Arithmetic Mean. Gravel Packing Correction Factors. Accuracy of Measurement with Nonvertical Tape. Effect of Precision on Accuracy. The "Can" or Soil Cylinder. Effect of Changing Head. Plugged Bottom. Applicability of Olivieri-Roche (O-R) Corrections. APPENDIX E. Sizing a Pit. APPENDIX F. Experimental Systems. The "Hybrid". APPENDIX G. Excerpts from the California Administrative Code, Title 22. APPENDIX H. Excerpts from the San Bernardino County Code. APPENDIX I. Soil Perk Report Standard. Practical Considerations. Useful Techniques for Detection of Flows and of Pipes. APPENDIX J. Leaflet on Septic Systems. APPENDIX K. Professional Information Sources. APPENDIX L. Questions, Problems, and Brain Teasers. APPENDIX M. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD OF LAW. Law. The Judicial System. Lawyers. Judges. The Jury. Court Trials. Hope for the Future. APPENDIX N. John Q. Professional vs. the Legal System: Helpful Organizations and "Alternative Justices". APPENDIX O. Negligence is the Legal Term for a Punishable Goof. APPENDIX P. Testifying in Court and Giving Expert Testimony. APPENDIX Q. CASE HISTORIES OF LEGAL CONFLICT. Disciplinary Action Against Professionals. A Negligence Lawsuit This Side of Hell. A Lawsuit Involving Septic System Failure. Lawsuit Near-Misses. APPENDIX R. ETHICS IN GENERAL AND IN SEPTIC SYSTEMS PRACTICE. Ethics in General: A Personal Philosophy. Ethical Decisions in Septic Systems Practice. APPENDIX S. SCIENCE, LAW, ETHICS, ECONOMICS, AND A NITRATE POLLUTION CONTROL SAGA. APPENDIX T. DEALING EFFECTIVELY WITH BUREAUCRACY. APPENDIX U. PROBLEMS SOLVED, QUESTIONS ANSWERED. GLOSSARY. INDEX. LIST OF FIGURES. LIST OF TABLES.