Need guidance on code compliant septic connection


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Old 10-29-21, 09:06 AM
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Need guidance on code compliant septic connection

Hello there!

I purchased a house with an apartment over a separate garage and recently found out that the apartment was pirated in. I am now tasked with bringing the whole thing to code. One of the things I have to do is get a conditional permit for the drain that runs across the yard and connects to the main septic line. The issue I'm having is getting someone to actually come out so I'm starting to lean toward just fixing it myself and calling the inspector out.

The length of the line from the garage to the septic line is about 80 feet. It's 3 inch in diameter and has only one cleanout, right at the point it exits the garage. I was wondering if someone could tell me what a drain line of this type needs to include to be code compliant. Here's some pics, apologize for the water, the septic company has left me hanging a week and we're getting a ton of rain.

Stats:
80 foot of 3" drain line
1 cleanout, 6 inches from exit of structure. No other cleanouts
Sweep 90 at structure, sweep T at septic line connection





 
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Old 10-29-21, 06:39 PM
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Your picture links point to amazon but there is nothing there.
Try posting here directly...... how-to-insert-pictures.

I can't help you much with your problem there. I didn't think you could put two buildings on a common septic system. Did the inspector come out and survey the situation ? Ultimately what you do will be up to him.
 
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Old 10-29-21, 07:12 PM
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Hi there Pete and thanks for taking the time to help. I didn't stop to think about the source not being vuewable. Sorry about that. It doesn't look like editing posts is allowed so I'll just post them below this message.

RE: your question: It will be a conditional permit. In my case, it means that regardless of the number of bedrooms on the property(4), the property will only be legally able to support 3 bedrooms(or more specifically, 2 people for each of the 3 bedrooms the system was originally permitted for). This is fine with me, I just need to make sure I do my best to try to make the physical system meet national code. Since I'm tired of waiting on someone to come out and do this, I'm going to try to make the necessary changes. So far, I think I've determined that it needs a cleanout every 50 feet of pipe, so I'm going to add one but I'm wondering what else I need to look at before calling the inspector.

Again, sorry for the messy trenches. I promise they were neat and tidy when I dug them






 
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Old 10-29-21, 07:39 PM
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Pictures look good.
With all the rain lately it's pretty hard to do anything underground without there being a muddy mess.

The others will stop by and add advice.
 
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Old 10-30-21, 01:36 AM
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First, septic's are generally sized according to the number of bathrooms although the number of bedrooms is loosely associated to that as well.

try to make the physical system meet national code
There really is no national code for septic systems, many states dont even have guidelines, if they exist it's at the county/local municipality level, they are the ones you need to be talking with!

The only thing that really screams out with your pictures is all that drain line is flat and shallow. It doesn't look anywhere close to having the min (absolutely min) 1/4" per foot (thats 20" for you) so your going to have some flow/blockage issue. Not to mention what will happen when that line freezes solid in the winter time!

 
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Old 10-30-21, 03:23 AM
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The first step is to talk to your Building Inspections and Zoning Departments. You should have permits in hand BEFORE beginning the work. While it is not 100% required going for a permit after you've already begun work can start you off on the wrong foot with the inspectors. You also need to know up front if they will permit you to keep the illegal bathroom.

Marq1 brings up a very good and very obvious point. The lack of fall in your drain line. How much fall do you have between where the drain pipe exits the garage and where it connects to the septic? Is a gravity line even possible or do you need to install a collection pit and pump?
 
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Old 10-30-21, 05:47 AM
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Not that is related to the question, how was this "apartment" plumbed originally?
 
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Old 10-30-21, 07:04 AM
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There really is no national code for septic systems, many states dont even have guidelines, if they exist it's at the county/local municipality level, they are the ones you need to be talking with!
The state dept of health are the fine people that I'm doing this for. They told me to make it right, contact an authorized inspector to build a package that I then submit to them.

The first step is to talk to your Building Inspections and Zoning Departments. You should have permits in hand BEFORE beginning the work. While it is not 100% required going for a permit after you've already begun work can start you off on the wrong foot with the inspectors. You also need to know up front if they will permit you to keep the illegal bathroom.
As mentioned above, I have spoken to the state health dept and they are the people that have tasked me with bringing this up to code(or having it done by a professional, which is proving to be laughingly impossible). Every person I've spoken to from the inspectors, to zoning, to the state dept of health have apologized profusely for the situation I find myself in so I'm definitely not starting off on the wrong foot with anyone, it's just a horrid situation that they can't help me with, they're just there to either check off on something or tell me it's wrong.

The only thing that really screams out with your pictures is all that drain line is flat and shallow. It doesn't look anywhere close to having the min (absolutely min) 1/4" per foot (thats 20" for you) so your going to have some flow/blockage issue. Not to mention what will happen when that line freezes solid in the winter time!
Marq1 brings up a very good and very obvious point. The lack of fall in your drain line. How much fall do you have between where the drain pipe exits the garage and where it connects to the septic? Is a gravity line even possible or do you need to install a collection pit and pump?
There is fall but I'll have to wait for the trench to drain to measure as the pipe is currently floating. That of course doesn't resolve the issue of freezing which I hadn't thought of.

Not that is related to the question, how was this "apartment" plumbed originally?
I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand. Are you asking who did it? The PO had the garage built, permitted for a "storage space" above the garage and once the final was done for that, pirated in the electrical and plumbing. The inspector said from the looks of the plumbing visible from the garage ceiling and in the apt, it was done by a competent plumber but it's still all got to get cut open as I have to show code compliance for what's there now. That means opening up all the walls with elec and water for inspections. That also includes the septic, which actually has to come first before I can do anything else at all with them. The county won't come out to look at anything until the dept of health has checked off on my septic connection.
 
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Old 10-30-21, 07:25 AM
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That of course doesn't resolve the issue of freezing which I hadn't thought of.
If you have the proper slope the freezing issue wont exist but that is a long run, I have gutters that have runs that long but they drop around 5' so they don't freeze.

​​​​​​​I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand.
Just curious, was it somehow plumbed to the septic tank originally or even hooked up?

 
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Old 10-30-21, 07:27 AM
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Old 10-30-21, 07:34 AM
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Just curious, was it somehow plumbed to the septic tank originally or even hooked up?
I think I understand what you mean. This septic connection has existed for over a decade. The PO rented out the space and the apartment has been dumping into the main house's septic tank the whole time. We bought the house with the space being advertised as "an extra office, complete with kitchen and bath" which we later found out wasn't a legal description. I found this out when pulling a permit to build a deck to connect to the apartment.
 
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Old 10-30-21, 12:06 PM
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I know this is off topic but it's an intriguing situation and I hope your able to resolve.

the apartment has been dumping into the main house's septic tank the whole time
So how was it plumbed before vs what your pictures show?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the need to install an 80' line for something, right or wrong, that was somehow working for a decade.
 
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Old 10-30-21, 12:40 PM
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So how was it plumbed before vs what your pictures show?
The line you're looking at is how it was plumbed. I just dug it up. I'm not making any changes because of some deficiency in how it has performed. I'm expecting to have to make changes because the state has told me it needs to be brought to code so a conditional permit can be issued for the system. For instance, one of the people I've spoken to during this process has told me that I need to have cleanouts every 50 feet which it does not. I've not checked the fall yet but if my luck continues in it's current direction, I would wager that the fall and minimum depth will both need to be changed, requiring the entire thing to be altered.
 
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Old 12-07-21, 06:51 PM
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Hi there guys, just wrapping this thread up. $4500 later(including the preparation and submission of the state dept of health package), an entire new line(enlarged to 4") was installed. They terminated the original connection to the main septic line and moved the connection directly to the tank, added cleanouts and placed the properly spaced cleanouts. I'm free and clear now to start tearing apart the apartment above the garage to start the process of bringing it up to code.

Thanks to everyone for all your thoughts, suggestions and help. It was greatly appreciated!
 
 

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