How to Construct a Small Septic System

A septic system.

Adding a small septic system can take a lot of wear and tear off your larger one. This is a great project especially if you're experiencing problems with pumping the current system often. Here’s how you can do it.

Step 1 - Analyze the Soil

You will need to know how much percolation the soil can handle. To do this, you will need two separate holes about 5 feet deep. You need to be able to get a person into the hole to grab some samples. This can now be tested with a home testing kit. You will also want your local health department to check the soil as well. The finer the dirt, the longer the system needs to be. Each locale will have their own regulations regarding the septic system requirements.

Step 2 - Make Blueprints

You need to lay out a good blueprint of the system you plan to build. This will need to be sent to the health department and the zoning boards to determine if you need to make any changes to the layout or location.

Step 3 - Dig a Trench

Once you have approval from all the necessary boards and agencies, you can begin construction on your system. Start this by digging a trench. This should lead to the septic tank. You will also need a trench for the pipe and the distribution box. Another trench will be needed for the lines that will run to the field system. For the trench leading to the septic tank, you want to create an incline that is at least 1/8 inch for each foot from the house the septic tank will be. The other trenches need to have a slight incline as well, but these don’t need to be as perfect.

Step 4 - Install the Tank

You can now place the smaller tank ensuring the pipes from the house slope the right way. You want to make sure the slope is perfect, too much of a slope can be very bad. If the water runs too quickly because the slope is too much, then waste can get lodged. If it’s not enough of a slope, it won’t flow well.

Step 5 - Lay Pipe

Once the tank is in place you can lay down the line from the tank in to the diverter box. From the box you need to lay more line to the drain field. The slope of the lines here only needs to be about 1/64 inch.

Step 6 - Finish It Up

You can now put a layer of gravel down. Make sure this is level. Lay down your perforated PVC or attach it to a board to make sure it’s level if you choose to use gravel for the drain field.

Now you can test the system and start enjoying your second small septic tank.