Homes built in areas without a hook-up to a municipal wastewater system need to know how to install a septic line to provide drainage to an adjoining septic tank system. Normally, septic tank wastewater systems are found in rural areas where you might build a summer home or ski cabin in the mountains or possibly a ranch or farm house. In any situation where there is no hook-up to a shared wastewater disposal system, you should learn how to install the needed septic lines.
Step 1 – Self Educate
Gain a good understanding of how your septic system works including knowledge about all the components and the entire process that takes place in disposing your personal wastewater. Make sure to read the local codes because many communities will require a “perc” test that will determine how well percolation takes place through the soil. A good understanding of the entire process will help you to install your septic lines correctly.
Step 2 - Work to Code
A septic system is an important aspect affecting not only you and your family’s personal health, but can have an effect upon the natural environment and any neighboring properties if it is not installed correctly. Therefore, always follow the specific local building codes so when ready, you can have the construction inspected and approved for use as soon as possible.
Step 3 – Draw up a Plan, Measure and Stake
Many local governments require a septic system plan be drawn and presented for approval before construction begins. Once the plan is approved, stake out the septic line placements by marking the ground with chalk. Make sure you double check your measurements.
Step 4 – Dig Trenches
Use a backhoe to dig trenches where you will install your septic lines. Make sure you dig to the required depth according to local regulations. Always leave enough room between center pieces while also allowing for adequate drops in the line. A typical trench is three-feet deep and one to three feet wide.
Step 5 – Lay Rock or Gravel
Place an appropriate amount of gravel or clean rock in the trenches at least 12 inches deep. Make sure to check your local regulations. Lay your perforated 4-inch PVC pipe on top of the rock or gravel. This piping will carry your liquid waste from the home.
Step 6 – Make Connection
Connect your septic lines to your tank outflow line. You may need to install more than one line depending on what your local codes call for and the number of people that will use the system on a daily basis. Cover the trenches with infill dirt according to code.
Things to Remember
Re-examine each step of the installation process to ensure proper operation since a poorly operated system will present a serious health hazard for you and your family.