Septic Tank Design; Best Practices From The Experts At BBB Septic

Concrete Septic holding tanks being buried

If you’re looking to replace or install a septic tank system on your property, you need to be sure you work with an experienced company that can handle all of your needs and answer all of your questions from designing the system and discussing permit applications, to installing your new system and maintaining it. A poorly designed or installed system can result in health hazards, environmental pollution, property damage, costly replacement, and legal risks. At BBB Septic and Portable Toilets, we can provide the necessary guidance, based on your needs, and can answer every question you have concerning septic system design, installation, and maintenance. 

How Does an Onsite Wastewater System Work? 

The industry term for septic systems is Onsite Wastewater System. “Septic System” is the common term, but because all system types aren’t septic (some are aerobic), the official term is Onsite Wastewater. Onsite means the wastewater system is treated on the site or on the property that it is serving instead of being piped to a big, central treatment facility. Approximately 40% of Arkansans are served by onsite wastewater systems. Nationally, approximately 25% of people utilize an onsite wastewater system. Since the wastewater of a home, restaurant, or office is being dispersed and treated mere feet from the building, it is very important for a “septic system” to be designed and installed correctly. 

Whether you live in Bella Vista, Cave Springs, or Centerton, you need to work with a reliable and experienced septic system company that can ensure your system is properly designed, installed, and maintained. 

Properly maintaining your system is of the utmost importance in order to keep it functioning properly for as long as possible. Failure to do so can result in the need to replace your entire system. 

BBB Septic and Portable Toilets can provide all of those services and more here in Northwest Arkansas.

Licensed Septic System Designer 

The first step in getting a “septic system” is to hire an Arkansas licensed Septic System Designer in Benton & Washington Counties, or the surrounding area. Your local health department can provide you with a list for your area. The Septic System Designer will meet you at your property and discuss your building plans. Or, if your current septic system is having problems, they will work with you to design a repair solution. The designer will bring an excavator or backhoe to dig soil test pits. These test pits will be about 4 ft deep, 3 ft wide and 6 ft long. The designer will climb down into the pit and evaluate the soil. In evaluating the soil, the designer looks for signs of water saturation, clay percentage, depth to bedrock, compaction, and more. These observations and the number of bedrooms in a home (depends on the project), will determine the type and size of onsite wastewater system that will be needed. In some cases, the soil test reveals that the soil will not support any type of wastewater system and the land may be unbuildable.

Working with a knowledgeable septic system designer in Bentonvillve can ensure you choose the right size and type of wastewater system for your home. To learn more about how a septic system designer can help, contact the team at BBB Septic and Portable Toilets. 

Field Design 

The second step is the field design. The designer will bring equipment to the site to take specific measurements and mark the locations of the house, septic tank, distribution device and absorption lines. There must be a certain amount of elevation change between the house and the tank, the tank and the distribution device and the distribution device and the absorption lines. The absorption lines must be no more than 100 feet long each and must follow the contour of the land. There are many rules and regulations overseeing the design of a septic system. For example, no part of a septic system can be within 100 feet of a drinking water well (to prevent groundwater contamination). Our septic system designers have extensive field design experience and know the importance of getting the job done right, the first time. 

Permit Application Packet

The third step will be to prepare the permit application packet. Included in this packet are officially required forms with information about the property owner, the location, system type and soil test results. In addition, the elevation measurements for the different components, product specification sheets and a detailed drawing of the septic system is required. This packet is then submitted to the Arkansas Department of Health (with a review fee) for consideration.

The Arkanasa Department of Health has offices for each fo the 75 counties in Arkansas, our team will submit the application to the county office in which the design request is located. 

Application Evaluation 

The fourth step is for the health department to evaluate the application. This involves the inspector making a site visit to ensure that the inspector and the designer agree on the soil test. The inspector will double check all the field markings of the components to see if the layout meets code. They will evaluate the paper application and then issue a Permit for Construction for an Onsite Wastewater System. This permit is valid for installation for up to 1 year.

Hiring the Right Arkansas Licensed Septic System Installer 

The fifth step is to hire an Arkansas licensed Septic System Installer. The Installer will install the system according to the design and using proper installation techniques, such as not digging in the soil when it is too wet or using gravel to make a level bed for the septic tank. The Installer makes careful measurements throughout the installation process to ensure the system is installed correctly. Some systems may be installed in a day, some may take a week or more depending on their complexity. The health department will inspect the system’s construction. The inspector inspects the construction of the system and issues the Permit for Operation. The Installer will educate the owner about their system and instruct them on any necessary maintenance. If you need a knowledgeable and experienced licensed septic system installer in Rogers or the surrounding area, contact BBB Septic and Portable Toilets today to schedule an appointment. 

The Importance of System Maintenance 

After the system is in use, it is the owner’s responsibility to have regular maintenance performed. The type of maintenance required depends on the type of system that is installed. However, all septic tanks must be cleaned out regularly (aka pumped). How often depends on a variety of factors, but every 5 years is a good rule of thumb. It is a myth that you should only pump out your septic tank when you have a problem. By the time you have a problem, you have most likely already destroyed the system beyond repair and an expensive replacement will be required. A septic tank’s purpose is to catch solids that flow out of the building. So every time a toilet is flushed or the dishwasher finishes a cycle, all of that waste goes into the septic tank. Things that float will go to the top forming the Scum layer. Things that sink will go to the bottom forming the sludge layer. That leaves a more clear layer in the middle. This clear layer flows out of the septic tank and into the absorption field for treatment. Those captured solids don’t entirely break down and build up in the tank. So the scum layer and sludge layer get thicker and thicker over time. If the tank isn’t cleaned out every so often, then those solids can be forced out of the tank and will clog the absorption field. If this happens, then the wastewater will no longer be able to absorb into the soil and will pool on the surface of the ground. This is a health and environmental hazard that will need to be fixed quickly. Unfortunately, it may require a new permit and a new septic system installation.  Hiring an Arkansas-licensed septic tank cleaner to pump out your septic tank is similar to changing the oil in your car. It keeps everything working smoothly and is vital to protecting a major investment in your property.

While the work is inspected by the health department, they only see the finished product, not the entire process. It is very important to hire licensed, experienced, credible professionals for all of your septic system needs. BBB Septic and Portable Toilets is your one-stop shop for all things onsite wastewater.

Contact the Septic System Experts at BBB Septic and Portable Toilets 

At BBB Septic and Portable Toilets, It’s our goal to educate Arkansans on the proper septic system and wastewater design, installation, and maintenance process and the best practices to follow to protect your individual wastewater systems and the environment. 

We work hard to provide excellent customer service to our clients and identify their septic tank issues, whatever they may be, and go above and beyond to resolve them. Plain and simple. If you’re having issues with your septic system, or you need an experienced crew to design, install, or maintain your system, contact the team at BBB Septic and Portable Toilets today to schedule an appointment.

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