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Old 06-18-2003, 08:24 AM   #1
hammerhead
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Workshop Septic Tank

I have a 24 x 24 workshop/party house on a slab in my back yard. Would like to add a toilet, but my septic tank is in the front of the house and uphill. Have any of you ever rigged up your own small septic system just for a workshop or weekend cabin? I don't expect much going into the tank but some peepee and maybe some toilet tissue every now and then.
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Old 06-18-2003, 09:20 AM   #2
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This is not recommended practice, nor approved by anybody in authority, and probably shouldn't be done under any circumstances, except the end of civilization as we know it. The marina I used to frequent had several campers with sanitary drain hookups. These hookups went to a 55 gal drum that was perforated and buried in the ground surrounded by drain field gravel. A leach pit. It worked until the drum rusted thru and collapsed. The marina was not civilized (as we know it).

Proper leach pits can be made with concrete cores, if approved by your local authorities. In the absence of authority, obtain a plastic 55-gal drum and weight it with a few inches of concrete in the bottom. Use a tee or wye fitting for the inlet so you have a clean-out port. Put the inlet through the top of the drum.




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Old 06-18-2003, 08:46 PM   #3
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Real common for folks to do that sort of thing in this part of the country until not too many years ago, Rex. Less common now, but still done. Usta be for whatever dwelling was used to house their live-in ranch help, and built without permit or inspection of any kind. Only in the past ten years or so have most local counties gotten really serious about such construction.

Anyway, they can be adequate and functional for many years with just a little care in the construction. I think you'll find that it is generally accepted that 500 gallons is the smallest tank that is approved for any residential system, and that most permitting entities now require at least two compartments in the tank for a standard leach-field type system. Many, many systems like you are contemplating have been built and used with much smaller tanks, but you really want the biggest tank you can reasonably get hold of, and said tank should be concrete or plastic (my county still has no specs for, and will not approve, a fiberglass tank, but they are in use in many, many other places). The 55 gallon barrel is a little small, but lots of them have been the basis for "Julio house" systems for years. Part of the problem with them is that there just isn't enough distance between the input and output pipes, both of which should be 4" PVC Tee fittings, especially the output.

And I don't like the idea of just letting the thing drain into whatever pit the tank is buried in. It isn't all that difficult to make a short run of lateral field for the liquid output of the tank to disperse into, making the system dozens of times more efficient than just a deep gravel pit kinda thing.

Gimme a shout if you want more information. Not that I've ever actually built an un-permitted system for a customer, mind ya.

But I have some experience on the legal ones.
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Old 06-19-2003, 05:42 AM   #4
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I said it was an uncivilized marina!
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Old 06-19-2003, 05:45 AM   #5
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Thanks CX, exactly what I was looking for. I have a 55 Gal plastic drum that I plan on burying with a perforated outlet pipe. Like I said, I hope the only thing floating around in there is liquid, but you never know.

How long do you think the leach field should be? My soil is very sandy and easy to dig in. Any other pointers would be very helpful.

Thanks
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Old 06-19-2003, 12:22 PM   #6
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If you've got the property, I like the method of sending the brown water through a garden of aquatic plants, collecting it and using it to provide irrigation for the rest or your property.
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Old 06-19-2003, 06:08 PM   #7
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C'mon Sonnie, rice paddies in NC?

I once built a system like that for a washing machine, being a city kid I put it next to the well. Ooops!
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Old 06-20-2003, 07:39 AM   #8
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My mom's house was built in 1949 and the gray water from the washing machine and kitchen sink flow out of a pipe at the edge of the yard into some low ground. Dad planted some bamboo back before I was born and that stuff grows like kudzu. Maybe got something to do with that gray water?
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Old 06-20-2003, 04:28 PM   #9
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Bamboo grows like crazy anyhow, it's grass!
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Old 07-20-2003, 03:28 PM   #10
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WoW Man........ Jim, I wish I found that out earlier..
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:28 AM   #11
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Ceramic Septic Tanks

My house was built in 1850 and in the mid 1950's indoor plumbing was installed. The owners installed 2 - 125 gallons ceramic septic pots. We just had them completely pumped out a few weeks ago, but my wife and I can still smell sewage in the house. The guy that pumped them told me that we should pump them every year - there are 5 of us in the house. The tanks leach into a run off area. The kitchen sink has a gray drain line, so that does not go into the tanks. What is the best way to get the odor out of the house?
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