Septic System Construction

For many years, designers of high strength systems, e.g., for restaurants, RV parks, church halls, etc., due to ignorance of the different characteristics of high strength wastewater, have called for standard systems sized on estimated hydraulic loading. DR's, equally ignorant, have approved these designs. There was no thought given to organic loadings, to peak flow patterns or to any type of long term monitoring of system performance. The general public has come, therefore, to incorrectly expect systems that are based only on their projected hydraulic demands.

However, designers, now armed with technological advances and working in a highly litigious society, wish to proceed with accurate organic loading determinations and design approaches to them. Erratic flow patterns can be attenuated and long term performance standards can result in systems that are adjusted based on actual hydraulic and organic monitoring.

The dilemma comes in, then, when a designer suggests a system that is quite a bit more elaborate and complex than what the developer or property owner is expecting. Why should he be the first one on the block to have to install such a large and complicated system? Note, here, that he's unaware of the fact that almost all of his predecessors, with their small, standard systems did, in fact, experience serious system failures. The system size, complexity and cost that the informed designer now suggests is quite a shock to him and, even more upsetting, are the land requirements of the system. With today's very high commercial property prices (now going by the square INCH!), the cost of the land upon which to place such a system is a serious budgetary concern.

In such a high strength situation, then, the designer is facing unknown wastewater parameters, complex design requirements, a tight budget, small land space, a DR who is unfamiliar with high strength designs and thus won't back him up, hard-to-find technical guidance from the industry and a highly litigious property owner who will hold him responsible for the system's proper functioning.



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