Arobic Septic System
When we are hired to design an OSSF, we designers come to the property with an open mind. After all, we are primarily technicians and want to follow a step-by-step method of analyzing the situation in accordance with all requirements, including the TCEQ Regulations and other industry standards. The outcome of this scientific work is a design that will ensure the property owner a system that will function properly, provide aesthetically pleasing service and be friendly to the environment.
A challenge, however, comes in when property owners, not being on-site professionals, bring to the table their personal and prejudiced opinions. These deeply set perceptions may include pejorative concepts of OSSFs, desires of certain types of systems which they THINK they prefer and subjective opinions about what type of system is best for their purposes.
The situation is confounded when the Designated Representative (DR) has predetermined certain types of systems for certain situations. Sometimes these might conflict with what a property owner desires on their specific properties. (Each DR interprets the on-site regulations differently, emphasizes different sections, etc.)
Thus, predetermined system types from the person who is paying the designer and from the person who is overseeing the designer sometimes come into conflict with what the actual site evaluation might dictate.
A common example is found in the case of the aerobic treatment unit (ATU). It often happens that a property owner will call a designer and, in the course of the appointment-setting conversation, already make it clear that he has "heard of the awful maintenance" that is required on ATUs. He is used a standard system his entire life and wishes, on this new home, to continue to do so. The field evaluation reveals a property that has solid rock sub-soil, extremely variable contours and a multitude of trees. The perception and stated desire of the person who is signing the designer's check is thus in direct contraire with what the DR will accept and what the professional, technical analysis dictates. The designer is in a dilemma.
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