How to Install a Septic Tank and Field Line Sewer System

Septic system installation should not be attempted by anyone who isn’t a heavy-equipment operator. You’ll still need professional assistance even if you have heavy equipment and know how it works.

A soil expert will evaluate the site. An engineer will design an appropriate system. A plumbing contractor can install and connect pipes. And an electrician may be needed to set up pumps and timers. You can be involved in the process as a homeowner but you will need to have a licensed person in charge.

Septic System Design Variations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has nine different types of septic system. This doesn’t include gravity-fed systems which rely on transfer pumps. The conventional system is made up of a septic field and a septic container. It’s the typical system that most people think of, but there are other options.

It is up to the local health authorities whether they require a different system. This depends on the soil quality, topography and drainage conditions as well as the expected usage. An engineer will need to work with them and obtain the permits necessary in order for the design and installation of the system. Some systems require the importation of filler materials such as sand or gravel, as well as other septic components than the traditional tank and perforated drainage pipes.

Installation Isn’t a Straight Shot

It’s not always a simple task to install a septic system once a homeowner has plans and an engineer. Mr. Rooter advises homeowners who are considering installing their septic system components themselves: don’t. It is just too risky to install a septic system yourself. This could lead to poor drainage in your home, or inefficient plumbing.

If you are a do-it yourselfer or if circumstances force you to do it, you can install a conventional system with ease if you have an excavation and crane available. Remember that every part of the system must be inspected prior to backfilling to ensure the installation is legal.

Installing a Conventional Septic System

After approving your plan, you start the conventional septic system by digging a hole to place the tank. You drop the tank in the hole and connect it to the building’s sewer using 3- or 4-inch waste pipes, which must maintain an incline toward the tank. Then you extend a drainage pipe from the other side of the tank to the distribution box located within the drain field.

Then, dig parallel trenches from the box to the drain field. In each trench, lay a gravel bed followed by perforated pipes of 3 or 4 inches. Connect the pipes to the box for distribution and cover. Plan dictates the depth of pipes in the drainfield as well as backfill material.

If your property’s topography does not allow for a constant downward slope, you will need to install a pump to move the effluent upwards to the drainfield.

It is essential that the pump be powered and has an alarm system to alert you if there are any problems. Installation by a licensed electrical contractor is recommended because servicing the pump can be a messy process.

This post was written by Tanner Brown. Tanner is the Owner and operator of Greenbar Excavation. Greenbar Excavation is a fully licensed, insured, and accredited Excavation company based in Prineville, Oregon. Greenbar Excavation is one of the top companies for Septic pumping in Prineville Oregon. Don’t look further, go with the company with your best interest in mind!