How to Make a Septic Tank: Essential Steps & Maintenance

How to Make a Septic Tank?

To make a septic tank with concrete blocks, follow these steps:

1.

Determine the size and location of the tank based on the number of people and daily wastewater volume.

2.

Dig a pit that is larger than the septic tank, ensuring it has a flat base.

3.

Create a gravel bed over the pit’s base to stabilize the ground.

4.

Use reinforced concrete to create a 100mm deep floor for the septic tank.

5.

Use concrete blocks reinforced with steel bars for the walls, leaving a gap between the blocks and the pit’s wall.

6.

Set vertical steel rebar to reinforce the walls.

7.

Fill the exterior blocks with concrete to make the tank watertight.

8.

Create a trench from the house’s drainpipe to the pit, sloping it away from the house.

9.

Install lengths of 4-inch pipe in the trench, connecting the house’s septic pipeline to the pit.

10.

Purchase a properly sized, airtight, and watertight septic tank lid.

Maintenance tips for septic tanks include avoiding greasy substances down the drain, professional draining every two years, periodic effluent addition, and avoiding chemical solutions.

It is important to document servicing works and only allow trained professionals to repair the system.

Septic tanks should be pumped out every 2-5 years, and concrete blocks are recommended due to durability and low maintenance.

Key Points:

  • Determine the size and location of the septic tank based on wastewater volume and number of people.
  • Dig a pit larger than the septic tank and create a flat base for stability.
  • Use reinforced concrete to create a 100mm deep floor for the septic tank.
  • Build walls using concrete blocks reinforced with steel bars, leaving a gap between the blocks and pit’s wall.
  • Set vertical steel rebar to reinforce the walls and fill exterior blocks with concrete for a watertight tank.
  • Install lengths of 4-inch pipe to connect the house’s septic pipeline to the pit.


Did You Know?

1. Did you know that the concept of a septic tank dates back to ancient civilizations? The first known evidence of early septic systems can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which existed around 2,600 BC.

2. In the late 19th century, before the invention of modern septic tanks, some households would rely on cesspools – deep holes dug to collect waste. Distinguished individuals sometimes had their cesspools adorned with decorative covers to disguise their purpose and maintain an aesthetic appearance.

3. A little-known fact about septic tanks is that their efficiency can be affected by temperature. Cold climates may cause the bacteria responsible for breaking down waste to operate at a slower rate, resulting in potential issues with the system. Special insulation techniques and heaters may be required in such regions.

4. The size of a septic tank can vary greatly depending on the number of people using it and the water usage of a household. To give you an idea, a typical tank for a single-family home in the United States ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 gallons, but it can be larger for larger households or commercial buildings.

5. Nowadays, some septic tanks can be made from recycled materials, such as high-density polyethylene, a type of plastic made from petroleum waste. These tanks offer an environmentally friendly alternative that reduces waste and helps conserve natural resources.

What Is A Septic Tank?

A septic tank is an essential component of a home’s sewage system, particularly in areas without access to main sewerage pipes or proper drainage systems. It serves as a large tank that stores wastewater and treats sewage on a small scale. Typically, septic tanks are installed 1.5m-1.8m below ground level.

The function of a septic tank is to hold wastewater from various sources in the home, such as the bath, toilet, and kitchen. It receives wastewater through an inlet pipe and processes it through a series of biological and physical processes. Anaerobic bacteria break down heavy solids into sludge and gases, while grease and oil particles float to the surface to form scum. The treated wastewater then flows out of the tank through an outlet pipe for further processing. Regular draining of the tank is necessary to maintain its functionality.

  • A septic tank is crucial in areas without access to main sewerage pipes or proper drainage systems.
  • It stores wastewater and treats sewage on a small scale.
  • The tank is typically installed 1.5m-1.8m below ground level.
  • The septic tank receives wastewater from sources like the bath, toilet, and kitchen.
  • It uses biological and physical processes to break down solids and separate scum.
  • Treated wastewater flows out of the tank through an outlet pipe.
  • Regular draining is essential to maintain the tank’s functionality.

“A septic tank is like a hidden hero, silently treating wastewater and maintaining proper sanitation.”

Types Of Septic Tanks And Their Pros And Cons

Septic tanks can be made from various materials, including concrete, concrete blocks, high-density plastic, fiberglass, or fiber-reinforced plastic. Each material has its pros and cons, and the choice depends on factors such as cost, durability, and maintenance requirements.

Related Post:  How to Run Washing Machine Drain Outside: Key Considerations and Methods for Proper Installation

Concrete block septic tanks are commonly used due to their weight, strength, and longevity. They are more watertight and less likely to leak compared to plastic tanks. Concrete block septic tanks are also resistant to damage from shifting soil compositions, tree roots, and weather. Additionally, they retain heat better, which encourages the growth of bacteria that break down waste. Concrete block septic tanks require less maintenance compared to plastic tanks. They are considered the most cost-effective option for installation and long-term maintenance.

Plastic tanks may have lower upfront costs, but they can lead to greater maintenance costs in the long run. They are more prone to leakage and damage from external factors. However, they may be suitable for areas with sandy soil conditions, where the risk of shifting is minimal.

  • Concrete block septic tanks:
    • Pros: weight, strength, longevity, watertightness, resistance to damage from shifting soil compositions, tree roots, and weather, heat retention, low maintenance, cost-effective.
    • Cons: none mentioned.
  • Plastic tanks:
    • Pros: lower upfront costs.
    • Cons: greater maintenance costs, prone to leakage and damage.

Building A Septic Tank With Concrete Blocks: Step-By-Step Guide

To build a septic tank with concrete blocks, follow these essential steps:

  • Determine the size and location of the tank based on factors such as the number of people in the home and daily wastewater volume.
  • Dig a pit for the septic tank that is at least 2 meters longer in width and length than the septic tank.
  • Ensure the pit has a flat base, and if the soil type is sand, pour a perimeter footing for added stability.
  • Create a gravel bed at least 6 inches deep over the pit’s base to stabilize the ground beneath the septic tank.
  • Use reinforced concrete to create a 100 mm deep floor for the septic tank, reinforcing it according to local building codes.
  • Use concrete blocks reinforced with steel bars for the septic tank walls, leaving a gap of about 6 inches between the blocks and the pit’s wall.
  • Set vertical steel rebar at a depth of 30 mm below the finished floor to reinforce the septic tank walls.
  • Fill the exterior blocks with concrete to ensure the tank is watertight.
  • Create a trench from the house’s drainpipe’s exit point in the foundation to the pit’s inlet, sloping it away from the house and into the pit.
  • Install lengths of 4-inch pipe in the trench, connecting the house’s septic pipeline to the pit’s lining.
  • Purchase a properly sized, airtight, and watertight septic tank lid from a concrete block manufacturing company.
Related Post:  How to Connect Pipes Under Sink: A StepbyStep DIY Guide

It is crucial to adhere to local building codes and regulations during the construction process to ensure the septic tank functions effectively and complies with safety standards.

Important Maintenance Tips For Septic Tanks

Proper maintenance is essential to prolong the lifespan and functionality of a septic tank. Here are some important maintenance tips to consider:

  • Avoid putting greasy substances down the drain as they can cause clogs and interfere with the bacterial breakdown process.
  • Professional draining and cleaning of the septic system are necessary every two years to remove accumulated solids and scum from the tank.
  • Periodically add effluent to the septic tank to replenish the bacterial population necessary for effective waste breakdown.
  • Avoid using chemical solutions in septic systems as they can disrupt the biological balance and kill the beneficial bacteria.
  • Keep thorough documentation of servicing works, such as pumping, inspections, and repairs, to ensure a complete record of the septic tank’s maintenance history.
  • Repairing a septic system should only be done by trained professionals to avoid further damage and ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Leach field replacement, if required, may involve heavy machinery and excavation. It is crucial to hire professionals for this task to ensure proper installation and functionality.
  • Septic tanks have a range of gases, some of which can be lethal if inhaled. Never enter a septic tank without proper safety precautions and training.
  • Septic tank installation should be done by qualified professionals, and the use of concrete block tanks is recommended for their durability and low maintenance requirements.

Common Issues And Solutions For Septic Tanks

Several common issues may arise with septic tanks, but most can be resolved with proper maintenance and prompt action. Some common issues and their solutions include:

  • Clogging: Clogging can occur if cooking oils and fats are excessively disposed of. To prevent clogs, avoid pouring excessive oil and fat down the drain and use sink strainers to catch solid debris.

  • Overloading: Overloading can occur due to plumbing leaks or excessive water usage, leading to too much water in the tank. To prevent overloading the septic system, repair any plumbing leaks promptly and practice water conservation.

  • Regular Pumping: Septic tanks should be pumped out every 2-5 years, depending on the tank size and household usage. Regular pumping prevents solids from accumulating and clogging the system.

  • Maintenance of the Drain Field: The drain field is a crucial component of the septic system. Avoid parking cars or heavy machinery on the drain field, as this can compact the soil and reduce its ability to absorb effluent. It is necessary to regularly inspect and maintain the drain field to ensure its proper functioning.

6. Choosing The Right Septic Tank Size For Your Home

The size of a septic tank depends on various factors, including waste volume, home area, and local regulations. It is essential to choose the right size to ensure the septic tank can handle the household’s wastewater effectively.

Consult a professional septic tank installer or engineer to determine the appropriate tank size for your specific needs. Factors such as the number of occupants, average daily water usage, and the presence of water-intensive appliances (such as dishwashers and washing machines) should be considered in the calculation.

Choosing the correct septic tank size is crucial to avoid overloading the system, which can lead to backups, odors, and costly repairs in the future.

In conclusion, septic tanks are an essential component of homes in areas without main sewerage pipes or proper drainage systems. Building a septic tank with concrete blocks can provide durability, low maintenance, and cost-effectiveness. However, regular maintenance, proper waste disposal practices, and adherence to local regulations are necessary to ensure the longevity and functionality of the septic system. By following the steps outlined above and implementing proper maintenance practices, homeowners can enjoy a reliable and efficient septic system for many years to come.

  • Size of septic tank depends on waste volume, home area, and local regulations
  • Choose the right size to ensure the tank can handle wastewater effectively
  • Consult a professional to determine the appropriate tank size
  • Consider factors such as number of occupants, average daily water usage, and water-intensive appliances
  • Avoid overloading the system to prevent backups, odors, and costly repairs
  • Septic tanks are essential in areas without main sewerage pipes or proper drainage systems
  • Building a septic tank with concrete blocks provides durability, low maintenance, and cost-effectiveness
  • Regular maintenance, proper waste disposal, and adherence to local regulations are necessary
  • Follow the outlined steps for a reliable and efficient septic system
  • Implement proper maintenance practices for longevity and functionality.
Related Post:  How Far Should AC Drain Line Be From House to Prevent Water Damage?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you construct a septic tank?

To construct a septic tank, the first step is to determine the desired size and location. Careful consideration should be given to the depth of the tank. Once the measurements are finalized, the pit for the tank is excavated. The floor lining is then formed to create a stable foundation for the tank. With the base in place, the walls of the septic tank are built using sturdy materials. The next step involves creating the inlet and outlet drains, which will allow for the flow of wastewater in and out of the tank. Finally, a roof is constructed to protect the septic tank from external elements. This process ensures the proper functionality and longevity of the septic tank system.

What material is used for septic tanks?

Septic tanks are commonly constructed using various materials, including concrete, concrete blocks, fiber-reinforced plastic, high-density plastic, or fiberglass. These materials are chosen for their durability, strength, and resistance to corrosion and leakage. Concrete and concrete blocks offer stability and robustness, with the added benefit of being readily available and cost-effective. Fiber-reinforced plastic and high-density plastic are popular options due to their lightweight yet durable nature, which makes them easier to transport and install. Fiberglass is also commonly used for septic tanks, offering excellent resistance to corrosion and external damages. Ultimately, the choice of material depends on factors such as budget, local regulations, and the specific needs of the septic system.

What is the smallest septic tank?

One might think that a 750-gallon septic tank is the smallest available, however, its usage might not comply with local regulations. It is advisable to consult your local health department as the minimum tank size required in your area could be 1,000 gallons. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure compliance and seek accurate information before installing a septic system.

What is size of septic tank?

The dimensions of a septic tank can vary based on the needs and size of the property it serves. While a typical residential septic tank is generally around 4.5 feet wide, 8.0 feet long, and 6 feet tall, it is essential to note that these measurements are not universal. It is important to determine the specific size of your septic tank because it may differ depending on factors such as the property’s waste production, number of occupants, and local regulations. Consulting with a professional or referring to documentation specific to your septic system can provide you with the accurate size of your septic tank.

References: 1, 2, 3, 4