I live in a house that is over 50 years old and I know the septic tank was installed before we purchased the house in the mid 80s. The house has a 500 gallon septic tank with one field line. We made sure to get it drained regularly but we had to start draining more frequently in recent years. Last month the toilet wouldn't flush and it bubbled up water in the sink and bathtub. To make a long story short it was determined that our field line was completely shot. The guy from the Board of Health said that he was shocked that the system lasted as long as it did with only one field line. Additionally, the plumber said that the line wasn't even installed properly.
Anyway, the gentleman looked at the property on google maps and I showed him where things were located and then did the percolation test. After viewing the property he said we needed a 1,000 gallon tank with 330ft of field lines. Since the lines can't be more than 100ft each, he recommended 4 lines. By my estimation they will need to be about 82.5ft each. He then printed out a list of businesses that were licensed to install septic tank systems. I went through and marked off ones that I knew were too far away and then began calling and trying to get estimates based on the information provided. I got estimates from around $2,700 to $4,000 so far. I'm still waiting for some of them to call me back.
One of the men asked me whether or not I would need a distribution box and indicated that it would cost more to have one put in. Another one said something about only putting in 2 lines but using some sort of different materials. I wasn't sure what he was talking about and he didn't give any names for the products or anything. Another one asked if the permit referenced any possible alternatives.
The very first one I called before I had the permit initially told me it would be between $2,200 to $3,000 depending on what type of system I would need. After hearing the specifications in the permit he said it would be $3,100 to $3,200. One of them told me that the sheer length of the field lines was making it more expensive than installing some other type of system (although he did not specify which type of system was cheaper).
I decided to start looking things up after reading the information packet on septic tanks that the gentleman from Board of Health gave me. I was surprised to see that garbage disposals were on the "no" list for septic tanks. The house had a garbage disposal when we moved in, although we rarely use it. It seemed to me that in order to have four field lines it would require a distributor box. Is this correct?
Lowes and Home Depot have them listed for close to $40. The last installer who called me back was very friendly and informative. He explained the size of the pipes and an estimation of the size of the tank when I told him I was trying to make a diagram. An E-How page said that the holes for the lines have to be at least 6ft apart and that they should be at least 24" wide and 24" to 30" deep. It said the hole for the distribution box would have to be at least 6" wide and 18" deep (I'm sure I broke some grammatical rules by switching up from using ft and then " for inches). Additionally, the last gentleman who called told me that the septic tank has to be at least 10 feet away from the house. I don't think my current one is that far, but I haven't gone out and measured. He also mentioned something called ALC or AFC flu pipe (it was hard to hear on the phone) and he said a 1250gallon tank was around 6feet in diameter. He gave me the number of the place where he buys his plumbing parts and told me to ask for a specific person by name if I had questions. He did say the distribution boxes themselves were inexpensive.
I will say that I don't know if the estimation on our water usage is right because it sometimes seems to take forever for the water to turn hot and we have to leave it running (albeit slowly) until it gets hot.
Anyway, I seem to have digressed.
I am trying to figure out just what I need and what sort of tank I should get (many of the people did not give options but one said he would call back with more info on the different types). None of them mentioned any brands, but the list I was given does have some brand names under some of the businesses. I keep seeing things like Hoot, aqua safe, delta, jet, montgomery, mo-DadII, Solar Air, Jetaire, Cajun Aire, Econo HP, etc. I get the impression some of them refer to pumping systems.
So, does anyone know about the different brands of tanks and pipes and such that would be necessary? After reading the E-How thing I wish I had a backhoe (and knew how to use one). I don't know if I would be allowed to dig the holes myself. The lines will be going out into a field that used to be a garden. There are still a few small fruit trees in there. I have to make sure that none of the lines will bump into existing water lines (there are two water faucets-- one on the north side and another on the south side of the field) but I don't know the pathing of the water lines. They are basically for running hoses to water things or rinse things off.
Another consideration is that I do mow the area with a tractor and I don't want to damage the field lines that way so I don't know how much weight can go over them. I may just have to resort to using a smaller mower or something over the lines.
I'm attaching a google maps satellite view of the property with some markers. The red lines indicate fences. Yellow splotches indicate poles (powerlines are all above ground). The blue marks are for water outlets. The purple marks the existing septic tank and field line.
So, any suggestions on how to do the layout for the field lines? Any other advice or tips?
Thanks in advance.
Note: Forgot to save edits to the picture before uploading. Couldn't delete the first one. Oops.
Also, only the house is hooked to the sewage system. The other buildings basically just have water for hoses or water troughs for the barnyard animals.