Septic System Installed

The septic system was installed last week.  This is one of the last big risky items that was left.  I say risky because you never know what you are going to find when you start digging.  They had to lay over 600 feet of drain field so there was definitely a risk that we would incur some unexpected expenses.  Good news though, everything went as planned.  Here is a quick recap on all the steps involved.

The first step in getting a septic system installed is getting a permit.  Getting the permit was discussed in a previous post you can find HERE.  You also have to find an installer…we are using a builder and went with his recommendation.

For those who don’t know much about septic systems (like us), there are several key components to most septic systems, including the type we have installed. I won’t cover all of the components…you can click HERE if you’d like to learn more but I will discuss the three main parts of the system we installed.


The first key part is the main septic tank(s).  We had two 1,500 gallon tanks installed.  These tanks are the first stage in turning the influent (dirty sewage from the house) into clean effluent (water).  They also provide an initial storage for the waste water until it can be processed by the next two parts.  Here is a picture of what the tanks look like (I only have a picture at nighttime since by the next morning when we arrived they were already buried by the installer):

Septic Tanks
Septic Tanks

The waste water eventually transitions into the next major stage which is the aerobic treatment unit (ATU).  We have two ATUs installed for our system.  The ATUs are manufactured by Delta Environmental (the model we are using is the DF-60).  The job of the ATU is to accelerate the cleaning of the influent by pretreating wastewater by adding air to break down organic matter, reduce pathogens, and transform nutrients. Compared to conventional septic tanks, ATUs break down organic matter more efficiently, resulting in quicker decomposition of organic solids and a reduction in the concentration of pathogens in the wastewater.  Here is a picture of the ATU’s after they were installed:

Septic System Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) installed (Model DF60)
Septic System Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) installed (Model DF60)

The effluent leaving the ATU’s is then pumped into over 600 feet of drain field.  The drain pipes are surrounded with aggregate that is held in place with durable, high-strength netting.  The aggregate helps prevent surrounding dirt and rocks from forming a “biomat” around the pipes which would prevent proper drainage and also helps improve the rate of dispersion of the effluent.  Here is a picture of the pipes taken the night they were installed:

Septic System Drain Field Pipes installed

By the next morning the pipes were all buried:

Septic System Drain Field - Buried
Septic System Drain Field – Buried

Our septic drain field is mostly running under the future location of the horse and cow pastures.  Here is a picture of the drain field location (if you look closely you can see the arc made of dirt in the grass…the drain field runs from the buried ATUs, over to the trees on the left, and then curves and runs back in the same direction towards where it started):

Septic System Drain Field
Septic System Drain Field

Now that the septic is in they can continue grading and then they can build the porches and decks!  On the inside the house is almost ready for sheetrock, cabinets, wood floors, and trim!  Only about 2 months left to go before we can move in!

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