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Septic Systems Handbook, Second Edition


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Table of Contents

WHY PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCIES CONTROL THE DISPOSAL OF DOMESTIC SEWAGE. Consequences of Improper Disposal of Sewage. Categories of Causative Agents and Specific Diseases. The Cost of Prevention. Relevance. THE SEPTIC SYSTEM. The Septic Tank. Leachfield. ECONOMICS OF LEACHFIELD SIZE. A Lowest-Cost Leachline Is Built to Last Indefinitely. Optimal Size of Leachfields. SOILS AT A GLANCE. SOIL WATER MOVEMENT. Infiltration and Percolation. Capillary Flow. Plant Transpiration. Rest and Digest Suggestion. Problems. THE PERCOLATION TEST, OR PERK TEST. Historical Background and Development of the Perk Test. Evolution of the Standard Perk Test. Evaluation of and Improvements Needed in the EPA Standard Perk Methodology. Problems. SIZE OF LEACHLINE. Practical Size of Leachline. FACTORS AFFECTING FAILURE OF LEACHLINES. Amount and Frequency of Effluent Discharge. Composition of Effluent. Type of Soil, Vegetation, and Climate. Amount and Configuration of Absorption Surface. Installation. User Habits and Behavior. Time (Age). Miscellaneous. A Word to the Wise. SIZE OF SEEPAGE PITS. Sizing Pits Through Standard Leachline Tests. The Falling Head Test. Longevity and Absorption Capacity of Seepage Pits. Sizing Recommendations. Problems. VARIOUS ONSITE SEWAGE DISPOSAL TECHNOLOGIES. Innovative Technologies. Comparisons and Recommendations. Fills for Leachlines. DEGRADATION OF GROUNDWATER BY SEPTIC SYSTEMS. Soils as a Sieve. Microbial Retention Within the Soil. Vertical Separations Between Leachfields and Groundwater or Impermeable Bedrock. Contamination by Extraneous Chemicals. Degradation by Natural Sewage Components. NITRATE IN GROUNDWATER. A Septic System's Nitrogen Inflow and Outflow. What Is Being Done. Dealing with a Specific Problem of Nitrate Pollution. MOUNDING. Mounding Over a Low-Permeability Stratum. Mounding Over a Groundwater Table. Problems. SEPTIC SYSTEMS, SEWERS, AND LAND USE. Availability. Convenience. Cost. Health and Pollution Hazards. Land Use and Environmental Impa

About the Author

O. Benjamin Kaplan


"...anecdotal and highly readable, and the sample problems are interesting and helpful...highly practical...I recommend it to septic system practitioners nationwide."
-Randall B. Brown, Journal of Environmental Quality

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