How to Install a Septic System at Your Farm or Ranch

Posted on: 26 June 2018

By definition, most farms are rural and cannot take advantage of sewerage systems typically provided by local government. Consequently, they must take matters into their own hands and install a system to process waste products. If you're planning to install such a system in your remote location, what are some of the key points to bear in mind before you begin?

Introducing the Parts

In the vast majority of cases, a modern septic system will consist of two or three parts. A leach drain will allow treated water to disperse into the surrounding soil, while one or two tanks will treat solid waste before it is allowed to move into the drain.

How It Works

A variety of outlets throughout the property are connected to the first tank (or single tank if this is the case) to deliver any solid waste. Once this enters the tank, it will be treated by bacteria living within the water, which will turn the solids into a liquid effluent and a sludge-like substance. The heavier solids will automatically sink to the bottom of the tank and will undergo further decomposition, while a lighter film of oil will float up to the surface and create a barrier of sorts. This helps to keep toxic gas and unpleasant smells within the tank and prevent them from escaping to the atmosphere above. In the case of a single tank system, the liquid that is left will flow through pipes into the leach drain, which is a network of narrow pipes crossing an area just beneath the turf.

If your system has two tanks, then the matter will enter the second tank for additional treatment before it is expelled to the leach field. If it has just one large tank, this is probably divided via a baffle into two sections, with most of the action taking place in the first section and subsequent treatment in the latter.

Size Requirements

The size of the leach drain will be entirely dependent on the type of soil at your farm or ranch. If you have clay underfoot or it is relatively dense, then you will need a much larger drain field. However, you may have to add some soil to the area if the predominant base is sandy, as this will help ensure that the byproduct can be filtered correctly.

What to Avoid

Remember, you will need to ensure that you avoid any underground water systems whenever you install the system, and in particular, make sure that there are no open drainage channels nearby. Do not park any heavy pieces of equipment or vehicles on top of the leach field, as this could cause damage.

Get a full estimate for your septic tanks by talking with installation contractors.