Author Topic: Home-made Septic  (Read 5137 times)

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Offline Adam Roby

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Home-made Septic
« on: October 08, 2015, 05:17:35 PM »
I don't want to argue legalities, I am just wondering about the feasibility of using cement blocks to build a septic tank, rather than the 2 55-gallon drum approach.

We have these locally for $1.62 each.



They are 1/2 the width of standard concrete blocks, therefore 4" wide, 8" tall and 16" long.
I was thinking of making a small cement base, then build a 2 section tank using these blocks.
I don't have SketchUp at home, and I don't have access to post on this site from work... sucks but I will try to post a picture of what I mean tomorrow night.  I am wondering, will these blocks stay in tact underground, or will they likely cave in and/or deteriorate with time?  I calculated a 1200 liter tank (2 compartments) costing around $110 of block, plus the pad and extra mortar between joints.  Cost seems good... so that probably means it won't work.  :)

Offline flyingvan

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Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2015, 04:20:22 AM »
Adam for years (before the introduction of plastic) cisterns were laid up with block and then parged.  Block are not waterproof though and without being parged and waterproofed it will allow leakage. 

Offline Adam Roby

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2015, 05:04:30 AM »
I am not comfortable building forms for cement, but I think I could lay a course of blocks, then fill the voids mixing one bag at a time, then proceed with the next course.  Could also lay some rebar as I go to add stability, and I was also thinking to parge both the inside and outside for added water retention and possibly strength.  (Would using constructive adhesive be better than cement between each block?) 

Any system I am considering (if indeed I do one) I think will actually consist of two separate systems.  One for black and one for grey water.  I think this would help to not contaminate the environment by keeping the bulk of the water out of the black water system.

I was looking for plastic tanks, and in NY state it seems they won't ship under 1000 gallons... at a hefty cost for shipping at that.  The 55-gallon drum idea is interesting, I just think they are a bit small.... was just wondering if the block idea was an option worth considering or not, and if anyone here had ever tried it before.

Offline archimedes

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2015, 04:22:16 PM »
I bet when all is said and done,  doing all that masonry work won't end up being much cheaper than one of these;
http://www.plastic-mart.com/product/12125/500-gallon-septic-tank-norwesco-43522
A lot less work too.  They ship from NY so you could probably pick it up yourself with a pick up truck.

I think if you ad up all the concrete blocks,  concrete for the pad,  mortar,  tools, delivery costs,  the total cost will be more than you think.  Doesn't every project turn out to cost more than we all expect.  Plus building one sounds like a huge amount of work.
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Offline new land owner

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2015, 03:16:37 AM »
I bought my plastic septic tank at Air Dorrnace.  The company is in Morrisonville, NY a small town south of your land. I would guess about 40 minutes away. The have all the pipe and fitting you will need. They will also help you with any questions.

Just one thought, when I built mine in Franklin county I had to have my system designed by a septic engineer.

Might want to check with the bilding inspector before you get to far into it,

http://www.airddorrance.com/contact-us

Offline Adam Roby

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2015, 04:53:24 AM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I was more curious about the option... best to look at everything before starting any project. 

...Doesn't every project turn out to cost more than we all expect...

Doesn't every project wind up taking so much longer than we expect also? 

Thanks for the link, I will see if I can find one locally.  One of the online vendors told me out right that they could not legally send anything under 1000 gallons because NY minimum size is 1000 gallon.  The site above doesn't show me any restrictions.  We are in Clinton county, not sure how strict they are.  Building wise the local inspector seems pretty slack, but I never asked about septic... might be a touchier subject. 

Offline Patrick

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2015, 03:52:55 PM »
I recently talked to my septic guy about plastic tanks and there are 2 types one you have to fill with water as you back fill or it can collapse ,the other you can back fill without filling,cant remember the brand.Also they can float so he only uses them if site restrictions make concrete ones not feasible, He also then straps pipes to the sides and puts bags of concrete on the pipes for insurance.You only need one reservoir in the tank if its going to be a gravity system there is a special filter you put on the discharge side to hold back solids,you only need the 2 chamber tank if your going to pump the liquid from the tank up to a drain field.Concrete tanks are not that expensive,call around find a local company they come on a truck and drop it right in the hole for you and add the riser.You're going to want a laser level to do this work,the field needs to be level.Good luck!

Offline rick91351

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2015, 06:18:38 PM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I was more curious about the option... best to look at everything before starting any project. 

Doesn't every project wind up taking so much longer than we expect also? 

Thanks for the link, I will see if I can find one locally.  One of the online vendors told me out right that they could not legally send anything under 1000 gallons because NY minimum size is 1000 gallon.  The site above doesn't show me any restrictions.  We are in Clinton county, not sure how strict they are.  Building wise the local inspector seems pretty slack, but I never asked about septic... might be a touchier subject. 

Most states the health department has to issue permitting.  I would almost bet they will require a 1,000 gallon tank.  I have remodeled one drain field and installed a couple systems and it sure is not all that hard. 

This summer I even helped relocate a septic tank that was never used.  We were pretty impressed with how tough and well built it was.  I think  it was a Norwesco Tank.  It was installed - inspected - and signed off but never hooked up.  It sat there several years and they bought the lot next to them combined lots and redid the septic system using the old tank.  Point being it sat there several years without anything in it and it never floated. I might add something I never would do,  but with the right soil and our dry climate.... ???   

I have used the low profile Norwesco  potable water tank for water storage and if installed per the specs you will not have a minutes worth of troubles.  Their engineers will can tell you to the gallon what has to be in them and everything about them. 
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline zion-diy

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2015, 01:00:16 PM »
probably wouldn't allow an upside down 61 chevy.  ;D ;D That was what we used once back in the 60's. dug a big hole, flipped the chevy over, filled it with some gravel, and shoved a pipe through the back window.  :-[
Times were a might different then.
Just a 50-ish chic an a gimp,building thier own house,no plans,just--work,work,work,what a pair :}

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2015, 02:09:29 PM »
probably wouldn't allow an upside down 61 chevy.  ;D ;D That was what we used once back in the 60's. dug a big hole, flipped the chevy over, filled it with some gravel, and shoved a pipe through the back window.  :-[
Times were a might different then.

Yep that was about the same time that if you got a new rifle/shotgun for Christmas you took it to school for everyone to see.   [shocked]  Especially if the teacher was a hunter which the majority were.

Offline rick91351

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2015, 02:24:29 PM »
English teacher he was shooting model 12 10 gauge - I shot a model 12 12 gauge chambered for a 3 inch mags.  We drooled over each others shot guns at school!  I still own mine - WOW that puppys gettin' old...... I bought it at a auction.....  I might have been 16 at the time!
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline zion-diy

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Re: Home-made Septic
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2015, 06:38:18 AM »
Yep that was about the same time that if you got a new rifle/shotgun for Christmas you took it to school for everyone to see.   [shocked]  Especially if the teacher was a hunter which the majority were.

Yep... we had a gun club at school with a range in the basement. Lots of us rode our bikes to school with a rifle across the handlebars. My how time has changed.
Just a 50-ish chic an a gimp,building thier own house,no plans,just--work,work,work,what a pair :}

 

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