Intermittent Sand Filter Septic Systems Design
& Model Regulations
- SAND FILTER SEPTIC DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS - CONTENTS: Design details for intermittent sand bed septic systems. Site Requirements for Sand Filter Bed Septic Systems. Design Criteria for Sand Filter Bed Septic Systems. Construction of Sand Bed Septic Systems. References for the design and construction of Intermittent Sand Filter Bed Septic Systems
- POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about intermittent sand filter wastewater disposal systems: design specifications, installation, testing, maintenance, building codes
Intermittent sand bed and sand filter septic system designs, specifications, model regulations.
This article uses the New York State wastewater treatment standard for individual household septic systems to provide an example of state regulated design and installation of intermittent sand filter septic systems.
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Regulations for the Design of Alternative Septic Systems: Intermittent Sand Filter Septic Systems Design Criteria
For details about sand bed septic system design, installation, inspection, maintenance, or repair, see SAND BED SEPTIC SYSTEMS.
Original source: Title: Appendix 75-A.9 - Alternative Septic Systems
[Regulation and System Design Criteria for Raised Septic Systems,
Septic Mound Systems, Intermittent Sand Filter Bed Systems,
Evaporation-Transpiration Septic Systems,
Evaporation-Transpiration Absorption Septic Systems, and
Other Alternative Septic Systems]
Effective Date: 12/01/1990
(1) Sand Bed Septic Systems - General
In a sand filter septic system, the septic tank or aerobic unit effluent is
intermittently spread across the surface of a bed of sand through a network of
distribution lines. Collector pipes beneath the filter collect treated effluent
after it has passed through the sand.
(2) Site Requirements for Sand Filter Bed Septic Systems
(i) All horizontal separation distances shown in Table 2 must be met and the
minimum required vertical separation to groundwater must be met from the bottom
of the collector pipes.
(ii) An environmental assessment determines that the development of the site
with a sand filter is consistent with the overall development of the area and
will cause no adverse environmental impacts.
(3) Design Criteria for Sand Filter Bed Septic Systems
(i) Septic tanks installed before a sand filter shall have
dual compartments or two tanks in series. The use of a gas baffle on the outlet
is strongly recommended.
(ii) The direct discharge of sand filter effluent to the ground surface or to a
body of water shall not be approved by the Department of Health or a local
health department acting as its agent.
(iii) Distributor lines shall be placed at three foot center lines as level as
(iv) Collector pipes shall be centered between distribution lines at a slope of
1/16 to 1/8 inch per foot.
(v) Effluent shall be distributed to the sand filter by means of pressure
distribution or siphon dosing. Pressure distribution lines shall be a minimum
of 1.5 inches and a maximum of three inches in diameter. If siphon dosing is
allowed, the distributor pipe(s) shall have a diameter of three to four inches.
(vi) The distribution system shall be designed to dose the filter at least three
times daily based upon the design flow rates with each dose.
(vii) The sand media shall have an effective grain size of 0.25 to 1.0 mm. If
nitrification is not required by the local health department, the effective
grain size shall be in the range of 0.5 to 1.00 mm. All sand shall pass a 1/4
(viii) The uniformity coefficient of the sand shall not exceed 4.0.
(ix) The maximum allowed daily sand loading rate shall be 1.15 gal/day/sq. ft.
(x) Effluent from the collector pipes shall be discharged to an absorption bed
located below the original ground level or a mound that is built up above the
original ground surface.
The size of the bed/mound shall be based upon the
estimated quantity of effluent reaching the collector pipe and an application
rate of 1.2 gal/day/sq. ft. regardless of the underlying soil percolation.
fill material for the bed/mound shall consist of medium sand with a percolation
rate, tested at the borrow pit, not faster than five minutes per inch. All
minimum vertical and horizontal separation distances shall be maintained as
described in Section 75-A.4.
(4) Construction of Sand Bed Septic Systems
(i) After excavation, the collector pipe shall be placed in
3/4 inches to 1 1/2 inches size aggregate.
(ii) There shall be a minimum of four inches of this aggregate beneath the
entire system above the collectors.
(iii) A three inch layer of crushed stone or clean gravel with a size of 1/8
inches to 1/4 inches is carefully placed on top of the aggregate.
(iv) A minimum of 24 inches of the approved sand is placed above the crushed
stone or gravel.
(v) The distributor pipes are placed in a layer of aggregate that provides a
minimum of four inches across the entire surface of the filter and at least two
inches above and below the distributor pipes.
(vi) A permeable geotextile, two inches of hay or straw, or untreated building
paper is placed over the entire bed area to prevent the infiltration of fines
into the filter.
(vii) The entire surface of the filter shall be covered with six to 12 inches of
topsoil, mounded to enhance the runoff of rainwater from the system and seeded
(viii) The bed/mound following the filter shall be covered with 12 inches of
topsoil and seeded to grass.
More About Intermittent Sand Filter Bed Septic Systems is at Continue Reading just below.
Continue reading at SAND BED SEPTIC Effluent Disposal System used as a Component of Alternative Septic Systems for Difficult Sites.
This document includes the NYS Appendix 75-A section on sand filter beds as well as sand filter bed
design comments and advice from other experts, or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Or see SAND SEPTIC FILTERS in DESIGN ALTERNATIVES for Septic Systems, a discussion of various septic effluent filter media.
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Technical Reviewers & References
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Click to Show or Hide Citations & References
- New York State Department of Health, "Appendix 75-A Wastewater Treatment Standards - Individual Household Systems", [PDF] New York State Department of Health, 3 February 2010, retrieved 3/1/2010, original source: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/nycrr/title_10/part_75/appendix_75-a.htm
- US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual [online copy, free] Top Reference: US EPA's Design Manual for Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal, 1980, available from the US EPA, the US GPO Superintendent of Documents (Pueblo CO), and from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Original source http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/625R00008.htm Onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems,
Richard J Otis, published by the US EPA. Although it's more than 20 years old, this book remains a useful reference for septic system designers.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water Program Operations; Office of Research and Development, Municipal Environmental Research Laboratory; (1980)
- Eco John® Innovative Toilet Solutions, Global Inventive Industries, Fountain Valley CA, PDF, product brochure
- "International Private Sewage Disposal Code," 1995, BOCA-708-799-2300, ICBO-310-699-0541, SBCCI 205-591-1853, available from those code associations.
- "Manual of Policy, Procedures, and Guidelines for Onsite Sewage Systems," Ontario Reg. 374/81, Part VII of the Environmental
Protection Act (Canada), ISBN 0-7743-7303-2, Ministry of the Environment,135 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto Ontario M4V 1P5 Canada $24. CDN.
- Manual of Septic Tank Practice, US Public Health Service's 1959.
- Onsite Wastewater Disposal, R. J. Perkins;
Quoting from Amazon: This practical book, co-published with the National Environmental Health Association,
describes the step-by-step procedures needed to avoid common pitfalls in septic system technology.
Valuable in matching the septic system to the site-specific conditions, this useful book will help you install a reliable system in
both suitable and difficult environments. Septic tank installers, planners, state and local regulators, civil and sanitary engineers,
consulting engineers, architects, homeowners, academics, and land developers will find this publication valuable.
- Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems, Bennette D. Burks, Mary Margaret Minnis, Hogarth House 1994 - one of the best septic system books around, suffering a bit from small fonts and a weak index. (DF volunteers to serve as indexer if Burks/Minnis re-publish this very useful volume.)While it contains some material more technical than needed by homeowners, Burks/Minnis book on onsite wastewater treatment systems a very useful reference
for both property owners and septic system designers. We refer to it often.
While Minnis says the best place to buy this book is at Amazon (our link at left), you can also see this book at Minnis' website at http://web page .pace.edu/MMinnisbook
- Septic Tank/Soil-Absorption Systems: How to Operate & Maintain [ copy on file as /septic/Septic_Operation_USDA.pdf ] - , Equipment Tips, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 8271 1302, 7100 Engineering, 2300 Recreation, September 1982, web search 08/28/2010, original source: http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfimage/82711302.pdf
- Soil Percolation Tests soil perc testing guide and instructions
- Percolation Testing Manual, CNMI Division of Environmental Quality, PO Box 501304, Saipan, MP 96950
- Planting Over Septic System Component", Daniel Friedman (author/editor, InspectAPedia.com), The Innovator, Winter/Spring 2008, BCOSSA, British Columbia OnSite Sewage Association, 201-3542 Blansard St., Victoria BC V8X 1W3 Canada
- Save the Septic System - Do Not Flush These Items Down the Toilet, Daniel Friedman, InspectAPedia.com - PDF document, printable
- Septic System Owner's Manual, Lloyd Kahn, Blair Allen, Julie Jones, Shelter Publications, 2000 $14.95 U.S. - easy to understand, well illustrated, one of the best practical references around on septic design basics including some advanced systems; a little short on safety and maintenance. Both new and used (low priced copies are available, and we think the authors are working on an updated edition--DF.
Quoting from one of several Amazon reviews: The basics of septic systems, from underground systems and failures to what the owner can do to promote and maintain a healthy system, is revealed in an excellent guide essential for any who reside on a septic system. Rural residents receive a primer on not only the basics; but how to conduct period inspections and what to do when things go wrong. History also figures into the fine coverage.
- Test Pit Preparation for Onsite Sewage Evaluations, State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Portland OR, 800 452-4011. PDF document. We recommend this excellent document that offers detail about soil perc tests, deep hole tests, safety, and septic design. Readers should also see Soil Percolation Tests and for testing an existing septic system, also see Dye Tests
- Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank, Bombeck, Erma: $ 5.99; FAWCETT; MM;
This septic system classic whose title helps avoid intimidating readers new to septic systems, is available new or used at very low prices.
It's more entertainment than a serious "how to" book on septic systems design, maintenance, or repair. Not recommended -- DF.
- US EPA Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Manual Top Reference: US EPA's Design Manual for Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal, 1980, available from the US EPA, the US GPO Superintendent of Documents (Pueblo CO), and from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse. Original source http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/625R00008.htm
- Water Wells and Septic Systems Handbook, R. Dodge Woodson. This book is in the upper price range, but is worth the cost for serious septic installers and designers.
Quoting Amazon: Each year, thousands upon thousands of Americans install water wells and septic systems on their properties. But with a maze of codes governing their use along with a host of design requirements that ensure their functionality where can someone turn for comprehensive, one-stop guidance? Enter the Water Wells and Septic Systems Handbook from McGraw-Hill.
Written in language any property owner can understand yet detailed enough for professionals and technical students this easy-to-use volume delivers the latest techniques and code requirements for designing, building, rehabilitating, and maintaining private water wells and septic systems. Bolstered by a wealth of informative charts, tables, and illustrations, this book delivers:
* Current construction, maintenance, and repair methods
* New International Private Sewage Disposal Code
* Up-to-date standards from the American Water Works Association
- Wells and Septic Systems, Alth, Max and Charlet, Rev. by S. Blackwell Duncan, $ 18.95; Tab Books 1992. We have found this text very useful for conventional well and septic systems design and maintenance --DF.
Quoting an Amazon description:Here's all the information you need to build a well or septic system yourself - and save a lot of time, money, and frustration. S. Blackwell Duncan has thoroughly revised and updated this second edition of Wells and Septic Systems to conform to current codes and requirements. He also has expanded this national bestseller to include new material on well and septic installation, water storage and distribution, water treatment, ecological considerations, and septic systems for problem building sites.
- The NSFC Products List has an excellent list of design manuals/modules available from their website or by telephone 800-624-8301
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Submissions welcome. send us a suggested document link or request an exchange of website links
- Advanced Onsite Wastewater Systems Technologies, Anish R. Jantrania, Mark A. Gross. Anish Jantrania, Ph.D., P.E., M.B.A., is a Consulting Engineer, in Mechanicsville VA, 804-550-0389
(2006), Advanced Onsite Wastewater Systems Technologies.
Outstanding technical reference especially on alternative septic system design alternatives. Written for designers and engineers, this book is not at all easy going
for homeowners but is a text we recommend for professionals--DF.
- Builder's Guide to Wells and Septic Systems, Woodson, R. Dodge: $ 24.95; MCGRAW HILL B; TP;
Quoting from Amazon's description: For the homebuilder, one mistake in estimating or installing wells and septic systems can cost thousands of dollars. This comprehensive guide filled with case studies can prevent that. Master plumber R. Dodge Woodson packs this reader-friendly guide with guidance and information, including details on new techniques and materials that can economize and expedite jobs and advice on how to avoid mistakes in both estimating and construction. Chapters cover virtually every aspect of wells and septic systems, including on-site evaluations; site limitations; bidding; soil studies, septic designs, and code-related issues; drilled and dug wells, gravel and pipe, chamber-type, and gravity septic systems; pump stations; common problems with well installation; and remedies for poor septic situations. Woodson also discusses ways to increase profits by avoiding cost overruns.
- Country Plumbing: Living with a Septic System, Hartigan, Gerry: $ 9.95; ALAN C HOOD & TP;
Quoting an Amazon reviewer's comment, with which we agree--DF:This book is informative as far as it goes and might be most useful for someone with an older system. But it was written in the early 1980s. A lot has changed since then. In particular, the book doesn't cover any of the newer systems that are used more and more nowadays in some parts of the country -- sand mounds, aeration systems, lagoons, etc.