ATU System Spray Heads: this document describes high-treatment aerobic septic systems using septic effluent spray heads to disperse effluent over an absorption area. We include links to septic design engineers, advanced septic system products and septic design books and building codes.
This document is a chapter provides in our Septic Systems Online Book.
Examples of advanced septic designs include aerobic septic systems, chemical, composting, incinerating & waterless toilets, evaporation-transpiration
(ET) septic systems, septic media filters, greywater systems, holding tank septic systems, mound septics, raised bed septics, pressure dosing septic systems, sand bed filters, peat beds, constructed wetlands,
wastewater lagoons, constructed wetlands, and septic disinfection systems.
Also see The Septic System Information Website.
Massachusetts Title 5 Licensed Septic System Inspector, & New York State H.I. License # 16000005303 (inception to 2008).
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
AEROBIC Septic Systems using Effluent Sprayers to Disperse Effluent
Septic Effluent Spray & Septic Spray Head effluent dispersal systems, treating effluent to level 3 or better (Jantrania/Gross wastewater system type X).
Septic spray systems are high-level-of-treatment aerobic septic systems using spray heads to disperse effluent require maintenance that includes occasional spray head cleaning or replacement.
You'll need to identify the brand and model effluent spray head on your aerobic septic system in order to replace with the same part in-kind. Also see Septic Tank Suppliers: a directory list of septic tank suppliers and see SEPTIC SYSTEM SUPPLIERS for directory lists of other septic system component suppliers for sources of septic effluent spray system repair parts and sprayers.
Maintenance of Septic Effluent Spray Systems - a Quick Diagnostic & Repair Guide
I have a question on aerobic septic system maintenance.
We may be 'missing it' but is there information on your Aerobic Septic System maintenance section about Spray head maintenance? if so, where? we have 2 spray heads working & one that is not & would like to check before calling someone. Is this something we can check ourselves? we have water standing where one spray head is having to do 'extra spray' -- Glenda Marsh
A typical aerobic system treats effluent and then disposes of it by spraying treated effluent over the ground surface. In the treatment tank air is pumped through the effluent to increase the level of tank treatment, and effluent is filtered before leaving the tank. 85-95 percent of solids and organics are removed in the tank (compared with less than 50% in a conventional gravity-draining septic tank and Drainfield, non-aerobic).
AEROBIC Septic system designs vary by the terrain in which they are installed, but in general, include a pre-treatment tank, an aeration chamber, a settling chamber, and a "land application system" that typically involves a pumping chamber, pump, and spray heads that distribute treated effluent onto the ground surface.
I AM GUESSING that you ARE talking about an effluent disposing sprinkler - these are sprinkler tops (aerators) such as the Rain Bird that are less than $50. that spray effluent onto the ground for disposal (permitted in some states like TX -
1. Before replacing the sprinkler head, take off the access cover to the tank that contains the pump. You should see a float that turns the pump on and off;
Lift the float with a wire hook, to cause the pump to run, watch as the liquid level falls in the tank down to about where the pump would shut off; make sure that there are no leaks in the line going to the bad-performing sprayer - if there are leaks you would see spraying inside the tank from the leak point and that would prevent pressurized effluent from getting to the spray head. As one sprayer works and the other doesn't, this is probably not the problem.
As you see good flow from one spray head and not from the other, we suspect as so you it's the sprayer not a pump problem.
2. Wet spots outside the septic tank: If this is what we're discussing, in addition to looking in the tank for pipe leaks (discussed just below), if you find a wet or soft spot between the tank outlet and the sprayer, there may be a buried pipe leak that is the culprit.
3. Clean the septic effluent spray head: If the spray head is easily and safely removed, it can probably be removed and one might try cleaning it. Sometimes I see sprayers that are clogged with mineral deposits from hard water - soaking overnight in vinegar can often loosen or dissolve if that's the problem; else just replace the part.
See http://stores.shopeasttexasseptic.com/-strse-New/Categories.bok or another vendor http://www.septic-system-supplies.com/home.php?cat=288 if in fact this is the part you're talking about.)
Sketches of typical aerobic systems are also at http://www.septicsolutionsllc.com/Products/tabid/331/Default.aspx
including LPD (Low pressure dosing systems and surface drip systems).
I am GUESSING that you are NOT talking about an in-tank aerator rather than an effluent disposer that sprays onto the ground surface in the disposal area. In the treatment tank, aerobic systems all use a system for aerating the effluent to increase bacterial activity. Some aerobic septic systems use a diffuser stone (below liquid level, typically about $50 to replace). That's a cheap part compared with septic aerator pumps that are $350 - $500.
You would help me tremendously and help me write this up to assist other owners if you could take and send me sharp photos of the part as installed and keep me posted on what you do and how things progress.
See http://www.profloaerobic.com/onlinedocuments/ownersmanual.pdf for an owners manual for Pro Flo wastewater treatment systems - they use an air diffuser
See http://www.aaaseptictank.com/resources/SING_BROCHURE.pdf for a sales brochure on the Singulair system
An aerobic or septic spray head pump retailer is at http://www.septic-system-supplies.com/home.php?cat=249 or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Click to Show or Hide FAQs
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Technical Reviewers & References
Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman
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
- Mark Cramer Inspection Services Mark Cramer, Tampa Florida, Mr. Cramer is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a Florida home inspector and home inspection educator. Mr. Cramer serves on the ASHI Home Inspection Standards. Contact Mark Cramer at: 727-595-4211 mark@BestTampaInspector.com
- John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. He is also a contributor to InspectApedia.com in several technical areas such as plumbing and appliances (dryer vents). Contact Mr. Cranor at 804-747-7747 or by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tafgard soil based wastewater evaporation / transpiration system by Taisei Kogyo Co., Ltd., Japan. Contact Shuichi Sato, Manager of Taisei Kogyo Co., Ltd., 15-36 Yonehara 6-chome, Yonago, Tottori, 683-0804 Japan
Tel. +81-859-32-1135 Fax. +81-859-34-0933, email@example.com
- The Septic System Information Website home page for this topic
- Septic Systems Inspection, Testing, & Maintenance - online textbook. Detailed how to inspect, maintain, repair information
- The Home Buyer's Guide to Septic Systems
- Septic Tank Pumping Guide: When, Why, How to pump the septic tank
- Home & Outdoor Living Water Requirements
- Septic Tank Capacity vs Usage in Daily Gallons of Wastewater Flow, calculating required septic tank size, calculating septic tank volume from size measurements
- 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.
- How Big Should the Leach Field Be? - table of soil percolation rate vs. field size
- Septic System Drainfield Absorption System Biomat Formation - what leads to drain field clogging and expensive drainfield repairs
- Table of Required Septic & Well Clearances: Distances Between Septic System & Wells, Streams, Trees, etc.
- Ten Steps to Keeping a Septic System Working, suggestions from the U.S. EPA, edits and additions by DJF
- Pennsylvania State Fact Sheets relating to domestic wastewater treatment systems include
- Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-161, Septic System Failure: Diagnosis and Treatment
- Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-162, The Soil Media and the Percolation Test
- Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-l64, Mound Systems for Wastewater Treatment
- Pennsylvania State Wastewater Treatment Fact Sheet SW-165, Septic Tank-Soil Absorption Systems
- Document Sources used for this web page include but are not limited to: Agricultural Fact Sheet #SW-161 "Septic Tank Pumping," by Paul D. Robillard and
Kelli S. Martin. Penn State College of Agriculture - Cooperative Extension, edited and annotated by
Dan Friedman (Thanks: to Bob Mackey for proofreading the original source material.)
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
- Inspecting Septic Systems: Online Book, Inspection, Test, Diagnosis, Repair, & Maintenance: our Online Septic Book: Septic Testing, Loading & Dye Tests, Septic Tank Pumping, Clearances, details of onsite waste disposal system inspection, testing, repair procedures.
- 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). 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 I 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.
Design Manuals for Septic Systems
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 Books
- 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. 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.
- 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 STANDARDS
- SEPTIC MAGAZINES
- 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
- Submissions welcome. send us a suggested document link or request an exchange of website links