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Public Health System


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How many compartments are required in a tank?
two, and a baffle shall be included and provide two thirds of the storage in the inlet side.
When is a header type system used?
Level Header System. On relatively flat terrain where
minimum and maximum effluent distribution trench depths can be maintained on the same elevations, effluent distribution trench bottoms shall be installed at the same elevation and on a level
grade as shown in Appendix G.
Can a system be located under parking areas and driveways?
Only if precautions are taken in the design by and ENGINEER.
I a high water table is the problem for a proposed system, and it is not the wet season, what can be done?
A soil classifier can perform a detailed and technical soil evaluation, and certify to the depth of the seasonal high water table.
What is the max. grade of distribution lines?
Maximum grade of effluent distribution lines--two
inches per 100 feet.
What is the maximum slope allowed for a conventional system?
What steps are necessary for a perc test with rapidly permeable soils (6 inches in less than 30 min.)?
(f) For rapidly permeable soils which absorb the first six inches of water in less than 30 minutes following saturation, measurements on the water surface may be made at ten-minute intervals
over a period of one hour, rather than 30-minute intervals over 4 hours. In which case, the drop of water surface which occurs in the final ten minutes shall be used to complete the percolation rate.
(g) The percolation rate shall be reported as the number of minutes require for the water surface to drop one inch in the test hole after the rate is stabilized.
What is the proper placement of the soil boring or observation pit for a private dwelling?
It shall be located in the primary area, no closer than 5' or farther than 15' from a percolation test hole.
What is the minimum square footage of a system allowed for a singel family dwelling?
Except for separate effluent disposal fields for clothes washing machines from single family dwellings, all effluent disposal fields shall have a minimum of 125 square feet of effluent disposal field, regardless of sewage flow or percolation rates.
What information for a soil boring or obs. pit needs to be recorded?
Location, depth, soil data, depth to water, and date the boring or observation pit was made. All shall be recorded on form CEP-3.
What is the maximum allowable sewage flow permitted without an engineers certification?
1200 gallons per day.
If percolation rates are slower than 60 minutes per inch, or there is seasonal ground water, what should be done.
The percolation tests should be done in the wet season or a simulated wet season.
What is the cover requirement for a shallow type system?
The effluent disposal field shall be covered above
original grade by a minimum of 12 inches of suitable soil, which
shall overlap the entire effluent disposal field by at least
three feet on the sides and ends. The base-to-height ratio of
the overlap shall be 3:1, and the slope shall be stabilized
against erosion with sod, grass, berm netting, or similar biodegradable material.
What is the minimum effective liquid capacity of a septic tank in albama?
750 Gallons (actual metered water usage data from similar facilities may be used in leiu of, if properly documented records are provided by an engineer)
What is the second step in the perc. test?
In order to remove any glazed or burnished spots on the walls of the test hole, the walls shall be scratched or made rough so as to provide a natural soil interface for absorption. All loose
materials shall be removed from the hole. A two-inch layer of coarse sand or fine gravel may be added to the hole to protect the bottom
from scouring and sediment.
What is the minimum lot square footage req'd. when an individual well water system is proposed?
20,000 s.f.
What are the remaining steps in performing a perc test?
Percolation test holes shall be filled with clear water to a minimum depth of 12 inches above the bottom of the hole. Water shall be added to the test hole as often as necessary to maintain the 12- inch depth for a minimum of four hours, in order to saturate the surrounding soil.
(d) Percolation test measurements shall be made no later than two hours following the saturation process. The drop of the water surface at 30-minute intervals over an additional four-hour period shall be measured from a fixed referenced point outside the test hole.
(e) After the saturation process, the test shall be performed by adjusting the water level to a depth of six inches over the sand orgravel. From a fixed reference point outside the test hole, the depth to water shall be measured at 30-minute intervals for a period of not less than four hours. Water shall be added as necessary to maintain the water surface above the sand or gravel. The percolation rate will be determined by the drop of water surface which occurs in the
last 30-minute intervals, provided that the absorption rate has stabilized. If there is an appreciable difference in the last two readings of the four-hour interval, the test will continue to be made at additional 30-minute intervals until the rate stabilizes. The rate shall be considered to be stabilized when the last two readings are approximately the same.
What is the minimum lot size when a public potable water system is proposed and available?
15,000 s.f.
What is the maximum length of a distribution line in a serial type system?
The maximum length of an effluent distribution line and
trench is 100 feet when measured from crossover. A minimum of one crossover from each effluent distribution line and trench is
required for a distribution line and trench less than 100 feet in length, and at least two crossovers for an effluent distribution line and trench 100 feet in length or longer.
How is the volume of sewage flow for a multifamily dwelling derived?
from appendix A, or from the maximum number of persons to occupy the building, using 75 gallons per day, per person, whichever is greater.
How is the perforation of a dist. line to be designed?
Effluent distribution lines shall be, but are not
limited to, rigid or semirigid perforated plastic pipe with a minimum xfiltration area of 2.2 square inches per foot of pipe. The exfiltration area shall consist of openings located uniformly
on one-half the circumference of the pipe. The openings shall be
of such size, shape and uniformity as to preclude sealing by
solids or entrance of stones surrounding the pipe. Pipes with
slits, such as agricultural drain pipe, are not approved for use
as effluent distribution lines.
What is the cut-off date for the 15,000 s.f. lot requrement?
March 18, 1982. The system must meet all the current requirements and be designed and certified by an engineer.
What is the max. length of a distribution line in a header system?
The maximum length of an effluent distribution line and
trench is 100 feet.
What are the required depths of the perc. tests for each type of system?
Conventional: 22 to 42 inches.
Shallow: 12 to 22 inches.
Gravel-less: 18 to 42 inches.
How is effluent from a spa or hot tub to be disposed of?
Discharge into the building drain or house sewer. The septic tank effective liquid capacity in Rule 420-3-1-.23 shall be enlarged by a minimum of 500 gallons to accommodate each specific spa or hot tub proposed for use. The effluent disposal
field as required by this Chapter shall be increased by 50 percent to accommodate such fixtures; or be disposed of into a separate disposal field.
How many soil borings or observation pits are required for a private dwelling?
One for each dwelling, or 500 gallons of dialy sewage flow, or portion thereof.
What is the minimum distance between trench walls?
The minimum distance between effluent distribution
trenches shall be five feet (measured from closest trench side wall to side wall of adjacent trench).
What is required of systems whose perc. rates are greater than 60 minutes per inch, or less than 5 mpi?
The system must be a board approved alternative system, designed by an engineer.
What is the first step in performing a perc test?
Complete the soil boring procedure found in this same Appendix and determine the maximum depth* allowed for trench bottoms, considering the minimum requirement of 18 inches above any limiting or restrictive factor. Then, dig or bore the percolation test hole to the proposed depth of the trench bottom, not less than 22 inches, nor
greater than 42 inches (not less than 12, nor greater than 22 inches for shallow placement; not less than 18, nor greater than 42 inches for gravel-less seepage systems), with a diameter of 4 to 10 inches.
What water saving device is permitted to reduce the size of the proposed disposal field?
low flush toilets.
What is the min. difference in elevation from the invert of a crossover and the invert of the septic tank outlet?
The invert of a crossover line shall be at least four
inches lower than the invert of the septic tank effluent line.
What is the minimum distance the groundwater from the bottom of the effluent trenches?
18 inches.
How is the linear footage for a system other than a single family dwelling calculated?
The minimum total square feet of effluent disposal field for establishments other than single family dwellings shall
be calculated by multiplying the established maximum daily sewage flow by the factor from the column labeled square feet per gallons per day.
What is the minimum distance from the effluent trench bottom to bedrock?
18 inches.
What is the max. and min. trench sizes?
The width of the bottom of the trench shall not be less
than 18 inches, nor more than 36 inches. The local health
department may approve wider trenches in special circumstances,
such as available area, when repairing an existing onsite sewage disposal system.
What is the maximum slope allowed for an alternative system?
What are the gravel requirements in a dist. line trench?
The effluent distribution lines shall be installed in
clean, coarse gravel or stone free from fines, dust, sand, orclay, and ranging in size from 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches.
Who is authorized to perform percolation tests, soil borings, and observation pits?
Soil classifiers, engineers, land surveyors, and geologists.
When is a serial distribution system used?
Serial Distribution System. When a level header system
cannot be installed, a system of serial distribution following land contours shall be used, with each trench or set of trenches and distribution pipe constructed level, but at different
elevations after each spillover, as shown in Appendix F.
Who is permitted to use soil morphology as an evaluation method?
Public Health environmental site evaluators that are approved by the board.
What are the 4 soils texture groups?
Soil Groups - For the purpose of these rules, soils have beencategorized into four groups based on texture as follows:

1. Texture Group I - sands, and loamy sand;
2. Texture Group II - sandy loam, loam, and sandy clay loam;
3. Texture Group III - silt loam, clay loam, silty clay loam; and
4. Texture Group IVa - sandy clay, silty clay and clay
5. Texture Group IVb - clays (montmorillonite or mixed mineralogy) - These clays are unsuitable for Conventional
effluent disposal fields.
What is the minimum perc. test depth for an alternative system?
no less than 12 inches.
How is the linear footage for a sigle family dwelling calculated?
The minimum total length of the effluent distribution
line for single family dwellings shall be calculated by multiplying the number of bedrooms by the factor from the column labeled linear feet per bedroom for various trench widths, which is based on the column labeled square feet per bedroom.
What areas may not be considered in determining the minimun lot size for a disposal field?
Easements for utilities, right of ways, roads, etc.
Easements for overhead utilities and reservoirs may be used with if specifically granted within the easement.
What is the minimum distribution line size, inside diameter?
Minimum size of effluent distribution lines--four
inches, inside diameter.
Is a disposal field allowed to be installed on property other than the owners?
Yes, if an easement in perpetuity is legally recorded in the judge of probate office. Sufficient area for access and maintenance shall be provided.
What are the requirements for a soil boring?
Soil borings shall be a minimum of 42 inches deep,unless conditions encountered at a shallower depth (i.e. rock, water, seasonal wetness, etc.) preclude the need to continue. Where a soil
layer is considered for percolation testing, the soil boring shall be extended a minimum of 18 inches below the anticipated test depth to
record all soil colors and observations of rock, water, or saturated soil. Soil borings shall have a minimum diameter of two (2) inches.
Pits may be substituted, dug either by hand or with a backhoe.** A backhoe pit is required to be 5 feet deep, unless digging is impractical due to rock, water, seasonal wetness, etc.
In counties with a site evaluation program, who may make application for a system under appendix O, in lieu of standard procedures?
An individual lot owner, excluding subdivisions.
What must an aerobic system be equipped with?
Aerobic sewage tanks which, by design and construction,
can be equipped with the required visual or audible alarm system to respond to any electrical or mechanical failure or malfunction
of the unit, or any component thereof. The alarm shall be
capable of being placed in a location of easy recognition and shall be labeled Alarm-Aerobic Sewage Tank Malfunction.
What information is required along with the application for a disposal field?
Vicinity map
legal description
plot plan
proposed dwelling and driveway
existing and proposed cut or fill areas

proposed location of tank
proposed location of primary and expansion fields.

relative elevations of the lot and direction of slope.

location of drainage facilities and direction of flow.

results, locations, and certificate of soils tests.

location of existing and proposed utilities.

location of any structures.
andy surface waters, wells, sinkholes, etc. wells within 100 feet

A construction plan.
How may effluent from a clothes washing machine be disposed of?
Discharge into the building drain or house sewer; or
Discharge into a separate effluent disposal field. The
amount of field line for a separate effluent disposal field for the washing machine shall be no less than one-fifth of the effluent disposal field, as determined from Appendix D. The
primary effluent disposal field may be reduced by the amount used for the washer line, not to exceed one-fifth of the total required for the primary effluent disposal field.
What is reqiure on a construction plan?
a profile and sectional drawing of the disposal system.

The length, depth, and width of the lines and trench construction details.

Plans for diversion of surface water around the system.

Plan view showing the layout and type of system and any parking areas.

Type of tank proposed.

It shall be certified by an engineer or land surveyor.

An alternative system shall be by an engineer.
When is a construction plan not required?
When the proposed sewage flow is less than 500 gallons per day for a dwelling or business, and is a conventional system.
Where lots are less than 15,000 s.f., how many perc tests are required?
A minimum of three. two in the primary field, and one in the expansion field. Judgement is needed to determine if more are needed.
What is the difference in elevation between the inlet and the outlet tees?
3 inches. The outlet tee shall be at least 6 inches above and 18 inches below the water level.
How close may a system be located to a natural or man made drainage feature?
25 feet
What's the minimum concrete strength req'd. of a tank?
minimum compressive strength of 3,000 pounds per square inch,
How close to a swimming pool?
ten feet
How close to a potable water line may a system be located?
five feet
What minimum distance to a sink hole may a system be located?
300 feet
What additional information is required when trying to permit other than a single family dwelling?
1. System will receive only effluent.

2. Size and proposed use of building.

3. Locaation of all existing and proposed structures.

4. Water distribution, soil and waste drainage pipes, bulding drain, house sewer plan.

5. Maximum and average number of persons per shift that will occupy or use the building.

6. Estimated peak and average daily flows.

7. detailed floor plans.

8. Low water usage fixtures should be specified.
What is the minimum reinforcing req'd. in a tank?
Individual dwelling septic tanks shall have a minimum 6
x 6 x 10 (6-inch on centers of number 10 gauge) welded steel reinforcement in walls, bottoms and lids.
What is the minimum thickness of a poured in place tank?
Poured in place septic tanks shall have minimum wall,
bottom and lid thickness of four inches.
What is the minimum thickness of a precast tank?
Precast septic tanks with capacities of less than 1,200
gallons shall have minimum wall and bottom thickness of two inches and minimum lid thickness of three inches.
What is the minimum thickness req'd. of a precast tank more than 1,200 gallons?
Precast septic tanks with capacities of 1,200 gallons
or more shall have minimum wall and bottom thickness of three inches and minimum lid thickness of four inches.
How close to a dwelling may a system be located?
five feet
How close to a property line may a system be located?
five feet
How close to a water surface can a system be located?
50 feet
How many tanks may be connected in series, and where is the baffle located?
When two septic tanks are connected in series (Appendix
C) to obtain the required capacity, the baffle wall shall not be used in the inlet tank, and the baffle wall shall remain in the
second tank. No more than two septic tanks may be connected in series to obtain the required effective liquid capacity.
What is the minimum distance from a septic tank or grease trap to a public or private potable water source?
50 feet
How many and what size inspection holes are required in a tank?
two. one for the inlet and one for the outlet. A minimum of 18 inches in diameter.
What is the minimun distance required from a public or private water source, for the effluent disposal field?
100 feet
What is the minimum liquid capacity of a grease trap?
The minimum effective liquid capacity of grease traps shall provide for no less than a two-day (48 hours) hydraulic
May any utilities or pipes cross through a system or tank?
What is the minimum effective liguid capacity of a grease trap?
The minimum effective liquid capacity for grease traps
shall be 1,000 gallons.
Can a system be located under any structure?
How may effluent from a grease trap be disposed of?
The effluent from a grease trap may be connected to an
effluent disposal field serving only the grease trap. The amount of effluent disposal field for the grease trap shall be determined from Appendix D, or

The grease trap effluent may be connected to the house
Can a system be located in a depressed area?
No. Provisions shall be made to minimize the flow of water over the system.
Where may aerobic tanks be used?
The use of an approved aerobic sewage tank may be
allowed on any lot or parcel where a septic tank is allowed by this Chapter.
What is the minimum hydraulic detention time req'd. in a tank?
48 hours based on average daily flows. No less than 750 gallons.
What are the tank requirements for 2 or less bedrooms, 3 or 4 bedrooms, and additional bedrooms?
750 gallons
1000 gallons
250 for additional bedrooms.
What are the minimum dimensions lengths versus widths?
the inside length shall be one and one half to two times the width. The width shall be no less than 3 feet.
What is the minimum air space required between the liquid and the lid?
8 inches.

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