Feb 012013

Lincoln here, on site in Northern New Mexico, watching the Advance Concept Construction crew complete the septic system.  I overheard my buddy Kurt explain to my little friends, that a septic system is for all the waste water.  That is all the water that goes down the drains in a house.  Except this house will be unique.  Water that isn’t too dirty, like laundry and bathing, will go into a special tank so that water can be used to water the trees and bushes and flush the toilets.  It will be combined with the rain water they collect from the roof.  This is called a grey water system. 

It has to receive some special treatments before it can be used for that.  Also all the pipe has to be purple so people know not to drink it.  Kurt is going to have to give them an owners manual to run this.  He says it is a very simple system and only requires once a month cleaning that does not take but a couple of minutes.  These homeowners will help conserve water with this system by using the water a second time. Flushing the toilet with the water they just used to take a bath with, they sure are going to save a lot of water as toilet flushing is one of the biggest uses of water.  I will have to come back when they are installing that part of the system.

But the really dirty water will go into the septic tank and that’s what is getting installed today.  The whole system is underground so the first thing they do is dig a good size hole.

hole for septic tank







Just as the hole is finished, a big truck shows up with the tank.  Kurt and the crew at Advance Concept  had the timing down just right!  In goes the tank.

deliver of septic tank







But what happens when the tank gets full?  Helpful bacteria break down all the waste materials so it can be used by plants.  This all flows out of the tank through this hole.

connections at septic tank







These long sections of drain field piping are connected to the tank and it all seeps back into the ground.  Kurt and Clark talk about how they had to do soil tests to make sure that the leach lines were long enough so that the soil did not become too saturated.  They crew is always making sure that they do not take any short cuts.  If a system is installed correctly they say it should last 20 years.  See the page on septic system Do’s and Don’ts.  It is very important to take care of the system.

septic tank with drain fields

People who live in cities don’t have septic tanks, the waste water goes to a water treatment plant that acts just like a giant septic tank.  These homes still can do the grey water collection to reuse the water.  Kurt and Clark are taking about a new system to retrofit a house with.  I cannot wait to see this, more people saving and reusing water.  This is great.