Whether you need an entirely new septic system or need to make a significant repair to an existing system, it is important to note that there is an extensive body of septic system design and repair regulations. That means that when you make a change to your septic system, you need to consider these regulations.
The most important regulation tends to be regarding the size of your septic tank. In New York State, for example, the Department of Health mandates the minimum sizes and surface areas for septic tanks based on the number of bedrooms in a home. A septic system in a home with one to three bedrooms must have a minimum tank capacity of 1,000 gallons and a minimum liquid surface area of 27 square feet. The bigger the home and the more bedrooms, the bigger these requirements are. A septic system in a six-bedroom home must have a minimum tank capacity of 1,750 gallons and a minimum liquid surface area of 47 square feet.
In addition to size requirements, most septic tank systems are subject to a number of other regulations, including wastewater treatment standards. There may be limitations on where you can place the septic tank in your landscape, as well as regulations regarding the storage and disposal of the effluent. In Florida, for example, there are specific regulations regarding drain field placement in areas deemed more prone to flooding. There are also likely to be reporting requirements that require you to document when your tank has been serviced.
Failing to comply with these regulations can cause quite a headache for everyone involved. Therefore, it is crucial to do your due diligence, keeping in mind that specific septic system design and repair regulations will differ between jurisdictions. For example, Florida will have different regulations than Kansas. Local jurisdictions may have additional regulations, so it is also wise to check with your town and county, namely your county health department and local code enforcement officer, to ensure that you’re adhering to all applicable rules and standards.