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SEPTIC TANK DESIGN

DEFINITION OF TERMS

Septic Tank – a water-tight receptacle which receives the discharge of a sanitary plumbing
system or part thereof, designed and constructed to retain solids, digest organic
matter through a period of detention and to allow the liquids to discharge into the soil
outside of the tank through a system of open-jointed sub-surface pipings or a
seepage pit meeting the requirements of the code.

Sewage – any wastewater containing animal or vegetable matter in suspension or solution


and may include liquids containing chemicals in solution.

Scum – Material floating on the surface of the septic tank. Scum usually contains fats, oils
and greases.

Sludge – the “sinkable” solids (soil, grit, bones, unconsumed food particles) settle to the
bottom of the tank and form a sludge layer.

Effluent – the clarified wastewater leftover after the scum has floated to the top and the
sludge has settled to the bottom. It flows through the septic tank outlet into the drain
field.

Daily sewage flow – the volume in gallons of sewage and liquid wastes flowing into a
septic tank during a 24 hours period.

Manhole – Access opening to a hole, usually with a cover, through which a person may
enter a sewer.

Cleanout – drain pipe that provides access for the purpose of clearing an obstruction.

PVC – Polyvinyl Chloride. Potable water pipings are color-coded BLUE.


COMPUTATION FOR THE SIZE OF THE SEPTIC TANK

Type of Establishment: Single family dwelling


No. of Persons: 9
Gallons per person per day: 75
Gallons per day: 9 x 75 = 675

Using the formula:

V = 1.125 + 0.75Q

where V = Liquid volume of the tank in gallons


Q = The daily sewage flow in gallons per day.
1.125 and 0.75 are constant values.

V = 1.125 + 0.75 (675)


V = 507.375 gallons

V = 507.375 gallons ( )
V = 1.92 m3

For the dimensions of the septic tank, the minimum depth is 1.20 meters and the width
is assumed to be 1.0 meter:

Length of the digestion chamber:

L= = = 1.60 meters

Total Length:

+L= + 1.6 = 2.40 meters

References:

Revised National Plumbing Code of the Philippines, Chapter 2


Plumbing Design & Estimate by Max Fajardo, Jr., pp. 92-96
http://www.standardplumbing.com