The Conventional Septic System:
Almost 20 million housing units sheltering
approximately 29 percent of the U.S. population (1.7 million or 38
percent of the homes in Indiana) dispose of domestic waste through
on-site disposal systems.
Approximately 85 percent of these systems are conventional
septic-absorption fields, making them by far the most common on-site
Conventional septic systems, while common, are not suitable for all
areas. Among the limitations which might preclude installation of a
conventional system are: high groundwater tables; shallow limiting
layers of bedrock or fragipan; very slowly or rapidly permeable
soils; topography; and lot size.
Where suitable, however, conventional septic-absorption fields will
remain common for many years to come because of their relatively low
initial cost and low operating cost. They have proven very
satisfactory when properly located, designed, installed, and
maintained. Your county government has
outlines for proper procedures to ensure satisfactory performance of
a conventional septic system.
[Read our Homeowner's Section for more
information, diagrams, and county contacts]
Before arranging for installation, contact your county Extension
office or County Health Officer for the names of experienced
installers, and also consult homeowners who have had good
performance from their systems over a number of years for the names
of competent installers.
- Acceptable Depth and Size requirements
- Location Requirements
- Permit Requirements
- Land Use Requirements
- Information on how to get started for your specific
- Above all, Call your contractor and ask for Dowdy's Well
and Septic to get the right solution for the right job.
All soils within the boundaries of the property
should be identified to evaluate their suitability for an on-site
soil absorption field by a knowledgeable professional. The
absorption field should be located in the most suitable soils and
should even have location priority over a new home. The absorption
area should also be one that sheds water. The long axis of the soil
disposal area should be oriented parallel to the contours of the
slope (i.e. lines 9f equal elevation). Areas where the long axis
would run up and down the slope or where wastewater movement would
converge should be avoided.
Proper orientation of trenches on complex slopes.
Traffic and construction must be avoided over and immediately down
slope from the soil disposal area to prevent compaction and to
minimize frost penetration
If your new or existing project is in an area that
allows a Conventional Septic System contact your Contractor or
Dowdy's Well and Septic for an estimate of new or replacement