All septic systems need two main components to ensure the entire system works properly. Those two components are a septic tank and a wastewater disbursement field. However, while every system has two main components, there are many different types of septic systems and designs that can be created to effectively remove and treat wastewater or effluent that comes from the home.
One type of septic system that is seldom referred to is the large-capacity septic system. This type of septic system is not meant for single-family homes and is not installed as frequently. However, large-capacity septic tanks are used and can last for decades if properly installed and maintained. Many believe that septic systems are designed to service houses, but they can also treat wastewater that comes from large businesses, condo complexes, commercial properties, and any other type of building that needs a septic system bigger than the traditional household.
To dispose of effluent from single-family homes or homes with ADUs that are too far from their local city’s sewer connection, they use septic tanks. However, when a business or commercial property is too far away from the city’s sewer connection they cannot rely on a single-family septic system as they need to serve multiple buildings and areas simultaneously, possibly with a larger volume of effluent than a single-family home system may handle.
Community and large-capacity septic systems are used when a single-family septic system is too small to handle the amount of effluent that is being emitted. However, community and large-capacity septic systems serve two different purposes, just on a much larger scale than a single-family home septic system. Here are the main differences between a community septic system and a large-capacity septic system.
These types of systems use cluster and community interchangeably to describe a septic system that treats effluent that comes from multiple homes and collects into a community septic system. Typically, each home has a septic tank that then sends the filtered wastewater into a community drain or leach field that disperses the effluent from all homes connected to the septic system. Typically, cluster septic systems are found in rural subdivisions or communities that are too far away to connect to the city sewer system.
Septic systems are labeled as large-capacity septic systems if they receive solely sanitary waste from either multiple dwellings or from non-residential establishments. More often than not, septic systems for campgrounds, septic systems for schools, and church septic systems rely on large-capacity septic systems to remove effluent and treat it. Septic systems for hotels and restaurants may also use a commercial septic system. The system must have the capacity to serve over 20 people per day. Large capacity septic systems commonly service businesses and dwellings that are too far away from the city’s sewer system including:
All large-capacity septic systems are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as well as state and county regulations. However, the EPA does not regulate single-family septic systems that serve fewer than 20 individuals a day. Due to the potentially high capacity of effluent that flows through large-capacity septic systems daily, there are strict rules and regulations surrounding their use. This is because any misstep in the installation process, failure to notice damage that needs repair, or not properly maintaining a large capacity septic system can result in severe repercussions including contaminated water supply, exposure to harmful bacteria, and damage to the integrity of the septic system.
In order to fully understand the rules and regulations surrounding large-capacity septic systems, the property owner must first look at their county and state regulations. This is due to the fact that each county and state is able to create additional rules and regulations concerning large-capacity septic systems, on top of the septic system rules and regulations set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Some factors that the EPA looks at to determine if the large capacity septic system is a safe option are:
Soil is a significant factor when designing a commercial septic system receiving solely sanitary waste. That is why understanding the soil type where the septic system will be is a fundamental aspect of designing an effective large capacity septic system. Due to this, the EPA requires the soil to be tested before a permit for a septic system can be obtained. This soil test will determine the present soil types for septic systems.
When compared to the recommended maintenance schedule of a single-family septic system, commercial or large-capacity septic systems need to be cleaned and maintained more often. Mainly, commercial septic systems handle substantial amounts of effluent that a single-family septic system would not be able to handle. They also produce more effluent that enters the groundwater. Due to the safety hazards that unmaintained commercial septic systems can place on individuals, wildlife and surrounding bodies of water, the septic system must be maintained on a regular basis.
Large-capacity septic systems also require the use of more specialized cleaners and equipment to handle the larger amounts of waste buildup in the septic tank. As more and more people contribute to the effluent flowing into the large commercial septic system, buildup within the septic tank will occur at a much faster rate. The best way to ensure that a commercial septic system lasts as long as possible is to work with our septic system experts at Acuantia to set up a maintenance and cleaning schedule.