Septic Systems for Campgrounds, RV Parks, and Mobile Home Parks

When creating a septic system for a mobile home park, campground or RV park it’s imperative that your site is engineered correctly, the system is of an appropriate size and you’re taking the types of waste into consideration. Previously, RV parks tended to push what is considered to be untreated grey and black water through to the drain field. While solids are separated and effluent is sent to the drain field, nothing is treated before it’s leached into the surrounding ground (and groundwater). Large capacity septic systems installed in rural areas without wastewater treatment must be carefully planned and engineered to ensure this doesn’t happen.

On This Page: Large Capacity or Cluster, Do I Need Wastewater Treatment?, State or Federal Leased Land & Your System, Environmental Impact, Maintenance, Understanding Your System, Inspections, Pumping Schedule, Documentation

For example, you may ask for specs for a system based on the average capacity of your campground or park. Dictating the size of your system based on averages could set you up for failure when you run at max capacity during your busiest months. Along with a way to process waste being dumped from campsites or mobile home pads, you’ll need the capacity to process waste from a dump station, on-site toilet, showers and more for a large number of people. The rule here is build a system that will function when you’re at or above max capacity to ensure functionality through your busiest season.

Large Capacity or Cluster Septic System? 

Likely your system will be serving more than 20 people per day so a large capacity system is more appropriate for a campground or RV park. When a septic system has the capacity to serve 20 or more people each day and processes solely sanitary waste from multiple dwellings or a non-residential establishment, it qualifies as a large-capacity system.

The following facilities are generally served by large-capacity sewer systems

  • Mobile home parks
  • Industrial, commercial and office buildings
  • Campgrounds and state parks
  • Recreational Vehicle (RV) parks
  • Rest areas along highways

While there are exceptions, a cluster system is designed to serve residential installation for a few people per home that use a shared drain field. The cluster system allows for smaller residential lots, but would likely not be appropriate for 20+ RV spaces, a dump station, a shower/lavatory building plus greywater disposal.

Do I Need A Wastewater Treatment System For My Campground or RV Park? 

Depending upon the engineering for the site, you may consider adding a wastewater treatment system so as to not overload your septic tank and drain field during busy or rainy seasons. The availability of waste dump sites at RV parks is extremely important. It keeps people from dumping in uncontrolled areas, decreasing the environmental and health impact, and is convenient for their customers. In many areas, its likely required. Without treating wastewater, certain times of the year could result in standing water above your drain field or bad odors for your residents and guests. In many cases, a wastewater treatment system would complement and even support your septic system and help it work more efficiently and effectively.

Also, you’ll need to look into the need for a certified operator for your wastewater treatment. This is likely a requirement although it could possibly be reduced to a part-time or consulting relationship in certain areas of the country.

When a large-capacity septic system (LCSS) is used to discharge anything other than sanitary waste, it ceases to be an LCSS. When industrial waste is disposed of in an LCSS, it becomes an industrial wastewater disposal well. Likewise, motor vehicle waste disposal wells are septic systems that receive vehicle maintenance and repair waste.

State or Federal Leased Land & Your Campground Septic System

If your campground is on state/federal land, or adjacent to state or federal land, there may be certain requirements that would not be necessary for a septic system on a fully private site. They may require you to have a wastewater treatment system along with a septic system big enough to work under sustained full capacity. They will very likely require a fully engineered plan to be submitted before they’ll approve your septic system installation.

Environmental Impact and RV Park & Campground Septic Systems

Along with a system that is the right size for your use, the environmental impacts must be assessed. Your campground and RV park septic system may be the appropriate size and address all your needs, but without an environmental impact statement, the county will likely stall your application. An engineer and a good septic system installation company will understand the regulations for your area and ensure you have all the pieces you need prior to submitting your application.

Large Capacity Septic System Maintenance

There are a few differences between large and residential capacity septic systems. Maintenance needs are different because of the large amount of material processed each day. The amount of land needed to support your septic system can also be different. Some other differences exist as well.

Understand your RV Park Septic System

Get a copy of your large-capacity RV Park septic system’s as-built drawings if you don’t already have one. You can usually get these types of documents from your local records department or public works department if you don’t already have one. The diagrams will show you where all the components of your septic system can be found.

When you know how a septic system works, you are better able to predict potential problems and find solutions. You are also able to help the professionals with valuable information when they come to inspect, maintain or repair the system.

Get Regular Inspections of Your Campground or RV Park System

Inspecting a large-capacity septic system on a routine (yearly) basis is essential. Using a professional septic tank service, you will gain a clear understanding of its condition and performance. It is important to thoroughly inspect your septic system in order to identify potential problems with your septic tank, drain field or other septic system components.

Set Up a Regular Pumping Schedule

The right time to pump a large-capacity septic tank can be hard to determine. Instead of waiting until it’s too late, set up a schedule for pumping your system. The amount of use your system gets during your RV park’s or campground’s on season will determine how often pumping needs to happen.

There are many general rules of thumb that can be used to determine when to pump the system; for example, you may be told to pump the system once annually or even once every three years. However, it is important to determine a schedule that meets the specific needs of your own large-capacity septic system and its usage. Consult a professional septic service if you are unsure where to start.

During your septic tank inspection, inquire about the size and frequency of pumping of your tank. You can also purchase septic tank monitors to keep an eye on your tanks.

You’ll be able to refine your schedule based on how much the tank filled up in that period if you have the septic tank pumped again after a year.

Keep Documentation for Large Capacity Septic System Maintenance & Inspections

You should always keep a record of everything that goes on with your septic system, including repairs, maintenance and servicing. Your records can help you spot trends and emerging issues. For instance, if your pumping needs are increasing, you may need to upgrade your system.

It is important to know when to make changes to your septic system, and to watch for trends or issues that could turn into costly problems. This all goes hand-in-hand with routine inspections and other maintenance tips. State or local legal requirements can also require your records. You’ll also be glad to have the information should you ever list your property for sale.

Not only do you need to plan for installation and engineering of your RV park or campground large capacity septic system – maintenance and inspections also are important to keep in compliance with local, state and federal regulations. They also help you avoid costly repairs or replacements that could be caused by neglect.

Why Choose Acuantia?

We solve commercial, developer, and homeowners’ onsite wastewater needs by:

  • Providing a one-stop-shop experience
  • Partnering with trusted, high-quality service providers
  • Affordably managing your project end-to-end
  • Simplifying the complicated onsite wastewater experience
  • Managing and completing your job to the highest standard
  • Maintaining your system to keep it running into the future

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