Florida Septic System Information


We at Southern Water and Soil, Inc., believe
that it is important to provide education to homeowners, business owners,
general contractors, developers, and governmental agencies.

SWS would like to provide you with educational materials and
support needed to determine the best system for your project. We have a variety
of educational materials from pamphlets, to websites, to personal presentations.
If you would like more information or to schedule a presentation please contact us.


Educational FAQ’s:

As a homeowner, developer, planner, or designer
it is a daunting task to decide what type of system would be best for your home,
development, or design. People often have concerns or questions. SWS offers a
variety of innovative products and technologies to help solve your problems.
Here are some examples:


“I don’t want a
mound.” “I don’t want it to take up the entire yard.” ” I don’t want to lose the
trees that are in the yard.”

Perhaps disguising or
relocating the system can achieve your goals. Drip irrigation is another
possibility. Drip irrigation can decrease the footprint of your septic system by
as much as 70%.

SWS has vast experience with drip irrigation
systems in Florida. SWS promotes the use of Geoflow
drip irrigation systems
. Geoflow pressure compensating drip irrigation
systems contain ROOTGUARD® and
Ultra–Fresh®. These patented technologies completely
solve root intrusion and biological plugging problems for subsurface drip

In Florida, drip irrigation can be used after
secondary treatment of wastewater. It is a beneficial reuse of water protecting
Florida’s precious water sources by returning water to the water cycle near its
point of use.

“Do I have
to build my home that high?”

ProSTEP™ effluent pumping systems can be used to solve this
problem. The use of a reliable pump with low pressure dosing can prolong the
life of your wastewater system disposal field while providing the freedom to
build your home to the height desired or required by local building codes.

“I have
been told that I need an engineered designed system with low pressure dosing…
what does that mean?”

A low pressure dosing
system in Florida has to be designed according to 64E-6 Florida Administrative
Code and meet requirements described by the EPA onsite manual. The system has to
be designed by a professional engineer that has experience with onsite
wastewater systems.

If you would like to read
a bit about the use of low pressure dosing systems here is a link that is from
the National
Small Flows Clearinghouse.
  If you would like to learn more about low
pressure pipe systems here is a link to a paper by Eric Ball, PE.

“Is there
a product that I can choose that would last longer than a traditional septic

The use of an advanced
treatment system, Orenco’s ProSTEP™ packages,
effluent filters, and low pressure dosing systems with timed dosing help solve
this need.

“I have
had a pump in my system and it has been damaged by lightning twice in the last
three years.”

The use of
Orenco’s ProSTEP™ pumping package with surge
arrestors on the control panel and on the effluent pumps provide the added
protection. A licensed electrician can install the control panel with proper
grounding can improve the performance of the pump system. The Orenco pumps have
an optional 5-year warranty that can be purchased.

“My septic
system seems to be sluggish and slow. Does it need to be replaced? If so, is
there any way I can save my landscaping?”

If your drainfield is in
failure it cannot take the amount of water or the organic load that is being
produced.  Time dosing your drainfield with SWS’s effluent
pumping system can rejuvenate your drainfield without the cost of destroying
your landscape or replacing your drainfield. Time dosing allows large volumes of
water (i.e., laundry, bathing, dishes, etc.) used to be dosed throughout the
entire day instead of at the time of use. Spreading out wastewater dosing can
allow more time for your drainfield to recover.

The reduction of organic loads to the drainfield
is another alternative to replacing your drainfield. SWS can design a treatment
system than can reduce organic loading of the drainfield. By reducing the
organic loading the infiltrative surfaces inside of your disposal system can be
cleaned naturally and the system can continue to function, without the
destruction of your landscaping.


“I heard
that septic systems are required to have effluent filters. Is there a
difference between filters?”

Yes, there is a
difference between filters. There are two factors that you have to consider when
choosing an effluent filter: Surface Area
and Flow Area
. The Surface Area is where the particulates are caught and the
Flow Area is the amount of openings that are in the filter allowing the effluent
to pass. A large surface area is great, however, if there is nowhere for the
effluent to flow then it requires more maintenance. So, flow area is just as
important as surface area. SWS can help you determine the correct filter for
your application ensuring a filter that peforms without frequent

“I hear a
loud buzzing noise near my lift station. How do I stop it?”

There should be a box or
control panel near your lift station or on the wall nearest the lift station. Is
there a number to call on the outside of the panel. Be careful if you try to
open the box! Some panels can be unsafe to touch. It is better for a trained
professional to remedy the situation. If you are looking for a reputable company
to help you we can recommend a few in your area of Florida.

There is an alternative to the simple alarm
system that you quite possibly have. A professional would need to visit your
site to tell you what is wrong with your system, next gather the materials
needed to replace whatever is wrong with your system, and then return to correct
the problem. Meanwhile your system is not functioning. Orenco’s VeriComm®
panels are affordable means of monitoring your system. Adding features such as
VeriComm to your system can provide you the peace of mind knowing that someone
will be there to correct the problem and that the system will continue to
function until the help gets there. The use of trend data allows your system to
continue to function. For an online demo please click here.

Developers, Designers and Planners

“I have
heard that septic systems pollute our groundwater… is that

Properly designed and
operated onsite wastewater systems with water tight tanks can operate at high
standards. In many areas of Florida (i.e., Lutz, Brandon,
Ruskin, Plant City, Zephyrhills, Dade City, Spring Hill and other areas in Karst
terrains), excess nutrients in water bodies have been blamed on onsite
wastewater (septic and package plants) systems. A system can be designed to
remove excess nitrogen. Wastewater pretreatment with appropriate treatment
technologies provides the advanced treatment required to meet the most stringent
water quality needs for the onsite industry.

Drip irrigation can be used to reduce the impact
of nitrates in septic system effluent. Please click here to
view a paper presented by Geoflow, Inc., describing the ability of a subsurface
drip irrigation system to reduce nitrates in your watershed.

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