Septic System FAQs
How Much Smaller Are Advanced Enviro-Septic® and Enviro-Septic® Compared to Conventional Treatment Systems?
Although the exact sizes vary from state to state, both of our flagship septic treatment solutions developed by Presby Environmental, Inc. are approximately 40% smaller than traditional wastewater alternatives. Thanks to this more compact design, Advanced Enviro-Septic® and Enviro-Septic® systems install for a fraction of what you might normally spend.
What Is the Expected Useful Lifetime of Each Enviro-Septic® System?
If the system is designed, installed and maintained properly, there is no limit to the life expectancy of Enviro-Septic® Technology. In the event that the System malfunctions due to abuse, AES or Enviro-Septic® may be rejuvenated in as little as 72 hours, eliminating the need for a replacement.
Do I Need Certification to Install, Design, or Maintain Advanced Enviro-Septic® and Enviro-Septic®?
Presby certification is required in order to design or install an Advanced Enviro-Septic® or Enviro-Septic® System in California. This ensures quality control and a proper understanding of the product. In an effort to provide product support to both the homeowner and the septic professional, NexGen Septics in coordination with Presby Environmental offers convenient, self-paced, online (and DVD) certification classes free of charge! ITo learn more, contact us directly by phone (844-544-4242) or through our email form.
Do I Have To Be a Professional Installer to Attend a Free Enviro-Septic® Certification Course?
Not at all. Presby Environmental and NexGen Septics’ training and certification courses are free of charge – regardless of your background. Available online or via DVD, these classes are designed for anyone who wants to learn more about installing this revolutionary septic system technology.
If you have additional questions about these courses, contact us today.
Are There Any Enviro-Septic® Review Courses for Inspectors, Health Officials, and Regulators?
Not yet. But we will soon be offering free online and DVD courses in coordination with Presby Environmental, Inc. for those responsible for municipal-level wastewater inspections. To learn when these courses are available, you can either sign up for our notification list or check our frequently updated class schedule.
In the meantime, however, all inspectors and health officials are invited to participate in our other free certification courses.
What is the gallons per day (gpd) limit that is allowed in a single AES or Enviro-Septic® System bed (or per section of a combination System)?
The official gallons per day (GPD) threshold for individual septic beds varies from state to state. And in some jurisdictions, you can petition for higher wastewater treatment limits. If your needs exceed the state-mandated threshold, you may need to combine several Enviro-Septic® units together.
If you have additional questions about septic system limits, be sure to read your state-specific installation manual.
How Does Enviro-Septic® technology Handle Garbage Disposals?
If the tank is properly sized for garbage disposal use and equipped with baffles, the AES or Enviro-Septic® System’s size does not need to be adjusted due to the use of a garbage disposal.
The use of a garbage disposal adds considerably more solids to a septic system than are usually present. This typically requires a larger septic tank (or a multiple tank design) and more frequent pumping. Please inform your system designer of your intention to install a garbage disposal for this reason.
Often, garbage disposals are installed at a later date after the System has been installed. If this is the case we recommend that the AES or Enviro-Septic® treatment bed size is increased by 10%.
Does Enviro-Septic® Technology Freeze in Subzero Temperatures?
No. Both Advanced Enviro-Septic® and Enviro-Septic® were designed in New Hampshire and rigorously tested in Canada to ensure they could endure even the harshest winters.
Part of this endurance stems from the unique design of this powerful septic technology. Thanks to passive filtration and bacterial ecosystems, there is enough latent heat to prevent any freezing.
Moreover, the septic field frequently receives periodic doses of warmed water from the accompanying tank, which further elevates the internal temperature of the entire system.
On rare occasions, the distribution box may freeze. This typically occurs due to improper venting or insufficient foam insulation. But even in wintry Canada, this almost never happens.
Can I Use a Separate Tank Filter with Advanced Enviro-Septic® and Enviro-Septic®?
You can – but it isn’t recommended. Even when properly installed and regularly maintained, most effluent filters restrict the free flow of oxygen. And this makes it harder for your Enviro-Septic® system to cultivate waste-eating bacteria.
If your jurisdiction requires the use of effluent filters, be sure to choose one that doesn’t cut off the air supply. We also recommend following the filter manufacturer’s servicing schedule and inspect and clean your effluent filters on a regular basis.
Do I Have To Vent My Enviro-Septic® System?
Yes. The system relies on aerobic bacterial treatment processes, so oxygen is essential. Venting is required on all Enviro-Septic® Technology, whether or not it is required by your jurisdiction.
If you’re concerned about aesthetics, we can recommend a number of ways to minimize the visual impact of protruding vent stacks. For some helpful tips, simply contact us directly.
Can My Roof’s Vent Double As Enviro-Septic® System’s “High” Vents?
Yes. Your property’s vent can serve as your septic system’s high vent – provided that there are no other restrictions or obstacles between the low vent and your rooftop.
If you’d like additional information on proper septic system venting, contact us directly.
Can I Use Charcoal Filters with Enviro-Septic® System Vents?
It is not recommended. For starters, Enviro-Septic® treats all wastewater internally, meaning that it doesn’t release any noxious odors or fumes. So charcoal filters are entirely unnecessary. In fact, they can actually make the problem worse by masking smells that signal a much larger underlying issue. And without that important cue, you won’t know to intervene and correct the problem.
Moreover, filters can sometimes restrict the free flow of oxygen, which inhibits the bacterial growth required for proper wastewater treatment.
Can I Install the Low Vent at the Distribution Box and the High Vent at the End of the Field?
Yes. Both Advanced Enviro-Septic® and Enviro-Septic® allow for this configuration. But if using this setup in colder climates, make sure you properly insulate the distribution box (d-box) to prevent it from freezing. If you have additional vent-related questions, feel free to contact us directly.
Can I Install Both the Low and High Vents at the Same End of the Field?
Yes. This configuration will work with our Advanced Enviro-Septic® and Enviro-Septic® treatment systems. Just make sure that the 2 lines aren’t plumbed in together.
What Should I Plant above the Enviro-Septic® Treatment Field?
You can safely plant shallow-rooted ground covers, native wildflowers, and most strains of grass above the treatment field. However, you should avoid planting trees or large shrubs within 10 feet of the treatment field to prevent roots from damaging your Enviro-Septic® system.
In addition, we don’t recommend planting any vegetation with heavy water requirements. Similarly, you shouldn’t cultivate plants intended for human consumption near the drain field.
Remember that Enviro-Septic® technology works best when it has access to a steady supply of oxygen. So be careful not to add too much soil or mulch over the drain field. Doing so could potentially suffocate the bacterial cultures needed for proper wastewater treatment.
Can I Install an Irrigation System over Advanced Enviro-Septic® or Enviro-Septic® systems?
No. Doing so could flood the system and negatively impact its wastewater treatment capabilities. Additionally, nearby gutter systems, sump pumps, roof drains, and floor drains should all be installed so that there discharge never comes near your septic system.
You can use grading, landscaping, and surface diversions (i.e. swales) to help redirect rain runoff away from your Enviro-Septic® system. And the soil over the treatment field should be properly crowned to prevent surface water from pooling over the treatment field.
How Deep Can I Bury My Advanced Enviro-Septic® or Enviro-Septic® System?
Advanced Enviro-Septic® and Enviro-Septic® grant a tremendous amount of leeway when it comes to installation depth. Usually the limiting factor on how deep an AES or Enviro-Septic® System can be buried is the depth to the seasonal high water table or some other restrictive feature.
Just keep in mind that neither Advanced Enviro-Septic® nor Enviro-Septic® products should ever be buried more than 10 feet deep. Any septic system installed 18+ inches in the ground will likely need to be vented.
Can I Safely Drive over an Advanced Enviro-Septic® or Enviro-Septic® Treatment Field?
It depends. Driving over a treatment field can potentially damage your Enviro-Septic® system if it wasn’t designed for H20 loading. The same is true of any excessive weight since this extra load can compact the underlying soil, thus, limiting the free flow of oxygen. You also need to think about the negative impact that heavy farm animals, agricultural machinery, and construction equipment (including ATVs) could have on your septic system, and keep any such traffic to a minimum.
How Do I Handle My State’s Annual Septic System Inspections?
Most states mandate annual inspections of septic systems and other wastewater management technologies. Although the exact requirements vary by jurisdiction, you may be qualified to conduct these inspections on your own – provided that you’ve successfully completed the free Presby certification course (separate courses regarding inspections TBD).
Should I Glue Together the Raised Connections?
Advanced Enviro-Septic® and Enviro-Septic® both come with raised connections that are already tapered to fit one another, so gluing is not required. However, gluing them is highly recommended to ensure connections remain assembled during the backfill procedures.
Why Won’t the Black Fabric Stay Flush with the Enviro-Septic® Coupler?
The pipes used with our septic system technology are designed to contract during cold weather and expand during warm weather. If the fabric falls short of reaching the fitting, it is not cause for alarm. Installers can very easily pull or push the pipe to make it slightly longer or shorter. If a space remains between the fabric and fitting, the System Sand will bridge over exposed pipe perforations, preventing additional System Sand from entering the pipe and suspended solids from exiting the pipe.
Should I Compact the System Sand During the Installation Process?
No. After System Sand is spread between rows it is recommended that the installer straddle each row of pipe and walk heel-to-toe its entire length, ensuring that System Sand fills all void spaces beneath the Advanced Enviro-Septic® or Enviro-Septic® pipe. Pneumatic tired equipment and/or mechancial compactors should not be used to compact System Sand, fill or fill extension areas. Mechanical compaction will damage the soil’s ability to disburse liquid and may inhibit oxygen supply to the system.
What Is System Sand – and Why Is It so Important?
System Sand is a course, granular material that is designed to aid in the free flow of oxygen around Advanced Enviro-Septic® and Enviro-Septic® treatment systems. Because both technologies rely on aerobic bacterial digestion, having access to a steady supply of air is necessary for optimal performance.
However, not all System Sands are created equally. You need the right consistency when using either of our wastewater treatment solutions. We sell System Sand – both from our headquarters in California and through our nationwide network of sub dealers. If you already have your own System Sand, make sure it has a 3% pass rate when using a #200 sieve by having a sieve analysis performed on the sand.
If you have specific questions about System Sand, check out our main page here. And you can also contact us directly.
Have Questions That Are Not on This List?
Do you have additional questions that we haven’t answered yet? No problem. Just drop us a line and we’ll respond ASAP.
We are a large septic system design company located in Central New Hampshire. Since 1995 we have designed over 800 commercial and residential Enviro-Septic® systems. We have yet to experience a problem with a single installation.David Ames, Designer, Ames Associates, Meredith, New Hampshire