EPA Septic Training

Wastewater (Septic System) Training for the Oklahoma Tribal Communities has been completed.  However, don't miss out on the informational links and list of companies that can supply equipment, parts, and/or answer questions you might have.



LINKS: This site offers valuable information and resources to manage onsite wastewater systems in a manner that is protective of public health and the environment and allows communities to grow and prosper. Highlights from this Web site include:
  • Guidance, Manuals and Policies - Contains several documents outlining EPA's mission, priorities, and regulatory authorities as well as guidance and technical information to help communities establish comprehensive onsite wastewater management programs.
  • Partners and EPA Contacts - A listing of national partners and EPA contacts which offer helpful assistance to state and local managers to promote the management of septic (onsite) systems.
  • Tools and Resources - Resources for key community members: homeowners, state/local/tribal officials, and service providers.
  • Education and Outreach - Activities and tools to help raise public awareness and engage interested or affected individuals in the proper management of onsite wastewater systems.
  • Demonstration Projects - Onsite demonstration projects that offer valuable information and data on a wide range of topics including alternative technologies, risk assessment, and program development.
  • Technical Information - Helpful fact sheets and technical information about alternative treatment technologies, and septic (onsite) systems.

Academic Links:
Small Wastewater System Operation and Maintenance
Why Do Septic Systems Fail?
Septic Tank Maintenance
Soil Evaluation
Septic Tank-Soil Absorption Systems
Septic Tank - Mound System
University of Minnesota Onsite Sewage Treatment Programs
Small Scale Waste Management Project

On-Site Wastewater Research Program

Septic Systems
Utah On-Site Wastewater Treatment Training Center


A Partial list of on-site wastewater treatment system equipment suppliers

NOTE:  Rose State College does not endorse or recommend any of the following contractors or suppliers.

Advanced Drainage Systems  -  ADS
401 Olive Street
Findlay, OH 45840
Phone: 419.421.5426

Carla Neiderhiser, Marketing Specialist  carla.neiderhiser@ads-pipe.com

American Manufacturing Co., Inc.    P.O. Box 97 Elkwood, Virginia 22718-0097    (800) 345-3132

American Manufacturing Company, Inc. manufactures residential and commercial wastewater and water system products, including Bull Run Valve, Dial-A-Flow, Perc-Rite® drip equipment, alarms, pump controls and motor controls, both demand and Timer Controls plus Remote Operation & Monitoring

ANUA    P.O. Box 77457, Greensboro, NC 27417

Anua is committed to providing clean air and clean water with wastewater treatment, water reuse and odor and VOC solutions for municipalities, industry, commercial developers and the residential market

Raymond Peat, Director of Business Development
Tel: (336) 547-9338       Fax: (336) 547-8559
www.anua-us.com         Raymond.peat@anua-us.com

Atlantic Solutions, Ltd.    Delivering A Cleaner Tomorrow     2417 East Main Road Portsmouth, RI 02871

Office (401) 293-0176         Fax (401) 293-0178        (877) 214-WATER
Sales@septicsystems.net         www.atlanticsolutionsltd.com

BIO-MICROBICS, INC  Better Water, Better World    8450 Cole Pkwy, Shawnee, Ks. 66227

Bio-Microbics manufactures wastewater and storm water treatment systems for decentralized homes, communities, and commercial properties located around the globe. With tens of thousands of installations all over the world, the FAST® technology is used successfully in municipal, industrial, marine, commercial and residential type applications for over 35 years.

Tel: (913) 422-0707                           Toll-free: (800) 753-3278                  Fax: (913) 422-0808
sales@biomicrobics.com                   www.biomicrobics.com

Amanda Renner    Sales & Marketing Specialist

Clearstream Wastewater Systems, Inc.    Residential – Commercial - Marine                 
P.O. Box 7568    Beaumont, TX 77726

Although wastewater treatment systems are our life at Clearstream, we understand they are not and should not be constantly on your mine.  Our mission is for the consumer not to be bothered by frequent malfunctions of their wastewater treatment system.  The user friendly design of our equipment, along with the finest materials and components available, ensure long, trouble-free performance of our treatment systems.

Richard Corey, Sales    Email: Richard@clearstreamsystems.com     Cell: (409) 782-4354
(409) 755-1500                    (800) 586-3656                    FAX (409) 755-6500


eljen corporation    Innovative Environmental Products & Solutions Since 1970        East Hartford, CT 06108

Our Philosophy

Eljen Corporation is committed to advancing the onsite industry through continuous development of innovative new products, delivering high quality products and services to our customers at the best price, and building lasting partnerships with our employees, suppliers, and customers.

TEL: (800) 444-1359        FAX: (860) 610-0427        info@eljen.com           www.eljen.com

GEOFLOW, Inc.    Subsurface Drip Dispersal    506 Tamal Plaza    Corte Madera, CA 94925, USA
We are dedicated to protecting the environment. Geoflow‘s mission is to provide products, technology and know–how  that will enable the agriculture, landscape and wastewater industries to use sound irrigation and dispersal practices that preserve the quality and quantity of valuable water resources.

Tel: 800–828–3388 or 415–927–6000        Fax: 415–927–0120        www.geoflow.com

GEO-flow® Pipe Leaching System

How Does GEO-Flow Pipe System Work?

Wastewater enters one of the system and percolates through 8 rows of holes into the exterior valley. The combination of net, septic envelope and perforations, enhances the distribution and biological reduction of wastewater throughout the entire circumference of the system. The GEO-Flow pipe's pretreatment capability supports the high reduction rates state health departments give the GEO-FLow pipe.

ADS/Hancor, Inc.,    58 Wyoming Street, Ludlow, MA. 01056    (800) 733-3555    www.ads-pipe.com

HOOT SYSTEMS,LLC    2885 Highway 14 E.    Lake Charles, LA 70607

(888) 878-HOOT            (337) 474-2804        FAX (337)-7904        www.hootsystems.com

The HOOT Aerobic Treatment System is a complete five-stage, one piece wastewater treatment system. This feature-packed aerobic treatment system operates like a small municipal treatment plant.

Oklahoma Representative for Hoot Systems:
Area Septic Services Inc.    Brian Evans    28576 Highway 29    Elmore City, OK. 73433
(866) 763-4668    (580) 788-2109

norweco    Engineering the future of water and wastewater treatment

Install with confidence when using a Singulair Green  complete onsite wastewater treatment package

Scott T. Hetrick, Sales Manager    shetrick@norweco.com

220 Republic Street, Norwalk, OH, 44857        Tel: (419) 668-4471        Fax: (419) 663-5440    www.norweco.com
OSI  Orenco Systems, Inc.    814 Airway Avenue    Sutherlin, Oregon 97479  

(800) 348-9843    www.orenco.com 

·         Single-family homes,    Small commercial properties,    New construction, repairs,    Tight lots, other site constraints

·         Poor soils, shallow bury,    Stringent permit requirements,    Nitrogen reduction, disinfection,    Surface discharge

Robert B. Miller    Area Sales Manager    11054 Vollmer Lane    San Antonio, Texas

Phone: (210) 254-9565    (800) 348-9843    Fax: (541-459-2884    Email: rmiller@orenco.com

PRESBY ENVIRONMENTAL, INC    The Next Generation of Wastewater Treatment Technology

Presby Environmental combines innovation, simplicity and extensive research and development into a patented line of complimentary onsite wastewater treatment technologies.

Lee Rashkin, DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING    143 Airport Road, Whitefield, New Hampshire 03598

1-800-473 * 603-837-3826 * Fax 603-837-9864    www.presbyenvironmental.com     lee.rashkin@presbyeco.com

Salcor Inc.    P.O. Box 1090, Fallbrook, CA 92088    (760) 731-0745 * FAX: (760) 731-2405

“Everyones’ Friend,”    Environmental/Public Health Specialist,    Engineers, Designers,    Installers, O&M Providers,    Treatment Plant Manufacturers


SeptiTech    Commercial & Engineered

Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems    Systems and service designed to EXCEED your expectations!

69 Holland Street    Lewiston, ME 04240

We are a company with a mission, which is to produce the most effective, most reliable, highest value and most owner-friendly wastewater treatment systems in the industry. Relentless research, development and continuous product improvement are SeptiTech hallmarks.

Tel: (270) 333-6940    Fax: (270) 333-6944    info@septitech.com     www.septitech.com


SI Precast Concrete has partnered with several manufacturers of aerobic treatment units to answer the ever-growing demand of regulatory agencies requiring pretreatment of effluent prior to discharging to any type of disposal system and offers a full line of aerobic treatment units from Delta Environmental Products and Norweco, all leaders in the field of aerobic treatment products.

345 West Hefner Rd    Oklahoma City, Ok. 73114    (405) 752-9033    (800) 256-4949    FAX (405) 751-50956505 S 57th West Ave    Tulsa, Ok. 74131    (918) 446-2131    (800) 462-0641    FAX (918) 446-2151

www.siprecast.com     info@siprecast.com;    gbarrett@siprecast.com

MICHAEL T. LANNAN, P.E.    VICE PRESIDENT    info@techenv.com

PHONE. (781) 890-2220 Ext. 33    CELL. (781) 718-9305    FAX. (781) 890-9451    MLANNA@TECHENV.COM

VMG Environmental Solutions, LLC    102 Guilder Lane; Unit B    Georgia, Vermont 05468

Site & Soil Feasibility Reports,    Septic Systems – New & Replacement,    Evaluations – Designs – Construction Inspections

State / Local / Environmental Permitting,    Projects From Seasonal Conversions Up to Community Systems

Ph: (802) 310-0802    Fax: (802) 893-6605    Email: vmgenvsol@gmail.com     Vic Giard    VT Lic B #309    NH Lic #1254

Waterloo Biofilter Systems Inc.    on-site wastewater treatment

Advanced Septic systems     For Homes and Cottages

Waterloo Biofilters use very little energy; up to 85% less power than aeration technologies using air compressors!

E. Craig Jowet, Ph.D., P Eng.    President
143 Dennis Street, Rockwood, Ontario N0B 2K0    Tel: (519) 856-0757 * Fax (519) 856-0759
Craig@waterloo-biofilter.com     www.waterloo-biofilter.com


October 2013

Septic system basics for homeowners, community leaders, planners and realtors

Part 3: Physical considerations and care of your septic system

This article is the fourth in a series about onsite/decentralized wastewater treatment. Earlier articles:

·         What is an onsite or decentralized wastewater system?

·         "Septic system basics for homeowners, community leaders, planners and realtors," parts 1 and 2

The second article in this series on septic system basics identified the major physical parts of a septic system and what they do but did not explain any particular things to consider about those parts. Here are a few considerations:

  • Septic tank: The tank needs to be big enough to handle the volume of wastewater that flows out of a house or building. Usually flow is estimated based on the number of bedrooms in a home or on the number of water-using fixtures, like faucets, toilets, showers, etc. Usually new residential septic tanks hold around 1,000 gallons or more. State and local regulations define specific criteria for septic tanks. Erring on the side of smaller is never a good idea for a septic tank.
  • Drain field or leach field: The type of soil here is important. It needs to allow the wastewater to seep into the ground, but not too fast or too slow. Both leach fields and drip irrigation are routinely used in the U.S. Drip irrigation uses a smaller-diameter, flexible hose to distribute the wastewater to the soil instead of the traditional pipe network.
  • The entire system: Soil type and separation distances from buildings, property lines, wells, waterways and the water table help determine the size and type of system that goes in the ground and where it can be located. Public health laws and building codes in most states set forth requirements for how and where a system needs to be constructed. 

There are many more considerations, and a qualified installer will know about them and the specific regulations of your area.

Ways homeowners and business owners should be caring for and maintaining their systems

Throw-aways like cigarette butts, kitty litter, coffee grounds, tampons, diapers and baby wipes will clog your system. Some household chemicals can wreak havoc with a system, but usually not unless they are used excessively. If a system is having problems that are not obvious, a good question for the homeowner to ask is: What kinds of cleaners do you use and how often?

See the RCAP video "Your Role as a Customer in Your Community’s Wastewater System"

High-strength wastes from some activities should be kept out of the system because they can cause damage. Examples of activities that may produce substances that should not go down the drain:

  • Home businesses—for example, beauty salons—may introduce strong chemicals; catering can stress a system, not through chemicals but through volume and concentration of waste to be treated (undigested food is harder to break down than digested food); daycares may also generate a high volume of water that can overload a system.
  • Hobbies: Harsh chemicals can be generated from hobbies like photography; arts and crafts may involve the use of chemicals.
  • Home improvement: Latex paint can destroy the soil-absorption system by irreparably clogging it. While latex paint is water-soluble and will move through the septic tank into the soil-absorption system, it will harden up there and can coat and clog an entire soil-absorption system.
  • Medication: Strong medications can kill the bacteria in the system. Do not flush unused prescription drugs down the toilet! Talk to your pharmacy about proper disposal/destruction of unused medications.

High water usage can cause problems. A system can be overloaded if, for example, the size of the house or number of occupants has outgrown the original system. Other behaviors that can overload a system: doing many loads of laundry; taking long or many showers; multiple-jet showerheads; hot tubs.

Protect your soil-absorption system:

  • Keep vehicles, livestock, sheds and large piles off the absorption system.  Compacting the soil interferes with the biology of the process.
  • Plant only grass over the absorption system. Keep plant roots out.
  • Divert roof drains and rainwater away from the system. Do not add non-wastewater, such as from a sump pump, to the system.
  • Do not build over the absorption system.

Periodic inspections and pumping the solids and greases out of the tank help keep your system running well. Some states certify septic-system professionals. Your local health department or building-codes division can tell you more about licensing requirements in your area. If there are no obvious problems and the system appears to be operating well, an inspector might just open up the septic tank to make sure there are not too many accumulated solids. An inspection of the entire system might be necessary when there are problems with the system and may involve uncovering other parts of the system (the distribution box and leach field). It is wise to determine exactly what an inspection will cover and what it will cost up before agreeing to the service.

Typical signs of problems in your system are:

  • Wastewater backing up into the house
  • Chronic slow-running drains
  • Outbreak of wastewater on the surface of the ground
  • Contaminated groundwater; positive coliform test in well water
  • Recognizable odor
  • Structural failure

Thanks to Candace Balmer, a Water Resource Specialist for RCAP Solutions, the Northeast RCAP, who was the creator of a training presentation from which this article was adapted.

Download the training presentation on the RCAP website

It is important for homeowners to keep and update maintenance records on their septic system. Keep records on inspections and on the history of pumping and repairs. Keep sketches of the system and the location of its components. Some states or management entities may require records to verify the system is functioning. They may need to see them periodically or when your property is transferred or sold.

The bottom line is that you should respect your septic system. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. Call on a reputable maintenance/repair company when necessary, and pay attention to the rules and regulations.


New videos for small, rural communities

Produced for:

  • Members of boards of directors/governing bodies of community water systems
  • Decision-makers
  • Managers of community water systems
  • Operators
  • Customers/community residents

Watch the videos:

Share these videos with other leaders or staff, show them at meetings, or feel free to embed them on your utility's website for customers to see.




We welcome your feedback, questions, and suggestions of topics to cover. Contact us

Got a question for an expert? Submit a question to be answered by one of RCAP's field staff members. Questions can be about technical, managerial or financial matters in your system. Submit your question at www.rcap.org/askexpert

RCAP’s A Drop of Knowledge electronic newsletter
1701 K St. N.W. Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 2006

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