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How does a Septic System work?

Most people do understand the purpose of a septic system, but not how it works, or its cost.  In Hawaii prior to 1990 Cesspools were the most commonly used means of dispose of household sewage.  A cesspool is merely a deep hole in the ground, about 8 feet in diameter and normally 18 feet deep, with a concrete cover, having an access hole for pumping.  Depending on the “Percolation” of fluid in a given geographic area, the longevity of a cesspool can be decades. During the 90’s when it became apparent that household sewage was threatening environmental cleanliness, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), imposed new rules for sewage disposal, hence the evolution of the modern septic system to replace cesspools.

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The new rules were only partially enforced, on properties with two houses dumping into one cesspool, and in new construction. Eventually of course the EPA ambition is to out law all cesspools.  A very recent disaster discovery in windward Oahu where Kahuluu stream drains into Kaneohe Bay has become so polluted with human waste, that fishing, swimming, and any human contact has become severely dangerous to ones health!  It has also been revealed that this watershed is surrounded by a residential area boasting 600 cesspools.

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A septic system separates solid waste from grey water, by providing a tank and a surface leach field. ( See Photos)  If a septic tank is kept free of insoluble solids, like napkins and teddy bears, micro organisms eventually convert solids into liquid form, making it unnecessary to pump septic tanks for years.  Most leach field designs distribute grey water into a file within four feet of the surface, enabling some evaporation , but mostly percolation into a few feet of soil.

The cost factor for septic systems is fairly constant except for blue rock potential, in excavation. Leach field size is governed by number of bedrooms, as a gage for usage.  Septic installers offer a wide range of fees, despite the consistent and verifiable cost of materials.

Our prices are very competitive.  Call us for a Free Estimate 808-283-3029