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Old 11-06-2015, 11:48 AM   #1
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Septic - advice needed :)

Hello to all!

My husband and I just bought an Airstream that we will be using as a "guest house" in our backyard.

I would love to know if there is a way to build a small septic under the Airstream as we will not be able to connect it to our existing septic tank (it is too far and big trees and other obstacles are in the way).

What other solutions are there? We are totally new to this worls and are in dire need of guidance here

Many thanks for any advice!

Julie
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:02 PM   #2
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A fifty five gallon barrel buried in the ground will work. Put holes in the bottom Of the barrel and put gravel in the hole before putting the barrel in the ground. You can also run a short flow field from the bottom of the hole out a few feet to help in disposal. The gray water can be run via garden hose anywhere you want it, the black water goes into the barrel. Of course this is probably illegal anywhere you are in Florida! Be sure to keep the barrel away from your well if you still have one. Have used this while on vacation in Ohio and it works well. Where I live in Florida I think the county epa would find out from do gooder neighbors and fine me.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:09 PM   #3
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While doing as avionstream suggests would work, if you or your neighbors have a well the potential for contamination would stop me from doing that. Years ago when we lived where we had a well, it was a shallow well. The neighborhood had sewer but no water so well contamination would not have been an issue, but like avionstream, I have too many neighbors that don't have enough to do.

Having just planned the installation of a system for a three bedroom home, I suspect it would be much less expensive to trench a pipe from the trailer location to the existing system although a long run might make sloping the pipe properly difficult unless the trailer site is higher than the house. Legal constraints (minimum tank size, etc.) may preclude installing a "small" system, at least one that is substantially less expensive. It doesn't take much more time to install a larger tank. The major costs are equipment mobilization and installation labor: tank size, and to a lesser extent, drainfield length are are not strong factors influencing system cost. In my system, increasing the size of the tank 30% only increased total cost by 8%, not including land clearing costs. If I include them, 8% would be more like 5%.

Depending on your location, there may be code issues as well. Systems are designed and permitted for a specific number of bedrooms. If you have excess capacity there should be no problem connecting. If not, it may be difficult to find a contractor to make the connection.

If infrequent use is planned, it might be feasible to use a "blue boy" rolling tank to periodically empty the trailer tanks. Another alternative might be to use a system like the "Flowjet" to pump the effluent through a smaller pipe.

Al
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:48 PM   #4
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I have read on the Forum of folks using the Sewer Solution to pump the tanks quite a distance. I have no personal experience with this, nor do I own a Sewer Solution. It might be prudent to search the Forum on this topic if interested.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:56 PM   #5
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In my county the EPA is the only govt agency that can enter your property without a warrant. So my advice earlier should be considered seriously before undertaking. We are the only county in the state with a county Epa I believe. Too much power, subjectively used. So be careful. If you are in a rural county in the northern part of the state, pretty much anything goes as long as you don't pollute your well.
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannonball View Post
I have read on the Forum of folks using the Sewer Solution to pump the tanks quite a distance. I have no personal experience with this, nor do I own a Sewer Solution. It might be prudent to search the Forum on this topic if interested.
.
That would also be my suggestion as you can “pump” the wastes to your main septic tank through it’s hose using water pressure (and it's not that expensive). Might take awhile but the job would get done. Unless the AS is on higher ground than where the septic tank is, you would have to install a pump to move the contents if you trenched a pvc pipe to drain it.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:04 PM   #7
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I have read on the Forum of folks using the Sewer Solution to pump the tanks quite a distance. I have no personal experience with this, nor do I own a Sewer Solution. It might be prudent to search the Forum on this topic if interested.
YEP good idea.

Frankly if it's really a guest house how often is someone going to be occupying it? If it's six months a year, you might want a permanent installation, otherwise why even consider spending the money?

You can use one inch PVC pipe and OPTIONALLY a mascerator pump to move it uphill by any reasonable amount. (Paint the pipe green so the neighbors won't notice it on the lawn if you must.) Whenever company leaves empty the tanks and store the sections in the garage or under the trailer. If the tank is downhill from the trailer or fairly level you won't need a mascerator pump, but with a six to twelve foot rise one would be a good idea. there's a pipe under the RV for stowing stinky slinky hoses, but you could store PVC extensions to the SS there if you cut them a bit shorter than the common 8 foot lengths. You just glue a connector to one end of each pipe, and push the sections together when you need to use them - it's tight enough it won't leak on the ground, and once you've run enough water to rinse them out, you just take them apart and stow them again.

Paula

Frankly most people would probably prefer to shower in the house - or outside shower which a lot of properties in Florida have - so you might have only a small amount of waste water, etc., to drain. You COULD get what's commonly called a "blue boy" (though most seem to be mud gray now). It's a bit like a kid's little red wagon - a tank on wheels. You use a short hose to connect to the trailer's sewer outlet, fill the tank, pull it to the septic tank, dump it, repeat if necessary. Just remember water weighs about 8 lbs per gallon so the 40 gallon blueboy might be a really bad idea... I'd personally not go more than 15 especially if "when full" is uphill.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:13 PM   #8
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Swamp land doesn't go with septics, here in N. Fl we are on old beach sand, when county tested for septic, they dug a 6 foot hole and poured a gallon of water in to time it's movement, told him it was a waste of time, you can put a hose on the ground and leave it running full open and it doesn't form a puddle

Grey water only becomes a problem if you put it in a tank, dumping tank is considered sewage and will be the same as black water when epa writes it up.

Check on composting toilets some on here have installed.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:16 PM   #9
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Don't forget the zoning nazi's

Before you even think of doing this - consider the local zoning codes, how rigorously they're enforced, and whether you have any neighbors who are complete a**holes. About every 10 to 15 years someone in our fine city's zoning commission decides to enforce existing ordinances against storing RV's in the yard. Misery, expense (and a lot of 25 year old basket cases getting hauled to the dump) ensue. The storage lots clean up.... then gradually the RV's start going home again.

If you have a small lot, and don't have a privacy fence that basically makes the trailer invisible from most of the neighbors AND you live in a planned community, it would be easier to convert a garage to a guest room.

Paula
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:18 PM   #10
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I'm one of the folks who uses the Valtera Sewer Solution to drain my black and grey tanks to the cleanout on my sewer line where it meets the septic tank. I wouldn't drain raw sewage into anything other than a properly installed and permitted connection on my property. Maybe if I lived in the boonies I would... but we are in a neighborhood, so I use my existing septic system which s purpose built for handling such material.

Anyway, the VSS can move waste of all types through extension pipes. I use 10' lengths of 1" pvc electrical conduit. It's 50' from my trailer drain to the septic clean out where I attach the end of the conduit using a fitting for the purpose supplied with the VSS kit.

You can google Valtera Sewer Solution and see how it functions. Watch the YouTube videos... Preferably not immediately after eating. If you add Airforums to that search you'll find the other posts on this subject here (that's how I learned about it).

I would note that the despite the old proverb (not the one about the bear in the woods... the one about the effect of gravity on the contents of your black tank) a VSS can move waste uphill. I have a few inches of slope the wrong way and overcome that. I wouldn't recommend use on more significant slopes since there is always the residual water in the low point of the extension pipes to deal with at the conclusion of the operation.
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:17 PM   #11
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How far is "too far" to your septic?

I installed a macerator pump on my A/S and pump the black tank into the clean-out which is inside my garage--or into the toilet that is very near to the garage (about 100 feet from the black tank) works great.


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Old 11-07-2015, 02:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bean-stream View Post
Hello to all!

My husband and I just bought an Airstream that we will be using as a "guest house" in our backyard.

I would love to know if there is a way to build a small septic under the Airstream as we will not be able to connect it to our existing septic tank (it is too far and big trees and other obstacles are in the way).

What other solutions are there? We are totally new to this worls and are in dire need of guidance here

Many thanks for any advice!

Julie
have you considered composting toilets ? you might be surprised after reading up on them.
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:41 PM   #13
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Sewer Solution will work great with 1" PVC pipe. I've transferred blackwater to my friend septicd 100' away, with a 2 to 3' rise between the AS and the septic. Works great, his water pressure is 55 PSI.

As for other means mentioned, sometimes, it's a lot less expensive to "ask for forgiveness, than to ask for permission".

Just sayin,
Larry
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:12 PM   #14
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Thank you all SO MUCH for all this valuable information! I will talk about the options with my husband and let you all know once we have decided on what to do!

Thank you!!
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