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Effluent Dosing System Section:

This section refers to your pump tank.

1.  A)  Sludge Depth

The pump tank is considered a clear well, which means that sludge should not be accumulating in this tank. The acceptable level for this tank is considerably lower than that allowed in a septic tank. If the sludge reaches a height of 4/10 of a foot, then pumping is a necessity. 

1.  B)  Effluent

The effluent should be clear. Depending on the establishment, most pump tank waters have a milky tint with a greasy-look. The color and consistency of the pump tank waters is dependent on the amount of grease generated by the establishment and whether or not degreasers are used to break down the disposed grease.

2.  Required Pumps Present and Operating Properly

The pumps are checked to make sure the system exists in the manner in which the Engineer designed. For instance, a duplex system should have two pumps. In addition to the pumps being present, the pumps need to be functioning with the proper voltage and consistency. The pumps are checked in conjunction with the mechanisms of the control panel.

3.  Vents, Pipes and Valves Operating Properly

These parts need to be intact and functioning. Some problems that can arise are broken valve handles, buried vents, vents caked with bugs and vents located below the level of grade.

4.  Control Panel, Floats, Alarm and Disconnects Operating Properly

This section represents the electrical system of the wastewater system.

Control Panel:
The control panel is the electrical brains of the wastewater system. The control panel houses the circuit breakers, contactors, relays, pump alternators (if more than one pump), elapsed time meters, event counters and miscellaneous wirings. The control panel controls the pump operations and the wastewater flow through the system.

Floats are switches that control the pump and alarm operations.  The number of floats present is dependent on the type of wastewater system.

This is a high level alarm. It is an audible and visual alarm which sounds like a buzzing or siren (110 decibels) with flashing red light.

Disconnects are circuit breakers and function as an overload protector. This can disconnect the power to the pumps.

Ground Absorption Field Section:
This section refers to your drain field. This is where some of the biological processes occur as part of your wastewater system.

1.  A)  Evidence of Effluent Surfacing

Effluent surfacing is when sewage penetrates the surface of the ground. Sometimes a broken pipe can cause effluent to surface.

1.  B)  Reaching Surface Waters

Effluent surfacing that exposes ground waters to contaminants via direct contact or through drainage of effluent.

2.  Minimal Ponding in Surface Trenches

The drain field cannot be in a hole where puddles/ponding of rain waters or drainage waters occur. This causes the drain field to become saturated and prevents the wastewater system from performing.

3.  Surface Water Diverted Around Drain Field/ No Depressions in the Drain Field

Surface waters need to be diverted to prevent the drain field from becoming saturated. No depressions should appear on the drain field, due to the fact that ponding could occur.

4.  Line Coverage/Vegetation Adequate

There needs to be an appropriate amount of dirt covering the lateral lines and the lateral lines need to be at the appropriate design depth. The lateral lines should not be exposed at any time. Vegetation (grass) will help maintain dirt covering; however, overgrowth is not acceptable and could cause more harm than good. A well-landscaped drain field will increase its longevity.

5.  Protected from Traffic/Destructive Uses

The drain field should not be used as a parking area. The weight of vehicles and traffic, in general, can cause ground compaction and ultimately collapse or crush the lateral lines. Lateral lines are mostly composed of some form of plastic and are not resilient against pressure and excessive weight.

6.  Distribution Devices Working Properly and in Good Condition

Distribution Devices include distribution boxes, field valves and tank valves. Valves need to be functioning and able to be manipulated during an inspection. Distribution boxes are not a part of every wastewater system; however, the wastewater is pumped or gravity-fed to the distribution box where it is gravity-fed to each of the individual lateral lines. The wastewater in the distribution box should be evenly distributed.

7.  Distribution Devices Should be Accessible

Valves need to be readily accessible; however, many distribution boxes are buried and need to be dug up to access.

8.  Repair Area Reserved and Maintained

This is your reserve drain field, so it is important to maintain it like is your current drain field to ensure its future use.

9.  Turnups, Cleanouts and Valves in Good Condition

These valves need to be functioning and free of cracks or broken pieces. These valves have been known to get damaged while landscaping crews are cutting your grass, so make sure that your landscaping crew understands where you drain field is and the location of valves that are sticking up above ground. We have responded to wastewater alarm calls for this reason.

10.  No Effluent Standing in Lower Laterals

When the wastewater system is not discharging, there should be no water standing in the lateral lines. Cleanouts provide access to manifold and the lateral lines stem from the manifold. Therefore, if water is present in the cleanouts, there will be water standing in the lateral lines. Cleanouts are utilized when the drain fields are jetted and vacuumed.

11.  Discharge Rate Adjusted

Discharge rate is the amount of wastewater flow distributed to the drain field. This adjustment is made by adjusting the ball valves to bring the wastewater system back into parameters of design flow.

Pump Down Calculation Section:
Gallons per minute of wastewater flow from system. This is the dosing of effluent to the drain field.

System Efficiency Dose Rate Section:
This measures the efficiency of the wastewater system by comparing the design flow with the actual flow. This calculation is measured by percentage.

Elapsed Time Meter and Event Counter Section:
Elapsed Time Meters record the number of hours the pump has engaged since installation.

Event Counters record the number of times the pumps have engaged. The amount of time for each period of pump engagement can be determined with these two readings. This helps determine if the pumps are working appropriately and adequately.

Comments Section:
This section is reserved to include information that is not listed above. This section is also used to direct the owners to correct a problem, when necessary.

System Compliance Section:
The outcome and observations of the inspection will determine system compliance.

Certified Operator Section:
Operator-in-Charge verification, signified by Operator’s signature.


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