Even though building an ADU may seem a rather easy process, there are many intricacies to it. For instance, deciding on a budget can be difficult as there are many factors that have to be taken into consideration. However, one of the most unpleasant parts of constructing an ADU is installing a septic system that will serve well. Many homeowners even think that building a septic system is not necessary at all. Well, let us tell you more about this indispensable part of any ADU, and we promise that by the end of it, you will see how important it is.
To put it simply, a septic system is a way to get rid of the waste that is accumulated while you live in your dwelling. You also may encounter another name for it, an underground waste treatment system. What is more, these systems are popular in rural areas as sewer lines there are kinda difficult to get to.
Later in the article, we will take a look at different septic systems that you can install for your ADU. Nevertheless, all of them have similar construction features, like a septic tank and a drain field. A septic tank represents a chamber made of concrete or plastic that serves as a temporary storage for waste that will later be removed from there and disposed of.
However, only solid waste can stay there, as any liquids pass through the septic tank and go to the drain field.
The choice of your septic system has to be based on numerous requirements, but most importantly, it is influenced by factors like property location, available free space, as well as soil quality. Also, pay attention to the cost of it as you may be surprised to find out that their price actually differs from city to city. But you don’t have to worry about it, as our savvy managers can calculate the cost of a septic system that will be installed on your lot, so you will know everything beforehand.
Anyway, here are the two most popular types of drain fields that can allow you to dispose of your waste more easily:
If you’ve begun following an eco-friendly lifestyle recently, then this type of drain field is for you as it lets liquids return to the ecosystem through the perforated pipes. After this, the liquids are processed by different bacteria in the soil. Moreover, its design and installation typically cost much less than other ones, which allows us to talk about its affordability. The combination of the above-mentioned advantages has made this drain field most popular among homeowners, and many classifications name it “a traditional septic system.” Nevertheless, this system also has one serious disadvantage. They take up a lot of underground space. Hence you have to think twice before installing it on your lot, especially if you’ve got lots of underground communications that may hinder the installation of this system.
Coming in vertical and horizontal positions, this system is made of concrete and is surrounded by rocks, so wastewater can pass into the ground more easily. These pits are built six feet under the ground which allows anaerobic bacteria to take care of your wastewater. These types of drain fields cost more than a leach field, but you don’t have any other option if your free space is limited. What is more, they are typically allowed in the areas near the coast where groundwater is mixed with salt water, which allows it to be cleaned better.
As you can see, a septic system is a really important part of an ADU, and it must be constructed if possible. We hope that now you have all the exhaustive information on the matter.
Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ
Actually, the answer to this question depends on the fact whether your ADU is connected to the city sewer system or not. If yes, then no septic system is needed for you, and you will not be fined for its absence. On the other hand, if the sewer system cannot be connected to your ADU, then a septic system has to be installed to avoid any legislation issues. It will allow you to dispose of waste more effectively. So, even though a central sewer system is unrealistic in your area, a septic system is a great option for you to consider to avoid any headaches.
In theory, it’s possible, but there are many factors that you have to be lucky with. Usually, main-house septic systems are not large enough to serve an ADU too. However, if you’ve installed it with a reserve, then an existing septic system may be eligible for your house and an ADU. Otherwise, you would have to install a new one. Nevertheless, our professionals will estimate the capacity of your septic system and give you advice on whether you have to install a new one or not.
As usual, there are some legal procedures that have to be done before we can commence the construction of a septic unit. The septic plan is approved by the Department of Environmental Health in the course of 90 business days. The whole construction process, which starts right after, doesn’t take more than two weeks. The final step is the connection of it to the ADU’s plumbing.
If you’ve read our guide on building an ADU, you already know about the crucial steps that separate you from the ADU of your dream. One of the first steps there is a feasibility study in which it will be stated whether a septic system can be installed on your lot. The most important factor here is the so-called percolation. In other words, it’s the number that characterizes how well water can move through the soil. If this characteristic is poor, a septic system may be impossible to build there. As this study is done at the early stages of the ADU construction, you will not lose much money.