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Which percolation system is right for you?

San Diego county typically approves onsite wastewater disposal following conventional percolation “primary" treatment, i.e., passage through a septic tank and then one of these methods for, releasing wastewater and percolation into the soil. The following is a brief description of different waste water disposal system options:

  • Leach Lines: traditional method, trenches following a site’s contours, with perforated pipe releasing wastewater to long beds of crushed rock between 3 and 5 feet deep; these may be over 100 feet long.

  • Horizontal seepage pit: a straight or gently curving trench, 8 or 9 feet deep,3 or 4 feet wide and along a contour; these are often 50 to 100 feet in length and are filled by crushed rock.

  • Vertical seepage pit: large vertical boring that extends into zones saturated by groundwater; these are often 4 or 5 foot diameter and 50 to 100 feet deep, filled by crushed rock.

  • Supplemental treatment system (STS): In recent years, San Diego county may also approve an STS. These proprietary systems that provide additional aerobic treatment of wastewater, and their finer effluent may be allowed to percolate at a shallower depth and over a smaller area than most conventional systems described above. Most make use of a traditional septic tank for primary treatment. Two basic varieties exist: Mechanized systems for aeration using a stirrer or blower, and passive systems that allow air passage by convection. Either requires additional continuing costs for yearly re-certification by the county and for a bi-annual inspection/maintenance agreement. Typical areas for disposal may be 800 - 1600 square feet.

  1. A mechanized STS is often one produced by Orenco/Advantex or Jet companies. These are wired into a home’s electric system for power for the blower/stirrer and automated valves and self-monitoring functions. This option provides a pressurized drip release to as little as 6-inches deep the shallowest of all percolation options allowing use in higher groundwater areas and can be worked in any shape around trees, etc.

  2. A passive STS is often one produced by Presby Environmental. These require no wiring and have one or more vents to allow air movement by wind or thermal gradients.

Please contact us with any questions regarding which percolation system is the best for your residential, commercial or any property you wish to develop. Please see our attached image describing the pros and cons of each system.

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