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Old 02-09-2020, 04:09 PM   #1
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Trying to build a DIY redneck style septic tank.

Does any one have experience with building DYI septic tanks with plastic barrels for an Rv?

So I have one empty plastic barrel and I'm considering drilling some holes in it.

Just dug a 5 ft hole.

I'm considering putting rocks on the bottom and around the sides of the barrel.

Would this work? If not, what would you recommend?

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Old 02-09-2020, 04:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan1 View Post
Does any one have experience with building DYI septic tanks with plastic barrels for an Rv?

So I have one empty plastic barrel and I'm considering drilling some holes in it.

Just dug a 5 ft hole.

I'm considering putting rocks on the bottom and around the sides of the barrel.

Would this work? If not, what would you recommend?

Attachment 274702Attachment 274703
Simple - https://www.wikihow.com/Construct-a-Small-Septic-System

Need a couple barrels to do it right.

Best of Luck,
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:42 PM   #3
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Do a percolation test first.
You can add course stone for a french drain, drain's if need be.

Aeration
Aerobic medium activity creats a working system more odor free.
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:49 PM   #4
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how about checking with the local building authority (city / county) to determine how to proceed?
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:52 PM   #5
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I have a 3 barrel system for the bathroom in my shop with a single 40 foot drain field.

I also have a single barrel system for the RV with a single 20 foot drain field.

Dig the barrel hole over a foot deeper than the height of the barrel the inlet pipe should go down to about 6" from the bottom of the barrel. The effluent pipe comes out of the top of the barrel and turns 90 degrees to the drain field pipe. You can put some small holes around the sides of the top of the barrel as well. If you do this use rocks to back fill the barrel as well as in your drain field trench. Cover both with dirt and sod for the last 2" to 3" at least.
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:55 PM   #6
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how about checking with the local building authority (city / county) to determine how to proceed?
That's an easy way to get immediately shut down. Most have a minimum septic tank size in the hundreds to over a thousand gallons, require a soil scientist to do a soil test, and have minimum drain field size requirements; all based on a multi-bedroom house size, not an RV holding tank.
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan1 View Post
Does any one have experience with building DYI septic tanks with plastic barrels for an Rv?

So I have one empty plastic barrel and I'm considering drilling some holes in it.

Just dug a 5 ft hole.

I'm considering putting rocks on the bottom and around the sides of the barrel.

Would this work? If not, what would you recommend?

Attachment 274702Attachment 274703
Built a few of these Just larger in my day -

Check to see if the ground Drains - important or nothing will work.

If this is a 55 gallon tank it will not meet any code so don't waste yours and their time asking.

Needs to be deep enough to get into some Sand - percolating soil - often this is DEEP more than a shovel can dig.

The Wiki system will work with a good soil but as you can see it requires Stone and some real Digging to get all the parts to work.

Best of Luck,

Will be interesting to watch what follows for advice.

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Old 02-10-2020, 06:19 AM   #8
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Search on You tube several very good options that work very well and are I expensive to make!
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:23 AM   #9
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My initial though is that is not going to work and is illegal.

How far are you from a state park with a dump station. Also can you have a sewage truck come and pump you out?

Here is what I do camping on my unimproved wooded property. I alternate between using the state park and a pump out truck. I bought a 35 gallon sewage tote. I use that the for the 1st black tank dump. Then for the second dump I call a company to come pump out the tote and pump out the trailer...or depending on my mood I will pull my trailer 9 miles to the state park dump station and pay $9 to dump. While there I fill my fresh water tank and my fresh water containers.

If you do the research you will find the land needs to perk. If it perks then you need a large sewage system. Probably 15k to do it right.

Looks like you have improved property. If so, get a small tote that you can carry into the house to dump in the toilet. I would worry my neighbors would report a illegal sewage dumping situation if I did not do it the way I do. Plus I do not want to stink up my camp area.
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:05 AM   #10
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Ask your county first. There may be issues you've not considered. Maybe neighbors with wells? If you feel compelled to do something illegal, you probably shouldn't post about it on the internet.
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:23 AM   #11
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I have been to a campground that had/has the plastic barrel thing, he is grandfathered, campground has a well, no one is dead yet. They last for a long time, and when goes bad, he rents a small excavator and digs up and puts in a new barrel, leaves old one where it is.
Another option is the composting toylet, or outhouse, make it look like a shed.
Good luck.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:20 AM   #12
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Don't tell anybody in charge, but my summer house has a 55 gallon drum septic system. It has a pump in it that leads to the river but its not wired anymore. Built in the 40s when no one worried.

It started flooding over so I dug a 10" deep trench and layed 30 ft of 3" leaching pipe in it. I dropped a solid section of the pipe into the top of the barrel and haven't had a problem since.

While wrenching, by hand, I discovered the old leaching pipe that had been chopped off by the trench for city water installation. Hey, it passed some kind of septic test when I bought it.

I plan in burying another barrel or two, on the other side of the yard, so I can dump my RV in, and maybe add a second bathroom to the house some day.

Until the Town tells me to upgrade to a modern system, I'll use what I got.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:29 AM   #13
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Don't tell anybody in charge, but my summer house has a 55 gallon drum septic system. It has a pump in it that leads to the river but its not wired anymore. Built in the 40s when no one worried.

It started flooding over so I dug a 10" deep trench and layed 30 ft of 3" leaching pipe in it. I dropped a solid section of the pipe into the top of the barrel and haven't had a problem since.

While wrenching, by hand, I discovered the old leaching pipe that had been chopped off by the trench for city water installation. Hey, it passed some kind of septic test when I bought it.

I plan in burying another barrel or two, on the other side of the yard, so I can dump my RV in, and maybe add a second bathroom to the house some day.

Until the Town tells me to upgrade to a modern system, I'll use what I got.
Just try to stay at least 75' from the well - oh you have public water - I did a knock down/demo of an old house a few years back and they had half a dozen 55 gallon double tanks in the yard that we dug up - was just one person in the house so as long as the water usage is low they will work. Just be sure you add the drain field to the tank and give it time to work before running a great volume of water.

https://www.familyhandyman.com/plumb...ic-tank-works/
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:18 AM   #14
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you don't say, but are you going to live in the R/V or is it just to dump your holding tanks when you've come back form a camping trip. what ever you do DON'T tell anybody what your doing. it could cost you thousands.
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