Title V Septic Systems
As I'm sure any good agent would tell you, any home sold in Eastham must have a working Title V (ie '5') septic system. That's a good thing. But what does that mean? A Title 5 septic has 3 components. They are...
- The septic tank - this is generally a 1000 gallon or 1500 gallon concrete tank that takes all the liquids and solids that leave the toilets, sinks, washing machines, and tubs/showers in the house. This tank is fully enclosed (and underground) with an intake port at one end and an outtake port at the other end, with a baffle positioned such that only liquids leave the tank. Additionally, there are 2 or 3 ports for inspection and periodic cleaning. The 'normal' state of a septic tank is full since both the intake and outtake are near the top of the tank.
- A Distribution Box (D-Box) - this is a smaller component that acts as a distribution point between the septic tank and the last component. In some cases there are several septic tanks and/or several downstream components. The D-Box should only have liquids coming in to it.
- The Soil Absorption System (SAS) - this is the component of the system that allows the liquid effluent to re-enter the ground aquifer. In Eastham, this component is usually a concrete pit. It has slots in its sides and an open bottom and sits in a bed of gravel. The 'normal' state of this pit should be empty or near-empty since the liquids percolate into the soil.
So - a passing Title V septic system has the following characteristics
- The septic tank is full, baffles in place, and solids make up less than 1//3 of its contents. If it is more than a 1/3 solids, it needs to be pumped
- The D-Box needs to only have liquids in it. The D-Box also seems to attract roots from nearby trees, which need to be removed.
- The SAS (if a pit) needs to be empty or nearly empty. If it's full, then the system needs to have the SAS replaced
- The number of bedrooms in the house must match the design specs of the system.There can be no dry wells or cesspools on the property for showers, washing machines, etc. Outdoor showers are OK.
- If the driveway is over the septic area, the system must be of a 'hardened' design (known as H-20).
- Importantly in Eastham - there must be a professionally engineered Title 5 septic plan, with test hole percolation data, on file with the Town.
I've risked over-simplifying this since the Title V regulations, in total, are hundreds of pages of fine print. If you have any questions about your system, please give me a call.