Florida Septic System Education
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F.A.C. 64E-6





We at Southern Water and Soil, Inc., believe that it is important to provide education to homeowners, business owners, general contractors, developers, and governmental agencies.

SWS would like to provide you with educational materials and support needed to determine the best system for your project. We have a variety of educational materials from pamphlets, to websites, to personal presentations. If you would like more information or to schedule a presentation please contact us.


Educational FAQ's

As a homeowner, developer, planner, or designer it is a daunting task to decide what type of system would be best for your home, development, or design. People often have concerns or questions. SWS offers a variety of innovative products and technologies to help solve your problems. Here are some examples:


"I don't want a mound."

"I don't want it to take up the entire yard."

" I don't want to lose the trees that are in the yard."

Perhaps disguising or relocating the system can achieve your goals. Drip irrigation is another possibility. Drip irrigation can decrease the footprint of your septic system by as much as 70%.

SWS has vast experience with drip irrigation systems in Florida. SWS promotes the use of Geoflow drip irrigation systems. Geoflow pressure compensating drip irrigation systems contain ROOTGUARD® and Ultra–Fresh®. These patented technologies completely solve root intrusion and biological plugging problems for subsurface drip applications.

In Florida, drip irrigation can be used after secondary treatment of wastewater. It is a beneficial reuse of water protecting Florida's precious water sources by returning water to the water cycle near its point of use.

Drip System Reducing MoundDrip Irrigation Geoflow Reducing Mound Height

"Do I have to build my home that high?"

Orenco's ProSTEP™ effluent pumping systems can be used to solve this problem. The use of a reliable pump with low pressure dosing can prolong the life of your wastewater system disposal field while providing the freedom to build your home to the height desired or required by local building codes.

"I have been told that I need an engineered designed system with low pressure dosing... what does that mean?"

A low pressure dosing system in Florida has to be designed according to 64E-6 Florida Administrative Code and meet requirements described by the EPA onsite manual. The system has to be designed by a professional engineer that has experience with onsite wastewater systems.

Engineered Septic DesignLow Pressure Dosing Design

Low Pressure Dosing Engineer PlanLow Pressure Dosing Systems

If you would like to read a bit about the use of low pressure dosing systems here is a link that is from the National Small Flows Clearinghouse.  If you would like to learn more about low pressure pipe systems here is a link to a paper by Eric Ball, PE.

"Is there a product that I can choose that would last longer than a traditional septic system?"

The use of an advanced treatment system, Orenco's ProSTEP™ packages, effluent filters, and low pressure dosing systems with timed dosing help solve this need.

"I have had a pump in my system and it has been damaged by lightning twice in the last three years."

The use of Orenco's ProSTEP™ pumping package with surge arrestors on the control panel and on the effluent pumps provide the added protection. A licensed electrician can install the control panel with proper grounding can improve the performance of the pump system. The Orenco pumps have an optional 5-year warranty that can be purchased.

"My septic system seems to be sluggish and slow. Does it need to be replaced? If so, is there any way I can save my landscaping?"

If your drainfield is in failure it cannot take the amount of water or the organic load that is being produced.  Time dosing your drainfield with SWS's effluent pumping system can rejuvenate your drainfield without the cost of destroying your landscape or replacing your drainfield. Time dosing allows large volumes of water (i.e., laundry, bathing, dishes, etc.) used to be dosed throughout the entire day instead of at the time of use. Spreading out wastewater dosing can allow more time for your drainfield to recover.

The reduction of organic loads to the drainfield is another alternative to replacing your drainfield. SWS can design a treatment system than can reduce organic loading of the drainfield. By reducing the organic loading the infiltrative surfaces inside of your disposal system can be cleaned naturally and the system can continue to function, without the destruction of your landscaping.

Biomat underneath old drainfieldBiomat formed underneath product


"I heard that septic systems are required to have effluent filters. Is there a difference between filters?"

Yes, there is a difference between filters. There are two factors that you have to consider when choosing an effluent filter: Surface Area and Flow Area. The Surface Area is where the particulates are caught and the Flow Area is the amount of openings that are in the filter allowing the effluent to pass. A large surface area is great, however, if there is nowhere for the effluent to flow then it requires more maintenance. So, flow area is just as important as surface area. SWS can help you determine the correct filter for your application ensuring a filter that peforms without frequent maintenance.

"I hear a loud buzzing noise near my lift station. How do I stop it?"

There should be a box or control panel near your lift station or on the wall nearest the lift station. Is there a number to call on the outside of the panel. Be careful if you try to open the box! Some panels can be unsafe to touch. It is better for a trained professional to remedy the situation. If you are looking for a reputable company to help you we can recommend a few in your area of Florida.

There is an alternative to the simple alarm system that you quite possibly have. A professional would need to visit your site to tell you what is wrong with your system, next gather the materials needed to replace whatever is wrong with your system, and then return to correct the problem. Meanwhile your system is not functioning. Orenco’s VeriComm® panels are affordable means of monitoring your system. Adding features such as VeriComm to your system can provide you the peace of mind knowing that someone will be there to correct the problem and that the system will continue to function until the help gets there. The use of trend data allows your system to continue to function. For an online demo please click here.

Developers, Designers and Planners

"I have heard that septic systems pollute our groundwater... is that true?"

Properly designed and operated onsite wastewater systems with water tight tanks can operate at high standards. In many areas of Florida (i.e., Lutz, Brandon, Ruskin, Plant City, Zephyrhills, Dade City, Spring Hill and other areas in Karst terrains), excess nutrients in water bodies have been blamed on onsite wastewater (septic and package plants) systems. A system can be designed to remove excess nitrogen. Wastewater pretreatment with appropriate treatment technologies provides the advanced treatment required to meet the most stringent water quality needs for the onsite industry.

Drip irrigation can be used to reduce the impact of nitrates in septic system effluent. Please click here to view a paper presented by Geoflow, Inc., describing the ability of a subsurface drip irrigation system to reduce nitrates in your watershed.

Nutrient Removal Study

Two environmental councils in New Zealand commissioned a study to discover the abilities of onsite wastewater disposal systems to reduce nutrients. Regional Plans from Environment Bay of Plenty and Environment Waikato have recognized the contribution of significant amounts of nutrients (primarily nitrogen) to sensitive receiving environments from communities, served by on-site effluent treatment systems. Nutrient contributions help to cause the eutrophication of water bodies, especially lakes, springs, and rivers. Here is an excerpt of the results found by the council:

Please contact us if you need design help in reducing nutrients in your septic system.

"We are planning to subdivide our land and would like to maximize our density; however, we have to use septic systems and have been told that we will be limited to the number of lots that we can support with septics. Is there anything that we can do to improve our lot densities?"

We at Southern Water Solutions can help you or your planners maximize the density through the use of our wastewater treatment systems. In a development, a decentralized wastewater managment system could be used whereby homes are clustered together and a wastewater treatment plant is used to treat the effluent. The treated wastewater can then be reused for irrigation of common areas (i.e., baseball fields, soccer fields, etc.). In this scenario the individual septic systems with drainfields are replaced with interceptor tanks, a collection system, treatment works, and a drip irrigation system.


Serving Lutz-Tampa, Brandon-Valrico, Zephyrhills-Dade City and all of the Tampa Bay Area with Septic and Wastewater System Services. Serving all of Florida with Septic System Engineering Services.

19007 US Hwy 41; Lutz, FL 33541* 3433 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Valrico, FL 33596 Phone 813-785-0500 * Fax 813-315-7444

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