Septic Systems

osoyoos septic systems


Septic System Installations

South Okanagan Concrete Products has been installing septic systems in Osoyoos and surrounding communities for decades. Our resident Registered Onsite Wastewater Practitioners (ROWP) are qualified to to plan and install your septic system.

Deciding what kind of septic system to have installed can be an overwhelming experience. There are many things to consider when deciding of what type of system will best suit your needs


Concrete Septic Systems

For decades, concrete tanks have been the standard for septic systems. That is no accident.  There are many reasons why concrete has been the accepted standard material of choice for septic tanks and cisterns.

  • Concrete tanks offer the best value by outperforming plastic in both installation and backfilling costs
  • Concrete tanks do not require precise hand backfilling with pea gravel, while filling with water to equalize pressure
  • Concrete tanks do not lose their shape under stress from backfill.  Stick and stones will not puncture a concrete tank
  • Concrete tanks will not “float out” or “pop-up” from high ground water tables.
  • Precast septic tanks with their porous concrete walls create more heat in a tank by aiding the attachment of bacteria to the side walls of the tank and increasing bacterial growth in the tank. To a concrete septic tank owner this means less freezing tanks and fields


okanagan septic systemsSeptic System Design

A septic system generally consists of a tank connected to an inlet wastewater pipe at one end and a septic drain field at the other. These pipe connections are made via a T pipe, which allows liquid to enter and exit without disturbing any crust on the surface. Waste water enters the first chamber of the septic tank, allowing solids to settle and scum to float to the surface. The settled solids are broken down by bacteria, reducing the volume of solids.

In a two chamber septic tank, the liquid component flows through the dividing wall into the second chamber, where further settlement takes place. The excess liquid then drains out to the septic system drain field in a relatively clear condition.

A percolation test is required to establish the porosity of the local soil conditions for the drain field design.

Waste that is not decomposed by the anaerobic digestion eventually has to be removed from the septic tank, or else the septic tank fills up and wastewater containing undecomposed material discharges directly to the drainage field. Not only is this detrimental for the environment but, if the sludge overflows the septic tank into the leach field, it may clog the leach field piping or decrease the soil porosity itself, requiring expensive repairs.

How often a septic tank has to be emptied depends on a number of factors: the volume of the tank relative to the input of solids, the amount of indigestible solids, the ambient temperature, as well as usage requirements of the relevant authority.  An older septic system with an undersized tank that is being used by a large family will require much more frequent pumping than a new system used by only a few people. Anaerobic decomposition is rapidly restarted when the tank re-fills.

Properly designed and normally operating septic systems are odor-free and, besides periodic inspection and pumping of the septic tank, should last for decades with no maintenance.


Helpful Documents

For more information about septic system installations check out these helpful documents:

BCOSSA – Standard Practice Manual
British Columbia Sewerage System Regulation Manual
Worksheet for Pressure Distribution Systems
Letter of Engagement – Plan & Install
Letter of Engagement – Maintain