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Septic design training / education

Septic design training / education

Septic design training / education

Does anyone know of college or universities that offer courses in on-site septic system design?

I'm considering this for a potential use of my professional engineering license for residential customers. There's demand in my area for this type of work, but I'd like to take some education to gain skills in this area.

I'm intending this post for people who know the answer to my question. Ethics and liability of using the engineering stamp have been thoroughly discussed in other threads, so let's try to keep this one on track.

RE: Septic design training / education

I think some of the states have pretty prescriptive design  criteria.  You may want to start in your home state and branch out until you are conformtable.  Otherwise, the principles can be found in a civil engineering or waste water treatment reference manuals.  The general ideas are in Lindeburg's that I read for the PE exam (he publishes a similar manual for ME's also).  I do not recall how deeply he gets into the digestor functions of septics, or the soil properties of the leach field, but the design concepts are there.  The wastewater treatment manual I have is Water Treatment Principles and Design.  It can give you more information about the digestor chemistry.

Don Phillips

RE: Septic design training / education

In my area local health departments basically tell you what to use.  They are however following state laws.  There has to be a soil test to estimate absorption rates in the area planned for the drain field.  Then there is a chart for residential based on the number of bedrooms and the soil type.  That is just for my area though.  Not really a design issue for an engineer unless it is a commercial site.  Locally here they are required to be in undisturbed soil so for commercial there is a need for pre planning issues but it usually just involves meeting with the health department after the soil test and they still tell you how many lf you are going to need.

RE: Septic design training / education

Check with your local environmental health department. They will have an ISDS code (individual sewage disposal system code) this code book will have everything you need to know. Read it, learn it, and practice it.  As far as design drawings go you should be able to ask them for an example of what most engineers are submitting to get an idea of the level of detail.  I usually prepare a full ISDS report, much like a drainage report.  They can be quite tedious and competitive to get the jobs but if you live in a challenging area like I do (40% slopes, solid bedrock, ground water) they can be quite challenging and fun.

If you get into pre-treatment or chamber systems you can ask the health inspector which manufactuers are selling in the area and you can get in touch with their reps and they will often train you in regards to their products.

Good Luck.

RE: Septic design training / education

Most individual systems in Minnesota are designed by the installer with input from the local inspector . No PE required

Richard A. Cornelius, P.E.

RE: Septic design training / education

That's the difference between Seattle (King County) and Minnesota.

Here, they require either a professional engineer or a licensed septic designer design all the systems. I paid $3000 to have someone design mine and boy, it was a thick and complicated package.

Don't think it's real good to get into right now but the rules are complicated in my county and there is demand for more people to design systems. Many designers won't touch my county because of the complicated rules and regulations.

RE: Septic design training / education

There are classes offered by some of the online educ. people. Check google for engineering CEU's and PDH's. then you should visit the county people for the list of special things they want. Good luck.

Richard A. Cornelius, P.E.

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