George M. (George Milton) Warren.

Sewage and sewerage of farm homes online

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works in iron guides cast integral with a short piece of light-weight pipe set in the
masonry ; if desired the guides may be wood, fastened to the masonry with expansion
bolts) ; E, sewer to distribution area; F (right-hand box), alternate position of outlets
or additional outlets if required.

A complete installation. The general, lay out and working plans of
a complete installation built in 1915-16 are shown in figure 34. The
plant is larger than those heretofore considered, and involves several
additional features. The settling chamber below the flow line has
a capacity of 1,000 gallons, and on a basis of 40 gallons per person
per day would serve 25 people.

For many years sewage had been discharged through two 4-inch
sewers to a cesspool in the rear of the house. The proximity of the
well made it unsafe, and the overflow of tint: cesspool dribbled over
the low portion of the garden and barnyard, creating nuisance.


Farmers' Bulletin 1227.

The first step was to make borings with a soil auger in the pasture
400 or 500 feet from the house. The borings showed a heavy clay
soil to a depth of about 4 feet, underlaicj. with a sandy stratum only
a few inches in thickness. It was decided to locate the distribution

Cast iron frame

f Blade
jj about

Cross Section of
Switch Box

777 feet ** 215 feet


Cast iron frame
tight cover^





Section A-A

6 "sewer

4"s/phon to switch box
drawing depth 2-9"

All pipes se+ in masonry
are galvanized, or cast iron

Longitudinal Section of Septic Tank

FIG. 34. A complete installation for a large rural home. General layout on a contour
plan and construction drawings. Note abandonment of old cesspool near the well and
garden and removal of sewage to a lower and safer location in the pasture, where the
treatment is subsurface distribution, aided by numerous filter wells about 4 feet deep
filled with coarse gravel. Note that sludge is removed from the bottom of the settling
chamber by opening the gate on the sludge drain.

area in the pasture and to aid the seepage of sewage by digging
numerous filter wells through the clay to the sandy stratum. Levels
were taken and a contour plan prepared to serve for laying out the
plant and establishing the grades.

Sewage and Sewerage of Farm Homes. 51

The septic tank is built in one corner of the barnyard, and a 5-inch
sewer connects it with the old 4-inch sewers to the cesspool. All
sewer pipe joints were poured with a flexible jointing compound.
The settling chamber is of hopper shape at the bottom, and a 4-inch
sludge drain with gate provides for the gravity removal of sludge.
The lower end of the sludge drain is above the surface of the ground
and 9 feet below the flow line. The end is protected by a small
retaining wall, and the sludge is readily caught in barrels and
"hauled out on the land for burial. The outlet is low enough to drain
the settling chamber completely. If it is desired merely to force out
the sludge, the drain may be brought to the surface under a head
of 3 to 5 feet, discharging the sludge into a trench or drying bed, to
be applied later to the land. A 2-inch waste pipe about mid-depth
of the settling chamber permits drawing off the clearer portion of
the sewage to the siphon chamber and from thence through another
2-inch waste pipe into the 6-inch sewer leading to the distribution

The 4-inch siphon has a drawing depth x>f 33 inches, and as the
siphon chamber is 4 feet wide by 6 feet long the .dose is about 500
gallons. The siphon cost $35. The 6-inch sewer to the switch box
falls about 6 inches in 50 feet. The distribution field was thor-
oughly subsoiled, and about 800 feet of 3-inch tile was laid in each
unit. At intervals of 25 feet along the distribution trenches 6-inch
holes were dug through the clay stratum with a pesthole digger.
These holes were filled with stone and constitute the filter wells previ-
ously mentioned. All tile lines are surrounded with stone and coarse
grave^ and the ground has been trimmed to give a uniform cover of
12 inches. All work was done by day labor in a thorough manner.
As the men were doing other work at the same time the actual cost
is not known, but it is believed the installation cost about $700.

Cost data. Reliable cost figures are difficult to estimate. Labor,
materials, freight, haulage, and other items vary greatly in different
localities. The septic tank shown in figure 23 contains about 1,000
bricks and is estimated to cost $60 complete. The septic tank shown
in figure 25 for 5 persons is estimated to cost $135; for 10 persons,
$170 ; for 15 persons, $240 ; for 20 persons, $280. In Maryland, in
1916, the cost of installing a septic tank similar to that shown in
figure 25 (for 5 people), including 86 feet of 5-inch house sewer (55
feet of cast-iron pipe passing a well, and 31 feet of vitrified pipe)
and 214 feet of second-quality 4-inch sewer pipe in the distributon
area, was as follows:

Excavation, labor $7. 50

Materials delivered 46. 60

Three-inch siphon, including freight * 15.75

Construction, labor 28.00

Supervision 5. 00

Total.. - 102.85


Farmers' Bulletin 1227.

The quotations in the following table will be found useful in
making estimates of cost :

Cost of pipe and dratoi tile.
(February, 1921.)

Kind of pipe.

Size, in inches.

3 4



Extra heavy cast-iron soil pipe, on cars Chicago, 111., or Washington,
D. C . Derfoot..

SO. 34



80. 72

Vitrified salt-glazed sewer pipe on cars Chicago 111


Vitrified salt-glazed sewer pipe, at factory near Washington,
Clay or shale drain tile, at factory in Ohio

Clay or shale drain tile at factory near Washington D C


The cost of cast-iron fittings may be roughly estimated as follows :
Bends, one to one and one-half times the price of straight pipe ; T-
branches, two times the price of straight pipe ; reducers, average of
the prices of straight pipe at each end. The cost of clay bends ,
T-branches, reducers, and increasers may be roughly estimated at
four times the price of straight pipe.

Operation. Attention must be given to every plant to insure suc-
cess. Unusual or excessive foulness should be investigated. No
chemicals should be used in a septic tank ; garbage, rags, newspaper,
and other solids not readily soluble in water should be kept out of
sewers and tanks. The plant should be inspected often, noting par-
ticularly if the siphon is operating satisfactorily. If scum forms
in the settling chamber it should be removed, and the sludge should
be bailed or pumped out yearly. Frequently tanks are not cleaned
out for three or four years, resulting in large quantities of solid
matter going through to the distribution system and clogging it.
Clogging may occur in the tile or in the adjacent soil. In either
case the tile should be dug up, cleaned, and relaid. In some cases
it has been found advantageous to relay the tile between the former
lines. When sewage is applied to fairly porous land at the slow
rate here recommended and the plant is well handled the tile lines
should operate satisfactorily for many years. Liming heavy soils
tends to loosen and keep them sweet.

Field data. As a basis for outlining or designing a suitable installa-
tion the following data should be known :

1. State, town, and whether in or near an incorporated munici-

2. Usual number of persons to be served.

3. Average daily consumption of water in gallons.

4. Kind and depth of well, depth to water surface.

5. Character of soil, whether sandy, gravelly, loamy, clay, or

6. Condition of soil as to drainage.

Sewage and Sewerage of Farm Homes. 53

7. Character of subsoil.

8. Character of underlying rock and, if known, its depth below
the surface.

9. Depth to ground water at both house and field where sewage is
to be distributed.

10. Minimum winter temperature and approximate depth to which
frost goes.

11. Number and kind of buildings to be connected. with the sewer.

12. Number and kind of plumbing fixtures in each building.

13. Whether plumbing fixtures are to be put in the basement.

14. Depth of basement floor below ground.

A plan to scale or a sketch with dimensions showing property lines,
buildings, wells, springs, and drainage outlets should be furnished.
The direction of surface drainage should be indicated by arrows.
The slope of the land (vertical fall in a stated horizontal distance)
should be given or if possible a contour plan (showing lines of con-
stant elevation) should be furnished.


Farm sewage may contain from 10 to 30 pounds of grease and fats
per person per year. This grease, originating mainly in the kitchen
sink, hinders septic action and clogs pipes, filters, and soils. Half
the grease may be stopped by a septic tank, but the remainder goes
into the distribution system, interfering with its action. A grease
trap is a device for separating the grease from other wastes. The
need for it may be lessened by carefully depositing waste greases and
fats with the garbage; but one should always be installed if the
kitchen is carelessly managed or discharges quantities of greasy
water as at institutions, hotels, boarding houses, and bakeshops.

A grease trap should have several times the capacity of the great-
est quantity of greasy water discharged into it at one time, in order
that the entering water shall be well cooled and the grease congealed.
The solidified grease rises to the surface of the water in the trap and
is retained therein. A dishpan of greasy water (2^ to 3 gallons) is
the largest quantity likely to be discharged at one time from an ordi-
nary kitchen sink, hence the grease trap should have not less capacity
than 7 or 8 gallons. Figure 35 shows three types of grease traps
suitable for farm use. In each the outlet pipe has small clearance
at the bottom. This feature, together with the V-shaped hopper bot-
tom, tends to create a scouring velocity and thus prevent the accu-
mulation of coffee grounds and other solid wastes in the bottom of the
trap. A grease trap should be close to the sink it is intended to serve,
but not within the kitchen, on account of objectionable odors when
the trap is opened to remove grease. It is good practice to place the
trap in the cellar or basement, where it is safe from frost yet close
to the source of grease.


Farmers' Bulletin 1227.



Do not waste moiu^ , v ^ feo _g . ^ _/, after-

wards seeking information. Prepare a plan and woi*. -roin it. Get
in touch with your county agricultural and home demonstration
agents. Advice may be obtained also from extension workers, State
agricultural colleges, State and local boards of health, the United
States Public Health Service, and the United States Department of
Agriculture. Do not guess distances and levels. Use a measuring
tape and some type of le^el engineer's, architect's, drainage, hand,
or carpenter's. Study this bulletin, and design, lay out, and construct
in accordance therewith. Kemember to : (1) Isolate the septic tank
\ ' 50 to 100 or more feet from any dwelling and, if practicable,

^eward of prevailing summer breezes ; (2) locate the cesspool
~ or sewage distribution field downhill from the well or spring, and, if
possible, 300 feet therefrom; (3) select dry, porous, deeply drained
ground for disposal of all sewage ; (4) do not apply more sewage to a
given area of land than can be thoroughly absorbed and oxidized ; (5)
lay sewers straight and below the reach of frost, ventilate them thor-
oughly, and make the joints water-tight and root-proof.

Makeshift methods, materials, or devices should be avoided or used
sparingly. Do not place a vent pipe in the top of .a cesspool or
septic tank if near a dwelling. Siphon chamber and siphon may be
omitted in those rare instances where it is feasible to discharge into
salt water or into a large stream already badly polluted. Disposal
of sewage in a running stream should be a last resort. Such practice
endangers water supplies downstream, and unless the volume and
velocity of flow are good nuisance may be created in the vicinity.
Do not neglect inspection and operation. Clean out settling tanks
yearly or oftener. All pipe lines below ground should be marked
with iron or stone markers to facilitate examination, repair, or exten-
sion of the system.

There is a general but erroneous belief that the cost of sewerage
is little in the city but almost prohibitive in the country. All per-
.sonal and realty properties in one eastern city represent a valuation
of $10,382 per home, which pays $355 for sewers outside the cellar
wall. An average farm in a Middle West State represents a valua-
tion of $17,259. Is not the farmer justified in the small outlay re-
quired to dispose of the farm sewage? Because of the issuance of
bonds and the apportionment of sewer assessments for a series of
years the city dweller may have his burden distributed over a long
period. The farmer does not pay interest on these obligations, and
sewer work can be done more cheaply in the country than in the city.

Safe disposal of farm sewage is not a passing fad but a vital neces-
sity. Besides being an asset a good sewerage installation greatly
promotes the wholesomeness and healthfulness of the farm. More-
over the benefits are far-reaching, because farm products go into
every home, and farm and urban populations mingle freely.


TO * 210 Wurster Hall 642-4818







Return books early if they are not being used




nt to tin



FORM NO. DD1 3, 74m, 3/78 BERKELEY, CA 94720







1 2 3 5

Online LibraryGeorge M. (George Milton) WarrenSewage and sewerage of farm homes → online text (page 5 of 5)