Agricultural Engineering Department
septic tanks, cisterns, home plumbing, household plumbing
When plumbing is installed in a farm home, the question as to what type of septic tank to choose must be settled. At present, the monolithic concrete type (poured) is most used, and has proved very satisfactory. To make an adequate monolithic tank requires clean, well graded aggregate (sand, gravel, or crushed stone) and, if a concrete mixer is not available, a lot of hand labor for mixing. In some areas good aggregates are difficult to get, and obtaining a mixer for such a small job may be expensive. If forms may be borrowed or rented, cost of the monolithic tank will not be too great, but if forms must be built especially for the job, the cost and labor will be considerable. Frequently in such cases, some type of prefabricated tank has been used. Steel tanks are available, but many are inadequate in size, and there is a danger that they will rust out within a comparatively short time. A survey by the Public Health Service indicated that the average life for such a tank is only seven years. Other tanks built of clay or concrete tile are usually too small. Precast concrete tanks are satisfactory, but may not be available in remote areas, or the cost of trucking may be excessive. In an attempt to overcome some of these problems, two new methods of construction have been developed by the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. The first was in the form of a vertical cylinder constructed of concrete silo staves. The second was rectangular in shape, built of standard concrete blocks. Both products are manufactured in South Dakota, and may be transported and handled easily.
South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Agricultural Experiment Station
Rokeby, T. R. C., "New Construction Methods for Septic Tanks and Cisterns" (1953). Agricultural Experiment Station Circulars. 96.