7 Quick Design Basics for New Septic System

When you’re considering a septic system instead of a traditional public sewage system, here are 7 quick design basics for a new septic system to get the job done effectively and efficiently.

This article will outline the typical design tips from Pro Rooter & Septic here in the Central Valley of California. Following these tips can help ensure that your sewage treatment system will work properly for years to come.

Step 1: Select Your New Septic System Tank Size.

The size of your tank should be in equal proportion to the size of your home, the number of bedrooms, and / or the number of people who will be using your septic system.

Since approximately 33 percent of newly constructed homes within the United States are choosing private sewage disposal systems, a tank and its drain field comprise the most cost-efficient method for residential wastewater treatment.

To select the proper tank size for your needs, a common residential septic tank ranges in size from 750 to 1,250 gallons. This list of parameters can help you choose the right tank for your home:

  • A 750-gallon septic tank is the right size for one- and two-bedroom homes that have less than 1,500 square feet of space or that translates to one to four people.

  • A 1,000-gallon is the proper size septic tank for three-bedroom homes with less than 2,500 square feet of space, which is for approximately four to six people.

  • And a 1,250-gallon septic tank is the estimated size needed for four-bedroom homes that have a total area of less than 3,500 square feet, which can accommodate about six to eight people.

Of course, “your mileage may vary”, so it’s always a great idea to discuss the size of your new septic tank with a professional contractor in your area. Ask them what size tanks other homes of similar size to yours have installed.

Step 2: Select the Type of Tank.

For residential projects requiring a new septic system in the California Central Valley or anywhere else, there are several common materials:

  • Concrete
  • Plastic or polyethylene
  • And fiberglass

Of these three, concrete is the most common type of material in septic tanks. Why? Because they’re the most cost-efficient. However, they do require heavy machinery to lift them into the ground and install them.
On the other hand, plastic and fiberglass are one-piece units that are much lighter, so they’re perfect for remote septic tank sites.
Again, call a professional in your area and check with local building codes and regulations for your septic system. You never want to install anything in your home without first getting all the right permits and adhering to the codes.

Step 3: Design Your Septic System.

Just like any home building project, you’ll need a design for your new septic system. This one includes both the tank and the discharge area, also known as the percolation area.

We’ve discussed the tank in Step 2 above. So the percolation area, also known as a soakaway, is typically a gravel-based area for infiltration where you can treat the effluent –– the outflowing of the raw sewage –– that is dispersed to soak into the soil.

If you have wet ground, your soakaway area can be extensive. But if you have permeable soil that has a higher infiltration rate, your percolation area or discharge area can be smaller and less extensive.

Step 4: Install Your New Septic System.

Next, you’ll need to install your septic system tank with your choice of one or two options.

First, you can complete your installation by yourself and save some money, especially if you have experience in this area and are a do-it-yourselfer. But you should double-check that the drainage system meets any building codes and regulations in your area, especially in the Central Valley.

Or second, if you don’t want the headache and hassle of installing a septic system yourself, you should call a company that has professionally installed septic systems and tanks, has years of experience, has testimonials or references that you can review, and is insured for the work.

A word to the wise… contact several companies and tell them that you’re soliciting competitive bids so you get the most bang for your new septic system buck.


Step 5: Ventilate Your Septic System.

When you install a kitchen stove, you have a vent. When you upgrade your bathroom, you have a fan.

So it makes sense that when you’re installing a septic tank, you should have a vent for that, too, especially for percolation trenches.

Step 6: Maintaining and Operating Your Septic System.

You should never install a septic system without setting up a maintenance schedule. To that end, you should plan in advance to have it serviced or pumped every two to three years through a maintenance contract with your local septic tank company. This can help keep it operating without problems.

In addition, you should also remember to install it within about 30 yards of a driveway to accommodate the typical length of a hose from a septic maintenance company and for periodic inspections.

Step 7 Call Pro Rooter & Septic For a Free New Septic System Estimate.


Tips like these 7 quick design basics for a new septic system are just one of the many services offered by Pro Rooter and Septic in the Fresno – Clovis area.

For over 40 years, we’ve provided up-front free estimates as well as same-day service for all types of projects within the Central Valley. Call us today at (559) 623-2340 for residential septic tank selection and installation, as well as pumping, commercial / industrial pumping services, septic certifications, plumbing issues like toilets, tubs, sinks and faucets, residential / commercial re-piping, hydro-jetting, water heater installations and repairs, sewer camera and locating, drain and sewer cleaning, leaky pipes, and more.

By the way, all Pro Rooter & Septic field technicians are licensed, bonded, and insured for all residential and commercial plumbing and septic issues.

Finally, we back all of our work with a 100% guarantee –– or your money back––and provide 100% financing if you need it. Some limitations apply.