Living In The Philippines Forum

It’s Your Money => Building in the Philippines => Topic started by: on July 09, 2008, 03:07:44 PM

Title: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: on July 09, 2008, 03:07:44 PM
Well I guess that got your attention at least  ::)

What I actually mean is let\'s talk about \'Septic Tanks\' (no puns by the Brits & Aussies, please). As a Brit, these are a bit of a mystery although I am learning fast. Some background info 1st.

I live on a sub division, built by a subsidiary of Ayala Land. The houses are built to a good level by western standards with individual tiled roofs instead of the normal metal or plasticised sheet and even have UK style 3 pin electric sockets & a contact breaker circuit board. I point this out just to demonstrate, that there is a level of build quality applied by Ayala.

Now back to the Septic Tank. The estate uses individual tanks that look similar to this:

(http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn76/uzicom/180px-Septic_tank_not_in_ground.jpg)

which are buried beneath the concrete carport, with an inspection cover visible. With the exception of the washing machine, ALL the household waste water appears to be fed into the tank. Reading the information from various websites including this one  SoilFacts Septic System Owner\'s Guide (http://www.soil.ncsu.edu/publications/Soilfacts/AG-439-22/) they seem to agree on one thing of real importance to me don\'t over fill with water. So I want to know from you guys who probably understand & have more experience of these, should I reroute the water from the shower into a separate drainpipe that empties into the estate storm drain?

Also, how does this system hold up under average Filipino use? Given the level of fatty foods that are eaten and the guides say not to poor grease & oils into the system.

So come on, who want to talk a load of....... :o ::) ;D
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: on July 09, 2008, 04:59:16 PM
Well I guess that got your attention at least  ::)

What I actually mean is let\'s talk about \'Septic Tanks\' (no puns by the Brits & Aussies, please). As a Brit, these are a bit of a mystery although I am learning fast. Some background info 1st.

I live on a sub division, built by a subsidiary of Ayala Land. The houses are built to a good level by western standards with individual tiled roofs instead of the normal metal or plasticised sheet and even have UK style 3 pin electric sockets & a contact breaker circuit board. I point this out just to demonstrate, that there is a level of build quality applied by Ayala.

Now back to the Septic Tank. The estate uses individual tanks that look similar to this:

([url]http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn76/uzicom/180px-Septic_tank_not_in_ground.jpg[/url])

which are buried beneath the concrete carport, with an inspection cover visible. With the exception of the washing machine, ALL the household waste water appears to be fed into the tank. Reading the information from various websites including this one  SoilFacts Septic System Owner\'s Guide ([url]http://www.soil.ncsu.edu/publications/Soilfacts/AG-439-22/[/url]) they seem to agree on one thing of real importance to me don\'t over fill with water. So I want to know from you guys who probably understand & have more experience of these, should I reroute the water from the shower into a separate drainpipe that empties into the estate storm drain?

Also, how does this system hold up under average Filipino use? Given the level of fatty foods that are eaten and the guides say not to poor grease & oils into the system.

So come on, who want to talk a load of....... :o ::) ;D


Keith, you have hit on one of my pet hates in Philippine construction. I visited \'The Centre for Alternative Technology\' in North Wales, and bought a book on Septic Tank Design. Unfortunately I loaned it to someone and never got it back. A properly designed Septic system should consist of 3 chambers, the main waste tank which overflows into a settling tank, which overflows into a soakaway. The soakaway can be a gravel filled drainage channel. In the Philippines they usually omit the settling tank and also often channel all the house waste water into the main waste tank. The waste water from the sink, showers etc should never empty into the main tank. The detergents chemicals etc could kill the bacterial that are essential to break down the waste. If this happens the tank will have to be emptied very frequently. I have seen systems where the one waste tank overflows into a ditch.

It is possible that some of the molded commercial tanks have two chambers inside them and only need a good external soakaway.

Here is the website for the centre:-

http://www.cat.org.uk/index.tmpl

Colin
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: Robm on July 10, 2008, 06:05:38 AM
I built a septic system in my earlier days. It was made if cinder blocks and the top was railroad ties. I installed my own laterial lines for drainage. All gray water (sinks, showers, etc) can run out somewhere else. The tank only received input from the toilets.
My brother showed me a cool trick when we were leveling the lateral lines. Two sticks or poles.... a long garden hose, and a foot or so of clear tubing. Tape the garden hose about 2/3 the way up the 6 foot poles, then attach the clear tubing to the end of the hose and up the rest of the pole. Fill with water. With the poles side by side mark the water levels in the clear tubing. That gives you the level gauge. now you can spread it out as far as the garden hose allows and you can check level.

Septic tanks are meant to colloct the solids, with the excess liquid flowing into the lateral lines. They need to be pumped out from time to time. If not the will fill up with solids, clog you lateral lines, and now you have a nice job in front of you. Colin is correct on the detergents. Bacteria in the septic tank helps break the solids down.

Robm
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t. [plus levels]
Post by: on July 10, 2008, 08:11:53 AM
A hose water level has been around for eons of time and for the majority of Pinoys, the only level they use. They don\'t use a garden hose, but clear plastic tubing and can run many many meters long depending on the project size.

A tool that is more handy then what in normally used stated side and a whole lot cheaper and still gets the job done!

When I showed my guys how a line level works, they were amazed with what such a small pocket thing could do. In fact, they brought out their water level to check.  ;D

Then my main man used the pocket line level with his chalk line, to set the electrical boxes and the wire and water runs in the walls. Yep, a Pinoy that takes pride in his work and doesn\'t matter what faze, he can do it all! OOOppps, except wiring a 3 way switch, (top/bottom of the stairs). LMAO when he told he spent a lot of time the night before trying to draw it out with 2 wires because he couldn\'t get it to work that day. Went on the internet and printed out a drawing where the 3rd wire was to be. BTW, I did buy the right switches! Now he knows that too!  :D

A note on septic lines. Here, 4\" pipe is still the norm. State side it\'s been found that with 4\" pipe, solids can be left behind depending on the run. With 3\" pipe that doesn\'t happen. Changing over, (4\" to 3\"), won\'t happen in this part of the world any time soon!
B-Ray

I built a septic system in my earlier days. It was made if cinder blocks and the top was railroad ties. I installed my own laterial lines for drainage. All gray water (sinks, showers, etc) can run out somewhere else. The tank only received input from the toilets.
My brother showed me a cool trick when we were leveling the lateral lines. Two sticks or poles.... a long garden hose, and a foot or so of clear tubing. Tape the garden hose about 2/3 the way up the 6 foot poles, then attach the clear tubing to the end of the hose and up the rest of the pole. Fill with water. With the poles side by side mark the water levels in the clear tubing. That gives you the level gauge. now you can spread it out as far as the garden hose allows and you can check level.

Septic tanks are meant to colloct the solids, with the excess liquid flowing into the lateral lines. They need to be pumped out from time to time. If not the will fill up with solids, clog you lateral lines, and now you have a nice job in front of you. Colin is correct on the detergents. Bacteria in the septic tank helps break the solids down.

Robm
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: Robm on July 10, 2008, 10:12:33 AM
My brother also taught me the 4 things you need to know to be a plumber.
1. Water runs down hill
2. Vent and trap everything
3. Payday is Friday
4. Wash your hands before you eat
 ;)

Robm
Title: septic tank
Post by: Sofie2 on August 15, 2009, 11:27:56 PM
I am planning to build my father\'s house in October, how much is septic tank cost?

Thanks
Sofie
Title: Re: septic tank
Post by: on August 16, 2009, 06:59:41 AM
I am planning to build my father\'s house in October, how much is septic tank cost?

Thanks
Sofie

I am not seen ready made septic tanks here in the Philippines, although they may be available in places like Manila. The standard method here is to construct one using rendered hollow blocks. This is very cheap, labour at P180 a day plus a small number of blocks, cement etc.

Colin
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: geno555 on August 16, 2009, 08:46:10 AM
Sofie 2 , first off welcome to the group, great bunch of people here,  :o, so your questions should be answered, maybe all won\'t agree but you can take the sum of the information given do your research and come up with an idea of your own that were work for you.

I tend to agree with Colin I am building a two story  4 bedroom house at present and the septic system was made by the plumbers using hollow block, rebar and even has 3 chambers like the commercially bought kind.

One thing I would suggest is that you run only your toilet into the septic system, nothing worse than fatty foods, grease and hair for clogging up a septic system , just run the water from the shower /tub/ sinks/both bathroom and kitchen, the water you use to wash clothes with all that water is loaded with chemicals from the shampoo we use to the Tide we wash clothes in, to the Downy we rinse then with, all don\'t do well in a septic system that depends on natural bacteria both aerobic and anaerobic to make the system work.

So it will take some preplanned actions on your part to ensure that the plumbers put in enough piping to run all this \"gray water\" out to either a ditch that connects up with a local river or a leech field in you have the time and expense to build one.

Good luck with your project and keep us posted.

Regards

The \"Murf\"
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: Sofie2 on August 16, 2009, 10:16:15 AM
Thanks for the reply....

My Dad told me, hollow blocks made commercially crumbles easily, so he suggested to make your own and  also cheaper that way.

Sofie2
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: on August 16, 2009, 11:37:58 AM
Thanks for the reply....

My Dad told me, hollow blocks made commercially crumbles easily, so he suggested to make your own and  also cheaper that way.

Sofie2

A lot of commercial blocks are made with too little cement content, often 50+ blocks to a bag of cement. A better mix would be 36-40 per bag. It should be possible to buy them from a good supplier, but they could cost a little more. It would be better to make your own, that way you can be sure of the quality.

Colin
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: grizzi on August 16, 2009, 03:00:30 PM
Quote
The standard method here is to construct one using rendered hollow blocks. This is very cheap, labour at P180 a day plus a small number of blocks, cement etc.

Same thing they did for our 2 bathroom house, built it on-site. Luckily, the brother-in-law is a mason and was between jobs!

Quote
It should be possible to buy them from a good supplier, but they could cost a little more. It would be better to make your own, that way you can be sure of the quality.

When we were building, we had block makers stop by the house when they noticed the construction starting. We had 4 or 5 sample blocks dropped off at the house and selected the best quality. So, shop around, put the word out that you are looking for quality blocks.  I used a \"red neck\" way to test them. Pick it up...throw it. If it crumbles...don\'t buy it.  Out of the blocks we received, only 2 makers met my quality standards...lol.  They were only a little more expensive...but nothing outrageous.

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: graham on August 16, 2009, 06:40:03 PM
Keith,
    When I renovated my place it had been vacant for about 2 months. The septic was built between the house and the seawall. It is of hollow block construction with a solid concrete top, with no access, approx 6 foot long by 3 foot wide and buried in the sand.
     The 4\" pipe leading to it had been removed by the storm at Xmas. I tore down and rebuilt the bathroom, so the toilet had not been used for some 4 months. When I re-piped it, and before I fitted the pipe to the septic I took a stick and shoved it down the hole to see how deep it was, and if it was multi-chambered. Remember, this tank had been in use for just on 30 years.
     The stick hit sand, no bottom, no overflow, and the stick came out clean with no noticeable adherent or smell. Guess the solids that went/go into there leach thru\' the sand and go out to sea. All around me are fisher folk that fish just off the beach into the ocean. Guess what??? I don\'t buy or eat any fish from here even tho\' I have been offered fresh fish free. :( :(

Graham
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: on August 17, 2009, 10:08:43 AM
WOW Colin, if only we could find ready made CHBs at 50 per sack of cement around these parts!

Normally around here, there 80 to 100 per sack.

We made our own, (2,500) for a project back in 05 and averaged 53 per sack. The workers really complained how hard they were to knock a hole in!!!!  ;D

Keep in mind, CHBs support nothing but themselves, not the building. In other words, there just a fill between columns and beams that supports the building.

It doesn\'t hurt a bit to over kill, (36-40), except maybe 1/3± more in cost.

A Government Pinoy Engineer many years ago told me, 50 per sack is the target and 55 for fencing.

So far, any Pinoy built for Pinoy houses we have dealt with and using the weaker blocks and small rebar, hasn\'t fallen down, broke up in almost 20 years now. BTW, WITHOUT columns or beams and with interlocking the blocks at the corners. But, these are not large house either! 50m2, 2-1 :-)

Could be, our foreign BETTER IDEAS just might be an over kill and costly??  But, who worries about spending a few extra millions or so???? ;D ;D
B-Ray



Thanks for the reply....

My Dad told me, hollow blocks made commercially crumbles easily, so he suggested to make your own and  also cheaper that way.

Sofie2

A lot of commercial blocks are made with too little cement content, often 50+ blocks to a bag of cement. A better mix would be 36-40 per bag. It should be possible to buy them from a good supplier, but they could cost a little more. It would be better to make your own, that way you can be sure of the quality.

Colin
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: on August 17, 2009, 05:39:41 PM
WOW Colin, if only we could find ready made CHBs at 50 per sack of cement around these parts!

Normally around here, there 80 to 100 per sack.

We made our own, (2,500) for a project back in 05 and averaged 53 per sack. The workers really complained how hard they were to knock a hole in!!!!  ;D

Keep in mind, CHBs support nothing but themselves, not the building. In other words, there just a fill between columns and beams that supports the building.

It doesn\'t hurt a bit to over kill, (36-40), except maybe 1/3± more in cost.

A Government Pinoy Engineer many years ago told me, 50 per sack is the target and 55 for fencing.

So far, any Pinoy built for Pinoy houses we have dealt with and using the weaker blocks and small rebar, hasn\'t fallen down, broke up in almost 20 years now. BTW, WITHOUT columns or beams and with interlocking the blocks at the corners. But, these are not large house either! 50m2, 2-1 :-)

Could be, our foreign BETTER IDEAS just might be an over kill and costly??  But, who worries about spending a few extra millions or so???? ;D ;D
B-Ray



OK, so maybe I was a bit optimistic with 50+ per bag, but at 100 they must be difficult to handle without breaking.

I am sure foreign ideas are overkill by Philippine standards, but we come from countries that enforce strict standards and just consider building the same. It is very easy to build a weak and inadequate structure, and I am sure some of them will survive many years, but a lot will soon show signs of cracking, damp etc.

I am worrying right now about spending extra millions on my house.  ;D ;D ;D ;D

Colin
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: on August 18, 2009, 11:54:18 AM
Well Colin, DAMP[ness] might be something to think about, depend on the soil at the building site.

Putting a layer of plastic down before pouring a concrete floor might save a bunch of problems later?

That, I haven\'t seen done around here.

We had such a problem with one older Pinoy built house with dampness up the wall. I dug under and put in 4\" PVC piping with \"T\'s\" and slotted in different areas to the street drain. No problems since and that was two years ago.

Concrete can be like a sponge, if a lot of water is available. (high ground water table).
B-Ray
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: Sofie2 on September 05, 2009, 10:39:04 AM
Graham,

Is there a septic pumping service where you\'re at? I don\'t think I like the idea that the waste goes to the ocean. Where I come from, they pump it out when its backed up.

Sofie
Title: Re: Talking a load of Sh*t.
Post by: graham on September 07, 2009, 08:47:09 PM
Hi Sofie,

     No, there is no pump-out here. There is also no road access to where my house is. I park my car in a neighbours property about 80 metres away. I live in the middle of a fishing area as I said. I have videos of a neighbour putting many crates onto his boat and I have tracked him with zoom lense to about a kilometre off the beach where he then dumps it over the side. In the next couple of days we have plastic bags, throw away nappies, empty bottles and all sort of rubbish ending up on the beach.
     The stupid part about this idiot, Rugby sniffing guy ( I have video of that as well) dumping the trash, is that when he does it there is a pick-up service within 2 days and in less of a distance than carrying it to his boat. How do you reason with idiots????
     When I scouted out the place over a few months before buying there was no indication that anything like this was happening. My wife considered going to the local ABS-CBN office here and handing over the video, she was that incensed. Unfortunately I\'m the only Foreigner within miles of here, and from the angle that the video was shot it would be instantly recognisable from where it came from.
     We just now grit our teeth, wait a couple of days to let the tide do it\'s job, then go back out and swim when it\'s clean. Not a desirable solution, but I can\'t see any other way of handling it except to keep my own counsel. I\'m open to suggestions (besides moving)!!!

Graham