Time Dosing, Historical Data, & Protection of the System’s Most Irreplaceable Component
The Eljen Geotextile Sand Filter PA DEP listing states that time dosing is a requirement when using a pump for pressure distribution of septic tank effluent to the Eljen absorption area. Time dosing is arguably the most powerful tool available for monitoring the hydraulic load being administered to an absorption area. Hydraulic overloading of on-lot absorption areas is likely a major reason—if not the primary reason—for many absorption area failures.
By incorporating time dosing into the design of an on-lot system, unintended inputs of water to the system are quickly identified, because the dosing tank will fill up and the high level alarm will sound. This differs from conventional demand dosed systems inasmuch as float activated demand dosed systems will pump as much water into the absorption area as is produced without any warning to the system owner.
A Double-Edged Sword?
Often, system owners and installers are alarm averse, and frustration may ensue when an alarm is sounded. It is quite common for stuck toilets, malfunctioning water treatment systems, and unknown drain inputs to cause alarms in these cases and system owners to become angry at the “messenger.”
However, being made aware of a potential large hydraulic input to a soil based on-lot system has enormous long-term benefits. The most irreplaceable component of the system—the absorption area—can be protected because of the notification of large inputs of water which reduce the effectiveness of the septic tank and hydraulically affect the absorption area in a negative way.
Storing Historical Information
In addition to detecting unwanted inputs of water, many time dosing control systems have the ability to store historical information that can allow effective troubleshooting of system issues.
While demand dose pumping systems offer little to the service provider in terms of past operation of the system, many time dose panels can offer valuable historical data regarding tank levels, actions taken by the homeowner (alarm silencing), power outages/glitches, and pumping event frequency. This data can often be correlated with other information to allow you to determine the cause of an alarm, often resulting in elimination of the issue that caused a previous system to fail prematurely.
The image below provides an example of historical data:
Regardless of the type of on-lot system you are considering, time dosing can notify you of serious issues at a minimal cost. Wouldn’t it be better to have the opportunity to resolve damaging problems before they ruin the investment you’ve made in the system? Or, perhaps more importantly, if you are using the last possible absorption area on your property for an on-lot sewage system, wouldn’t you want to have all of the data available to help you to protect it?