Geiger Septic Service Helps With Feel-Good Project on a Storm-Damaged Property

An engineered 3,000-gpd onsite system will allow for future expansion of a new sports complex in Alabama

Geiger Septic Service Helps With Feel-Good Project on a Storm-Damaged Property

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March 3, 2019, was a painful day for Lee County, Alabama, residents. An EF-5 tornado swept through the town of Beauregard leaving a trail of destruction. In its wake, the county decided to build a large sports complex to bring new life to the local economy.

The facility was built in the spring of 2022 and consists of three baseball fields and an all-purpose field for soccer and football. Along with the playing fields, a brand-new concession building and bathrooms were built, requiring an onsite septic system.

“I put my bid in and got the job,” says Marc Geiger, owner of Geiger Septic Service. “I didn’t bid this one as high as I could have, but I actually have a grandkid that goes to the local school here and uses the facility, so it was personal for me.”

How it flows

At the time, it would be one of the largest installations Geiger had tackled.

The system is designed by McBride & McGill Engineering Services and engineered to accommodate 3,000 gpd, which is oversized for the current load it will receive, but designers had expansion in mind.

“It currently serves the concession area and restrooms,” Geiger says. “But there are plans to continue adding on to this complex and we wanted to make sure the system could handle whatever they add.”

Effluent exits the concession building and restroom facilities and enters first into a 1,500-gallon precast concrete grease trap. From there, it continues gravity flow into two precast concrete 3,000-gallon septic tanks plumbed in series. Each septic tank is baffled and uses a Tuf-Tite EF-4 combo effluent filter. After exiting the second septic tank, water continues by gravity flow into a 1,000-gallon pump tank containing duplex Zoeller M282 pumps.

“The duplex system pumps the effluent 1,500 feet to a 3,000-gallon dosing tank,” Geiger says. “The effluent in that tank is then time-dose pumped to two, 2,000-gallon Nayadic M-2000 aerobic treatment units [from Consolidated Treatment Systems].”

The pump component was necessary due to plumbing installed prior to Geiger and his crew getting on the job site.

“When we showed up they had already poured some concrete, and they wanted to lay some plumbing down before doing that,” Geiger says. “Unfortunately, they installed the line running to the drainfield about 9 inches too high to allow gravity flow.”

After treatment in the Nayadic units, effluent flows into another 1,000-gallon pump chamber containing duplex Zoeller model 50 Series effluent pumps. Wastewater is pumped from that tank, through a 1.5-inch turbine flowmeter to a 350-gallon distribution box which then distributes water evenly through 2,000 feet of 4-inch SDR 35 perforated pipe into 10, 8-by-110-foot gravel beds.

The precast tanks are made by Mitchell Concrete in Alabaster, Alabama. “I’ve been using them for years,” Geiger says. “They have a great product and are great to work with.”

Drainfield challenges

The distance between the disposal area and the majority of the tanks created an interesting obstacle for Geiger. The drainfield was too far away from any accessible road making it impossible to get dump trucks of gravel and dirt in. So, before he could even get started, he had to build a solid roadbed to gain access.

A high water table, hardpan clay only two feet below the surface and regulations set by the state of Alabama dictated the way Geiger could legally install the drainfield.

“In this situation the restriction layer was at 24 inches, so with treatment from the Nayadic units it was reduced to 12-inches of minimum vertical separation required,” Geiger says. “We were able to excavate 12 inches and had to bring in 12 inches of cover for each gravel bed.”

He ended up using 25 loads of washed 57 stone and 18 loads of perc soil to get the drainfield to those standards. A geotextile fabric was used to cover the pipes and stone before backfilling.

Equipment and crew

Geiger wasn’t alone. Tackling a job this size went off without a hitch thanks to the crew he had working alongside him. With the help of his lead tech Kyle Smith, and technicians, Chris Sims, Mason Barker, Nick Sims and Andrew Pugh the install went smoothly from start to finish.

In total, it took Geiger and his team about four months to complete the project, a timespan that was spread out due to weather delays and supply chain holdups. “Several materials like the SDR 35 pipe, flowmeter and some of the pumps were backordered for a while,” Geiger says.

Together, they relied on a solid spread of machinery. A pair of Kubota KX057-5 mini-excavators were used to dig the holes for the tanks. Geiger also rented a Bobcat mini-excavator. “I rented an extra excavator for this job due to the distance between where the tanks are located and the disposal,” he says. “My other excavator was on a different job site, so this saved time on moving equipment.”

Once dirt was removed, Mitchell Concrete set the tanks using a Heila HLR 45000-2S knuckle boom crane.

To lower the Nayadic M-2000 treatment units, the crew used a Kubota KX057-4. Once the tanks and drainfield were plumbed and finished, a Bobcat T190 skid-steer and the KX057-4 was used for backfilling and smoothing things out.

Now, with the help of a well-built onsite system, the site of storm destruction is happily hosting Little League baseball, soccer tournaments and year-round recreational activities for residents of Lee County.


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