Installing a Septic Tank for a Container Home
The step by step process of installing a septic tank for a shipping container home in Costa Rica.
Sanitary sewers are virtually unheard of in most of Latin America and so virtually all homes have septic systems. The installation of your container home needs to include accommodation, and installation of a septic system. Most homes in Costa Rica opt for a simple septic tank. These tanks require periodic cleaning (or not) so you will need to install the tank in an accessible location. Also, be sure that the installation provides for proper venting and the proper grade so that the water flows correctly from your home to the tank. The septic tank installation should be part of the overall architectural design.
The water from the toilet will be exiting underneath the container. In fact this hole and the hole for your shower will be the only openings in the floor. The septic tube installation should be considered on the day of delivery and placement of the home. Sufficient craw space is recommended when constructing your pillars in the foundation. We don’t feel it’s necessary to have all the grey water (kitchen, bathroom sink and shower) go directly into the septic tank. This has a tendency to over load the septic system. Instead we create a gray water treatment system around the house using tubes and plants. All designs to absorb the grey water and convert it back into the soil.
The photos will to show you how we do it and what we need. The supplies include a septic “alcanteria” with a lid, three different size rocks, perforated orange tube, specifically for the septic tank and finally 6 meters long of plastic. You will need a back hoe to lower the septic “alcanteria” into the hole as well as carve a 6 meter canal.