What is OSTDS?
about septic tanks and septic systems in a home use application.
If you have never been exposed to a septic tank and drainfield
sewer systems. Let us explain. First they are by far the
most efficient sewer system available and they recycle the
greatest amount of water for our future.
Let’s compare this to public sewer systems that many
of you may be familiar with. Practically all of the public
systems water when treated goes directly into our rivers,
streams, lakes, and oceans to contaminate the reefs, fish,
our beaches and our livelihood. Although most public sewer
system operators will tell you they treat the water, it
is done on an abbreviated scale, leaving much to be desired.
See other articles on this information.
Yes the water from the public sewer system can be bad for
you if you come in contact with it like swimming, or fishing,
or playing in the lakes. This also pertains to septic systems
if you have direct contact with it.
According to information from the Florida Department of
Health, septic water after moving through two feet of fine
sand is as good as any water treatment available today.
So What Is OSTDS?
We at Dixie Septic Tank Inc. are happy to explain.
What you have is an Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal
System (OSTDS) (meaning it’s located in your yard).
What this means is that located in your yard is a septic
tank and a drainfield, some of you may call it a leach field.
It may be in the front yard or back yard or both, or even
in the side yard.
The Health Department determines the size of the tank and
size of the drainfield by the number of bedrooms and square
footage of the house. Where it is located is determined
by the builder and other features of your yard. These may
include ponds, lakes, wells, or water retention areas that
are on or near your property.
Since 1994 all septic tanks installed in the State of Florida
must have a filter installed in them. This filter must be
cleaned on a yearly basis or sooner depending on usage.
Since 1992 all septic tanks installed must have a baffle
in them. This means there are two compartments in the septic
What’s Going On Here?
Every time you use water in your house it flows
out of the home into the septic tank. Here some wonderful
The first compartment catches all water and solids coming
from the house. Most solids will float. Bacteria then begin
to grow and do its thing on the solids that have come from
the house. Bacteria do not do a good job on Fats, Oils and
Grease (FOG). So keep this to an absolute minimum. See other
information regarding items put down the drain.
The solids are then transformed into sludge by the bacteria.
The solids then drop to the bottom of the tank. As the water
level rises it flows through an opening in the baffle wall
to the outlet side of the tank.
Here located at the outlet end of the tank is a filter
(mentioned earlier). This filter works to catch any suspended
solids or items that have flowed through to the outlet side.
Water then flows through the filter out into the drainfield.
There are a number of choices you can make regarding drainfield
type of material. Dixie Septic Tank with more than 40 years
in the business has found that a rock type of drainfield
is by far the most superior system. Because of economical
demands you may have we can address your needs for other
This water then flows through a system of pipes into the
drainfield. Here it is dispersed through rock (our type
of system) before going into the soil. In some cases the
water flows out of the pipes or into chambers directly into
the soil below.
The water then moves down through the sand into the ground
below. Making it one of the largest sources of artificial
groundwater recharge in the state of Florida.
Thus replacing our water sources for future generations.
Isn’t that better when compared to public
sewer systems? Some applications may have a pump
and alarm. With this system, a couple of items need to be
What happens is after the water flows from the septic tank
through the filter, it goes into a separate pump chamber
tank. Located in the bottom of the tank is a pump and two
floats. One float operates the pump the other float turns
on an alarm. In most home applications this tank is at least
300 gallons. The pump is located about 8” off of the
bottom of the tank to make sure no solids or sand can go
through it. When the water rises, the float turns the pump
on and the water is pushed up and out of the tank into the
If the pump or floats become inoperative and the water
level rise, the alarm will sound a loud noise and the light
will come on. This is to notify you of a problem. If this
happens we suggest you call us (386) 738-3030 for assistance.
There is a silent position on the alarm box to shut off
In many cases it may have been an electrical surge or a
GFI has popped or your circuit breaker has popped. Maybe
the outside wiring has been cut? After checking these items
and the alarm is still sounding please contact
us. You will encounter problems if it is not corrected,
as the water is not being pumped to the drainfield. This
causes both tanks to fill.
Like all things proper maintenance must be followed.