Appendix B: Procedures for Evaluation of Innovative Technologies

Steps, Specific Information

This protocol describes the steps involved and information required for the establishment of an innovative system whose purpose is to provide monitoring and performance data. If systems are to be used for collection of data, sufficient background information is required.

The monitoring specified would not be feasible or necessary on every "experimental" system. However, all experimental systems should be designed and built to allow easy access for monitoring of the parameters specified. Homeowners or other on-site system owners should agree to allow health departments and other interested agencies reasonable access to the property for sampling and system inspection with prior notice.

In order to implement all phases of the monitoring program, a critical component to the assessment of system performance, a method of funding for monitoring of experimental systems may be necessary. Most homeowners will be unable to participate in such a venture if the individual homeowner is expected to bear the cost of such items as monitoring ports, flow meters, equipment and sampling.

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Steps: (For detailed requirements, see "specific information")

Contact county and state health departments informing them of your intent.

Obtain written permission from property owner.

Upon approval, have a soils examination performed by an individual certified by either ARCPACS or the Indiana Soil Classifiers Association as a soil scientist or soil classifier. (A list of certified individuals is available from the state health department.)

Obtain personnel, site and location information as specified below.

Select system appropriate for site.

Prepare detailed system design.

Prepare proposed monitoring and maintenance programs.

Obtain approval/permit for construction from state and then county health departments.

Construct system undergoing usual health department procedures with any additional requirements as required by the permit for the experimental system. Construction inspections must be conducted by state and/or local health department officials. File copies of system plans as installed in county and state health departments. There should not be any significant variation from original plans without new approval from the health department prior to proceeding with construction.

Perform monitoring and maintenance. For each action taken, record in a log:


Who performed the action

What was done

Why was the action performed

Results or effects

Time required

Associated cost

System observations

Copies of the monitoring log and sample results shall be forwarded to the agencies within the time frame specified in the project approval.

At end of monitoring period, have state and/or county sanitarian perform system and site inspection.

Arrange meeting with contractor and/or engineering firm, property owner, and representatives from state and county health departments to discuss data and system approval.

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Specific Information


Land owner name, "911 address" (including county), phones, fax, email

Participating Health Department name, address, phones, fax, email

Name of sanitarians and other involved personnel

Name of person making contact, relation to project, phones, fax, email

Date of contact with project

Site Evaluation

Lot survey map, property boundaries

Lot diagram to scale with 2 ft. or other appropriate contour lines

Location of:

Home or other existing buildings

Existing wastewater disposal system

New or existing well (location, type, depth, water level); Include wells on adjacent properties which may be within required separation distances.

Driveways, roads, paths, sidewalks

Underground electric, phone, gas and other utilities

Outbuildings, swimming pools, and other constructed features

Surface water (streams, ditches, lakes) and nearby tile drainage

All structures on adjacent properties which may affect system performance by impeding surface or subsurface flow away from the system site

Present Vegetation. If in crops, list crops for last three years and tillage methods used.

If system is a repair or replacement, obtain, if possible, plans for old system.

Evaluate reasons for failure

Why the repair or new system

Soil Evaluation

Name of soil scientist, address, phones, fax, email

Position in landscape

Slope, shape of slope, slope aspect

Profile descriptions, reports prepared for site

Minimum of 5 probes should be made, one in each of the four corners of the proposed absorption field site, and one in the middle. All profile descriptions must be recorded and submitted. Additional borings or a pit dug with a backhoe may be required at the discretion of the permitting agency.

Any record of previous examinations

Estimates of height and duration of seasonal high water table

Any information available on geologic conditions; depth to water table if site has an unconfined aquifer.

System Design Selection

Reasons for selection

Participating personnel


System Design

Engineer or contractor, name, address, phones, fax, email

Plans for monitoring program

Use timers if applicable


Sampling frequency and parameters should be determined and recorded as a part of the permit issuance

Sampling and analysis should occur for a minimum of 2 years. Sampling should be frequent enough to assess performance in light of seasonal variations (not more than once a month). Frequency will depend upon the nature of the system. Samples should be analyzed from:

Septic tank effluent (if applicable)

Treatment(s) effluent (if applicable)

Observation wells:

Before (upslope) the system (This provides baseline data.)

Downslope or downgradient of the system (A minimum of 2 groundwater wells 10 feet from system edge.)

Between trenches (At a midpoint between the trenches, near the center and/or downslope end of the system.)

In trenches or absorption bed(s) (This may be limited to water level only.)

Specific depth and number of observation wells will depend upon site characteristics. Monitoring of addition observation wells in excess of those specified above may be limited to water depth.

Parameters may include: (report concentrations in mg/L or CFU/100 mL)

B.O.D. (Five day biological oxygen demand)

T.S.S. (Total suspended solids)

Total Fecal Coliforms

NH3 (Usually analyzed in combination with NH4.)

TKN (total kjeldahl nitrogen) or total nitrogen

NO3 (Usually analyzed in combination with NO2.)


Cl- (If applicable)

Fe (optional)

Water level in observation pipes

Influent and effluent wastewater flow from all treatment components

Sampling methodology (range of detection and accuracy)

Name, location, and phone number of certified lab performing the analysis

Plans for maintenance

Estimation of maintenance (type, frequency, cost)

Property owner responsibilities

County responsibilities

State responsibilities

How compliance will be monitored

System Construction

Contractor(s) name, address, phone, fax, email

Dates of construction

Weather conditions

Soil conditions

Variations from original plans, unusual conditions, other pertinent observations; a set of "as built" plans must be provided

Building materials

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An Evaluation of On-Site Technology in Indiana: Table of Contents