Wetland Permitting
Septic System Design
Land Planning

Environmentally sensitive septic design services for
residential and business sites in New Hampshire.

Specialists in lakefront septic system design
including Lake Sunapee.

Riverside Ecological Designs, LLC - Septic System Design, NH

Roger Rodewald

P.O. Box 497    10 Dodge Hill Road
South Sutton, NH 03273
Tel: (603) 927-6030      Fax: (603) 927-6049



  • Sewage backing up into toilets, tubs or sinks.
  • Slowly draining fixtures; particularly after it has rained.
  • The smell of raw sewage accompanied by extremely soggy soil over the drainfield.
  • Sewage discharged over the ground or in nearby ditches or woods. This is defined as failure in most codes.
  • Water test results indicating the presence of biological contamination or organic chemical contamination in the groundwater under the system.


A septic system is an on-site recycling system which treats wastewater and returns it to the groundwater. If properly designed, installed, used and maintained, a septic system can do its work safely and efficiently for many years.

Improper design, installation, use and/or maintenance can lead to premature and costly failure. We encourage you to understand how your system operates, to use and maintain it properly to protect your investment and the environment.

A septic system typically consists of two components: the septic tank and the soil absorption area (leach field). These components treat and renovate the wastewater so that it may safely return to the groundwater.

A septic system has primarily two jobs to do: It must dispose of the wastewater, and it must treat it so it’s suitable for return to the groundwater and soil. Once a system is in place, it’s now up to the system owner to perform critical steps in proper use and maintenance.


Your on-site wastewater treatment system represents a significant investment which you will want to protect. With proper operation and regular maintenance, your system will function better and last longer.

Do not wait until your system shows signs of failure to have your septic tank pumped out. Waiting can mean complete clogging and an expensive repair bill.

Call a septic system pumper to inspect your system AT LEAST ONCE EVERY THREE YEARS and pump as needed. Periodic pumping of the septic tank is far less costly than repair or replacement of the entire system.

While your tank is being pumped, ask the operator to examine the inlet and outlet baffles or tees in the septic tank. If either is broken, have repairs done immediately. The inlet should also be checked to see if wastewater is continuously flowing into the tank from previously undetected plumbing leaks.

The outlet baffle is more important than the inlet baffle. Its loss will allow untreated material to go directly to the absorption area; failure of the system is the common result. Septic systems generally give little warning that they are about to fail.

However, the following symptoms often indicate the leaching system is becoming clogged: a) Sewage odor near the septic tank or leaching area, b) Slowly running drains and toilets, and c) Sewage on the ground over the leaching area.

Protect the system by keeping soil over the drainfield covered with vegetation to prevent erosion. Don’t drive heavy vehicles over the system; avoid construction over the system. Maintain natural shape of the land immediately down slope of the system and protect this area from cutting and filling.

Landscape the yard to divert surface waters away from the tank and drainfield. Be sure that water from the roof, gutters, and foundation drains do not flow over, or into the system

Contact Riverside Ecological Designs