Interpreting a soil report for onsite sewage treatment

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This presentation covers things a designer or regulator should know when interpreting a site and soil evaluation for onsite sewage treatment. I gave this presentation at the Northwest Ohio Environmental Health Association Fall Conference on October 21, 2011. I hope to add audio in the near future.

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  • There are 12 basic textural classes found on the texture triangle. Each class can determine fertility, ease of tillage, droughtiness, and general productivity. There are two widely acceptable ways to determine soil texture. The first is determining texture by feel. The second method requires some laboratory equipment, and is referred to the hydrometer method. The hydrometer method separates particles by their rate of settling in water. The texture of a soil can be found by knowing (or estimating) the percentage of two of the three components, usually clay and sand in the hydrometer method.
  • Soils with a high proportion of pore space to solids have lower bulk densities than those that are more compact and have less pore space. Sandy soils have bulk densities that are commonly higher than in the finer-textured soils such as clay loams and clays. This fact may seem counterintuitive at first because sandy soils are commonly referred to as ‘light’ soils, while clays are commonly referred to as ‘heavy’ soils. In this case, ‘light’ and ‘heavy’ do not refer to bulk density, but rather the amount of effort required for tillage.
  • Interpreting a soil report for onsite sewage treatment

    1. 1. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??
    2. 2. http://www.mlmrecruitingonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/confused-man.jpg HELP!!! redoximorphic?? sicl?? depletions?? consistence?? 10YR4/2?? sbk??
    3. 3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sterlic/2835194472/sizes/l/in/photostream/ LET’S BOIL IT DOWN TO WHAT WE REALLY NEED TO KNOW
    4. 4. Will water move through the soil??
    5. 5. Will the soil remove contaminants from the water??
    6. 6. Basic Types of Soil Structure <ul><li>Courtesy of NASA ( www.nasa.gov ) and the Soil Science Education Home Page (soil.gsfc.nasa.gov) </li></ul>Granular Blocky Prismatic Platy Massive
    7. 7. C B E A Granular Platy Blocky Massive
    8. 8. Grade (Structure Development) Strong - Units are distinct in place (undisturbed) and separate cleanly when disturbed. Moderate - Units are well-formed and evident in place or in a hand sample Weak - Units are barely observable in place or in a hand sample Structureless - No discrete units observable in place or in a hand sample
    9. 9. Clay Silty Clay Silty Clay Loam Clay Loam Sandy Clay Sandy Clay Loam Loam Silt Loam Silt Sandy Loam Sand Percent Clay Percent Silt Percent Sand Fine Medium Coarse Loamy Sand Soil Texture Texture Triangle
    10. 10. Comparison of Coarse Textured and Fine Textured Soils Coarse Textured Soil Less porespace but more macropores Fine Textured Soil More total porespace Texture and Pore Space
    11. 11. Describing the Soil
    12. 12. Understanding the Description
    13. 13. Observe Details, Avoid Surprises http://www.flickr.com/photos/33778545@N07/4053418477/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    14. 14. Lack of Sufficient Soil Structure
    15. 15. Lack of Sufficient Soil Structure
    16. 16. Lack of Sufficient Soil Structure
    17. 17. Evidence of Compaction
    18. 18. Evidence of Compaction http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/pub811/8soilresource.htm
    19. 19. Slickensides (Pressure Faces)
    20. 20. Slickensides (Pressure Faces)
    21. 21. Highly Permeable Material
    22. 22. Highly Permeable Material
    23. 23. Disturbed Site
    24. 24. Disturbed Site http://www.flickr.com/photos/fortgirl/3513360141/in/pool-17765913@N00/
    25. 25. Redoxymorphic Features redox concentrations Zones of apparent accumulation of Fe-Mn oxides in soils. redox depletions Zones of low chroma (2 or less) where Fe-Mn oxides alone or both Fe-Mn oxides and clay have been stripped out of the soil. (used to define aquic conditions) aquic A mostly reducing soil moisture regime nearly free of dissolved oxygen due to saturation by groundwater or its capillary fringe and occurring at periods when the soil temperature at 50 cm below the surface is >5°C.
    26. 26. Redoxymorphic Features
    27. 27. http://www.flickr.com/photos/soilrocks/317241887/in/set-72157594384192229/ Redoxymorphic Features
    28. 28. Putting it all together… Here… To here! Can take us from……
    29. 29. Soil Structure Soil Texture Will water move through the soil? Will it move through the soil quickly enough to disperse? Will water move through the soil too quickly to receive adequate treatment?
    30. 30. Tyler Loading Rate Table
    31. 31. Redoxymorphic Features Additional Observations Is the soil periodically saturated? Is there evidence of site disturbance that would affect water movement? Is there evidence of a condition that would present a health hazard?
    32. 32. Resources Glossary of Soil Science Terms https://www.soils.org/publications/soils-glossary
    33. 33. Resources Soil and Site Evaluation for Onsite Wastewater Treatment OSU Extension Bulletin 905 http://ohioline.osu.edu/b905/index.html
    34. 34. Resources USDA/NRCS Field Book for Describing and Sampling Soils, Version 2.0 ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/NSSC/Field_Book/FieldBookVer2.pdf
    35. 35. Resources Web Soil Survey http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/WebSoilSurvey.aspx
    36. 36. Resources Ohio Department of Health Sewage Treatment System Program Site and Soil Evaluation for Sewage Treatment and Dispersal INSTRUCTIONS http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhPrograms/eh/sewage/sewrules.aspx
    37. 37. <ul><li>Jason Menchhofer, R.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Van Wert County Health Department </li></ul><ul><li>419-238-0808, ext. 108 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Find this presentation online at: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.slideshare.net/jmenchhofer </li></ul>THANK YOU

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