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The design wizard is built as a series of pages that you complete in sequence. Use the “Next” and “Back” buttons to navigate between the pages. Current regulations and engineering concepts are built into the design wizard and are applied, step by step, as you prepare the design, assuring complete, accurate designs with minimal effort. The sequence of pages is determined on-the-fly by the information you enter and you will only see the pages that are necessary for the design you are working on. The wizard will warn you when you miss something that is required or enter values that are not allowed.

The tab key is the easiest way to navigate between data entry fields on most pages. Most fields have default values to minimize effort in filling data. The defaults can be modified by selecting “Design Wizard Defaults…” from the “Edit” menu to open the Wizard Defaults Editor.

Most pages of the wizard are discussed below. Only the pertinent pages will be used for any given system.

Header Page

The first page of the design wizard is for client and permitting information.

Enforcement/Permitting Agency

Most of these fields will auto-complete as you type once you have designed some systems and the databases populate.

  • SEO - Sewage Enforcement Officer - The person issuing the permit.
  • County - The county where the site is located.
  • Agency - The township or other permitting agency.
  • Permit No - The serial number assigned to the septic permit.

Client Identification

  • Permittee - Who the design is ultimately for.
  • Mail to - Where to send the design.
  • Bill to - Who gets the invoice

The three boxes for client information, “Permittee”, “Mail to”, and “Bill to” all work in the same way and share the same database. You can add a client by:

  • Clicking the “New…” button
  • Double clicking in the drop down box
  • Hitting the space bar with the cursor in the drop down box

Fill in the information in the client editor and save it. A client code will be created using the first four characters of the last name and a four digit tie breaker.

Tip: Fill in the zipcode first. The city and state will then populate automatically.

A client can be copied between the three fields (Permittee, Mail to, and Bill to) by using the “*” buttons in each box.


The default fee amount is set in the Wizard Defaults Editor. The paid and invoice amounts are automatically updated as the other values are changed. If no “bill to” client is set then the wizard assumes the design has been paid for and will fill in the Paid amount. However, if there is a “bill to” client, the wizard will assume you will be invoicing for the design and will fill in the Invoice amount. As you edit either the Fee or Paid amounts the Invoice amount should update accordingly.

The “Note for Invoice” is optional. The note will be inserted into the invoice when it is printed.

Site Investigation Page

First select how the site data was collected from:

  • Percolation Rate
  • Hydraulic Linear Loading Rate Method (A-B Soil System)
  • Stream Discharge

Once you have selected the type of data you will get an input screen appropriate to that type of data.

Percolation Rate

  • Percolation Rate - Percolation rate in minutes per inch (min/in).
  • Depth to Limit Zone - Depth to limiting zone in inches (in).
  • Slope at Bed - Slope at the absorption area in percent (%).
  • Variances - Best Technical Guidance - Check this option if you need to invoke “Best Technical Guidance” which allows you to bend some of the design rules. This option is only to be used in repair situations for existing dwellings when no system can be designed following the standard rules. You will be required to document the reason on a later page. Best Technical Guidance is NOT allowed for new construction!
  • Building Flowrate - Either the number of bedrooms or the flowrate in gallons per day (gpd). If this number is less than 10 then the software assumes it to be the number of bedrooms otherwise it is used as the building daily design flowrate in gallons per day (gpd).

Hydraulic Linear Loading Rate Method

  • Hydraulic Linear Loading Rate in gallons per foot per day
  • Infiltration Loading Rate in gallons per square foot per day
  • Soil Scientist - the name of the soil scientist who examined the soil
  • Soil Condition/Description - a summary of the soil scientist's results
  • Depth to Limit Zone - Depth to limiting zone in inches (in).
  • Slope at Bed - Slope at the absorption area in percent (%).
  • Building Flowrate - Either the number of bedrooms or the flowrate in gallons per day (gpd). If this number is less than 10 then the software assumes it to be the number of bedrooms otherwise it is used as the building daily design flowrate in gallons per day (gpd).

Stream Discharge

This system type should only be used by those who are certified in Pennsylvania as Professional Engineers.

System Type Page

The software will default to the simplest system configuration that is allowed. Any system components that are not allowed are grayed out. As you select different system components the system summary below will update automatically.

The system type page assembles the system from basic components from four categories:

  • Discharge Method
  • Secondary Treatment
  • Primary Treatment
  • Disinfection Method.

The component categories are arranged from left to right in the order of how a system design is generally contemplated. As you select from components from each category the software evaluates the system and disables non-compatible components and selects others as required.

Below the component selectors is a system summary. It will give you the guidance type of the system (standard, alternate, experiment, or best technical) and basic information about the size of the and configuration of the discharge system.

Absorption Area Adjustments Page

Here you can override default dimensions and adjust the discharge system size.

On the right is a summary of the discharge system.

Constraint Dimensions

The constraints dimensions information tells the software how to optimize the shape of the system. Its use is optional. The optimizing algorithm chooses the system that has the best fit to the constraints (the configuration with the minimum area overlap outside of the size constraint rectangle defined by “Width” and “Length”) and that meets DEP rules. For some circumstances invoking “Best Technical Guidance” (see Site Investigation Page above) will allow the software to override any aspect (width vs length) ratio rules.

  • Type - Which footprint of the system to constrain. You can use the aggregate area, toe of sand, or toe of berm to constrain the system.
  • Width - Width (the with slope dimension) constraint in feet (ft)
  • Length - Length (the across slope dimension) constraint in feet (ft).

Adjust Area

  • No Adjustment
  • Reduce By - Enter the percent (%) reduction. The DEP allows an area reduction in some circumstances. Sewers makes no attempt to keep up with these allowed variances. It is up to you, the designer, to keep track of these variances and to use them at your discretion. You will need to document the justification on a later screen.
  • Limit Maximum To - Enter a maximum size in square feet (ft2). This option is only available under “Best Technical Guidance”.
  • Limit Minimum To - Enter the minimum size in square feet (ft2).

Why can't I make the distribution system be exactly the size I want?

Justifications Page

You are required to document the non-economic justifications whenever you design a system that uses Alternate, Experimental, or Best Technical guidance or you opt to take an area reduction.

Typical justifications are:

  • “Best system configuration for site conditions”
  • “Repair system with limited discharge area options”
  • “DEP allows up to X% area reductions for xxxxxx”

You can set default justifications with the Wizard Defaults Editor.

Dosing Page

This page considers the location of the dosing tank on systems requiring pressure dosing. These measurements are before construction. Do not consider how high the bed might be built or how low the pump or siphon may be. The software will do this for you.

  • Elevation change tank to bed - the vertical difference in feet (ft) of the ground measured from the dosing tank position to the high point of the absorption area before any construction. This number is always positive. Consideration of direction is handled next.
  • Direction - Elevation direction of the mound from the tank. Select up or down as appropriate: Up when the bed is higher than the ground at the dosing tank, and down when the bed is lower than the ground at the dosing tank.
  • Distance tank to bed - The horizontal distance in feet (ft) from the dosing tank to the center of the absorption area.
  • Extra depth of dosing tank - Optional. Use this to indicate that the dosing tank will be set deeper than standard. The software assumes the dosing tank bottom is about 5 ½ feet below grade.

The software will check to see if the specified elevation difference works. If the dosing tank is sufficiently high enough above the bed the software will specify a siphon instead of a pump. There is a range of elevations that will not work for either a pump or a siphon. This is roughly from about 4ft down to 15ft down. In this circumstance there is not enough drop to allow a siphon to work correctly and a pumped system will have its laterals lower than the dosing tank's turn on level, allowing the effluent to trickle out to the bed.

Pump Plumbing Page

The software estimates a fittings allowance for the system. You can adjust the quantities for fittings that are not grayed out. To some extent defaults for these can be set using the Wizard Defaults Editor.

The optimal delivery line diameter is selected by the software by choosing the smallest diameter that is allowed and that does not have excessive head. You can override it. The delivery line diameter influences both the pump size and, possibly, the dosing tank size. The pump size due to increased friction losses in smaller pipes and the dosing tank size due to the increased volume of larger pipes. Diameters that are not allowed under the design circumstances are grayed out.

On the right is a summary of dosing stats.

Siphon Plumbing Page

The software estimates a fittings allowance for the system. You can adjust the quantities for fittings that are not grayed out. To some extent defaults for these can be set using the Wizard Defaults Editor.

The software selects the siphon by trying to optimize for both smallest dose and smallest cross-sectional area dosing tank. You can override the selection. Only those siphons whose flow characteristics are within range for the system are enabled. Pause the cursor over a siphon choice and a hint will pop up indicating the minimum tank square footage required for that siphon.

On the right is a summary of dosing stats.

Dosing Pump Page

This is a dosing pump selection list. Dosing pumps that will not meet the flow characteristics for the design will be grayed out (disabled). The software pre-selects the best fitting pump from each manufacturer. You can modify the selection as you see fit.

The performance curve for each pump can be viewed by double clicking on the pump. The flow requirements for the design are also drawn on the pump curve.

If there are additional pumps you would like to use, send us the pump spec sheets and we will add them to the database.

Tank Selection Page

Unsuitable tanks will be grayed out. The software selects the best tank from each manufacturer or group.

  • Generics - If checked then all the basic tank configurations in the database will be included in the lists.
  • Brands - If checked then tanks associated with a manufacturer will be included in the lists.
  • Local only - If checked then only the brand named tanks that are deliverable to the county of the site will be included in the lists. The county is determined by the county selected on the client info page.

We will add any tanks you want to the database if you send us the manufacturer's spec sheets.

Accessories Page

Extra options to the design can be included here. Check off any item you want to include in the design. When some accessories are required for some system types and configurations the option is selected and the buttons are disabled.

Plot Plan Page

Plot Plan Options

There are three options for how plot plans are handled:

  • Include Instructions - a page is added to the design that explains the requirements of a plot plan.
  • Draw here - allows use of the build-in CAD system.
  • External - indicates you will draw the plot plan by hand or with another application.

Footprint Export

If you choose to draw the plot plan externally you can export the footprint of the system to your CAD application as either a DXF file or as an AutoCAD script pasted to the clipboard. If you use the latter option:

  • Click on the “Export” button.
  • Open AutoCAD
  • Start or open a drawing
  • Click in the AutoCAD command line
  • Paste in the script by pressing the “Control” key and the “V” key simultaneously ([Ctrl][ V ] )

Finish Page

At this point the design is complete and ready for review. The rules for purchasing and printing are re-stated here. Once the design is saved you can safely close the design wizard. Saved designs are always available for review and editing.

There are four buttons:

  • Review… - opens the Design Viewer so you can review the design.
  • Save - to save the system into the database. The design is assigned a unique serial number the first time it is saved.
  • Purchase - opens the purchasing utility
  • View/Print - opens the Design Viewer so you can print the design.

Near the bottom of the page is the “Protect critical data” checkbox. It is checked by default. Its purpose is as a safe-guard to lock out the “critical data” controls. The “critical data” are those data that you are not allowed to change after you have printed a design without re-purchasing. You cannot accidentally edit data that would require you to re-purchase a system without deliberately unchecking this checkbox.