"DEQ4-2004 uses 2.25 times the design flow, which falls within the EPA recommendation of 2-3 times. If anything, it is low."
What the "concerned citizen" is saying is that if the design flow, which we all know is almost always overstated, is, for instance, 5000 gal/day, then the current corresponding septic tank volume of 11,250 gallons is not sufficient. The "concerned citizen" suggests that much of the extra volume is required for sludge and scum storage. This may be true but permit conditions generally require a pumping interval of 3-5 years so there will not be much accumulation anyway. Design flows for homes in the Circular are so grossly overblown that a 10 lot subdivision on a cluster system could easily wind up with a 12,000 to 15,000 gallon septic tank in front of an advanced treatment unit. This really makes no sense if one considers the actual expected flow of about 1800 GPD at full buildout and 100% occupancy. The fact of the matter is, the "concerned citized" is also the distributor of one brand of large fiberglass tank commonly used as a septic tank. This citizen benefits directly from a regulation that requires other citizens to install larger and larger septic tanks in their communities. He has, in fact, suggested that a reasonable septic tank volume should be 3 to 4 times the daily design flow. This number results in a whopper of a tank and probably sends him and his kids on a 3 week vacation to Hawaii! I happen to think that is disgraceful to lobby for such extreme excesses under the guise of environmental concern when the real goal is much less noble: sell more big tanks. Lets face it, a bigger septic tank ahead of an advanced treatment unit dosen't do a damn thing extra for the environment beyond what a reasonably sized septic tank will do. It just costs the people buying it to pay more money. Furthermore, Montana's DEQ is really part of the problem. One DEQ employee recently, at a public meeting, scoffed at the notion that she would have any concern for how additional regulations impact the public's ability to pay for the increased infrastructure. She was saying, in essence, that she does not care if it costs more to build the system, it is simply not her concern. I think this is the wrong approach and if the govt is going to impose additional regulations that will result in additional expense, there better be a compelling reason for the new regulation beyond the phony concern for the environment by a "concerned citizen". But that's just my opinion.