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Close Quarters: An aerobic treatment unit and drainfield chambers help designers make the most of a site's restrictive conditions

Acouple razed their old house on California’s exclusive Trancas Beach and built a two-story, four-bedroom home. The upgrade included replacing the conventional septic system.

John Yaroslaski P.E., founder of Ensitu Engineering in Morro Bay, Calif., designed a new onsite system large enough to handle regular high usage. However, the required setbacks from surface water, wells, the enlarged house, and property lines limited treatment options. Environmental issues with shallow groundwater further restricted choices. Finally, the only space available for the new system was the old drainfield in the courtyard.

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