Database Templates to Track Septic Tanks
Whether homeowner participation in local septic system management programs is voluntary or required, cities should consider creating an easy-to-use database for centralized septic system records.
Information that Should be Tracked in a Database
Ideally, your database and/or filing system should include information on:
- Ownership and contact information, property address, tax map number
- Type of system, location on the property, and as-built drawings
- Type of facility (house, commercial, etc.), number of bedrooms, water supply
- Permit number, permit approver and date
- Name of the environmentalist (site evaluator/designer)
- Date of installation
- Name of the installer, tank manufacturer and size, pump information if applicable, and other system specifications from permit
- Inspection dates and details, required repairs, and follow-up or scheduled inspections
- Any maintenance contracts, pumping and/or repair
- Monitoring data if required
- Additional information such as dates of complaints and enforcement responses that pertain to each system
More sophisticated septic system management programs may also need to track maintenance contracts, dates of upcoming inspections or operating permit expiration, and other time-dependent activities.
You can develop your own database using Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, or any enterprise relational database such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle.
You can use also use commercial GIS software (such as ESRI's ArcGIS), or existing billing programs to store your data or to provide additional functionality to your existing database.
Databases specifically designed for septic system management are also available. Some are free and downloadable or come as a CD, and others can be purchased and tailor-made for your community.
Free Septic System Databases You Can Download
You can download a free Microsoft Access-based septic system database from the SepTrack website. The database was developed by the Buzzard's Bay National Estuary Program.
Also available from the same website, a free, downloadable Microsoft Access-based septic system tracking program developed by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
DHEC’s Demo Database
We used Microsoft Access software to develop a demonstration database to give you an idea of the type of system that might be useful for your city’s program. Our demo database information fields track information from DHEC’s septic tank Permit to Construct/ Certificate of Final Approval, DHEC’s septic inspection form, assessor's data, and municipal tax/ billing records.
We’ve added fake data merely to demonstrate how the database works. The database will accept new data as well. But our database is for demonstration purposes only. We have scaled down the system’s error-trapping, security and design features. So even though the system appears functional, it’s really not one that you can use for your city’s records. You will need to create your own database system.
You must have MS Access software to use and modify this database. Download the latest Microsoft Office service pack to avoid any problems. The demo database was developed in MS Office XP. To store and modify the database (as a demo), save it to your hard drive.
For additional information, contact: (803) 898-4329 Fax (803) 898-4200