City Street Superintendent Albert Bridge was overseeing the installation of a new drain field for the system some distance away from the restroom facilities at the park’s Little League complex Tuesday afternoon.
The drain field consists of two 20-by-130-foot pits a couple of feet deep. A crew put an eight-inch layer of inch and a half gravel in the bottom of each pit and then installed five rows of four-inch perforated plastic pipe the entire length of each pit. The rows of plastic pipe were connected with lines on each end and cut-off valves so that the system could operate on either one or both pits when needed.
Another four-to-five inches of gravel was to be spread over the pipes and a geo-textile fabric was to be laid over that top layer of gravel.
Bridge said the fabric will allow effluent in the system to percolate up through the gravel but it will keep the effluent from reaching the sandy loam topsoil that will cover the entire drain field.
The fabric will allow rainfall to trickle down into the gravel and help disperse the effluent.
Bridge said he ordered 280 tons of gravel to fill around the four-inch drainage pipes.
After the topsoil has been applied over the top of the field, city crews will build up a six- to eight-inch berm around the facility to keep rain water from draining into the field. Only rain water which falls directly on the drain field will be allowed to enter the system.
“It’s really going to help out that Little League area,” Bridge said.
City Manager Ford Patton said that the new drain field will allow the city to go ahead with plans to build new restroom facilities near the Little League complex someday.
He said the city has been aware of problems with the restrooms and the existing drain field since the early 1980s. But coming up with the money to address the situation has been a problem.
However, a recent grant of $30,000, approved by the Beeville Economic Improvement Board and the City Council, finally made it possible to put in the new septic system.
Patton said it would have been ridiculous to build new restroom facilities at the park without having a new septic system to handle the effluent.
The city had the situation studied at one time to determine the feasibility of connecting the restrooms to the city’s sewer system. But elevation problems ruled that out and experts determined that a new septic system would be the best way to fix the problem.
Patton said that when new restrooms are built for the complex, they will be put somewhere away from where the people gather for health reasons. The existing restroom facilities will be abandoned.