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NUMBER OF BEDROOMS

NUMBER OF PEOPLE

SEPTIC TANK (GAL)

1–2

1–4

1,000

3

6

1,250

4

8

1,500

5

10

1,750

6

12

2,000

7 +

13 +

2,000 + 250

VIEW THIS SITE IN ENGLISH OR SPANISH

SUSTAINABLE WASTEWATER SOLUTIONS
HOW TO CONSERVE WATER AND PREVENT POLLUTION FROM ENTERING OUR WATERWAYS.
This online wastewater guide will assist in understanding your water use and treating water with environmental-friendly methods. Do your part to help ensure Nosara has clean water, rivers, and ocean by implementing sustainable solutions for wastewater.
TYPES OF
WASTEWATER
WASTEWATER
QUICK TIPS
A FUNCTIONING
SEPTIC SYSTEM
SEPTIC TANK
SIZING
DRAINFIELD
SIZING
IMPROVING YOUR
WASTEWATER SYSTEM
WASTEWATER
RESOURCES
WASTEWATER BASICS
TYPES OF WASTEWATER
GRAY WATER
FROM SINKS & SHOWERS
BLACK WATER
FROM TOILETS

DID YOU KNOW?

Most of the pollution in our oceans comes from chemicals, nutrients, solid waste, and plastic pollution which makes up 80% of marine debris.
A FUNCTIONING SEPTIC SYSTEM
What does a functioning septic system look like? Listed are the Components and how they are supposed to work. Locate and identify each of the following components in your business or home. Each of these are important steps in the treatment process!
GREASE TRAP
SEPTIC TANK

DID YOU KNOW?

Most septic tanks in Costa Rica are undersized because local requirements are based on the average water consumption of Costa Rican families.
SUSTAINABLE NOSARA

YOUR GUIDE TO ALL THINGS SUSTAINABLE IN NOSARA

The required size of your drain field depends on the amount of water used and permeability of the ground on your property. Check your soil study (uso de suelo) for the permeability on your property. Check the date of the study and assume lower permeability rates in rainy season.
SEPTIC TANK SIZING
HOW BIG SHOULD YOUR SEPTIC TANK BE?
Your septic tank should have two compartments and be sized according to the estimated volume of wastewater generated daily. Below are guidelines to help you go above and beyond local requirements to ensure you aren't polluting. 
Dimensions vary according to size and shape. Separating grey water and diverting this to the second chamber of the septic tank or treating this entirely separately greatly reduces your tank size requirements and improves efficiency. 
SEPTIC TANK CAPACITY IS DENOTED IN GALLONS (GAL) IN THE TABLE BELOW

DID YOU KNOW?

Only 15% of wastewater is treated in Costa Rica and it's up to you to treat yours!
DRAINFIELD SIZING
HOW BIG SHOULD YOUR DRAINFIELD BE?
Check your soil study (uso de suelo) for the permeability on your property. Check the date of the study and assume lower permeability rates in rainy season.
Your drainfield consists of a perforated pipe that goes through a trench filled with gravel and should be sized according to the percolation rate of the soil on your property and the estimated volume of wastewater generated daily. This area must be clear of trees and cannot be used as a driveway. Below are guidelines to help ensure you aren't polluting.
If you do not have enough area for a proper drainfield, you will require a contained wastewater treatment plant followed by a drainfield or holding tank that is connected to an irrigation system to redistribute treated water on your property. 

PERCOLATION RATE
(MIN/CM)

SQ. M OF DRAINFIELD
PER PERSON

3

7

4

4

6

9

8

10

12

12

DRAIN FIELD

DID YOU KNOW?

If your soil percolation rate is less than 2 or more than 25 cm per minute, the use of a traditional septic system is not permitted and you will require a contained wastewater treatment plant or holding tank.
TAKE ACTION
STEPS YOU CAN FOLLOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WASTEWATER SYSTEM. WE'RE HERE TO HELP. CONTACT US TODAY!

BOOK A CONSULTATION

If you are concerned about the environmental impact of your home or construction, book a consultation with us to identify trouble areas and find solutions that are right for you. Contact us today.

GET A REPORT, ASSISTANCE & FOLLOW UP

You'll receive recommendations for companies and products to start making improvements for a healthier and more environmentally-friendly property. We are available every step of the way to provide any other additional assistance to make sure you can achieve your goals!

INDICATIONS YOU HAVE A PROBLEM

  • Showers and sinks are not draining well.
  • Toilets are not flushing well.
  • Area around septic tank floods and stays damp. 
  • Bad odor coming from the septic tank.
  • Dirty water pools in the yard after heavy rain.

BIONEST™

As a technology company, BIONEST Wastewater Treatment Solutions™ designs, manufactures, and markets advanced wastewater treatment solutions that have proven themselves by increasing water purification to a level significantly above world standards.
The exceptional quality of the water treated by the BIONEST™ system allows it to be reused, discharged into the ground or into waterways, with no adverse effect on flora and fauna.
Request a BIONEST™ system installation and receive a discount! Apply now.

PIRANA®

The Pirana® is the first new technology and method for onsite septic systems that finally allows us to recycle human sewage onsite.
Pirana® "cleans" the septic tank by using the most efficient bacteria to recycle human waste by providing their needed oxygen environment in the aquatic environment of the septic system.
WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS, DRINKING WATER & ANALYSIS
LOCAL COMPANIES & CONTACT INFO

1

TECNOLAB

Analysis of drinking water
(506) 4030-6879
info@tecnolabcr.com

2

JUTURNA

Water filtration systems

(506) 2282-0770

(506) 8719-8953

3

RF INGENIEROS

Water filtration systems

(506) 8502-3443

erojas@rf.co.cr

4

BIOANALITICA LABORATORIES

Analysis of the quality of drinking water, swimming pools and wastewater, operational reports for treatment plants, pumps and measuring equipment, advice.

(506) 8367-6703

(506) 8492-3432

5

AYA

Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA) Laboratorio, Nacional de Aguas

Drinking water, laboratories

(506) 2642-0190

6

ECO FILTRO COSTA RICA

Water filters: Clay filters with colloidal silver and activated carbon.

(506) 8331-7513

(506) 8845-2464

7

MAS PURA

Water filters: These are sediment, carbon, membrane, UV filter water purifiers.

(506) 6489-5400

9

AGUA ZENTRO

Drinking water and filters.

(506) 6489-5400

10

DISTRIBUIDORA ISLENA
Distribuidora Isleña de Alimentos S. A

Mineral water, carbonated water, tonic water, online catalogue in glass and aluminum cans.

(506) 2293-0609

(506) 2667-1200

SEPTIC PUMP TRUCK SERVICES & WASTE MANAGEMENT
Trucks must have authorization from the Municipalidad de Santa Cruz “autorización disposición final en planta de tratamiento de aguas residuales” and should provide you with a photo of the dated receipt with a stamp from the wastewater treatment plant.
 
LOCAL COMPANIES & CONTACT INFO

1

SANITARIOS LA PAMPA

Septic sludge cleanup, grease trap cleaning, and used cooking oils collection.
(506) 8344-4802
(506) 8891-2551
(506) 8629-0567

sanitarioslapampa@gmail.com

2

SERVICIOS SEPTICOS SANTA CRUZ

PEDRO RODRIQUEZ

(506) 2653-3636
(506) 2680-1214

servisepticos@hotmail.com

3

SEPTICOS GUAYACAN

MAINOR LOBO/NOEMY MOLINA

(506) 8555-2715
(506) 2668-7831

4

SEPTICOS

HENRY VARGAS

(506) 8829-3128

5

NP WATERKEEPER

Allied Waste Manager 
Grease trap waste and used cooking oils collection.

(506) 8401-4969

arwaterkeeper@gmail.com

6

RONALD ROJAS - MANTENIMIENTO

Maintenance of wastewater treatment systems.

(506) 6196-6329

7

ACEITES SAN CRISTOBAL

BRANDON CHAVES G.

Used cooking oils.

(506) 8497-8228

branchago@gmail.com

8

ACEIPAL

Aceites de Palmares (ACEIPAL) S.A.
Used vegetable oil and grease trap greases.

(506) 2453-1638

(506) 8729-3124

ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING & PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS
Get on the path to sustainable living with these locally available eco-friendly cleaning products & personal hygiene brands. The following stores in Nosara sell these eco-friendly products: Mermaids Cleaning Supplies, Organico, and Ivy Hovy.
 
ECO-PRODUCTS & BRANDS

1

BLUE TECH

2

FLOREX

3

ECOCLEAN

4

ECOS

5

OSA NATURAL

6

AROMAS

7

EARTH MATTERS

8

KLEAN TAB

9

WEIGHTLESS CLEAN

10

GREEN SOLUTIONS

11

NATURAL GREEN

Easily degradable cleaning products

(506) 8570-3010

(506) 8401-9397

12

BIO LABORATORIOS

Easily degradable cleaning products

(506) 2101-4588

(506) 8915-6349

13

ST DISTRIBUIDORA

Easily degradable cleaning products

(506) 2430-2790

(506) 8866-9625

(506) 8987-9292

WATER-SAVING ACCESSORIES & SYSTEMS
WATER-SAVING ACCESSORIES, GRAY WATER RECYCLING SYSTEMS, & RAINWATER CATCHMENT SYSTEMS
Eco-products include water-saving faucets, shower heads, toilets, and pool covers. Water saving systems include greywater recycling systems and rainwater catchment system.

1

ACUALOGICA

Water-Saving Faucets, Shower Heads, and Toilets

2

AGUAOFF

Water-Saving Faucets, Shower Heads, and Toilets

3

HYDRALOOP SOLUTIONS

Water Recycling Systems

4

ROTOPLAS

Rain Water Catchment Systems & Water Filtration and Purification Systems

5

CASA DEL TANGUE

Rain Water Catchment Systems & Water Filtration and Purification Systems

6

POOL COVER

HYDRALOOP SOLUTIONS

Hydraloop designs and produces decentralized water recycling products for residences, commercial real estate, hotels, lodges and more. Hydraloop products can be used everywhere: in dense cities, rural areas and off-grid situations where water supply is unstable or insufficient. Hydraloop helps you save water and energy, and contributes to keeping water supplies available for your home, commercial building or hotel. 
ECO-FRIENDLY SUNSCREENS
ECO-PRODUCTS & BRANDS
Locally available, reef-friendly sunscreens. 

1

SUNSPECTRA

2

RAW ELEMENTS

3

SUN BUM

ROTOPLAS

Rotoplas produces innovative and affordable rain catchment systems and water filtration and purification systems for sustainable living solutions. Rotoplas systems are available for residential, industrial, and commercial business sectors.

CASA DEL TANQUE

Casa Del Tanque produces innovative and affordable rain catchment systems and water filtration and purification systems for sustainable living solutions. Casa Del Tanque systems are available for residential, industrial, and commercial business sectors.
INSPECTOR GUIDE
ENGLISH

Download the English version of the inspector guide and checklist.

INSPECTOR GUIDE
SPANISH

Download the Spanish version of the inspection guide and checklist.

CINDERELLA ECO TOILET®

Whether you are off the grid or just looking to add a toilet solution to your property, Cinderella Eco solutions make it easy with their propane or electric, waterless, odorless incineration toilets. No need to install a full septic solution when a Cinderella Eco Toilet® can handle all your black water needs.
ANAEROBIC FILTER

CLEAN & WASTEWATER

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

DID YOU KNOW?

Tap water is potable and safe to drink in Costa Rica. This water shouldn’t be used for irrigation because of the limited infrastructure that exists to provide access to water in our community. 
GET AN EVALUATION

Contact a local engineer with no conflict of interest to evaluate your system.

HIRE AN INSPECTOR

Read the inspection guide and checklist. Hire an inspector. Get an inspection.

ANAEROBIC FILTER

Add an anaerobic filter, vetiver grass bio-garden or other filtration
steps to your system.

REPLACEMENT OPTIONS

Replace your septic tank with a wastewater treatment plant. See an example at bionest-tech.com

WASTEWATER

RESOURCES

WASTEWATER RESOURCES DOCUMENTS
Get access to our wastewater resources to start your sustainable journey. Download our wastewater brochures and specifications documents here.
WASTERWATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS RESOURCES
LOCAL COMPANIES & CONTACT INFO

1

FIBROMUEBLES DE COSTA RICA S.A.
EDUARDO RUIZ HERNANDEZ

(506) 7276-0260
administracion@fibromuebles.com

2

ECOSISTEMAS SANITARIOS NORWECO CR
CARLOS OBANDO
(506) 8551-1719

info@ecosistemas.cr
cobando@ecosistemas.cr

5

TEBAG KLARIMAX SYSTEM
LOTHAT SPOERL

Construction of treatment systems, maintenance and consultancy.
(506) 8851-1200
info@tebag.cr

7

ECOSANITARIOS DE COSTA RICA
INCINERATING TOILET

About $5,000 per toilet
MARTHA BERNARD & RICHARD BARONE

(506) 8357-9264
ecosanitarios@yahoo.com

8

CINDERELLA INCINERATOR TOILET

About $5,000 per toilet
RODRIGO IGLESIAS
(506) 7201-6893

(310) 699-3435
rodrigoscience@gmail.com

9

BIOJARDINERAS/BIOGARDENS
ELIAS ROSALES
(506) 2551-6775
(506) 8701-8704

10

ELOY LATINO AMERICA
NICOLAS HUET
(506) 8889-8732

11

DWELA ARCHITECT/WATER SANITATION
ANTONIO NEVADA
(506) 7121-0692
anarchytectural@gmail.com

  • Make sure your wastewater treatment system is adequately designed and sized, and keep up with maintenance.