The first question folks have been asking is, how to get field data into the program to create contours. As this is a critical part and starting point point of all site designs, whether it is for a failed system or new construction plan it is crucial that there be as many options as possible so the user is not tied into a specific one size fits all requirement.
Up to now there have been 3 basic methods;
1.-Level (Laser) & Tape method;
A very time consuming process, especially in heavily wooded areas typical of a new construction application. Also requires that the site be fairly level, and typically requires two people to accomplish with any degree of accuracy along with a bit of data entry time. Cost of equipment is the one benefit of this method, as this method requires the least up front cost of equipment than any other method.
A bit less time consuming in the field then the Level & Tape method, however still requires two people, also requires a bit of data entry time. Field data can be entered into a CSV (comma separated values) file, then read directly into Septic Assistant, or points can be entered directly into Septic Assistant. Up front equipment cost is just a bit more than the level and tape method, there is some time savings and there is a bit more flexibility in what type of sites can be worked on.
3.-Total Station (with prism or reflectorless) method;
There is considerable time savings utilizing this method, along with the savings associated with the extra field crew member (this method only requires a 1 person crew). There is significant upfront cost with this method, even good used equipment will run close to $5,000, additionally the data collection process can take a bit of time to learn. There is no data entry required as field data is electronically transferred to CAD program.
There is now an additional method;
4.-Digital Rangefinder with Android App method;
This method incorporates an app/program for your android device, eliminating the expense of a dedicated data collector, additionally the program is much more user friendly than the typical survey programs in data collectors. The range finder can be used for other applications as well for example seeing how far that buck is from your tree stand. The equipment cost starts in the $2,500 range for new un-used and warrantied equipment, and fits into a small camera bag size case. It is important to note that this method is for data collection only, there is presently no way to perform any type of layout work with this equipment.
Like #3 above this is also a one person operation, as there is no prism or rod required to collect the data. Depending on the users requirements, there are different system configuration options available from the 200x model with TruAngle base for higher precision to the 360r utilizing the built-in digital compass to determine the azimuth and calculate the Easting, Northing coordinates. Due to the companies core business, working with Law Enforcement, they have some neat attachments, like a mount so a photo can be taken through the reticle. The manufacturer LTI is also a US company located in Colorado.