- How many openings does a septic tank have? All septic tanks seem to be different, but some have three access holes. Generally the newer tanks have a small access over the inlet and the outlet pipes, and a third access in the center for cleanout.
How far apart are the holes on a septic tank?
Once you determine where the inlet is, measure the distance from the center of the inlet lid towards the opposite end of the tank to locate the outlet lid. The distance between lids will be different for each sized tank: 1000 gallon tank = 6-6.5 ft.; 1250 gallon = 7-7.5 ft.; 1500 gallon = 8.5-9 ft..
Do septic tanks have holes?
The septic tank acts like a settling pond. Holes in the drain septic field pipe allow effluent to seep into surrounding gravel. Gravel around pipes allows water to flow into soil and oxygen to reach bacteria. 8.
Does septic tank always have two lids?
A septic tank installed before 1975 will have a single 24-inch concrete lid in the center of the rectangle. A two-compartment tank installed after 1975 will have two lids of either fiberglass or polyethylene, centered at opposite ends of the rectangle.
How many lids are on a 1000 gallon septic tank?
Single Compartment 500 – 1,000 Gallon Septic Tanks: Installed up to approximately 1976, this tank style will have one main lid and two smaller baffle lids on both ends of the tank as shown in the diagram below.
What floats on top of septic tank?
Heavy solids, such as dirt and digested waste, will sink to the bottom of the tank to form the sludge layer. Meanwhile, solids that are lighter than water, such as grease, hair, and toilet paper, will float to the top to form the scum layer.
Does shower water go into septic tank?
From your house to the tank: Most, but not all, septic systems operate via gravity to the septic tank. Each time a toilet is flushed, water is turned on or you take a shower, the water and waste flows via gravity through the plumbing system in your house and ends up in the septic tank.
Do you need to pump both sides of a septic tank?
Septic tanks installed after the late 1980s have two compartments, and it is important to pump out both compartments each time. Most homeowners are unaware when their septic tank has two compartments; some companies use that to their advantage, charging to pump both sides of the tank but only actually pumping out one.
Can a septic tank have only one lid?
Septic tanks should have one lid per compartment. Most tanks have (2) compartments. So, most residential tanks should have (2) lids about 5′ away from each other.
Why do septic tanks have two compartments?
Septic tanks may have one or two compartments. Two-compartment tanks do a better job of set- tling solids and are required for new systems. Tees or baffles are provided at the tank’s inlet and outlet pipes. The inlet tee slows the incom- ing wastes and reduces disturbance of the settled sludge.
How often should a septic tank be pumped?
Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
How long do septic tanks last?
A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.
How far is septic tank from house?
Septic tanks are required to be at least 5 feet from the house, although most are between 10 and 25 feet away.
How many openings does a septic tank have?
Asked in the following category: General The most recent update was made on April 2, 2020. Every septic tank appears to be unique, however some have three access holes. In most cases, the modern tanks feature a modest access point above the intake and outflow pipes, as well as a third access point in the middle for cleaning purposes. Aseptic tanks erected prior to 1975 will have a single concrete cover measuring 24 inches in diameter in the center of the rectangle. The lids of a two-compartment tank erected after 1975 will be made of fiberglass or polyethylene, and they will be centered at opposing ends of the tank’s rectangular shape.
Installation of a Pressure Distribution System – This tank will only have one mainlid, which will be located in the center of the tank.
How far apart are the lids on a septic tank, in the same manner?
What size are the tank’s lids, and where did you get them?
What is the location of my septic tank opening?
You can use a metal probe to detect the boundaries of the object and mark the perimeter of the object.
How Your Septic System Works
The question was submitted to the category of General. The most recent update was made on April 2nd, 2019. All septic tanks appear to be unique, although some have three entrance points. Newer tanks typically contain a tiny access opening above the inlet and exit pipes, as well as a third access opening in the middle for cleaning. Aseptic tanks erected before to 1975 will feature a single concrete cover measuring 24 inches in diameter in the center of the rectangular tank’s rectangle. The lids of a two-compartment tank erected after 1975 will be made of fiberglass or polyethylene, and they will be centered at opposing ends of the tank’s rectangular shape.
- Installation of a Pressure Distribution System – This tank will only have one mainlid, which will be located in the center of it.
- How far apart should the lids of a septic tank be, as well.
- Are the tank’s lids of a specific size?
- The location of my septic tank entrance is unknown to me.
Using a metal probe, you may find its boundaries and label the boundary of the structure. Probing the tank’s perimeter with a shovel should expose the lid if you are unable to locate it with the probes you have.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
Check out the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority’s animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system operates to learn more.
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- There are several signs of a faulty septic system, and not all of them are unpleasant odors. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek professional help:.
How to Find the Lid on a Septic System
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing. If you detect any of the following, contact a septic professional:
Consult A Map
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indication of a faulty septic system. Any of the following symptoms should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
Search For A Sign
Septic tanks are placed in such a way that they are as unnoticeable as possible on the land. After the grass has grown back after installation and some time has passed, it is possible that just a few visual indications will remain. Pay particular attention to the contours of your yard for any inexplicable high or low points that might suggest the presence of an underground storage tank.
Follow The Pipe
Installation of the septic tank takes place along the sewage line that runs from the house into the front yard. Locate the 4-inch sewage pipe at the point where it exits the home in the basement or crawl space, if it is there. Locate the same spot outside and make a note of it. Insert a thin metal probe into the earth, identify the 4-inch sewage line, and follow it across the yard, probing every 2 feet, until you reach the end of the property. Septic tanks are required to be at least 5 feet apart from the home in all states except Alaska.
Whenever the probe makes contact with flat concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene it indicates that the tank has been located.
Locate The Lid
The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around 5 feet by 8 feet. Investigate the tank’s circumference to determine its boundaries and outline the rectangle’s boundary using a pencil. A septic tank that was built before 1975 will have a single concrete lid that is 24 inches in diameter in the center of the rectangle. If the tank was built after 1975, it will have two covers made of fiberglass or polyethylene, centered at the ends of the rectangle and centered at the ends of the rectangle.
Call A Professional
Opening a septic tank is a job best left to the pros once the lid has been discovered. Concrete septic tank lids are extremely heavy, and many require the use of lifting tools to remove them completely.
An open tank has the potential to release toxic gases. Anyone going around on the property who comes into contact with an exposed septic tank might be in risk. Because of the noxious vapors present in an open tank, falling into one can be lethal.
Mark The Spot
Make a note on the ground near where the tank was pumped by a professional and the lid was buried to serve as a reference in the future. In order to keep track of where you are, you should choose a hefty circular patio tile that is embedded in the ground. Additionally, draw your own map of the area and store it with your other important papers.
Complete Guide to Your Septic Tank
When sewage exits your home and enters your septic system, the septic tank is the first component that it comes into contact with. Eventually, all of the greywater and waste will fill the tank, and it will then flow out into your absorption area. Although the septic tank is often the most visible structure in your septic system, many people are confused about how it works. If you want to learn further more about septic systems, you can get our ebook by clicking on the link below. It includes information about septic tanks, septic systems, maintenance, and other topics.
How A Septic Tank Works
As soon as you open the lid of a septic tank, you will discover that the tank is completely full of sewage and nearly filled to the top. Typically, the first notion that comes to mind is that the tank is ready for pumping. However, this is the usual operating level at which a tank functions. As the tank fills up, it overflows down the drain field and into the ground. Many people are perplexed as to why the sewage and other trash are not simply discharged into the drain field directly. What’s the point of having tanks to fill if everything just pours out onto the field in the first place?
This may appear inconsequential, yet it is critical to the operation of a functional system.
- The floating solids form the topmost layer (or scum). Anaerobic bacteria did not break down any of the oils, fats, greases, or anything else that was present in the wastewater. Sludge can be found at the very bottom of the well. Septic tank pumping is necessary to remove both floating particles and sludge, which are the primary reasons for frequent septic tank cleaning. If such solids and semi-solid sludge are allowed to enter your drain field, the lifespan of your drain field will be significantly reduced. The cleared effluent is found in the space between the sludge and the floating particles. In the tank, this is the only trash that may be discharged onto the field, and it should account for the vast majority of the waste.
The anaerobic bacterium that colonizes the tank is the majority of the population. Anaerobic bacteria are any bacterium that can survive in the absence of oxygen. For this reason, it is still possible to close a septic tank lid while the waste is still able to be broken down. Because of the tank’s construction, waste can flow into the tank, where it will be collected, and then be discharged. The input pipe of a tank is meant to be approximately 3 to 4 inches above the outflow pipe of the tank.
In order to ensure that the cleared effluent departs the tank without bringing any floating particles with it, it is necessary to use baffles to accomplish this.
It is anaerobic bacterium that colonizes the tank’s microbial population. Anaerobic bacteria are any bacteria that can survive in the absence of oxygen. You may close the lid of your septic tank and it will still be able to break down the waste. Because of the tank’s construction, waste can flow into the tank, where it will be held, and then be expelled. The input pipe of a tank is typically 3 to 4 inches higher than the outflow pipe when it is constructed.
In this way, the sewage may enter the tank without backing up into the home. The dilemma then becomes, how can the cleared effluent depart the tank without bringing the floating particles with it? This is where baffles come into play.
Inlet Observation Port
Anaerobic bacteria make up the majority of the microorganisms in the tank. Anaerobic bacteria are any bacterium that can survive without the presence of oxygen. This is why you may close the lid of a septic tank and the waste will still be able to break down. Because of the tank’s construction, waste can flow into the tank, where it will be held, and then be expelled. The input pipe of a tank is meant to be approximately 3 to 4 inches above the outflow pipe. This permits the sewage to enter the tank without backing up into the residence.
- They serve to identify the location of the tank. The inlet observation port may also be used to return via the house if someone is examining your sewer line and cannot reach it from the house. This saves a significant amount of time when pumping out your tank or inspecting the system. Aside from that, the intake observation port is quite handy for checking for any unneeded trickles into your septic system. Check to see if there are any slow trickles flowing into the septic system after making sure it has been at least 20 minutes since something has drained into it. This is something you should conduct around twice a year to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
Septic Tank Lid
Just beyond your intake observation port will be your septic tank lid, which will be located just beyond that. This covers the manhole in the center of your tank’s interior. This is the location where all pumping should take place. It has a huge aperture ranging in size from 18″ to 24″ and occasionally even greater. Having a septic tank lid on your lawn is something that many people do not enjoy. However, if it is clearly visible, it may save your pumper a significant amount of time and, perhaps, money.
- If the lid is too low during a house sale, an inspector will ask that the lid be raised to a level that is closer to the surface of the soil.
- This is helpful for maintenance purposes, as well as so that you may divulge their location if you decide to sell your property in the future.
- If concrete lids are not set back into place carefully, they may crack.
- Over time, this might put additional strain on your drainage system.
Septic Tank Pumping
The septic tank lid will be located just behind the inflow observation port. You may use this to cover your tank’s center manhole. Pumping should be done in this location only. Openings range in size from 18″ to 24″, with bigger openings occasionally occurring. Having a septic tank lid on your lawn is not something many people are fond of. However, if it is visible, it can save your pumper a significant amount of time and, in certain cases, money. A surcharge may be applied by some pumping firms if the lid is discovered after an excessive amount of digging.
Make a note of where your lids are so that you don’t lose track of where they are.
Knowing where your lids are located can assist you in searching for any damage.
If concrete lids are not placed back gently, they may crack. Occasionally, a piece of the lid may chip away, allowing water and debris to enter the tank via the space created by the chipped piece. Over time, this might cause additional strain on your drain field.
Different Types of Septic Tanks
There is a wide variety of septic tanks that may be provided to customers. Therefore, it is critical to pose the question “What type of septic tank do I have?” before proceeding. Some of the most often encountered are listed below.
Primary and Secondary Tanks
In 1997, the state of Pennsylvania mandated that all new systems be equipped with a secondary settling tank. Therefore, if you were to repair your drainfield and apply for a permit, you would also be required to install a second tank. The reasons behind this was that while the first tank was settling all of the solids, there was still some that was flowing over into the drain field after it was filled. With this second tank, the solids could be settled and more waste could be broken down, resulting in a more efficient treatment process.
The secondary tank is normally situated immediately following the primary tank.
If you had a fully new septic system done after 1997, there is a good chance that your installer selected a less expensive option than two tank installation.
Dual-chamber Septic Tank
Instead of using separate tanks, a dual-chamber tank makes use of chambers. A enormous rectangular tank with a wall in the middle is what you’ll find here. A 1,250-gallon dual-chamber tank is a standard size for this type of tank. The first compartment contains 750 gallons, while the second chamber stores 500 gallons. The most significant advantage of a dual-chamber septic tank is the cost savings associated with its installation. There is only one hole to dig, and only one tank to put in it.
- When a new system is installed, these are the first things to look for.
- If you have a dual-chamber tank, be sure that both chambers have been drained out before continuing.
- The lid of the second chamber is sometimes buried deeper than the lid of the first compartment.
- Being aware that you have a dual-chamber tank and that there are two lids will assist you in keeping your system in good working order.
Many individuals use the phrases “holding tank” and “septic tank” interchangeably when referring to the same thing. There are, nevertheless, significant distinctions between the two. A holding tank is substantially larger and has an usual volume of 2000 gallons. It is used to store waste water. The tank does not have an outlet, thus it “holds” all of the sewage that is introduced into it. Even the smallest amount of wastewater that escapes the home is collected in the holding tank. A float switch is located towards the top of a holding tank.
- This notifies the homeowner that a pumper will be dispatched to come out and pump the holding tank.
- A monthly pumping schedule is required if you possess a holding tank, which you should do on an as-needed basis.
- What are the benefits of using a holding tank?
- In certain cases, the residence does not have enough space for a septic system and does not have a connection to municipal sewage.
It is the sole option available to a household with a holding tank. A more plausible scenario is that the house is not frequently used. Depending on whether your house is a vacation home or a year-round residence, installing a full septic system may not be worth the investment.
If you have a cesspool, it is possible that you do not have a septic tank. This is due to the fact that a cesspool may serve as both a septic tank and an absorption area. They are a form of septic system that is no longer in use and is considered outdated. Cesspools are created by excavating a large pit. It was assembled into a big cylindrical building with cinder block along the sides and open soil on the bottom, which was constructed by an installer. The cinder blocks are stacked one on top of the other with no mortar in between the layers.
When the dirt at the bottom of the cesspool is unable to drain properly, the cesspool begins to fill.
At this moment, the cesspool is no longer functional due to its deterioration.
Solids will ultimately accumulate in the soil and prevent it from draining properly.
All of the tanks we’ve discussed so far include anaerobic bacteria, which help to break down waste before it enters the drain field. The aerobic tank, on the other hand, employs aerobic bacteria to treat sewage before it enters the drain field. Anaerobic bacteria, as we well know, flourish in an environment where there is no oxygen. Aerobic tanks provide airflow, which allows bacteria that use oxygen (aerobic bacteria) to flourish. Two additional components are included in the tank to facilitate the growth of aerobic bacteria: a system for generating air supply and propagation medium (usually a honeycombed structure).
The air supply is responsible for introducing oxygen into the tank.
Anaerobic bacteria in normal systems contribute to sludge and can draw oxygen from the soil, impairing the soil’s capacity to drain properly.
Septic Tank Problems
Septic tanks are constructed to last for many years. The tank maker pours them so that they are approximately 3 inches thick. There is a 25-year warranty on them, which is a considerable period of time, but not an eternity. Eventually, indicators of degradation begin to appear in the tank’s condition. This can take many different forms, but the following are the most prevalent.
As the bacteria begin to decompose the sewage in the tank, they emit gases that rise beyond the level of the liquid. Those gases are converted to sulfuric acid by the bacteria that live above the liquid level. Over time, the sulfuric acid levels in the concrete rise to the point where the concrete begins to crumble. Because of this response on the top section of the tank, a critical component of checking tanks is examining above the level of the liquid to determine whether there is any structural damage present.
This reaction can not only cause the tank to fail, but it can also serve as the catalyst for the development of subsequent septic tank problems.
The rebar can become exposed as a result of the concrete eroding and revealing the rebar over time. This is a significant red flag for septic inspectors who are looking into the situation. If an inspector notices exposed or corroded rebar in a tank, he or she will declare the tank unacceptable. You can tell that the concrete in the tank has gone mushy and is collapsing when you see the rebar sticking out of it.
Many tanks are equipped with concrete baffles that protrude into the tank. As a result of their greater surface area exposed to the chemical reactions induced by bacteria, baffles are typically the first component within the tank to fail. When the baffles fail, you lose the ability to perform critical functions. The output baffle is the most critical of the three. If there is no exit baffle, there is nothing to prevent the sediments from floating out into the drain field and into the environment.
Cracks in the Tank
There may be a few feet of dirt cover on top of the tank when it is installed in the ground by a professional installation company. The earth on top of the tank adds a large amount of weight to the structure. Over time, this weight, along with the chemical reaction in the tank, which weakens the tank’s construction, can cause fractures to appear in the tank’s structure. They often begin at the very top of the tank. The greater the depth to which the tank is buried, the greater the likelihood that a fracture would develop.
Planting trees and huge shrubs directly next to sewage tanks is something that many people do on purpose. They may have planted plants to assist beautify their environment, but they may have done so without realizing it, putting the construction of their tanks at risk. The tree roots will begin to burst through the concrete tanks, causing structural damage to the structures beneath. Although it may appear strange, a tree has the ability to cut through thick concrete. However, after time, the thin roots penetrate the tank walls and cause damage.
- The development of the roots will result in cracking and, eventually, the tank will collapse.
- It is possible to engage a professional to cut the roots and remove them from the tank while they are still thin.
- By now, you should have a solid foundation of knowledge about septic tanks under your belt.
- This will aid you in the maintenance of your system as well as the purchase or sale of a new property.
If you have a septic system or are planning to purchase one for the first time and would want a solid foundation of information about septic systems and care, click here to learn more about our ebook.
Tank Types Express Septic Service
Septic tanks should be cleaned every 3 to 5 years, depending on the size of the household and how much water is used. When the septic tank is pump out on a regular basis, it will help to reduce the buildup of scum and sludge layers in the tank. Ideally, the scum layer should not be more than 24 inches thick. If the material is deeper than 24 inches, it will flow down the outflow pipe and into the drainfield, plugging up the drainfield and resulting in drainfield failure. In order to get your septic tank cleaned, you must first locate the main compartment2nd compartment lid of the septic tank and remove it.
The position of a septic tank lid and the number of lids on a tank varies depending on the year it was placed and the manufacturer.
If you prefer not to find and excavate the Septic Tank lids yourself, or if you are unsure of where the lids are placed, Express Septic Service may assist you with this task.
When looking at an as-built, keep in mind that it will only show the overall placement of the sewage system components, not the actual location of the septic tanks.
1000 Gallon Septic Tanks: This tank design, which was in use from around 1976 to present, will have one main lid and two smaller baffle covers on either end of the tank, as seen in the diagram below.
From late 1976 until the present, a septic tank layout of 1125-1200 gallons was erected. It is possible for this tank to have two main 24′′ lids or two main lids and two little baffle lids at both ends of the tank right above the inlet and output baffles, depending on the manufacturer. If there are risers to the surface of the tank, you will be searching for two lids that look like this. If the tank is not risered, you will discover concrete lids with a diameter of 2-24″, as seen in the figure below.
As an alternative to the traditional on-site sewage system, it is a good option. A holding tank is not the same thing as a septic tank. A holding tank is used to retain household waste and prevents any of its contents from leaking into a drainfield, whereas a septic tank is used to enable waste water to flow into a drain field. Concrete, fiberglass, and polyethylene can all be used to construct holding tanks. Depending on the location, holding tanks can be constructed above or below ground. Holding tanks must be pumped on a regular basis, depending on the amount of water and waste water used, as well as the size of the tank.
Most holding tanks are fitted with alarms that will ring when they are almost full, signaling the need for a pump to be installed as soon as possible. In the event that a holding tank is not properly pumped, waste water will back up into the home or spill onto the ground.
Some homes may be equipped with a pump tank or a pump basin in addition to a septic tank. Typically, pump tanks are located underground near the septic tank; however, depending on the year the system was established, risers to the surface may be present, allowing for simple access to examine and repair the effluent pump for maintenance or if the pump has stopped operating. Before the effluent is pumped to the drainfield region, it is collected in a pump tank or basin from a septic tank or ATU (Alternative Treatment Unit).
It is necessary to configure the control floats such that a certain volume of effluent is discharged to the drainfield.
The pump then works to bring the level of wastewater back down until it reaches that of the off float setting.
When the alarm goes off, there is enough reserve storage in the pump tank to allow the homeowner to consume only a little amount of water until the problem with the system can be resolved and the alert turned off.
Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU)
In some cases, an alternate treatment system may be used in place of a typical septic tank and gravel trenched drainfield, such as in cases of poor soil drainage, small lot size, or environmental concerns. The majority of alternative treatment systems are comprised of a multi compartmented tank known as an Aerobic Treatment Unit, or ATU for short. The majority of ATUs are divided into three compartments: a “waste” compartment, an aeration chamber, and a clarifying chamber. The trash compartment contains solids used in the pretreatment and liquification of garbage, as well as non-waste incidental products that are flushed down the toilet and into the drain.
- Clearing the effluent further improves its clarity since the leftover particles are allowed to settle in the clarifying chamber.
- These components are intended to kill bacteria and pathogens before the effluent is discharged into the drainfield.
- All of these models have undergone extensive testing before being certified.
- These can range from gravity to pressure distribution to Glendon mounds to sand filters to drip irrigation.
- For any routine operation and maintenance inspections or services, a Health Department Certified Operation and Maintenance Specialist will be required, and some manufacturers may require you to be certified by their firm in order to conduct these services.
As previously said, it is important to have these sorts of systems monitored on a regular basis and fixed as needed in order to maintain correct performance and to keep your system free of problems.
Restaurant Grease Trap
Almost every food service facility that serves food and washes dishes, including restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, delicatessens and bakeries (among others), will have an interior grease trap located near the sinks to collect grease from the sinks. They are available in sizes ranging from 20 to 50 gallons. Fatty acids, oils, and grease (FOG) are prevented from entering your drain pipe by a grease trap, which is a chambered compartment. Grease flows into the trap, enabling the grease to solidify and float to the top of the trap while weighted solids fall to the bottom of the trap, allowing the liquid to flow out via the drain pipes and into the septic tank or into the city sewage.
Grease Tank Interceptor Service
A grease interceptor is a huge tank that may be situated outside of the structure on the ground level. They can range in size from a few hundred gallons to several thousand gallons. You will need two tanks if you have an exterior tank. The first tank will be a grease trap (tank), which will hold grease until it is removed. The garbage from the restrooms will be disposed of in a tank that is specifically dedicated for this purpose; if the facility is on sewer, the waste will be disposed of in the city sewage.
In addition to a simple cleaning rooter service utilizing an electric snake, we also provide hydro-jetting, which uses high pressure water to break away hardened grease and keep the drain from backing up.
Common Septic Tank Facts
Septic systems are a low-cost and frequently successful alternative to conventional sewer systems. Concrete tanks have been the most frequent since the 1940s, with 3 – 500lids for a 1000 gallon tank and 4 – 500lids for a 1500 gallon tank being the most typical. Tanks began to be equipped with 16″ square concrete plugs with a lifting bail in the late 1990s, allowing for easier access to both sides of the tank. Many tanks today are made of fiberglass or plastic. Over time, the concrete might degrade, and the lids may develop cracks or possibly shatter completely due to the pressure.
- Even broken lids should be replaced for the sake of the public’s safety.
- They get access to your septic tank by removing green covers that are 20 inches in diameter.
- This is done in order to prevent anyone, especially children, from removing a lid and falling into the container.
- A typical water level for a tank should be 6″ below the top of the tank, and the tank should be kept completely filled at all times.
- The level of the water is often a good sign of potential problems.
- Additionally, it might suggest a clogged intake line, which could be caused by roots, a damaged pipe, or a loose joint.
- If there has been a lot of rain, the earth may get saturated, making it impossible for any additional water to seep through the soil to the surface.
- If your tank has allowed particles to enter the field lines, this might cause the openings in the corrugated pipe to get clogged, preventing water from percolating through the soil as effectively as it should be.
An output filter may be placed to prevent particulates from entering the field lines, but it would need to be cleaned on an annual basis to ensure that this does not happen. Nonetheless, it is far less expensive than rebuilding field lines.
How Does a Septic Tank Work?
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family You may save a lot of money if you understand how a sewage treatment system works—and what can go wrong—so that you can handle your own septic system maintenance.
How does a septic tank work?
Pumping the tank on a regular basis eliminates sludge and scum, which helps to keep a septic system in good working order. It is possible for a well-designed and well built septic system to last for decades, or it might collapse in a matter of years. It is entirely up to you as long as you can answer the question of how do septic tanks function. Healthy septic systems are very inexpensive to maintain, but digging up and replacing a septic system that has completely collapsed may easily cost tens of thousands in labor and material costs.
It’s critical to understand how a septic tank works in order to maintain one.
Let’s take a look below ground and observe what happens in a properly operating septic system, shall we?
Understand that a septic system is a cafeteria for bacteria
Bacteria are responsible for the proper operation of a septic system. They decompose garbage, resulting in water that is clean enough to safely trickle down into the earth’s surface. The entire system is set up to keep bacteria healthy and busy at all times. Some of them reside in the tank, but the majority of them are found in the drain field. 1. The septic tank is the final destination for all waste. 2. The majority of the tank is filled with watery waste, referred to as “effluent.” Anaerobic bacteria begin to break down the organic matter in the effluent as soon as it enters the system.
- A layer of sludge settles to the bottom of the container.
- Scum is mostly constituted of fats, greases, and oils, among other substances.
- Grease and oils float to the surface of the water.
- (5) A filter stops the majority of particles from reaching the exit pipe.
- The effluent is discharged into the drain field.
- Effluent is allowed to leak into the surrounding gravel because of holes in the drain septic field pipe.
- The garbage is completely decomposed by aerobic bacteria found in gravel and dirt.
- Potable water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer system from the surface.
Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system
Septic systems that have been correctly planned and constructed require just occasional ‘pumping’ to remove the sludge and scum that has built up inside the tank.
However, if you don’t understand how a septic tank works, you may unintentionally hurt or even destroy the system.
- Septic systems that have been correctly planned and constructed require just occasional ‘pumping’ to eliminate the sludge and scum that has built up within the tank. It is possible, however, to do harm to or even destroy a septic tank if you are not familiar with how the system functions.
Get your tank pumped…
Your tank must be emptied on a regular basis by a professional. Pumping eliminates the accumulation of sludge and scum that has accumulated in the tank, which has caused the bacterial action to be slowed. If you have a large tank, it may be necessary to pump it once a year; but, depending on the size of your tank and the quantity of waste you send through the system, you may go two or three years between pumpings. Inquire with your inspector about an approximate guideline for how frequently your tank should be pumped.
…but don’t hire a pumper until you need it
Inspections and pumping should be performed on a regular basis. However, if you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may verify the sludge level yourself with a gadget known as The Sludge Judge. It ranges in price from $100 to $125 and is commonly accessible on the internet. Once you’ve verified that your tank is one-third full with sludge, you should contact a professional to come out and pump it out completely.
Install an effluent filter in your septic system
Garbage from your home accumulates into three distinct strata. The septic filter is responsible for preventing blockage of the drain field pipes.
Septic tank filter close-up
The septic tank filter is responsible for capturing suspended particles that may otherwise block the drain field pipes. Obtain an effluent filter for your tank from your contractor and place it on the outflow pipe of your tank. (It will most likely cost between $50 and $100, plus labor.) This device, which helps to prevent sediments from entering the drain field, will need to be cleaned out on a regular basis by a contractor to maintain its effectiveness.
Solution for a clogged septic system
If your septic system becomes clogged and you find yourself having to clean the filter on a regular basis, you might be tempted to simply remove the filter altogether. Hold on to it. Solids, effluent, and scum are separated into three layers in septic tanks, which allows them to function properly (see illustration above). Solids sink to the bottom of the container, where microbes breakdown them. The scum, which is made up of waste that is lighter than water, floats to the surface. In the drainage field, the middle layer of effluent leaves the tank and travels through an underground network of perforated pipes to the drainage field.
- Keep the effluent filter in place since it is required by your state’s health law.
- Waste particles could pass through the filter and clog the perforated pipes if the filter is not used.
- Your filter, on the other hand, should not require cleaning every six months.
- A good chance is high that you’re flushing filter-clogging materials down the toilet, such as grease, fat, or food scraps.
- A garbage disposal will not be able to break down food particles sufficiently to allow them to pass through the septic tank filter system.
- Plastic materials, disposable diapers, paper towels, nonbiodegradable products, and tobacco products will clog the system if they are flushed through it.
For more information on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, contact your local health department. More information on removing lint from your laundry can be found here.
Get an inspection
Following a comprehensive first check performed by an expert, regular inspections will cost less than $100 each inspection for the next year. Your professional will be able to inform you how often you should get your system inspected as well as how a septic tank functions. As straightforward as a septic system appears, determining its overall condition necessitates the services of a professional. There are a plethora of contractors who would gladly pump the sludge out of your tank, but many, in my experience, are unable to explain how a septic system works or how it should be maintained.
A certification scheme for septic contractors has been established in certain states; check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office to see whether yours is one of them.
Also, a qualified inspector will be able to tell you whether or not your tank is large enough to accommodate your household’s needs, as well as the maximum amount of water that can be passed through it in a single day.
As you learn more about how a septic tank works, your professional should be able to tell you whether or not your system will benefit from this treatment.
Alternatives to a new drain field
Regular inspections will cost less than $100 apiece once the initial comprehensive examination by a professional has been completed. It will be possible to learn how a septic tank works from your professional if you have a better understanding of how your system operates. No matter how simple it appears to be, assessing the condition of a septic system requires the expertise of a professional. There are a plethora of contractors who would gladly pump the sludge out of your tank, but many, in my experience, are unable to explain how a septic system works or how it should be maintained properly.
A certification scheme for septic contractors has been established in certain states; check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office to see whether your state is one of them.
Also, a qualified inspector will be able to tell you whether or not your tank is large enough to accommodate your household’s needs, as well as the maximum amount of water that can be passed through it in a single day.
A product such as RID-X, which contains microorganisms, may be able to help you enhance the operation of your system. As you learn how a septic tank works, your professional should be able to tell you whether or not your system will benefit from this treatment.
- Pipes should be cleaned. A rotating pressure washer, used by a contractor, may be used to clean out the drain septic field pipes. The cost of “jetting” the pipes is generally around $200. Chemicals should be used to clean the system. A commercial solution (not a home-made one) that enhances the quantity of oxygen in the drain field should be discussed with your contractor before installing your new system. Septic-Scrub is a product that I suggest. A normal treatment will cost between $500 and $1,000. Make the soil more pliable. The practice of “terra-lifting,” which involves pumping high-pressure air into several spots surrounding the drain field, is authorized in some regions. Some contractors use it to shatter compacted dirt around the pipes. Depending on the circumstances, this might cost less than $1,000 or as much as $4,000 or more.
Protect your drain septic field from lint
When this device is in place, it inhibits lint from entering the system, especially synthetic fibers that bacteria are unable to digest. One of these filters, which I’ve designed and termed theSeptic Protector, was invented by me. An additional filter is included in the price of around $150 plus delivery. Learn more about how to filter out laundry lint in this article.
Don’t overload the septic system
Reduce the amount of water you use. The volume of water that flows into your tank, particularly over a short period of time, can be reduced to avoid untreated waste from being flushed into your drain field. Replace outdated toilets with low-flow ones, install low-flow showerheads, and, perhaps most importantly, wash laundry throughout the week rather than just on Saturday mornings to save water.
Meet the Expert
Septic systems, according to Jim vonMeier, are the solution to America’s water deficit because they supply cleaned water to depleted aquifers, according to vonMeier. He travels the country lobbying for septic systems, giving lectures, and giving testimony. For septic system inquiries, as well as information on the operation of the septic tank, contact him by email.
What you should expect when your septic tank needs pumping
The following are general recommendations: It is advised that you pump your septic tank every two to three years. The frequency with which you pump is determined by the volume of water you utilize. Generally speaking, the more individuals that use your septic system, the greater the increase in water flow. As a result, your septic tank will fill up more quickly, necessitating more regular pumping. It is likely that the septic tank will need to be pumped more frequently than every two to three years.
Choosing a certified pumper
We recommend that you identify your septic tank before contacting a pumping company. Here is a list of questions you should ask the pumper about their services that we recommend you ask:
- What is the approximate cost of the pump-out
- And Will additional gallons be charged if the septic tank has a capacity more than 1,000 gallons? Is it included in this price the expense of excavating to expose the septic tank lid(s)
- If not, do you charge by the foot or by the meter? How much do you charge to dig you out if you don’t have one
- Is there a charge for dumping costs included? Was it determined that this fee includes a visual check of the septic tank’s entrance and exit baffles? Do you charge an additional fee for cleaning the filter baffle? If a tank has not been properly maintained, is there an additional price for the additional water and time necessary to pump it out? (for example, pumped on a regular basis)
- Please specify the distance and elevation to where the Pumper’s vehicle will be stationed if you have a long distance to pump or if you will be pumping up a steep hill (for example, in your driveway or in the yard). The Pumper will decide whether or not the vehicle is capable of providing this sort of service. Is pumping the pump tank a frequent component of your routine maintenance? What is the cost of providing this service? It is recommended that a pump tank be pumped in addition to the septic tank, cleaned with water, and then dried with a blow dryer. If the pump tank is extremely full, you may be subject to an additional price.
Locating the septic tank
Once you’ve decided on a Pumper, you’ll need to locate the septic tank on your property. Most Pumpers will charge you for the time it takes to locate the tank and open the septic tank lid (s). You can perform the necessary work to expose the septic tank lid(s) prior to the arrival of the Pumper. In order to make septic tank pumping and inspection trips easier and less time-consuming, the Ohio Department of Public Health advises that you install “risers.” With locking gas tight lids linked to both the tank and the riser and access raised to the surface, there is no digging required every time the septic tank needs to be pumped.
The majority of septic system pumpers will be able to do this service for you.
Both compartments must be examined and pumped in order to meet the requirements.
The location of your septic tank will be straightforward if you have an as-built (a map of your septic system) for your system.
Find and download a copy of your as-built drawing from the internet. The following talents will be required by you or your Pumper if an as-built is not available: investigation
- If there is a crawl space, you may be able to locate the tank by determining where the plumbing exits the foundation wall and then using a probing bar to locate it. If you have a fiberglass or polyethylene tank, a probe bar is not suggested unless extreme caution is exercised when using the probe bar. Probing will only be effective if the tank is not more than 1 to 2 feet below the surface of the ground
- If there is no crawl space available, you may occasionally discover the tank by looking for the plumbing vents in the roof. A person who is walking behind the home and coming from a restroom can find themselves at the exit point of the sewage line that connects to the septic tank
Using an electronic detecting equipment may be essential if none of the above mentioned approaches prove successful. Some rental services contain a transmitter that may be flushed down the toilet and is detected by a receiving unit, which can be found in some rental services. In certain cases, drainfield location is the specialty of septic system contractors. See a list of septic system installers who are certified. As long as the tank is exposed, sketch a map depicting the location of the septic tank lid(s) in relation to the home and make a copy of the map for your records.
Pumping the septic tank
Before the Pumper begins the process of pumping out the tank, you may request that he measure the thickness of the scum and sludge layer layers on the inside of the tank. Using this method, you can determine the pace at which the particles collect in the tank, which will assist you in determining when it is necessary to have the septic tank pumped again. Pumping frequency will be in the range of 2 to 3 years for the vast majority of families. It doesn’t matter how often you pump your septic system; frequent inspections will provide you peace of mind that everything is in working order inside those tanks.
The septic tank Pumper should present you with a receipt that details the services that were done to your tank.
- The company’s name, address, and phone number
- Pumper’s certification number
- Number of gallons that were pumped in an approximate manner the number of compartments that have been pumped In good working order, the tank baffles In-tact condition of the septic tank
- Provide specifics on any work performed on baffles or access lids. This information should be included on the pump receipt if the scum and sludge layers were measured. Any work done on the septic tank or pump tank should be documented. Any additional service work that is completed