How Much Gravel Can I Place Over A Septic Tank? (Best solution)

A septic tank sized for a two-bedroom house will need a bed with at least 200 square feet of gravel for installation in sandy soil with coarse particles, says Eco-Nomic, but when installed in a clay- or loam-based soil, the bed needs to be 1,200 square feet or more.

How do you fill a septic tank with gravel?

  • Place the pipe from the septic tank all along each trench. Use the clamps to hold the pipe in place at the septic tank drain so it does not shift and misalign. Once the entire pipe is in place, fill the trench with another one to three inches of gravel and let the gravel work its way down around the pipe.

Can I put gravel over my septic tank?

Adding gravel, bark or other fill over the drainfield can disrupt the soil’s process and may harm your system. Only the addition a very thin layer of topsoil is acceptable. Never plant vegetable gardens on or near a drainfield. This type of wastewater is best kept away from any plants you plan on ingesting.

How much dirt should be in the top of a septic tank?

Septic systems are generally planned to have anywhere from 6 inches to 30 inches of soil on top of them.

What can you put on top of a septic tank?

Put plastic sheets, bark, gravel or other fill over the drainfield. Reshape or fill the ground surface over the drainfield and reserve area. However, just adding topsoil is generally OK if it isn’t more than a couple of inches. Make ponds on or near the septic system and the reserve area.

Can you put anything over a septic field?

To maintain the integrity and longevity of your drainfield, you should never put anything heavy on top of any part of it. You shouldn’t even drive over the drainfield, as the vehicle can crush the drainfield lines. Heavy items cause soil compaction.

What kind of gravel should I use for leach field?

The best size for drain field rock is between ¼ inch to 2 and ½ inch rock. Gravel is the ideal choice for drain fields due to its ability to withstand large amounts to weight without being crushed allowing it to support the weight of the septic tank and the rest of the septic system’s weight.

Can you put a paver patio over a septic tank?

You can’t build a paver patio on top of a septic tank, and doing so could be against the planning laws of your state or local area. Septic tanks can take very little weight without getting damaged, and you’ll also need access to the tank in the future too. You shouldn’t build a deck on one either.

How far down is septic tank lid?

Often, septic tank lids are at ground level. In most cases, they have buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:

  • Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
  • Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
  • Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
  • You Hear Gurgling Water.
  • You Have A Sewage Backup.
  • How often should you empty your septic tank?

Can I add dirt on top of septic field?

After the installation of a new septic system, you may see some settling of the soil around and over the tank and lines leading to the drain field. Do not add additional soil, as it will interfere with the evaporation of excess water from the field.

Why doesn’t grass grow over my septic tank?

Lawn grass species prefer moist, high pH soil, and direct sunlight. Growing grass over a septic tank can be challenging due to the acidic, low-pH soil resulting from sewage runoff into the leach field.

Can you put a greenhouse over a septic field?

A greenhouse can be erected on a septic field to grow certain types of plants. The greenhouse should not have permanent foundations, which could easily damage the septic system. Do not plant directly into the ground over a septic field, as the plants could absorb contaminants released by the system.

How can I hide my septic mound?

Plant shrubs or perennial plants on the berms around the mound or along the edges where the berms meet the flat part of your yard. Avoid planting shrubs or anything with deep roots on the mound itself.

Can I build a deck over my drain field?

You should never build a deck over a septic field; doing so will prevent the natural draining and dissipation of the effluent. This can ruin the septic system, not to mention releasing foul smells into the air all around your deck. The dissipating effluent can also rot the deck from underneath.

Why is grass green over septic tank?

Greener grass over the septic tank may be the result of someone seeding that area if the tank cover was excavated for service. A backing up pipe to leachfield (or worse, a failing leachfield) could cause effluent to drain too slowly out of the septic tank or back up even into the building.

Can you put a garden over a septic field?

Planting over a septic leach field (drain field) is possible if it is done with care. If you have limited space on your property where you can garden, the leach field may be the only spot for landscaping. Vegetable gardening over a leach field is not recommended.

Can you put gravel over a leach field?

Asked in the following category: General The most recent update was on the 24th of May, 2020. Soil erosion may be reduced by planting yourDrain Field (also known as a Leach Field or Mound) with vegetation. It is not suggested to cover yoursepticarea with materials such as plastics, bark, gravel, or patio bricks put in sand, since these will not provide the same benefits as plants for yoursepticsystem. Septic drain fields are best suited for herbaceous plants such as annuals, perennials, bulbs, and decorative grasses, which are typically the finest options for landscaping.

Also Do you know if you can play on a leach field?

When your sewer line becomes clogged, your leach field will begin to gather sewage water from the drain.

In this case, how much gravel will I require for a leach field?

(” septic draintile” in some references).

Is it OK to cover my drain field with dirt?

When it comes to coverage, drain fields are typically built to function with 18 to 24 inches of coverage, unless they have been developed to cope with certain soil types.

What Gravel Do You Use in a Septic Tank Bed?

Gravel is made up of tiny bits of rock that are thrown together. Photograph courtesy of Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images Septic tanks are used by homeowners in remote places who do not have access to municipal sewage services to dispose of the wastewater generated by their homes. The tank requires a bed of well-draining material beneath it in order to regulate the rate at which water drains from it. Because you choose the gravel, you may rest assured that your yard will not grow muddy and damp due to sewage.

Size of Gravel

Using the proper size gravel in the septic tank stops water from coming out of the tank too slowly or too rapidly. Oversized gravel causes water to overflow the soil surrounding the tank and into the home, whereas gravel that is too tiny causes the tank to fill up with water and produce a backup in the house. According to the Eco-Nomic website, bits of clean, washed rock that have been broken into pieces around one and a half inches in diameter function the best. Drain rock is the term used by gravel sellers to describe this type of gravel.

Material

Not every gravel is made from the same sort of crushed rock as another type of gravel. Although softer stones, such as sandstone and shale, are commonly utilized for roads and ornamental purposes, these types of stones will not serve as a septic tank bed.

Without compressing or crushing the bed, a septic tank full of waste and water would be too heavy to support it. In the opinion of Maloney’s Landscape Supplies, granite gravel is robust enough to sustain the tank, which makes it an excellent choice for use in septic systems.

Amount

The amount of gravel required is determined by the size of the septic tank and the makeup of the soil. When installing a septic tank the size of a two-bedroom house on sandy soil with coarse particles, Eco-Nomic recommends a bed with at least 200 square feet of gravel, but when installing in clay or loam-based soil, the bed should be at least 1,200 square feet of gravel. The surface area of the bed is used to determine its size, and all beds have a standard thickness of one foot.

Alternatives

Gravel is not the only drainage material that may be used in the construction of a septic tank bed. According to the National Environmental Service Center, sand and crushed materials – such as recycled tires, concrete pieces of the appropriate size, and shattered glass – all function in some cases. It will function as long as the material does not degrade when exposed to water, allows for drainage, and supports the tank. The whole drainage process is handled by a prepared vault in certain septic systems, therefore a bed is not required in these systems.

Can you put gravel over a septic tank?

Soil erosion can be reduced by increasing the amount of plant cover. It is not suggested to cover yoursepticarea with materials such as plastics, bark, gravel, or patio bricks put in sand, since these will not provide the same benefits as plants for yoursepticsystem. When your components are clearly labeled and easily accessible, maintaining them is less difficult. Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs, and decorative grasses, are typically considered to be the finest alternatives for usage on an asepticdrainfield because of their ability to tolerate high temperatures.

  • It is also possible to inquire whether or not one can place soil over one’s drain field.
  • When it comes to coverage, drain fields are typically built to function with 18 to 24 inches of coverage, unless they have been developed to cope with certain soil types.
  • Fire Pit in the vicinity of the septic tank.
  • What is the minimum distance between a full foundation and a septic tank?– A full foundation must be 10 feet from the septic tank and 20 feet from the leaching area.
  • – Concrete columns for a deck must be at least 5 feet from the leaching area and must not interfere with the septic tank.

Septic Drain Field

If you have a septic system installed on your property, you have complete control over the drainage and disposal of waste water. You are also not subject to the costs and restrictions associated with a shared public municipality with which you are not affiliated. With proper maintenance, a septic tank and its accompanying drain field can endure for up to 20 years or more. In the drain field or leach field, wastewater is absorbed into the earth, and this is what is known as leaching. Depending on the percolation rate of your soil and the size of your home, this one-of-a-kind component may take up a significant percentage of your land.

Occasionally, a drain field will share a portion of your yard or land with an area where you will be doing outdoor activities. In regards to activities around your drain field, there are several things you should and shouldn’t do.

Do’s Around the Drain Field

Many property and house owners have no difficulty with the fact that they are sharing a place with a drainage system. A drain field is often described as having the appearance of a smooth green grass. There is a complex system of perforated septic pipes, as well as layers of gravel and dirt, beneath the surface of the grass. As a result, the majority of drain fields are flat, open regions that are away from trees, wells, and other sources of drinking water. Activities above a drain field are permitted as long as they do not compress, perforate, or otherwise disrupt the soil above the drain field.

Play

Children and cats may run and play on the grass above the drain field without fear of being trampled. Your family may walk on a well-maintained drain field without having to worry about stepping in pools of sewage or bacteria that could be harmful. Bicycles and tricycles are also suitable modes of transportation since they are not too heavy to compress or disrupt the ground.

Landscape

While grass is the greatest option for ground cover, there are several alternative options available. Because they require no upkeep, fertilizer, or irrigation, low-growing plants with non-invasive roots can be used to replace grass in areas where grass isn’t appropriate. Sweet woodruff, lamb’s ear, yarrow, and golden sedge are just a few of the plants that meet these needs while also looking beautiful.

Don’ts Around the Drain Field

While a drain field is not totally off-limits to humans and pets, some behaviors have been shown to impair the field’s capacity to operate. A few things that should never happen at or directly above this critical area are listed below:

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Heavy Traffic

Heavy traffic compacts the earth in a drain field, which increases the likelihood of percolation pipes breaking. Never allow big animals to graze or horses to be ridden through your drain field. Automobiles, trucks, agricultural machinery, and other heavy vehicles must be kept fully away from the area.

Permanent Covers

Heavy weights, as well as permanent coverings, can cause significant harm to a drain field. Compaction caused by decks, sheds, barns, and other edifices causes damage to the drain field. Even concrete or gravel paths prevent oxygen from reaching the drain field and aiding in the decomposition of germs.

Gardens

The temptation to plant vegetables or other sorts of crops in a vast drain field may be too strong to resist. Unfortunately, due of the damaging nature of rototilling, fertilizers, irrigation, and the thick roots inherent in garden plants, the area above a drain field is the worst site to do so. Aside from that, your edible veggies run the danger of being contaminated by bacteria from the drain field.

Landscaping

The importance of landscaping around a drain field cannot be overstated. The presence of trees, shrubs, and any invasive plants in a drain field disrupts the soil and prevents it from percolating properly. In addition, drain fields must be kept clear of the excessive shade that trees might generate throughout the summer. The breakdown of septic bacteria necessitates the use of natural light. When your drain field is already constructed to regulate runoff from your home and the surrounding region, you don’t need to change the landscaping around it.

If you have any questions about a certain activity near your drain field, consult with an expert first.

Abbotts’ Construction Services, Inc., is a leader in the installation and maintenance of critical septic drain fields, and we can assist you with any modifications to your existing system. Call us and inquire how we may assist you in extending the life of your septic system.

Landscaping Around Your Septic System

Don’t put your septic system at risk when you’re attempting to improve your landscape. Get quotations from as many as three professionals! Enter your zip code below to get matched with top-rated professionals in your area. A gravity-fed septic system with a drainfield, also known as a leach field, is the most frequent form of septic system installed. When sewage runs from a septic tank to the drainfield, it passes through a succession of pipelines and distribution boxes before being cleaned and treated by the soil in its natural environment.

Proper landscaping selections, combined with regular care, can significantly improve the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater.

Build away from the septic system’s drainfield

A healthy soil environment is critical to the proper operation of a gravity-fed septic system. The wonderful aspect of our planet is the diverse biological soil community that is responsible for wastewater purification. In order to retain this function, the soil must be aerobic – that is, it must allow air to move in and out. Building structures on top of a drainfield can cause this process to be disrupted, as well as place an excessive amount of pressure on the drainfield. Additionally, if a temporary or permanent structure is built on top of your drainfield, it might make it difficult or impossible to repair or replace this section of your septic system.

Keep sprinklers away from the septic system’s drainfield

There are many various types of soil, and each septic system is intended to operate with the unique soil type that surrounds it in order to be effective. The ideal soil will absorb the wastewater and cleanse it as it seeps into the groundwater table. The water will then either filter into the underlying groundwater or be absorbed by adjacent plants as it passes through. A drainfield can become oversaturated when there is an excessive amount of water in the soil. The soil will not be able to efficiently filter the wastewater, and the wastewater will pool at the surface of the earth.

It is preferable to redirect sprinklers at least 10 feet away from the drainfield to avoid flooding the area.

If you’re having trouble with ground water saturation, talk to your local septic service provider about diversion alternatives.

Avoid deep-rooted and water-loving plants

Planting a mixture of grasses and existing native plants with shallow roots is the most effective method of ensuring drainage field coverage. While every geographical region has a unique variety of ground covers, anything that requires a lot of water or has extensive roots has the potential to permeate the pipes and distribution boxes of an aseptic system, creating blockages and system failure. Adding gravel, bark, or other fill over the drainfield might cause the soil’s natural processes to be disrupted, which can be harmful to your system.

Never establish a vegetable garden on or near a drainfield since it might cause flooding.

However, in certain drought-stricken areas, greywater systems are being used to transfer water from washing machines and showers to a holding tank.

Greywater can be utilized to water vegetable crops, if necessary. For more information on greywater systems, speak with a septic system installer in your area.

Prioritize your septic system above landscaping

Because your drainfield is a complex biological habitat, it need its own area in order to effectively cleanse wastewater. Overwatering and constructing on top of the system should be avoided if you want the system to work as effectively as possible. Keep landscaping to a bare minimum in the drainfield region to aid in the prevention of blockages and root infiltration in the drainage system. If you have any doubts regarding landscaping around your sewage system, you should first consult with a septic consultant in your community.

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Septic System Owner’s Guide

What kind of computer system do you have? In North Carolina, there are many distinct types of septic systems in use, but the vast majority of the over 2 million systems in use throughout the state are minor variations of the typical septic system. This system includes a septic tank as well as a drainfield that is filled with gravel (usually two to six trenches). Since the mid- to late-1990s, classic gravel aggregate trenches have been phased out in favor of innovative gravel-less trench designs, which have become increasingly popular.

  • Some of the most often used gravel-free trenches nowadays are either long and narrow, tunnel-shaped chambers in the trenche, or gravel replacements such as expanded polystyrene aggregate.
  • A booklet from the Cooperative Extension Service, AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, outlines the typical system, easy adjustments to it, and the most significant maintenance requirements.
  • The application of these technologies is now widespread, whether in new housing projects or in the replacement or repair of malfunctioning septic systems in residences and businesses.
  • In order to address this, state regulations provide specified maintenance requirements for a number of these more advanced technology.
  • Furthermore, state regulations mandate that the health department examine these systems on a regular basis.
  • Are you familiar with the location of your septic system and repair area?
  • If you do not have a copy of your septic system permit or a soil evaluation document, contact your local health department.

This Septic System Owner’s Guidefile folder should contain the following items: It is normally possible to establish the location of a septic tank and drainfield by looking at a copy of the permit and consulting with a septic contractor, a consultant, or the local health department A “repair area or replacement area,” in which a second drainfield might be constructed if necessary, has been required on nearly all home sites approved since the early 1980s, according to state law.

It should be noted on your septic system permit that this repair area was designated by the health department when the site was allowed.

Some Important Facts to Understand About Your Septic System

  • In what form of septic system do you have
  • Where is it situated
  • And where is the repair area situated? Is the septic system up and running? In the past, has it been kept up to date? What can you do on a day-to-day basis to ensure that your system continues to function properly? What kind of maintenance will be required in the future

On the grid labeledSeptic System Layout, draw a rough sketch of your home, septic system (including both the tank and drainfield), repair area, and any other essential features (such as your driveway). The distance between the home and the access port on the septic tank should be measured and recorded when having your septic tank drained. This will assist you in locating it again. You may also want to indicate the position of your tank as well as the limits of your drainfield in your yard. If you do not have a riser installed over the access port for your septic tank, you may want to consider having one put in.

  • Even when properly maintained, septic tanks can contain harmful gases and pollutants, as well as bacteria and other germs that can cause major health problems if not addressed.
  • Is your septic system in proper functioning order?
  • Many individuals are unaware that untreated sewage that has accumulated on the surface of the ground might be a health threat.
  • Before fixing a malfunctioning septic system, you must get a permit from the local health authority, according to state regulations.
  • What kind of upkeep has been carried out?
  • If you are purchasing an existing house, you should ask the seller a few critical questions, such as the following:
  • What is the age of the system
  • What is the location of the tank and drainfield (they may or may not be on the same property or even on the same parcel of land)
  • When was the last time the tank was pumped
  • What is the frequency with which it has been pushed
  • Is it necessary to clean the “effluent filter” in the septic tank on a regular basis (effluent filters are required for systems established after 1999)
  • Has there been any indication of a likely failure? In what location can I get a copy of the permit and documentation proving how effectively (or poorly) the system has been maintained
  • Do you know whether any improvements have been made to the house that would necessitate expanding the capacity of the system? Is the system still operational, and if so, when and by whom was it repaired?

If the house has only recently been constructed, request that the septic system contractor give you with a “as built” schematic, which may include elements that were not included in the permit. If the house is equipped with a pump, request that the contractor and the local health agency supply specifics on how the pump was initially installed. In order to properly care for your septic system, you must manage it on a day-to-day basis as well as perform periodic maintenance and repairs. Layout of a septic system.

  • However, the drainfield does not have an indefinite capacity. The average daily water use per person is 50 gallons. Even for brief periods of time, the soil drainfield has a maximum daily design capacity of 120 gallons per bedroom, which is routinely exceeded. Overloads can occur at any time of year, on a daily basis, or on weekends. Fix any leaky faucets or toilets you may have. Water conservation will help you get more use out of your system.

Keep waste disposal to sewage alone.

  • It is not acceptable to utilize your septic tank as a garbage can for items such as cigarette butts, tissues, feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, cat litter, coffee grinds, or disposable diapers. Reduce the amount of time you use your garbage disposal. These contribute a significant amount of additional solids. It is not recommended to throw fat or cooking oil down the drain. You should avoid putting toxic chemicals into your system, such as solvents and oils. You should avoid using paint thinners and paint thinners that have been dumped. You should avoid disinfectants and pesticides. Conserve your funds. Most of the time, commercial septic tank additives are not required.

Ensure that the system is protected against physical harm (site maintenance).

  • Maintain a layer of plants on the soil over the drainfield to prevent soil erosion from occurring. Don’t drive your car above the system’s limits. Try to avoid building over the system or in the repair area. The natural shape of the terrain immediately downslope of the system should be preserved, and this region should be protected against excavation (cutting and filling). Neither asphalt nor concrete should be used to cover the tank or drainfield.

All wastewater should be disposed of in a system that has been authorized.

  • You shouldn’t install a separate pipe to transport washwater to a side ditch or into the woods. This is against the law

The house and the yard (site maintenance)

  • Conserve and preserve the area where your septic tank and drainfield are located
  • Trees that thrive in moist environments should be cut down and removed. Willows, elms, sweetgums, and certain maples are examples of such trees. Surface water should be diverted away from the tank and drainfield by landscaping the yard. Inspect the system to make sure that water from the roof, gutter, and foundation drains does not overflow
  • It is recommended that if your system is located at the base of a slope, you build a french drain to channel subterranean water. Ensure that drainage ditches, subsurface tiles, and drainage outlets are kept in good condition so that water may readily flow from them.
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Sewage treatment system (Septic tank)

  • Tanks should be elevated if they are 6 inches or deeper below the surface. They offer quick and convenient access for solids measurement and pumping, as well as for cleaning the effluent filter. The rate at which sludge and scum build in the tank is measured. Make a note of this information and provide it to your expert pumper. Solids should be pushed out of the tank as necessary. Most septic tanks have two sections
  • It is necessary to have them drained out. More information about pumping frequency can be found in the Cooperative Extension Service document AG-439-13, Septic Systems and Their Maintenance, which is available online. It is not necessary to wait till your drainfield collapses before having your tank pumped. By that time, the drainfield may have been completely destroyed. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to septic systems.
Preventive Maintenance Record
Date Work Done Firm Cost
Your Septic System Installer
Name:
Address:
Phone:
Date System Installed:
  • If sewage is backing up into your toilets, tubs, or sinks, call a plumber. Slowly draining fittings, especially after it has rained
  • Slow-draining fixtures A foul odor associated with damp soil or sewage dumped onto the ground or into neighboring ditches or wooded areas
  • Please keep in mind that sewage from pump systems may rise to the surface of the ground when the pump is switched on and then disappear when the pump is turned off. This is still a failure of the system, and it must be fixed. a red light blinking or beeping in the home or in the yard, signaling that a pump is not functioning correctly or that the water level in a pump tank is excessive and on the verge of failing
  • A rise in the number of diseases or illnesses related with swimming in nearby lakes or rivers

Regulations and safeguards are necessary.

  • Any system that includes a pump should be operated by a state-certified subsurface system operator. In the case of low pressure pipe (LPP) systems erected or repaired after July 1, 1992, as well as underground drip irrigation systems, aerobic treatment units (ATUs), peat biofilters, sand biofilters, textile biofilters, and other sophisticated systems, a permit will be required by law. Those interested in obtaining a list of state-certified subsurface system operators should contact the North Carolina Water Pollution Control System Certification Commission at 919-707-9089. Between planned maintenance visits, check to see that the pump and electrical components are still in proper operating order. Germs found in sewage have the potential to cause disease. Never go into a septic tank unless absolutely necessary. Toxic and explosive gases are present in the tank, posing a threat. Tanks that are more than a decade old may collapse. Electrical controls provide a risk of electric shock and sparking. Children should not be able to open the septic tank lid, hence it should be secured. Do not attempt to repair a malfunctioning system on your own time. Obtain a repair permit and employ a contractor with extensive expertise

For more information about septic systems, contact your county Extension agent or local health department. This publication is a revision of an earlier version. It is with gratitude that we acknowledge Tom Konsler (Orange County Health Department), Deanna Osmond, Mitch Woodward, and Grace Lawrence (North Carolina Cooperative Extension) for their contributions to the document’s peer review, as well as Debra Ireland for her work on the document’s graphic design, layout, and editing.

N.C. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status.

Proper Backfill for Septic Tanks

Receive articles, stories, and videos about septic tanks delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Septic Tanks and More Receive Notifications After a septic tank has been installed, it must be backfilled in the proper manner. Backfilling all tanks with successively tamped “lifts” or depth increments of consistent gradation should be the standard procedure. The installer should ensure that the backfill material is devoid of clods, big boulders, frozen stuff, and debris, all of which can cause voids in the backfill material, which may enable the foundation to settle over time.

  1. Each layer should be homogeneous in thickness, no more than 24 inches thick, and of roughly identical heights around the perimeter of the tank, with the exception of the top layer.
  2. If the material being used is compactable, it should be compacted in order to prevent the earth surrounding the tank from sinking.
  3. Backfill the tank with granular material until it reaches at least the midseam of the tank to ensure that settling is kept to a minimum.
  4. Fill around a septic tank that has been compacted All pipe penetrations through all tanks must remain waterproof after the tanks have been refilled with water.
  5. In order to provide a stable foundation for the pipe, the backfilled earth should be tapped.
  6. Pipe joints should be laid atop native soil rather than in the excavation to avoid the risk of their settling in the future.
  7. It is possible to sleeve pipes that may run over the top of the tank or through excavated portions (such as electrical conduit and/or return lines) to give additional support.

It is possible that the manufacturer of a nonconcrete tank will recommend or require that the tank be simultaneously filled with water to just above the backfill level in order to avoid uneven or excessive pressure on the tank walls during the installation process and to reduce the risk of the tank shifting position during installation.

It may be required to use a tamping tool to ensure that backfill makes adequate contact with and between tank ribs, but care must be given to prevent harming the tank during the process.

She has a master’s degree in civil engineering and a doctorate in environmental engineering.

Her responsibilities include serving as the education chair for the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, as well as serving on the National Science Foundation’s International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Send an email to [email protected] if you have any concerns concerning septic system care and operation. Heger will respond as soon as possible.

How to Care For Your Septic System

Let’s start by going over the operation of your septic tank system. Sewage from the residence is channeled into the tank, where heavy solids (sludge) sink to the bottom while grease and light solids (scum) float to the surface. Naturally occurring bacteria help to break down a percentage of the sludge and scum in the wastewater treatment plant. Because the bacteria can’t break down everything, the tank will require frequent pumping and cleaning to keep it functioning properly. As new wastewater is introduced into the tank, the existing wastewater is channeled down the drainfield.

If your house or company consumes a substantial volume of water in a day, it will have a big influence on how successfully the septic system filters wastewater.

When this material accumulates, it can block the pipes and gravel layer, leading to a swollen drainfield and other problems.

Septic Tank Maintenance

Depending on the kind of system, it can survive for several decades, ranging from 15 to 20 years for a steel septic tank and up to more than 50 years for a drainfield. However, the lifetime of your system is not assured, and there are a number of things you can do to ensure that it reaches the maximum usable lifespan possible.

Annual Inspections Help Prolong The Life of Your System

Annual inspections of septic tanks are included in the septic tank services we provide. With an annual inspection, we can assess how old the system is, how efficient it is, and what kind of septic system repair should be done. If you’ve recently acquired or relocated into a property with a septic system, you may not be aware of this information, which is vital to be aware of and have on hand at all times.

Location Of The System

Septic systems, believe it or not, may be tough to discover. Start by following the path of the sewage line that is exiting the building. This is an excellent starting point. Once the tank’s position has been discovered, an insulated probe is utilized to locate any underground pipes or even the tank’s actual location.

ConnectionsPorts

The ports could require some digging in the yard, but verifying connections means ensuring that the domestic plumbing is connected to the system in an appropriate manner as well. This includes flushing toilets, operating the washing machine, and/or running water through the sink.

Depth Of ScumSludge Layers

The depth of these layers will decide whether or not septic tank pumping will be required immediately or in the foreseeable future. It is necessary to pump out the tank if the sludge depth is equal to or greater than one-third of the total liquid depth. The size of the tank, the number of people living in the house, and the behaviors of the household all influence how often the tank has to be pumped.

Watch What You Flush

Your septic system’s ability to function effectively is dependent on the presence of natural bacteria or live organisms. You should dispose of items in the garbage if they can be conveniently disposed of instead of flushing them down the toilet or washing them down the drain.

The objective is to keep the volume and kind of sediments entering the septic system to a minimum. If you use too much, your septic tank may need to be cleaned more frequently. Furthermore, groundwater can get contaminated by home contaminants that reach the drainfield.

Home Appliances Impact Your Septic System

The appliances we use on a daily basis have a huge impact on how much more septic tank maintenance your system will require in the future. Garbage disposals should not be used in conjunction with a septic system, since they can increase the amount of solids in the tank by up to 50 percent, according to the EPA. Allowing the water to cool and drain into the yard or other landscaped areas is preferable to draining it into the septic system if you have a hot tub and plan to drain it that way. A large amount of water entering the system at the same time might overwhelm it, causing sediments to be pushed into the drainfield early, resulting in blockages and a costly drainfield failure.

Monitor Household Or Business Water Use

The less water that passes through a septic system, the longer the system will survive – and with fewer problems. The drainfield has an absorption capacity, despite the fact that it is reliant on water for waste treatment and disposal. Once the capacity has been achieved, the drainfield is at danger of collapse unless the volume of water running through it is reduced. A failed drainfield necessitates the need for immediate septic tank repair.

Signs Of A Septic Tank Problem

The number of probable causes of septic tank problems is almost as many as the number of symptoms that indicate a problem. The following are some of the most common reasons of septic system failure:

  • Driving and/or parking on top of the drainfield
  • Flushing home chemicals and cleansers into the system
  • High levels of water use
  • And the growth of plant and tree roots in the drainfield and tank are all contributing factors.

The following are examples of signs of a septic tank problem:

  • The presence of abnormal grass growth or dead areas over the septic tank
  • Frequent plumbing backups in the house or company
  • The presence of septic or sewage odors
  • Soft areas in the earth over drainfields or storage tanks, as well as

If you are experiencing any of these problems with your septic system, contact Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service to book an aseptic tank cleaning and inspection. In order to carefully check the system and determine the root of the problem, our professionals employ cameras, mirrors, and other instruments. Depending on the situation, we will pump and clean the tank before inspecting it for structural problems.

Septic Tank Services in Gainesville, FL

A properly maintained septic system will provide years of dependable service to your residence or company. When you hire Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service, you can be confident that you will receive expert service that is supported by the most up-to-date knowledge, techniques, and procedures. With more than 30 years of combined expertise in septic services, including septic tank installation and replacement, our staff is the best in the business. Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service is the company to call when it comes to septic system maintenance.

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Building Near and Over Septic Tanks

Posted on a regular basis In most cases, minimum setback rules imposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality (TCEQ) preclude the building of a new residence from occuring over any point of an existing sewage disposal system. Foundations, pools, property lines, wells, and other structures must be kept at a certain distance from the septic tank and drainfield in order to meet these setback requirements.

It is possible that some homeowners will install objects such as patio decks or house additions over their systems, whether by accident or design. This might result in higher costs when it comes to locating and maintaining the system.

Building over septic tanks

Construction of a building over any section of your septic system is not recommended. The most typical issue we see is when someone wants to pump out their septic tank but is unsure of where their tank is situated on their property. Tanks hidden beneath a hardwood deck, pool patio, driveways, or even room extensions are not unusual for us to discover and investigate. The majority of the time, this occurs because the homeowner is uninformed of the tank’s location and/or does not have a plan in place for future tank maintenance.

However, in this scenario, the homeowner will be able to pump out their septic tank because no permanent constructions should be constructed over any component of the system.

Building over drainfields

In order for the drainfield to function, water in the solids and some evapotranspiration must be absorbed. In order for bacteria in the soil beneath a drainfield to treat wastewater from a drainfield, the soil beneath the drainfield must have sufficient oxygen. However, if a permanent structure is constructed over a drainfield, it has the potential to reduce the amount of oxygen that can be absorbed by the soil and hence reduce evapotranspiration. The potential of causing the drainfield lines to collapse is a significant concern when constructing over them.

Depending on the age of your system and the restrictions of your local authorities, repairing or shifting your drainfield may need the installation of a whole new system.

We can assist you with any of your wastewater system needs, and our specialists can also assist you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Austin) (Boerne).

How a Septic System Works – and Common Problems

This Article Discusses Septic Tanks are a type of septic tank that is used to dispose of waste. Field Sizing and System MaintenanceProblems with the Leach FieldSystem Performance Questions and comments are welcome. See Also: Septic System Frequently Asked Questions Articles on SEPTIC SYSTEM may be found here. In locations where there are no municipal sewage systems, each residence is responsible for treating its own sewage on its own property, which is known as a “on-site sewage disposal system,” or septic system, more popularly.

One of the most commonly seen types of leach field is composed of a series of perforated distribution pipes, each of which is placed in a gravel-filled absorption trench.

It’s possible that a small number of homes will be sharing a bigger communal septic system that will function in a similar manner as a single-family system.

SEPTIC TANK

The wastewater is collected in the septic tank once it has been discharged from the residence. Septic tanks are normally between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons in capacity and are composed of concrete, strong plastic, or metal, depending on the model. Highly durable concrete tanks, which should endure for 40 years or more provided they are not damaged, are the most common. Many contemporary tanks are designed with two chambers in order to maximize efficiency. Household wastewater is collected in the septic tank, where it is separated and begins to degrade before being discharged into the leach field.

  • In the tank, oil and grease float to the top of the tank, where they are known as scum, while solid waste falls to the bottom, where they are known as sludge.
  • Bacteria and other microorganisms feed on the sediments at the bottom of the tank, causing them to decompose in an anaerobic (without oxygen) process that begins at the bottom of the tank.
  • Solids and grease must be pushed out of the system on a regular basis in order for it to continue to function effectively.
  • Each gallon added to the tank results in one gallon being discharged to the leach field, leach pit, or other similar treatment facility.

Leach Field

When used properly, a leach field (also known as a “drain field”) is a series of perforated pipes that are typically buried in gravel trenches 18 to 36 inches below grade — deep enough to avoid freezing, but close enough to the surface that air can reach the bacteria that further purify the effluent (see illustration below). As little as 6 inches might separate you from the ground surface, depending on your soil type and municipal regulations. It is customary to cover the perforated pipes with approximately two inches of gravel and a layer of topsoil that is 18 to 24 inches in depth.

  • Grass is often sown above the ground.
  • The leach field is comprised of rows of perforated pipes in gravel trenches that are used to spread wastewater over a vast area in order to further purify it.
  • A bacteria-rich slime mat forms where the gravel meets the soil, and it is responsible for the majority of the water purification work.
  • Despite the fact that wastewater freezes at a far lower temperature than pure water, freezing is still a hazard in cold areas.
  • The leftover pathogens are converted into essential plant nutrients by these organisms, while sand, gravel, and soil filter out any solids that remain.
  • If the system is operating effectively, the filtered wastewater will return to the aquifer as naturally clean water that is suitable for human consumption at this stage.
  • Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.

These systems sometimes cost twice or three times as much as a regular system and require significantly more upkeep. Special systems may also be necessary in regions where there are flood plains, bodies of water, or other ecologically sensitive areas to protect against flooding.

SIZING THE LEACH FIELD

Using perforated pipes put in gravel-filled trenches, the drain field is sized to accommodate the number of beds in the house. In order for the system to function successfully, the leach field must be appropriately sized for the soil type and amount of wastewater, which is normally determined by the number of bedrooms in the house. In order for the liquid to seep into the soil, it must be permeable enough to do so. As a result, the denser the soil, the larger the leach field that is necessary.

  • Better to have surplus capacity in your system than to have it cut too close to the bone.
  • Septic tank backup into your house, pooling on the surface of the earth, or polluting local groundwater are all possibilities if the ground is incapable of absorbing the liquid.
  • Dense clay soils will not absorb the liquid at a sufficient rate, resulting in a backlog.
  • If the soil is mostly composed of coarse sand and gravel, it might drain at such a rapid rate that untreated sewage can poison the aquifer or damage surrounding bodies of water.
  • Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
  • Near flood plains, bodies of water, and other ecologically sensitive places, special systems may also be necessary to protect people and property.

SEPTIC SYSTEM CAREMAINTENANCE REQUIRED

If you take good care of your system, you will be rewarded with years of trouble-free operation. Pumping the septic tank on a regular basis is necessary to remove the particles (sludge) and grease layer (scum) that have built up in the tank. The solids will ultimately overflow and spill into the leach field, decreasing its efficacy and diminishing its lifespan if this is not done. The rehabilitation of a clogged leach field is difficult, if not impossible; thus, constant pumping is essential!

Cooking fats, grease, and particles may also wash into the leach field if the tank is too small for the amount of water being used or if the tank is overcrowded on a regular basis.

Extra water from excessive residential consumption or yard drainage can overwhelm the system, transporting oil and particles into the leach field and causing it to overflow.

In addition, don’t try to complete a week’s worth of laundry for a family of five in a single day. This will assist you in keeping the load controlled and will also help to extend the life of your system. To minimize overburdening the system, the following measures should be taken:

  • Distribute your washing loads and other high-water-use activities across the week
  • And In the kitchen and bathroom, use low-flow appliances, faucets, and fixtures. Toilets, in general, are the source of the greatest amount of water use. Water should be diverted away from the leach field from the yard, gutters, and basement sump pumps.

In addition, refrain from flushing sediments, strong chemicals, and just about anything else down the toilet or sink other than biological waste and white toilet paper. Avoid using garbage disposals in the kitchen. If you really must have one, keep it for small non-meat bits only. Avoid flushing chemicals or paints down the toilet since many chemicals can destroy beneficial microorganisms or cause water contamination in the surrounding area. Avoid flushing the following down the toilet:

  • Grease, fats, and animal scraps
  • Paints, thinners, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals
  • And a variety of other materials sanitary napkins, tampons, and other supplies Paper towels and disposable diapers are examples of such products. Egg shells, coffee grounds, and nut shells are all good options. Antibacterial soaps and antibiotics are available.

It is preferable to put grass over the leach field and to refrain from driving or parking in the vicinity. Excessive weight placed on top of the drain field might compress the earth, diminishing its efficiency as a drain field. Drain pipes can also become clogged by trees and plants with invasive roots. In order to prevent damage to the leach field, the following measures should be taken:

  • Heavy machinery should not be driven, parked, or stored on top of the leach field (or septic tank). Placement of a deck, patio, pool, or any other sort of construction over the leach field is prohibited. Remove any large trees or other plants with deep roots from the leach field. Grass is the most effective groundcover.

Even with careful use and routine maintenance, however, leach fields are not guaranteed to survive indefinitely. It is inevitable that the soil will get saturated with dissolved elements from the wastewater, and that the soil will be unable to absorb any more incoming water. The presence of an odorous wet area over the leach field, as well as plumbing backups in the house, are frequently the first indicators that something is wrong. Many municipalities mandate septic system designs to incorporate a second “reserve drain field” in the case that the first field fails.

A well constructed and maintained system should last for at least 20 to 30 years, if not longer than that.

More information on Septic System Maintenance may be found here.

SEPTIC SYSTEM PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS

Poor original design, abuse, or physical damage, such as driving heavy trucks over the leach field, are the root causes of the majority of septic system issues. The following are examples of common situations that might cause a septic system to operate poorly: Plumbing in the home. obstructed or insufficient plumbing vents, a blockage between the home and the septic tank, or an insufficient pitch in the sewer line leading from the house are all possible causes. Sewage tank to leach field connection Septic tank and leach field blockage caused by a closed or damaged tank outlet, a plugged line leading to the leach field caused by tree roots, or a blockage caused by sediments that overflowed from the tank Piping in the leach field.

Most of the time, tree roots do not make their way through the gravel bed and into the perforated pipe.

Reduced flows, achieved through the use of flow restrictors and low-flow faucets and fixtures, may be beneficial.

Because of the seasonal high water table, the soil around the trenches might get saturated, reducing the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater.

This may frequently be remedied by adding subsurface drains or curtain drains to intercept the water flow into the leach field region and to lower the water table in the immediate area around the drainage system.

Likewise, see: In order to do a perc test, who should I hire?

Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime?

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