Determining Septic System Capacity The average person uses about 75 gallons of water per day. Most sizing guidelines utilize 150 gallons per bedroom to determine the size of a septic tank.
- The volume of water that a septic system can handle depends on the size of your tank. For most homes, the septic tank can hold around 1,000 gallons of water every day. While this should be sufficient for any home, leaking faucets can dramatically add to your water usage, making it insufficient.
How much water should a septic system handle per day?
If it is properly designed per the number of people that can potentially live in the house (suggested 150 gals per day per bedroom ) it can easily handle every day flows with room for extra. So if you have a 3 bedroom house your system should be designed to handle 450 gallons per day.
What happens if you use too much water with septic?
Excessive water is a major cause of system failure. The soil under the septic system must absorb all of the water used in the home. Too much water from laundry, dishwasher, toilets, baths, and showers may not allow enough time for sludge and scum to separate.
Why is my septic tank filling up so fast?
If your tank seems to be filling up much more quickly, it could indicate a problem with one of its components, or it could be a sign that your tank is taking on more liquids than it can handle. Call a local professional if your tank is needing more septic pumping than usual.
How many gallons does a septic tank use per day?
How Many People Can A Septic Tank Handle? It comes down to daily water usage. Most residential tanks have a capacity ranging from 750 gallons to 1,250 gallons and the average person uses 60 gallons to 70 gallons of water a day.
How do you tell if your septic tank is full?
How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying
- Pooling water.
- Slow drains.
- An overly healthy lawn.
- Sewer backup.
- Gurgling Pipes.
- Trouble Flushing.
Are long showers bad for septic systems?
Washing frequent, small loads of laundry or taking exceptionally long showers every day is all it takes to overload your septic system with too much water. The primary treatment tank needs time to break up solids before partly-treated water can enter the drain field.
How do I lower the water level in my septic tank?
You can reduce the amount of water pumped into your septic tank by reducing the amount you and your family use. Water conservation practices include repairing leaky faucets, toilets and pipes, installing low cost, low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, and only running the washing machine and dishwasher when full.
What are the do’s and don’ts of a septic tank?
DON’T flush material that will not easily decompose, such as hair, diapers, cigarette butts, matches, or feminine hygiene products. DO conserve water to avoid overloading the system. They kill the bacteria needed to decompose wastes in the septic tank and drain field. DO use substitutes for household hazardous waste.
Does shower water go to a 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.
How long does it take for a 1000 gallon septic tank to fill up?
A family of four will fill the 300-gallon storage volume of a 1,000-gallon septic tank in about 1.5 years. By making adjustments in this analysis for adults working outside of the home a third of the time and children going to school, it is easy to conclude that a septic tank should be pumped every two to three years.
Can heavy rain affect septic tank?
It is common to have a septic back up after or even during a heavy rain. Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the soil absorption area (drainfield) leaving it saturated, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system.
How do you fix a slow draining septic tank?
Dump a couple of teaspoons of baking soda into your clogged drain, followed by one half cup of vinegar. This will create a fizzing action that may cause a fizz-like eruption. This is normal. This fizzing action may help to break the clog up and get things moving in your drain once again.
How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?
For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.
How big should my septic tank be?
The larger your home, the larger the septic tank you’re going to need. For instance, a house smaller than 1,500 square feet usually requires a 750 to 1,000-gallon tank. On the other hand, a bigger home of approximately 2,500 square feet will need a bigger tank, more than the 1,000-gallon range.
How do you calculate the volume of a septic tank?
Space above liquid level is 0.3m depth. So the volume of space above liquid level is 2.76m2 X 0.3 = 0.828m3. Hence, total volume of septic tank for 20 person with a sludge clearance period of one year is = 0.828 + 0.64 + 1.46 + 0.828 = 3.756 m3.
Managing waste: Household septic systems – Part 1
It is important to understand how a residential wastewater treatment system works in order to safeguard one’s own health and that of the environment. After it has been flushed down the toilet or sink drain, what happens to the waste water generated in your home? There are two alternatives: This waste water is either transported to a municipal waste water treatment facility where it is cleaned and returned to the environment, or it is collected and treated on the premises through a septic system before being returned to the environment.
This accounts for more than a third of all households in the state of Michigan.
There are two main components of a septic system: an absorption or drain field and a septic tank.
The majority of tanks are double-chambered, which means that the tank is separated into two compartments.
- A pipe connects the drain field to the tank, which allows for easy drainage.
- Wastewater is discharged from the residence through the sewer line and into the septic tank.
- This is referred to as the scum layer.
- It is around two-thirds of the way up the tank from the bottom that a baffle or T-pipe is positioned.
- The liquid waste, referred to as effluent, is introduced into the absorption field by gravity, which distributes the effluent uniformly across the rows of pipes.
- It is recommended that the septic tank and drain field have sufficient capacity to retain two days’ worth of waste water, even during peak usage.
- Calculate the size of your septic tank by entering the information in the box below.
For most septic tank sizes, 150 gallons per bedroom is used to calculate the appropriate size for the system.
The capacity of your septic tank should be sufficient to contain two days’ worth of effluent.
Which is more important: Amount for two days OR Septic tank capacity If the quantity of waste water generated in two days exceeds the capacity of your septic tank, you must either lower the amount of waste water generated or improve your system.
Home*A*Systbulletin WQ51 is a home automation system.
The amount of waste water that enters the system and the amount of water that may be absorbed by the soil define the size of the system.
Gravely or sandy-type soils cause waste water to pass through the soil too quickly for treatment to be effective.
Clay or compacted soils may retain water for an excessive amount of time before it is absorbed, causing the system to become anaerobic (without oxygen), resulting in bad smells and the possibility of system failure. Articles on MSUExtension that are related:
- Part Two of Managing Waste: Household Septic Systems
- Part Three of Managing Waste: Household Septic Systems
- Managing Waste: Household Septic Systems
It was written by Michigan State University Extension and published on their website. For further information, please see the website. Visit if you’d like a digest of information delivered directly to your email inbox every day. To get in touch with a local expert, go to 888-MSUE4MI or phone 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). Did you find this article to be informative?
- Septic system education, water quality, and water consumption are some of the topics covered by the MSU Extension program.
How Much Water Can My Septic System Handle?
Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service hears two typical queries from customers:How long does a sewage system last? andHow much does a septic system cost. And, what is the capacity of my septic tank? The short and long answers are both: it depends on the situation. The amount of water you and others in your household consume on a daily basis has a significant impact on the answers to these questions.
How A Septic Tank Moves Water
Wastewater is defined as water that has been discharged via a domestic faucet and into a drain. If you have water or other liquids in your tank, they will most likely run through the tank and past a filter and into the leach field. Water goes through a tank, and sediments tend to settle to the bottom as it moves through. However, when the tank gets a big volume of water at once — as is the situation while hosting guests — the solids may rush toward and clog the exit pipes.
How Many People Can A Septic Tank Handle?
It all boils down to how much water you use on a daily basis. Typical domestic water storage tanks have capacities that range from 750 gallons to 1,250 gallons, with the average individual using between 60 and 70 gallons of water each day. Specifically, when septic systems and tanks are constructed, contractors typically pick plumbing hardware based on the size of the home. This is a concern because Following an aseptic tank assessment, Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service can establish the suitable volume of your septic tank.
3 Tips For Caring For Your Septic System
Living with an aseptic tank is not difficult or time-consuming, but it does need preparation and patience in order to reap the benefits of the system’s full lifespan. To help you maintain your septic system, Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service has provided three suggestions.
1. Understand How Much Water Your Daily Activities Use
While older fixtures consume more water than modern, high-efficiency fittings, many homes have a blend of the two types of fixtures in place. Assume that old vs new water-appliances and fixtures consume approximately the same amount of water, based on the following calculations.
- 1.5 to 2.2 gallons per minute for bathroom sinks, 4–6 gallons each cycle for dishwashers, and 2–5 gallon per minute for kitchen sinks are recommended.
- For example, showers use 2.1 gallons per minute, or 17.2 gallons per shower
- Toilets use 1.28 gallons to 7 gallons every flush
- Washing machines use 15 gallons to 45 gallons per load
- And sinks use a total of 2.1 gallons per minute.
2. Set Up A Laundry Plan
Scheduling numerous loads over the course of a week is beneficial to the aseptic tank. Washing bedding and clothing in batches allows you to get other home duties done while you wash. Solids have time to settle and water has time to filter out in your septic tank system if you spread your water use over many days.
3. Fix Leaky FaucetsFixtures
Did you know that a running toilet may waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day if left unattended? It is possible that the sheer volume of water will produce too much water in the septic system, resulting in other problems like standing water in the yard.
Schedule Professional Septic System Care
Have you noticed that your drains are backing up in your home? Alternatively, are damp patches emerging in your yard? If this is the case, it is time to contact Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service to arrange for septic tank services. While most septic tanks are capable of handling a significant volume of water, they can get overwhelmed, resulting in painful consequences.
To arrange an appointment with us if your system is having difficulty keeping up with household demand or if you believe it is time for a septic tank cleaning, please call us now.
Water Usage and Your Septic System
The quantity of water you put into your septic tank on a daily basis is one of the most important factors that influences how effectively it functions. Because septic systems have a limited capacity, your tank can only hold so much water at a time. A larger home might soon overflow a smaller septic tank if they consume a lot of water on a regular basis. It is important to understand how your household activities influence your septic system as the size and composition of your family grows and changes.
Planning your water usage can help your septic system
Human waste may be treated quite efficiently with the help of a septic system. The fact that they are small and very basic means that they are less expensive than centralized sewer systems. In the wastewater layer, there is biological activity that provides for safe drainage into the earth underneath it. The tank keeps both the scum layer and the sediment (or sludge) layer until they are cleaned out by a professional tank cleaner during routine tank maintenance. Inadequate watering of the septic tank may cause it to malfunction and fail to perform its biological functions properly.
- This statistic covers activities such as bathing, cooking, flushing the toilet, cleaning, and doing laundry.
- If your septic tank is tiny – say, 800 gallons – you can see that the majority of the water in the tank will not remain in the tank for lengthy periods of time.
- According to parameters such as the number of beds in the house, several jurisdictions restrict the size of a septic tank to a certain minimum.
- The technique of designing your septic system to handle “peak” water demand is a smart one to follow.
- If the capacity of your septic system is a worry for your house, there are steps you may do to reduce water consumption.
- Showerheads, faucets, washing machines, and toilets with low flow rates can all help to lower the amount of water that enters your home’s septic tank by a substantial amount.
- You may plan your water consumption in advance to prevent producing a “peak demand” in your home.
- If you want to avoid flooding your septic tank, try to limit the amount of loads you do every day.
Do only complete loads of laundry, and don’t let yourself fall behind! We at Clear Drain Cleaning can provide you with further information regarding septic system maintenance. Please call us at (330) 343-7146 to book a visit!
HOW EXCESSIVE WATER AFFECTS YOUR SEPTIC TANK AND WHAT TO DO
Septic systems are built with a certain capacity in mind, which is determined by the quantity of water used in a household. By exceeding this capacity, the system’s ability to handle wastewater can be severely compromised, perhaps resulting in the pollution of drinking water sources. Indoor and outdoor water consumption should be regulated to avoid overloading your septic tank, which will also help to extend the life of your tank. Find out more about septic tank overload and simple ways to conserve water while yet safeguarding your septic system by continuing reading.
- When functioning correctly, a septic tank should allow solid waste to settle to the bottom of the tank and microbes to break down organic waste in order to provide nutrients for the garden.
- A septic system that is overloaded does not enable sediments to settle properly and does not allow for the essential bacterial activity.
- An excessively high flow rate of wastewater might also reduce the amount of bacteria present in the tank, resulting in insufficient wastewater treatment.
- Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started.
- If you’re in the market for a new washer, consider a front-loading model, which is more energy and water efficient than a top-loading model, according to Energy Star.
- However, make an effort to launder your clothes more frequently, preferably several times a week.
- Reduce the amount of shower water wasted.
Consider taking fewer and shorter showers, as well as shutting off the water while you are lathering, in order to conserve more water.
Reduce the amount of water you flush down the toilet.
To reduce waste, consider flushing the toilet numerous times before using it for the first time.
If you have older toilets that tend to use a lot of water, consider replacing them with modern, water-efficient toilets to see a considerable reduction in your water usage over time.
Toilet leaks account for a significant portion of water waste in the average household.
Lawn Maintenance Should Be Conscientious For your landscape requirements, drip irrigation may be an option.
Make sure to check your irrigation system for leaks that are wasting water and to create a watering plan that corresponds to your irrigation requirements.
Consume Water Only When Necessary Considering watering your lawn and garden less frequently in the mornings or late at night when evaporation is lowest, you can save money on your water bills.
Once your septic tank has been repaired or pumped, it is important to save water in order to extend the tank’s lifespan.
Pete’s Outflow Technicians can assist you in keeping your septic system in good working order throughout the year. Get in contact with us right now to learn more about our products and services.
Septic System Basics
When a household isn’t connected to a public sewage system, it normally relies on septic systems to treat and dispose of wastewater. Sewage treatment systems require a substantial financial commitment. The correct maintenance and upkeep of a well-designed, installed, and maintained system will provide years of dependable and low-cost service. The failure of a system can become a source of pollution and public health concern, resulting in property damage, ground and surfacewater pollution (such as contamination of well water used by you and your neighbors), and the spread of disease.
Aside from that, if you are planning to sell your property, your septic system has to be in good functioning order.
Septic systems are available in a variety of configurations to accommodate a wide range of soil and site conditions.
A conventional septic tank system is composed of three major components:
- This is known as the Septic Tank. In order to remove particles from wastewater, store and partially decompose as much solid material as possible, while allowing the liquid (or effluent) to flow to the drainfield, a septic tank must be installed. more
- The Drainage System After the particles have settled in the septic tank, the liquid wastewater (also known as effluent) is released to the drainfield, which is also known as an absorption or leach field, or both. more
- The Soil is a very important factor. The soil under the drainfield is responsible for the ultimate treatment and disposal of the septic tank effluent once it has been treated. Following the passage of wastewater into the soil, organisms in the soil remediate the effluent before it percolates downward and outward, eventually entering ground or surface water sources. A drainfield’s efficacy is also affected by the kind of soil
- For example, clay soils may be too tight to allow much wastewater to run through, while gravelly soil may be too coarse to give much treatment.
- Septic System Inspection Done at Home In order to aid you in examining your system, a VideoField Guide and Checklist may be available at the bottom of the homepage.
Homeowners and residents have a significant impact on the functioning of their septic systems. Overloading the system with more water than it is capable of handling might result in system failure. A septic system can also be damaged by the improper disposal of chemicals or excess organic waste, such as that produced by a trash disposal. The following maintenance suggestions might assist you in ensuring that your system provides long-term, effective treatment of domestic waste.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
The most critical step in keeping your septic tank in good working order is to eliminate sludge and scum build-up before it may flow into the drainfield. The frequency with which your tank has to be pumped is determined by the size of the tank, the number of people in your family, the quantity of water utilized, and the amount of solids (from humans, garbage disposal, and any other waste) that enter the tank’s drainage system. Tanks should be pumped out on average every 3 to 5 years, depending on usage.
- Septic Inspection and Pumping Guide
- Inspecting Your Septic Tank
- Septic Inspection and Pumping Guide
Use Water Efficiently
System failure is frequently caused by an excessive amount of water. The soil beneath the septic system must be able to absorb all of the water that is used in the residence. Too much water from the washing machine, dishwasher, toilets, bathtubs, and showers may not provide enough time for sludge and scum to separate properly in the drain. The less water that is consumed, the less water that enters the septic system, reducing the likelihood of system failure. For further information on water conservation, visit:
- Indoor Water Conservation
- Every gallon of water conserved equates to a savings of $1.00.
Minimize Solid Waste Disposal
What you flush down the toilet can have a significant influence on the performance of your septic system.
Many things do not breakdown properly, and as a result, they accumulate in your septic tank. If you have the option of disposing of it in another manner, do so rather than introducing it into your system.
Keep Chemicals Out of Your System
Protect your septic system against home chemicals such as caustic drain openers, paint and pesticides. Also avoid flushing down the toilet with chemicals such as brake fluid, gasoline, and motor oil. The improper dumping of dangerous substances down the drain is damaging to the environment, as well as the bacteria that are necessary for the breakdown of wastes in a septic system, and should be avoided.
Septic System Additives
It is not essential to add a stimulant or an enhancer to a septic tank in order to assist it in functioning or “to restore bacterial equilibrium.” The naturally occurring bacteria required for the proper operation of the septic system are already present in human excrement. Septic systems, like automobiles, are designed to offer long-term, effective treatment of residential waste if they are properly run and maintained on a regular basis. The majority of systems that fail prematurely, on the other hand, are the result of poor maintenance.
In the event that your septic system fails, call Thurston County Environmental Health at 360-867-2673 for assistance.
- Odors, surface sewage, moist areas, or a dense growth of plants in the drainfield region are all possible problems. Backups from the plumbing or septic tank (which are often a dark liquid with a foul odor)
- Fixtures that take a long time to drain
- The plumbing system is making gurgling sounds. Your drainfield may be failing if you have a well and tests reveal the presence of coliform (bacteria) or nitrates in the water from it. Even in the midst of a drought, the drainfield is covered with lush green grass.
Why is lots of water bad for septic, and how can I take long showers without hurting it?
The only issue I can see is an over-saturation of the ground, which will result in the ground being unable to absorb any of the effluent as it is intended to do. The fact that you have lived there for 6 months and have not noticed any indicators of difficulties at the leaching field suggests that there should not be a problem. Bathroom and kitchen sinks and bath tubs are expected to be constructed for the quantity of water that will be poured into the leaching field from the entire house. I’ve had a septic system for the past 24 years and have never had any problems with it.
It is a 1989 house with three bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms.
Water on its own will have no effect on the situation.
Although I’ve worked on houses where the owners insisted on having a garbage disposal, they must be committed to pumping it out on a regular basis because, in a sense, it is acting as a holding tank, which they must do on a regular basis.
How much water does a septic tank hold?
Asked in the following category: General The most recent update was made on June 30, 2020. A person uses around 60 to 70 gallons of water each day on average. Designed with the idea that there are two people in each bedroom, Tanks are quite spacious. As a result, a conventional aseptic tank can handle around 120 gallons per bedroom every day on average. Septic tanks for residential use are typically between 750 and 1,250 gallons in capacity. An aseptic tank is a self-contained device that is meant to retain effluent from a residence.
Second, what are the symptoms that your septic tank is overflowing and needs to be pumped? The following are five indicators that your septic tank is approaching or has reached capacity and requires care.
- Water that has accumulated. If you notice pools of water on your grass surrounding your septic system’s drain field, it’s possible that your septic tank is overflowing. Drains that are slow to drain
- A lawn that is extremely healthy
- Sewer backup
Another dilemma is whether it is possible to dump too much water in a septic tank. System failure is frequently caused by an excessive amount of water. Every drop of water entering the residence must be absorbed by the earth beneath theseptic system. It is possible that too much water from the laundry, dishwasher, toilets, baths, and showers will not provide enough time for sludge and scum to separate properly. Is it true that shower water goes into the septic tank? The distance between your home and the tank is: The majority of septic systems, but not all, function using gravity to transport waste to the septic tank.
Understanding Septic Tank Volume
- A septic system that is undersized results in wastewater backing up. Your tank should be able to manage 95 liters of wastewater per person, per day
- Else, it will fail. The presence of a strong stench, water backing up, and an increase in water use are all indicators of trouble. A concrete septic tank is frequently the most cost-effective alternative.
Get quotations from as many as three professionals! Enter your zip code below to get matched with top-rated professionals in your area. Septic systems enable homeowners in remote locations to maintain a contemporary way of life. They treat all of the nasty wastewater that comes out of our toilets, sinks, and washing machines before safely releasing it into the environment. However, you must select a septic tank that has the appropriate volume for your residence. This information will assist you in making an informed decision to keep your home’s wastewater where it belongs: out of sight.
How Septic Tank Volume Works
A septic system is a structure installed beneath the earth that processes wastewater from a residential building. Their use is particularly prevalent in rural areas where there is limited access to centralized sewer systems. A septic tank and a drainfield are both components of the septic system. The tank is responsible for separating materials such as oil, grease, and sediments from wastewater. The treated sewage, which is referred to as “effluent,” is progressively released into the surrounding environment by the system.
It’s possible that if you buy a tank that is too small, it will not be able to handle the volume of wastewater that your home generates, and the wastewater may begin to back up into your home or your yard.
How to Calculate Septic Tank Size
So, how much of a septic tank do you require? Multiply the total number of people living in your family by 95 to get an idea of how much septic tank daily liter volume you would require. Another way of looking at it is to imagine that you’re sharing a house with three other individuals. You’d need to figure out how much wastewater is produced on a daily basis by each individual and multiply that figure by four to figure out how much capacity you’d need from your septic system. To make an approximate estimate, use the following list of daily average wastewater production to guide your calculations:
- 1 liter per person for the bathroom, 6 liters for the laundry and dishwasher, 1 liter per person for cooking, and 3 liters per person for everything else Per individual, a total of 95 liters
As a result, for a four-person family, a septic system capable of handling 380 liters per day of wastewater output (4 x 95 = 380) would be required.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Septic System
Adobe Stock image courtesy of senssnow What are the signs that it’s time to rebuild your septic system? Because a new septic system may cost upwards of $20,000, it is evident that you want to postpone replacing your system if at all possible. However, there are four primary signs to look out for that indicate you should consider replacing it.
Your Water Consumption Has Increased
The presence of new family members in your home might cause your water use to grow drastically, which is a clear indication that it’s time to upgrade your septic system. You should first determine whether or not your present septic system has the ability to manage the extra water flow.
Water Is Backing up in Your Yard or Home
In the event that you see standing water in your yard or that water is backing up in your toilets and sinks, it is likely that your septic system is overburdened and has to be replaced. However, before assuming that there is a clog rather than a lack of volume, check to see whether there is a clog. Preventative maintenance is also crucial; it is possible to avoid septic backups by performing regular maintenance.
Tubs and Sinks Take a Long Time to Drain
Even though the water isn’t backing up, if you’ve observed that a sink or a tub is taking an inordinate amount of time to drain no matter how much drain cleaner you pour down there, it may be due to a problem with your septic system rather than a blockage in your pipes, see a professional.
You Notice a Strong Odor
Wastewater is, to put it mildly, nasty, so before you notice any of the other indicators listed above, you may be overcome with a tremendous stink that knocks you off your feet. The presence of this stench, which is particularly prominent around the location of the septic tank and drainfield, is an indicator that wastewater is seeping out of your system and onto your yard, according to the EPA. It is an issue that must be addressed immediately to avoid it becoming worse.
Concrete Septic Tanks Are Probably the Best Option
Steel, plastic, and fiberglass are all common materials for septic tanks, but they can also be made of other materials. However, due of its durability, old-fashioned concrete is probably your best choice in this situation. In comparison to wood, concrete is a considerably stronger material that will hold its shape even after years of use. Moreover, they can be more effective at maintaining heat, which promotes the development of bacteria that break down the waste that enters the tank and resulting in a cleaner effluent that drains into your area of operation.
How to Find Your Septic System
It’s critical to examine your septic tank on a regular basis to verify that everything is running well. How do you proceed if you are unsure of the location of your septic system? That’s alright, because there are a couple other methods to locate it. In this case, you may look at the “as constructed” design of your home, which should show the placement of the septic system. Alternatively, you might do a visual search of your yard to see if any lids or manhole covers can be discovered. As a last option, you can call a septic system service provider in your area to assist you in locating one.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently.
The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed!
Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
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?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- 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:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
What Size Septic Tank Do I Need?
Septic systems are used for on-site wastewater management, and they are located right outside your home. Perhaps your building project is located outside of a municipal service area, or you just like the notion of conducting wastewater treatment on a private basis. The optimum septic tank size is critical to the efficient operation of any septic system, regardless of the purpose for its installation. The percolation test, also known as a perc or perk test, as well as local codes, will be used to establish the position and quantity of field lines to install.
The size of the septic tank can be determined by the amount of water used or the size of the house. Do I require a large or small septic tank? Gary Carter/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images is credited with this image.
Why Septic Tank Size Matters
It is your septic tank’s job to collect and treat all of the water that exits your home through your toilets, showers, laundry, and kitchen sinks. For as long as 24 hours, the water may be kept in the tank, which also serves as a separation chamber where solids are removed from liquids in the process. When it comes to separating particles from liquids, the retention time is critical. The presence of bacteria in the tank aids in the breakdown of sediments. The size of the tank has an impact on how successfully the system can separate and break down the waste materials.
Although it might seem logical to believe that a larger tank is preferable, a tank that is too large for your water usage can interfere with the formation of germs.
Calculation by Water Usage
There are a variety of formulas that can be used to calculate the size of the septic tank that is required for your property. The most precise and dependable method is to measure water consumption. The size of the septic tank that is required is determined by the amount of water that will be handled and then dispersed into the field lines of the property. It should be noted that the minimum capacity tank permitted in many regions of the nation is 1,000 gallons. The following is a recommended tank size based on the total amount of water used by your household.
- 900 gallon tank for up to 500 gallons per day
- 1,200 gallon tank for up to 700 gallons per day
- 1,500 gallon tank for up to 900 gallons per day
- Tank holds up to 1,240 gallons per day
- Tank capacity is 1,900 gallon.
Calculations By House Size
The number of bedrooms in your home, as well as the square footage of your home, are less precise guides for determining the size of your tank. The maximum number of bedrooms that may be accommodated by a 1,000 gallon septic tank is two. It’s difficult to say due to the fact that water consumption varies depending on your situation. These estimates are based on the assumption that all bedrooms will be occupied, and the anticipated water consumption is based on this assumption. It is impossible to do these calculations if you live alone in a three-bedroom house.
The suggested tank sizes are listed below, according to the number of bedrooms in the house.
- Three bedrooms under 2,500 square feet: 1,000 gallon tank
- Four bedrooms under 3,500 square feet: 1,200 gallon tank
- And five or six bedrooms under 5,500 square feet: 1,500 gallon tank
- One or two bedrooms under 1,500 square feet: 750 gallon tank
- Three bedrooms under 2,500 square feet: 1,000 gallon tank
Similarly to the cost of any other commodities or services, the price might vary significantly based on where you reside and the current market circumstances. Let’s pretend you’re going to install a concrete septic tank for the sake of planning your project. These are by far the most prevalent, and they have a somewhat lengthy life span. The cost of a typical 1,000-gallon septic tank is between $500 and $700 dollars. The cost of upgrading to a 1,250-gallon tank will be at least $100 more. After three to five years, depending on the size of the tank, you could anticipate to have a cleaning job to do.
If you’re debating between two different tank sizes, knowing your financial constraints might assist you make your ultimate selection.
Although your contractor should be able to assist you in sizing your tank, understanding how to roughly determine your size requirements will help you anticipate how much you’ll need and how much you’ll spend on your tank.
Help! My Septic Tank is Full!
Posted on a regular basis We receive a lot of calls concerning septic tanks that are “full.” But what does the term “full” truly imply? A septic tank should always be “filled” to its normal liquid level, which is the level at which the effluent exits the tank and flows to the absorption area, according to the manufacturer. On average, this typical liquid level is between 8″ and 12″ below the tank’s maximum capacity, depending on the model (see picture at right). If the liquid level is near the bottom of the outflow pipe, it is reasonable to believe that the absorption area is receiving the wastewater generated by the home.
If the tank is overflowing, it is typically a sign that there is a problem with the absorption area.
Plumbing or septic issue?
We get a lot of calls from folks who want us to pump their tank because they claim it is full.usually because they are experiencing troubles. However, there are situations when the plumbing is the source of the problem. What is the best way to determine if an issue can be resolved by your septic maintenance provider or a professional plumber?
Check the cleanout
If the problem is caused by backup in the house, we recommend that you check your cleanout between the house and the tank (if one is present and accessible) to see if there is any backup in the cleanout (which is typically a 4″ PVC pipe with a removable cap). If the problem is caused by backup in the house, we recommend that you check your cleanout between the house and the tank (if one is present and accessible) to see if there is any backup in the cleanout. If there is no backup in the cleanout, we normally recommend that you call a plumber since this implies that the wastewater from the home is not making it to the cleanout.
Afterwards, you may check to see if the liquid level in the septic tank is normal or excessive by removing the lid(s) of the tank and looking inside.
If it is overflowing, you may be dealing with more serious problems (i.e.
Till you have a cleanout, your odds of requiring the services of either a plumber or a septic firm are 50/50, and you won’t know unless one of the two comes out to inspect the situation for you.
Check for smells
A foul odor in the house is typically indicative of a problem with the ventilation or plumbing. Unless you are having backup inside the house or septic system difficulties outside the house, we recommend that you consult with a plumber for assistance.
Signs of a larger problem
After being drained out, a septic tank would normally refill to its regular liquid level within a few days to a week, depending on the size of the tank and the number of people living in the property. As soon as the tank has been refilled to its usual liquid level, effluent can begin to flow back into the absorption area again. The fact that the septic tank is “overfull” may indicate a more serious problem with the entire system (see picture at right). If you are experiencing this problem, draining out your septic tank may provide some temporary respite, but it is unlikely to provide long-term relief.
Over the course of 80 years, Van Delden Wastewater Systems has proven itself to be the premier Wastewater System provider, supplying San Antonio, Boerne, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country with services you can rely on today and in the future.
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).
Septic System Information and Care
When municipal sewer service is not available, a septic system that has been properly constructed and maintained is an excellent option for treating wastewater and protecting groundwater quality. A typical septic system is comprised of two key components: the septic tank and the drainfield (or leach field). Waste from toilets, sinks, washing machines, and showers is channeled into a septic tank, which is a holding tank that is typically constructed of pre-cast concrete or fiberglass and is proportioned according to the projected wastewater flow from a given-sized house or commercial establishment.
- In the first stage of wastewater treatment, anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that can survive in an oxygen-free environment) break down solids into liquids and generate gas that is vented through the building’s plumbing vent stack.
- The lack of oxygen inside the septic tank also has the added benefit of deactivating some of the disease bacteria that are prevalent in sewage.
- Because it allows aerobic (oxygen-using) bacteria to continue deactivating the disease germs that remain in the wastewater, the drainfield serves as a secondary treatment facility for sewage.
- Evaporation of water also occurs through the layer of soil that surrounds the drainfield.
- That way, enough permeable or unsaturated soil is available to filter the wastewater before the remainder of it gets into the groundwater table and underlying aquifer.
- In certain instances, modern wastewater treatment systems that “aerate,” or add oxygen to the wastewater, may be necessary to treat the effluent.
Septic System Care
Don’t flush cigarette butts, tampons, condoms, or any other indigestible things down the toilet or down the sink drain. Consequently, the exit filter or drainfield will become clogged. Never throw grease down the drain since grease cannot be digested by the septic system and will cause it to become clogged! rather than dumping it in the garbage, pour it into an empty container or bottle and throw it away. Make sure you don’t use excessive amounts of bleach or other cleaning agents in your septic tank since doing so will interfere with the bacterial operation inside the tank.
Instead of doing several loads of laundry back-to-back, space your wash loads out over the course of the week to reduce the amount of water that the septic system has to process (a typical wash load uses between 60 and 90 gallons per load!).
Roots from trees and plants will grow into the drainlines and cause them to get obstructed.
Driving over your drainfield can cause the pipes to become crushed or the dirt surrounding them to become compacted, and driving over your septic tank can cause the lid to fracture or even fall apart!
Consider the installation of water-saving showerheads, toilets, and other water-saving appliances in your home.
Septic tanks should be pumped out every four to five years, according to the Florida Department of Health, in order to prevent the buildup of sludge in the tank over time.
A leaky toilet flapper valve may release hundreds of gallons of wasted water into your septic system, producing stoppages and overcrowded drainfields.
Our Environmental Health Professionals can provide you with many tips and information to help your septic system last as long as possible.
For more information about the function of traditional or advanced wastewater treatment systems, or for any questions about caring for your septic system, contact us at (386) 758-1058.