How often should I pump my tank? Traditional wisdom says that a septic tank being used regularly by a family of four should be pumped every three years or so. If you’re using your septic tank less frequently, you can likely get away with a longer time span between pumping.
- Septic tank experts usually recommend pumping your septic tank once every three or four years. Since most vacation rentals aren’t occupied 365 days a year, their septic systems generally see less use than tanks in residential properties. This may allow you to pump the tank less often, which can lead to substantial savings over time.
How long can a septic tank go without being pumped?
You can wait up to 10 years to drain your tank provided that you live alone and do not use the septic system often. You may feel like you can pump your septic tank waste less frequently to save money, but it’ll be difficult for you to know if the tank is working properly.
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?
How often does a 2000 gallon holding tank need to be pumped?
How often does my holding tank need to be pumped? A holding tank may need to be pumped every 30 to 90 days depending on how much waste is generated and the size of the tank.
How often should I have my septic pumped?
Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
Can you pump a septic tank too often?
If your septic tank is pumped too often, that bacteria will have no place to go but out into the drain field, which can lead to clogs and failures. So unless your septic tank’s sludge and scum levels reach certain thresholds, it’s actually beneficial to leave the septic tank alone.
What happens if you never pump your septic tank?
What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.
What to do after septic is pumped?
After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.
- 1) Get on a Schedule.
- 2) Take Care of the System.
- 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
- 4) Check Other Possible Issues.
How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?
How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.
How often should a 1000 gallon septic 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 often does a 1000-gallon holding tank need to be pumped?
For a household of 4 with a 1,000-gallon tank, it’s advised that it be pumped every 2.6 years, but for a 1,500-gallon tank, the time can be extended to 4.2 years and up to 5 years for a 2,000-gallon tank. The size of the house will figure out the size of the septic tank.
How often does a 500-gallon holding tank need to be pumped?
But here are some general guidelines: Family of 2, 500-gallon tank – pump every 2.5 years. Family of 3, 1000-gallon tank – pump every 4 years. Family of 5, 1000-gallon tank – pump every 2 years. Family of 5, 1500-gallon tank – pump every 3.5 years.
How often do you pump a 1000-gallon holding tank?
Using a septic tank pumping frequency chart, you can get a good idea of how often you should have your septic tank pumped out. For instance, if your home has a 1000-gallon septic tank that’s used by a family of five, the pumping frequency chart recommends having your tank cleaned out every two years.
How do I keep my septic tank healthy?
Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system
- Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Pump your septic tank as needed.
- Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
- Be water-wise.
- Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
- Landscape with love.
- Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.
Do you really need to pump your septic tank?
Septic Tanks require regular pumping to prevent malfunction and emergency servicing. The most fundamental, and arguably the most important element required to maintain your septic system is regular pumping of the septic tank. Most experts recommend pumping the septic tank every 3 to 5 years.
Can I shower if my septic tank is full?
Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.
How often should I pump my septic tank?
How to detect whether your septic tank is full or nearly full. So why is it that septic pumping firms are never able to provide you a straightforward response to such a seemingly straightforward question? This is due to the fact that explaining it over the phone is really tough! The process of actually determining the level of your septic tank necessitates the use of specialized gear and the possibility of getting a bit dirty, which is why we never advocate that homeowners do their own investigation.
Is it necessary to get your tank pumped on a regular basis?
The greater the number of people that live in the house, the more regularly your tank should be emptied.
A septic tank can normally contain 1000-2000 gallons of water at a time, which implies that most families would “full” the septic tank within a few weeks of installing it.
- Basically, after the glass of water has reached its “fullness,” the water must be disposed of in some manner.
- This is referred to as the “typical operating level” in our industry.
- The amount of Total Suspended Solids in a septic tank is what determines whether or not it is “full” (TSS).
- Over time, those particles will break down, and some will float to the surface of the water above the other solids, forming a suspended suspension.
- This might be a challenge for your STA since you want to use only the purest water possible in your leach field, which can be problematic.
- Because there is always water above the solids in a septic tank, it might be difficult to assess exactly how full your tank is at any given time.
- Although John Todd Companies possesses these instruments, there is a more convenient alternative to sending someone to your home on a regular basis to assess whether your septic tank is ready.
So, how long should you go without having your septic system pumped?
There will be a distinct response for every house, and the answer may alter based on what stage of life you’re now in.
In most cases, estimating how much water your given family consumes is a matter of educated speculation.
It is recommended that you pump your septic tank once every 2-4 years, as a general rule of thumb.
The technician should be able to tell you whether or not you need to decrease or extend the duration between each septic tank pumping after your tank has been pumped once or twice after the first or second pumping.
Every two years or every four years, for example?
If you have just two to three persons that come to your house on a regular basis, we recommend that you have your septic tank emptied every four years because the consumption will be minimal.
Homeowners with three to four people should have their homes pumped every three years, and those who have more than four people should have their homes pumped every two years (or more frequently as needed).
This can cause significant wear on your leach field since it results in a significant increase in the quantity of water utilized, and wastewater does not receive as much pre-treatment time before entering the STA as it would otherwise.
Aside from that, if your property is a rental property, your guests will not be familiar with how to properly operate and maintain a septic system.
If you have an RV dump station at your residence (which is not suggested), it is preferable to have your tank pumped on a more frequent basis.
Other factors that influence how frequently you should pump include: Social gatherings that are large or regular (parties, weddings, etc.) Guests staying for an extended period of time Vacation residences (which don’t require as much pumping as a permanent residence because you won’t be residing there) and rental properties o Ski rental establishments are well-known for attracting big numbers of visitors during the winter season (sometimes 10-12 people in a 3 bedroom home).
If this is the case, you should keep track of the number of guests that stay at your rental property and recognize that many of them are unlikely to be familiar with the “do’s and don’ts” of operating a septic system.
RV Dumping Stations are available (on your property) Summary In summation, when the water level in a septic tank reaches the top, it is not considered ” full.” This is referred to as the “typical operating level.” Solids begin to build up at the bottom of the tank, and while this is difficult to identify without the necessary instruments, there are a few ways to knowing whether your septic tank is ready for pumping.
Septic systems on normal residential properties are pumped every 2-4 years, according to the Colorado Health Department, which requires a septic pumping every 4 years at the very least.
The more harmful substances you flush down the toilet, the more frequently you should have your toilets pumped.
– Also check “How a Septic System Works” for more information.
Check read the other articles in this section to have a better understanding of how to safeguard one of the most significant investments you will make in your home: your septic system! Jesse Todd is an American actor and singer who is best known for his role in the film Jesse Todd’s Life in Pieces.
Tips For Season Vacation Cabin Septic System Maintenance – How Big is Your Septic Tank?
You should be familiar with septic system maintenance if you own a seasonal vacation cottage and want to keep it in good working order. Season cabin septic systems, in contrast to a residential home’s septic system, which is constantly subjected to flowing wastewater, are subjected to months of no water at all. It is possible that a lack of moisture will result in major difficulties and perhaps a total breakdown of the system if it is not adequately maintained before it is left fallow for the winter months.
- Despite the fact that your cabin’s septic system is buried underground, it is not immune to damage caused by prolonged periods of sub-zero temperatures on the surface during the winter months.
- The following are the best insulating materials: Prepare the drain field and leach field areas by layering a foot-thick layer of vegetative material on top of them.
- It is recommended that you cease cutting grass that is growing on top of the leach lines and leach field areas before the end of the summer so that the grass may continue to grow during the autumn to produce the insulating layer.
- Tip: Make sure that all of the septic system’s access points are covered.
- For example, there are the following: It’s possible that one of these entry points can freeze and fracture throughout winter, allowing cold air to seep into the septic system and causing it to freeze up.
- Tip: Have your septic tank pumped out every two to three years.
- The process of pumping it out on a yearly basis is impractical and too expensive, but it should be done every couple of years.
- Companies such as Linn Septic Service can provide you with further information.
How to Know When to Pump Your Septic Tank
Maintaining your septic system properly helps to extend the life of your system and reduce the likelihood of costly repairs or partial system replacement. Pumping out solids from the septic tank is the most common element of septic system maintenance, and it is also the most straightforward. As the waste water from your house travels through the septic system, it goes into the tank, where the sediments fall to the bottom. Microorganisms try their best to break down the substances to a certain extent, but there is still an accumulation of waste.
Eventually, if the quantity of solids in the tank grows too large and the tank is not pumped, the particles will flow over into the drain field, where they may block pipes and soil, potentially contaminating groundwater.
Estimated Frequency of Pumping
It is possible to determine how frequently you will need to pump your tank based on the tank volume and the number of people living in your home. In the case of a single user and a tank capacity of 1,000 gallons, the projected pumping frequency is once every 12 years, according to the manufacturer. It is possible that the tank will require pumping after only two years if the tank is the same size and the home has six people. It is often less frequent to pump a septic system if it is only used occasionally, such as in vacation homes or rental properties.
Signs of a Full Septic Tank
The need to pump the tank is signaled by a high-pitched buzzing sound or by a light that is generally red and illuminates when the tank needs to be emptied. Overflowing water in these regions, as well as a sewage-like stench emanating from the drain field or near the septic tank, might signal that the septic tank is nearly full or that there is another problem with it. When the drain field is overgrown with grass or other plants, it may appear exceptionally lush and robust. In the event that a septic tank is overflowing, waste water can back up into toilets, showers, and tubs, which is an evident and worrying symptom of a problem.
When to Pump and Clean your Septic Tank
Our disclaimer states that we are not professional plumbers or septic system specialists in any way. Using this article as a starting point, vacation rental property owners may better grasp the need of maintaining and pumping their septic tanks – and pumping them more frequently than is required for a permanent residence. If your property DOES contain a septic system, we strongly recommend that you get it assessed, inspected, pumped, and maintained by a qualified and professional septic tank firm.
How Often Do You Need To Pump Out Your Septic Tank?
Let’s be honest: holiday visitors are probably not the most conscientious about what they put down the kitchen/bathroom sink drains or what they flush down the toilet when they arrive. In reality, most of what is flushed down the toilet may actually harm the delicate septic “eco-system,” inhibiting the regular and natural breakdown of solids, which is necessary for waste to be safely discharged into the septic leach field. Be even more honest: many rental houses are configured to “sleep” far more people than they were originally built to accommodate, however the septic tank and system were not improved to accommodate the additional people and their load!
The failure of solids to decompose causes the septic tank to overfill – and eventually overflow into the surrounding area.
AND, if you allow the problem to persist, rather than just pumping the tank, you will very certainly be forced to replace both the tank and the leach field.
So here’s a question that’s much easier to answer. You should be aware of the size and number of gallons in your septic tank, as well as when your septic system was last cleaned and pumped. If you don’t know the answers to these straightforward questions, you should find out as soon as possible!
Common Septic Tank Pumping Frequency Mistakes
Collapse to pump the septic tank on a regular basis might result in a premature drainfield failure and the need for costly repairs. Pumping or cleaning the septic tank on a regular basis may seem like a waste of money, but it is a lot less money than the cost of a new tank and drainfield in most cases. Septic pumping contractors generally recommend pumping your tank at least once per year, but this is just for a full-time dwelling, not a short-term vacation rental property, according to the EPA.
- Let’s make things as basic as possible.
- This should be done twice a year, first in May and then again in November.
- I’d want to make a point concerning “septic additives.” It is common to see advertisements for items that you may pour down your drains or flush down your toilet in order to lengthen the life of your septic system and break down sediments.
- However, please keep in mind that these items are intended for home use only and are not very useful in short-term vacation rental situations.
- Interested in learning more?
How Often Do You Really Need To Pump Your Septic Tank?
This is a question that comes to the minds of the vast majority of individuals who do not reside in urban areas on a regular basis. In most cities, there are typically communal waste disposal systems in place, and as a result, most homeowners don’t have to worry about how their wastewater is disposed of at all. There is a need to be more aggressive regarding sewage disposal in the case of other residences that are not situated inside the city limits or that are not linked to the community sewage system.
- One of the most common reasons for septic tanks to need to be emptied on a regular basis is overload, and just because there hasn’t been a severe problem doesn’t imply that one should ignore the responsibility of keeping it in correct working order for the time being.
- These substances either disintegrate very slowly or do not decompose at all, depending on their composition.
- Fats, oils, and greases are examples of liquids that float on top of the scum, which is lighter than water and flows on top of them.
- If these materials are not removed, they will block the field lines, resulting in the need to replace the entire system.
- While it is possible to waste a significant amount of money by pumping the septic tank too frequently, this is not always the case.
- A lot of individuals frequently inquire as to how they would tell if their septic tank is full; however, the truth is that a septic tank is never empty.
- This is quite normal; the main source of worry is the particles that have settled to the bottom of the septic tank and the liquids that have floated to the top of the tank.
- Although it is generally recommended to pump a septic tank once every two or three years, it is also vital to consider aspects such as: the size of the septic tank and the number of people who reside in the house full time before making this decision.
The expense of maintaining your septic system is far less than the amount of money you will wind up spending if you damage your drain field too soon. Posts from the recent past
How Often Do You Need to Have Your Septic System Pumped? – Queen’s Septic Tank Service
Having an aseptic system is something that most High Point, North Carolina, homeowners would want to avoid thinking about as much as possible. However, if you do not take care of your system on a regular basis, you may find yourself with a large and unpleasant problem on your hands. All septic tanks need to be pumped on a regular basis in order to avoid costly repairs, but how often do you need to have your tank pumped? During the course of your septic system’s operation, solid waste settles at the bottom of the tank and liquid waste rises to the top, where it is filtered by the leach field.
- It’s also possible that the soil absorption system may get clogged, which will result in sewage backing up into your home and yard It is critical to plan septic tank pumping before the sediments build up to an unsafe level in order to avoid such a terrible situation.
- A typical septic tank holds 900 gallons of water and may be found in the majority of homes.
- Then it’s just basic mathematics: It will take roughly half as long to pump out a 1,500-gallon tank that serves a family of four, but it will take almost twice as long to pump out a 1,800-gallon tank feeding a family of six that serves a family of six.
- Septic tanks at vacation homes that are only used during the summer months will require less pumping than those at year-round residences.
- It’s recommended to be on the safe side and have your septic system and leach field pumped and inspected every two to three years in order to avoid costly repairs to your septic system and leach field.
- In order to profit from a rest time during which no wastewater is fed to the soil absorption system, schedule your septic tank pumping before your family departs for a summer vacation.
- Since 1986, the organization has provided services to residents of Guilford and Davidson counties, and they will bring their professionalism and knowledge to your house.
3 Ways to Protect Your Vacation Rental’s Septic Tank System
With its magnificent beaches, busy metropolitan centers, and breathtaking mountain scenery, Alabama is one of the top vacation destinations in the country, and renting out houses to visiting families and friend groups can be quite successful for investors. In contrast, if your vacation rental home is equipped with a septic tank system, your guests may wind up doing more harm than good to your financial situation. In the event that your guests have only ever lived in metropolitan areas with complete municipal sewer facilities, it is possible that they will be unfamiliar with the limits of septic tank systems.
- The good news is that you may take a variety of basic precautions to keep your rental property’s septic tank system safe from inexperienced (or reckless) holiday guests.
- Ensure that pumping and maintenance schedules are followed Septic tank systems, like the one in your vacation rental, require frequent pumping to remove sludge and solid debris.
- Pumping your sewage tank once every three to four years is commonly recommended by septic tank professionals.
- This may allow you to pump the tank less frequently, which can result in significant savings over time if done correctly.
- Choosing to err on the side of caution and maintaining a regular pumping schedule is typically the safer course of action.
- The majority of septic tank pumping companies also provide inspection and repair services, which means that selecting the same firm to handle all three chores may save you money and streamline your maintenance scheduling.
- Inform and Educate Your Visitors Providing your guests with a basic understanding of septic tank systems and how to operate them safely will reduce the likelihood that they would misuse the system.
If you reside in close proximity to the rental home in issue, you may be able to educate your visitors in person if you so want.
For rental property owners, the Environmental Protection Agency offers a number of free instructional booklets, many of which are tailored particularly to their needs.
In the event that your rental property utilizes excessive amounts of water in a short period of time, your septic tank will overflow and cause flooding.
In the event that a hundred-strong gang of partygoers arrives on your holiday property, this may become a severe problem.
If vacation rental houses that were formerly used as residential residences have not had their septic tanks renovated, they might be particularly prone to abuse.
If you do decide to transform your property into a gathering place, you should definitely consider upgrading your septic tank system to one that has a bigger capacity to handle the increased traffic.
You can reach out to the professionals atAllen’s Septic Tank Service if you want to learn more about septic tank maintenance for rental properties or if you have any other questions regarding septic tank systems in general.
A Guide to Septic Tanks at Your Lake House
In the event that your lake house is not connected to a municipal sewer system, you are likely familiar with septic tanks. If you’re unfamiliar with this subject, we’re happy to assist you. In residential houses, septic systems collect and treat wastewater, and they are called a simpleOSSF (on-site sewage facility). Because of the potential for water pollution at a lake house, septic tank maintenance is much more important. In order to ensure that you stay a well-informed lake homeowner, we interviewed professionals to provide answers to frequently asked concerns concerning septic tanks.
What are the Best Types of Septic Tanks?
Septic systems are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Septic tanks are available in two different materials: concrete and plastic. The concrete tank is the best option because of its long life expectancy. When the installation business is unable to reach the site with heavy concrete delivery equipment, plastic tanks are used as a fallback option. Jeanie Lentz of Lentz Wastewater states that “this can be caused by a variety of factors, including trees, fences, power lines, property lines; steep lots; and landscaping.” Jeanie Lentz’s firm serves Lake Norman and the Piedmont region of North Carolina.
You may find detailed explanations of each type of septic tank on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
“These are particularly popular around rivers and lakes, where there is a lot of extra water,” he says.
The greatest form of system, according to Jeanie Lentz, is one that has been properly installed by a professional installer and is kept up to date by the homeowner himself or herself.
What Types of Clearance are Best?
Bigboredrilling.com provided the image used here. The amount of clearance you need from a body of water is determined by the state in which you are located. Local rules, on the other hand, often require a 50-foot minimum distance between springs, lakes, or water streams, and a 100-foot minimum distance between any public water supply. For the sake of safety, Mitch Turner of Septic Masters LLC suggests a 100-foot buffer zone around lake homes. Make careful to verify the restrictions in your lake’s region before you go.
How Often Should You Check the Tank?
Septic tank inspection – YouTube.Mitch Turner recommends that you inspect your tank every three years. This might vary based on a variety of things, such as the number of people that reside in the house and how frequently you use it. For example, a house with five members would require more regular upkeep than a residence with only two members. Furthermore, if you live permanently on the lake, you’ll need to inspect your septic system more frequently than if your lake house is only a holiday retreat.
The yearly inspection and emptying of the tank is recommended for those who live in close proximity to a lot of water overflow, according to Justin Edwards.
“If we don’t do something, all of the toxins will accumulate and kill the bacteria that is responsible for breaking down the waste in the first place,” he adds.
You may also notice additional signs that indicate that it is time to do a tank inspection. A specialist should be called in if you notice any damp areas, hear any gurgling, or smell a foul stench in your home or yard.
How Much do Septic Tanks Cost?
The cost of septic tanks can vary significantly depending on the type of system used. Generally speaking, it’s reasonable to estimate that you’ll be out of money between $400 and $800. Unless your site necessitates the installation of a less typical septic tank, this expenditure is not very different from that of a residential residence. Keep in mind, however, that this figure just represents the tank itself and does not include the cost of the installation procedure. Home Advisor publishes the national average total expenses for 2020 to provide more insight.
Is Septic Tank Maintenance Different at a Lake House?
Photo courtesy of the American Water Works Association. At a lake house, there’s a lot more on the line. “The major problem with any water-adjacent sanitary sewage system is the preservation of water quality,” says Jesse Silkoff, creator and co-president of MyRoofing Pal. Lake homeowners have a duty to the body of water that they live near. There should be no difference in your conduct between a residential property and a lake home, despite the fact that the latter is more demanding. For example, you would not flush chemicals down the toilet, use the trash disposal, or park near a septic tank in any of the two properties mentioned above.
- When it comes to septic tank maintenance at a lake house, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
- For example, a lake house in North Carolina is likely to be more rocky and raised than a property in Wisconsin.
- A septic system is frequently required for lake homeowners due to the rural nature of many lakes and the need for sewage treatment.
- This entry was tagged as:homeowner tips,lake home advice,lake home improvements,lake home tips,lake house upgrades,sewage treatment plants,sewage treatment systems
Chart: How Often Should a Septic Tank be Pumped Out?
Previous PostNext Post Previous Post
Septic Tank Maintenance
Out of sight, out of memory, as they say. Due to the fact that septic tanks are subterranean and the access port is typically covered in mud and difficult to reach, pumping your septic tank is one of the most common home maintenance jobs to neglect.
However, doing this critical maintenance work can help you prevent having to deal with odorous and expensive septic tank or drain field repairs in the future. As long as they are maintained consistently, septic tanks may survive for decades and provide dependable sewage treatment.
How Often Should a Septic Tank Be Pumped Out?
That’s an excellent question, and the answer is dependent on a number of factors. The size of your family, the size of your tank, whether or not you have a garbage disposal, and the temperature are all factors that will determine how often you should get your tank serviced. To determine how often you should pump your septic tank, use the table below.
How Do I Know My Septic Tank is Full?
You should be cautious of a full septic tank before your yard is completely swamped with sewage, right? The presence of backed-up drains in your house is a solid indication that your septic tank needs to be emptied out. Septic tank failure can also be indicated by foul odors, sewage odours, or standing water outside your home. Clogged pipes or sewage obstructions can sometimes appear to be septic tank issues, so it’s important to have a professional inspect the system and make a proper diagnosis.
In order to be safe, put on gloves, protective gear, and protective eyewear before inserting a 6′ – 10′ wooden rod vertically into the septic tank.
Septic Tank Pump Chart
Make use of the table below to determine the proper service interval for your septic system. Keep in mind that this chart is intended to serve as a guide only, not as a fail-safe. Some states, towns, and counties may have minimum septic tank regulations that are not dependent on the size of your residence.
What Variables Affect Septic Tank Service Intervals?
The servicing intervals shown above are only suggestions. There are a variety of factors that influence how frequently you should pump your septic tank, including the following:
- You employ a waste disposal on a regular basis. You own and operate a home-based business. You routinely flush coffee grounds or other non-septic-friendly items down the toilet
- You have a clogged drain
- You frequently host parties for your friends and family. It is necessary to have a sewage ejector pump installed in your septic system. It is necessary to utilize a water softener that is connected to the septic system. When compared to the typical person or household, you do more laundry.
Professional Septic Tank Pumping
Pumping a septic tank is not a do-it-yourself project. Because Mr. Rooter® Plumbing is a locally owned and operated firm, they have all of the required equipment and knowledge to pump your septic tank. Find the septic tank access port, and dig it out if it is buried if you want to assist reduce the amount of time that has to be spent on the service. This may sometimes feel like a treasure quest! Simply contact us at 855-982-2028 or fill out our online appointment request form to speak with one of our technicians.
Rooter LLC makes this blog available solely for educational reasons, in order to provide the reader with broad knowledge and a comprehensive comprehension of the specific subject matter discussed above.
Before beginning any household improvement, be sure you are in compliance with local and state rules.
Septic Systems: What You Need to Know
If you’re buying or developing a home in northern Minnesota or northern Wisconsin, you’ll almost certainly have to deal with a septic system.
They’re a normal part of life in the magnificent Northwoods of Wisconsin and Minnesota. There are three fundamental types of systems, and if you are unfamiliar with them, here’s a short explanation as well as a guide to the three common designs.
What is a septic system?
In the absence of a municipal sewer system, a septic system is used to treat wastewater on a property’s premises. They are typically comprised of one or more septic tanks and a drain field, which work together to offer biological treatment of wastewater before it is released back into the surrounding soil. It is governed by a range of parameters, including the site conditions, soil type, depth to seasonal high water table and the size of the residence, what sort of septic system is installed, and how much money is available.
Septic systems provide service to approximately one-quarter of all houses in the United States.
Types of septic systems
A holding tank is nothing more than a septic tank that does not have a drain field. When a home or cabin generates wastewater, it runs into the tank until an alarm shows that the tank is full and that it is time to pump it out. Given the lack of a drain field, delaying the pumping of the tank may result in a backup into your house. It is therefore critical to have a positive working relationship with an experienced septic system technician who can pump your tank on time and efficiently.
A gravity septic system (also known as a conventional or in-ground system) is comprised of a septic tank and a gravity-flow trench drain field system that collects and transports waste. The septic tank is responsible for separating solids from wastewater. As a result of gravity, the gray water flows into a distribution box or a series of drop boxes, which subsequently distributes the gray water into trenches. The majority of trench systems are designed to fill a single trench at a time. As soon as a trench is completely filled, the gray water spills into the next trench in the series.
Pressurized bed system
When the soils are suitable for an in-ground system, but gravity flow cannot be achieved due to elevations or other site restrictions, pressurized systems are used to provide the necessary flow. In order to discharge the liquid waste to a drain field, these systems need a pump and a second tank following the septic tank. The drain field is generally rectangular in shape and consists of a series of three to six small-diameter pipes with perforations, known as laterals, that are spaced three to six feet apart.
Further reading on septic systems
When it comes to septic systems, having a basic understanding of how they work may go a long way toward making you feel more at ease.
More information about septic systems and how to maintain them may be found in this fantastic resource reference. Septic Check, Milaca, Minnesota is owned and operated by Brian Koski.
When to Clean and Pump Your Vacation Rental’s Septic Tank
This page is intended to serve as a guide for holiday rental property owners, with the following disclaimer: We do not hold professional plumbing or septic system certifications. In order to have your septic system examined, inspected, pumped, and maintained, we strongly recommend that you talk with a qualified expert.
How often should you pump your septic tank?
If we’re being really honest, many vacationers aren’t very conscientious about what they flush down the toilet or what they put down the kitchen or bathroom sink drains. Many of the items that are flushed down the toilet may actually harm the septic “ecosystsem” by interfering with the natural breakdown of particles in the system. Ultimately, this can prevent waste from draining correctly in the septic leach field, which might result in additional problems. In addition, many vacation rental homes are promoted to accommodate a far higher number of people than they were initially meant to accommodate without the septic tank being renovated to accommodate the additional guests.
It is critical to pay close attention to your septic system in order to avoid those serious problems!
What happens when I don’t pump regularly?
In the event that solids do not break down, they might cause the septic tank to overfill, resulting in backups into your vacation rental home. This is certainly a problem, since no one wants to have anything like that in their cabin! If the problem persists without being addressed, you will almost certainly have to resort to more drastic measures than simply pumping the tank. You will very certainly need to rebuild the septic tank as well as the leach field, which will be a far more expensive and time-consuming endeavor that will take much longer.
Common Mistakes with Septic Tanks
Collapse to pump the septic tank on a regular basis might result in early drainfield failure and expensive repairs. While it may seem like an extra expense to have your septic tank cleaned and pumped on a regular basis, trust us when we say it is well worth it! The cost of installing a new tank or drainfield is significantly higher than the cost of routine maintenance. Most sewage pump professionals will recommend that you pump your septic tank at least once a year, but this is only if you live in your home full-time.
Again, many visitors will not take care of your septic tank in the same manner that you would.
In order to do this, pumping would be required twice a year, in May and November. Pumping before and after busy seasons will help you prevent costly backlog and the loss of rental income that might result from necessary repair work.
What about septic additives/DIY?
Most likely, you’ve seen advertisements for items that you may flush down the toilet or pour down the drain in order to lengthen the life of your septic system and break down sediments. While some of them do work, the vast majority do not. This is because these items are intended for home use only, and we do not recommend them unless they are prescribed by a certified plumber or septic contractor. They are ineffective when it comes to short-term holiday rental properties. If you have any queries concerning your septic system, please don’t hesitate to contact our office!
Our toll-free number is 1800.580.5524 if you need assistance.
TLC for Your Septic System
SEPTIC WARNING SIGNIFICATION
- Toilets, tubs, and sinks that are slow to drain
- Regions with standing water near a drainfield, or an excessive amount of vegetative growth on the grass in that location
- Algal blooms or an excessive amount of weed growth along the coast
THINK ABOUT IT THIS WAY. Consider your septic tank to look similar to a snow globe. Yes, I am serious. When your tank is operating properly, it’s similar to a motionless snow globe: it’s completely still. The purified water that collects on the surface is discharged to the drainfield. In contrast, when chemical additives and trash disposals cause things to get a little agitated, your tank behaves like a shaken snow globe, spewing forth disruptive “snowflakes” into the drainfield. When it comes to keeping your cabin’s sewage system in good working order, you and the lake have something in common.
- Unfortunately, many individuals are not aware that several “advice” that were popular a generation or two ago might really do more harm than good and should thus be avoided.
- Clean the tank at least once every 2–3 years with a pump.
- It is not necessary to leave the sediments in the container as a bacterial starter (the tank is far from sterilized after being pumped).
- Direct all waste streams to the tank in step two.
- You may not even be aware of this practice.
- Most contemporary water-treatment chemicals, which have been thoroughly studied to assure optimal compatibility with septic tank bacteria, eliminate the need for this step as well.
Your septic tank will perform very well even if you do not use enzymes or starting kits.
Using less water is a no-brainer: The less water you use, the more time your septic system will have to cleanse the contents of the tank and transport purified water to the drainfield.
When it comes time to replace appliances and fixtures, consider installing low-flow shower heads and toilets, as well as upgrading to a washing machine and/or dishwasher that is Energy Star certified.
Do away with the waste disposal system.
It is possible that the food particles will bypass the tank treatment process and become clogged in the drainfield.
Exercise caution when using hot tub water.
Instead, let the chlorinated water to rest undisturbed for a day or two before discarding it.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU USE IT? Make sure to get your septic tank cleaned and drained out at least once every 2–3 years. This will vary depending on how the space is used, so check with your local contractor. Thinkstock.com
Should You Get a Septic Tank for the Cabin?
When I built the cottage in the woods where my wife, daughter, and I currently reside, I realized that putting together a comprehensive waste treatment system would be a major undertaking. In contrast to urban living, where sewage is sent to a centralized treatment plant, rural life nearly often entails finding out how to deal with garbage on your own. Septic systems come into play in this situation. Almost all rural properties with indoor plumbing are equipped with a septic system of some kind.
Here’s all you need to know about the situation.
Types of Septic Systems
Almost all modern septic systems incorporate an aseptic tank—a big plastic, concrete, or fiberglass container that is buried some distance away from the house or lodge. The tank is connected to the home’s drainage system through a big subterranean conduit. An uncomplicated septic system is one in which waste water and sediments are sent down the pipe into the tank, where they are partially decomposed by bacteria. When the partially treated liquid reaches a specific level, it flows out the other end and is disseminated into the soil, which is often accomplished by a network of perforated subterranean pipelines.
Drainage fields, field beds, and drainfields are all terms used to describe the combination of pipes and soil.
It is for this reason that vacuum truck pump outs are required every couple of years or so.
Holding Tank System
When using a holding tank method, the waste is kept in the septic tank until it is completely depleted. After that, a vacuum truck is required to remove the waste. Compared to traditional systems, holding tank systems are significantly easier and less expensive to set up and maintain. However, you will have to pay to have them cleaned out on a regular basis, which should be incorporated into your expense estimates.
Mound Septic System
Upon visiting our forested property with my wife and hiring an aseptic contractor to implement our system, he informed us that we would have to go with a mound system. He indicated that the bedrock was too close to the surface for a typical drainage system, and that a deeper soil drainage system was required. This system is identical to a normal septic design, except that the tanks and field bed are covered in soil that is trucked in and piled into a “mound” to protect them from the elements.
Benefits To a Cabin Septic Tank System
- Septic systems that are properly constructed and maintained allow you to live a pleasant and completely contemporary lifestyle no matter how far away you are from the nearest municipal sewage treatment facility. Regular maintenance, such as pumping out the system with a vacuum truck every couple of years, can extend the life expectancy of conventional and mound septic systems to 40 or 50 years. Holding tank systems have the potential to endure a lifetime. Septic systems that are properly maintained are ecologically favorable, as they consume no power and emit no pollutants. There is no monthly sewage bill.
Drawbacks To a Cabin Septic Tank System
- Installation is both expensive and time-consuming. Regular vacuum truck pump outs are required for conventional and mound systems every couple of years, and often every few months for holding tank configurations. The greater the amount of waste water and solids produced, the greater the stress imposed on the system. Even the most carefully constructed and maintained septic systems may eventually fail and may require complete replacement.
Installing a Septic Tank System
A professional septic system installation will design and build your system if you don’t have access to heavy equipment such as an excavator and loader tractor, as well as a great deal of knowledge and ability. It will not be inexpensive, either. Depending on the type of system and how much earth must be moved, most septic contractors I know charge between $9,000 and $15,000 or more for a full system installation, depending on the location. It is theoretically feasible to install the septic tank portion of the system on your own, provided that you have the heavy equipment necessary to dig the hole and hoist the tank into position.
However, it is not something I would encourage. It’s an extremely exact process, and any mistakes will be quite costly.
Alternatives To a Septic Tank System
It is not necessary to install a full-fledged septic system if the only waste water that leaves your home comes from showers and sinks. A gray water pit is a hole in the ground filled with gravel or mulch that is used to collect wastewater that does not contain toilet pollutants. Based on the environmental restrictions in your location, that will most likely be sufficient. Furthermore, a goodcomposting toiletallows for a comfortable bathroom experience without the hassle of a septic system installation.
Outhouse and Gray Water Pit
Photograph courtesy of Christoph Hetzmannseder/Getty Images If you want to keep your cabin as rustic as possible, a well-built outhouse is a terrific method to do your business with the least amount of fuss. Use a gray water pit for everything else, just as you did with the composting toilet.
Words of Caution
A significant possibility that trees will be in the area where you’re putting a septic tank and field bed for your cabin is that you’ll be able to see them. Make certain that all trees in close proximity to your septic system are removed. Aside from that, there is a good potential that they will shoot roots into your pipes in order to take the nutrients in your waste water. Tree roots can cause your septic system to fail at an inconvenient and expensive moment in your home’s history.
Too Much Toilet Paper
Even the most carefully constructed septic systems cannot withstand the excessive use of toilet paper that may be tolerated if your home is connected to city sewage. If you choose to install a septic system at your cabin, avoid using excessively lengthy strips of toilet paper. According to my observations, any unbroken strips longer than four squares can become entangled in the tank intake, where they can accumulate over time and finally produce a blockage. Believe me when I tell that settling such a problem is not a pleasant experience.