- A typical septic tank has a 4-inch inlet located at the top. The pipe that connects to it must maintain a 1/4-inch-per-foot slope toward it from the house. This means that for every 10 feet of distance between the tank and the house, the inlet must be 2 1/2 inches below the point at which the pipe exits the house.
Where does pipe enter septic tank?
Inlet & Outlet Pipes: Wastewater from your home enters the septic tank through the inlet pipe. After the solids settle out, effluent leaves the septic tank through the outlet pipe and flows to the drain field. The outlet pipe should be approximately 3 inches below the inlet pipe.
How is plumbing from house connected to septic tank?
The septic tank is connected to the house by a single main drainage pipe also called inlet pipe. The water waste from your home goes through it and into the septic tank where solid and liquid waste are separated from liquid.
What is the pipe sticking out of my septic tank?
The white PVC pipes that stick up in the area of your drain field offer a “window” into how well it is operating (draining). They shouldn’t be removed but they can be cut down, level with the ground. Your septic system may have a “candy cane” vent pipe over the pump tank.
How do septic tanks look?
Septic tanks are typically rectangular in shape and measure approximately 5 feet by 8 feet. In most cases, septic tank components including the lid, are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. You can use a metal probe to locate its edges and mark the perimeter.
How deep should septic pipe be buried?
On average, trenches should be around 12-24 inches-deep, and wide enough to house your pipe comfortably before filling it in with soil and sod.
What kind of pipe goes from house to septic?
The septic tank should be positioned at least 50 feet from the house proper. ABS or PVC plastic or cast iron pipe can be used to connect the tank to the house drainage system. [We do not recommend using clay pipe nor “orangeburg” pipe.]
What size pipe goes into septic tank?
Four-inch pipe is standard, and it should extend far enough under the house to connect with the main soil stack, which is a 3-inch pipe that extends vertically past the main bathroom and through the roof.
Why the inlet pipe in the septic tank is higher than the outlet pipe?
Level the septic tank: The septic tank inlet tee is designed to be higher than the septic tank outlet tee. This helps assure that incoming sewage clears the baffle and enters the tank correctly, while outgoing effluent does not carry along floating solids, scum, or grease (which would clog the drainfield).
How do you tap into an existing septic tank?
Use a 4-inch pipe to connect the two septic tanks. Place this pipe into the inlet hole of your new septic tank before you lower it into the ground. After you’ve lowered your new septic tank, insert the other end of the pipe into your old septic tank’s outlet hole.
What are the two pipes coming out of my septic tank?
Your home’s plumbing system is designed to efficiently remove water and waste. Its drainage and vent functions are actually two systems that work together. Drainage pipes carry waste out of your home to either the city sewer or a septic tank.
What is the metal pipe sticking out of my yard?
1) Electrical conduit – If there was once an above-ground pool or shed in the backyard, there may have been electric service through a conduit pipe coming up out the ground to a receptacle outlet box for it that is also now gone.
What is this metal pipe in my yard?
Those small, galvanized pipes are signs of something much bigger below the ground! When the pipes are right next to each other, the fuel oil tank was likely located within the house. If separated from each other, there’s probably still a buried fuel oil tank in the yard.
How to Run a Septic Tank Line From Your House
A septic system is made up of two lengths of pipe that are connected together. Initially, it runs from the house, where the system services are located, to a tank, where the waste is separated and solids settle out. The second section runs from the tank to the drainage field, where fluids from the tank are dispersed into the earth underneath the tank. The process of installing the first run of pipe is quite similar to that of installing a traditional sewage line. It is necessary to maintain a downhill slope to the storage tank.
Locating the Septic Tank
The tank serves as the nerve center of the septic system. It is required to be situated between the residence and the drainage field. Each and every septic installation must begin with a soil test, and depending on the results, soil conditions may necessitate the placement of the tank in a less-than-ideal site for digging sewer lines. Also required are minimum setback distances from property borders, functioning wells, surface water and other obstructions to provide a safe working environment.
A standard septic tank has a 4-inch intake at the top, which is positioned towards the bottom. Ideally, a 1/4-inch-per-foot slope toward the pipe from the house should be maintained by the pipe connecting to it. To put it another way, for every 10 feet of distance between a tank and a home, the inlet must be 2 1/2 inches lower than where the pipe departs the house at its lowest point. The pipe usually exits at ground level, although it may need to pass beneath a foundation footing or concrete pad in rare cases.
Digging the Trench
The trench for the septic pipe should be dug before the hole for the tank since you will need a backhoe to complete the work and the tank will get in your way if it is already in the ground. To allow rainfall to drain properly, the pipe should be placed on a 2- or 3-inch bed of drain rock, so remember to account for this extra depth when digging. It is normal to use a four-inch pipe, and it should be installed far enough down to link with the main soil stack, which is a three-inch pipe that runs vertically past the main bathroom and through the roof of the home.
Local building and health agencies will demand permits for a septic tank installation. You will also be required to submit a design plan before the permits will be provided, so prepare ahead of time. This layout should be developed in collaboration with a local builder who is familiar with the unique characteristics of the topography in your neighborhood. Stay away from planting trees or plants near the tank, drainage field, or any of the pipe systems.
They will be drawn to the pipes in their hunt for nutrition, and their roots will be able to successfully block them. You will be unable to use your septic system until the roots have been removed from the pipe. Removal may be both expensive and time-consuming.
installing drain piping on steep slopes
- In this section, you can ask questions and express your opinions regarding sewage or septic pipe lines on steeply sloping premises.
InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Installing or replacing sewer lines on steep hills is a challenging task. This article discusses the construction of drain lines on steep slopes between a house and a septic tank, as well as the maintenance of drain lines. For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page. Use the SEARCH BOX to discover the information you’re looking for quickly.
Guide to installing the replacement sewer pipe line at Steep Sites
Conflicts of interest are not tolerated at InspectAPedia.com. No affiliation exists between us and any sponsors, products, or services mentioned on this website. Installing or replacing sewer lines on steep slopes is a complicated process. Installing drain lines on steep slopes between a house and its associated septic tank is described in this article. There is an article index for this topic available as well, or you can use the page top or bottom navigation options. Use the SEARCH BOX to locate the information you want quickly.
- Septic pipe installed in a zig-zag pattern on steep hillsides
- Septic pipes with a U-turn on steep hillsides
- Septic pipework running parallel to the fall line of a slope Designing steep septic systems for sewer or septic pipe repair or new installations
When it comes to a drain waste pipe, what is the right slope or pitch to use? When wastewater travels at the proper pace via a drainpipe, the water transports solid waste, such as feces and toilet paper, as well as water, to a septic tank or sewage mains for disposal. Generally speaking, plumbing rules and wastewater piping guidelines state that building drains should be pitched at a rate of 1/8” to 1/4” of slope for every foot of linear length or distance. Problems associated with steep dips between the home and the septic tank include: A steep building site, such as the one depicted in our page top photograph, can result in a significant drop in elevation between a building main drain and the septic tank inlet opening (or sewer main connection), resulting in waste piping slopes that exceed the recommended limits for slope in the waste piping.
If waste passes through the sewage line at a rate more than 2 fps, there is a possibility that water will leave sediments behind in the pipe, resulting in recurring obstructions.
ZigZagging Drain Line Piping Down a Slope
zigzagging the pipe down a steep slope, making multiple bends, would be one method of reaching the required wastewater flow rate in a drain line down a steep slope. However, in my opinion, the increased number of turns and length of this approach may increase the likelihood of future sewer line blockages. Additionally, the zigzag drain line approach will make it more difficult to clean out blockages, and therefore you will need to include sewer line cleanout access points at every run and turn in the installation.
In brief, a zigzag pipe ran down a hill is more expensive, has more twists that increase the chance of clogging, is more difficult to clean out, takes up significantly more room on the construction site, and is not often installed by contractors.
Straight-run Drain Line Piping Down a Steep Drop Slope between House and Septic Tank or Sewer Main
According to my observations, many waste line contractors simply establish a straight sewer line from the home to the septic tank or from the house to the sewage main, regardless of the building slope, as long as we have at least 1/8″ per foot, ideally 1/4″ per foot, or more, of water pressure. Drain lines with a lower slope or those are practically flat are more likely to clog. On a related note, if you’re building a drain line that may be too steeply sloped and you won’t be able to readily correct the problem, make sure to include extra cleanout access ports.
Experience in Installing Steep Sewer Drain Line Piping
It is my opinion that if the whole pipe run is steeper than what is generally specified, it is possible that you will never see a clog occur. The sewage line dips on a slope between 2″ and 3″ per foot over a 40-foot run between the home exit line and the septic tank entrance baffle at the property depicted in these images and in the other photos in this series on sewer line replacement, as seen in the other photos in this series. In order to avoid leaving particles behind while flushing the toilet, this house-to-septic tank drain pipe should be placed in the “risk zone.” However, after managing this property for more than two decades, we can confidently state that we have never had an issue with too-rapid drainage clogging the waste line.
Since we replaced the old clay plumbing with plastic piping, we have not experienced any sewage obstructions.
The black line on the right-hand pipe portion indicates to the installer when the pipe sections have been completely connected together.
The only issue we experienced with the line was when the previous clay line was smashed and subsequently became clogged with mud and other debris.
Other Steps to Avoid Problems with Septic or Sewer Drain Lines on Steep Sites
- Cleanouts of septic tanks or sewer drain lines: I’d put external cleanout access ports on the sewage line every 20 feet or so for the sake of ease. Proper septic pipe hookups include the following: Ensure that the new pipe connections are made correctly, that they are lubricated, and that they are completely seated during the assembly process. The following are the proper sewage pipe directions: The receiving pipe hub, often known as the “female” end of the pipe, is located at the bottom of the following downhill segment. Make sure you don’t do this in reverse or you’ll attract leaks and blockage in your sewage system.
- Smooth drain line connections should be employed: the hub-less drain pipe connector shown in our photo was used to connect the new plastic waste line (which runs downhill to the septic tank) to the old cast iron waste line at the point where it exited the structure. These pipes needed to be correctly aligned (to avoid leaks at the connector) and their connections and pipe ends needed to be filed smooth in order to reduce the likelihood of waste line clogs at this point in the system.
Installing SepticDrainfieldPiping on Steep Slopes is a Different Matter Entirely
Please understand that we have examined the installation of solid plumbing between a building and its septic tank or sewage main in this articleand that higher slopes may be acceptable in some circumstances. However, the possibility of a “OK” for steep drain pipe does not apply in any manner to the perforated piping put in a septic drainfield gravel trench, which is a different story. Those looking for help on installing a septic system on a steeply sloping or rolling site should check out the following articles:
- For further information, see AEROBIC SEPTIC SYSTEMS, ATUs, and HOME – some of these systems can be used on steep slope locations. Or SeeHOOT Aerobic Systems Drip Disposal Design and Installation Guide for more information. Alternatively, see “Guidance for the Design, Installation, and Operation of Subsurface Drip Distribution Systems as a Replacement for Conventional Title 5 Soil Absorption Systems for the Disposal of Septic Tank Effluent,” published by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in 2006 and refining Massachusetts regulations 310 CMR 15.240, 15.242, 15.247, and 15.280-15.289
- Or “Guidance for the Design, Installation, and Operation of Subsurface Drip Distribution Systems as SYSTEMS DE DOSAGE For hilly sites where the drainfield must be located either uphill or downhill from a septic tank or structure, PRESSURE is a term that refers to pressure dosing systems that may be beneficial for disposing of sewage. GRAVELLESS SEPTIC SYSTEMS – Other gravelless systems are capable of handling mild bends required to follow rolling slope lines
- However, some gravelless systems are not. A system that will be required when the elevation of a structure or a septic tank is lower than the elevation of the drainfield or sewer main is Septic pumps, sewage ejector pumps, grinder pumps, effluent pumps, sump pumps, septic pumping stations, and septic pump alarms Installation of septic drainfields on steep or rolling terrain is described in STEEP SLOPE SEPTIC DESIGNS, which is part of the SEPTIC DESIGNS section.
Reader Q A – also see the FAQs series linked-to below
@hello there, dude. Sweep turns with a wider radius (e.g., 2 45s) will often flow better than sharper turns. On a corner where the toilet waste flow is present. If trenching provides for 4″ deeper depth, is it preferable to construct the 90° corner with a 1° drop rate as normal, or is it preferable to make the corner with two 45° corners while lowering the 4″? Thanks@Ted, Start by consulting with your local building or health department to see what type of design would be considered suitable in your nation and neighborhood.
- We have a shortage of service personnel for upkeep, and I believe that a sprinkler system would be more beneficial to our grounds.
- Thanks@Ted That doesn’t appear to be a concern in my opinion.
- @inspectapedia.com.moderator, Yes, without a doubt, that is not hygienic.
- Thanks@Ted, In a situation when you are just transferring a cleared fluid, there should be no particulates left behind in the wastewater stream.
- That is a very other issue.
- What if it’s been sitting in a septic tank for a while, breaking down as if it were going to a leach field instead?
- That would be the material that would be sent to the aerobic tank.
You may be required to utilize a grinder sewage pump and force main; we are in the process of establishing a traditional tank close to our home.
What is the maximum percent drop per foot for the effluent line in terms of percent drop?
Thank you very much.
It goes without saying that such lines must have the proper pitch in order to reach the final position of the septic tank.
You should verify with your local building authority to find out exactly what is required to be placed at a 4 foot depth in your area.
My issue is, can I dig a smaller trench and then descend vertically to the requisite four-foot depth before finishing?
Thank you for the information, it was really useful.
What would be the best configuration for the septic tank and pipes when the designated drain field area is 500 feet away from the house?
The slope before and after the hill is rather level, descending very gradually in the direction of the drain field before becoming steeper.
A construction site located in a swale below the city sewer lateral service point has been identified as a potential concern.
(Let’s pretend it’s 8 feet below the surface) Is there an alternative to the brute force strategy of bringing in hundreds of cubit yards of fill and compacting it to raise the elevation of the construction site?
A septic tank is just 18 inches away from the building foundation, which is a little near.
Solids dropping vertically have the potential to adhere to and clog the pipe; however, employing 45-degree elbows instead of 90-degree elbows can help to mitigate this danger.
I would begin by having the tank examined to identify which items are most important in this order of significance.
A sound septic tank, as opposed to one built of brick or rusted steel; how well the baffles and protection from groundwater leaks are maintained; and how well the baffles and protection from groundwater leaks are maintained.
The quality and capacity of the drainfield are important considerations.
Is this a reasonable drop?
This is an ancient septic tank that I was allowed to utilize because of a grandfather clause.
What is the length of the pipe drop when the septic tank is 120 feet away?
How steep do the pipes have to be from one drop box to the next?
Does the length of the pipe, in addition to its angle of incline, have a limit in terms of length?
Please let us know if this is the case!
Verne, you have an issue with a septic or wastewater system that has too much downslope.
The difficulty with longer segments of excessive slope sewer plumbing is that the liquid waste will occasionally overtake the solid waste in the line, causing the system to back up.
One of the most valuable aphorisms I can share, at least in the context of the building construction and mechanicals fields, is that it is extremely uncommon to come into a situation that has never been experienced before.
According to one of the solutions described on this page, the sewage line is made even longer by zig-zagging across the steeply inclined areas of the land.
I’ll leave the graphic details to your imagination, so go ahead and get creative.
Let’s put the question to your septic installer and see what she has to say about it.
STATIONS FOR PULLING OUT SEWAGE Hello, I have a question concerning the installation of a toilet in a cabin that is around 300 feet from the main home, septic tank, and field.
Is too much slope a problem in this situation, given the long distance that the effluent must travel to reach the tank?
Do you think that building a sewage pump would make any difference in this circumstance, considering that the septic tank is located downhill from the toilet?
There should be a thorough inspection of the whole sewage line (perhaps using a sewer camera), and any slope issues should be addressed.
It’s always filled, no matter how long you wait.
Is it necessary to have the angle coming out of the house re-done?
What type of valve is used to connect the pump to the drain field?
Alternatively, seeSEWER / SEPTIC LINES for STEEP SITES FAQs- questions and answers that were originally posted at the bottom of this page. Alternatively, consider the following:
Steep Slope Septic System Articles
- SEPTIC CONSULTANTS, DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS
- SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES-home
- SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS-home
- SEWER / SEPTIC LINES at STEEP SITES
- STEEP SLOPE SEPTIC DESIGNS
- SEPTIC CONSULTANTS, DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS
- SEPTIC CONSULT
Suggested citation for this web page
INSPECTION OF SEWER AND SEPTIC LINES AT STEEP SITES An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Apedia.com. Alternatively, have a look at this.
INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to DRAIN SEPTIC SEWER PIPES
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How to Tie Into an Existing Septic Tank
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Determine the location of the drain pipe that runs from the present residence to the septic tank. This may be accomplished by locating the main drain line beneath your property and recording the locations where it passes beneath or through the foundation. Move along this line outside the house until you are roughly eight feet away from the house, then turn around. Continue digging until you reach the drain line. There should be no more than 24 inches in depth below the surface of the ground for the line, which should be a 4-inch pipe.
You should dig until you have exposed roughly three feet of the drainpipe once you have found it and marked it with chalk. In addition, you will need to dig down a little bit to provide access all the way around the pipeline. To get to the start point of the new field line, dig a ditch from this point onward. This ditch should be constructed in a straight line and at a small gradient from the current drain to the starting point of the new drain system. Remove any big boulders or roots that may have accumulated in this ditch.
Digging should continue until you have uncovered around three feet of the drainpipe after you have located it. To gain access all the way around the pipe, you will also need to dig a little hole a little deeper. To get to the starting point of the new field line, dig a ditch from this point onward. In order for the new drain to be effective, it must follow a direct path and be slightly inclined in relation to the previous drain. Ensure that this ditch is completely free of huge rocks and roots.
Insert the tee fitting into the hole that you just made in the wall with your fingers. Because the drainpipe and fitting will be a very tight fit, you will need to flex the drainpipe and wedge the fitting into position. Before installing the fitting, thoroughly clean the fitting and pipe ends. You will need to move rapidly once the cement has been applied in order to get the fitting in place since the cement will harden very quickly. Make the necessary adjustments to the fitting so that the new intake is directly in line with the new pipe.
Cut a segment of pipe to fit between the tee fitting and the new drain line after measuring and marking the location. Check that all of the fittings are in place before back-filling all of the ditches. The system is now fully operational.
Septic System Frequently Asked Questions
A septic system, sometimes known as a septic tank, is an underground system that processes the sewage that flows from your house before disposing of the treated, cleaner water. Septic systems are typically seen in residential areas. The treated water is subsequently re-introduced into the environment through filtration. This is critical because untreated sewage may harm nearby streams and water systems, as well as the soil around the perimeter of your septic system. Because your septic system is designed to cleanse and filter sewage, it is critical that it is in proper operating order.
What is a Drainfield?
The drainfield, also known as the leach field, is the area where the water from your septic system is sent after it has been cleansed and filtered. It is necessary to construct a drainfield in order to ensure that water is distributed uniformly back into the soil.
How do I find my septic system?
If you’re fortunate enough to have a contemporary septic system in your yard, it may be equipped with an access lid that is visible from the ground floor. If this is the situation at your residence, locating your septic system is as simple as taking a few steps into your backyard. It’s unfortunate that this isn’t true for older septic systems. It’s possible that you may locate an older system in your home by checking for greener, faster-growing grass or even an area with less growth than the rest of your yard if you live in an older home.
This will show you exactly where your septic system is located in your yard, if you have one.
You’ll need to look for the location where your septic system’s sanitary line exits your home and follow that line until you find your septic tank, which will take some time.
If you are unable to discover your septic system, your yard may need to be dug up by a septic system installation in order to locate your septic tank as a last option.
How long do septic systems last?
Septic systems are not designed to endure for a specific number of years, thus there is no defined time frame. In the event of adequate maintenance, you may expect your septic system to last several decades before it has to be replaced; but, if your system fails or deteriorates as a result of bad care, its lifespan will be drastically diminished. In order to obtain an accurate estimate of how much longer the life of your septic system may be extended, you must first have it checked thoroughly by an experienced septic system installation or repairer.
However, if you are confident that your tank is in good condition, the date of installation should provide you with an indication of how long it will endure.
What’s the advantage of installing a newer septic system rather than an older system?
They should endure for an unspecified number of years, which is why septic systems are so popular. If your septic system is properly maintained, you may expect it to last for decades before it has to be replaced. However, if your septic system fails or deteriorates as a result of poor care, its lifespan is drastically reduced. In order to obtain an accurate estimate of how much longer the life of your septic system may be extended, you must first have it checked thoroughly by an expert septic system installation or repairer.
How much does a new septic system cost?
Installation of new septic systems may be a significant financial commitment, with costs typically reaching tens of thousands of dollars. Whenever you have to replace an outdated septic system, you should look into financing alternatives that will make it simpler for you to pay for a new septic system in the long run. Purchase further information from a septic system installation business on how to obtain septic systems at the most competitive prices while also taking advantage of low-interest financing options.
How big is my septic tank?
Septic tank capacity is determined by the amount of water consumed in your property as well as local codes and requirements. Check with your local health agency to find out how big your tank is before installing it.
Why should my septic system be pumped out?
Without regular pumping, the gases emitted by human waste accumulate in your septic system, increasing the risk of septic tank damage and the need for more frequent pumping. The regular pumping of your septic system will allow you to limit the rate at which your tank deteriorates and save money in the process. It’s crucial to remember, though, that degeneration is unavoidable in the long run. It is only via regular maintenance, such as pumping your tank, that your septic system will survive longer.
Does my tank need to be dug up to know if it needs to be pumped?
Risers are commonly found in newer septic systems, which allow you to access your tank from the ground level through a lid. It is straightforward for any septic system professional to determine whether or not your yard has risers placed, and whether or not it is necessary to pump it. If, on the other hand, your tank cannot be accessible from the ground level, it will need to be dug up in order to determine whether it has to be drained. Instead of inspecting your septic system to see whether it needs to be pumped on a regular basis, set a timetable for having your system pumped every 2-3 years.
Why should I have risers and lids installed on my septic system?
As a result, when it comes time to find, pump, or repair your septic system, risers are the best choice since they provide ground-level access to your system. Having a septic system lid will allow you to mow your grass while still being able to find your system with no difficulty. Lids and risers also have the advantage of being accessible all year round, as opposed to earlier septic systems that could only be accessed by digging a trench through your yard.
If your septic system has to be pumped or repaired for any reason during the winter months, getting beneath layers of frozen earth can be difficult, if not impossible, and you may be forced to wait until the spring to have access to your tank again.
How often should my septic system be pumped out?
A typical septic system contains a 1,500-gallon tank, which needs to be pumped around every 2-3 years for a household of four, according to industry standards. If you have less than four people living in your house, you will most likely be able to pump your septic system every five years rather than every three. You should speak with your local health agency to determine the exact size of your tank, and you should consult a septic system business to determine how frequently your tank should be pumped based on the size of your family and the size of your septic tank.
Do I need to have the septic tank pumped if I’m selling my house?
Consult with your local health department to learn about the restrictions that apply to your region of residence. Generally speaking, as long as your septic system has been pumped on a regular basis by a licensed septic system company and recently enough for the new homeowners to be able to live there for a year or two without having to pump the septic system, you should not be required to have it pumped again in the near future.
How do I find someone to pump my septic system?
It is important to be aware that not all septic system businesses are licensed and that not all firms properly dispose of or recycle the waste they pump from your septic system when you are looking for one to pump it. Finding a firm that complies with EPA standards should be your first concern, and then you should look at price, how pricing is split down, and which company is delivering the most honest, economical, and dependable service should be your next consideration. Investigate business evaluations, and when you select a septic system provider to pump your septic tank, be certain that they do the work properly, leaving enough water and waste to keep the sewage decomposing while leaving no visible trace more than a few inches of waste behind.
How much does it cost to have my septic system pumped?
It is recommended that you call many pumpers before making a selection, and that you ask as many questions as possible to ensure that you are receiving the best service for your money. Pumping may cost upwards of $200, so it is always wise to shop around before making a decision. You should not consider it a waste of money to have your septic system pumped when the time comes. By correctly maintaining your septic system, you may avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars to replace your septic system long before it should have been replaced in the first place.
What happens if I don’t have my septic system pumped?
The sediments will pile up in your septic tank if you don’t pump it out regularly, ultimately overflowing into the drain field and clogging the drain field. Backups can occur, causing damage to your property and even necessitating the replacement of your drain field, which can be a very expensive error.
I just had my septic system pumped. Why is it full already?
Septic systems are designed to refill rapidly since the purpose of pumping is not to remove water but rather to remove non-biodegradable waste, and the water itself is not the aim of pumping. Once your septic system has been pumped and you begin to use the water in your house, your tank will quickly refill in order to maintain good operation of the system.
If the water level rises to a point where it is above the outlet line, contact your septic system service provider for assistance immediately.
What do you look for when inspecting my septic system?
When we do an inspection, we make certain that your septic system is in good operating condition and that it satisfies the standards for receiving a Certificate of Compliance. If you’re planning to sell your home, you should have your septic system checked out by a professional who is certified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This will allow you to sell your home faster and for more money, if you can prove that your system has been checked out by an accredited professional. The level of liquid in your septic tank will be checked, and we’ll make sure there is no surface-level discharge.
The drains in my home aren’t draining as quickly as they normally do. Does this have to do with my septic system?
Drains that are clogged and that empty slowly are not necessarily a big source of concern. Before presuming that there is an issue with your septic system, check sure that there isn’t anything obstructing your drain first. In the case of one plumbing fixture in your house that is draining slowly, it is likely due to clogging; however, if all of the drains in your home are slow or leave waste backed up, it is probable that your septic system requires inspection and may even require pumping.
What happens when my septic system fails?
Symptoms of a failing septic system may include minor issues such as drain breaks or pipes that have been stopped, which can be caused by tree roots intersecting with the system. Septic system failure, on the other hand, might indicate that your septic tank has degraded to the point that it cannot be repaired and must be replaced. A blocked drainfield will hopefully not become your problem because it is the most expensive component of your system to replace; nevertheless, if it does, you must act quickly to make the necessary repairs or else your waste will continue to back up, perhaps causing damage to your property.
You’ll need to replace the drainfield as soon as possible to avoid further pollution of drinking water sources.
How do I prevent my septic system from failing? How can I properly maintain my septic system?
Your septic system should degrade at a normal rate over the course of several decades if you maintain it on a regular basis. Maintenance normally consists of getting your septic system pumped on a regular basis and making certain that you do not flush or wash anything down the drain that might block your septic system.
What shouldn’t I flush down the toilet?
Your septic system should degrade at a normal rate over the course of several decades if you do regular maintenance. In most cases, maintenance consists of having your septic system pump out on a regular basis and making sure you don’t flush or wash anything down the drain that might block your septic system.
What shouldn’t I pour down the drain?
Grease from the kitchen, motor oil, anti-freeze, gasoline, paint, and food should not be flushed down the toilet or drain.
You should avoid flushing anything down your drain other than soap and water, and you should especially avoid flushing any form of chemical down your drain that should not be recycled back into the environment, such as fertilizer.
Is using a garbage disposal bad for my septic system?
Using a trash disposal will result in the requirement to pump your septic system more frequently than you would otherwise need to do if you avoided flushing food particles down your drains. Too much food collection in your tank might cause your drainfield to clog since the microorganisms in your tank are not capable to digesting it. When using a trash disposal, check with your septic system company to find out how frequently the disposal should be serviced.
Should I add bacteria to my septic system?
Aside from being completely useless, introducing bacteria to your septic tank is also highly discouraged. The bacteria produced by human waste is sufficient to break down the solid sewage in your tank without the need of bacteria supplements or other methods. If, on the other hand, multiple members of your home are using pharmaceuticals, they will enter your septic system through human waste and kill some of the beneficial bacteria in your tank, causing it to malfunction. Please contact the firm who installed your septic system to see whether or not you should be worried about the amount of bacteria-killing compounds entering the system.
There’s a strong sewer odor outside of my house. Could this be my septic tank?
Strong sewage stench coming from your yard might be coming from your septic system, but it could also be coming from someplace else completely. Identifying the source of the smell is important. Check for propane or gas leaks in your home before concluding that your septic system is at fault; however, if your gas or propane lines are not leaking, determine how long it has been since you had your tank pumped, and whether there is any sewage waste in your yard or other signs of septic system failure before making your final decision.
Can my septic system contaminate nearby water?
It is possible for your septic system to pollute surrounding water sources if it is not properly managed or fails completely. In the event that you suspect that your septic system is failing, make sure that it is routinely pumped and inspected by an expert.
My gutters’ downspouts drain into my yard above my septic system. Is this a bad thing?
The drainage of your gutters into your yard above your septic system, and particularly into your drainfield, can be hazardous to your septic system. All water should be diverted away from your septic system in order to minimize flooding and damage to your septic system’s tank or drain field.
Symptoms of Septic Problems — Magneson Tractor Service Inc.
If you know what to look for, you will be able to detect problems with your septic tank system if it is not performing properly. Noises made by a pipe gurgling A gurgling sound from pipes when flushing or running the water may indicate that a tank is full or that it needs to be pumped. It may also indicate that there is another problem with the tank. 2. Problems with the toilet flushing When the toilet is sluggish to flush or refuses to flush at all, and a plunger does not resolve the problem, it is possible that there is a problem with the septic system.
- A blockage in the pipes might possibly be the cause of this symptom.
- Drains that are too slow 3.
- One of the most unpleasant indications of a failed septic system is sewage back up into the home.
- Unpleasant Smells All you need is a keen sense of smell to determine whether or not something is amiss with your septic tank.
- You are most certainly inhaling poisonous sulfur vapors, unless they are leftovers from the last Easter Egg search.
- It is common for grass to grow quicker or greener than the rest of the land as a sign that the septic leach field is failing to function properly.
- A failure in the system has resulted in stinky water gathering near a drain field, which is potentially hazardous to human health and thus has to be rectified promptly.
- The Root Causes of Septic Tank Issues Frequently, septic tank problems are caused by objects entering the tank that shouldn’t be there in the first place, such as toilet paper, kitchen sink waste, or garbage disposal.
In order to minimize sediments and excessive use of the trash disposal, only gray water should be used in the kitchen sink. Identifying and Understanding Potential Leach Field Issues Try to avoid these frequent septic tank concerns that are related with problems near the leach field.
- Over the drain field, you should never park a car or other heavy equipment. The additional weight may cause difficulties such as cracking and buckling, which will interfere with the tank’s ability to function. The region above the drain field should be completely clear of obstructions. The pipe below may become compromised as a result of the weight of the objects or the volume of traffic. If the pipe becomes compacted and then breaks, it can cause significant damage to your leach field and be extremely expensive to repair. Having too much sludge near the drain field can cause sulfite and bio-mat accumulation, both of which require the knowledge of a septic specialist to remove before your system backs up
- Putting grease down the drain or into the toilet will cause it to cool and solidify as it travels down the line. Hardened fats have the potential to induce capping, which is the complete removal of all oxygen from the system, as well as damage to the leach field. Never plant new trees in the vicinity of a septic tank’s drain field. Roots will ultimately seek for moisture underneath and will pierce the tank, drain field, or pipelines linked with the septic system, depending on the amount of moisture available. The roots will develop swiftly and inflict substantial harm as soon as they reach the source of the moisture.
To avoid any septic tank problems in the future, call the experts at Magneson Tractor Service to check your system before trouble arises.
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family You may save a lot of money if you understand how a sewage treatment system works—and what can go wrong—so that you can handle your own septic system maintenance.
How does a septic tank work?
Pumping the tank on a regular basis eliminates sludge and scum, which helps to keep a septic system in good working order. It is possible for a well-designed and well built septic system to last for decades, or it might collapse in a matter of years. It is entirely up to you as long as you can answer the question of how do septic tanks function. Healthy septic systems are very inexpensive to maintain, but digging up and replacing a septic system that has completely collapsed may easily cost tens of thousands in labor and material costs.
It’s critical to understand how a septic tank works in order to maintain one.
Let’s take a look below ground and observe what happens in a properly operating septic system, shall we?
Understand that a septic system is a cafeteria for bacteria
Bacteria are responsible for the proper operation of a septic system. They decompose garbage, resulting in water that is clean enough to safely trickle down into the earth’s surface. The entire system is set up to keep bacteria healthy and busy at all times. Some of them reside in the tank, but the majority of them are found in the drain field. 1. The septic tank is the final destination for all waste. 2. The majority of the tank is filled with watery waste, referred to as “effluent.” Anaerobic bacteria begin to break down the organic matter in the effluent as soon as it enters the system.
- A layer of sludge settles to the bottom of the container.
- Scum is mostly constituted of fats, greases, and oils, among other substances.
- Grease and oils float to the surface of the water.
- (5) A filter stops the majority of particles from reaching the exit pipe.
- The effluent is discharged into the drain field.
- Effluent is allowed to leak into the surrounding gravel because of holes in the drain septic field pipe.
- The garbage is completely decomposed by aerobic bacteria found in gravel and dirt.
- Potable water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer system from the surface.
Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system
Septic systems that have been correctly planned and constructed require just occasional ‘pumping’ to remove the sludge and scum that has built up inside the tank.
However, if you don’t understand how a septic tank works, you may unintentionally hurt or even destroy the system.
- Drains are used to dispose of waste that decomposes slowly (or not at all). Cigarette butts, diapers, and coffee grounds are all known to cause issues. Garbage disposers, if utilized excessively, can introduce an excessive amount of solid waste into the system. Lint from synthetic fibers is emitted from washing machine lint traps. This substance is not degraded by bacteria in the tank and drain septic field. Bacteria are killed by chemicals found in the home, such as disinfecting cleansers and antibacterial soaps. The majority of systems are capable of withstanding limited usage of these goods, but the less you use them, the better. When a large amount of wastewater is produced in a short period of time, the tank is flushed away too quickly. When there is too much sludge, bacteria’s capacity to break down waste is reduced. Sludge can also overflow into the drain field if there is too much of it. Sludge or scum obstructs the flow of water via a pipe. It is possible for tree and shrub roots to obstruct and cause harm to a drain field. Compacted soil and gravel prevent wastewater from seeping into the ground and deprive germs of oxygen. Most of the time, this is caused by vehicles driving or parking on the drain field.
Get your tank pumped…
Garbage that decomposes slowly (or not at all) is flushed down the toilet. Troublesome substances such as cigarette butts, diapers, and coffee grounds are frequently seen. Solid waste disposal systems, when utilized often, have the potential to overflow their capacity. In the washing machine, lint made of synthetic fibers floats. This substance is not degraded by bacteria in the tank or drain septic field. Disinfecting cleansers and antibacterial soaps are examples of household chemicals that destroy bacteria.
- It is impossible to fill the tank with enough wastewater in a short amount of time without overflowing the tank.
- Sludge that has accumulated in the drain field might overflow as well.
- Branches and bushes’ roots can obstruct and cause harm to a drainage field.
- Most of the time, this is caused by automobiles driving or parking in the drain field.
…but don’t hire a pumper until you need it
Inspections and pumping should be performed on a regular basis. However, if you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may verify the sludge level yourself with a gadget known as The Sludge Judge. It ranges in price from $100 to $125 and is commonly accessible on the internet. Once you’ve verified that your tank is one-third full with sludge, you should contact a professional to come out and pump it out completely.
Install an effluent filter in your septic system
Garbage from your home accumulates into three distinct strata. The septic filter is responsible for preventing blockage of the drain field pipes.
Septic tank filter close-up
The septic tank filter is responsible for capturing suspended particles that may otherwise block the drain field pipes. Obtain an effluent filter for your tank from your contractor and place it on the outflow pipe of your tank. (It will most likely cost between $50 and $100, plus labor.) This device, which helps to prevent sediments from entering the drain field, will need to be cleaned out on a regular basis by a contractor to maintain its effectiveness.
Solution for a clogged septic system
If your septic system becomes clogged and you find yourself having to clean the filter on a regular basis, you might be tempted to simply remove the filter altogether. Hold on to it. Solids, wastewater, and scum are separated into three levels in septic tanks, which allows them to function properly (see illustration above). Solids sink to the bottom of the container, where microbes breakdown them. The scum, which is made up of trash that is lighter than water, rises to the surface. In the drainage field, the middle layer of effluent leaves the tank and goes through an underground network of perforated pipes to the drainage field.
- Keep the effluent filter in place since it is required by your state’s health law.
- Waste particles might flow through the filter and clog the perforated pipes if the filter is not used.
- Your filter, on the other hand, should not require cleaning every six months.
- A good chance is high that you’re flushing filter-clogging things down the toilet, such as grease, fat, or food scraps.
- A garbage disposal will not be able to break down food particles sufficiently to allow them to flow through the septic tank filtration system.
- Plastic items, disposable diapers, paper towels, nonbiodegradable goods, and tobacco products will clog the system if they are flushed through it.
For additional information on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, contact your local health authority. More information on removing lint from your laundry may be found here.
Get an inspection
Following a comprehensive first check performed by an expert, regular inspections will cost less than $100 each inspection for the next year. Your professional will be able to inform you how often you should get your system inspected as well as how a septic tank functions. As straightforward as a septic system appears, determining its overall condition necessitates the services of a professional. There are a plethora of contractors who would gladly pump the sludge out of your tank, but many, in my experience, are unable to explain how a septic system works or how it should be maintained.
A certification scheme for septic contractors has been established in certain states; check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office to see whether yours is one of them.
Also, a qualified inspector will be able to tell you whether or not your tank is large enough to accommodate your household’s needs, as well as the maximum amount of water that can be passed through it in a single day.
As you learn more about how a septic tank works, your professional should be able to tell you whether or not your system will benefit from this treatment.
Alternatives to a new drain field
If an examination or a sewage backup indicate that your drain field is in need of replacement, the only option is to replace it completely. As a result, it’s important to talk with a contractor about other possibilities before proceeding with the project.
- Pipes should be cleaned. A rotating pressure washer, used by a contractor, may be used to clean out the drain septic field pipes. The cost of “jetting” the pipes is generally around $200. Chemicals should be used to clean the system. A commercial solution (not a home-made one) that enhances the quantity of oxygen in the drain field should be discussed with your contractor before installing your new system. Septic-Scrub is a product that I suggest. A normal treatment will cost between $500 and $1,000. Make the soil more pliable. The practice of “terra-lifting,” which involves pumping high-pressure air into several spots surrounding the drain field, is authorized in some regions. Some contractors use it to shatter compacted dirt around the pipes. Depending on the circumstances, this might cost less than $1,000 or as much as $4,000 or more.
Protect your drain septic field from lint
When this device is in place, it inhibits lint from entering the system, especially synthetic fibers that bacteria are unable to digest. One of these filters, which I’ve designed and termed theSeptic Protector, was invented by me. An additional filter is included in the price of around $150 plus delivery. Learn more about how to filter out laundry lint in this article.
Don’t overload the septic system
Reduce the amount of water you use. The volume of water that flows into your tank, particularly over a short period of time, can be reduced to avoid untreated waste from being flushed into your drain field. Replace outdated toilets with low-flow ones, install low-flow showerheads, and, perhaps most importantly, wash laundry throughout the week rather than just on Saturday mornings to save water.
Meet the Expert
Septic systems, according to Jim vonMeier, are the solution to America’s water deficit because they supply cleaned water to depleted aquifers, according to vonMeier. He travels the country lobbying for septic systems, giving lectures, and giving testimony. For septic system inquiries, as well as information on the operation of the septic tank, contact him by email.