- Push the screwdriver into the seam around the lid. When it opens slightly, push the edge of the pry-bar into the seem and pry it upwards. The lid can be quite heavy so have a partner available to help you lift it free of the hole. Be careful during this process not to crack or chip the edges of the tank or the lid itself.
What can I use to break down my septic tank?
Hydrogen Peroxide This used to be a common recommendation to help break down the solids in your septic tank. It takes some time to be sure it’s properly diluted to use.
How do you remove a stuck lid from a concrete septic tank?
Answers: We usually pry them up and lay them against the dirt on top of the tank (imagine that the lid is on a hinge to the middle part of the top of the tank). Take a long breaker bar (we call them rock bars) and pry up the lid, then use a hook from the other side to pull the lid up and set it basically straight up.
Do all septic tanks have lids?
Find the Lid. If your septic tank was installed after 1975, it will probably have two polyethylene or fiberglass lids centered at opposite sides of the perimeter. Older tanks will typically have a 24-inch concrete lid right in the center of the tank. Excavate in those locations to reveal the lids.
What eats waste in septic tank?
Large colonies of bacteria and enzymes in your septic tank keep the tank from backing up or overfilling. Enzymes go to work on the scum, and bacteria goes to work on the sludge. The microbes eat the waste and convert large portions of it into liquids and gases.
How long does it take for poop to break down in a septic tank?
The bacteria take 2-4 hours to germinate and then begin to break down solid waste. If the temperature and conditions are favorable, then the bacteria will multiply to the maximum level that the environment will allow in about 2-4 days.
Should septic tank lid be sealed?
Like wells, septic systems have problems if they are not sealed from outside surface water. Most septic systems rely on buried pipes to get rid of the fluids. The lid covers should fit tightly — if they don’t, a company that specializes in septic repairs should be called to fix them.
Do septic tanks have 2 lids?
A septic tank installed before 1975 will have a single 24-inch concrete lid in the center of the rectangle. A two -compartment tank installed after 1975 will have two lids of either fiberglass or polyethylene, centered at opposite ends of the rectangle.
How do you hide a septic tank cover?
The Do’s For Hiding Your Septic Tank
- Plant tall native grasses with fibrous roots around the opening to conceal the tank lid from view.
- Place a light statue, bird bath or potted plant over the septic lid.
- Septic tank risers and covers are an alternative to concrete and blend into green grass.
Do all septic tanks have filters?
First, not all septic tanks have a filter, especially the older septic tanks. Now many government agencies require or recommend a filter when a septic tank is installed. Cleaning a septic tank filter is different than pumping out a septic tank and cleaning it.
Procedure for Opening Septic Tanks
- ASK a question or make a comment about how to open a septic tank safely and properly for inspection or cleaning.
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. Instructions on how to open the septic tank. The location of the septic tank cleanout or cover, as well as the access and opening processes. We discuss some of the things to look for before opening the septic tank, such as subsidence, indications of recent work, and septic tank coverings that are not suitable to use. Then we demonstrate how to remove the septic tank lid or the access port cover from the tank.
For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page.
Procedures for Safe Opening of a Septic Tank, Cesspool, or Drywall for Inspection or Cleaning
The following are the contents of the article:
- How to remove the lid from a septic tank
- When it comes to pumping out the septic tank, which septic tank entrance should be used? Why
In this septic tank pumpout article series, you’ll learn how to locate, open, pump out, clean, and inspect conventional septic tanks, as well as how to locate, open, pump out, clean, and inspect conventional septic tanks using photos. In addition to septic pumping tank truck operators, this guideline is meant to provide basic information to homeowners and septic service providers that are concerned about septic system maintenance.
- There is a risk of dangerous, perhaps deadly collapse due to subsidence (depressions or low regions in the earth) near the location of the septic tank. Evidence of recent construction activity that may necessitate further investigation in order to determine the status of the septic system
- Backup or effluent breakout at the surface of the ground in the septic tank region.
- There is a risk of hazardous, perhaps fatal collapse due to subsidence (depressions or low regions in the earth) at the site of the septic tank. It may be necessary to do more investigation to determine the status of the septic system in order to determine its condition. The presence of backlog or effluent breakout at the surface of the septic tank area.
Procedure for Opening the Septic Tank Pumping Access Port
It is necessary to clean the septic tank using a cleanout port, which is normally positioned in the center of the tank. A small access opening, such as one over an intake or outlet baffle, does not provide enough space for adequate sludge removal from the septic tank bottom, and it increases the likelihood of future clogging of the tank’s inlet or outlet due to partially removed floating scum that has not been completely removed from the tank bottom. In this particular scenario, we already had the measurements to the exact placement of the septic tank cleanout cover due to previous work.
A wrecking bar is set to be used to remove the cover from the vehicle.
Reader CommentsQ A
It is necessary to clean the septic tank using a cleanout port, which is normally positioned in the middle of the tank. It is not possible to effectively reach and remove sludge from the septic tank bottom if the tank is pumped through a small access aperture, such as one over the intake or outflow baffle, and it is possible that incompletely removed floating scum will clog the tank inlet or outlet in the future. Using this particular example, we already knew the exact placement of the septic tank cleanout cover because of previous work.
Wrecking bar is about to be used to pry the cover off the vehicle. Note that we excavated far enough away from the tank entrance so that when we remove the cover, there won’t be a lot of dirt spilling into the septic tank as a result of the excavation.
Question:cannot find the manhole cover of the septic tank
(8th of August, 2014) “We’ve located the cesspool concrete lid (about 12 foot diameter), but after digging a 2 foot perimeter, we were unable to locate the manhole cover, which was required for an inspection.” vicki levin stated Help? My husband is becoming increasingly upset with the digging!
If it’s a cesspool, rather than a septic tank, and it’s spherical, the access lid is normally located in the center of the container.
Question: how do i remove septic tank lid that is stuck
The entrance lid would normally be in the center of the cesspool, if it is in fact a cesspool rather than a septic tank, and it is spherical.
Anon:WARNING: If the septic tank cover, lid, or access aperture has partially caved in or sank into the tank, the condition is extremely dangerous – an unsecure cover implies that someone might fall into the tank, which is generally lethal very quickly. Please keep everyone away from the septic tank area until such time as you have had the tank inspected and opened for additional inspection by a professional. Depending on the tank type and condition, lifting the lid may necessitate the use of a pry bar or wrecking bar, as well as a small portable winch (which is unusual).
Alternatively, consider the following:
Septic Pumping ProcedurePumper Truck Operation Articles
- Warning: If the septic tank cover, lid, or access aperture has partially caved in or sank into the tank, the condition is extremely dangerous – an unsafe cover implies that someone might fall into the tank, which is generally lethal within minutes of falling in. Please keep everyone away from the septic tank area until such time as you have had the tank inspected and opened for additional inspection by a qualified professional. Depending on the tank construction and condition, lifting the lid may necessitate the use of a pry bar or wrecking bar, or even a small portable winch (which is uncommon). Continue reading atINSPECT the SEPTIC TANK BEFORE PUMPING, or choose a topic from the closely-related articles listed below, or see the completeARTICLE INDEX for a comprehensive list of resources. Alternatively, have a look at
- HOW TO CLEAN A SEPTIC TANK
- WHEN TO CLEAN A SEPTIC TANK
- WHEN NOT TO PUMP A SEPTIC TANK
- HOW TO FIND A SEPTIC TANK
- HOW TO OPEN A SEPTIC TANK
- INSPECT THE SEPTIC TANK BEFORE PUMPING
- SEPTIC TANK INSPECTION PROCEDURE
- SEPTIC TANK LEVELS OF SEWAGE
- PUMPER TRU
Suggested citation for this web page
HOW TO OPEN A SEPTIC TANK at Inspect a Tank 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 SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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septic tank lid stuck
I had just dug up the septic tank in order to get it drained when I discovered that I couldn’t remove the concrete access lid. It has become “frozen” in its current location (more like “chemicallybonded” I would say). The tank is made of concrete, and the access lid is made of concrete as well. The accesscover is approximately 12″x18″ in size and has a rectangular form. It features a handle made of iron that is cast into the middle. It is designed with slightly slanted sides so that the cover fits snugly into the access hole when it is inserted (like a stopper ina utility sink).
It is adamant in its refusal to bend.
I attempted to pull the cover up around the sides with a crowbar, but it just resulted in chipped concrete.
What should I do if the “bond” that has developed between the cover and the hole cannot be broken by acid or any other chemical means? The tank has been submerged for 11 years, and I don’t believe the lid has been removed since the tank was dug up (cover is about 8″ below ground surfacelevel).
Allow the pumping firm to take care of it? In order to provide 500 pounds of uplift to the cover handle for a few hours while spraying hot water around the edge and bonking it with a 4×4, you might use a tripod or two 55 gallon drums on either side, each supported by a beam and an extendable come-along. Pulling the cable sideways with your hand or a fish scale might be used to determine the tension in the wire. With a 20 pound force in the middle of a 4′ cable with 500 pounds of strain, it would slide sideways roughly 1/2″ and break.
- When the front wheels of my tractor were airborne, I chained my carryall to the handle and hoisted it till it became airborne.
- I recommend that you get a comealong that is placed on a tripod and pull with a NYLON rope until it stretches (NO MORE THAN 10%!) and allow it to sit in a state of tension for a bit.
- I’d recommend using a vigorous hose blast or pressure washer to clean up the space between the tank and the lid.
- That was the final nail in the coffin.
- I waited three minutes before attempting to remove the lid with the pry bar once again; the cover came straight off.
- Is this something you’ve learned via practical experience, or is it something you’ve learned through some magical lay-formula?
Pop The relationship between cable tension and sideways deflection distance and angle an is as follows: with 400 pounds of cable tension and sideways deflection distance and angle a, 2x400sin(a) = 20 results in sin(a) = 0.025 = d/24, which is approximately, for a 24″ distance (half the cable length), so d = 0.025″x24″ = 0.6″.
Can’t remove septic tank lid
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|Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:FrontRanger (CO)Hi, first post here. This issue may have come up before but I wasn’t able to find it using the Search feature.I’ve got a two-chamber concrete septic tank. The previous owners used to pump out the tank by removing only the lid on the inlet-side chamber. Now the concrete lid on the outlet-side chamber can’t be removed. The septic serviceman said that it hadn’t been removed in so long, the concrete had “re-set”. The way he explained it, irrigation and rain water soak through the soil, then get into the concrete, and over time form a bond. He also said that you can’t pump/clean/inspect the tank properly without removing that lid. Naturally, I called up the previous owner, but he had a different story. I wanted to get some impartial advice to find out who was right, so here goes:1. The previous owner didn’t think it was necessary to remove the outlet-side cover. He said the septic pumping company was able to put their hose in over the baffle and pump out the outlet-side chamber. I’m no expert but I don’t see how that’s possible, given the size and flexibility of the hose, and the extremely limited visibility with the hose in the hole. Is it possible to properly pump out the tank removing only the inlet-side lid? If so, how?2. If the answer to the first question is that you truly need to remove the outlet-side lid, what is the best way to solve the problem of the “re-set” concrete in the lid? The tank is located close to my house, beneath a lawn with sprinkler lines (both water and electrical) cleverly running right over the tank. Not the best choice on the part of the installer but naturally I want to minimize the excavation in that area.In case the options are specific to location, I’m located in Northern Colorado.Thanks!|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:hj (AZ)what are you using to lift the lid? I have never had a problem even when the lid was set with mortar.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:FrontRanger (CO)The lid has what looks like a curved piece of re-bar set into it. The septic service guy was prying up on that with something, I didn’t see exactly what he was doing. Then he took a digging bar and started chipping away little pieces at the seam between the tank top and the lid, then tried prying up in that little space. After doing that unsuccessfully he said the concrete had “re-set”.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:mm (MD)Fasten a chain to the lid handle and then wrap and tie it off around a digging bar that is held horizontally 2-3 feet above the tank.Have someone (a helper?) apply upward leverage on the bar against the ground while you take a second digging bar and, using the hammer end, gently but firmly pound on the outer edge of the concrete lid.It will come up.The lids are often set in tar to seal them against water seepage into the tank so they are tight, but it will release.Edited 1 times.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:FrontRanger (CO)Thanks, m m. Now that you mention that, I remember the septic service guy talking about that briefly, and also a variation using a jack to apply the force. He said he thought since it had been so long since it was last removed, the re-bar would break out of the concrete before the lid came up. I know that the previous owner had not removed it since 1995. Don’t know about the owner before that, but he might not have taken it off since it was installed in 1978!There was no tar or tar paper visible in the chipped-away sections. some sort of barrier seems like an obvious step for anyone who installs these things for a living, but it looks like it was omitted in this case.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:hj (AZ)I usually call a tow truck and use his hook in that rebar.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:hj (AZ)A couple of log splitting wedges between the lid and the tank will also help.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:mm (MD)”A couple of log splitting wedges between the lid and the tank will also help”.About all they’ll help in doing is to obliterate the lid.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:hj (AZ)The lid is about 8″ thick, it is not going to be “obliterated” unless it is completely deteriorated.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:FrontRanger (CO)Thanks for all the replies so far, about how to free up the stuck lid.Anyone for the first question? Is it possible to properly pump out the tank removing only the inlet-side lid? If so, how?Thank you.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:Paul48 (CT)Logically.Why would they put 2 access holes if one was enough?|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:hj (AZ)It appears that there are NO access holes just two halves of the lid. The center baffle doesn’t comeup the bottom of the lid so they just stick the hose into the other side.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:FrontRanger (CO)Re: It appears that there are NO access holes just two halves of the lid. The center baffle doesn’t come up the bottom of the lid so they just stick the hose into the other side.-Perhaps I’ve been using the wrong terminology. What I meant by “lid” was a roughly 18″x18″ opening in the top of the tank, i.e., the covering for the access hole.Re: Why would they put 2 access holes if one was enough?-The same track that my mind took. The question arose from the claim of the previous owner that one was sufficient, and that the hose could be put over the baffle into the outlet-side chamber. My skepticism comes from imagining a stiff 4″ hose maneuvering down a hole, over the baffle, and then into the other chamber. Two access holes would certainly make it more convenient. My question is, can it be done properly using only the one on the inlet-side?Thanks again for your time.|
|Re: Can’t remove septic tank lid|
|Author:hj (AZ)18 x 18 ports are NOT the same as two tank halves. It would be difficult to put the hose across, IF you have a center baffle. In this case there may not be one and everything can be done from a single port.|
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HOW TO SAFELY ABANDON AN OLD SEPTIC TANK ON YOUR PROPERTY
If you’ve recently purchased an older house, it’s possible that a septic tank is located on the property. This is true even if your home is currently linked to the municipal water and sewer systems. A prior owner may have abandoned the ancient septic system and connected to the city sewage system when it became accessible at some time in the past. Despite the fact that there are standards in place today for properly leaving a septic tank, it was typical practice years ago to just leave the tanks in place and forget about them.
- The old tank may either be demolished or filled with water to solve the problem.
- It is possible that permits and inspections will be required.
- They are dangerous because curious children may pry open the lid and fall into the container.
- Falls into a septic tank can be lethal owing to the toxicity of the contents and the fact that concrete can collapse on top of you while falling into a tank.
- Eventually, this approach was phased out due to the fact that the steel would corrode and leave the tank susceptible to collapse.
- When it comes to ancient septic tanks, they are similar to little caves with a lid that might collapse at any time.
- The old tank is crushed and buried, or it is removed from the site.
If it is built of steel, it will very certainly be crushed and buried in its current location.
After that, the tank can be completely filled with sand, gravel, or any other form of rubble and buried.
Tanks can either be entirely dismantled or destroyed and buried in their original location.
The abandonment has been documented and plotted on a map.
It’s possible that you’ll forget about the tank once it’s been abandoned.
As a result, you might wish to sketch a map of the area where the old tank used to stand.
If you can demonstrate that an old septic tank was properly decommissioned, you may be able to increase the value of your property, and the new owners will enjoy knowing that large chunks of concrete are buried underground before they start digging in the yard to put something in it.
It may take some detective work to discover about the history of your land and what may be lying beneath the surface of the earth.
Upon discovering an old septic tank on your property that is no longer in service, contact Total Enviro Services for propertank abandonment procedures that meet with local standards and protect your family, pets, and farm animals from harm or death.
Complete Guide to Your Septic Tank
When sewage exits your home and enters your septic system, the septic tank is the first component that it comes into contact with. Eventually, all of the greywater and waste will fill the tank, and it will then flow out into your absorption area. Although the septic tank is often the most visible structure in your septic system, many people are confused about how it works. If you want to learn further more about septic systems, you can get our ebook by clicking on the link below. It includes information about septic tanks, septic systems, maintenance, and other topics.
How A Septic Tank Works
As soon as you open the lid of a septic tank, you will discover that the tank is completely full of sewage and nearly filled to the top. Typically, the first notion that comes to mind is that the tank is ready for pumping. However, this is the usual operating level at which a tank functions. As the tank fills up, it overflows down the drain field and into the ground. Many people are perplexed as to why the sewage and other trash are not simply discharged into the drain field directly. What’s the point of having tanks to fill if everything just pours out onto the field in the first place?
This may appear inconsequential, yet it is critical to the operation of a functional system.
- It’s common to observe when you initially open up a septic tank that it is completely full of sewage and nearly to capacity. Typically, the first notion that comes to mind is that the tank is ready for pumping out of the bottom. But this is the level at which a tank is generally expected to function. In order for the tank to fill completely, it must spill out onto the drain field. Many people are perplexed as to why the sewage and other trash are not just discharged into the drain field. What’s the point of having tanks to fill if everything just pours out onto the field in the first instance? Its primary role is to let waste to settle once bacteria have broken it down, and this is accomplished by the use of gravity. This may appear inconsequential, yet it is critical to the operation of a system in order to work properly. It would be possible to discern three separate levels of a septic tank if you cut it in half.
The anaerobic bacterium that colonizes the tank is the majority of the population. Anaerobic bacteria are any bacterium that can survive in the absence of oxygen. For this reason, it is still possible to close a septic tank lid while the waste is still able to be broken down. Because of the tank’s construction, waste can flow into the tank, where it will be collected, and then be discharged. The input pipe of a tank is meant to be approximately 3 to 4 inches above the outflow pipe of the tank.
In order to ensure that the cleared effluent departs the tank without bringing any floating particles with it, it is necessary to use baffles to accomplish this.
Baffles, despite their straightforward design, play a critical role in the long-term performance of your septic system. In your septic tank, there are two baffles to contend with. The entrance baffle is one type of baffle, while the exit baffle is another. This baffle’s duty is to send any waste down into the tank without causing it to stir up the particles already in the tank. It is usually made of metal. This helps the tank to settle and the different layers to grow in a more natural manner.
The exit baffle is generally identical in appearance to the inlet baffle, although it serves a somewhat different purpose.
As the waste level in the tank grows, it is forced upwards through the outflow baffle. The outside of the baffle will prevent the passage of floating solids, while the effluent will stream out into the drain field.
Inlet Observation Port
The intake observation port is the first component of your tank that you may be able to observe. This is normally a 4 inch pipe with a white cover on the end to protect the end fitting. The mower will locate the item if you haven’t already done so. Despite the fact that they might be a nuisance when mowing, they are beneficial for a variety of reasons.
- They serve to identify the location of the tank. The inlet observation port may also be used to return via the house if someone is examining your sewer line and cannot reach it from the house. This saves a significant amount of time when pumping out your tank or inspecting the system. Aside from that, the intake observation port is quite handy for checking for any unneeded trickles into your septic system. Check to see if there are any slow trickles flowing into the septic system after making sure it has been at least 20 minutes since something has drained into it. This is something you should conduct around twice a year to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
Septic Tank Lid
Just beyond your intake observation port will be your septic tank lid, which will be located just beyond that. This covers the manhole in the center of your tank’s interior. This is the location where all pumping should take place. It has a huge aperture ranging in size from 18″ to 24″ and occasionally even greater. Having a septic tank lid on your lawn is something that many people do not enjoy. However, if it is clearly visible, it may save your pumper a significant amount of time and, perhaps, money.
- If the lid is too low during a house sale, an inspector will ask that the lid be raised to a level that is closer to the surface of the soil.
- This is helpful for maintenance purposes, as well as so that you may divulge their location if you decide to sell your property in the future.
- If concrete lids are not set back into place carefully, they may crack.
- Over time, this might put additional strain on your drainage system.
Septic Tank Pumping
We often get asked “how often should I pump my tank,” which is another frequently asked topic. The answer is straightforward: at the absolute least, it should be done every two years. When it comes to having your septic tank pumped, there are a few things to keep an eye out for that are very crucial. Remember that the purpose of pumping is to remove the floating particles on top of the water and the sludge at the bottom of the water. In order to accomplish this, a pumper must get access to the manhole in the center of the tank.
The center manhole can also assist them in seeing considerably more of the tank and determining whether or not a significant amount of the solids has been removed.
This can cause your input baffle to become detached, resulting in the pumper being unable to detect the quantity of solids remaining in the tank.
A good pumper will back flush some of the water he has pumped out in order to mix up the sediments in the bottom of the tank, and then vacuum up the remaining water.
After everything has been pumped out, they may look inside the tank with a flashlight to see if there are any fractures, roots, or degeneration below the level of the prior liquid. Please contact us to book an appointment to have a dependable pumper come to your location.
Different Types of Septic Tanks
There is a wide variety of septic tanks that may be provided to customers. Therefore, it is critical to pose the question “What type of septic tank do I have?” before proceeding. Some of the most often encountered are listed below.
Primary and Secondary Tanks
In 1997, the state of Pennsylvania mandated that all new systems be equipped with a secondary settling tank. Therefore, if you were to repair your drainfield and apply for a permit, you would also be required to install a second tank. The reasons behind this was that while the first tank was settling all of the solids, there was still some that was flowing over into the drain field after it was filled. With this second tank, the solids could be settled and more waste could be broken down, resulting in a more efficient treatment process.
The secondary tank is normally situated immediately following the primary tank.
If you had a fully new septic system done after 1997, there is a good chance that your installer selected a less expensive option than two tank installation.
Dual-chamber Septic Tank
As of 1997, all new systems built in Pennsylvania were required to have a secondary settling tank. This would require you to install a second tank if you were to replace your drainfield and obtain a building permit. According to the logic, the first tank was settling all of the solids, but there was still some that was flowing out into the drain field. With this second tank, the solids could be settled and more waste could be broken down, resulting in a more efficient treatment system. If the secondary tank didn’t exist, any solids that you can see in it would be flushed out into the drain field.
This tank is usually smaller and has a capacity of approximately one-half of the major tank.
A dual-chamber tank is what this is formally known as.
Many individuals use the phrases “holding tank” and “septic tank” interchangeably when referring to the same thing. There are, nevertheless, significant distinctions between the two. A holding tank is substantially larger and has an usual volume of 2000 gallons. It is used to store waste water. The tank does not have an outlet, thus it “holds” all of the sewage that is introduced into it. Even the smallest amount of wastewater that escapes the home is collected in the holding tank. A float switch is located towards the top of a holding tank.
- This notifies the homeowner that a pumper will be dispatched to come out and pump the holding tank.
- A monthly pumping schedule is required if you possess a holding tank, which you should do on an as-needed basis.
- What are the benefits of using a holding tank?
- In certain cases, the residence does not have enough space for a septic system and does not have a connection to municipal sewage.
It is the sole option available to a household with a holding tank. A more plausible scenario is that the house is not frequently used. Depending on whether your house is a vacation home or a year-round residence, installing a full septic system may not be worth the investment.
If you have a cesspool, it is possible that you do not have a septic tank. This is due to the fact that a cesspool may serve as both a septic tank and an absorption area. They are a form of septic system that is no longer in use and is considered outdated. Cesspools are created by excavating a large pit. It was assembled into a big cylindrical building with cinder block along the sides and open soil on the bottom, which was constructed by an installer. The cinder blocks are stacked one on top of the other with no mortar in between the layers.
When the dirt at the bottom of the cesspool is unable to drain properly, the cesspool begins to fill.
At this moment, the cesspool is no longer functional due to its deterioration.
Solids will ultimately accumulate in the soil and prevent it from draining properly.
Anaerobic bacteria are present in all of the tanks that we have discussed so far, and these bacteria help to break down waste before it enters the drain field. The aerobic tank is used to treat sewage by introducing aerobic microorganisms into the system. Anaerobic bacteria, as we well know, flourish in an environment where there is no oxygen. Aerobic tanks provide airflow, which allows bacteria that use oxygen (aerobic bacteria) to flourish. Two additional components are included in the tank to facilitate the growth of aerobic bacteria: a system for generating air supply and propagation medium (usually a honeycombed structure).
The air supply is responsible for introducing oxygen into the tank.
The anaerobic bacteria found in conventional systems contribute to sludge formation and have the potential to draw oxygen from the soil, impairing the soil’s capacity to drain.
Septic Tank Problems
Septic tanks are constructed to last for many years. The tank maker pours them so that they are approximately 3 inches thick. There is a 25-year warranty on them, which is a considerable period of time, but not an eternity. Eventually, indicators of degradation begin to appear in the tank’s condition. This can take many different forms, but the following are the most prevalent.
As the bacteria begin to decompose the sewage in the tank, they emit gases that rise beyond the level of the liquid. Those gases are converted to sulfuric acid by the bacteria that live above the liquid level. Over time, the sulfuric acid levels in the concrete rise to the point where the concrete begins to crumble. Because of this response on the top section of the tank, a critical component of checking tanks is examining above the level of the liquid to determine whether there is any structural damage present.
This reaction can not only cause the tank to fail, but it can also serve as the catalyst for the development of subsequent septic tank problems.
The rebar can become exposed as a result of the concrete eroding and revealing the rebar over time. This is a significant red flag for septic inspectors who are looking into the situation. If an inspector notices exposed or corroded rebar in a tank, he or she will declare the tank unacceptable. You can tell that the concrete in the tank has gone mushy and is collapsing when you see the rebar sticking out of it.
Many tanks are equipped with concrete baffles that protrude into the tank. As a result of their greater surface area exposed to the chemical reactions induced by bacteria, baffles are typically the first component within the tank to fail. When the baffles fail, you lose the ability to perform critical functions. The output baffle is the most critical of the three. If there is no exit baffle, there is nothing to prevent the sediments from floating out into the drain field and into the environment.
Cracks in the Tank
There may be a few feet of dirt cover on top of the tank when it is installed in the ground by a professional installation company. The earth on top of the tank adds a large amount of weight to the structure. Over time, this weight, along with the chemical reaction in the tank, which weakens the tank’s construction, can cause fractures to appear in the tank’s structure. They often begin at the very top of the tank. The greater the depth to which the tank is buried, the greater the likelihood that a fracture would develop.
Planting trees and huge shrubs directly next to sewage tanks is something that many people do on purpose. They may have planted plants to assist beautify their environment, but they may have done so without realizing it, putting the construction of their tanks at risk. The tree roots will begin to burst through the concrete tanks, causing structural damage to the structures beneath. Although it may appear strange, a tree has the ability to cut through thick concrete. However, after time, the thin roots penetrate the tank walls and cause damage.
- The development of the roots will result in cracking and, eventually, the tank will collapse.
- It is possible to engage a professional to cut the roots and remove them from the tank while they are still thin.
- By now, you should have a solid foundation of knowledge about septic tanks under your belt.
- This will aid you in the maintenance of your system as well as the purchase or sale of a new property.
If you have a septic system or are planning to purchase one for the first time and would want a solid foundation of information about septic systems and care, click here to learn more about our ebook.
Dangers Of DIY Septic Work, And Applicable Safety Precautions
The risks of septic systems range from illnesses to unintentional accidents, and the injuries themselves can range from minor to potentially lethal in their severity. Here are some of the unique threats you may encounter when in the vicinity of a septic tank. Cave-in or Collapse is a term used to describe the failure of a structure or system. Septic tanks that are too old or broken might cave in and collapse. Septic tank walls and covers degrade with time and become unable to withstand the external pressure exerted on the tank by the environment.
- If you fall into a septic tank, you run the risk of breaking limbs, sustaining lacerations, and becoming infected with hazardous pathogens.
- Explosion A number of gases are produced as a consequence of the treatment process in septic tanks.
- When you expose an open flame to septic tank gases, you run the risk of suffering burn injuries or possibly causing your home to burn down.
- Asphyxiation Asphyxiation is the sensation you have when your body does not receive enough oxygen.
- Consequently, because septic treatment operations generate large amounts of gases, the region surrounding or within a septic tank has little oxygen.
- You may become unconscious and perhaps fall into the septic tank, where you may get severe damage if you do not have enough air to breathe.
- If the infectious bacteria enter your body through your mouth or open skin, such as a wound, they have the potential to make you sick.
Shock from an electrical current Finally, if you attempt any DIY septic tank repair that requires digging near the tank, you run the danger of receiving an electrical shock or electrocution.
A septic tank is a potentially hazardous system to be around.
Identify the location of the tank Understand the location of your septic tank in order to limit the chance of unintentional harm.
Once you’ve determined the position of the tank, make a note of it and avoid engaging in any unneeded activity around it.
Avoid the use of open flames, such as cigarette lighters, in the vicinity of the sewage treatment plant.
Stay away from Do It Yourself Services.
To avoid injuries, the specialists have the necessary instruments, protective equipment, abilities, and expertise.
Whenever possible, avoid working in close proximity to a septic tank.
Hopefully, you will not get any injuries as a result of your septic tank-related operations.
Al’s Septic Tank Service can handle all of your septic tank maintenance and repair needs. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any septic difficulties since we have the necessary instruments and knowledge to safely resolve them.
Homeowner’s Guide to Septic Systems
Septic tanks are a reasonably affordable method of treating sewage generated by a household. The majority of them are intended to endure between 15 and 20 years. Despite this, because they are located underground, it is easy to take them for granted and to put off inspections until something is clearly wrong with the system. By this time, the damage might have spread and necessitated the need for costly repairs. You may reduce the possibility of this occurring to you by being familiar with the fundamentals of septic tank maintenance.
How Septic Tanks Work
Septic tanks are often buried on the surface of the earth in a location close to the dwelling. Wastewater from toilets, kitchen appliances, and washing machines is channeled into the tank through pipes into the tank. Sludge —solid waste that settles to the bottom of the tank—, as well as scum —grease and light solid waste that accumulates on the surface — are broken down by naturally occurring microorganisms over time. The residual wastewater is then sent through a pump or pipe into the drainfield, which has a series of filters and gravel that further purify the water before it is allowed to enter the ground.
Ways to Care for Your System
Here are some practices you may adopt to assist extend the life of your septic tanks in Gainesville.
Be Wise With Water
If you are not currently attempting to save water for environmental and budgetary reasons, you may want to begin doing so for the sake of your septic system’s overall health and well-being. Solids will be forced into the drainfield if there is too much water flowing into the tank before they have had enough time to decay. This might result in blockages, drainfield damage, or groundwater pollution. To avoid overburdening the system, avoid using the dishwasher and washing machines at the same time, spread laundry sessions throughout the week, and wash full loads of clothing whenever possible.
Anything that does not decompose readily or that could be tossed into a garbage can should not be flushed down the toilet. Diapers, paper towels, sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms, unwanted prescriptions, cigarettes, oils, and personal hygiene goods are all examples of what may be recycled.
Keep Accurate Records
Prepare an interior floor plan with a thorough representation of the system’s position and preserve records of maintenance sessions, repairs, and replacements for your personal reference and the reference of future owners.
Perform Annual Inspections
You may get assistance with septic tank cleaning, pumping, and repairs from certified specialists. It is possible for technicians to examine the amounts of solid waste in the tank and assess if it is necessary to pump the trash out. General rule of thumb is that tanks require pumping when either the bottom of the scum layer is within three inches of the bottom of the outlet mechanism that directs the wastewater to the drainfield or when the top of the sludge layer is within twelve inches of the bottom of the outlet device.
Pumping sessions should be scheduled every three to five years, according to industry experts.
Direct Runoff Away From System
Make certain that water from roofs, driveways, patios, and streets does not run into the area where your septic tank and drainfield are located, especially after it rains.
Make Lids Accessible
Install risers in your septic tank to make inspection and pumping visits easier, faster, and less dirty and disrupting to your daily life. Grass is the most effective cover for a tank, but you might also use other plants with shallow roots if you don’t have grass. Avoid covering the tank with concrete, asphalt, or plastic since these materials hinder oxygen from reaching the soil and allowing microorganisms to break down the sewage and decompose it.
What Not to Do
Using a trash disposal can cause solids and grease to accumulate fast, clogging the drainfield and necessitating more frequent pumping of the tank.
Pour Household Chemicals Down The Drain
Extremely strong chemicals used in paints, cleaning supplies, motor oil, insecticides, and cosmetic items can kill the microorganisms that are necessary for decomposition of solid waste inside an aqueous system.
Drain Water From Hot Tubs Or Swimming Pools Into The System
Large amounts of water can completely drown your drainfield, and chlorine can kill vital microorganisms that are present in the drainfield. Instead of emptying the water after using a bathtub, let it to cool and then reuse it to water the grass or for other household duties instead.
Enter The Tank
Poisonous gases and a lack of oxygen are both potentially lethal. Any maintenance on the tank should be performed from the outside. If you want assistance, get expert assistance.
Put Weight And Traffic On The Drainfield
Keep automobiles, porches, storage sheds, sports courts, heavy equipment, and grazing animals off the ground and away from the septic tank and drainfield to avoid clogging the system. This can assist to avoid soil from being compacted and pipelines from breaking as a result of flooding. Make sure to consult with the health department before planting a garden or erecting structures or pools near the septic system to ensure that they are safe.
Signs that Your System Is Struggling
Pay close attention to the plumbing fittings in your house as well as the ground around the tank for symptoms that you may require septic tank repair. These are some examples:
- Reverse osmosis (water backed up into sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and washing machines)
- A disagreeable odor in or around the house
- When water is flowing or toilets are flushed, gurgling sounds can be heard.
- Depressions in the earth that are developing
- There are some strange puddles and sogginess in several areas. Greener grass that is darker in color over the region of the septic system
Septic Tank Services in Gainesville, FL
Gainesville-based Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service offers more than 30 years of expertise providing septic tank services to residents in Gainesville and the surrounding areas. Get in touch with our experts right now for appropriate septic system maintenance that can help your house or company flourish.