- Probe around the tank to locate its edges and mark the perimeter of the rectangle. 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.
Do all septic tanks have two chambers?
New tanks must have two chambers, while older tanks may have only one. The tank is often made from concrete, but other materials are also used. However, the microbes cannot break down all the material in the sludge, which is why septic tanks need to be pumped out every three to seven years.
How do I find a buried septic tank lid?
You can locate the lid of your septic tank by poking the ground every few feet with a metal probe. Lids can be buried up to a foot deep on average, so be sure to investigate any bumps that may indicate something is buried underneath.
Are septic tank locations public record?
Contact your local health department for public records. These permits should come with a diagram of the location where the septic system is buried. Depending on the age of your septic system, you may be able to find information regarding the location of your septic system by making a public records request.
Will metal detector find septic tank?
If it’s Concrete or Steel, Use a Metal Detector. Based on your conclusions in Step 3, if your septic tank is likely made from concrete or steel, a metal detector can make the task of locating it much easier. But not just any metal detector will do.
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.
Why there are two chambers in septic tank?
Le Septic tanks can have two or three chambers which are designed to allow the active enzymes to purify the lighter sludge as it moves from one chamber to the other. They have two or three compartments and the main feature of these tanks is that the sewage and sludge are kept in the same compartments.
Why do septic tanks have two compartments?
Septic tanks may have one or two compartments. Two-compartment tanks do a better job of set- tling solids and are required for new systems. Tees or baffles are provided at the tank’s inlet and outlet pipes. The inlet tee slows the incom- ing wastes and reduces disturbance of the settled sludge.
How deep are septic tank lids?
Often, septic tank lids are at ground level. In most cases, they have buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground.
Should septic tank lids be buried?
In most cases, all components of the septic tank including the lid are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. Unless the septic tank has special risers that position the lid at ground level, you’ll have to dig for it.
How far apart are the lids on a septic tank?
The distance between lids will be different for each sized tank: 1000 gallon tank = 6-6.5 ft.; 1250 gallon = 7-7.5 ft.; 1500 gallon = 8.5-9 ft.. Dig up the outlet chamber access lid. If you are extraordinarily lucky, the as-built drawing is accurate and you have hit the lids spot on.
How do I know if my house has a septic tank?
A surefire way to confirm whether or not your home has a septic system is to check your property records. It is likely that the building permit and blueprints for your home and property will contain information about the presence (or lack) of a septic tank.
How do I find my septic lateral lines?
Call your local electric utility provider or gas company to locate buried gas or utility lines before digging. A septic tank probe can also help you find the location. Stick the long, thin metal probe into the ground until you feel it hit the tank and feel the edges of the tank.
How to Find the Lid on a Septic System
All septic tanks eventually fill with sediments and must be pumped out on a regular basis in order to remain in excellent functioning order. If the tank’s lid is not on a riser at ground level and you are not the home’s original owner, you may be unable to determine where the lid is located. A typical septic tank is 4 inches to 4 feet underground, with all of its components, including the cover, buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underneath. This is true regardless of whether the septic tank is equipped with special risers that keep the lid flush with the surface of the ground.
Consult A Map
First, choose with the most straightforward choice. The installation of septic tanks at all locations is recorded in most counties’ permission records, which are kept on file for future reference. Typically, this will include a diagram depicting the location of the tank on the property, as well as some dimensions that will allow you to measure to the exact location of the tank. If your tank was placed before your county made it a requirement to record the location of such tanks, you may find yourself with nothing to show for your efforts.
Search For A Sign
Septic tanks are placed in such a way that they are as unnoticeable as possible on the land. After the grass has grown back after installation and some time has passed, it is possible that just a few visual indications will remain. Pay particular attention to the contours of your yard for any inexplicable high or low points that might suggest the presence of an underground storage tank.
Follow The Pipe
Installation of the septic tank takes place along the sewage line that runs from the house into the front yard. Locate the 4-inch sewage pipe at the point where it exits the home in the basement or crawl space, if it is there. Locate the same spot outside and make a note of it. Insert a thin metal probe into the earth, identify the 4-inch sewage line, and follow it across the yard, probing every 2 feet, until you reach the end of the property. Septic tanks are required to be at least 5 feet apart from the home in all states except Alaska.
Whenever the probe makes contact with flat concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene it indicates that the tank has been located.
Locate The Lid
The majority of septic tanks are rectangular in shape and measure around 5 feet by 8 feet. Investigate the tank’s circumference to determine its boundaries and outline the rectangle’s boundary using a pencil. A septic tank that was built before 1975 will have a single concrete lid that is 24 inches in diameter in the center of the rectangle. If the tank was built after 1975, it will have two covers made of fiberglass or polyethylene, centered at the ends of the rectangle and centered at the ends of the rectangle.
It should be possible to uncover the lid or lids by digging with a spade in specific spots, depending on when year the tank was constructed.
Call A Professional
Opening a septic tank is a job best left to the pros once the lid has been discovered. Concrete septic tank lids are extremely heavy, and many require the use of lifting tools to remove them completely. An open tank has the potential to release toxic gases. Anyone going around on the property who comes into contact with an exposed septic tank might be in risk. Because of the noxious vapors present in an open tank, falling into one can be lethal.
Mark The Spot
Make a note on the ground near where the tank was pumped by a professional and the lid was buried to serve as a reference in the future. In order to keep track of where you are, you should choose a hefty circular patio tile that is embedded in the ground. Additionally, draw your own map of the area and store it with your other important papers.
How a Septic System Works
|The septic system is a sewage treatment and disposal system.A basic system consists of a septic tank and drainage area. All flows from the house are directed by way of a main sewer line to the septic tank. 40% of household sewage is from the toilet, 30% is from bathing, 15% is from laundry and 10% is from the kitchen.|
What is a Septic Tank?The septic tank is a watertight chamber constructed of concrete or poly material. An average size is approximately 1000 gallons to 1500 gallons in capacity. Most septic tanks have one or two compartments. Two compartment tanks, or two single compartment tanks in series, provide better settling of the solids.Each septic tank has an inspection port over each baffle as well as a manhole access port. The manhole lid needs to be accessed for the tank to be pumped. These can be found at or below the ground surface. Typically you will find 4” diameter plastic lids at the ground surface that are the inspection ports over either of the baffles on the tank and not where the tank is to be pumped through.The baffles of the tank are one of the most important components in the septic tank. The inlet baffle forces the wastewater from the sewer line down into the tank instead of across the surface of the tank and into the outlet pipe leading to the absorption area. The outlet baffle prevents the scum layer from moving into the soil absorption area. In a properly functioning septic tank the solids and sludge settle to the bottom and accumulate, scum (lightweight materials including paper, fats and greases) rises to the surface and the effluent (liquid) in the tank existing between those layers overflows to the absorption area.
|The absorption area uses the ability of the stone and soil to filter and treat the remaining effluent. Examples of absorption areas are seepage beds, trenches, sand mounds or older cesspools / seepage pits. A cesspool is a block walled dirt bottom pit. Cesspools are no longer an installation choice but there are many properties that still have functioning cesspools. Odors and gasses from the septic system, that are always present, are vented through pipes on the house roof.For further information: -On Lot Sewage System Owner Manual -A Homeowner’s Guide to Septic Systems – by EPA|
Types of Septic Systems
Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of variables. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all considerations to take into consideration. The following are 10 of the most often encountered septic system configurations. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list; there are several additional types of septic systems.
- Septic Tank, Conventional System, Chamber System, Drip Distribution System, Aerobic Treatment Unit, Mound Systems, Recirculating Sand Filter System, Evapotranspiration System, Constructed Wetland System, Cluster / Community System, etc.
This tank is underground and waterproof, and it was designed and built specifically for receiving and partially treating raw home sanitary wastewater. Generally speaking, heavy materials settle at or near the bottom of the tank, whereas greases and lighter solids float to the surface. The sediments are retained in the tank, while the wastewater is sent to the drainfield for further treatment and dispersion once it has been treated.
Septic tanks and trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration systems are two types of decentralized wastewater treatment systems (drainfield). When it comes to single-family homes and small businesses, a traditional septic system is the most common type of system. For decades, people have used a gravel/stone drainfield as a method of water drainage. The term is derived from the process of constructing the drainfield. A short underground trench made of stone or gravel collects wastewater from the septic tank in this configuration, which is commonly used.
Effluent filters through the stone and is further cleaned by microorganisms once it reaches the soil below the gravel/stone trench, which is located below the trench.
Gravelless drainfields have been regularly utilized in various states for more than 30 years and have evolved into a standard technology that has mostly replaced gravel systems. Various configurations are possible, including open-bottom chambers, pipe that has been clothed, and synthetic materials such as expanded polystyrene media. Gravelless systems can be constructed entirely of recycled materials, resulting in considerable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during their lifetime. The chamber system is a type of gravelless system that can be used as an example.
The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.
This sort of system is made up of a number of chambers that are connected to one another.
Wastewater is transported from the septic tank to the chambers through pipes. The wastewater comes into touch with the earth when it is contained within the chambers. The wastewater is treated by microbes that live on or near the soil.
Drip Distribution System
An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is very versatile. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a vast mound of dirt because the drip laterals are only placed into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive.
Aerobic Treatment Unit
Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are small-scale wastewater treatment facilities that employ many of the same procedures as a municipal sewage plant. An aerobic system adds oxygen to the treatment tank using a pump. When there is an increase in oxygen in the system, there is an increase in natural bacterial activity, which then offers extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent. It is possible that certain aerobic systems may additionally include a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank that will include disinfection in order to further lower pathogen levels.
ATUs should be maintained on a regular basis during their service life.
Using mound systems in regions with short soil depth, high groundwater levels, or shallow bedrock might be a good alternative. A drainfield trench has been dug through the sand mound that was erected. The effluent from the septic tank runs into a pump chamber, where it is pumped to the mound in the amounts recommended. During its release to the trench, the effluent filters through the sand and is dispersed into the native soil, where it continues to be treated. However, while mound systems can be an effective solution for some soil conditions, they demand a significant amount of land and require regular care.
Recirculating Sand Filter System
Sand filter systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the use. The effluent is discharged from the septic tank into a pump compartment. Afterwards, it is pushed into the sand filter. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. The effluent is pushed through the pipes at the top of the filter under low pressure to the drain. As the effluent exits the pipelines, it is treated as it passes through the sand filtering system.
However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system because they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus better suited for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to bodies of water.
Evaporative cooling systems feature drainfields that are one-of-a-kind. It is necessary to line the drainfield at the base of the evapotranspiration system with a waterproof material. Following the entry of the effluent into the drainfield, it evaporates into the atmosphere. At the same time, the sewage never filters into the soil and never enters groundwater, unlike other septic system designs. It is only in particular climatic circumstances that evapotranspiration systems are effective. The environment must be desert, with plenty of heat and sunshine, and no precipitation.
Constructed Wetland System
Construction of a manufactured wetland is intended to simulate the treatment processes that occur in natural wetland areas. Wastewater goes from the septic tank and into the wetland cell, where it is treated. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media that eliminate pathogens and nutrients. Typically, a wetland cell is constructed with an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the necessary wetland plants, all of which must be capable of withstanding the constant saturation of the surrounding environment.
As wastewater travels through the wetland, it may escape the wetland and flow onto a drainfield, where it will undergo more wastewater treatment before being absorbed into the soil by bacteria.
Cluster / Community System
In certain cases, a decentralized wastewater treatment system is owned by a group of people and is responsible for collecting wastewater from two or more residences or buildings and transporting it to a treatment and dispersal system placed on a suitable location near the dwellings or buildings. Cluster systems are widespread in settings like rural subdivisions, where they may be found in large numbers.
Septic System Guide: How It Works and How to Maintain It
As soon as you flush the toilet in most metropolitan locations, the waste is pumped out to the nearest sewage treatment facility. Garbage is processed at this factory, which separates it into two types of waste: water that is clean enough to be dumped into a river and solids known as residual waste. The remaining material is either disposed of in landfill or utilized as fertilizer. Septic systems, which are used in places where there aren’t any sewage treatment plants, provide a similar function, but on a much smaller scale.
What are Septic Tanks and How Do They Work?
Septic tanks are normally composed of concrete or heavyweight plastic and have a capacity of 1000 to 2000 gallons, depending on the manufacturer. In the tank, there are two chambers that are divided by a portion of a wall. The waste from the residence is channeled into the bigger room. Solids sink to the bottom of the chamber, and liquids make their way through a partial wall into the smaller second chamber, which is located above it.
Anaerobic bacteria, which are found naturally in the environment, digest the solids and convert them into water, carbon dioxide, and a tiny amount of indigestible debris.
Septic Fields Distribute Liquid Effluent
The second chamber has an output pipe via which the liquid (known as effluent) from the tank is discharged to a disposal or leach field, depending on the situation. It is drained into the earth by a network of perforated pipes or through perforated plastic structures known as galleries, which are constructed of perforated plastic. It is common practice to lay the pipe or galleries in a bed of gravel, which aids in dispersing the liquid. During the course of the effluent’s percolation through the soil, the soil absorbs remaining bacteria and particles, resulting in water that is safe to drink by the time the water reaches the aquifer deeper down.
- They are not much deeper than that since a large quantity of water escapes through evaporation or is transpired by grass growing above ground.
- If you have sandy soils that drain too rapidly, you may not be able to treat the wastewater properly.
- Sometimes the water cannot be disposed of properly because the natural soils include a high concentration of silt or clay.
- Topsoil and grass are applied to the mound, which allows more water to leave through transpiration and evaporation than would otherwise be possible.
Septic Systems Rely on Gravity, Most of the Time
The majority of septic systems rely on gravity to transfer the liquid from the home to the tank and then to the field where it will be disposed of. However, due to the slope of the land, the tank or the field may need to be higher than the house in some instances. It is necessary to have a pump, or occasionally two pumps, in order for this to operate. A grinder pump, which liquefies sediments and is installed in a pit in the basement or crawlspace of the home, will be used if the tank is higher than the house.
Sewage pumps are essentially large sump pumps that are used for heavy-duty applications.
How to Treat Your Septic System
It is not necessary to do much to keep your septic system in good working order, other than cut the grass above it and keep the drainage area free of trees and plants with roots that may block it.
How Often Do You Need to Pump A Septic Tank?
You should have a septic provider pump out the particles from your tank every two years, at the absolute least. A manhole at the surface of the tank will provide the pump operator access, but older systems may necessitate digging a hole in the tank’s top so the pumping hatch can be exposed. Unless the tank is continuously pumped, sediments will build up in it and ultimately make their way into the leach field, clogging it. You’ll know it’s occurring because untreated effluent will rise to the surface of the tank and back up into the home, causing it to overflow.
It may be necessary to replace the entire field as a result of this. Pumping the tank on a regular basis can ensure that the leach fields continue to work eternally.
What to Do if Your Septic System Fails
Pumps in a pumped septic system will ultimately fail, just as they will in any mechanical system. Most pumps are equipped with an alarm that sounds when the effluent level in the pit is greater than it should be, indicating that the pump has failed and has to be replaced. This is a job that should be left to the professionals. Visit the following website to locate a trusted list of installation and septic system service companies in your area:
- The National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association’s Septic Locator
- The National Association of Wastewater Technicians
- And the National Association of Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association
It is rare for a homeowner to have to worry about their septic system because it is well-maintained and doesn’t cause problems. Simple maintenance, such as keeping the tank pumped and the lawn trimmed, should result in decades of trouble-free service. What kind of protection do you have in place for your home’s systems and appliances against unforeseen maintenance needs? If this is the case, you might consider purchasing a house warranty.
- Home Warranty Coverage for Roof Leaks
- Septic Warranty Coverage and Costs
- And more. Plans for protecting your mobile home’s warranty
- What Is Home Repair Insurance and How Does It Work? How to Find the Most Reasonably Priced Home Appliance Insurance
A Beginner’s Guide to Septic Systems
- Septic systems are used to dispose of waste from homes and buildings. Identifying the location of the septic tank and drainfield
- What a Septic System Is and How It Works Keeping a Septic System in Good Condition
- Signs that a septic system is failing include:
Septic systems, also known as on-site wastewater management systems, are installed in a large number of buildings and houses. It is easy to lose sight of septic systems, which operate quietly, gracefully, and efficiently to protect human and environmental health due to their burying location. Septic systems are the norm in rural regions, but they may also be found in a lot of metropolitan places, especially in older buildings. It is critical to understand whether or not your building is on a septic system.
Is Your Home or Building on a Septic System?
It is possible that the solution to this question will not be evident. If a structure looks to be connected to a sewage system, it may instead be connected to a septic system. It is fairly unusual for tenants to be unaware of the final destination of the wastewater generated by their residence. Some of the hints or signs listed below will assist in determining whether the facility is served by a septic system or whether it is supplied by a sewer system:
- Sewer service will be provided at a cost by the city or municipality. Pay close attention to the water bill to see whether there is a cost labeled “sewer” or “sewer charge” on it. If there is a fee for this service, it is most likely because the facility is connected to a sewage system. Look up and down the street for sewage access ports or manholes, which can be found in any location. If a sewage system runs in front of a property, it is probable that the house is connected to it in some way. Inquire with your neighbors to see if they are connected to a sewer or septic system. The likelihood that your home is on a sewer system is increased if the properties on each side of you are on one as well. Keep in mind, however, that even if a sewage line runs in front of the structure and the nearby residences are connected to a sewer system, your home or building may not be connected to one. If the structure is older than the sewer system, it is possible that it is still on the original septic system. Consult with your local health agency for further information. This agency conducts final inspections of septic systems to ensure that they comply with applicable laws and regulations. There is a possibility that they have an archived record and/or a map of the system and will supply this information upon request
All property owners should be aware of whether or not their property is equipped with an on-site wastewater treatment system. Georgia law mandates that the property owner is responsible for the correct operation of a septic system, as well as any necessary maintenance and repairs.
Locating the Septic Tank and Drainfield
Finding a septic system may be a difficult process. They can be buried anywhere in the yard, including the front, back, and side yards. After a few years, the soil may begin to resemble the surrounding soil, making it impossible to distinguish the system from the surrounding soil. It is possible that in dry weather, the grass will be dryer in the shallow soil over the tank and greener over the drainfield, where the cleansed water will be released, but this is not always the case, especially in hot weather.
- The contractor who built the house should have presented the initial owner with a map showing the tank and drainfield locations, according to the building code.
- The installation of the system, as well as any modifications made to it, would have been examined by your local health authority.
- Unfortunately, if the system is very old, any records related with it may be insufficient or nonexistent, depending on the situation.
- Look for the point at where the wastewater pipes join together if the building is on a crawlspace or has an unfinished basement.
- The sewer line that runs through the structure is referred to as the building sewer.
- To “feel” for the tank, use a piece of re-bar or a similar metal probe.
- If you use this free service, you may avoid accidentally putting a rod through your gas or water line.
Try to locate the tank after a rainstorm, when the metal probe will be more easily maneuvered through moist dirt.
This should be done with care; extreme caution should be exercised to avoid puncturing the building sewer.
A tank is normally 5 by 8 feet in size, however the dimensions might vary.
Be aware that there may be rocks, pipes, and other debris in the area that “feels” like the tank but is not in fact part of the tank.
However, it is possible to have the lid or access port positioned on a riser in addition to being on the same level as the top of the tank in some cases.
Once the tank has been identified, make a rough drawing of its placement in relation to the house so that it will not be misplaced again!
It may be easier to discover the drainage lines now that the tank has been identified, particularly if the area has been subjected to prolonged periods of drought.
How a Septic System Works
Typical sewage treatment system (figure 1). It is composed of three components (Figure 1): the tank, the drain lines or discharge lines, and the soil treatment area (also known as the soil treatment area) (sometimes called a drainfield or leach field). The size of the tank varies according to the size of the structure. The normal home (three bedrooms, two bathrooms) will often include a 1,000-gallon water storage tank on the premises. Older tanks may only have one chamber, however newer tanks must have two chambers.
- The tank functions by settling waste and allowing it to be digested by microbes.
- These layers include the bottom sludge layer, the top scum layer, and a “clear” zone in the center.
- A typical septic tank is seen in Figure 2.
- It is fortunate that many of the bacteria involved are found in high concentrations in the human gastrointestinal tract.
- Although the bacteria may break down some of the stuff in the sludge, they are unable to break down all of it, which is why septic tanks must be cleaned out every three to seven years.
- In addition, when new water is introduced into the septic tank, an equal volume of water is pushed out the discharge lines and onto the drainfield.
- The water trickles out of the perforated drain pipes, down through a layer of gravel, and into the soil below the surface (Figure 3).
- A typical drainfield may be found here.
- Plants, bacteria, fungus, protozoa, and other microorganisms, as well as bigger critters such as mites, earthworms, and insects, flourish in soil.
- Mineralogical and metallic elements attach to soil particles, allowing them to be removed from the waste water.
Maintaining a Septic System
The most typical reason for a septic system to fail is a lack of proper maintenance. Septic systems that are failing are expensive to repair or replace, and the expense of repairs rests on the shoulders of the property owner (Figure 4). Fortunately, keeping your septic system in good working order and avoiding costly repairs is rather simple. Figure 4. Septic system failure is frequently caused by a lack of proper maintenance. It is in your best interests to be aware of the location of the system, how it operates, and how to maintain it.
- You should pump the tank if you aren’t sure when the last time it was pumped.
- It is not permissible to drive or park over the tank or drainage field.
- No rubbish should be disposed of in the sink or the toilet.
- It’s important to remember that garbage disposals enhance the requirement for regular pumping.
- When designing a landscape, keep the septic system in mind.
- It is also not recommended to consume veggies that have been cultivated above drainfield lines (see Dorn, S.
- Ornamental Plantings on Septic Drainfields.
Any water that enters your home through a drain or toilet eventually ends up in your septic system.
Don’t put too much strain on the system by consuming a large amount of water in a short period of time.
Additives should not be used.
Various types of additives are available for purchase as treatment options, cleansers, restorers, rejuvenator and boosters, among other things.
To break up oil and grease and unclog drains, chemical additives are available for purchase.
Pumping out the septic tank is not eliminated or reduced by using one of these systems.
They remain floating in the water and travel into the drainfield, where they may block the pipes. Acids have the potential to damage concrete storage tanks and distribution boxes.
Signs a Septic System is Failing
A failed system manifests itself in the following ways:
- Sinks and toilets drain at a snail’s pace
- Plumbing that is backed up
- The sound of gurgling emanating from the plumbing system House or yard aromas that smell like sewage
- In the yard, there is wet or squishy dirt
- Water that is gray in hue that has accumulated
- An region of the yard where the grass is growing more quickly and is becoming greener
- Water contaminated by bacteria from a well
If you notice any of these indicators, you should notify your local health department immediately. An environmentalist from the health department can assist in identifying possible hazards. There are also listings of state-certified contractors available from the local health department, who may do repairs. Repairs or alterations to the system must be approved by the health department and examined by an inspector. Keep an eye out for any meetings that may take place between a health department inspector and a contractor to discuss repairs to your system.
- Household garbage that has not been properly handled is released into the environment when systems fail.
- It has the potential to pollute surrounding wells, groundwater, streams, and other sources of potable water, among other things.
- The foul odor emanating from a malfunctioning system can cause property values to plummet.
- Briefly stated, broken systems can have an impact on your family, neighbors, community, and the environment.
- Septic systems are an effective, attractive, and reasonably priced method of treating and disposing of wastewater.
Figures 2 and 3 reprinted with permission from: CIDWT. 2009. Installation of Wastewater Treatment Systems. Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment. Iowa State University, Midwest Plan Service. Ames, IA.
History of the current status and revisions Published on the 15th of August, 2013. Published on March 28th, 2017 with a full review.
Southern Maryland’s Best Value Residential Septic Service is Copsey’s!
Your home’s septic system is similar to the engine in your automobile; if you take good care of it, it will serve you for many years to come. However, if you misuse it, neglect to maintain it, or simply ignore it, it might end up costing you a lot of money or even causing you to fail completely. Normal maintenance (pumpout treatment and general evaluation) for a residential septic system should be performed every 2-5 years, depending on the number of people living in the home and the quantity of water used.
- When we do our service, Copsey’s Septic Pumping removes all of the waste from the tank.
- After that, we use a pressured hose to spray liquid over the septic tank’s inside walls.
- After that, we re-pump the whole tank.
- In all, 98% are 1000-1500 gallon concrete tanks, with dimensions of 4 feet wide and 10-13 feet long.
- If you are purchasing a home, this information should be disclosed at the time of purchase or during the home’s inspection.
- It features baffles in the centre of the tank, which is surrounded by a wall.
- This implies that you will be unable to pump the entire tank from a single access lid.
This tank is intended to have more solids in the front chamber (which is normally closest to the house), and more water and less solids in the second chamber (which is typically farther away from the house).
Copsey’s pumps the whole tank to ensure that the consumer receives the greatest advantage possible.
Everyone from the local health department recommended that we drain out the entire tank.
In the center of a 2 foot circular hole lies a little round plug about 6-8 inches in diameter.
Because, as previously indicated, there is less oil and particles on the walls of the second chamber, it is possible to pump air into it through the small opening.
If your home was constructed before 1990, it is likely that you have a single chamber tank.
These tanks are often equipped with a square cover that may be used for cleaning.
It is necessary to pump these tanks from the lid that is nearest to the house.
The household septic system is designed with three levels of protection.
There will always be a layer of scum on the surface of the water.
The second layer consists largely of water, which contains live microorganisms that are created spontaneously by the human body.
Due to the fact that bacteria only digest around 50% of the particles, the solids might build and ultimately wind up in the drain fields.
When the scum layer is not maintained (i.e., pushed out), it can lead to an accumulation of grease, which is extremely sticky and can be quite troublesome as well.
This pile will eventually obstruct the flow of sewage away from the home, resulting in a backup of sewage into the house.
(a tub or toilet in the basement, a laundry tub, or an unfinished bathroom pipe) This can result in a stinky, filthy mess, which is one of the key reasons to ensure that your house has regular maintenance pump-outs scheduled.
To avoid a problem like this, contact us right away for an examination or to schedule a pump-out of your septic system.
How to Locate a Septic Tank
A surprising number of homeowners have had to figure out how to find the location of a septic tank on their premises. If you’re purchasing a home with a septic system or discover that your property’s tank hasn’t been maintained in years, you’ll want to know where the tank is located because all septic tanks must be pumped at some point in time. In the course of a real estate transaction, the property owners or real estate agent may be aware of the location of the tank. Inquire about the “as-built,” which is a schematic of the septic system and the specifics of its installation.
Unfortunately, locating the septic tank may not be as simple as it appears.
Because septic system permits have only been needed in Oregon since 1972, you may have to depend on visual indicators to determine whether your system is working properly.
1.Follow the Outgoing Sewer Pipe
Look for the four-inch sewage pipe that runs through the structure and the location where it exits the building in the basement or crawl space. Locate the location outside the building where the pipe exits the building or the location of an access cover over the pipe. It is required that septic tanks be at least five feet away from the structure, although they are usually between 10 and 25 feet away. You may follow the pipe all the way to the tank using a metal probe. It is important to note that sewage lines may curve and run around the corner of a building rather than following a straight path to the holding tank.
2.Search for Septic Tank Risers and Lids
Depending on their age, septic tanks are either one- or two-compartment structures. Each compartment has a cover, with two additional lids for dual-compartment tanks that were added later. If the tank includes an access point known as a riser, the lid may be readily visible from outside. Look for round, plastic discs that are about a foot or two in diameter. Due to the fact that the lids might be flush with the ground or just a few inches above it, they can get overrun with grass and other plants over time.
Tanks without risers are likewise equipped with lids, however they are located underground.
3.Find the Drain Field First
In the absence of a riser and lid, search for indicators of a drain field, such as an area of grass that grows more quickly or more slowly than the rest of the yard, grass that is a different color from the rest of the yard, or areas where snow melts more quickly than in other parts of the yard. Spots of high or low ground in the yard might possibly indicate the presence of a subterranean tank or drain field. You will be able to discover the tank if you probe these regions.
Reasons to Hire a Contractor for Help
Attempting to locate a septic tank on your own can be risky, and in some cases, lethal, if the septic system is old and in danger of collapse. In the event that you fall into a cesspool, dry well, or septic tank, you will die.
Removing septic tank lids on your own might potentially put you at risk of contracting bacterial or virus diseases. If you detect any of the following issues, please contact a contractor to assist you in locating or inspecting your septic tank:
- Soil that is sinking around the tank or drain field. Drainage backup into the home’s sewer system, or toilet backup
- A foul odor in the area where you assume the tank and drain field are located
- When there is no rain, pooling water, muddy soil, or spongy grass might occur. Septic tank covers that are rusted, cracked, or have been replaced with improvised lids are prohibited.
Even though you may be ashamed about forgetting where your septic tank is, it is a very frequent problem among homeowners. A contractor may assist you in locating it, and he or she may do it as part of the pumping service. If you need assistance locating your tank or if you have any other questions, please contact us at 503-630-7802. We are available to assist you!
Everything You Need To Know About Your Septic System
Florida people rely on roughly 2.6 million septic systems to dispose of waste and wastewater on a daily basis, accounting for 30% of the state’s population. Homes and businesses in rural regions rely on these systems to dispose of garbage in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.
What Are Septic Tanks Made From?
Septic tanks are a waterproof box composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene material that is used to dispose of sewage. In other words, there will be no debris, dirt, or water from the surrounding ground that may get into the tank. Septic tanks made of concrete and/or fiberglass are the most common types.
Common Styles Of Septic Tanks
ATUs treat and filter waste by separating it into three compartments: a garbage compartment, an aeration chamber, and a clarification compartment. An aerobic, or thoroughly oxygenated, environment is created in the effluent by forcing compressed air through it. Because the bacteria thrive in this environment, waste decomposes more quickly than it would in a conventional septic tank. This helps to limit the quantity of organic material that enters the soil and groundwater around the house.
Most tanks built since 1976 feature two compartments for filtering effluent, sediments, and wastewater that enters the tank during the construction process. The first compartment, which is placed adjacent to the intake pipe, is often bigger than the second compartment, which is located further away. It is possible to see the liquid flowing from the first container into the second compartment. Before the effluent is discharged into the outflow pipe, any remaining sludge and scum separate from the liquid.
The quantity of wastewater that flows from the septic tank is controlled by a pump tank. Pump tank level increases as effluent accumulates in the tank and eventually reaches the level set by a control float. As soon as the float is activated, the pump starts pumping effluent into the drain field in a predefined volume.
In lieu of septic tanks, holding tanks can be used to collect and store waste. They are either above or below ground and require constant pumping to remove the contents of their holding tanks. The majority of holding tanks are equipped with an alarm that sounds when the tank is full.
A single compartment tank was utilized in the majority of septic systems constructed before to 1976. These tanks could hold up to 1,000 gallons of liquid at a time. After entering the tank and separating into three levels, liquid waste is discharged into the septic drain field via the outflow line.
What Is FOG?
Fats, oils, and grease (also known as FOG) are frequent cooking byproducts that occur naturally in a wide variety of foods and other items.
While FOG is viscous when it first enters the septic tank, it cools swiftly as it comes into contact with the wastewater in the tank. However, because of its viscosity, FOG coats and covers every surface it comes into contact with when it solidifies.
How A Septic Tank Works
Solids sink to the bottom of the tank’s intake pipe, while FOG rises to the surface of the wastewater and collects at the top of the tank’s intake pipe. In most cases, the tank is large enough to keep wastewater for an extended period of time, allowing effulent separation to take place. There are three levels within the tank as a result of this separation: a sludge layer on the bottom, a wastewater layer in the middle, and a scum layer on top. bacteria, enzymes, and other microorganisms often present in human waste begin to break down the sludge layer and break down the sludge layer further.
Upon entry into the septic tank and drain field, two baffles direct and filter the water.
What Are Septic Tank Solids?
The majority of solids contained in a septic tank may be divided into three categories:
- Non-biodegradable organic solids include pet litter, plastics, and other items that do not decompose over time
- Biodegradable organic solids include vegetable scraps and other cellulosic compounds, as well as toilet paper
- And biodegradable organic solids include solid human feces.
Septic System Drain Fields
After leaving the septic tank, effluent goes into a drain field, which is a network of underground pipes and dirt that collects the waste. Other phrases that are commonly used include absorption field, leach field, and trench. The size of the space required is determined by the following factors:
- Soil type
- Seasonal variations in groundwater level
- Amount of water absorbed each day
- And soil percolation rate are all factors to consider.
The soil percolation rate is defined as the amount of water that the soil can absorb in one minute per inch of soil thickness. A significant consideration in determining the site of a septic drain field in Florida is the percolation rate, which is crucial because the state has a high water table.
How A Drain Field Works
An underground network of perforated pipes may be found in this location, which can be found in either several trenches or a gravel-lined soil bed. Drainage from the pipes filters through the gravel and dirt before entering the sewer system. Compaction of the soil has a significant impact on its function, which is why it is critical not to construct structures on it or drive or park vehicles of any size over it.
Why Is A Drain Field Important?
Natural filtration is provided for effluent, which is recycled back into the groundwater source. It is possible that biological and chemical pollutants may infiltrate the water and create health problems for anybody who consumed or came into touch with the water without this filtering system in place.
How To Find Your Septic TankSeptic Drain Field
The location of the septic system will be shown on the majority of property plans and surveys. Possibly handed to you after the sale of your house or company, these documents are also maintained on file at the county government office. The septic tank is often built along the sewage line that leads away from the house or other structure. When this line is many inches in diameter, it means that it is located at the lowest level of your home, such as a basement or crawl space. Stick a metal probe every two feet along the sewage line as it exits the house, following it all the way out to the street.
Locate the borders of the septic tank lid with the probe – typically tanks are 5 feet by 8 feet in size, so this may take some time.
Beginning at the far border of the tank and extending up to 100 feet out from the tank, a drain field is created. As soon as you discover a discrepancy between the system location and previously prepared diagrams or maps, make sure to update these materials and retain a duplicate for your records.
The Septic Tank Pumping Process
In order to prepare for extraction, the floating scum layer is first broken up by alternately sucking out liquid from the tank and pumping it back in to break up the bottom solid layer. Pumping is accomplished through the two access ports, which are referred to as manholes. The tank should never be pumped through the inspection apertures on the baffle wall. This can not only cause damage to the baffles, but it can also result in insufficient waste removal from the tank. Until the septic tank is completely depleted, industrial vacuums are used to remove waste from the tank and into our tanker truck.
How Often A Septic Tank Should Be Pumped?
In most cases, every three to five years is sufficient. However, depending on the size of your septic tank and the amount of sediments and wastewater you produce on a daily basis, you may need to contact a septic tank pumping firm such as Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service sooner rather than later.
What To Expect During A Septic Tank Pumping
Before starting the pumping process, it is necessary to measure the thickness of the scum and sludge. This information is important in determining the pace at which waste accumulates and in determining when the next pumping should be scheduled. The pumping process is monitored closely by our personnel, who are actively monitoring for any possible system problems, such as backflow from the outflow pipe. Backflow that is significant typically indicates a backup in the drainfield, whereas slight backflow indicates a weaker outflow line in most cases.
Septic Tank Cleaning
Septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping are not the same thing, despite the fact that many people use the phrases interchangeably. Pumping just removes liquid and uncompressed materials; cleaning, on the other hand, eliminates any leftover solids before washing the interior of the tank with soap and water. Following the removal of the liquid layer from the tank, our professionals employ pressured jets of water to break up any residual particles in the tank. Solids are removed from the tank with the use of an industrial-grade vacuum and a connected hose before the inside of the tank is washed.
This can result in the formation of sinkholes or the breakdown of the entire system.
How Often Should A Septic Tank Be Cleaned?
With every septic tank pump out, there is a new beginning. Keep in mind that the frequency with which the tank is pumped is determined by the number of people who are using the system and the volume of wastewater created on a daily basis. You may work with an aseptic tank pumping firm, such as Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service, to establish a regular pumping and cleaning program for your tank.
How To Keep A Septic Tank In Good Condition Between Cleanings
The most effective strategy to ensure that your septic tank remains in good working order for many years is to be informed of what can and cannot be put into the system.
Don’t DisposeFlush Items At-Will
In order to degrade materials that enter the tank, a septic system relies on bacteria that are found in nature. Although it is a mutually beneficial connection, it is susceptible to being pushed out of balance depending on the materials that are disposed of. Fat, oil, and grease (FOG); chemicals, paints, fuels, and/or motor oils; disposable diapers, sanitary, and personal hygiene products; coffee grounds; egg and nut shells; and disposable diapers, sanitary, and personal hygiene products are all common household items that should never be flushed down the toilet.
Schedule Annual Inspections
Home and business owners may do an outside inspection of their septic system on their own. However, only a professional and skilled septic tank firm, such as Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service, should check the tank and its interior components. Because of the formation of toxic vapors and gases within the sewage treatment plant, it is dangerous to work near one without the proper safety equipment and training. Look for areas of unusually tall grass, sewage odors or smells, and unexplained standing water as you walk around the area where the septic tank is situated.
PumpClean The Tank As Necessary
Skipping regular septic tank services is a surefire way to end yourself in a situation that might have been avoided. Performing routine pumping and cleaning allows our personnel to check the overall health of the system and correct any issues that may arise before they become a major concern.
Keep Records Of Septic LocationService
It is essential to understand the location of the entire system in order to properly maintain it. Parking or driving cars over any portion of the septic system should be avoided at all costs. The weight of vehicles can cause the system to collapse. When this occurs, the only option for repair is a complete replacement. It is also recommended by Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service that you preserve records of when the system was examined, pumped, and cleaned for your own records and in case you decide to sell your home in the future.
The volume of water entering a septic system has a greater influence on the health of the system than the amount of solids created by the system. The greater the volume of water that flows through the drain field, the shorter the functional lifespan of the drain field and the overall system. An excessive amount of water flow impairs effective separation of particles inside the tank, increasing the likelihood of clogged intake and outflow pipes, which can result in sewage backups in the tank.
Septic Tank Repair In Gainesville, FL
Too much water in the septic tank increases the likelihood of sediments being transferred into the pipes, which might result in a clogged system.
Aggressive Tree Roots
Tree roots are well-known for generating problems with septic tanks and systems. Many species of tree roots are stronger than septic tanks, and they can cause leaks and other structural damage by cracking the pipes and tank.
Common Septic Tank Repairs
There are a variety of reasons why the pipes might fail, including compacted and/or moving soil.
Once the pipes burst, they must be fixed as soon as possible to avoid significant drainage problems. When it comes to reaching and repairing the pipes, excavation of the area is frequently necessary.
The baffles of a septic tank are responsible for keeping sediments contained within the tank. Rust or contact with sulfuric acid are the most common causes of damage. It is quite beneficial to have an annual septic check performed in order to see if there are any difficulties with the baffles before a problem occurs.
How To Prevent A Septic Tank Failure
The fact is that septic systems are not foolproof and that they benefit immensely from routine maintenance and upkeep. The majority of failures may be avoided by paying attention to what goes into the plumbing and septic lines.
Only Flush Toilet Paper
As a rule, toilet paper degrades and disintegrates more quickly than other types of paper goods. Particularly problematic are paper towels and wet wipes, which are two of the most prevalent causes of septic tank clogging and premature tank cleanouts.
Never Pour FOG Down The Drain
FOG is extremely harmful to all plumbing systems, including the septic system. FOG, when it is in liquid form, readily flows into the septic tank and collects in the top scum layer of the tank. This may not appear to be a problem, but the mixture has the potential to run into the drain field, where it might cause contamination concerns with groundwater and the surrounding soil if allowed to do so.
Regular Drain Cleaning
The numerous commercial drain cleaners available may temporarily unclog a clogged drain and associated plumbing, but they do so at the expense of the septic system’s ability to function properly. They include chemicals that swiftly eliminate the bacteria that are important for the decomposition of particles within the septic tank once they are applied. The layer of solids accumulates quickly — and needlessly — on the surface of the water. As an alternative, call a plumber to do expert drain cleaning.
How To Tell When You Need A New Septic System
A septic system may last anywhere from 20 to 40 years if it is maintained properly and repaired when needed on time. However, if you detect any of these frequent indicators of a failing septic system, it’s time to call Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service to have a new septic system installed in your home or commercial property. The following are common indicators that the present system should be replaced:
- Sinks and toilets that take a long time to drain
- Plumbing that is always backed up
- Sewage odors in the company, house, or yard
- Patchy mushy, swampy, or damp areas of the yard Gray water that has accumulated
- And grass that has grown more swiftly and is a darker shade of green
What To Know Before A Septic Tank Is Installed
In order to prevent the contamination of water sources and the creation of public health hazards that can result from incorrectly designed septic systems, the state of Florida and local municipalities have established rules and regulations to guide new septic system installations.
Required Applications, FeesPermits
The Environmental Health Service of the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in Alachua County is responsible for issuing the necessary applications and permits. Before a permit may be issued, the house or business owner must submit a completed application, as well as a site plan, a building floor plan, and any applicable application costs to the local building department.
A site evaluation is also necessary, which analyzes the overall condition of the land, as well as the soil type. Total fees are determined on the kind of septic system installed as well as the services provided by the county health division.
Minimum Tank Size
A minimum 900-gallon capacity is required for all septic tanks in Florida; however, this capacity requirement rises based on the size of the occupancy and whether the system is intended for residential or commercial usage. The specialists at Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service can assist you in determining the right tank size that complies with local and state specifications.
Because septic systems are installed underground, it is probable that the existing landscaping will need to be removed and replaced. Our professionals, on the other hand, may propose that the new system be installed in a different place in order to minimize interference with plant and tree roots. The Florida Department of Health mandates that the following distances be respected in order to prevent groundwater pollution from septic systems:
- If the property is located more than 75 feet from the annual flood line of a permanent, non-tidal surface water body or from the high water line of a tidal body of water, the following restrictions apply: 15 feet from a dry drainage ditch or stormwater retention area
- 10 feet from stormwater pipelines
- At least 200 feet away from public drinkable wells that are already in use for non-residential or residential structures with a total daily sewage discharge of more than 2,000 gallons
- And At least 11 feet away from any water storage tanks that come into touch with potable or groundwater
- A minimum of 15 feet away from a groundwater interceptor drain is required
- Minimum distances between bays, lakes and surface water
- Minimum distances between multi-family wells and/or private potable water wells
- And minimum distances between other wells.
New Home ConstructionSeptic Systems
Construction of new dwellings in rural locations or in any area that is not served by a municipal sewer system necessitates the installation of septic systems. Any system installed as part of a new house building project will have to take into consideration the elements and laws outlined above. In addition to establishing septic systems for countless new houses, Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service is happy to assist you through the application and permitting process, in addition to properly installing the system.