Some of the most common septic tank problems are as follows:
- Tree Roots. When tree roots find their way into the tank, they can do a lot of damage.
- Build-up of Solids. A septic tank does have outlets and a drain field to get rid of excess water.
- Strong odors.
- Collapse of a septic tank.
What are the factors to be considered when designing a septic tank?
Design of Septic Tanks: 7 Considerations | Waste Management
- Sewage Flow:
- Detention Period:
- Tank Capacity:
- Dimensions of Septic Tank:
- Sludge Withdrawal and Disposal:
- Construction Details:
- Disposal of Septic Tank Effluent:
What are three factors you should consider when installing a septic tank?
Here are a few factors septic service providers consider when installing a septic system in your property.
- Septic System Type & Design.
- Size of the SepticTank.
- Ease of Access.
- Contact All Septic and Sewer for Septic System Installation.
What are the issues with septic tanks?
Liquid surfacing or soft spots in the soil over the septic tank or disposal field. Green growth or dead spots over septic system. Strange noises and gurgling in the plumbing lines. Slow draining plumbing fixtures.
What are the disadvantages of a septic tank?
- Maintenance costs $300-$600 every few years (which can still be cheaper than municipal sewer).
- It can cause groundwater contamination if the system leaks.
- If not maintained, you can have a costly mess on your hands.
- Septic tanks will eventually need to be replaced.
Why ventilation of pipe is necessary while designing septic tank?
Ventilation pipes These gasses should be removed from the septic tank as to reduce damages caused by pressure in the tank. To solve these all a vent pipe is necessary on a septic tank otherwise the odour will reach you back..!
When constructing a septic tank for 15 users the recommended dimensions are?
For 15 users, minimum size of septic tank could be 2m × 0.9m × 1.3m (6.56ft × 2.95ft × 4.25ft) in respect to their Length, breadth and depth. It has tank capacity of 2500 litres of liquid wastages.
What to know before installing a septic tank?
Three Things To Know Before Installing A Septic Tank System
- Cleaning. Cleaning your septic tank may, in fact, be even more intimidating than septic tank repairs.
- Try To Use Water Efficiently.
Where should a septic tank be placed?
Northwest is the best direction for installing a septic tank. It doesn’t matter if your house is east or west-facing, as the direction of your house does not take into account the position of the septic tank. Therefore, septic tank location as per Vastu must always be in the northwest part of your home.
What is the most common cause of septic system failure?
Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.
How do you avoid septic tank problems?
6 Easy Ways to Prevent Septic Tank Problems
- Stop using anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners.
- Don’t use septic tank chemicals or additives.
- Take two to four minute showers instead of baths.
- Have your septic tank pumped regularly every two to three years.
- Stop using a garbage disposal.
How do you know if your septic system is failing?
The first signs of a failing septic system may include slow draining toilets and sinks, gurgling noises within the plumbing, sewage odors inside, continuing drainage backups, or bacteria in the well water. The area of the strongest odor will point to the location of the failure in the septic system.
What are the pros and cons of a septic system?
The Pros and Cons of Septic Systems
- Pro: Environmentally friendly.
- Con: Be More mindful of what you flush.
- Pro: Cost effective.
- Con: Routine maintenance.
- Pro: Durability.
- Con: Pipe ruptures.
Is it hard to maintain a septic tank?
Septic system maintenance is not complicated, and it does not need to be expensive. Upkeep comes down to four key elements: Inspect and Pump Frequently. Use Water Efficiently.
Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?
The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.
Factors to Consider When Installing a New Septic System
Installing a new septic system is more complicated than it appears. Essentially, you’ll have to deal with concerns such as developing an aseptic system design, selecting a suitable tank size, and finding the right drain field size, among other things. According to the appearances, this is not the sort of task that a typical property owner is capable of performing unless you are a professional in the sector. When you consider all of the factors involved, it only makes sense to employ a professional to assist you with the installation procedure.
Septic System TypeDesign
Septic systems are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs, including gravity, pressure, and aerobic designs. The ability of your property to absorb and dispose of water is the most important factor in selecting the optimal design. As a result, your service provider will need to undertake a number of tests and evaluations on your property in order to establish the most appropriate septic system design for your needs.
Size of the SepticTank
When it comes to choosing the perfect septic system for your property, size is crucial. This includes the dimensions of the drain field as well as the size of the septic system. The proper sewage system should be large enough to meet the daily water volume demand as well as anticipated future usage, among other things. If you have a big number of tenants in your home or business building, you will want a huge septic tank to handle the massive amounts of wastewater.
The topography on which the septic system is to be installed is critical, and the contractor must take this into consideration. As a result, concerns such as runoff water and floods after a heavy downpour are determined by how well the sewage system is designed. In order to reduce damage from runoff, the topography should be flat rather than sloppy in most cases. It will also guarantee that your drain field performs properly, since it is responsible for discharging treated water into the surrounding environment.
The landscaping in your yard can help you choose the best location for your new septic system installation. A reputable service provider will avoid placing the system, particularly the septic tank, in close proximity to trees, buildings, and other obstructions while designing the system. This is due to the fact that the tree’s roots may cause harm to the septic tank and sewage pipes.
Ease of Access
If there is a problem with the septic tank, drain field, or sewage lines, they should be accessible quickly and easily. This is crucial for doing routine maintenance and carrying out repair work on the system in order to ensure that it performs at its peak performance level.
Contact All Septic and Sewer for Septic System Installation
Whether you are establishing a new septic system or updating an existing one, it is recommended that you use a professional to ensure that the job is done correctly. If constructed properly, a septic system can endure for many years without needing to be repaired or maintained, resulting in significant savings in maintenance and repair expenditures. All SepticSewer is a fully certified and insured firm with years of expertise in delivering superior services in septic system installs, inspections, maintenance, and repairs to residential and commercial customers.
In addition, we decommission outdated septic systems that are no longer in use by our customers. Get in contact with us today to receive a free quote on your project.
Troubleshooting Septic Systems
Problems might arise from time to time.
- Keep meticulous records
- Make a drawing of the area where you’re going
- Keep track of any repairs, maintenance, and pumping for your own reference as well as in case you decide to sell the property.
Some of the issues that might arise are as follows:
- The following issues: slow drainage, tainted drinking water, wastewater appearing in the yard, aromas, and pipes freezing
The following issues: slow drainage, tainted drinking water, wastewater appearing in the yard, aromas, and frozen pipes
Septic and Drainfield Troubleshooting
Drainage from fixtures that is sluggish or non-existent, or a backup of wastewater into the home, may be caused by:
- A system that has been inadequately designed and/or implemented
- Excessive water entering system because of improper plumbing in the house
- Blockage in the house plumbing because of improper appliance functioning a clog in the sewage pipe connecting the residence to the wastewater treatment system
- Inadequate heights in the wastewater system If the system is not gravity flow, a pump failure or inappropriate operation may occur. a clog in the wastewater pipe that runs between the house and the septic tank
- The sewage tank is clogged up
- Blockage in the pipe between the septic tank and the drainfield
- A clog in the distribution box, drop box, or pipe The presence of a blockage at the drainfield/soil treatment interface, where wastewater enters the soil
It is possible that contaminated drinking or surface water is the result of the following:
- Wastewater treatment system that is insufficient or inadequately built and/or installed It is too near to the water supply well for the wastewater treatment system. wastewater should be discharged directly into surface or groundwater
- Improper water supply well construction or a water supply well that has been compromised
- A water supply pipe that has burst
- Sewage pipes that have burst
- Septic tank that is leaking
- A source other than the system of the owner
It is possible that sewage scents are emanating from within the home as a result of:
- Inadequate plumbing and ventilation in the home
- Traps that have not been filled with water
- Back-up of wastewater into the residence
- In the yard, there is wastewater surfacing. Pump for ejecting effluent that has not been sealed
Among the causes of sewage odors outside are:
- Untreated wastewater surfacing in the yard
- Faulty plumbing and ventilation in the house
- A vent from the pump station or an inspection pipe that is too near to the home
- Inspection pipe caps that have been damaged or broken
- Back-up of wastewater into the residence
- A sump pit for the wastewater ejector that is not sealed
- A source other than the owner’s system is used.
Wastewater surfacing in the yard may be caused by the following factors:
- Excessive water entering the system, clogging of the drainfield/soil treatment interface, where wastewater reaches the soil
- And a clog in the distribution pipeline Drainfield was built at an incorrect elevation. Flow via the distribution box, drop box, or drainfield has been restricted or hindered, and Drainfield that is undersized as a result of design or construction
- Failure of the pump or inappropriate functioning of the pump System that has been inappropriately or incorrectly built and/or implemented
The following factors may contribute to distribution pipes and/or drainfield freezing in the winter:
- Construction that is not up to code
- The check valve on the pump that lifts wastewater to a tank or effluent to a drain is not functioning properly. Flows through subterranean pipes (drainfield, pipe to drainfield, and so on)
- A low rate of wastewater flow
- A lack of application
Review of Septic System Operation and Maintenance
- It is your obligation to keep your septic system in good working order. Maintain the tank by having it pumped on a regular basis. Conserve water and distribute its consumption across time
- Solids should be managed. Keep potentially dangerous items out of the system. Allow the system to operate in its native state
- It is important not to compress the drainfield. Excessive water should not be introduced into the drainfield. The drainfield’s structural integrity must be maintained. Maintain a replacement drainfield area for usage in the event that a replacement drainfield is required. Maintain records, drawings of the surrounding region, and a pumping schedule.
How a Septic System Works – and Common Problems
This Article Discusses Septic Tanks are a type of septic tank that is used to dispose of waste. Field Sizing and System MaintenanceProblems with the Leach FieldSystem Performance Questions and comments are welcome. See Also: Septic System Frequently Asked Questions Articles on SEPTIC SYSTEM may be found here. In locations where there are no municipal sewage systems, each residence is responsible for treating its own sewage on its own property, which is known as a “on-site sewage disposal system,” or septic system, more popularly.
One of the most commonly seen types of leach field is composed of a series of perforated distribution pipes, each of which is placed in a gravel-filled absorption trench.
The wastewater is collected in the septic tank once it has been discharged from the residence. Septic tanks are normally between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons in capacity and are composed of concrete, strong plastic, or metal, depending on the model. Highly durable concrete tanks, which should endure for 40 years or more provided they are not damaged, are the most common. Many contemporary tanks are designed with two chambers in order to maximize efficiency. Household wastewater is collected in the septic tank, where it is separated and begins to degrade before being discharged into the leach field.
- In the tank, oil and grease float to the top of the tank, where they are known as scum, while solid waste falls to the bottom, where they are known as sludge.
- Bacteria and other microorganisms feed on the sediments at the bottom of the tank, causing them to decompose in an anaerobic (without oxygen) process that begins at the bottom of the tank.
- Solids and grease must be pushed out of the system on a regular basis in order for it to continue to function effectively.
- Each gallon added to the tank results in one gallon being discharged to the leach field, leach pit, or other similar treatment facility.
A large amount of water delivered too rapidly to the tank may discharge untreated effluent, along with oil and particulates, into the leach field, where it may block the field and cause a backup.
When used properly, a leach field (also known as a “drain field”) is a series of perforated pipes that are typically buried in gravel trenches 18 to 36 inches below grade — deep enough to avoid freezing, but close enough to the surface that air can reach the bacteria that further purify the effluent (see illustration below). As little as 6 inches might separate you from the ground surface, depending on your soil type and municipal regulations. It is customary to cover the perforated pipes with approximately two inches of gravel and a layer of topsoil that is 18 to 24 inches in depth.
- Grass is often sown above the ground.
- The leach field is comprised of rows of perforated pipes in gravel trenches that are used to spread wastewater over a vast area in order to further purify it.
- A bacteria-rich slime mat forms where the gravel meets the soil, and it is responsible for the majority of the water purification work.
- Despite the fact that wastewater freezes at a far lower temperature than pure water, freezing is still a hazard in cold areas.
- The leftover pathogens are converted into essential plant nutrients by these organisms, while sand, gravel, and soil filter out any solids that remain.
- If the system is operating effectively, the filtered wastewater will return to the aquifer as naturally clean water that is suitable for human consumption at this stage.
- Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
- Special systems may also be necessary in regions where there are flood plains, bodies of water, or other ecologically sensitive areas to protect against flooding.
SIZING THE LEACH FIELD
Using perforated pipes put in gravel-filled trenches, the drain field is sized to accommodate the number of beds in the house. In order for the system to function successfully, the leach field must be appropriately sized for the soil type and amount of wastewater, which is normally determined by the number of bedrooms in the house. In order for the liquid to seep into the soil, it must be permeable enough to do so. As a result, the denser the soil, the larger the leach field that is necessary.
- Better to have surplus capacity in your system than to have it cut too close to the bone.
- Septic tank backup into your house, pooling on the surface of the earth, or polluting local groundwater are all possibilities if the ground is incapable of absorbing the liquid.
- Dense clay soils will not absorb the liquid at a sufficient rate, resulting in a backlog.
- If the soil is mostly composed of coarse sand and gravel, it might drain at such a rapid rate that untreated sewage can poison the aquifer or damage surrounding bodies of water.
- Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
These systems sometimes cost twice or three times as much as a regular system and require significantly more upkeep. Near flood plains, bodies of water, and other ecologically sensitive places, special systems may also be necessary to protect people and property.
SEPTIC SYSTEM CAREMAINTENANCE REQUIRED
If you take good care of your system, you will be rewarded with years of trouble-free operation. Pumping the septic tank on a regular basis is necessary to remove the particles (sludge) and grease layer (scum) that have built up in the tank. The solids will ultimately overflow and spill into the leach field, decreasing its efficacy and diminishing its lifespan if this is not done. The rehabilitation of a clogged leach field is difficult, if not impossible; thus, constant pumping is essential!
- Cooking fats, grease, and particles may also wash into the leach field if the tank is too small for the amount of water being used or if the tank is overcrowded on a regular basis.
- Extra water from excessive residential consumption or yard drainage can overwhelm the system, transporting oil and particles into the leach field and causing it to overflow.
- In addition, don’t try to complete a week’s worth of laundry for a family of five in a single day.
- To minimize overburdening the system, the following measures should be taken:
- Distribute your washing loads and other high-water-use activities across the week
- And In the kitchen and bathroom, use low-flow appliances, faucets, and fixtures. Toilets, in general, are the source of the greatest amount of water use. Water should be diverted away from the leach field from the yard, gutters, and basement sump pumps.
In addition, refrain from flushing sediments, strong chemicals, and just about anything else down the toilet or sink other than biological waste and white toilet paper. Avoid using garbage disposals in the kitchen. If you really must have one, keep it for small non-meat bits only. Avoid flushing chemicals or paints down the toilet since many chemicals can destroy beneficial microorganisms or cause water contamination in the surrounding area. Avoid flushing the following down the toilet:
- Grease, fats, and animal scraps
- Paints, thinners, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals
- And a variety of other materials sanitary napkins, tampons, and other supplies Paper towels and disposable diapers are examples of such products. Egg shells, coffee grounds, and nut shells are all good options. Antibacterial soaps and antibiotics are available.
It is preferable to put grass over the leach field and to refrain from driving or parking in the vicinity. Excessive weight placed on top of the drain field might compress the earth, diminishing its efficiency as a drain field. Drain pipes can also become clogged by trees and plants with invasive roots. In order to prevent damage to the leach field, the following measures should be taken:
- Heavy machinery should not be driven, parked, or stored on top of the leach field (or septic tank). Placement of a deck, patio, pool, or any other sort of construction over the leach field is prohibited. Remove any large trees or other plants with deep roots from the leach field. Grass is the most effective groundcover.
Even with careful use and routine maintenance, however, leach fields are not guaranteed to survive indefinitely. It is inevitable that the soil will get saturated with dissolved elements from the wastewater, and that the soil will be unable to absorb any more incoming water. The presence of an odorous wet area over the leach field, as well as plumbing backups in the house, are frequently the first indicators that something is wrong. Many municipalities mandate septic system designs to incorporate a second “reserve drain field” in the case that the first field fails.
A well constructed and maintained system should last for at least 20 to 30 years, if not longer than that. After a few tears, the initial field will naturally heal and may be used once again when the situation calls for it to be. More information on Septic System Maintenance may be found here.
SEPTIC SYSTEM PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS
Poor original design, abuse, or physical damage, such as driving heavy trucks over the leach field, are the root causes of the majority of septic system issues. The following are examples of common situations that might cause a septic system to operate poorly: Plumbing in the home. obstructed or insufficient plumbing vents, a blockage between the home and the septic tank, or an insufficient pitch in the sewer line leading from the house are all possible causes. Sewage tank to leach field connection Septic tank and leach field blockage caused by a closed or damaged tank outlet, a plugged line leading to the leach field caused by tree roots, or a blockage caused by sediments that overflowed from the tank Piping in the leach field.
- Most of the time, tree roots do not make their way through the gravel bed and into the perforated pipe.
- Reduced flows, achieved through the use of flow restrictors and low-flow faucets and fixtures, may be beneficial.
- Because of the seasonal high water table, the soil around the trenches might get saturated, reducing the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater.
- This may frequently be remedied by adding subsurface drains or curtain drains to intercept the water flow into the leach field region and to lower the water table in the immediate area around the drainage system.
- Likewise, see: In order to do a perc test, who should I hire?
- Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime?
- Performing an Inspection on a Septic System When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test?
- Examination of the WellSEPTIC SYSTEMView allSEPTIC SYSTEMarticles Return to the top of the page
Why Do Septic Systems Fail?
You may be wondering how you can tell whether your septic system is failing. To begin, respond to the following questions:
- Do your drains empty slowly for reasons other than old, blocked pipes? If so, you may have a problem. Do you have sewage backing up into your home? Has a damp, stinky patch in your yard piqued your interest? Is your septic tank connected to a ditch or a stream for disposal? Does the water from your washing machine or sink drain into a road or a brook
- Is it common for you to have drainage issues after a heavy rain or when the ground is sloppy? Do you notice a puddle in your yard when you do your laundry? Do you have to pump out your septic tank on a regular basis (more than once a year)? Are there areas of your yard where the grass over or surrounding your septic tank is greener than the rest of your lawn? Has your septic tank or drainfield been moist or spongy for a week or longer despite the fact that there hasn’t been any rainfall?
If you responded “yes” to any of these questions, it is likely that your septic system has failed or is on the verge of collapsing completely. Therefore, it is not handling and disposing of sewage in an ecologically safe and environmentally sound manner. Additionally, unpleasant bacteria (fecal coliforms) or excessive concentrations of nutrients (especially ammonia) detected in both neighboring wells and surface water may indicate that your system is in difficulty. Generally speaking, a septic system has four fundamental components: the source (the house), the septic tank, the drainfield (also known as a leach field), and the soil below the drainfield (Hoover, 2004; Figure 1).
- The sort of system that is employed is determined by the soil and site characteristics of the lot; nevertheless, the conventional system (as seen in Figure 1) is the most typically used in the state of California.
- Overloading a sewage system with more water than it can absorb is a typical cause of septic system failure.
- The surplus water flows back into the house or onto the lawn when this flow rate is surpassed, causing damage to the structure.
- A change in water consumption, such as the addition of more people to the household or the installation of a water-consuming device, such as a dishwasher or washing machine, may cause your septic system to accumulate excess water.
- Each of these devices has the potential to introduce excessive water to your septic system and should not be connected to it.
- Water from roofs, roads, and paved surfaces, in particular, may be channeled onto the system drainfield.
- As a result, sewage backs up into the home or accumulates on the surface of the ground.
As a result, septic tanks are built to be waterproof, and surface water should be channeled away from the septic tank’s access covers in order to prevent flooding.
The North Carolina State Extension publications Septic Systems and Their Maintenance(AG-439-13) and Septic System Owner’s Guide(AG-439-22) provide information on how to properly maintain a septic system in your home.
Assuming that particles do manage to make it to the drainfield, they will block any small holes or pores in the gravel and dirt below, which will result in sewage backing up and flooding the house or surfacing in your yard.
Pumping your tank every 3 to 5 years, depending on how often it is used, is recommended (seeSeptic Systems and Their Maintenance(AG-439-13) for detailed recommendations on pumping frequency).
A trash disposal should not be installed in a home with a septic system.
No evidence exists that additives, whether biological or chemical, have a good effect on the solids in storage tanks or the system as a whole, according to the experts.
After January 1, 1999, your system must be equipped with an effluent filter if it acquired its permit from your county health department after that date.
Maintenance of the filters is required on a regular basis.
Whenever this occurs, the filter may be cleaned with a garden hose, making sure that all of the waste on the filter is rinsed away into the inflow side of the tank, and the filter can be replaced in the tank by a septic tank pumper or the homeowner.
A septic system that has been inadequately built is a disaster waiting to happen.
The amount of area required for a drainfield is determined by the quantity of sewage that flows into the system, as well as the soil and site characteristics around the drainfield.
Nonresidential property has a flow rate that is defined by the type of use that is intended.
On the whole, sandy soils can take more wastewater than clayey soils, resulting in smaller drainfields for sandier soil types.
The soil is the most significant component of a septic system since it is responsible for processing and ultimately spreading the treated sewage in the system.
A restrictive layer that is too near to the trench bottom may also prevent the soil from properly absorbing all of the sewage, resulting in it being forced to the surface or back up into the home, among other consequences.
The vertical separation distance is the term used to describe this distance.
You may learn more about investigating before investing by reading the NC State Extension booklet Investigate Before You Invest (AG-439-12).
Because of the excessive moisture in the soil, when systems are placed in excavated areas, the soil is severely compressed and the soil pore space is smeared in those locations.
It is likely that wastewater will back up into the home or appear on top of the ground as a result of the reduced ability for wastewater to flow into soil.
This entails inspecting the height of each component on a regular basis.
It is critical that any step-downs or other devices used on sloping sites are correctly built, or else one trench may become overloaded with effluent.
Finally, the soil cover over the drainfield should be consistent and topped in order to prevent surface water from ponding on top of or flowing into the drainfield.
Driving over, paving over, or constructing a structure on top of a septic system can cause damage or destruction.
As a result, the soil might get compacted or ruts can form, exposing system components as well as potentially untreated sewage to the ground surface.
A structure built over a drainfield may create compaction or even damage to a line as a result of the weight of the structure or the position of the building’s footings, among other things.
Tree roots can block drain pipes and gravel in trenches, causing them to overflow.
Roots may potentially enter the septic tank or distribution box, so avoid planting trees and bushes directly in front of or next to these devices.
The grass aids in the evacuation of water and the prevention of soil erosion across the various components of the system.
If this region were now in use, it should be handled and safeguarded in the same manner.
It is comparable to the lifespan of an asphalt shingled roof, when properly maintained, in terms of lifespan of a septic system.
Any failure, regardless of its source, is a nuisance, represents a threat to public health, and has the potential to pollute the environment.
The department will dispatch an environmental health professional who has received specialized training in examining failed septic systems to discover the root cause or reasons of the failure and to make recommendations on how to correct the situation.
The installation of water conservation equipment, for example, might be sufficient remedial steps in some circumstances. In the event of a full breakdown of the system, the installation of a new septic system may be the only viable option. Repairing a Septic System: Dos and Don’ts
- Reporting issues to your local environmental health department and requesting an examination are both recommended. Dokeep the water turned off until the problem is resolved
- People and animals should be kept away from untreated sewage by cordoning off or fencing off the area where sewage is visible on the ground surface. Don’t pile extra dirt on top of a puddle of water that smells like raw sewage, which is most likely the result of a sewage backup. In addition to not resolving the issue, it may cause sewage to back up into your home. Raw sewage includes hazardous microorganisms that can cause illness or death if not treated properly. Don’t pipe or ditch sewage into a ditch, storm sewer, stream, sinkhole, or drain tile
- Instead, use a drain tile. A threat to human health will result from the contamination of surface water, groundwater, or both. You are not permitted to pipe, ditch, or otherwise discharge sewage into an abandoned well or other hole in the earth. This will contaminate groundwater and pose a health risk to those who live nearby. It is against the law
- Do not overlook the situation. It’s not going away anytime soon. A simple repair may become a very pricey one if you wait too long to address the issue. The longer you wait to address the issue, the worse the situation may get.
The most effective strategy to avoid a septic system failure is to do regular maintenance on it. As previously noted, the North Carolina State Extension publicationsSeptic Systems and Their Maintenance(AG-439-13) andSeptic System Owner’s Guide(AG-439-22) provide information on how to properly maintain a septic system. Some of the actions you can take are listed below.
- Water should be conserved. Reduce the quantity of wastewater that has to be absorbed by the soil by using water-saving fixtures and conserving water in the kitchen, bath, and laundry, among other things. As a result, it is especially useful immediately following a large rain, as well as throughout the winter and early spring
- Fixtures that are leaking should be repaired or replaced. The presence of leaky fixtures causes surplus water to be discharged into the drainfield, reducing the quantity of water that needs to be absorbed by the soil. Continue to provide enough cover and landscaping over the drainfield. Make sure the drainfield is well-covered with grass in order to minimize erosion of the soil. A topped drainfield and surface swales will help to keep excess surface water from entering the trench and damaging the soil. Check to see sure gutters, downspouts, patios, walkways, and roads do not redirect water over the drainfield or septic tank, as well. Fill your tank with water on a regular basis. Keeping the drainfield clear with regular pumping keeps particles from accumulating and clogging it. Depending on how often the tank is used, it should be pumped every 3 to 5 years. It has not been demonstrated that the use of additives can considerably reduce the quantity of solids in a tank. Avoid using them in place of regular septic tank pumping
- Instead, limit the amount of waste that goes into your septic tank. Chemicals, solvents, cleaning fluids, paint, motor oil, gasoline, and other similar items should not be disposed of in a septic tank or drain field. They have the potential to destroy all of the good bacteria in the tank and soil, as well as contaminate the surrounding environment. Dispose of these materials appropriately at a recycling center or transfer station in your neighborhood. The following items should be disposed of in the trash: kitty litter, hygiene products, cooking oil, grease, and leftover food. Compostable waste from fruits and vegetables
- Do not drive or construct over any component of your septic system
- Inspect the system components on a regular basis. Examine the environment for signals of issues that can be rectified before a failure happens.
The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States, April 1997. Response to Congress on the Use of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems, EPA 832-R-97-001b. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997. Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. M. T. Hoover published a paper in 1990 titled Investigate the Soil Facts Before Making a Decision. AG-439-12 is the number assigned by NC State Extension. NC State University is located in Raleigh. M. T. Hoover and T. Konsler.
- Septic Systems and Their Maintenance: The Soil Facts State Extension, No.
- A Guide for Septic System Owners based on Soil Facts.
- J., R.
McCoy, and S.
Sandhu published a paper titled 1977.
Joseph, MI: The American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE), in Home Sewage Treatment (ASAE No 5-77).
The authors would like to express their gratitude to M.
David Lindbo is a Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences at Colorado State University.
Agent specializing in water quality and waste management in a certain area Onslow County is located in the state of North Carolina.
What are Common Septic Tank Problems?
Frequently Asked Questions»What are the Most Common Septic Tank Issues?
What are Common Septic Tank Problems?
The septic tank in your home is one of the most critical pieces of equipment in your home, and it is one that you should never have to worry about. Many individuals never give a second thought to their septic tanks since, for the most part, a properly installed sewage system will operate quietly and without incident. When septic systems do fail, though, they may have disastrous consequences. The purpose of this essay is to list some of the most prevalent septic tank problems that we have noticed at Doucette Engineering in Massachusetts.
What is a Septic Tank and What Does it Do?
A septic system is a big tank whose main purpose is to collect and dispose of human biodegradable waste. This trash is retained until natural processes break down the waste into water, gases, and solids, at which point it is recycled. Not all residences are equipped with septic tanks, but many are, and depending on the location, there may be a shared tank among a group of dwellings.
Houses in more rural locations that do not have access to a centralized sewer system benefit the most from the use of septic tanks, while they are not absolutely confined to rural dwellings. Check out the following list of the most frequent septic tank issues that you may be facing.
Clogged Septic Tank
Basically, it’s just a big tank that’s main purpose is to contain all of the biological waste generated by humans. Until the waste is broken down into water, gases, and solids by natural processes, it is stored. Not all residences have septic tanks, but many do, and depending on the location, there may be a shared tank among a cluster of properties. Houses in more rural locations that do not have access to a centralized sewer system benefit the most from the use of septic tanks, yet they are not exclusively used in rural areas.
Flushing Harmful Chemicals
It is possible that pouring chemical materials down the drain will have a detrimental impact on your septic system. Consider the fact that anything enters the tank through the drains will surely find its way into the surrounding soil. Moreover, these hazardous substances might interfere with the natural separation and breakdown of waste before it enters the tank. In the long run, this interference with breakdown might result in additional issues such as blockage.
Septic Tank Drainfield Failure
When a drain field collapses or becomes otherwise non-functional, one of the worst-case situations might occur: sewage can back up into your property, causing flooding. The drain field’s purpose is to store water that has been released from the tank until it may be naturally absorbed by the surrounding soil. It is not possible for the drain field to function correctly if the soil becomes too saturated, whether as a result of natural reasons or incorrect routing and soil design. When water is allowed to linger in the drain field for an extended period of time, it can develop a sticky coating on the walls, making it harder for water to permeate into the soil, resulting in additional back up.
Septic Tank Installation and Repair Massachusetts
It is one of the most stressful things a homeowner can go through when their septic tank fails. Having raw sewage and human waste back up and into your house may develop into a terrible nightmare that can cost you thousands of dollars in cleaning costs, installation, and repair expenses. Get in touch with Doucette Engineering right away if you need septic system installation, repair, or support for your house. Over the course of his ten-year career, Ted has constructed more than 200 septic systems in more than fifty cities and towns!
Signs of Septic System Failure
- Flooding is occurring in the home as a result of backed up water and sewage from toilets, drains, and sinks Bathtubs, showers, and sinks all drain at a snail’s pace
- The plumbing system is making gurgling sounds. The presence of standing water or moist patches near the septic tank or drainfield
- Noxious smells emanating from the septic tank or drainfield
- Even in the midst of a drought, bright green, spongy luxuriant grass should cover the septic tank or drainfield. Algal blooms in the vicinity of ponds or lakes In certain water wells, there are high quantities of nitrates or coliform bacteria.
Septic systems, like the majority of other components of your house, require regular maintenance. As long as it is properly maintained, the septic system should give years of dependable service. If the septic system is not properly maintained, owners face the risk of having a dangerous and expensive failure on their hands. Septic systems, on the other hand, have a limited operating lifespan and will ultimately need to be replaced. Septic systems that have failed or are not working properly pose a threat to human and animal health and can damage the environment.
It is possible that a prompt response will save the property owner money in repair costs, as well as disease and bad influence on the environment in the future.
What happens when a septic system fails?
When a septic system fails, untreated sewage is dumped into the environment and carried to places where it shouldn’t be. This may cause sewage to rise to the surface of the ground around the tank or drainfield, or it may cause sewage to back up in the pipes of the structure. It is also possible that sewage will make its way into groundwater, surface water, or marine water without our knowledge. Pathogens and other potentially harmful substances are carried by the sewage. People and animals can become ill as a result of exposure to certain diseases and pollutants.
What are some common reasons a septic system doesn’t work properly?
The pipe between the home to the tank is obstructed. When this occurs, drains drain very slowly (perhaps much more slowly on lower floors of the structure) or cease draining entirely, depending on the situation. This is frequently a straightforward issue to resolve. The majority of the time, a service provider can “snake the line” and unclog the problem. Keeping your drains clear by flushing only human waste and toilet paper down the drain and having your system examined on an annual basis will help prevent clogs.
- Plant roots might occasionally obstruct the pipe (particularly on older systems).
- The inlet baffle to the tank is obstructed.
- In case you have access to your intake baffle aperture, you may see if there is a blockage by inspecting it.
- It is essential that you avoid damaging any of the septic system’s components.
- Avoid clogging your inlet baffle by just flushing human waste and toilet paper, and get your system examined once a year to ensure that it is in good working order.
- This may result in sewage backing up into the residence or surfacing near the septic tank as a result of the situation.
- If there is an effluent filter, it has to be cleaned or changed as necessary.
Preventing this sort of problem from occurring is as simple as cleaning your effluent filter (if you have one) and getting your system examined once per year.
It is possible for sewage to back up into the residence when the drainfield collapses or becomes saturated with water.
Additionally, smells may be present around the tank or drainfield.
It is possible that the system was run incorrectly, resulting in an excessive amount of solid material making its way to the drainfield and causing it to fail prematurely.
While it is conceivable that a drainfield will get saturated due to excessive quantities of water (either from enormous volumes of water flowing down the drain or flooding the drainfield), it is not always viable to dry out and restore a drainfield.
A connection to the public sewer system should be explored if the drainfield has failed and it is possible to make the connection.
It will be necessary to replace the existing drainfield if this does not take place. It is possible for a septic system to fail or malfunction for various reasons. Septic professionals should be contacted if your system isn’t functioning correctly.
How can I prevent a failure?
The proper operation of your septic system, together with routine maintenance, can help it last a long and trouble-free life. Assuming that your septic system has been correctly planned, located, and installed, the rest is up to you to take care of. Inspect your system once a year and pump as necessary (usually every 3-5 years). Avoid overusing water, and be mindful of what you flush down the toilet and what you flush down the drain. Learn more about how to properly maintain your septic system.
Can my failing septic system contaminate the water?
Yes, a failed septic system has the potential to pollute well water as well as adjacent water sources. Untreated wastewater is a health problem that has the potential to cause a variety of human ailments. Once this untreated wastewater enters the groundwater, it has the potential to poison your well and the wells of your neighbors. It is possible that oyster beds and recreational swimming sites will be affected if the sewage reaches local streams or water bodies.
Is there financial help for failing systems or repairs?
Yes, there are instances where this is true. Here are a few such alternatives.
- In addition, Craft3 is a local nonprofit financial organization that provides loans in many counties. Municipal Health Departments- Some local health departments provide low-interest loan and grant programs to qualified applicants. A federal home repair program for people who qualify is offered by the USDA.
- Septic System 101: The Fundamentals of Septic Systems
- Taking Good Care of Your Septic System
- A video on how to inspect your septic system yourself
- Using the Services of a Septic System Professional
- Safety of the Septic Tank Lid
Septic Systems – Basics and Common Failures
In the event of a failure, on-site wastewater disposal systems (septic systems) can cause varied degrees of damage to a property and can be a significant financial burden. Understanding the fundamental function of a septic system, as well as its components and typical symptoms of failure, is critical to evaluating and limiting the damages caused by septic system failures and failures in general. However, just because a system is having problems does not always imply that it is time to replace it entirely.
Septic System Basics
Septic systems are available in a variety of forms, sizes, combinations, and technological setups. However, in their most fundamental form, they are comprised of two major components:
- Solids are separated and collected in a septic tank. A soil absorption system (also known as a leach field) is a system for filtering and cleaning wastewater before returning clean water to the earth.
The septic tank is responsible for two primary functions:
- When wastewater from a home (or building) is collected, it goes through a process known as settling, which allows particles to settle to the bottom and water to drain into a leach field. The leach field is a collecting place for effluent that has been slowed and retained. In the septic tank, the residual sediments undergo anaerobic decomposition, which is beneficial.
Besides receiving liquid waste from the septic tank that contains harmful organics and bacteria, the leach field also serves a number of other important tasks.
- Filters and purifies wastewater by passing it through a filter bed made up of selected materials. After cleaning up the hazardous organics and pathogens in the wastewater, the leach field serves as a habitat for a layer of bacteria and other creatures that devour them before releasing the clean water back into the earth
Common Reasons That Septic Systems Fail
Poor maintenance and/or inappropriate care of a septic system are the most typical causes of a septic system failure. In particular, not routinely pumping out the sediments in a septic tank is the most typical cause of septic tank failure. Septic tanks should be drained every 3-5 years, depending on the number of people living in the house and how often they are used. Another typical cause of interior plumbing fixture failure is the flushing or pouring of chemicals down the interior plumbing fixtures.
Additionally, strong chemicals can cause an impermeable mat to form, resulting in a backup of wastewater into the tank (and subsequently the home), and/or it might produce ponding in the yard above the leach field, depending on the severity of the chemical.
Another failure mode, which is similar to flushing chemicals, includes flushing solid, non-septic-safe objects down the plumbing fixtures, such as paper towels or toilet paper. Physical blockages and backups in the pipelines or at the tank might result as a result of this.
Typical Signs of Failure or Issues
This indicator of failure is simple to recognize and, for obvious reasons, is quite unpleasant. A wastewater backup occurs when wastewater cannot be discharged from the house and instead backflows out of domestic fittings such as a toilet or sink. The majority of the time, this occurs on the lower floors of the house. There are a variety of factors that might cause wastewater to back up into the house, and these factors can occur anywhere in the septic system, from the plumbing exiting the house to the leach field and everything in between.
- A blockage in the pipe may be resolved by a plumber using only a few simple instruments and pieces of information.
- If this filter becomes blocked as a result of a lack of pumping or the flushing of non-septic safe goods, backup into the home will occur.
- If it does not, you might consider requesting that they install one.
- When a leach field fails, however, there are typically other symptoms present in addition to septic backup into the house that indicate the problem.
Green spots in the lawn
It is possible that contrasting regions of brilliant green in the grass above the septic system components are a clue that the system is not operating correctly. In general, a brilliant green spot in the lawn is produced by a defective septic system, which improperly discharges wastewater to the surface of the yard while simultaneously fertilizing and watering the region in question. It is possible that the underlying difficulties with the septic system are causing the malfunction. For example, a fracture or hole in the septic tank might be generating an unexpected leak, and a blockage or failure of the leach field could be preventing wastewater from properly emptying into the earth.
This is most likely an indication that the system has reached the end of its useful life.
Wastewater smell in the house or yard
There is a chance that this symptom of failure will be more subtle and difficult to detect. A particular fragrance may only be discernible at specific periods or when the wind is blowing in a specific direction, depending on the circumstances. A stench of wastewater is usually the result of a minor problem, such as a loose lid on the septic tank. It is also frequently generated by a plumbing vent located on the top of the house. When homeowners are working in areas of their yard that they do not utilize on a daily basis, they are more likely to notice the odor (e.g.
The wind might cause the stench to descend lower and settle in a certain region of the yard, which is undesirable.
If desired, filters for placement over the vent can be purchased separately. Although fragrance can be indicative of a more severe sort of failure, in those instances it is frequently accompanied by other symptoms of failure, such as those previously mentioned.
How Can VERTEX Help?
Problems with a septic system can manifest itself in a variety of ways. VERTX’s forensic engineering team has extensive experience in septic system design, installation, and failure investigation, among other things. Moisture infiltration, mold treatment, and wood rot caused by moisture exposure are all areas in which we can evaluate and make recommendations to our clients. In order to learn more about VERTEX’sEnvironmental ConsultingandRemediationservices or to talk with an Environmental Expert, please contact 888.298.5162 or send an email.
The Author is a person who writes.
C. Mike Rose
In addition to being a qualified professional engineer in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, Mike Rose also has a solid expertise in residential and commercial building systems, structural systems analysis, and building design. C. Mike Rose’s Biography