Your septic system requires regular maintenance, which includes inspecting and pumping it. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you should inspect your septic system at least every three years. The EPA also recommends that you pump your septic tank every three to five years.
- The standard for septic tank maintenance recommends pumping out the tank every three years so that this doesn’t occur. Septic tank has been pumped but backups still occur. This may indicate that the pipes from the fixtures that flow to the septic tank are blocked.
How long can you go without pumping your septic tank?
Most septic tanks need to be pumped out every 3-5 years. However, the exact interval will depend both on the size of your tank and the number of people currently living in your house. A single person may be able to go up to 10 years without pumping while a large family may need to get theirs pumped out every 2 years.
What happens if I don’t pump my septic tank?
What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.
Do septic tanks ever back up?
Septic tank backups can be a messy situation. A backup is also one of the most common septic system problems. It could be a mechanical malfunction, or it could be a septic system backup due to a clog in the drain line. It could even be a clogged filter in the septic tank.
What are the signs of a backed up septic tank?
Septic Tank Back Up: Top 5 Warning Signs
- Drain Clogs. Clogged drains are a common indicator of septic problems, as well as being one of the most common problems homeowners face.
- Sewage Backup.
- Standing Ground Water Near Septic Tank.
- Bad Odors.
- Patch of Overly Green Grass.
Can you get your septic pumped in the winter?
Your septic tank can be pumped all year round, and the temperature generally has little bearing on a professional’s ability to perform most septic services. So if you need septic tank pumping, whether it is August or the middle of February, you shouldn’t have to worry about being turned down by our team.
Can I shower if my septic tank is full?
Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.
What happens when your septic tank backs up?
Dangers of a Backed Up Septic Tank A backed-up septic tank can cause bigger problems than just pooled water in your shower. Septic backup carries disease and is a real health hazard to you and your family. Drug byproducts, human waste, fungus, viruses, and bacteria all live in sewage.
What causes a septic tank to back up?
Hydraulic overloading occurs when too much water rushes into the septic system at once, causing wastewater to back up into your drains. Space out high-volume activities like laundry, showering and running the dishwasher. Also, remember that unusually wet weather can contribute to hydraulic overloading.
How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?
How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.
How do I stop my septic from backing up?
Septic Tank Backup Prevention
- Make sure your septic tank is always biologically active. Don’t use antibacterial soaps and cleaners that drain to the tank.
- Never put garbage or any foreign objects into the system.
- Avoid planting trees anywhere near your septic lines.
- Do not run heavy machinery over sewer lines.
How do I stop my septic tank from backing up?
To keep your septic tank free of backups, be mindful of these following steps.
- Never put garbage down your septic system.
- Always make sure that your septic tank is biologically active.
- Do not plant trees or plants near your septic tank.
- Keep the ground above the pipes and sewer lines clear.
Can heavy rain cause septic backup?
It is common to have a septic back up after or even during a heavy rain. Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the soil absorption area (drainfield) leaving it saturated, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system.
Is my septic tank full or clogged?
If the septic tank is completely clogged, water will back up into the house quickly. If the septic tank is only partially clogged, the drains will become slow as the water struggles to wind its way down into the septic tank.
Does washing machine drain into septic tank?
Wastewater from your washing machine and dishwasher may either go to your septic tank and/or cesspool or to a separate disposal system called a dry well. This wastewater can be problematic due to its high concentrations of soaps and detergents, grease and paper.
How often should a septic tank be pumped?
Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
What do I do if My Septic Alarm is Going Off?
In the event that your septic alarm goes off, it may surely create some anxiety and uncertainty; and if you happen to be experiencing this right now, then you’ve arrived to the correct location! Don’t be concerned; it does not necessitate urgent action. Instead, take your time to go through this full essay so that you will be prepared to act now or in the future if the situation arises. What Septic Systems Are and How They Work The alarm works in conjunction with the septic system to alert you when the water level within the pump tank has increased to an unsafe level or has decreased to an unsafe level.
The timer is in charge of regulating the time intervals during which the pump is permitted to pump wastewater into the drainage system.
Thus, during periods of excessive water use, the drain field is kept from getting overflowing, which might cause damage to the drainage system.
A large amount of water is injected into the system in between pumping cycles for whatever cause, and the water has nowhere else to go but back into the system’s pump tank.
Depending on how much water was and continues to be put into the system and how the pump is set up to operate on a timer, it may take many pumping cycles until the water levels are returned to normal.
- There is an excessive amount of water being put into the septic system. This is the result of excessive water use, which might be caused by multiple loads of laundry, an excessive quantity of dishwashing, or a disproportionate number of long showers.
- Somehow, groundwater is making its way into the system. If there is an excessive amount of standing water surrounding the septic tanks, whether generated by rain or another source, the water may seep into the tanks and cause the internal water level to rise.
- It’s possible that one of the components of the septic system is malfunctioning. If anything goes wrong with your system — including the pump and floats — the alarm and timer will go off and the septic system will stop working correctly.
The Best Thing to Do If Your Alarm Goes Off Alternatively, if you hear an alert, you should press the red button or turn on the alarm box. The alarm will be turned off as a result of this action. There should be a red light and a green light on the alarm box, which should be situated someplace on the unit. The green light indicates that the alarm is operational and should be left on at all times. It is shown by a red light if the alarm is getting a signal from the pump tank indicating that the water level is increasing above or decreasing below what is expected.
- If the breaker occurs to be tripped, look around the septic tanks to see if there is any standing water.
- It is possible that the red light on the alarm box will go out on its own after allowing the septic system to operate for a couple of pump cycles (which should take approximately 10-15 hours).
- If the red light turns off, it signifies that the system is operating properly and that it only needs to catch up with the extra water that has overflowed into the storage tank.
- To be clear, an alarm signal from the septic system does not always imply that sewage is about to back up into the house right away.
- Do you require septic system repair on a regular basis or emergency service?
To arrange an appointment, please call (804) 581-0001 or send us an email through our contact page. Want to learn more about septic systems? Explore our septic system web sites by clicking on the “Septic” navigation option in the top navigation bar.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUMP YOUR SEPTIC TANK?
By Admin on November 12, 2020 Your efforts to live as environmentally conscious as possible, as a responsible homeowner, are likely already underway, with practices such as recycling, composting, and purchasing energy-efficient equipment among your list of accomplishments. As a septic tank owner, you want to be sure that anything you put into your tank and septic field is causing the least amount of ground contamination as is reasonably practicable. Fortunately, there are a number of modest improvements you can do immediately to make your septic system even more ecologically friendly than it already is.
- Have your septic tank inspected and pumped on a regular basis.
- A bigger septic tank with only a couple of people living in your house, for example, will not require pumping as frequently as a smaller septic tank or as a septic tank that must manage the waste products of multiple family members will require.
- When in doubt about how often to pump your septic tank, consult with a professional for advice.
- In addition to locating and repairing any damage, a professional can ensure that the septic field is in good working order and that your septic tank is functional, large enough to handle your family’s waste, and not causing any unwanted pollution in nearby ground water.
- Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet or down the toilet.
- Items that are not biodegradable are unable to properly decompose in the septic tank and might cause the system to get clogged.
- In addition to causing issues in your house, septic system backups can damage ground water in the area surrounding your septic field.
Towels made of paper Products for feminine hygiene Grease or fats are used in cooking.
grinds from a cup of coffee Even if you have a trash disposal, the food scraps that you flush down the drain and bring into your septic system may cause unanticipated harm to your plumbing system.
Food scraps can enhance the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the wastewater, which can disturb the natural bacterial balance of the septic tank, among other things.
Water conservation should be practiced.
Exceedingly large amounts of water use will interfere with the normal flow of wastewater from your home into your septic tank.
Limiting the amount of time you spend in the shower and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, as well as purchasing a smaller dishwasher and washing machine that use less water, are all simple strategies to reduce water use in your home.
The following are some basic steps you can take to make your septic system more ecologically friendly: save water, maintain your septic system and tank, and recycle wastewater. To get answers to any of your septic tank-related issues, get in touch with the experts at Upstate Septic Tank, LLC.
Septic Tank Backup: Warning Signs & How To Fix It
It is no one’s desire to rip up their grass in order to pay for a pricey septic tank repair. Having a thorough understanding of your tank and a sharp eye for difficulties implies that you can foresee problems and the entirety of your system’s renovation.
How Does A Septic Tank Work?
A basic septic tank is composed of two components: Watertight subterranean tank for storing sludge and wastes 2) and a drain field, which treats and filters water as it returns to the soil after being drained. When everything is running correctly, this mechanism keeps potentially hazardous material in situ and only allows treated water to escape. All that is required is that the waste be pumped out every few years, and the system will continue to operate properly. However, if you’re reading this, you’re probably aware that this isn’t always the case.
Why Do Septic Tanks Backup?
A backed-up septic tank is a major headache that can occur for a variety of reasons. Some events are under your control, while others may occur at any time. Septic tank backlog can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which are listed below: Flooding: When heavy rains soak the earth around a septic tank, the tank may have a difficult time emptying correctly, leading to flooding. The trash and the clean water will mix together and run out simultaneously if there is no dry soil to absorb the pure water.
- Tanks are available in a variety of sizes.
- Unsatisfactory Installation: Unless you built your home from the ground up, you may not be aware of who constructed your septic system or how old it is.
- Before purchasing a new house, make sure to get the septic tank inspected.
- Only rubbish and toilet paper should ever be flushed.
- If you’re not sure whether anything is flushable, look to see if the box says “septic safe.” If it doesn’t, toss it in the garbage!
- Growing tree roots may even cause obstructions in pipes as they creep into cracks and crevices.
- Make sure your tank is well marked and that any prospective traffic is kept away from it.
Warning Signs of a Backed Up Septic System (And What to do About It!)
It might be difficult to determine the signs of a backed-up septic tank at first glance.
At first sight, you could dismiss any of these warning indicators as being inconsequential. However, it is critical to take all of these warnings seriously and to conduct an investigation into the matter. Identify whether any of these warning indicators are present in your house.
- Was it a while ago that you had your septic tank drained and cleaned? In the absence of a regular cleaning routine, you may notice sewage backups in your toilet as well as slow draining sinks and bathtubs in your bathroom. This is an indication of blockages. Without frequent pumping, a septic tank fills up with solid waste and enables contaminated water to pass through
- However, the unclean, polluted water has nowhere to go and must be pumped out regularly.
- Your driveway or sidewalk may be gradually rising due to tree roots if you see bumps in the road or uneven surfaces. There are a few different approaches you may use to deal with roots in your septic system. It is the most lasting method if you are ready to part with the tree, removing it totally, removing and replacing it with new pipes. Newer, stronger plastic pipes are designed to withstand tree roots and are an excellent alternative to metal pipes. Alternatively, you may pour a root-killing solution down the drain to prevent future development.
- In one spot of your yard, do you have a clump of vivid green grass growing? If it hasn’t rained in a while, have you seen pools of water in unexpected places? Your septic system’s leaky pipes are clearly visible in these conditions.
- It is a strong indication that you have a septic tank backlog if your home begins to smell like a sewer. If sewage cannot adequately drain down into the tank, the only option is for it to flow back up the pipes.
If you have seen one or more of these warning signals, it is imperative that you take action before the issue spirals out of control, since there are serious implications to having a clogged septic system.
Dangers of a Backed Up Septic Tank
A clogged septic tank may cause far more serious problems than just a puddle of water in your shower. Septic backflow is a serious health threat for you and your family, since it is a carrier of illness. In sewage, drug leftovers, human waste, fungi, viruses, and bacteria can all be found in large quantities. If you see any sewage backup bubbling into your house, call for expert aid in disinfecting your home. When you have a clogged septic tank, water damage is a definite possibility. Septic tank leakage in your house may severely harm your flooring and walls, as well as the rest of your property.
Untreated sewage from your clogged septic system can have far-reaching consequences for the ecology surrounding your property.
If you see signs of a clogged septic system, you should either attempt to fix it yourself or hire a professional like All Dry USA to do the work for you.
How To Fix Septic Tank Backup
The easiest approach to fix a septic tank is through good maintenance. Ensure you are getting your system pumped every 3 to 5 years, more if you have a big family. Regular pumping will hopefully save a giant backhoe from ripping up your yard and repairing a sewage tank that has broken down on you. Check to ensure that your float switch is functioning properly. This will automatically turn off the system and shut off your water supply to prevent a potential backup from occurring. Using a snake to clear the drain might help you determine whether or not there is a clog in your system.
- If doing it yourself seems daunting, or if you just don’t have the time, get quick assistance from a professional.
- Our team of highly experienced specialists will examine the situation and determine the most cost-effective solution available.
- All Dry USA’s President and Chief Executive Officer All Dry USA has grown into a nationwide, full-service property damage restoration firm with many sites around the United States as a result of Ben’s expertise and imaginative leadership.
- Ben Suiskind’s most recent blog entries (See all of them)
How Long Does It Take for Septic Tanks to Fill Up?
Whatever your situation is, whether you have just completed the installation of a new septic tank or are wondering when it is time to do periodic maintenance on your existing underground septic tank, it is critical that you understand how the tank works and when, if at all, it becomes full. The topic of how often you should pump your septic tank or how long it takes for a septic tank to fill up has been questioned for some years now, and the answer is: it depends. Some allege that they didn’t know or just didn’t care to pump their tanks, while others believe that a policy should be in place defining when and how to do so should be implemented.
It should be noted that this is a highly subjective response.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these criteria to see if your septic tank is approaching capacity.
Understanding How a Septic Tank Fills Up
There is a direct relationship between the amount of food consumed in a home and the amount of garbage created in that household. Adults generate around one liter of garbage every day, which equates to 90 gallons of waste per year on average. Not all of this garbage ‘fills up’ a septic tank, as the expression goes. The waste is reduced to around 60% of its original volume in the tank. It is recommended by both regulatory agencies and the pumping industry that you should not allow the sludge/scum layer at the bottom of your tank to occupy more than 30% of the total capacity of your septic tank.
After the 305-mile threshold, the procedure gets significantly slower, resulting in a significantly faster filling of the tank.
All of these figures are based on a single individual filling a 1,000-gallon septic tank with sewage.
As youngsters get older (and reach school age), the length of this time period will shorten.
The smallest septic tank size that is suggested for a certain number of rooms. According to these estimates (which are supported by multiple state-wide studies), it is reasonable to conclude that a septic tank should be pumped once every two to three years. There is just one primary duty for every septic tank, and that is to collect sludge that would otherwise be difficult to deal with while distributing cleaned water to the land underneath the tank via drain fields. The lighter and more floatable particles are ultimately responsible for filling the tank.
What Happens Whenthe Septic Tank Fills Up?
As previously said, many people claim that they have never had to pump their septic tank before, although it appears to be ‘functioning normally.’ In fact, the reason for this is that when an increasing amount of settled and floating organic material is added to the septic tank, certain particles begin to escape. When the tank is full and there is no more space for the tank to absorb and hold solids, particles begin to leak through the tank’s walls and into the water. These are particles that have accumulated at the bottom or near the drain pipes for an extended period of time and have grown soft enough to flow with the water.
- Eventually, these particles reorganize themselves to block the soil absorption region, resulting in backflowing toilets and gutters. Alternatively, small solid particles may escape due to the pressure put on the bottom layer of the soil (because of its weight). Your property will initially have a strong scent that passersby and guests will notice
- But, over time as these particles continue to sink into the soil, your property will develop an unpleasant odor that both passersby and guests will notice.
This is why it is critical to get your septic tank pumped on a regular basis.
Can I Shower If My Septic TankIs Full?
If your septic tank is completely full, you CAN take a shower. Slow drainage is the only issue you’re likely to encounter in this situation. The water in your shower, tub, sink(s), and other fixtures will begin to drain much more slowly as your septic tank continues to fill up with waste. Although this is true in certain cases, it is crucial to remember that shower drains do not run to septic systems, but rather straight into sewage lines, because there is no solid waste contained inside them.
However, because this is only liquid water, you will not be causing as much harm to your septic tank as you might otherwise be if the water were to enter it. However, it is not recommended to do so.
Will My Toilet FlushIftheSeptic TankIs Full?
Your toilet should continue to flush regularly until your septic tank is full to 90 percent capacity. After then, you will notice that the toilet begins to behave in an unusual manner. Either the toilet may flush very slowly or the drain will begin to make strange sounds, depending on the situation (such as passing gas or gurgling). It is fairly unusual for the toilet to begin to bubble. The problem can be solved with a band-aid approach, but keep in mind that this is simply a short-term remedy.
Alternatively, some acid can be used to achieve the same results.
If you flush the toilet, you should be able to pump your tank without experiencing any severe difficulties for a number of days.
Signs ThatItIs Timeto PumpaSeptic Tank
It is always possible to use the “cross that bridge when we get there” approach if you are unable to predict how long it will take for septic tanks to fill up completely. In order to do so, you must be aware of the indicators of a clogged septic tank. It is possible to just open the tank and have a look inside (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME). Afterwards, you’ll almost certainly become ill and spend the following several days in bed – or even worse, in the hospital. You have two alternatives if you want to be on the safe side:
- Simply have it pumped after a specified amount of time, such as 2 to 3 years
- And Alternatively, you may open the inspection port on the first chamber (as seen in the image below) once a year and insert a pole into the chamber to test it. Make an effort to locate a pole (or stick) that is long enough to reach the bottom of the tank. It is possible that these poles will be included in the purchase price or not. When withdrawing, keep your face away from the sludge and pull out to observe how deep the muck has gotten into your pores. If the water level has risen to more than 70% of the tank’s total depth, it is necessary to pump it out. When doing so, make sure you’re wearing the appropriate safety equipment.
An illustration of a common septic tank configuration You should have your tank pumped every 2 to 3 years, unless you are a professional plumber who knows what they are doing.
Septic Tank Pumping Process
A pipe that runs through a septic tank to allow it to be emptied. Hire septic tank pumping contractors and delegate the task to them; this is the best course of action for everyone, including do-it-yourselfers. Keep in mind that you are not only responsible for pumping the waste, but also for transporting it to the appropriate facility. The procedure begins by removing the scum layer that has formed on top of all of the sludge. The sludge, on the other hand, is unable to be pushed out properly.
- The chemicals eat away at the sludge, causing it to shrink in bulk.
- The fact that there isn’t enough liquid in the container indicates that you have filled it to the recommended level.
- Mixing is accomplished with the assistance of a pump, or by simply pumping liquid into a container, withdrawing it, and pouring it back into the container.
- The septic system must be pumped through the two access ports seen in the picture above to function properly.
Manholes are exactly what they sound like (not the smaller one that is used for inspection, above the baffle). Once the water has been drained out, it is typical for specialists to inspect the area for damage. At this phase, it is decided whether or not any repairs are required.
Septic Systems – What to Do after the Flood
What is the best place to go for information about my septic system? Please consult with your local health agency if you require further information or support. More information about onsite or decentralized wastewater systems may be found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Septic Systems Web site. Do I need to pump my tank if the drainfield is flooded or saturated with water? No! Pumping the tank is simply a short-term remedy at the best of times. Pumping it out might cause the tank to attempt to float out of the ground, resulting in damage to the inlet and outlet pipes in the worst case scenario.
- What should I do if my septic system has been utilized to dispose of wastewater from my business (whether it is a home-based or small-scale operation)?
- Taking extra measures to prevent skin, eye, and inhalation contact with chemicals in your septic system that receives them is recommended if the system backs up into a basement or drain field.
- For particular clean-up information, contact your state’s environmental protection agency or the Environmental Protection Agency.
- After the floodwaters have gone, there are numerous things that householders should keep in mind:
- Drinking well water should be avoided until the water has been analyzed. Contact your local health department for further information. Do not use the sewage system until the water level in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level in the surrounding area of the home. If you feel that your septic tank has been damaged, you should get it professionally inspected and maintained. The presence of settling or an inability to take water are both signs of deterioration. Because most septic tanks are below ground and entirely covered, flooding does not usually do any harm to them. Septic tanks and pump chambers, on the other hand, can get clogged with silt and debris and must be properly cleaned. If the soil absorption field becomes blocked with silt, it may be necessary to build a completely new system. Septic tanks should only be cleaned or repaired by skilled professionals since they may contain potentially hazardous gases. Inquire with your local health agency for a list of septic system contractors who operate in your neighborhood. Cleaning and disinfecting the basement floor is necessary if sewage has backed up into the basement. To disinfect the area thoroughly, make a chlorine solution by mixing half a cup of chlorine bleach with each gallon of water. After a flood, pump out the septic system as quickly as possible to avoid contamination. Make careful you pump the tank as well as the lift station. This will clear any silt or debris that may have been washed into the system during the rainy season. It is not recommended to pump the tank while the drainfield is flooded or saturated. Pumping the tank is simply a short-term remedy at the best of times. Pumping it out might cause the tank to attempt to float out of the ground, resulting in damage to the inlet and outlet pipes. Do not compress the soil over the soil absorption field by driving or operating machinery in the vicinity of the soil absorption field. Soil that has been saturated is particularly prone to compaction, which can impair the ability of the soil absorption field to treat wastewater and ultimately result in system failure. Before reconnecting the electricity, check for any damage to all of the electrical connections. Examine to see that the manhole cover on the septic tank is securely fastened and that no inspection ports have been obstructed or damaged. Examine the plants surrounding your septic tank and soil absorption field for signs of disease. Damage caused by erosion should be repaired, and portions should be sodded or reseeded as needed to ensure turf grass cover.
Keep in mind that if the water table is high or your sewage system is threatened by floods, there is a possibility that sewage will back up into your residence. The only way to avoid this backup is to reduce the amount of strain placed on the system by utilizing it less frequently.
- What are some of the recommendations made by professionals for homes who have flooded septic systems
- And Make use of your common sense. If at all possible, avoid using the system if the earth has become saturated and inundated with water. It is unlikely that the wastewater will be cleansed, and it will instead become a source of pollution. Conserve as much water as possible when the system is re-establishing itself and the water table is depleted. Prevent silt from entering septic systems with pump chambers by installing a filter. The pump chambers have a propensity to fill with silt when they are inundated, and if the silt is not cleared, the chambers will clog and obstruct the drainfield. While the earth is still damp, it is not recommended to open the septic tank for pumping. Mud and silt may find their way into the tank and end up in the drain field. It’s also possible that emptying out a tank that’s been sitting in soggy soil can cause it to “pop out” of the earth. (Similarly, systems that have been recently installed may “pop out” of the ground more quickly than systems that have been in place for a longer period of time since the soil has not had enough time to settle and compress.)
- While the land is still wet or flooded, it is not recommended to dig into the tank or drainfield area. While the soil is still wet, it is best not to perform any heavy mechanical operations on or around the disposal area. These operations will have a negative impact on the soil conductivity. It is likely that flooding of the septic tank caused the floating crust of fats and grease in the tank to rise to the surface. Some of this scum may have floated to the surface and/or partially filled the outlet tee, but this is unlikely. If the septic system backs up into the home, first examine the tank for an obstruction in the outflow. Floodwaters from the home that are passed through or pumped through the septic tank will produce greater flows through the system. Clean up any floodwater in the house without dumping it into the sink or toilet, and give enough time for the water to recede. This may result in sediments being transferred from the septic tank to the drainfield, which will block the drainfield. Discover the location of any electrical or mechanical equipment in the system that may have been flooded and avoid coming into touch with them until they are dry and clean
- The presence of mud and silt has a propensity to block aerobic plants, upflow filters, trickling filters, and other media filters, among other things. Cleansing and raking of these systems will be required.
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
If additional repairs are recommended, contact a repair professional as soon as possible. An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- Septic systems are made up of a variety of live organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. In addition to killing these creatures, dumping poisons down the drain might damage your septic system. It makes no difference if you’re standing at the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, or the laundry sink:
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
A Saturated Ground Impacts Your Septic Tank’s Performance – Clayton County Water Authority
The performance of your septic tank is negatively impacted by saturated ground. Authorities from the Clayton County Water Authority (CCWA) are alerting septic tank owners of the impact that wet earth has on the functioning of their septic tanks. The majority of the septic system is sealed and will not be impacted by heavy rain, but one section — the drain field — is not sealed and will be affected by heavy rain. You may be experiencing the signs of a clogged septic system if the earth has been entirely saturated as a result of recent storms.
Ponding can occur around septic tank drain fields as a result of saturated earth.
With worsening conditions, water backs up into the tank, and if you have a transfer pump, it may begin to operate continually as a result of the backflow.
If you have a problem with sluggish draining or poor toilet flushing, you may notice an overflow from floor and shower drains, and in severe cases, overflow from toilets on the ground level. Here are a few suggestions to help you lessen your chances of encountering problems:
- Make sure to spread out your daily washing and to only run full loads of laundry. Reduce the amount of water you use by only washing full loads of dishes. Take short showers instead of extended ones. Prevent yourself from having a bath
- Only fully loaded dishwashers should be used. While cleaning dishes or brushing your teeth, refrain from running the water continuously. Shower heads with high efficacy should be used. Make use of low-flow toilets. Remove the water from your sprinklers (this may seem like a no-brainer, but many people have theirs on a timer and fail to do so)
Septic tanks are not a component of the sanitary sewer system operated by CCWA. As a result, it is the responsibility of the property owner to keep their septic tanks in good condition. For further information on septic tank care, please see the Clayton County Public Health website. Clayton County Water Authority for the 2018-19 school year. All intellectual property rights are retained.
Septic has been pumped twice in last 1.5 months
Sorry. I didn’t realize this forum existed until after I made a post in Home Disasters. As a result, the identical post is repeated here. This is our first property with a septic system, and we’re already experiencing some difficulties. As a result, I’m asking for some ideas or comments on what could be causing the problem. We’ve been in the house for nearly 6 years and have had no difficulties until lately, when the rain came down in torrents. The home was constructed in 1969, and the septic system is considered to be “original.” Due to the fact that the toilets stopped flushing and all of the drains stopped working, we’ve had to have it pumped twice in the last 45 days ($150×2=$300!) Every time we remove the lid from the tank, it is totally filled with water, and we have to contact the septic company to come pump it out.
- Not a trickle, but more like the nozzle of a lawn hose blasting at full bore.
- Why would we require new lines if the water is already flowing again?
- Also, in the last year, we’ve noticed foul odors emanating from our kitchen sink, as well as a rotten egg stench emanating from the washing machine’s drain.
- Is this a harbinger of something more sinister?
- In the month of April in Owasso, Oklahoma
Septic System Frequently Asked Questions
A septic system, sometimes known as a septic tank, is an underground system that processes the sewage that flows from your house before disposing of the treated, cleaner water. Septic systems are typically seen in residential areas. The treated water is subsequently re-introduced into the environment through filtration. This is critical because untreated sewage may harm nearby streams and water systems, as well as the soil around the perimeter of your septic system. Because your septic system is designed to cleanse and filter sewage, it is critical that it is in proper operating order.
What is a Drainfield?
The drainfield, also known as the leach field, is the area where the water from your septic system is sent after it has been cleansed and filtered.
It is necessary to construct a drainfield in order to ensure that water is distributed uniformly back into the soil.
How do I find my septic system?
If you’re fortunate enough to have a contemporary septic system in your yard, it may be equipped with an access lid that is visible from the ground floor. If this is the situation at your residence, locating your septic system is as simple as taking a few steps into your backyard. It’s unfortunate that this isn’t true for older septic systems. It’s possible that you may locate an older system in your home by checking for greener, faster-growing grass or even an area with less growth than the rest of your yard if you live in an older home.
This will show you exactly where your septic system is located in your yard, if you have one.
You’ll need to look for the location where your septic system’s sanitary line exits your home and follow that line until you find your septic tank, which will take some time.
If you are unable to discover your septic system, your yard may need to be dug up by a septic system installation in order to locate your septic tank as a last option.
How long do septic systems last?
Septic systems are not designed to endure for a specific number of years, thus there is no defined time frame. In the event of adequate maintenance, you may expect your septic system to last several decades before it has to be replaced; but, if your system fails or deteriorates as a result of bad care, its lifespan will be drastically diminished. In order to obtain an accurate estimate of how much longer the life of your septic system may be extended, you must first have it checked thoroughly by an experienced septic system installation or repairer.
What’s the advantage of installing a newer septic system rather than an older system?
Although it is not required to install a new system, there are advantages to having a modern septic tank rather than an older one. For starters, when you get a new septic tank, you can be confident that it will serve you for decades if it is properly maintained, and you will not have to worry about it being “too old.” Additionally, newer systems have been modified to reduce the likelihood of your system becoming clogged, and if something does go wrong with a new system or when it comes time to have your septic system pumped, a new system will likely be easier to locate because they are frequently constructed with ground-level lids.
New septic systems also provide a further treatment for your waste water, allowing it to be cleaner before it is released into the surrounding environment.
All of that being said, if your property currently has an older septic system installed, it should not need to be updated as long as it complies with the standards of your local health department and is in excellent operating order.
How much does a new septic system cost?
Installation of new septic systems may be a significant financial commitment, with costs typically reaching tens of thousands of dollars. Whenever you have to replace an outdated septic system, you should look into financing alternatives that will make it simpler for you to pay for a new septic system in the long run. Purchase further information from a septic system installation business on how to obtain septic systems at the most competitive prices while also taking advantage of low-interest financing options.
How big is my septic tank?
Septic tank capacity is determined by the amount of water consumed in your property as well as local codes and requirements. Check with your local health agency to find out how big your tank is before installing it.
Why should my septic system be pumped out?
Without regular pumping, the gases emitted by human waste accumulate in your septic system, increasing the risk of septic tank damage and the need for more frequent pumping. The regular pumping of your septic system will allow you to limit the rate at which your tank deteriorates and save money in the process. It’s crucial to remember, though, that degeneration is unavoidable in the long run. It is only via regular maintenance, such as pumping your tank, that your septic system will survive longer.
Does my tank need to be dug up to know if it needs to be pumped?
Risers are commonly found in newer septic systems, which allow you to access your tank from the ground level through a lid. It is straightforward for any septic system professional to determine whether or not your yard has risers placed, and whether or not it is necessary to pump it. If, on the other hand, your tank cannot be accessible from the ground level, it will need to be dug up in order to determine whether it has to be drained. Instead of inspecting your septic system to see whether it needs to be pumped on a regular basis, set a timetable for having your system pumped every 2-3 years.
Why should I have risers and lids installed on my septic system?
As a result, when it comes time to find, pump, or repair your septic system, risers are the best choice since they provide ground-level access to your system. Having a septic system lid will allow you to mow your grass while still being able to find your system with no difficulty. Lids and risers also have the advantage of being accessible all year round, as opposed to earlier septic systems that could only be accessed by digging a trench through your yard. If your septic system has to be pumped or repaired for any reason during the winter months, getting beneath layers of frozen earth can be difficult, if not impossible, and you may be forced to wait until the spring to have access to your tank again.
How often should my septic system be pumped out?
A typical septic system contains a 1,500-gallon tank, which needs to be pumped around every 2-3 years for a household of four, according to industry standards. If you have less than four people living in your house, you will most likely be able to pump your septic system every five years rather than every three.
You should speak with your local health agency to determine the exact size of your tank, and you should consult a septic system business to determine how frequently your tank should be pumped based on the size of your family and the size of your septic tank.
Do I need to have the septic tank pumped if I’m selling my house?
Consult with your local health department to learn about the restrictions that apply to your region of residence. Generally speaking, as long as your septic system has been pumped on a regular basis by a licensed septic system company and recently enough for the new homeowners to be able to live there for a year or two without having to pump the septic system, you should not be required to have it pumped again in the near future.
How do I find someone to pump my septic system?
It is important to be aware that not all septic system businesses are licensed and that not all firms properly dispose of or recycle the waste they pump from your septic system when you are looking for one to pump it. Finding a firm that complies with EPA standards should be your first concern, and then you should look at price, how pricing is split down, and which company is delivering the most honest, economical, and dependable service should be your next consideration. Investigate business evaluations, and when you select a septic system provider to pump your septic tank, be certain that they do the work properly, leaving enough water and waste to keep the sewage decomposing while leaving no visible trace more than a few inches of waste behind.
How much does it cost to have my septic system pumped?
It is recommended that you call many pumpers before making a selection, and that you ask as many questions as possible to ensure that you are receiving the best service for your money. Pumping may cost upwards of $200, so it is always wise to shop around before making a decision. You should not consider it a waste of money to have your septic system pumped when the time comes. By correctly maintaining your septic system, you may avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars to replace your septic system long before it should have been replaced in the first place.
What happens if I don’t have my septic system pumped?
The sediments will pile up in your septic tank if you don’t pump it out regularly, ultimately overflowing into the drain field and clogging the drain field. Backups can occur, causing damage to your property and even necessitating the replacement of your drain field, which can be a very expensive error.
I just had my septic system pumped. Why is it full already?
Septic systems are designed to refill rapidly since the purpose of pumping is not to remove water but rather to remove non-biodegradable waste, and the water itself is not the aim of pumping. Once your septic system has been pumped and you begin to use the water in your house, your tank will quickly refill in order to maintain good operation of the system. If the water level rises to a point where it is above the outlet line, contact your septic system service provider for assistance immediately.
What do you look for when inspecting my septic system?
When we do an inspection, we make certain that your septic system is in good operating condition and that it satisfies the standards for receiving a Certificate of Compliance. If you’re planning to sell your home, you should have your septic system checked out by a professional who is certified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This will allow you to sell your home faster and for more money, if you can prove that your system has been checked out by an accredited professional. The level of liquid in your septic tank will be checked, and we’ll make sure there is no surface-level discharge.
We’ll also note whether the level of solid waste in your septic tank indicates that it should be pumped, and whether any repairs are required to improve the overall functionality of the system.
The drains in my home aren’t draining as quickly as they normally do. Does this have to do with my septic system?
Drains that are clogged and that empty slowly are not necessarily a big source of concern. Before presuming that there is an issue with your septic system, check sure that there isn’t anything obstructing your drain first. In the case of one plumbing fixture in your house that is draining slowly, it is likely due to clogging; however, if all of the drains in your home are slow or leave waste backed up, it is probable that your septic system requires inspection and may even require pumping.
What happens when my septic system fails?
Symptoms of a failing septic system may include minor issues such as drain breaks or pipes that have been stopped, which can be caused by tree roots intersecting with the system. Septic system failure, on the other hand, might indicate that your septic tank has degraded to the point that it cannot be repaired and must be replaced. A blocked drainfield will hopefully not become your problem because it is the most expensive component of your system to replace; nevertheless, if it does, you must act quickly to make the necessary repairs or else your waste will continue to back up, perhaps causing damage to your property.
You’ll need to replace the drainfield as soon as possible to avoid further pollution of drinking water sources.
How do I prevent my septic system from failing? How can I properly maintain my septic system?
Your septic system should degrade at a normal rate over the course of several decades if you maintain it on a regular basis. Maintenance normally consists of getting your septic system pumped on a regular basis and making certain that you do not flush or wash anything down the drain that might block your septic system.
What shouldn’t I flush down the toilet?
As a general rule, only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed. There are several reasons why flushing medicine down the toilet is not a good idea. First, medication might kill some of the bacteria in your septic tank, which is necessary to break down solid waste. Second, drugs can pollute adjacent well water. In addition, you should avoid flushing feminine hygiene items, paper towels, tissues, hair, cat litter (even if it is flushable), diapers, wipes, condoms, cigarettes, and anything else that seems to be inorganic and shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet.
What shouldn’t I pour down the drain?
Grease from the kitchen, motor oil, anti-freeze, gasoline, paint, and food should not be flushed down the toilet or drain. You should avoid flushing anything down your drain other than soap and water, and you should especially avoid flushing any form of chemical down your drain that should not be recycled back into the environment, such as fertilizer.
Is using a garbage disposal bad for my septic system?
Using a trash disposal will result in the requirement to pump your septic system more frequently than you would otherwise need to do if you avoided flushing food particles down your drains.
Too much food collection in your tank might cause your drainfield to clog since the microorganisms in your tank are not capable to digesting it. When using a trash disposal, check with your septic system company to find out how frequently the disposal should be serviced.
Should I add bacteria to my septic system?
Aside from being completely useless, introducing bacteria to your septic tank is also highly discouraged. The bacteria produced by human waste is sufficient to break down the solid sewage in your tank without the need of bacteria supplements or other methods. If, on the other hand, multiple members of your home are using pharmaceuticals, they will enter your septic system through human waste and kill some of the beneficial bacteria in your tank, causing it to malfunction. Please contact the firm who installed your septic system to see whether or not you should be worried about the amount of bacteria-killing compounds entering the system.
There’s a strong sewer odor outside of my house. Could this be my septic tank?
Strong sewage stench coming from your yard might be coming from your septic system, but it could also be coming from someplace else completely. Identifying the source of the smell is important. Check for propane or gas leaks in your home before concluding that your septic system is at fault; however, if your gas or propane lines are not leaking, determine how long it has been since you had your tank pumped, and whether there is any sewage waste in your yard or other signs of septic system failure before making your final decision.
Can my septic system contaminate nearby water?
It is possible for your septic system to pollute surrounding water sources if it is not properly managed or fails completely. In the event that you suspect that your septic system is failing, make sure that it is routinely pumped and inspected by an expert.
My gutters’ downspouts drain into my yard above my septic system. Is this a bad thing?
The drainage of your gutters into your yard above your septic system, and particularly into your drainfield, can be hazardous to your septic system. All water should be diverted away from your septic system in order to minimize flooding and damage to your septic system’s tank or drain field.