Septic Safe Plants Plants will prevent erosion and suck up some of the excess moisture from the drain field. At the very least, grow a Tall Fescue grass or Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass are often mixed together and can both handle high water levels. Plants will prevent erosion and suck up some of the excess moisture from the
Septic drain field – Wikipedia
. At the very least, grow a Tall Fescue grass or Kentucky Bluegrass, Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass are often mixed together and can both handle high water levels.
- However, if you are careful, you can put trees with non-invasive, shallow roots in the area around your drain field and septic tank. Some examples include crabapples and white oaks. It’s best to skip the Japanese maple, as these are extremely well-known for their pipe clogging abilities.
What to plant around septic tanks?
Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental grasses also offer the advantages of having a fibrous root system that holds soil in place, and providing year-round cover.
What trees can I plant near a septic tank?
Here are some example of trees and shrubs with shallow root systems that are safe to plant near your septic system:
- Japanese Maple Trees.
- Holly Shrubs.
- Dogwood Trees.
- Cherry Trees.
- Boxwood Shrubs.
- Eastern Redbud Trees.
- Azalea Shrubs.
Can you plant shrubs on a septic field?
Avoid growing water loving plants, shrubs, and trees near your septic system. Do not grow vegetables over your septic system because of the risk of bacterial contamination and the health risks association with it.
Can you plant trees over a septic tank?
You definitely shouldn’t plant large shrubbery or trees anywhere near your septic tank. Any trees planted in your yard should be at least as far away from the septic tank as the tree is tall. For example, a 20-foot-tall tree should be planted at least 20 feet away from the septic tank.
Can tree roots damage septic tanks?
Trees can cause significant damage to a septic system. Over time, tree roots can wreak havoc on the pipes and drain lines that lead out to the sewer or to your privately installed septic system. As a result, the roots can grow into the walls of the pipes and block the ability to drain water and waste.
Can I plant a palm tree near my septic tank?
Only a few trees are considered safe for septic systems, and they are deep-rooted trees like cherry, crabapple, dogwood, oak, olive, palm trees and pine trees.
What can you plant near sewer pipes?
The best trees to plant around your sewerage system include shallow-rooted trees and shrubs:
- Cherry trees.
- Japanese maple trees are among one of the few maple trees that are likely to cause less damage.
- Eastern redbud trees.
- Dogwood trees.
- Holly shrubs.
- Boxwood shrubs.
Can you plant a tree over a leach field?
Placing trees or shrubs over or near the leach field is risky. Woody plants have deeper roots that may clog drain pipes in relatively short order. Water-loving species are especially chancy and should be avoided, such as willow, poplar, elm, red and silver maple, birch and beech.
How far should a tree be planted from a sewer line?
Trees should be located more than 10 feet from sewer lines to minimize root intrusion.
Why is grass green over septic tank?
Greener grass over the septic tank may be the result of someone seeding that area if the tank cover was excavated for service. A backing up pipe to leachfield (or worse, a failing leachfield) could cause effluent to drain too slowly out of the septic tank or back up even into the building.
Can you plant sunflowers over a septic field?
The beauty of planting wildflowers over the drain field area is that due to the moisture in the ground already, you should not need to water the area. An already waterlogged drain field area will not let your septic system drain its wastewater as efficiently as a drier drain field area.
How deep is a drain field?
A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.
How do you keep roots from growing into a septic tank?
Copper sulfate is effective at killing roots growing in drain fields and septic tanks. Not only does copper sulfate kill already existing roots, but it also discourages the growth of new roots and keeps growing roots out of septic systems.
Can you plant grass over a septic tank?
Grass planted over a septic drain field prevents soil erosion and improves the exchange of oxygen and the removal of soil moisture. Turfgrass is ideal for planting over a septic drain field because its roots aren’t likely to clog or damage the drain lines.
What plants can I grow in the septic field?
In the event that you have a green thumb, you may be wondering if you could plant a garden around your septic tank system. They present a difficult challenge because not all crops are suitable for growing on drain fields. You must also exercise caution because heavy tilling and deep-rooted plants have the potential to cause the system to collapse. Some plants thrive in this environment more than others, and some water-loving plants, trees, and shrubs can quickly outgrow their surroundings, encroaching on pipes and causing the septic system to fail if proper precautions are not taken.
Plants with shallow roots, such as grass, are the most common choice, but groundcovers and climbers can also be successfully planted.
Additionally, avoid placing raised garden beds over the absorption trench because this will impede the evaporation process and reduce the efficiency of your septic system’s performance.
Overview of Septic Systems
It is usual to find septic systems in rural locations when the municipal sewage system is not readily available. Septic systems are made up of two parts: an aseptic tank and a leach area. The wastewater runs from the house to the septic tank, where the organic matter is decomposed and the water is recycled. Sludge, scum, and effluent are segregated into three layers: sludge, scum, and effluent. It is necessary to discharge the effluent (liquid waste) onto a leach field, where the soil absorbs the hazardous nutrients and cleanses the water before it reaches the groundwater table.
What plants can be grown over a leach field or absorption trench system?
Because a septic tank is often constructed at a depth of one meter underground, you don’t want the roots of your plants to go too deeply into the soil. Those with shallow roots that will not reach deep enough to impact the pipes or the septic tank are the greatest alternatives. Flowers, hedges, and grasses with shallow roots are the finest selections. These aid in the efficient operation of absorption trenches and the purification of effluent prior to its release into the environment, respectively.
Plants with shallow roots, climbers, and shrubs can be planted in the surrounding regions, but they cannot be grown immediately over an absorption trench or in the trench itself.
Fruits and vegetables should not be planted over the absorption field since consuming them may expose you to bacterial contamination, which is dangerous.
Allow our septic system professionals to assist you.
Tips for choosing the right plants for around your home wastewater treatment system
- When it comes to septic systems, shallow-rooted plants and grass are your best allies. Plants that survive with minimal water or that are drought-tolerant are the most desirable
- Choosing plants that can survive in a saline climate is important.
Factors that influence the vegetation around your septic system
- Soil quality, nutrient levels, drainage, pH level, effluent quality, climate conditions, and plant soil sensitivity are all factors to consider.
Chemicals such as detergents, fabric softeners, and household effluents can raise the level of salt in the soil surrounding an absorption region.
Check the pH level of the soil before planting; if the soil is alkaline, it may be preferable to pick plants that can withstand high salt levels.
Avoid planting trees near your septic system
When it comes to planting around a sewage system, trees are a no-no. When the strong roots reach deep enough in quest of moisture and nutrients, they can swiftly penetrate and obstruct the flow of water via the pipes. It is not advised to put trees or even plants on top of septic tanks or treatment systems. If you wish to grow trees or bushes, make sure they are planted far enough away from the septic system so that the roots do not reach the unit or drains of the system.
Plants safe for Septic Systems
This is not an exhaustive list, and you should consult your local nursery before making any final decisions about the plants you will be growing on or around your septic system.
- Oyster plant, Royal mantle, Blue star creeper, Lily Turf, Native violet, and Perennial Aster are some of the plants that grow in this area.
- Bougainvillea, Snake Vine, Jasmine, Happy Wanderer, Glory Vine, Japanese Honeysuckle, and other flowers and plants
- Jasmine, tea-tree, oleander, abelia and papyrus are some of the plants that grow in swamps.
Our expert septic management advice
- Planting vegetables, fruits, bushes, and trees in close proximity to your septic system is not recommended. It is beneficial to have plants or grass growing over the leach field because it holds the soil in place and aids in the absorption of nutrients, which helps to avoid soil erosion and ensures effective operation of the septic system. No extra dirt should be placed over the drain field. Keep your hands protected anytime you are working in the garden over or around the drain field. In addition, growing plants increase oxygen exchange and soil moisture removal through transpiration, which are both important for plant growth. Immediately contact your localwastewaterseptic specialistif you notice water accumulating in the drain field or if water is backing up into your property. It is possible that your drain field has failed and that you will require an assessment and repairs. During the planting process, avoid excessive tilling of the soil, since this may cause damage to the pipes
Your Local Septic System Professionals
In South-East Queensland, locations such as the Gold Coast, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, and Logan may be able to provide you with professional septic assistance. When it comes to expert septic system installs, repairs, and maintenance, Express Wastewater Solutions is the go-to company in the business. If you would like to learn more about septic systems and the plants that may be planted safely over the leach field, please contact us at 1300 722 517 or fill out our quotation request form. What kinds of plants can I grow in my septic tank?
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More information about septic, sewage, and wastewater systems may be found by using the search box provided below.
Why Use Express Wastewater Solutions?
- We are able to offer the optimum solution for your wastewater needs since we are not a manufacturer and are not bound to a certain technology.
- Because we do this on a daily basis, we have built a close-knit experienced team that can handle every step of the process – from blueprints and council paperwork through excavations, electrical, and plumbing – without sacrificing quality. We take care of everything to ensure that the procedure is as stress-free and speedy as possible.
FREE 30 MINUTE WASTEWATER CONSULTATION
- A free 30-minute phone consultation with one of our specialists will guide you through the process if you have never installed a home sewage treatment plant before
- Thus, we provide this service to guide you through the process.
STREE FREE INSTALLATIONS
- The entire wastewater installation process is handled by us
- We can deal with all of the trades, the municipality, and everything else, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
QUALIFIED, LICENSED PROFESSIONALS
- Have confidence in the fact that Express is a team of certified and insured specialists that will do your task correctly the first time
FREE EXPERT ADVICE
- Not sure which system is best for you, or want to know if your current system is up and running efficiently? Simply give one of our knowledgeable wastewater specialists a call, and they will be more than delighted to assist you
SAVE UP TO $10,000 ON REPAIRING YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM
- We will always attempt to fix your system rather than replacing it if it is not necessary to do so, which will normally save you a significant amount of money, often up to and beyond $10,000.
WHICH PLANTS AND LANDSCAPING ELEMENTS SHOULD NEVER GO OVER A SEPTIC SYSTEM?
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.
6 Things to Know About Landscaping Around Your Septic Tank
You’re undoubtedly already aware that dumping some items into your sewage system, such as paint or grease, can cause harm to your septic tank. However, you may not be aware that certain gardening methods can actually cause harm to your septic system. In order to avoid unwittingly causing difficulties or damage to your septic tank, here are six things you should know regarding landscaping around your septic tank. 1. The location of the access point. It is OK to use landscaping to conceal the entry port to your septic tank; however, you must not totally conceal it.
- One option to conceal your access port without totally concealing it is to use a landscaping element such as a birdbath or any other fixed lawn decoration to mark out its position on the property.
- Characteristics of Vegetation that is Safe It is possible for some species of vegetation to grow above and around a septic tank without the risk of septic tank damage rising.
- You should also limit the vegetation that grows above your tank to plants that do not require a lot of water.
- In order to grow anything other than grass over your sewage tank, use perennials that are drought-resistant to the elements.
- Characteristics of Trees that Have the Potential to Be Destructive Large bushes or trees should not be planted anywhere near your septic tank under any circumstances.
- In the case of a 20-foot-tall tree, it is recommended that it be placed at least 20 feet away from the septic tank.
- Trees with actively growing roots can cause damage to septic tanks and pipelines, even if they are located a long distance away.
Grazing animals consume the protective vegetation that covers your drain field, exposing the components of your septic system to the elements.
There are a lot of methods you may use to keep livestock from grazing on your septic tank.
You may also apply animal repellents around your drain field, which deter animals by emitting unpleasant sounds or odors that they find uncomfortable.
Preventing vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Your landscaping should be planned and your yard should be put out in such a way that cars do not drive over the area where your septic tank is positioned.
Foot traffic, in addition to car traffic, can cause damage to a septic tank.
As an alternative, if possible, direct foot traffic away from the area.
The Positioning of Architectural Elements You could choose to include architectural elements into your landscaping, such as retaining walls, stone paths, or fire pits.
If you plan to incorporate architectural elements into your landscaping, be certain that these elements are located far away from your septic tank. Get in contact with Walters Environmental Services if you want to learn more about maintaining your septic tank in excellent working order.
What Trees Are Safe to Plant Near a Septic Tank?
Landscaping Ideas Around Septic Tanks: What to Plant Over a Septic Tank
Regardless of what you’ve heard, it’s not impossible that this will happen! It is true that the correct type of plant or tree may assist the system in keeping water flowing smoothly and preventing erosion. Plants that function best have soft, green stems and are well-adapted to the amount of rain that falls in your location. In other words, we’re talking about annual plants versus perennial plants against wildflowers versus bulbs versus grass. Trees may also be used, as long as you select one with shallow roots and place it a long distance away from the tank.
Can I plant oak trees, Japanese maples or fruit trees near a septic tank?
It is possible, but it is really difficult! The roots of trees are wired to follow the flow of water. As a result, if you plant trees or bushes too close to your irrigation system, they may pry into the pipes and block them, causing harm to the system and the water flow in your home. When it comes to landscaping near the tank, the plants we described above are typically a better choice. In fact, you may cover the system with flowers like those (or even grass) to disguise the system’s presence.
Thus, white oaks and crabapples are both good choices for landscaping.
Maple trees are infamous for blocking drains and sewer lines.
Biological or viral contamination of any plants grown in close proximity to your sewage tank may be a concern.
What trees are safe to plant near a septic system?
Getting back to the original reader who sparked this discussion: because of their shallow roots, skyrocket junipers may be planted in a variety of locations. However, there is a caveat to this, as well as to all of the other options listed below. If possible, place the tree as far away from the system as the tree will be when it is completely matured.
Consequently, while skyrocket junipers normally grow to be 20 feet tall, it is recommended that they be planted at least 20 feet away from the system. The following are some more plants and shrubs to consider planting near a sewage treatment system:
- In zones 3-8, hemlock grows to be a beautiful evergreen that may reach heights of up to 80 feet. (Zones 3-8): An evergreen with wonderfully colored needles that may grow to be 80 feet tall
- It can be found in zones 3-8. Boxwood shrub (zones 4-9): An evergreen that is commonly used for hedges and grows to be around 10 feet tall
- It is a good choice for small gardens. Dogwood (hardiness zones 5-8): A spring-flowering tree that normally develops to be around 30 feet tall
- It blooms in the spring. Stunning blooming trees that grow between 30 and 50 feet tall in zones 5-8, ornamental cherries are a must-have for any garden. An added bonus is that there are several kinds and cultivars to pick from. In zones 5-9. American holly (Acer rubrum): An evergreen with vivid flashes of berries that often grows to reach around 50 feet tall
- It is a multi-stemmed palm that develops to be around 6 feet tall in zones 5b-11. The lady palm (zones 8-11) is a distinctive palm that may be grown to seem like a shrub and can grow to be around 10 feet tall. The pygmy date palm (zones 9-11) is a pint-sized palm that grows to approximately 12 feet tall and is extremely easy to grow.
Want a local arborist to plant your tree to keep your septic system safe? Start here.
When municipal sewer service is not available, a septic system that has been properly constructed and maintained is an excellent option for treating wastewater and protecting groundwater quality. A typical septic system is comprised of two key components: the septic tank and the drainfield (or leach field). Waste from toilets, sinks, washing machines, and showers is channeled into a septic tank, which is a holding tank that is typically constructed of pre-cast concrete or fiberglass and is proportioned according to the projected wastewater flow from a given-sized house or commercial establishment.
- In the first stage of wastewater treatment, anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that can survive in an oxygen-free environment) break down solids into liquids and generate gas that is vented through the building’s plumbing vent stack.
- The lack of oxygen inside the septic tank also has the added benefit of deactivating some of the disease bacteria that are prevalent in sewage.
- Because it allows aerobic (oxygen-using) bacteria to continue deactivating the disease germs that remain in the wastewater, the drainfield serves as a secondary treatment facility for sewage.
- Evaporation of water also occurs through the layer of soil that surrounds the drainfield.
- That way, enough permeable or unsaturated soil is available to filter the wastewater before the remainder of it gets into the groundwater table and underlying aquifer.
- In certain instances, modern wastewater treatment systems that “aerate,” or add oxygen to the wastewater, may be necessary to treat the effluent.
Septic System Care
Don’t flush cigarette butts, tampons, condoms, or any other indigestible things down the toilet or down the sink drain. Consequently, the exit filter or drainfield will become clogged. Never throw grease down the drain since grease cannot be digested by the septic system and will cause it to become clogged! rather than dumping it in the garbage, pour it into an empty container or bottle and throw it away. Make sure you don’t use excessive amounts of bleach or other cleaning agents in your septic tank since doing so will interfere with the bacterial operation inside the tank.
- Instead of doing numerous loads of laundry back-to-back, stretch your wash loads out over the course of the week to reduce the amount of water that the septic system has to treat (a normal wash load consumes between 60 and 90 gallons each load!).
- Roots from trees and plants will grow into the drainlines and cause them to get obstructed.
- Driving over your drainfield can cause the pipes to become crushed or the dirt surrounding them to become compacted, and driving over your septic tank can cause the lid to fracture or even fall apart!
- Consider the installation of water-saving showerheads, toilets, and other water-saving appliances in your home.
- Septic tanks should be pumped out every four to five years, according to the Florida Department of Health, in order to prevent the buildup of sludge in the tank over time.
- Stoppages and overcrowded drainfields are caused by leaking toilet flapper valves, which can allow hundreds of thousands of gallons of waste water to enter your septic system each day.
- In addition to providing you with many useful suggestions and information, our Environmental Health Professionals can also assist you extend the life of your existing septic system.
If you would like more information on the operation of traditional or sophisticated wastewater treatment systems, or if you have any questions about maintaining your septic system, please call us at (386) 758-1058.
5 Things Homeowners Should Know About Their Septic Drain Field
There are certain distinctions in care, usage, and budgeting that you should be aware of, whether you’re a new homeowner with an existing septic system or considering about purchasing or building a home without sewer hookups. This document outlines three ways in which your budget will be affected if your wastewater is treated using a septic system. 1. You will not be required to budget for municipal sewer service. Because the municipal wastewater system normally processes all of the water, the cost of city sewage service is sometimes determined by how much water you purchase from the city.
- A large number of homes with septic systems also rely on wells for fresh water rather than municipal water, which means you’ll likely save money in that department as well.
- It is necessary to include septic maintenance in your budget.
- Although you are not required to pay the city for the usage of your septic system, you will be responsible for the costs of maintenance if you want the system to continue to function properly.
- It is possible that these maintenance and repair expenditures will build up over time, so you may want to consider setting up an emergency fund to cover any unforeseen repair bills.
- You’ll also need to budget for the cost of a single inspection and begin saving for the cost of a tank pump.
- Spreading the expenditures out over several months is the most effective budgeting strategy, even for an expense such as tank pumping that does not occur every year, because it allows you to better estimate the costs ahead of time.
- You may need to set aside money for septic tank replacement.
The tank and leach field may not need to be replaced if you have a reasonably recent septic system and plan to sell your home within a few years.
If, on the other hand, your home’s septic system is more than a decade old, you’ll want to start looking into how much a new system would cost you as soon as possible.
For example, if the previous owners did not do routine maintenance or if the system was installed on clay soil, the system may need to be replaced.
It is a prudent decision to begin putting money aside in anticipation of this eventuality.
When you have a septic system, you may use these three strategies to budget differently.
Make an appointment with us right away if you’re searching for someone to pump out your septic tank or to complete an annual examination of your septic system. Our experts at C.E. Taylor and Son Inc. would be happy to assist you with any septic system assessment, maintenance, or repair needs.
FAQs on Septic Systems
Continue to the main content Septic System Frequently Asked Questions
- In order to establish what sort of septic installation is present on my land, where can I find information? Your County Health Department has records of the systems that have been approved, and you can request those information by initiating an investigation. A list of county offices in Maryland may be found by clicking here.
- It is clear where my septic tank is located, however I am unsure as to where my drain field is located. In order to find out where the drain field is, I need to know where to go. Is it necessary for me to be aware of the location of my drainage system? Once again, the County Health Department keeps track of the systems that have been approved. It is critical to understand the position of your drain field since you do not want to put anything over it that might cause harm, such as planting trees, paving over it, or driving over it, for example. In addition, you do not want to establish a vegetable garden on top of it. Is the installation of septic tanks governed by any regulations? And, if so, who is responsible for it? Maryland’s County Health Departments are in charge of regulating the installation of septic systems, which has been assigned power from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).
- What exactly is a perc test, and why is it necessary to do one? Performing a percolation test (often referred to as a perc test) as part of an overall site evaluation is necessary to establish the permeability of soils and geology. The results of a perc test and site appraisal are used to identify limiting constraints in the soils and geology, such as groundwater levels, solidified material that prevents water from permeating, soil texture, structure and consistence, and other issues. Performing perc tests can assist in determining the most appropriate design for a drainfield that will be used as a component of the overall septic system.
- What is the expected lifespan of my septic system before it has to be replaced? Septic systems are normally good for 20 to 30 years before they need to be replaced. Depending on whether the system has been improperly maintained, if surface or groundwater has been penetrated, whether tree roots have entered the system, and whether it has been unduly abused, this time limit may be reduced.
- What symptoms should I look for in order to identify whether or not my septic tank needs replacing? Slow drains, surfacing effluent (wet spots in the yard or near the tank), sewage backing up into a bathtub or basement drain (usually on the lower level of the house), a sounding alarm (pump system or BAT), unexplained illness, or foul odors are all indications that your septic system is not performing as designed.
- What is the recommended frequency of septic tank pumping? The frequency with which traditional septic tanks must be pumped is determined by the size of the tank and the number of people that live in the house. Special pumping techniques and frequencies are required for BAT devices, and the frequency varies depending on the unit — for further information, contact your BAT service provider or installation.
- Where do the filters in a septic system reside, and who should be responsible for replacing them, the homeowners or a licensed contractor? There are not all septic tanks that have filters in them
- Nevertheless, if your septic tank is one of those that does have filters, cleaning or replacement of these filters should be left to the professionals on a yearly basis at the very least.
- What is the purpose of septic tank pumping? Is it possible for liquids to be discharged through the septic tank? Solids and FOG (fats, oils, and grease) collect in septic tanks, necessitating the need to pump the tanks out periodically. In the absence of regular pumping of septic tanks, sediments and foul-smelling gas (FOG) accumulate to the point where they are discharged into the drainfield, where they might cause blockage of the drainfield. This generally results in the need for an expensive system replacement, which is why it is critical to regularly pump your tank. Consider it similar to getting your car’s oil changed. In the event that you don’t replace the oil in your automobile, it will continue to function for a time, but it will eventually fail and leave you stranded.
- Can you tell me how much it would cost to have your septic tank pumped? Septic tank pumping prices typically range between $250 and $400, depending on the size of the tank and its location.
- When it comes to garbage, what types of waste will not breakdown in septic tanks? It is critical not to dispose of chemicals, paint, grease, food, or anything else that is not body waste, toilet paper, or wastewater from bathing, handwashing, dishwashing, or laundry in the trash.
- I haven’t had my septic tank emptied in almost 15 years. What is the recommended frequency of septic tank pumping given the fact that I have been the only one residing in the residence? The size of the tank is dependent on its capacity. In the event that you haven’t pumped your tank in 15 years, you have almost likely waited too long and may have unwittingly caused harm to your drain field. You should pump your tank as quickly as possible to avoid causing more harm to your drain field. When your septic tank is being pumped, pay attention to what the pumper has to say regarding the condition of your tank. In the future, this will influence your decision on how often you will pump — it is suggested that you do not go more than 5 years between pump outs.
- Is the usage of a garbage disposal harmful to the operation of a septic tank? Otherwise, are there any foods that should not be placed in a garbage disposal that you should be aware of? Absolutely. When a building is supplied by on-site sewage disposal, we do not recommend the use of garbage disposals. The ground-up food wastes are not properly broken down in the tank and may reach the drainfield, causing early blockage and failure.
- What should consumers believe when it comes to the packaging of toilet paper and other items that claim to be suitable for septic systems? Even still, some in the business believe that toilet paper infused with lotions and aloe does not decompose as quickly as other types of toilet paper do. Water-soaked wipes, as well as other wipes of any sort, should not be flushed down the toilet (even if they are labeled as flushable).
- Is it possible to use cleansers in the toilets on a regular basis, such as bleach? Many cleansers have the ability to destroy germs as one of their properties. If you flush these sorts of cleansers down the drain, you are effectively killing off the good bacteria in your septic system, which will make it less efficient in the long run. It is understood that the bathroom and kitchen in the home must be cleaned on a regular basis in order to maintain a healthy environment, and so only a limited amount of time is permitted. Flushing bacteria-killing cleaning agents through a system on a regular basis (daily) is not suggested.
- So, what exactly does the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) fund take care of? In order to qualify for full or partial BRF financing, you must have a failing septic system as opposed to new construction, be located in or outside of a critical region, and have an annual income of more than or less than $300,000 in the previous year. Depending on your circumstances, the fund may be able to assist you with any of the following:
- Extraction of existing tank
- Crushing and filling of existing tank
- Or removal of existing tank Installation of a BAT system (this does not include the cost of replacing the drainfield)
- BAT has been in operation and maintenance for two years. All of the necessary permissions
- Electrician and all electrical work (with the exception of the requirement to add a sub-panel, which is included). Final grading and seeding (does not include landscape restorations, such as, but not limited to, the removal of decks, patios, and fence, as well as the installation of new fencing)
- Visit for follow-up
- If you own a piece of land and are thinking of constructing a structure on it. Is it possible to use BRF for a new build? Using BRF funds to install BAT systems with new building is not out of the question, but it is the county’s lowest priority. It is only when there is more funds available after all higher priority applications have been funded that these low priority proposals can be funded. More information on the BRF program may be found by clickinghere. Remember that applications for BRF financing must be submitted to the respective county health departments.
- Do you have any installers that you would recommend? It is not our responsibility to recommend specific installers because we are agents of the University of California. It is critical to ensure that everybody you engage is qualified to perform the function for which you have contracted them (conventional septic system, BAT, drain field). MDE has provided a list of certified installers, which may be found here. Additional information may be available from your county health department.
- Is it necessary to rebuild the drain field when a septic system is replaced with a new conventional system or BAT system in order to avoid a septic system backup? No, this is not always the case. The tank system and drain field are two separate components of your septic system, and either one can become damaged (and hence require repair) without affecting the operation of the other. Suppose you have to replace your tank because it cracked due to settling or water seepage
- The new system could potentially be connected to your existing drain field
- Or suppose you have to replace your tank because it cracked due to settling or water seepage
- What types of plants should I put on my drainfield? Turfgrass, such as fescue, is commonly found growing over drainfields in most residential areas. Also suitable are grasses and shallow-rooted native plants (including flowers) that are not too tall. By absorbing both water and nutrients, the plants perform a valuable service for the environment. Trees, on the other hand, should not be planted since the roots of the trees might infiltrate the system and block the pipes, causing the system to collapse.
- What can I do to ensure that my drainfield lasts as long as possible? Follow these recommendations for maintenance:
- Conserve water by repairing leaks and installing water-saving appliances. Avoid using garbage disposals and dripping fats, oils, and grease down the drain. Water treatment backwash from a septic system should be diverted. Do not flush chemicals down the toilet or down the sink. Only flush toilet paper – no wipes, etc
- Ensure stormwater goes away from tank and drainfield
- Keep traffic away from the drainfield. Planting trees near a tank or drainfield is not recommended. Have tank pumped every 2-5 years – conventional
- BAT- per service provider
- Maintain the tank filter on a regular basis (if applicable)
- Do not unplug power to BAT and continue service A BAT unit produces cleaner wastewater (few dissolved solids) than a traditional system and hence can help a drainfield survive longer
- Is it required to use septic tank additives? Septic system efficiency is not improved by the addition of bacteria or enzymes, according to the findings of recent research. In addition, it is crucial to remember that average household wastewater includes up to several trillion bacterial cells per gallon, which provides all of the bacteria required for organics breakdown. For as long as toilets are flushed, there will be an ample supply of bacteria to break down organic matter. Additional research has revealed that some addition products can actually cause organics to remain in suspension, which is not what we want in our environment. One of the functions of a septic tank is to enable sediments to settle and become less concentrated. With an increase in the amount of organic matter entering the drainfield, the creation of a biomat can grow, which can block the soil pores and reduce the capacity of wastewater to percolate into the soil.
Although you may have be aware that you have a septic system, it is surprising how many individuals are unaware that their home is on a septic system rather than a sewer system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
Please do not assume that just because you have received a bill from your local water and sewer authority that you are connected to the sewage line system. Take a good look at your statement; you may simply be being paid for the privilege of obtaining municipal water. Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology.
It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
(Image courtesy of EPA.gov.) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contains information on the many types of septic systems.
Septic Maintenance: The Professionals
Compared to the cost of repairing or replacing a failing system, which may range between $3,000 and $7,500, regular maintenance payments of $250 to $300 every three to four years are a bargain. The frequency with which your system must be pumped is determined by the number of people that reside in your house as well as the size of the system (Source: US EPA). The presence of wastewater backing up into residential drains, a strong stench surrounding the septic tank and drainfield, and the appearance of bright green, spongy grass on the drainfield, even during dry weather, are all indications that a septic system requires repair, among other things.
Find a Registered Septic Professional
- You can find a registered septic professional(pdf) through the Butler County Health Department
- You may also go to www.septiclocator.com
- Or you can call the Butler County Health Department.
What Is Typically Looked at During a Septic Inspection?
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. 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. The bottom of the scum layer should not be more than six inches from the bottom of the outlet, and if the top of the sludge layer should not be more than 12 inches from the outlet, your tank will need to be emptied.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention any repairs that have been made as well as the status of the tank. Make sure to employ someone to complete any necessary repairs as soon as they are suggested by the inspector.
Maintenance Checklist for Homeowners
The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States has issued a checklist.
Home Sewage Treatment System Repair and Replacement Financing
Individual property owners who have failed home sewage treatment systems (HSTS), also known as on-lot systems or septic systems, may be eligible for reduced interest rates on bank loans from the Ohio Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF), which works in partnership with local health districts and participating banks. This money helps to lower the total cost of the renovations for the property owner while also assisting in the implementation of effective wastewater treatment. More information may be found here.
Septic Care: What can you do to protect your system?
- Parking or driving cars on any portion of your septic system is prohibited. Inspect the drain field to ensure that play structures and sandboxes for children are not constructed over it. Planting trees or plants over or near your septic system is not recommended. The roots have the potential to cause harm to the pipes and tank. The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States has released a list of plants that can grow on or near a septic system
- Maintain a clear path between your home’s downspouts and any additional drainage that may be in the area.
Don’t treat your septic like a trash can
- It’s also vital to remember that a septic system is not built to handle oil and grease disposal situations. A septic tank problem might result from the solidification of the waste
- Avoid using garbage disposals since they enable the addition of more sediments to your septic tank, increasing the likelihood that your tank will need to be pumped more regularly. Do not flush non-biodegradable materials such as diapers, flushable wipes, cigarette butts, coffee grinds, cat litter, paper towels, medications, and so on
- Instead, dispose of them properly.
Don’t Put It Through the Washing Machine! Ascertain that the materials you use in your house, such as dish soap and toilet paper, are safe for septic systems before using them in your home. Having beneficial bacteria in your septic system is important for maintaining its health; anything you send down the drain that kills bacteria will also hurt your septic system. Water consumption should be kept to a minimum. The capacity of your septic tank is restricted because it requires time to separate the particles from the liquids in order to function properly.
- Make repairs to leaking toilets and faucets
- Installing water-saving toilets, showerheads, and faucet aerators are recommended. Don’t wash your clothes in a continuous stream. Make sure to spread it out over a few days so that your tank has time to recuperate.
Video: Maintenance of Septic Systems
Stormwater is defined as water that has been collected as a result of precipitation or ice/snow melt. While this water may appear to be reasonably clean, it may include a range of toxins, such as oil and gasoline; fertilizers; farm runoff; and other potentially harmful pollutants. You don’t want any of these things to go into our groundwater’s water table, which is the upper surface of our underground water. When it comes to drinking water, groundwater is the source, whether you have your own private well or your water comes from a municipal source.
Because it is loose, it provides a rather straight access to the groundwater surrounding your property.
The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States has produced two useful diagrams:
- Drinking water with septic waste
- Septic waste and surface water
The proper draining of your septic field is critical to the proper operation of your septic system. More water will not be accepted by a saturated soil. Unless your septic field has been completely saturated with rain water, your septic drainage will have nowhere to go. The effluent from your septic tank may back up into the system or pool on the ground in the septic field, depending on the situation. That is not a desired outcome in any circumstance.
In fact, they can be hazardous to your health, your property, and the long-term operation of your septic system. Maintaining the overall health of your septic field requires effective stormwater management practices. It is vital that you are aware of the location of your septic system.
- In addition, you must make certain that rainwater flow from your house and land is diverted away from your septic field. Dry wells and rainwater catchment systems can aid in the collection of stormwater for local irrigation while also ensuring that significant quantities of water do not enter your septic system.
The drainfield may get overly saturated during heavy rains, making it impossible for the wastewater to penetrate into the soil.
- Reduce the amount of water you use in your house. If something is yellow, it’s best to let it mellow, as the expression goes. It’s also preferable to forgo your shower than to have a sewage backup into your home, which may be very unpleasant. 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 (US EPA). Improved septic system performance and reduced chance of failure are two benefits of efficient water usage. It is necessary to do routine maintenance on your septic system in order to remove accumulated particles and preserve the system’s capacity to process wastewater. Pumping your septic system during times of floods or saturated conditions may seem counterintuitive, but it is important to do so. Empty septic tanks can become buoyant and burst out of the ground as a result of hydrostatic pressure from saturated soil. This can result in costly damage to the inlet and outlet pipes, as well as an increased danger for you and your family’s safety.
Caring for Your Septic System
It is important not to flush any sort of wipe down the toilet, regardless of whether the box specifically states that they are “flushable.” These objects have the potential to block your home’s plumbing, as well as the pipes in the street and the important machinery at the wastewater treatment facility. The water in which personal care wipes, dental floss, paper towels, and tissues are flushed does not dissolve them rapidly – or at all – therefore they are not safe to flush down the toilet. Personal care items, cleaning supplies, and other home garbage should be disposed of appropriately, either in the trash, the recycling bin, or at your local domestic hazardous waste disposal facility.
- The term “septic system” refers to an individual wastewater treatment system (conventional septic systems, innovative/alternative (I/A) systems, or cesspools) that uses the soil to treat tiny wastewater flows, which are typically generated by a single residence.
- Septic systems are available in a variety of configurations today.
- In a normal septic system, there are three main components: the septic tank, a distribution box, and a drainfield, which are all connected by pipes known as conveyance lines.
- Primary treatment is the term used to describe this separation procedure.
- Flowing from the tank into a distribution box, which distributes the wastewater uniformly into a network of drainfield trenches, is how partially treated effluent is removed from the environment.
- Once in the subsurface soil, this effluent is further cleaned and filtered before being released back into the environment (secondary treatment).
Additional Resources for What is a Septic System?
According to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, a properly maintained septic system should be pumped out at least once every three years! Regular maintenance is the most crucial factor in ensuring that your septic system is in good working order. Pumping on a regular basis helps to keep particles from leaking into the drainfield and blocking the soil pores. While the frequency of pumping depends on the amount of consumption, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection advises that systems be pumped at least once every three years for households without a trash disposal.
- The frequency with which you pump should be determined by the amount of water that has accumulated and the amount of water that has been pumped in the past.
- It is astounding how many system owners assume that if they have not experienced any difficulties with their systems, they do not need to pump out their tanks.
- Solid materials sink to the bottom of the tank when your system is utilized, resulting in the formation of a sludge layer.
- In most cases, correctly engineered tanks have adequate room to safely store sludge for up to three to five years at a time.
- As the amount of sludge in the system rises, more solid wastes are allowed to escape into the soil absorption system (SAS).
When hiring a pumper, be certain that they are licensed by the local Board of Health, and always insist on receiving a paid receipt from the pumper that clearly outlines the terms of the transaction and the amount you paid (how many gallons were pumped out of the tank, the date, the charges, and any other pertinent results).
Keep a copy of this receipt as proof of purchase. In addition, a copy of this report is forwarded to the local Board of Health by the pumper.
Additional Resources for How often should I pump out my septic system?
- Once every 3 to 5 years, have the system examined and pumped out. If the tank becomes overburdened with sediments, the wastewater will not have enough time to settle before it overflows down the drain. After that, the extra solids will be carried to the leach field, where they will block the drain pipes and the soil. Always know where your septic system and drain field are in relation to your house and keep a detailed record of all inspections, pumpings, repairs, contract or engineering work for future reference. Keep a sketch of it on hand for when you go to the service center. The drain field should be planted above the septic system with grass or small plants (not trees or bushes) to help keep the system in place. Controlling runoff through imaginative landscaping may be an effective method of reducing water consumption. Install water-saving devices in faucets, showerheads, and toilets to limit the amount of water that drains into the septic system and into the environment. Replace any dripping faucets or leaking toilets, and only use washing machines and dishwashers when they are completely full. Avoid taking long showers. Roof drains as well as surface water from roads and slopes should be diverted away from the septic system. Maintain a safe distance between the system and sump pumps and home footing drains as well. Take any remaining hazardous substances to a hazardous waste collection station that has been approved by the local government. Use bleach, disinfectants, drain and toilet bowl cleaners sparingly and in line with the directions on the product labels. Only utilize septic system additives that have been approved for use in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). In Massachusetts, it has been found that the additives approved for use have no detrimental effect on the particular system or its components, or on the environment in general.
- Non-biodegradables (cigarette butts, diapers, feminine items, and so on) and grease should not be disposed of down the toilet or sink. The use of non-biodegradable materials can clog the pipes, and grease can thicken and block the pipes as well. Cooking oils, fats, and grease should be stored in a container and disposed of in the garbage
- Paint thinner, polyurethane, antifreeze, insecticides, certain dyes, disinfectants, water softeners, and other harsh chemicals should all be added to the system to ensure that it works properly. Septic tank malfunctions can be caused by the death of the biological component of your septic system and the contamination of groundwater. Typical home cleaners, drain cleaners, and detergents, for example, will be diluted in the tank and should not do any damage to the system
- And Make use of a garbage grinder or disposal that drains into the septic tank to eliminate waste. If you do have one in your home, you should use it only in extremely limited circumstances. The addition of food wastes or other solids lowers the capacity of your system and increases the frequency with which you must pump your septic tank. If you utilize a grinder, you will have to pump the system more frequently. Trees should be planted within 30 feet of your system, and vehicles should not be parked or driven over any section of the system Tree roots may block your pipes, and heavy cars may cause your drainfield to collapse
- However, you can prevent this from happening. You should not allow anybody to work on your system or pump it without first ensuring that they are licensed system specialists
- Wash an excessive number of loads of clothing in your washing machine. Doing load after load deprives your septic tank of the time it needs to properly process wastes and causes the entire system to become overwhelmed with surplus wastewater. As a result, you might be overflowing your drain field without giving yourself enough time to recover from the inundation. To calculate the gallon capacity and the number of loads per day that may be safely pumped into the system, you should speak with a tank specialist. Cleaning the plumbing or septic system using chemical solvents is recommended. Microorganisms that devour toxic wastes will be killed by “miracle” chemicals that have been developed. These items have the potential to pollute groundwater as well.
Key Actions for Septic System Do’s and Don’ts
Septic systems that have been properly maintained can assist in preventing the spread of disease and other illnesses. System failures can have serious consequences.
- Your failure to maintain your water system could pose a serious health hazard to your family and neighbors, degrade the environment, particularly lakes, streams and groundwater, reduce the value of your property while also being extremely expensive to repair
- And put thousands of water supply users at risk if you live in a public water supply watershed and fail to maintain your system.
Keep an eye out for the following warning signals of a malfunctioning system:
- Surface sewage over the drainfield (particularly after storms)
- Sewage backups in the home
- Lush, green vegetation over the drainfield sewage smells
- Toilets or drains that are difficult to empty
If your system fails, the first thing you should do is call your local board of health, which must authorize all modifications and the majority of repairs before they can be carried out or installed. The board of health will inform you of the steps that must be taken. In the event that your system fails, call your local Board of Health immediately!