How do you put a septic tank in a trench?
- Once the trenches are dug you will put at least 1-1 1/2 inches of gravel along the bottom of each trench. This allows for drainage under the pipe. Place the pipe from the septic tank all along each trench. Use the clamps to hold the pipe in place at the septic tank drain so it does not shift and misalign.
Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?
The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.
How much field line do I need for a septic tank?
A typical septic drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36″; or per the USDA, 2 feet to 5 feet in depth.
How long can a septic tank go without being pumped?
You can wait up to 10 years to drain your tank provided that you live alone and do not use the septic system often. You may feel like you can pump your septic tank waste less frequently to save money, but it’ll be difficult for you to know if the tank is working properly.
How far should a septic tank be from a house?
Most importantly, a septic tank must be at least seven metres from a house, defined as a ‘habitable property’. Septic tanks are built underground and release wastewater slowly into the surrounding environment. For this reason, they must be a set distance away from a home.
Can you add a bathroom to a septic system?
One of the foremost reasons for upgrading a septic tank is the addition of a bathroom, sometimes in a basement. This boosts property value and allows you to make better use of a your basement space. To safely treat the extra wastewater, you’ll need to connect it to your septic tank.
What is an alternative to a leach field?
Sand Filter This is one example of an alternative septic system without a leach field, which makes it compatible with environmentally sensitive areas. In some cases, the treated water can pass directly from the sand filtration system to the soil without needing to flow through more piping to a leach field.
What is an alternative septic tank?
An alternative septic system is a system that is different from the common traditional style septic system. An alternative system is required when the site and soil conditions on a property are limiting, or when the wastewater strength is too strong for the receiving environment (i.e. restaurants).
What can I use instead of a septic tank?
Alternative Septic Systems
- Raised Bed (Mound) Septic Tank Systems. A raised bed drain field (sometimes called a mound) is just like what it sounds.
- Aerobic Treatment Systems (ATS) Aerobic systems are basically a small scale sewage treatment system.
- Waterless Systems.
How deep should a septic drain field be?
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 I calculate the size of my septic drain field?
- The size of the drainfield is based on the number of bedrooms and soil characteristics, and is given as square feet.
- For example, the minimum required for a three bedroom house with a mid range percolation rate of 25 minutes per inch is 750 square feet.
What is the slope for septic lines?
A typical septic tank has a 4-inch inlet located at the top. The pipe that connects to it must maintain a 1/4-inch-per-foot slope toward it from the house. This means that for every 10 feet of distance between the tank and the house, the inlet must be 2 1/2 inches below the point at which the pipe exits the house.
How do u know your septic tank is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
What happens if you never pump your 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.
What happens if you dont empty a septic tank?
Not emptying your septic tank regularly can result in a few different problems – toilets taking longer to flush, gurgling sounds in your pipes, even waste backing up to your house.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They treat wastewater from household plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A typical septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, also known as a soil absorption field. 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.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic 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. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong odor emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
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 well 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:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
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.
- RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators might benefit from this fact sheet on safe wastewater disposal. The Septic System Care helpline of the National Small Flows Clearinghouse may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301.
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 professional can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscape, depending on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep all roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainwater drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
Septic tanks on limestoneAround here (Grange-over-Sands) we have several large new housing developments. Rather than connecting into existing (inadequate) foul water systems, the developers are saving money by using a septic tanks system (one per site) which, in extreme conditions, dumps the overflow into limestone fissures. As there are no surface streams, no water testing, other than squirting water down the fissures and watching it disappear, has been performed to my knowledge.The housing developments are on limestone hills with considerable gradients and undulations, resulting in the need for extensive earthworks.Has anyone any knowledge or experience of the use of septic tanks on limestone?LoggedSceptics wanted!
I believe a few farms in Derbyshire use them. you (will) have a PM this afternoon.Logged
Thanks Alastair. Just to be clear, the septic tanks systems service considerable numbers of houses – 43 in one case and over 200 plus industrial in the other case.LoggedSceptics wanted!
considerable numbers of housesYes, I guess that’ll make a difference, one or two bums vs 243×2.5=608 bottoms dropping anchor.Logged
Septic tanks need a soakaway – a large area of grassland for the dirty water to drain to. It sounds like this probably isn’t the case there, and being on a limestone hill, it wouldn’t be possible to construct underground soakaways anyway.Is it possible they’re installing package sewage treatment plants? These supposedly treat the water to a sufficient standard to discharge straight back to a watercourse, so should in theory be ok to discharge to limestone. However they need to be maintained and periodically emptied to work well, otherwise they’ll start discharging untreated sewage.I’d expect the EA will have been consulted on the development and consented the plans for wastewater treatment. Even so, it’s a lot easier for them to monitor a single public sewage treatment plant than several hundred private ones. It’s surprising that they haven’t insisted on connection to the mains. Individual systems for each house seems a crazy way of doing things.Logged
considerable numbers of housesYes, I guess that’ll make a difference, one or two bums vs 243×2.5=608 bottoms dropping anchor.It isn’t the actually occupancy number but the potential maximum ie 2x double bedroom = 4 people.BS6297 this is the formula_C= (150 P + 2,000)C is the size of the septic tank in litres. This is litres per day capacityP is the population to be served – this is potential not actual inhabitants.Planning can ask for a hydraulical study to be undertaken on large developmentsIt wil lalso need an Environmental Permitfrom the EALogged
guess that the 2000 is for the water already in the tank.2.5 was a guesstimate on the number of potential inhabitants.Please do not be offended by wild assumtionswhen you consider that if the population is primarily composed of Elderly (retired) Residents then you could expect that to be a high use of the toilets (ie in the house all day), wheres a house comprised of professionals may have a lower use of the toilets (due to spending most of their time outside of the house).I guess with new housing you may expect to see higher occupancy, however Grange over sands is quite close to the Lakes, so could have a bias towards some people taking up houses for retirement.British standards are all well, but this is a generic formula, and probably errs on the side of caution.I’ve just been out to Miami-dade county in florida, there are a large number of Septic tanks serving the locality and most of the water which the population uses comes from subterranean aquifers. some which have a high flow, in the region of 7000gallons per day. there is a huge threat to the environment out there, but as far as I know the Mangroves make more stench than the sewage does. I even went paddling in the water near a sewage treatment site, no smell there!Logged
Source for 7000 gallons per day is probably easily searchable online!Logged
For a new development of 200 houses the Environment Agency will have been well involved in the provisions for sewage from the planning stage.Logged
No problem Alastair – oldish folks like me never take offense at anything.The smaller of the two developments (for 43 houses) is almost complete. At its lower end the development has a small area of wild grass and scrub which acts as a soakaway. Whilst I have no way to confirm this, I would guess that the builders have followed the regulations (thanks for the link Simon) regarding the size of the soakaway but I was surprised to discover that the overflow is to a fissure, the water tracing of which appears to be inadequate. It could be that the procedures specified in the Gov. waste guidelines have not been followed correctly – out of sight, out of mind, until the waste pops up under someone’s house.Downslope from the new development is an area of older housing which extends almost to the salt marsh. The 8 inch sewer pipe is known to be inadequate and frequently dumps sewerage on the road by Kents Bank Station. It is likely that the builders chose the septic tank method as upgrading the current pipe would be very expensive. But it could be that there are Gov. directives which require that new developments are self contained.Regarding the larger development of 200 houses plus industrial the building of which has not yet started, a similar septic tank/soakaway/overflow method is proposed. As similar water tracing problems exist on the larger site but on a much greater scale, a proper solution for dealing with overflow will be needed.LoggedSceptics wanted!
I’ve just been perusing the foulsurface water drainage strategy for the 43 house development (sad times). It shows the foul water connecting to the nearest mains sewer. The soakaways are for surface drainage which is then discharged to the estuary. I thought it was unlikely that such a development would want, or be permitted, to use septic tanks. The 200 house development doesn’t seem to have a planning application yet but I wouldn’t worry about that one either. Sounds like UU will need to upgrade their sewage works though.Logged
Alastair, As someone who grew up nearby.Grange-Over-Rated is the definition of God’s waiting room.Now the waiting room has improved toilet facilities!Logged
Hi Adam. Where is that information?LoggedSceptics wanted!
God’s waiting room.Is that in referance to its proximity to the lakes and also gods own country (yorkshire) or just that theres always a phantom with a scythe nearby to harvest the ripened people?Logged
God’s waiting room.Is that in referance to its proximity to the lakes and also gods own country (yorkshire) or just that theres always a phantom with a scythe nearby to harvest the ripened people?The youth of today.LoggedNo longer ‘Exceptionally antagonistic’ ‘Deliberately inflammatory’
GoS has easy access to God’s Own County, to the Lakes, to the local hills and to the North Pennines so it keeps an old crock like me happy. Too many other oldies and not enough pubs though.I’ve found a supplement to the South Lakes planning documentation that states that the foul drainage on the larger of the two sites is to be into the sewerage system with a soakaway for surface water. The smaller site has a soakaway and a vented septic tank beneath the ‘biodiversity area’ at the lowest point on the site. If the sewerage is disposed of via the already overloaded pipe, the problems at Kents Bank station are going to be exacerbated.LoggedSceptics wanted!
Thanks Simon but the planning docs don’t usually go into such detail. Some of the larger and more environmentally sensitive sites have planning supplements which specify requirements such wildlife corridors, drainage and preservation of drystone walls. The smaller of the two development sites does not appear to have one of these supplements so I’m going to ask the builder, Russel Armer.LoggedSceptics wanted!
The planning application should have been accompanied by a pretty hefty Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and if that didn’t cover wider drainage impacts given it’s on limestone then I’d be very surprised. It’d be worth your while talking to John Gunn about it as he does consultancy work on limestone hydrology as well as his academic role.Septic tanks are not uncommon round here in the White Peak, my own house has one and even the small sewage works for the villages generally discharge the final effluent into soakaways after it’s been through the reed beds.LoggedDirty old mines need love too.
Thanks for all your replies. In a nutshell it’s rainwater to soakaways then into limestone fissures, foul water into existing sewerage systems.I’ve trawled through a large amount of documentation on the South Lake District Council site and the process has left me depressed. Huge numbers of objections have been raised to the planning applications for the larger of the two sites. Many of these objections relate to the unique flora and fauna of the area, the loss of habitat and the loss of wildlife corridors – perfectly valid concerns. The standard reply is the word ‘noted’ – translation ‘whatever’.Objections made by conservation bodies such as Cumbria Wildlife Trust are met with fine words but are essentially ignored. Even United Utilities’ objections are not taken seriously as is so perfectly illustrated by the dumping of foul water from the 43 houses on the smaller of the sites into a system that could not cope before those houses were built.LoggedSceptics wanted!
Septic Tank Maintenance
Sometimes our competitors are unable to compete. If you reside in a rural region, far out from city lines, losing septic service to your house is the worst thing that can happen to you and your family. It does happen from time to time. As a result, regular septic tank maintenance can help to ensure that your septic tank continues to function properly. Drain Doctor can assess your drainage field and determine what repairs are necessary. If you require the installation of a new septic system or the construction of a new drain field, the process can be time-consuming.
Until that final step is completed, your service will be unavailable, and you will be without running water or a functional bathroom.
And it’s a challenge that The Drain Doctor takes into consideration with every job we take on.
So you don’t have to wait a week or more for the county to come out and give its approval just so you can flush the toilet, we know how to schedule your project so that you don’t have to. That is only one of the advantages of working with a firm that has 35 years of expertise.
» Septic Systems
Make a click here for more information in Spanish. It is being investigated by the Maryland Security Operations Center, which involves the Maryland Department of Health in a network security incident. MDIT, the Maryland Department of Health, and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management are all collaborating with federal and state law enforcement partners to resolve the issue as well as acquire more information. Certain systems have been taken offline out of an abundance of caution, and additional precautions have been and will be taken in the future.
- We will provide additional information if and when the situation warrants it.
- Please call ahead to schedule an appointment or to come into the office.
- Tel: (410) 877-2341 for Behavioral Health (Bel Air).
- Main (Bel Air): 410-638-3060 The following numbers are for WIC in Havre de Grace: 410-939-6680 In the town of Swan Creek (Havre de Grace), call 410-942-7999.
I am a passionate black and white photographer as well as the technical coordinator for the New Mexico Environment Department’s liquid waste program (i.e. septic systems). Do not flush photochemicals down the toilet or into your septic system. Photo chemicals are classified as household hazardous waste, and as a result, they are generally prohibited from being discharged into a septic system under most circumstances. Chemicals are detrimental to the functioning of a biological system. Sewage treatment systems are living, breathing systems that are built to handle organic waste rather than chemical wastes.
Albuquerque’s Department of Public Works suggests placing the chemicals in a big container and allowing the liquid to evaporate.
The city does not want this garbage to end up in its wastewater treatment facility, which processes 50 million gallons every day.
Saltwater in septic tank – Reef Central Online Community
Quote:Originally posted by jbird69 on the internet I’m simply wondering as to why you people flush your toilet paper into the toilet. If the water is clean enough to support corals, it couldn’t possibly be harmful to the ecosystem, can it? I believe it is, on the whole, more sanitary than New South Wales. For the past 10 years or so, I’ve been dropping my on the front yard of my house. Is it OK for me to feel guilty? It’s not that seawater is harmful in and of itself. However, like with most things, too much of a good thing may be harmful.
You’re effectively “salting” the soil with your actions.
Although it has the potential to accelerate the rusting of any metal in the system, depending on the volume of waste dumped, it may also have a detrimental influence on the ecology and hydraulics of the system.
If you start pumping too much water through the system, this becomes interrupted, and solids begin to accumulate in the leach field, causing it to be destroyed and resulting in thousands of dollars in damages.
However, if your system is properly sized and maintained (it should be pumped every 5 years), you should be able to put many gallons of saltwater into it on a weekly basis without experiencing any severe problems.
Septic System Basics
When a household isn’t connected to a public sewage system, it normally relies on septic systems to treat and dispose of wastewater. Sewage treatment systems require a substantial financial investment. The correct maintenance and upkeep of a well-designed, installed, and maintained system will provide years of dependable and low-cost service. The failure of a system can become a source of pollution and public health concern, resulting in property damage, ground and surfacewater pollution (such as contamination of well water used by you and your neighbors), and the spread of disease.
Aside from that, if you are planning to sell your home, your septic system needs to be in good working order.
Septic systems are available in a variety of configurations to accommodate a wide range of soil and site conditions.
A conventional septic tank system is composed of three major components:
- This is known as the Septic Tank. In order to separate solids from wastewater, store and partially decompose as much solid material as possible, while allowing the liquid (or effluent) to flow to the drainfield, a septic tank must be installed. more
- The Drainage System After the particles have settled in the septic tank, the liquid wastewater (also known as effluent) is released to the drainfield, which is also known as an absorption or leach field, or both. more
- The Soil is a very important factor. The soil under the drainfield is responsible for the ultimate treatment and disposal of the septic tank effluent once it has been treated. Following the passage of wastewater into the soil, organisms in the soil remediate the effluent before it percolates downward and outward, eventually entering ground or surface water sources. A drainfield’s effectiveness is also affected by the type of soil
- For example, clay soils may be too tight to allow much wastewater to pass through, while gravelly soil may be too coarse to provide much treatment.
- Septic System Inspection Done at Home In order to assist you in inspecting your system, a VideoField Guide and Checklist can be found at the bottom of the webpage.
Homeowners and residents have a significant impact on the functioning of their septic systems. Overloading the system with more water than it is capable of handling might result in system failure. A septic system can also be damaged by the improper disposal of chemicals or excess organic matter, such as that produced by a garbage disposal. The following maintenance suggestions might assist you in ensuring that your system provides long-term, effective treatment of domestic waste.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
The most critical step in keeping your septic tank in good working order is to eliminate sludge and scum build-up before it may flow into the drainfield. The frequency with which your tank needs to be pumped is determined by the size of the tank, the number of people in your household, the amount of water used, and the amount of solids (from humans, garbage disposal, and any other waste) that enter the tank’s drainage system. Tanks should be pumped out on average every 3 to 5 years, depending on usage.
- Septic Inspection and Pumping Guide
- Inspecting Your Septic Tank
- Septic Inspection and Pumping Guide
Use Water Efficiently
System failure is frequently caused by an excessive amount of water. The soil beneath the septic system must be able to absorb all of the water that is used in the residence. Too much water from the washing machine, dishwasher, toilets, bathtubs, and showers may not provide enough time for sludge and scum to separate properly in the drain. The less water that is consumed, the less water that enters the septic system, reducing the likelihood of system failure. For further information on water conservation, visit:
- Indoor Water Conservation
- Every gallon of water conserved equates to a savings of $1.00.
Minimize Solid Waste Disposal
What you flush down the toilet can have a significant influence on the performance of your septic system.
Many things do not breakdown properly, and as a result, they accumulate in your septic tank. If you have the option of disposing of it in another manner, do so rather than introducing it into your system.
Keep Chemicals Out of Your System
Protect your septic system from household chemicals such as caustic drain openers, paint and pesticides. Also avoid flushing down the toilet with chemicals such as brake fluid, gasoline, and motor oil. The improper dumping of dangerous substances down the drain is damaging to the environment, as well as the bacteria that are necessary for the breakdown of wastes in a septic system, and should be avoided.
Septic System Additives
It is not essential to add a stimulant or an enhancer to a septic tank in order to assist it in functioning or “to restore bacterial equilibrium.” The naturally occurring bacteria required for the proper operation of the septic system are already present in human excrement. Septic systems, like automobiles, are designed to offer long-term, effective treatment of residential waste if they are properly run and maintained on a regular basis. The majority of systems that fail prematurely, on the other hand, are the result of poor maintenance.
In the event that your septic system fails, call Thurston County Environmental Health at 360-867-2673 for assistance.
- Odors, surface sewage, moist areas, or a dense growth of plants in the drainfield region are all possible problems. Backups from the plumbing or septic tank (which are often a dark liquid with a foul odor)
- Fixtures that take a long time to drain
- The plumbing system is making gurgling sounds. Your drainfield may be failing if you have a well and tests reveal the presence of coliform (bacteria) or nitrates in the water from it. Even in the midst of a drought, the drainfield is covered with lush green grass.
How Does a Septic Tank Work?
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family You may save a lot of money if you understand how a sewage treatment system works—and what can go wrong—so that you can handle your own septic system maintenance.
How does a septic tank work?
Pumping the tank on a regular basis removes sludge and scum, which helps to keep a septic system in good working order. It is possible for a well-designed and properly installed septic system to last for decades, or it can fail in a matter of years. It is entirely up to you as long as you can answer the question of how do septic tanks work. Healthy septic systems are very inexpensive to maintain, but digging up and replacing a septic system that has completely collapsed may easily cost tens of thousands in labor and material costs.
It’s critical to understand how a septic tank works in order to maintain one.
Let’s take a look below ground and observe what happens in a properly operating septic system, shall we?
Understand that a septic system is a cafeteria for bacteria
It is important to perform regular “pumping” in order to remove waste and build-up in the tank, which helps to keep a septic system in good working order. Depending on the design and installation, a well-designed and professionally constructed septic system might endure for decades or fail in a matter of years. The decision is yours as long you are able to answer the question of how do septic systems tanks function. Healthy septic systems are very inexpensive to maintain, but digging up and replacing a septic system that has completely failed may easily cost tens of thousands in labor and material expenses.
Learn about how a septic tank functions in order to be prepared.
Let’s take a look under the surface to observe what happens in a properly operating septic system, shall we? In the next section, I’ll explain why things go wrong and provide you with some recommendations for maintaining optimal performance.
Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system
Septic systems that have been properly designed and installed require only occasional ‘pumping’ to remove the sludge and scum that has built up inside the tank. However, if you don’t understand how a septic tank works, you may unintentionally hurt or even destroy the system.
- Drains are used to dispose of waste that decomposes slowly (or not at all). Cigarette butts, diapers, and coffee grounds are all known to cause issues. Garbage disposers, if used excessively, can introduce an excessive amount of solid waste into the system. Lint from synthetic fibers is emitted from washing machine lint traps. This substance is not degraded by bacteria in the tank and drain septic field. Bacteria are killed by chemicals found in the home, such as disinfecting cleansers and antibacterial soaps. The majority of systems are capable of withstanding limited usage of these goods, but the less you use them, the better. When a large amount of wastewater is produced in a short period of time, the tank is flushed away too quickly. When there is too much sludge, bacteria’s capacity to break down waste is reduced. Sludge can also overflow into the drain field if there is too much of it. Sludge or scum obstructs the flow of water through a pipe. It is possible for tree and shrub roots to clog and cause damage to a drain field. Compacted soil and gravel prevent effluent from seeping into the ground and deprive bacteria of oxygen. Most of the time, this is caused by vehicles driving or parking on the drain field.
Get your tank pumped…
Your tank must be emptied on a regular basis by a professional. Pumping eliminates the accumulation of sludge and scum that has accumulated in the tank, which has caused the bacterial action to be slowed. If you have a large tank, it may be necessary to pump it once a year; however, depending on the size of your tank and the amount of waste you send through the system, you could go two or three years between pumpings. Inquire with your inspector about an approximate guideline for how frequently your tank should be pumped.
…but don’t hire a pumper until you need it
Inspections and pumping should be performed on a regular basis. However, if you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may verify the sludge level yourself with a gadget known as The Sludge Judge. It ranges in price from $100 to $125 and is commonly accessible on the internet. Once you’ve verified that your tank is one-third full with sludge, you should contact a professional to come out and pump it out completely.
Install an effluent filter in your septic system
Garbage from your home settles into three distinct layers. The septic filter is responsible for preventing blockage of the drain field pipes.
Septic tank filter close-up
The septic tank filter is responsible for capturing suspended particles that could otherwise clog the drain field pipes. Obtain an effluent filter for your tank from your contractor and place it on the outflow pipe of your tank. (It will most likely cost between $50 and $100, plus labor.) This device, which helps to prevent solids from entering the drain field, will need to be cleaned out on a regular basis by a contractor to maintain its effectiveness.
Solution for a clogged septic system
If your septic system becomes clogged and you find yourself having to clean the filter on a regular basis, you might be tempted to simply remove the filter altogether. Hold on to it. Solids, wastewater, and scum are separated into three levels in septic tanks, which allows them to function properly (see illustration above). Solids sink to the bottom of the container, where microbes breakdown them. The scum, which is made up of trash that is lighter than water, rises to the surface. In the drainage field, the middle layer of effluent leaves the tank and travels through an underground network of perforated pipes to the drainage field.
- Keep the effluent filter in place because it is required by your state’s health code.
- Waste particles might flow through the filter and clog the perforated pipes if the filter is not used.
- Your filter, on the other hand, should not require cleaning every six months.
- A good chance is high that you’re flushing filter-clogging things down the toilet, such as grease, fat, or food scraps.
- A garbage disposal will not be able to break down food particles sufficiently to allow them to pass through the septic tank filter system.
- Plastic items, disposable diapers, paper towels, nonbiodegradable goods, and tobacco products will clog the system if they are flushed through it.
For additional information on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, contact your local health authority. More information on removing lint from your laundry may be found here.
Get an inspection
Following a comprehensive first check performed by an expert, regular inspections will cost less than $100 each inspection for the next year. Your professional will be able to tell you how often you should have your system inspected as well as how a septic tank functions. As straightforward as a septic system appears, determining its overall condition necessitates the services of a professional. There are a plethora of contractors who would gladly pump the sludge out of your tank, but many, in my experience, are unable to explain how a septic system works or how it should be maintained.
A certification scheme for septic contractors has been established in certain states; check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office to see whether yours is one of them.
Also, a good inspector will be able to tell you whether or not your tank is large enough to accommodate your household’s needs, as well as the maximum volume of water that can be passed through it in a single day.
As you learn more about how a septic tank works, your professional should be able to tell you whether or not your system will benefit from this treatment.
Alternatives to a new drain field
If an inspection or a sewage backup reveal that your drain field is in need of replacement, the only option is to replace it completely. As a result, it’s important to talk with a contractor about other options before proceeding with the project.
- Pipes should be cleaned. A rotating pressure washer, used by a contractor, may be used to clean out the drain septic field pipes. The cost of “jetting” the pipes is generally around $200. Chemicals should be used to clean the system. A commercial product (not a home-made one) that increases the amount of oxygen in the drain field should be discussed with your contractor before installing your new system. Septic-Scrub is a product that I suggest. A normal treatment will cost between $500 and $1,000. Make the soil more pliable. The process of “terra-lifting,” which involves injecting high-pressure air into numerous locations around the drain field, is legal in some states. Some contractors use it to fracture compacted soil around the pipes. Depending on the circumstances, this could cost less than $1,000 or as much as $4,000 or more.
Protect your drain septic field from lint
When this device is in place, it inhibits lint from entering the system, especially synthetic fibers that bacteria are unable to digest. One of these filters, which I’ve developed and named theSeptic Protector, was invented by me. An additional filter is included in the price of around $150 plus delivery. Learn more about how to filter out laundry lint in this article.
Don’t overload the septic system
Reduce the amount of water you use. The volume of water that flows into your tank, particularly over a short period of time, can be reduced to avoid untreated waste from being flushed into your drain field. Replace outdated toilets with low-flow ones, install low-flow showerheads, and, perhaps most importantly, wash laundry throughout the week rather than just on Saturday mornings to save water.
Meet the Expert
Septic systems, according to Jim vonMeier, are the solution to America’s water deficit because they supply cleaned water to depleted aquifers, according to vonMeier. He travels the country lobbying for septic systems, giving lectures, and giving testimony. For septic system inquiries, as well as information on the operation of the septic tank, contact him by email.
RE: THE THREAD!
|Apollo11Posts:24068Joined:6/7/2001From:Zagreb, Croatia Status:offline||Hi all,quote:ORIGINAL:USSAmericaquote:ORIGINAL:Apollo11quote:ORIGINAL:USSAmericaquote:ORIGINAL:Apollo11quote:ORIGINAL:USSAmericaVisited the house just before sunset this weekend to see how things will look after dark.One streetlight across from our driveway is well designed to shine down and not add much light pollution.Should make for some great star and meteor shower viewing in the back yard with all of our lights off.Edit:Just noticed you can see the street light in the photo of the septic tank location.Visible progress includes the septic tank being installed near the back corner of the house.Mike, so this is brand new street with all those new build houses?All utilities present?Hi Leo, yes it’s a brand new street and development.Was farm land a little over a year ago.All the utilities that we will have are already installed along the road, electricity, gas, cable, and phone.There won’t be any municipal water supply or sewage, which is very common in less urban areas here.Instead, we have our well and the septic tank system.RGR!Do you have to have special filter for the water from the well?Also, how often you have to empty the septic tank? Would you have to use it sparingly and not, for example, shower that often?My aunt had this in her summer house on the Adriatic Coast (island of Krk) and she always reminded me to shower in the garden and not in the bathroom in the summer (i.e. water in the garden would go to ground and water in the bathroom would go to septic tank which had definite capacity and had to be emptied and that had to be paid for).Hi Leo,We’re fortunate that the ground/well water in our area is pretty good quality.We won’t need a water softener or anything like that to remove excess minerals from the water.We will be sure to get the water tested independently after we move in to make sure there is zero contamination, but the county will also be doing that.As for the septic system, as RJ mentioned earlier, the tank is just to catch the solids and contains bacteria and enzymes that will break the solids down.Liquids will flow out of the tank and be spread in a dispersal field which is several pipes with little drain holes, all buried a few feet underground in an area where it will drain well into the soil.Part of the reason our lot is so large is that the only area with acceptable soil consistency and depth for the drain field is in the back half of the property.The tank likely won’t need to have the solids pumped out more frequently than every 3-5 years, especially since only two of us will be living in the house.The systems design capacity is for 4 bedrooms and 8 people, so we won’t be taxing even a little bit.The bottom line is that as long as we are careful about keeping solids from going down the sink drains (grease, food debris, etc) we shouldn’t even have to think about how much we are using the water and drain systems.OK. I see.My aunt had bedrock and the septic tank was solid concrete box with finite capacity and contained both solids and liquids. all had to be pumped out once every month if I recall.Leo “Apollo11″_Prior PreparationPlanning Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance!AB: WitW, WitE, WbtS, GGWaW, GGWaW2-AWD, HttR, CotA, BftB, CFP: UV, WitP, WitP-AE|
Heating systems for new home
originally posted byswnoel in the forum What is it about your system that you dislike? My hypothesis is that the individual air handlers are to blame. Even though I’m fairly familiar with commercial HVAC systems, my explanation would likely go beyond the level of detail required for this forum, the following are some tidbits: What I “dislike” about it: 1. My system is a Mitsubishi “M” class system, which has the capability of supporting up to five zones for each compressor. In principle, this provides you a great deal of control over each particular room.
- That sounds nice, but most people aren’t aware of the subtlety involved, thus my guests (and husband) are always attempting to switch the system from one mode to another.
- Finally, I had to resort to making one of the t-stats the master t-stat, which was responsible for establishing the heating and cooling modes.
- When most people think of heating, they think of turning up the thermostat and getting a quick result.
- In a sea of system complexity, software configurations, and troubleshooting, the vast majority of technicians (even the one who installed it) become disoriented.
When you have a refrigerant leak, it’s like being on a treasure hunt for hidden treasure.
Let’s face it, the majority of individuals have a comfort zone.
The sound of several conventional air conditioning compressors would have had to be muffled when I was outside enjoying our outdoor spaces if I had done so.
In response to my wife’s complaint that our power bills are excessive, I had to clarify that we do not get a significant cost for fossil fuels.
Given the energy efficiency of most new homes these days, I’m not certain that the projected savings between one system and another are worth the time spent debating the merits of either system. On paper, any system can be made to appear attractive. Please accept my apologies for asking.
How Does a Septic System Work?
7th of July, 2020
Did you know?Your septic system is likely the most expensive appliance in your house!
Simple precautions taken today will both save you headaches in the future and ensure that your system continues to function properly, allowing waste to be kept out of our waterways.
For Our Water
Septic systems that are not adequately maintained can discharge untreated or partially treated sewage into neighboring streams and rivers, as well as into groundwater. Waste that has not been handled poses a threat to human health and degrades the quality of water. Overabundance of fertilizers and fecal bacteria in Howard County’s streams has caused significant impairment. However, while the majority of Howard County’s Poor and Very Poor grade streams are concentrated in the densely urbanized districts of Ellicott City, Elkridge, and Columbia, there are a few others in Western Howard County that are classified as Very Poor, Poor, or Fair.
For Your Home
Septic systems that are not properly maintained can experience premature failure, resulting in sewage backups in the home and stagnant drainfields. By taking care of your septic system today, you may reduce the likelihood of having to make a costly repair in the future, saving you money. Depending on the scope of the work required and whether or not there is a suitable place for a second drainfield, system repairs can cost upwards of $50,000. Maintaining the usefulness of an existing drainfield allows it to last for a longer period of time.
How does a Septic System Work?
Septic systems are decentralized sewage-treatment systems that play an important role in keeping your home habitable while also preserving the water quality in the surrounding area, according to the EPA. 1. You have flushed something down the toilet. It makes its way to the septic tank, where it sits and separates from the other waste. Essentially, septic systems work on the water in/water out principle; for example, when you flush a gallon of water down the pipes, a gallon of water travels into the drainfield.
- Hydraulic overload is one of the most prevalent causes of a septic system to fail before its expected time.
- A large amount of water applied at once causes the scum and sludge layers to get agitated.
- On the right is a tank that is regularly loaded.
- Precautions that you can take include:
- Pipes that are dripping or leaking should be repaired to prevent unnecessary water from entering the sewage system. Water-saving fixtures should be installed in place of older models. Showers, loads of laundry, and dishwashing, for example, should be spaced out across time. Caution should be exercised when using water softeners, as they flush large amounts of backwash into the septic tank. If you use a water softener, be sure your tank and drain field are both large enough.
Toilet paper and garbage decomposes within the tank’s interior. However, many objects that are labeled “flushable” are not, and will remain in the tank until they are removed manually. It is possible for your tank to become clogged if a large number of them accumulate. Precautions that you can take include:
- Items such as diapers, baby wipes, paper products other than toilet paper, cat litter, cigaretts, coffee grounds, feminine products, and kitchen scraps should not be flushed Do not use a garbage disposal because an excessive amount of organic waste produces an excessive amount of solids, which do not decompose in the septic tank. Using a garbage disposal will increase the frequency with which your tank will need to be pumped. Instead, consider creating a compost pile. Observe a regular maintenance plan and empty your tank as necessary. Solids that will not break down are removed from the tank by pumping it.
Inside the tank, there is naturally-occurring specialist bacteria that lives there and processes the waste, which is beneficial to the environment.
These live microorganisms are required by the septic system. Precautions that you can take include:
- It is possible to destroy these bacteria by using too much home cleaning or too much salt from a water softener. Flushing solvents, pesticides, herbicides, motor oil, antifreeze, or paint is not recommended.
Keep in mind that anything you flush will ultimately end up in your yard.
2. The wastewater leaves the tank and enters the drainfield.
Wastewater is channeled through perforated pipes that are embedded in the ground. Drainfields can take on a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the soil conditions; in general, they are planted under grass and put into gravelly pits. It’s in this location that wastewater is gently leached out into a yard, where soil continues to filter and clean the effluent. Drainfields rely on a precise balance between soil drainage capability and surface water runoff. Precautions that you can take include:
- Trees should not be planted near drainfields since their roots are problematic. Vehicles should not be driven on or parked on drainfields (or septic system).
- The weight of your car might cause pipes to collapse and dirt to compress, resulting in decreased drainage.
- The formation of biomats surrounding the perforated pipes occurs when a drainfield matures, if an excessive amount of particles is pushed out into the field, or if the drainfield remains too moist. As wastewater is discharged from the septic tank, these biomats form patches of slime that inhibit the drainfield from adequately absorbing the effluent.
A regular schedule of maintenance and treating your septic system well will prolong its life for the betterment of your home and surrounding waterways!
Join us for a future webinar to learn more about the critical function that your septic system plays in making your house habitable while also conserving our waterways. Register today.