9 Tips to Keep Your Septic System Running Smoothly
- Have your Septic System pumped regularly.
- Divert all access runoff away from your septic tank.
- Make sure all access lids and ports are sealed tight.
- Have your Septic System inspected routinely.
- Have the proper drawings and sitemaps for your system.
- Pass a hose through the septic line. The hose nozzle should be longer than the diameter of the pipe (septic line pipes are typically 4″) to prevent the nozzle from turning within the pipe. This keeps the stream pointing toward the blockage. Run warm water to thaw the line.
How do you deal with a septic tank overflowing?
4 Things to Do When Your Septic Tank Is Flooded
- Check the Groundwater Level. Drainfields for septic tanks are normally between 2 to 4 feet from the top of the soil.
- Wait to Pump Until the Ground Dries.
- Reduce Water Sent Down the Drain.
- Make Changes to Help Your Newly Pumped Septic System.
Why is my septic tank overflowing outside?
This type of overflow is usually caused by either poor design or damaged drain pipes. If tree roots grow through pipes, the walls of the pipe could collapse and prevent proper drainage. Clogged or broken pipes can also cause overflow. Some septic system overflow happens because of improper design.
Why does my septic tank overflow when it rains?
As rainwater floods over your drain field, the effluent from the septic tank will have no place to drain because the ground under the drain field is already saturated with water. As a consequence, the wastewater will back up in the tank and overflow in the leachfield.
How much weight can you put on a septic tank?
Consider that unless you have installed a septic tank with a “vehicle traffic rated” or Highway Traffic Rated strength cover, a typical concrete residential septic tank, following the University of Minnesota design guide (as a typical standard) is built to carry the weight of the soil covering the septic tank and a
What are the signs that 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?
How do I dry out my septic field?
Reducing water usage in the home by 30 percent can dry out a soggy leach field. Conserve water by replacing standard faucet and toilet fixtures with low-flow versions and fixing any toilet or faucet leaks. Reduce water sent to the septic system by reusing water in the landscape where appropriate.
Will toilet flush if septic tank is full?
Toilets Flush Slowly When your septic tank is excessively full, your toilet may start acting odd. You might find that your toilet doesn’t fully flush or flushes very slowly and odd noises occur when you flush your toilet. These noises usually sound like gurgling or bubbling.
How do you fix a septic tank that backs up when it rains?
After a major rain event, the only way to relieve pressure on the system is by using it less. If possible, reduce or eliminate water going down the drains until the drainfield dries out. An emergency septic service cleaning can provide temporary relief, but this is often a futile exercise in battling mother nature.
Can I shower if my septic tank is full?
Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.
Will a flooded septic tank fix itself?
Most septic tanks are not damaged by flooding since they are below ground and completely covered. However, septic tanks and pump chambers can fill with silt and debris, and must be professionally cleaned. If the soil absorption field is clogged with silt, a new system may have to be installed.
What are the signs that your septic system is failing?
The first signs of a failing septic system may include slow draining toilets and sinks, gurgling noises within the plumbing, sewage odors inside, continuing drainage backups, or bacteria in the well water.
How do I know if my drain field is failing?
The following are a few common signs of leach field failure:
- Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard.
- The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water.
- Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.
- Slow running drains or backed up plumbing.
Can I pour concrete over a septic tank?
Paving Over Your Septic Tank You should never pave over your septic tank. Although soil compaction is not a major issue for septic tanks, there are other dangers presented by placing an insecure septic tank underneath concrete and heavy vehicles. This is particularly the case for old, reused septic tanks.
Can I put pavers over septic tank?
You can’t build a paver patio on top of a septic tank, and doing so could be against the planning laws of your state or local area. Septic tanks can take very little weight without getting damaged, and you’ll also need access to the tank in the future too. You shouldn’t build a deck on one either.
Can you build a deck over a septic tank?
You should never build a deck over a septic field; doing so will prevent the natural draining and dissipation of the effluent. This can ruin the septic system, not to mention releasing foul smells into the air all around your deck. The dissipating effluent can also rot the deck from underneath.
How to Keep Your Septic Tank Running Correctly
Everyone does not have access to a septic system. A large number of properties are instead linked directly to a city’s municipal sewer system. In contrast, if your water line does not have a meter and you are not paying for sewer service, it is likely that you are using a septic tank. In contrast to municipal sewer systems, you are solely responsible for the upkeep of your septic system. Taking the effort to repair your septic system is the most straightforward method of keeping it in good working order.
How does a septic tank operate is the first thing you should understand about maintaining one.
How Your Septic Tank Works
It is a sealed subterranean container that employs both technology and nature to help cleanse wastewater from a home or other establishment. It is used in combination with a drain field or a soil absorption field to provide drainage. The tank treats organic debris, removing oils, grease, and sediments from wastewater as it goes through the process. Depending on the model of septic tank, you may need to replace the filters on a regular basis. Some tanks are also equipped with alarms, which you should check on a regular basis to ensure that they are functioning properly.
Regular pumping will be required to keep the bacteria under control and the collected muck out of the system.
Septic Tank Maintenance Practices
Once a year, perform a thorough inspection of your system. Every three to five years, you’ll need to have your septic tanks pumped out. Additionally, you should get it examined by a specialist at least once a year. These inspections allow you to remain on top of the health of your system and ensure that everything is functioning properly. Inspections like this are particularly essential because they allow us to identify minor issues before they become major issues. Preventative solutions are usually more cost-effective than reactive ones since they are proactive rather than reactive.
Get it pumped regularly.
You can detect whether or not it’s time to get your septic tank pumped in two ways. By checking the interior of the tank, you may look for indicators of these problems. You should consider flushing your toilet if the bottom of the scum layer is less than 3 inches from your toilet outlet or the top of the sludge layer is within a foot of your toilet’s outlet.
Know what you should never put into your system.
A septic tank is a container designed to hold both solid and liquid waste. Neither motor oil nor discarded diapers nor cigarettes nor coffee grinds nor eggshells nor paints nor rags are appropriate for use in these machines. A brief version of the story is that you should never flush anything other than garbage down your toilet or sink.
Practice water conservation.
A septic tank requires time to perform its separation function between solid and liquid waste.
Provide it with the necessary time by implementing general water saving measures. Fix leaks as soon as you find them, invest in energy-efficient equipment, and keep an eye on your routine daily water consumption.
Hold on to your paperwork.
Not everyone is aware of the location of their septic tank. You may find out by looking through your home’s original plans or by contacting a septic service company in your area for assistance. Once you’ve located it, make a note of its location. Keep track of all of the services that have been performed on your tank throughout the years. If you ever find yourself in need of repair, you may use these documents to guide you through the process. If you want assistance with the installation, cleaning, or pumping of your home’s septic system, contact The Pink Plumber.
OUR EXPERT PLUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU.
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
Make frequent inspections and pumps; save water; dispose of waste in a proper manner; and keep your drainfield in good condition.
- 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.
An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs.
What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- 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.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
How To Make a Toilet Stop Running
A toilet that won’t stop running might be more frustrating than a toilet that won’t flush at all in some situations. A problem with your toilet tank, such as a float ball, fill valve, overflow tube, flush valve, or fill tube, or even the infamoustoilet flapper and flapper chain that’s linked to thetoilet handle, signals that there is a problem with the tank’s internal components. Some of the issues that can cause the toilet to malfunction and continue to run are minor, and sometimes they can be resolved quickly; however, other times they may be more involved for the homeowner who is not as confident with toilet repair or replacing items to make the toilets work correctly, in which case calling a licensed plumber may be the best solution.
For those with a do-it-yourself attitude, a trip to thehardware store for a new flapper may be just as satisfying as unclogging a blocked toilet bowl.
When this occurs, the first thing you should do is remove the cover from the toilet tank and inspect the contents within.
You will be prepared to make the necessary repairs to typical problems that keep your toilet running like an open faucet after you have identified them.
Steps To Fix a Running Toilet
- A toilet that won’t stop running might be more frustrating than a toilet that won’t flush at all in some circumstances. Whenever you discover that your toilet is simply not flushing, it indicates that there is a problem with one of the components inside yourtoilet tank, such as thefloat ball, fill valve, overflow tube, flush valve, fill tube, or the infamoustoilet flapper and flapper chain that is attached to thetoilet handle. Some of the issues that can cause the toilet to malfunction and continue to run are minor, and sometimes they can be resolved quickly
- However, other times they may be more involved for the homeowner who is not as familiar with toilet repair or replacing items to make the toilets work correctly, in which case calling a licensed plumber may be the best solution. For those with a do-it-yourself attitude, a trip to thehardware store for a new flapper may be just as enjoyable as unclogging a blocked toilet. In addition to the ongoing waste of water, an overflowing toilet is marked by the distinctive sound of the toilet tank filling. When this occurs, the first thing you should do is remove the cover from the toilet tank and inspect the contents. An aflapper chain (which should be lifted aflapper when you draw thetoilet handle to flush the toilet) and an overflow tube should be seen when you pull thetoilet handle. As soon as you have identified these aspects, you will be able to perform the necessary repairs to typical problems that keep your toilet running like a faucet.
A toilet that won’t stop running is often worse than a toilet that won’t flush at all. A problem with your toilet tank, such as a float ball, fill valve, overflow tube, flush valve, or fill tube, or even the infamoustoilet flapper and flapper chain that’s linked to thetoilet handle, signals that there is a problem within yourtoilet tank. When it comes to toilet repair and replacement, there are only a few things that could be causing the toilet to malfunction and continue to run. Sometimes it is a simple fix, and other times it may be more involved for the homeowner who is not as confident withtoilet repair and replacement, in which case calling a licensed plumber may be the best solution.
A continually running toilet is distinguished by the loss of water and the distinctive sound of the toilet tank being refilled.
When you pull thetoilet handle to flush the toilet, you should observe a flapper chain, a plastic float attached to a valve, and an overflow tube. Having identified these aspects, you are now ready to address the frequent issues that keep your toilet running like an open faucet.
Tips For Keeping Your Septic Tank Running
The septic tank is a septic tank. It’s one of the most important pieces of equipment in your house — yet it’s also one of the most mysterious. Even though it might be tough to comprehend something that cannot be seen, understanding your septic tank and how it works is essential. The septic tank is where all of the wastewater from your house, including that from your kitchen, bathrooms, and even laundry rooms, is dumped. We’ve included a quick description of the operation of your septic system, as well as some suggestions for maintaining it in good operating order.
- The tank itself, as well as the drain field, are the two primary components of the septic system.
- Upon entering, solid components are classified as either scum or sludge, depending on how much of them there are in total.
- Within the tank, bacteria break down scum and sludge, and the separated water is sent through filters before entering the drain field.
- Tips for keeping your septic system in good working order Reduce your water consumption to a bare minimum.
- When there is an excessive amount of water flowing into the system, polluted water might escape from the tank and into the drain field.
- Water use by a single person every day amounts to 70 gallons, which may be surprising, but is an accurate reflection of the situation.
- Toilets: toilets account for 25-30 percent of the total amount of water consumed by a home. Toilets that are more recent in design consume less water than older models. Give us a call right now if your home is equipped with out-of-date toilets! In the long run, your septic system will be grateful to you.
- Sinks: Consider all of the water that goes down your sink every day that isn’t being used. When cleaning dishes, washing their hands, or brushing their teeth, it is usual for homes to leave their water running unattended. Take the initiative and make a change! Make use of the water in your sink just when you need it.
Keep an eye on what you dump down your drains. It is critical to consider what goes down your drains before flushing it. If you find yourself second-guessing an item, it is likely that it is not intended to be flushed down the toilet.
- Grease: While putting grease down your drain may seem like a reasonable choice, it is not recommended. Using grease to clean your pipes and drain field has the potential to clog them! It sounds like something out of a nightmare
- Due to our familiarity with flushing toilet paper down our toilets, we have a propensity to believe that comparable goods such as tissues or wet wipes are also safe to flush. This is because the microorganisms in your septic tank are unable to break down these materials, and they will most likely continue floating in your tank.
Make an appointment for a standard checkup. Septic tanks holding 1,000 gallons or fewer need to be serviced every five years or less. For septic tank maintenance, call us at 804-758-4314 to schedule an appointment with a Miller’s specialist.
HOW EXCESSIVE WATER AFFECTS YOUR SEPTIC TANK AND WHAT TO DO
Septic systems are built with a certain capacity in mind, which is determined by the quantity of water used in a household. By exceeding this capacity, the system’s ability to handle wastewater can be severely compromised, perhaps resulting in the pollution of drinking water sources. Indoor and outdoor water consumption should be regulated to avoid overloading your septic tank, which will also help to extend the life of your tank. Find out more about septic tank overload and simple ways to conserve water while yet safeguarding your septic system by continuing reading.
- When functioning correctly, a septic tank should allow solid waste to settle to the bottom of the tank and microbes to break down organic waste in order to provide nutrients for the garden.
- A septic system that is overloaded does not enable sediments to settle properly and does not allow for the essential bacterial activity.
- An excessively high flow rate of wastewater might also reduce the amount of bacteria present in the tank, resulting in insufficient wastewater treatment.
- Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started.
- If you’re in the market for a new washer, consider a front-loading model, which is more energy and water efficient than a top-loading model, according to Energy Star.
- However, make an effort to clean your clothes more frequently, preferably several times a week.
- Reduce the amount of shower water wasted.
Consider taking fewer and shorter showers, as well as turning off the water while you are lathering, in order to conserve more water.
Reduce the amount of water you flush down the toilet.
To reduce waste, try flushing the toilet several times before using it for the first time.
If you have older toilets that tend to use a lot of water, consider replacing them with new, water-efficient toilets to see a significant reduction in your water usage over time.
Toilet leaks account for a significant portion of water waste in the average household.
Lawn Maintenance Should Be Conscientious For your landscaping requirements, drip irrigation may be an option.
Make sure to check your irrigation system for leaks that are wasting water and to create a watering schedule that corresponds to your irrigation requirements.
Consume Water Only When Necessary Considering watering your lawn and garden less frequently in the mornings or late at night when evaporation is lower, you can save money on your water bills.
Once your septic tank has been repaired or pumped, it is important to conserve water in order to extend the tank’s lifespan.
Pete’s Outflow Technicians can assist you in keeping your septic system in good working order throughout the year. Get in touch with us right away to learn more about our products and services.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUMP YOUR SEPTIC TANK?
By Admin on November 12, 2020 Your efforts to live as environmentally conscious as possible, as a responsible homeowner, are likely already underway, with practices such as recycling, composting, and purchasing energy-efficient equipment among your list of accomplishments. As a septic tank owner, you want to be sure that anything you put into your tank and septic field is causing the least amount of ground contamination as is reasonably practicable. Fortunately, there are a number of modest improvements you can do immediately to make your septic system even more ecologically friendly than it already is.
- Have your septic tank inspected and pumped on a regular basis.
- A bigger septic tank with only a couple of people living in your house, for example, will not require pumping as frequently as a smaller septic tank or as a septic tank that must manage the waste products of multiple family members will require.
- When in doubt about how often to pump your septic tank, consult with a professional for advice.
- In addition to locating and repairing any damage, a professional can ensure that the septic field is in good working order and that your septic tank is functional, large enough to handle your family’s waste, and not causing any unwanted pollution in nearby ground water.
- Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet or down the toilet.
- Items that are not biodegradable are unable to properly decompose in the septic tank and might cause the system to get clogged.
- In addition to causing issues in your house, septic system backups can damage ground water in the area surrounding your septic field.
Towels made of paper Products for feminine hygiene Grease or fats are used in cooking.
grinds from a cup of coffee Even if you have a trash disposal, the food scraps that you flush down the drain and bring into your septic system may cause unanticipated harm to your plumbing system.
Food scraps can enhance the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the wastewater, which can disturb the natural bacterial balance of the septic tank, among other things.
Water conservation should be practiced.
Exceedingly large amounts of water use will interfere with the normal flow of wastewater from your home into your septic tank.
Limiting the amount of time you spend in the shower and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, as well as purchasing a smaller dishwasher and washing machine that use less water, are all simple strategies to reduce water use in your home.
The following are some basic steps you can take to make your septic system more ecologically friendly: save water, maintain your septic system and tank, and recycle wastewater. To get answers to any of your septic tank-related issues, get in touch with the experts at Upstate Septic Tank, LLC.
Don’t let your septic system freeze
As winter approaches, it’s possible that Jack Frost may be nibbling at the bottom of your septic system. “Freezing temperatures may cause difficulties for septic systems,” says Dan Olson, a communications expert with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “Frozen temperatures can cause problems for septic systems.” Every season, it’s vital to think about your septic system and to follow particular guidelines, but maintenance is especially critical during the winter months.” The following suggestions will assist you in keeping your septic system warm and happy this winter, as well as avoiding the expenditures and hassles associated with septic system components that freeze.
- To offer additional insulation, spread a layer of mulch 8 to 12 inches deep over the pipes, tank, and soil treatment system. This might be straw, leaves, hay, or any other loose material that will remain in place and not compact. When installing new systems late in the year, it is especially vital to ensure there is sufficient vegetative cover to prevent weeds from growing in. However, if the system is currently frozen, do not add mulch at this time
- Doing so will cause the thawing to be delayed until the following spring. If you’re concerned that your system is starting to freeze, fill a container with water—the warmer the better. Spread up your laundry routine so that you only have to do one warm/hot load each day if possible. Take hot showers and put the dishes in the dishwasher. It is not recommended to leave water flowing all of the time since this will overburden the septic system. Are you going to be away for a lengthy amount of time? Have someone use warm water in the house on a regular basis, or have your tank pumped out before you leave. If you have any leaking plumbing fixtures or appliances in your house, you should fix them right away. This will aid in the prevention of freezing problems and the overall performance of your system throughout the year. Keep all car, animal, and human traffic off the highways and bridges. This is a regulation that should be followed throughout the year since compacted snow and soils cause frost to penetrate deeper and more quickly. Pay particular attention to the space between the home and the tank, and keep a watch on your system’s performance. Immediately call an onsite specialist to assist in determining the source and treatment for any seeping or ponding that may develop. Increase the amount of insulation in your system. There are several options for doing so, including replacing pipes with insulated pipes, installing expanded foam panels over septic tanks, and increasing soil cover.
If your system freezes
If your septic system freezes, you should contact a septic system specialist. The MPCA website contains a search engine that may be used to locate certified professionals in your region. For thawing pipelines, professionals use machines such as steamers and high-pressure jetters, which are referred to as jetters. Other options for resolving a freezing problem include the use of heat tape and tank heaters, among others. It is possible to send cameras down pipes to discover where the freezing is occurring.
The system will not take liquid until the region thaws in the spring.
When the tank starts to fill up, call a pumper to empty it out for you.
For more information
Visit our information for homeowners website for more information on how to keep your system in good working order all year. The date is Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
What to do if your septic system backs up?
The steps you should take if your septic system begins to back up. Make sure you follow these procedures to ensure that the problem is resolved!
1. Stop Running Water
When your septic system begins to back up, the first thing you should do is turn off the water supply. The majority of people are unaware that when sewage begins to flow into their home, it is because the water they are using has nowhere to go. Simply turn off the water supply and the flow of sewage will be stopped immediately! Until the problem with your septic system is repaired, refrain from using the bathroom, taking a shower, doing dishes, or doing laundry. In order to use the shower or the bathroom, you will be need to go to a neighbor’s house or a local leisure center.
Once the switch is turned on, the light will continue to flash, but the sound will be silenced.
2. Check the Water Level in Your Septic Tanks
After that, you need to figure out where the problem is stemming from. Perhaps there is no problem with your septic system at all, but the plumbing between your house and the tank may have been blocked as a result. In order to accomplish this, the amount of water in your septic tank must be checked. We recommend that you hire a waste-water specialist to take care of this for you, as entering your tank may present a risk of injury or death.
If you decide to do the inspection yourself, keep in mind that tank lids can be heavy and may require specific tools to open properly. When checking your tank, never crawl inside it or lower your head below the level of the tank’s bottom.
Normal Operation Level:
It is difficult to define what constitutes a “full” septic tank. The normal operating level will look somewhat like the image on the left of this page. In order for the “riser” to ascend to the surface, there should be no water present. The sewage connection from the home to the septic tank should be checked for damage or obstructions if your septic system is backing up yet your septic tank has a normal operating level, such as the one illustrated in the illustration below. However, while John Todd Co.
When it comes to sewage line scoping, a camera tiny enough to penetrate your pipes and check the problem regions is available as a service from our company.
It is necessary to have your septic tank pumped if you open the lids of your septic tank and see water pouring into the riser, as shown in the illustration to the right. Always be sure that whomever is pumping your septic tank is keeping an eye out for any backflow from the soil treatment area (for gravity systems). A failing leach field will be evident if you detect water gushing back into the tank from the leach field for an unusually long period of time. Septic tank pumping is a service provided by John Todd Co., and the company even provides an after-hours emergency pumping service for customers.
To use hot water, turn on all of your sinks, showers, and tubs, and flush a toilet two to three times, as needed.
This forces anything that may have become lodged in the pipes between your tank and your house during the back up to the surface of the water.
3. Follow Up with Repairs
Pipe cleaning and septic tank pumping are merely short fixes for a long-term problem. Make sure you follow up on any repairs that have been recommended to you. Your sewage line being clogged might be due to a broken or deformed pipe that has to be repaired or removed and replaced. It will be necessary to have a new leach field created if your existing leach field is not absorbing water. You can contact us at any time if you have any queries or need assistance with the situation. Call (303) 791-0520 to talk with a member of the John Todd Co.
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). No pollution of groundwater occurs when the septic system is properly maintained and operated.
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).
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!
Key Actions for Failing Septic Systems Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
In the absence of professional plumbing training, it can be difficult to evaluate whether or not you are experiencing problems with your septic tank. If you live in a rural region, your septic tank may be your only means of treating and disposing of the waste generated by your household. The waste from your home is dumped into a septic tank leach field, which is also known as a septic drain field, once it has left your home. An underground facility designed to remove contaminants from the liquid that emerges after passing through the septic tank, the septic tank leach field is also known as a septic tank treatment field.
Fortunately, there are various symptoms that suggest that the leach field of an aseptic tank or the septic tank itself is malfunctioning.
- There is backup in your home’s drainage system or toilets. Backups and obstructions are most commonly caused by a septic tank that hasn’t been emptied in a long time, according to the EPA. A failed leach field in your septic tank means that the water that leaves your home will not be handled and treated at all. Your drains will become clogged as a result. The toilets in your home are taking a long time to flush — If all of the toilets in your home take a long time to flush, it might be a sign that your septic tank is overflowing. Due to the fact that this sludge is not being handled by your drain field as efficiently as it should be, it is creating delays in your toilet flushing. It takes longer for sinks and baths to drain now than it used to – A clogged septic drain field may be to fault if your sinks or bathtubs aren’t emptying as rapidly as they should be under normal circumstances. A septic drain field replacement may be necessary if you find yourself waiting an excessive amount of time for the tub to drain after a bath or for the sink to empty after cleaning dishes. It is discovered that there is standing water near your drain field or septic tank – The presence of standing water near your drain field or septic tank is the most obvious indication that your septic tank has been flooded and that your septic leach field is failing. Water remains in your septic tank after it has been cleaned and processed, and this is what causes standing water in your yard. Your septic tank and drain field begin to smell foul near your house or business — Both your septic tank and septic drain field should be free of foul odors, both outside and within your home. Carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide, all of which may be present in household garbage, are responsible for the scents you are smelling. In the vicinity of your leach field, you may notice a strong rotten egg stench, which may signal that sewage is seeping. Your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of others, are at risk as a result of this. You should contact a septic drain field replacement company as soon as possible at this point.
- What is the best way to determine when to empty a septic tank? How to Unclog a Drain Pipe (with Pictures)
Signs That Indicate you Need an Immediate Drain Field Replacement
So, how can you determine whether you require a septic drain field replacement rather than only a repair? The following are indications that you require an emergency drain field replacement:
- Septic tank failure due to a failure to clean or pump waste out of the tank on a regular basis – If you don’t follow your septic tank cleaning plan, you run the danger of having a septic drain field replacement sooner rather than later. Maintaining your septic tank and having it examined at least once every three to five years helps ensure that your drain field is functioning correctly. The number of people living in your home, whether or not you have a garbage disposal, whether or not you use water softeners, how many guests will be in your home at the same time, how often you do laundry, and whether or not you have a sewerejector pump all influence how often you need to have your septic tank pumped. This one is rather self-explanatory: you have broken pipes in your drain field. If your plumber is checking the pipes leading to and from your leach field and detects a break in the pipes, you will need to have a septic drain field replacement performed immediately. In the event of a septic pipe break that cannot be repaired, new pipes or a complete system may be required. Lack of oxygen in the septic tank as a result of a significant amount of grease – An excessive amount of grease in your septic tank system results in the formation of a “scum” layer. It is possible that your leach field is being replaced. Following an overabundance of grease being dumped into your septic tank, the drain holes and piping leading to your drain field will get clogged, necessitating the replacement of the whole system. Tree roots placing strain on your drain field piping — When tree roots begin to grow into your drain field piping, it might spell doom for your drainage infrastructure. These tree roots have the ability to develop swiftly and will seek out a source of water as soon as they can. If the pipes delivering water to your leach field are large enough, the tree roots will eventually find their way there, perhaps rupturing the piping system. Compaction of soil caused by heavy machinery or automobiles near your septic tank drain field – Drain fields that are close to air pockets in the soil surrounding them. When heavy equipment or automobiles are parked or put on top of or near the leach field, it can cause issues for the system to malfunction. A compacted soil environment encourages water to collect near your septic field.
Common Septic Tank Problems and How to Fix Them
You probably don’t give much thought to what happens to your extra water after it has been flushed down the toilet unless anything starts to go wrong with the plumbing. It is critical that you do thorough septic tank repair on a regular basis in order to minimize costly damage. You must first locate your septic tank before proceeding with any further steps. Due to the complexity of your septic system’s operation, and the fact that much of it is underground, issues with it can often go undiagnosed for extended periods of time.
Most likely, one of these five factors is to blame for any septic tank issues you’re now experiencing.
Clogs in Your Septic System
In order to determine whether or not you have a septic tank problem, remember back to the last time your tank was cleaned. Septic tanks accumulate waste over time, and grey water drains through your septic tank to drain pipes that are buried underground in the earth in your yard. In the event that your tank becomes overflowing, you may begin to notice that your drains are becoming slower and that your toilet is becoming backed up. Each and every source of water in your home passes through your septic system before being used.
- If you have had your septic tank drained within the last year or two, you will most likely not need to have it pumped out again.
- If you notice that all of your drains are draining slowly, you most likely have a clog in one of the lines that drain away from your property.
- Because the diameter of these pipes ranges from 4 to 8 inches, they are likely to be thinner in certain regions than others.
- You may be experiencing some sewage backup into plumbing fixtures in your house or accumulating near your septic tank if your drains are working properly but you’re not sure what’s causing it.
- It’s possible that the problem is in your septic tank’s entrance baffle, which you should be able to see if you have access to this area of the tank.
If there is a blockage in this baffle, you should be able to tell immediately. In certain cases, pushing the clog via the access port may be sufficient to clear it out. If you’re unclear of how to access any of this, you should seek the advice of a professional plumber.
Tree Roots are Infiltrating Your Pipes
Tree roots that are in the way of a septic tank’s operation can also be a source of problems. Whether sewage is beginning to back up into your drains, there are inexplicable cracks in your driveway and sidewalk, or you notice persistent puddles and damp spots in your grass even when it hasn’t rained, it is possible that roots have penetrated your plumbing system. Roots may develop fractures in your drain pipes, and if they continue to grow over time, these fissures can expand and cause significant damage.
The installation of modern, plastic pipes that are capable of withstanding root damage can help you avoid the problem of root penetration.
Root growth inhibitors are also recommended if you have trees near to where your pipes are located, since this will prevent them from growing.
You should chop down any trees whose roots are penetrating your pipes and remove the stumps in order to prevent roots from sprouting back after you’ve cleaned out your pipes if you are able to bear the thought of doing so.
Leaks in Sewage Tank or Lines
Many homeowners dream of having lush, green grass, but if your lawn is vibrantly green but the plants around it are dead, it might be an indication of a septic tank leak, according to the American Septic Tank Association. Experiencing unexplained green grass might also be an indication that your septic tank is pumping out an excessive amount of water, soaking your yard. Moreover, there may even be sewage accumulating in your yard in this situation. This is an issue that should be addressed by a plumbing specialist as soon as possible in order to minimize any potential health risks and costly damage to your property.
IncorrectSeptic Tank Installation
The proper installation of a septic system allows the system to operate smoothly. Know if the firm who built your septic system done it in an accurate and timely manner? Most likely, if you bought an older property, you have no idea who built the septic system in the first place. Furthermore, because you can’t look into your septic system, you have no idea what’s going on down there as well. Failure to bury the tank deeply enough, installing the incorrect-size tank, or utilizing the incorrect soil in the drainfield are all examples of installation problems that can result in septic tank failure.
Increased Water Use
Before it overflows, your septic tank can only contain a certain amount of water. Septic tanks can collapse if there is a high number of people who depend on them for their water. If you have a big family, expect a significant number of long-term guests, or often hold parties, you should get your tank examined to ensure that it is the proper size. If this is the case, you may need to consider upgrading to a larger tank. Your septic system is capable of withstanding a lot of abuse, and it should continue to function well for many years provided it is properly maintained.
If you see any indicators of septic tank difficulties, such as clogged pipes, root infiltration, or sewage leaks, act promptly and call The Original Plumber for a septic tank check to ensure that any problems are resolved as soon and efficiently as possible.