Since all of the waste collected from a septic tank is organic, sending it away in a landfill is completely prohibited. However, the heavy sludge can be sent to a landfill by removing the liquid waste (this can be done only when the company has the permit to do so).
- After your septic tank is pumped, and is nice and clean, do you ever wonder what happens to the gunk that was taken out? Waste in our pumper trucks is delivered to a waste treatment facility where it is recycled for other uses. Waste for other uses? Yes, here’s how. Waste is brought to a processing plant for municipal sewage treatment.
Where does septic waste go after being pumped?
Effluent from the septic tank flows by gravity or is pumped to a leach field for disposal. The wastewater effluent is absorbed by soil particles and moves both horizontally and vertically through the soil pores.
What do septic pumpers do with the waste?
A septic pumper truck, is a vacuum truck which removes septage wastes from septic tanks, cesspools, and chemical toilets (portable toilets), for disposal at an approved septage disposal location.
What happens to sewage from septic tanks?
In reality, most of the faecal sludge collected from septic tanks is dumped into rivers, drains and sewers or emptied untreated into agricultural fields and low-lying areas.
How long does it take waste to decompose in a septic tank?
In addition, during the approximate two to three days wastewater resides in the septic tank, the biodegradable organics in the septic tank are expected to decompose, in the absence of oxygen, into less complex organic compounds.
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?
Can I take a 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.
Can a septic tank never be pumped?
What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.
Do septic tank additives really work?
There is little scientific data to suggest that you should add bacteria or enzymes to your septic system. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reported that biological additives do not appear to improve the performance of healthy septic tanks.
How long do septic tanks last?
A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.
Where does waste drain to?
When the wastewater flushed from your toilet or drained from your household sinks, washing machine, or dishwasher leaves your home, it flows through your community’s sanitary sewer system to a wastewater treatment facility.
How often should a septic tank be pumped out?
Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
Does toilet paper dissolve in septic tank?
All toilet paper will eventually break down inside your septic tank, but biodegradable types will require less water to break down and will dissolve much faster, making it a good choice for use with a septic system.
How often should I have my 1000 gallon septic tank pumped?
But here are some general guidelines: Family of 2, 500-gallon tank – pump every 2.5 years. Family of 3, 1000-gallon tank – pump every 4 years. Family of 5, 1000-gallon tank – pump every 2 years.
How Often Are Septic Tanks Emptied, and Where Do the Contents Go?
It’s safe to assume that wherever there are many individuals who run their houses’ waste systems through septic tanks, there will be a slew of local firms that specialize in eliminating the scum and sludge that collect in the tank over a long period of time. This is a crucial service because, if too much sludge accumulates over time, it can cause overflow, which is harmful to everyone involved. Septic pumping for commercial purposes typically consists of a pump truck emptying the sludge, effluent, and scum from the tank and leaving the tank empty and ready to be refilled with fresh sludge and water.
Prior to the passage of federal legislation prohibiting the disposal of sewage sludge, waste management businesses could simply bury it in landfills.
These locations still exist, however many of them are in the process of being cleaned up (clean-up).
In certain situations, the septic contents are transported to waste treatment plants where they are combined with the stew that has been pumped in from a municipal sewer system, or they are supplied to for-profit organizations that specialize in the treatment of septage.
- Septage may also be placed at landfills that have been allowed.
- Because of the difficulties associated with properly disposing of your septic tank’s contents, septage is sometimes employed in a different way: to grow food.
- This application of septage has the potential to be contentious.
- It is expected that, when properly applied to farmland with good soil and a low water table, the soil will work as a filter in the same way as a drain field in the rear of a home with a septic tank will act as a filter.
- Historically, it has been recognized that methane, which is created as a waste product during the breakdown of sewage, may be utilized to generate energy.
- In addition, because the power produced does not burn, there is little or no pollutants emitted.
- One system, constructed south of Seattle, Washington, in 2004, has the capacity to generate enough electricity to power 1,000 houses.
Who would have thought that your feces could be so beneficial? More information about waste treatment may be found on the next page. The original publication date was July 29, 2008.
Where Does Septic Waste Go? – All Pro Septic
There’s a good possibility that regardless of whether you have a septic tank, you don’t spend much time thinking about what happens to trash once it goes down the sink. It’s not the most pleasant thing to think about, but it’s necessary to think about where septic waste goes in order to better understand how to care for and maintain your septic tank and how to prevent it from backing up. In this article, you will learn about the significance of routine maintenance and septic tank cleaning in Cleveland, Texas.
- This procedure, which meets the same criteria as municipal sewer systems, is intended to reduce negative environmental consequences and encourage sanitation for home and business owners while also meeting the same environmental regulations.
- In addition to being self-contained systems that process water on site, septic systems differ from municipal systems in that they divert waste from many properties and convey it to a centralized treatment facility.
- When wastewater enters your septic tank, it is split into three levels: sludge, effluent, and scum.
- Sludge is the waste that settles to the bottom of the tank and must be cleaned out on a regular basis to keep the tank functioning properly.
- Scum, on the other hand, is the grease, fat, and oil that accumulates at the top of the tank.
- What happens to the sewage from the septic system?
- It is possible for the tank to begin to overflow and get damaged if sludge is not cleaned on a consistent basis.
- During septic cleaning, a contractor will arrive on your property in a tanker van and use a vacuum hose to suck out the sludge and scum from your system, removing it off your land.
- At this facility, the waste is processed and treated in compliance with environmental rules.
- TXAt In addition, we recognize that many septic system owners do not want to be concerned with the ins and outs of the operations of their systems.
- The professionals at our family-owned and operated firm can help you with anything from basic septic tank cleaning in Conroe, TX to the installation of a new system.
If you’d like to learn more about all we have to offer or to arrange a professional septic cleaning service with our team, please contact us right now.
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 clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often 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 stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
What Happens If I Don’t Pump My Septic Tank?
When you fail to maintain your home’s septic tank, the consequences extend beyond the unpleasant odors; depending on the severity of the problem, it can have an influence on the entire neighborhood. It is recommended that you pump your tank on a frequent basis to keep it in good working order. For the following reasons, it is an essential duty.
Purpose Of Your Septic Tank
Septic tanks, regardless of the type you have, function to properly handle the waste generated by your home or business. When there is no centralized sewer system, they are utilized to collect and dispose of waste. The tank, which is located below, retains wastewater and treats it using mechanical processes that are not harmful to the environment.
What Pumping Does
When your system reaches capacity, it will need to be pushed out again. This will occur spontaneously as a result of regular usage. Pumping is an element of routine septic system maintenance, just as are inspections and repairs for your system. Pumping has been assigned the task of clearing your system of water waste so that it can create way for more. As a result, your tank’s lifespan is extended, sewage odors are avoided, and other problems that might affect your family and your neighbors are avoided.
When it reaches a publicly owned wastewater treatment plant, it can be processed and the water recycled for use in a variety of additional uses, depending on the treatment facility.
What Happens if You Don’t Pump Your Septic Tank?
Septic tanks are loaded with human waste, and if they are not maintained properly, they may discharge bacteria, phosphorus, and nitrogen into your water system, causing it to become contaminated with these contaminants. A conventional septic tank is typically comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drain field, also known as a soil absorption field. If your system becomes overburdened, it may begin to block the critical components that allow it to function properly. The following are some of the ramifications of failing to pump your tank:
- Contamination of the water supply for your home and adjacent properties Smell of sewage in the yard or in the house Drains in your house are either too sluggish or fail to drain completely
- The water in the home is backed up
- In the vicinity of your tank or in the yard, look for swampy patches.
Signs You Need Your Tank Pumped
Your tank will eventually fill up and need to be emptied because it is unable to pump itself. This is a crucial component of your home’s systems, and it need maintenance in the same way that your HVAC, plumbing, and automobile do. It is recommended that you pump your tank at least once every three years. Keep an eye out for these frequent warning signals to determine whether or not your septic tank requires pumping:
- In your yard, there is standing water
- You have a clogged drain or toilet that refuses to unclog. You notice that your yard smells like raw sewage or garbage, especially in the vicinity of your septic system manholes. Sinks, bathtubs, toilets, and other fixtures that take a long time to drain
- Nitrate levels in your well water are quite high
- The last time your septic system was cleaned and pumped was several years ago
Call The Professionals
Septic tank pumping is a tedious and time-consuming task that the ordinary homeowner is unable to complete on their own. It’s possible that they don’t have the required equipment or information about how to properly dispose of the garbage. This does not imply that you should forego pumping; rather, it indicates that you should contact your local pros to do the task before it becomes an issue. Turn to NoCo Septic in Boulder for all your residential and business septic requirements if you aren’t sure when you should have your septic system cleaned.
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.
But Where Does It Go?: The Ins and Outs of Septic Pumping
A typical septic system owner is aware that their septic systems need to be pumped every 1-3 years, depending on the size of their household and general usage. However, one of the most often asked concerns we receive is about what occurs during a septic tank cleaning and where the septage is disposed of when the cleaning is completed. Knowing that your septic transporter not only adheres to industry standards when it comes to cleaning, but also that they adhere to state requirements when it comes to disposing of septage, is critical information to have.
The Process of Septic System Pumping
One of the steps in the septic system pumping procedure is to entirely empty the tank. It is crucial that homeowners have this process performed every 1-3 years, depending on the number of people that reside in the home and how frequently the system is used. Having a larger household generates more solid waste, which means that even if the septic tank is larger, it will require more frequent cleaning. The usage of waste disposals (which we strongly advise against) will also cause the septic tank to fill up more quickly.
Septic tanks must be pumped before the layer of sludge reaches the baffles in order to prevent sewage backups into the residence or solids from making their way into the drain field.
Most of the time, the operation takes less than an hour, and the technician will also check the tank level, baffles, sump pumps, and clean the aerator shaft during that time period.
Regulations for Disposing of Septage
When it comes to disposing of septage in Ohio, the state’s statutes provide for one of two choices. Octopus haulers, who are required to be licensed by the board of health, can dispose of septage at a wastewater treatment plant that has been approved by the board of health or at a septage land application site that has been approved by the board of health. In order to safeguard the environment and prevent pollution of ground and surface water, land application sites must conform to stringent laws that have been put in place.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides daily limits based on the size of the facility, and these cannot be exceeded as a result of receiving and processing domestic septage.
- We are a septic installation, service provider, and septage hauler who is licensed by the board of health to operate in the state of California.
- Southerly is the largest of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s wastewater treatment plants, and it is well-equipped to handle the septage that we collect from our customers’ homes and businesses.
- It has a long history of safeguarding Ohio’s water, and it is continuing this effort withProject Clean Lake, which aims to decrease pollution in Lake Erie by 4 billion gallons per year by 2020.
- Do you think it’s time to get your septic tank drained out?
To book a service visit, please contact us right away. Articles that are related Your Septic System and Garbage Disposal Systems Why Paper Is Important When It Comes to Your Septic System Septic System Maintenance: The Most Important Factors To Consider
Finding out Where Household Plumbing Waste Goes
Sewage is frequently considered to be toilet waste. In addition to bath water, kitchen waste, washing machine waste, dishwater waste, and even pool water are included in sewage waste. Sewer networks are used to transport trash from our homes to a sewage treatment plant for treatment. It is processed in this facility so that it may be recycled. Many sewer systems are capable of converting sewage into potable water that may be reused or recycled back into our streams and rivers. Most municipal sewage systems are maintained and administered by local governments, who clean and collect home trash, and make minor repairs to sewer systems, such as corroded pipes, frames, and covers.
Pump stations and lift stations are used to transport wastewater from a lower to a higher elevation.
Our City Sewer Systems
The sewage system lines are channeled into bigger pipes until they reach the wastewater treatment facility. These sewage treatment facilities, which are powered by gravity, are often found in low-lying locations, where sewer lines wind their way downwards until they reach the treatment plant. Afterward, the trash is transferred to a sand container, where it settles at the bottom of the container due to the presence of sand, ashes, and gravel. The gravity pull causes sewage to flow through the pipes of each structure and into a sewer line that transports the waste material to a sewage treatment facility via bigger containers.
Septic Tanks in Rural Areas
Sewage treatment systems (septic systems) are self-contained, underground sewage and wastewater treatment systems that are typically found in heavily populated rural regions. The fact that these rural regions are larger and the dwellings are spaced out far enough from one another makes them more cost-effective than sewer systems, which process and dispose of wastewater on site. Located deep in the earth on site, a septic treatment system is a waste treatment and disposal solution for domestic waste.
Pumping a septic tank is necessary to remove the sludge that accumulates in the tank and provides an environment for anaerobic bacterial activities.
Wastewater is carried by septic tanks to a septic tank, where beneficial bacteria breaks it down and filters it before it is discharged into a sewage field.
Waste Disposal Options
When it comes to treating wastewater at a sewage treatment plant, don’t ever imagine that you’ll be limited in your options when it comes to dealing with waste from your own house or business.
Always check with your local public works department to see if there are any rules in place that prohibit the use of traditional sewage systems in your area. The following are four of the most typical garbage removal systems:
A sustainable home sewage treatment system consumes no energy and is an excellent choice for septic tank improvements and new building projects. Environmentally friendly sewage systems are ecological systems that have been constructed with long-term sustainability in mind. They are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and beneficial to the environment. New technologies use sewage as an energy and nutrition supply, rather than as a waste stream. This type of sewage system uses environmentally friendly technologies to cleanse water and recycle it.
- “ECO” systems are considered to be the best waste treatment choices.
- Environmentalists prefer non-electrical sewage treatment facilities over electric sewage treatment facilities.
- This is the process by which trash is broken down by chemicals into effluent, which is then disposed of at permitted landfill sites.
- Scum and sludge that have accumulated in the tank are filtered and removed at this point.
- Gravity drainage is the term used to describe wastewater that departs a house when drainage pipes are at a downward slope.
- Gravity drainage, which is caused by a difference in elevation and is used to eliminate unwanted water, will allow for a consistent flow of water without the need for electricity.
- Whenever the wastewater enters the tank, it is filtered before being returned to the environment.
- When it comes to preventing central drain entrapment in residential and commercial pools, this is the best solution.
- Subterrene gravity pipes generate raw sewage, which is managed by sewage collecting systems at this location.
Sewer and drain cleaning services and needs are available from Pat Plumbing, Heating and Air, and our plumbing professionals can assist you. Technical support staff is standing by to assist you and to answer any queries you may have.
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 eliminates sludge and scum, which helps to keep a septic system in good working order. It is possible for a well-designed and well built septic system to last for decades, or it might collapse in a matter of years. It is entirely up to you as long as you can answer the question of how do septic tanks function. 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
Bacteria are responsible for the proper operation of a septic system. They decompose garbage, resulting in water that is clean enough to safely trickle down into the earth’s surface. The entire system is set up to keep bacteria healthy and busy at all times. Some of them reside in the tank, but the majority of them are found in the drain field. 1. The septic tank is the final destination for all waste. 2. The majority of the tank is filled with watery waste, referred to as “effluent.” Anaerobic bacteria begin to break down the organic matter in the effluent as soon as it enters the system.
- A layer of sludge settles to the bottom of the container.
- Scum is mostly constituted of fats, greases, and oils, among other substances.
- Grease and oils float to the surface of the water.
- (5) A filter stops the majority of particles from reaching the exit pipe.
- The effluent is discharged into the drain field.
- Effluent is allowed to leak into the surrounding gravel because of holes in the drain septic field pipe.
- The garbage is completely decomposed by aerobic bacteria found in gravel and dirt.
- Potable water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer system from the surface.
Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system
Septic systems that have been correctly planned and constructed require just 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 utilized 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 via a pipe. It is possible for tree and shrub roots to obstruct and cause harm to a drain field. Compacted soil and gravel prevent wastewater from seeping into the ground and deprive germs 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; but, depending on the size of your tank and the quantity of waste you send through the system, you may 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 accumulates into three distinct strata. 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 may otherwise block 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 sediments 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 goes through an underground network of perforated pipes to the drainage field.
- Keep the effluent filter in place since it is required by your state’s health law.
- 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 flow through the septic tank filtration 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 inform you how often you should get 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 qualified 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 amount 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 examination or a sewage backup indicate 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 possibilities before proceeding with the project.
- If an examination or a sewage backup indicate that your drain field is in need of replacement, the only option is to replace it completely. A contractor should be consulted about alternative possibilities because the costs might be quite expensive.
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 designed and termed 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.
How to Care for Your Septic Tank
Septic systems are built in around one-fourth of all residences in the United States, and they are particularly common in rural regions that are not served by municipal sewer systems.
In contrast to conventional sewage systems, which pump solid and liquid waste from the home into sewer mains and then to a centralized sewage treatment plant, septic systems pump waste from the house out into a drain field and an underground septic tank.
How Septic System Works
The water and wastes carried by the water in a standard septic system go down the home’s drain system and through a single main sewer pipe to the septic tank, where they are treated. It is possible for wastewater to flow only by gravity or with the aid of an electric pump. However, this is not always the case. The septic tank is designed to store waste material for an extended period of time, allowing solids to sink to the bottom while oil, grease, and liquids – later known as scum — float to the top.
As bacterial activity breaks down the pathogens, the liquids slowly trickle down through the soil and into the groundwater.
Between times, the solids in the tank degrade under the influence of anaerobic bacteria and form an oily substance that settles at the bottom of the tank.
If the bacterial action is efficient, the volume of these solid wastes is significantly decreased as they decompose.
Anatomy of a Septic Tank
The septic tank is a water-tight container constructed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene that is placed in the ground in a location close to the house to collect waste. It is comprised of an entrance pipe through which all waste from the home’s sewage line is directed into the tank and an output pipe through which liquids are directed to the drain field. Unless you look closely, the top of the tank is buried just below the level of the earth and is completely inaccessible except for one or two inspection tubes and a manhole cover, which is used to pump sludge from the tank when it becomes required.
When to Have Your Septic Tank Pumped
An inspection of a septic tank should be performed every two to three years, with mechanical pumping necessary every three to five years to empty the tank, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pumping may be required on a yearly basis for systems that are inadequate or that receive a lot of demand. System components such as electrical float switches, pumps, and mechanical components must be examined more frequently, generally once a year, in certain cases. When you pump your septic tank, you’re getting rid of sludge from the bottom of the tank, and you need to do it as soon as possible since sludge can build up to the point where it stops the outflow pipe, which allows liquids to flow into the drain field.
- Typical for larger houses, waste generation increases, causing the septic tank to fill up more quickly
- Size of the household The amount of wastewater produced is as follows: If there is an excessive amount of wastewater going into the septic tank, it might have an impact on how quickly the tank fills. The amount of particles included in the wastewater is as follows: Households with a large number of toilets or who often use garbage disposals have a tendency to fill their septic tanks more quickly. Septic tank capacity: Larger tanks can retain more solid sludge and, as a result, will need to be pumped less frequently.
There are a few methods that might assist you in estimating when you should have your tank pumped.
For example, a typical four-bedroom house may have a 1,200 to 1,500 gallon tank, and if you have a family of four, you may expect to have the tank pumped every 3 to 5 years under normal circumstances.
How a Septic Tank Is Pumped
The expert who inspects and services your septic tank will notify you when it is necessary to pump out the sludge from the tank, if you have a septic service professional who does so on a regular basis. This occurs when the floating scum layer that exists between the sludge and the floating water is within approximately 6 inches of the outflow pipe leading to the drain field. Septic service specialists arrive in a huge tanker truck with vacuum equipment, and when the lid has been removed from the septic tank, they introduce a large hose into the tank through the manhole they have created.
This helps to break up the particles and mix them with the liquid material, which helps the pumping process run more efficiently.
Tips for Maintaining Septic System
There are various proactive actions you can take to ensure that your septic system runs properly and that the frequency with which it must be pumped is reduced. These include the following:
- Reduce your water use. Utilizing toilets and faucets with high water efficiency and water conservation may significantly reduce the quantity of water that enters the septic system and causes it to backup. Water leaks and drips should be repaired as soon as possible in order to avoid misuse of water, which can lead to the septic tank filling up faster. Reduce the amount of solid trash produced: Another technique to ensure that the septic system is operating correctly is to keep track of the solid waste that enters it. Trash that is either washed down the drain or flushed down the toilet can cause the septic system to become overburdened. Other than toilet paper, don’t flush anything down the toilet. Also, avoid utilizing a trash disposer that dumps organic food wastes into the septic system, which might cause problems. Even though it takes just a small amount of work, throwing things in the trash makes a significant impact in how well the septic system is managed. Rainwater should be directed away from the drain field. Rain gutters and landscaping grading that direct water into the septic system’s drain field can impair the field’s capacity to distribute water from the septic system.
- Hot tubs should not be drained into the sewer system. Water from hot tubs or swimming pools should be discharged onto the yard rather than into the drain field, since this might impose an unnecessary strain on a septic system. It is best not to flush chemicals down the toilet. Avoid flushing chemicals down the toilet because they can interfere with the bacterial process that breaks down solid wastes. There are also several other commercial septic tank additives, which are often more harmful than beneficial. Use of septic tank chemicals is not recommended unless it has been prescribed by a trustworthy specialist.
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 commitment. 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 property, your septic system has to be in good functioning 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 remove particles 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 efficacy is also affected by the kind of soil
- For example, clay soils may be too tight to allow much wastewater to run through, while gravelly soil may be too coarse to give much treatment.
- Septic System Inspection Done at Home In order to aid you in examining your system, a VideoField Guide and Checklist may be available at the bottom of the homepage.
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 waste, such as that produced by a trash 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 has to be pumped is determined by the size of the tank, the number of people in your family, the quantity of water utilized, 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. For further information, please see:
- 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 against home 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.
Septic Tank Pumping
Septic tanks are used in the vast majority of on-lot sewage systems nowadays. The subject of how frequently a septic tank should be pumped has been a source of contention for several decades. For example, there are some homeowners who say they have never drained their septic tank and that it “appears” to be in fine working condition. While trying to establish a standard pumping strategy, authorities have taken a more conservative approach and have declared that all septic tanks should be pump out every two to three years.
How a Septic Tank Works
Box 1.Can you tell me how much solid trash you generate? The average adult consumes around one quart of food every day. The body removes just a very little percentage of this meal and utilizes it to provide energy for the body’s functions. The remaining portion is discharged into the waste water system. This translates into around 90 gallons of solid waste being discharged into the septic tank per adult each year. Based on the assumption that the anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank reduce the waste volume by around 60%, this indicates that each adult contributes approximately 60 gallons of solids to their septic tank each year.
- Consequently, it will take around 5 years for one adult to completely fill a 1,000-gallon septic tank with sludge and scum, which is approximately 300 gallons.
- It is simple to infer that a septic tank should be pumped every two to three years after accounting for adults who work outside the home for a third of the time and children who attend school after making these modifications to the study.
- Single chamber septic tanks were the most common type of septic tank until recently.
- Septic tanks are designed to aid the removal of particles that are heavier than water by encouraging these heavy particles to settle to the tank bottom, resulting in the formation of the sludge layer.
- It is also designed to keep particles that are lighter than water by encouraging these lighter particles to float to the surface and be maintained in the tank, resulting in a layer of scum on the surface of the tank.
In part, this is due to the fact that the temperature of the septic tank is equal to that of the soil surrounding it, and the anaerobic bacteria require higher temperatures in order to effectively decompose organic material in wastewater and thus reduce the biological oxygen demand (BOD) of the wastewater.
- Holding on to the heavy (settleable) and lighter (floatable) particles allows the septic tank to gently fill with solids from the bottom up as well as from the top down.
- Septic tanks with an exit filter will catch and decrease the flow of solids into the absorption area when the tank is properly designed and installed.
- As a result, it is critical that every septic tank be pumped on a regular basis to eliminate the organic particles that have been collected and partially digested.
- Small amounts of the particles kept in the tank degrade, but the vast majority of the solids stay and build up in the tank.
- Under no circumstances should you enter a septic tank.
- With continued usage of the on-lot wastewater disposal system, an accumulation of sludge and scum builds up in the septic tank.
- As the amount of sludge and scum in the tank fills up, wastewater is maintained in the tank for a shorter period of time, and the solids removal process becomes less efficient as a result.
It is necessary to pump the tank on a regular basis in order to avoid this. Asseptage is the term used to describe the substance injected. Cross-sectional view of a two-chamber septic tank (Figure 1).
|Number of bedrooms in the home||Estimated daily flow (gallons/day)||Minimum septic tank size (gallons)|
How Frequent should a Septic Tank be Pumped?
Describe your solid waste production in the following box: Box 1. A quart of food is consumed by the average adult on a daily basis. When this meal is consumed, just a very little fraction is used by the body to provide energy for the organism. What’s left gets expelled into the environment as garbage. Approximately 90 gallons of solid waste are discharged into the septic tank annually by each adult. The anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank lower the waste volume by around 60%, which implies that each adult contributes approximately 60 gallons of solids to their septic tank per year.
Consequently, it will take around 5 years for one adult to completely fill a 1,000-gallon septic tank with sludge and scum, which will total approximately 300 gallons.
It is simple to infer that a septic tank should be pumped every two to three years after accounting for adults who work outside the home for a third of the time and children who attend school after making these modifications to the analysis: Typically, septic tanks are either single-chamber or dual-chamber tanks that are used to collect raw wastewater from a residence.
A two-chamber septic tank, such as the one seen in Figure 1, is currently required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP) for all new and renovated on-lot wastewater disposal systems.
The scum layer in septic tanks is also meant to retain particles that are lighter than water by encouraging these lighter particles to float to the surface of the tank and be maintained in the tank.
This decomposition process is slow and largely ineffective because septic tanks are as cold as the soil around them, and anaerobic bacteria require higher temperatures in order to effectively decompose the organic material in the wastewater, thereby reducing the biological oxygen demand (BOD) of the water.
- Holding on to the heavy (settleable) and lighter (floatable) wastes allows the septic tank to gently fill with solids from the bottom up and from the top down, resulting in a cleaner system.
- Septic tanks with an exit filter will collect and decrease the flow of solids into the absorption area when the tank is properly installed and maintained.
- To ensure that these collected, partially digested organic particles are removed from the system, it is essential that every septic tank be pumped at least once a month.
- Only a tiny fraction of the solids stored in the tank decompose, with the remainder accumulating in the tank as a result.
- It is never a good idea to go into a septic tank.
- With continued usage of the on-lot wastewater disposal system, an accumulation of sludge and scum forms in the septic tank’s collection basin.
- In proportion to the rise in the amount of wastewater containing sludge and scum, wastewater retention time in the tank decreases, resulting in a decrease in the efficiency of the solids removal process.
Periodic tank pumping is required in order to avoid this. Asseptage is the term used to describe the substance that is being pumped. Cross-sectional view of a two-chamber septic tank in Figure 1.
- The capacity of the septic tank
- The amount of wastewater that is put to the septic tank each day (see Table 1)
- The amount of solids in a wastewater stream is measured. In this regard, it should be noted that there are various different types of particles that are regularly dumped into a septic system. This group of solids includes (1) biodegradable “organic” solids such as feces (see Box 1), (2) slowly biodegradable “organic” solids such as toilet paper and cellulosic compounds, which take a long time to biodegrade in the septic tank, and (3) non-biodegradable solids such as kitty litter, plastics, and other non-biodegradable materials, which do not biodegrade and quickly fill the septic tank It is possible to significantly reduce the quantity of slowly biodegradable organics and non-biodegradable trash that is introduced to your septic tank by reducing the amount of organic waste that is added to the tank.
Volume of wastewater that is supplied to the septic tank on a daily basis (see Table 1); Capacity of septic tank In the wastewater stream, there are large amounts of particles (solids content). In this regard, it should be mentioned that there are various different types of particles that are regularly dumped into septic tanks. These include (1) biodegradable “organic” solids such as feces (see Box 1), (2) slowly biodegradable “organic” solids such as toilet paper and cellulosic compounds, which take a long time to biodegrade in the septic tank, and (3) non-biodegradable solids such as kitty litter, plastics, and other non-biodegradable materials, which do not biodegrade and quickly fill the septic tank (see Box 3 It is possible to significantly reduce the quantity of slowly biodegradable organics and non-biodegradable trash that is introduced into your septic tank by reducing the amount of organic waste that is added to the tank.
Homes with expanding families, having children ranging in age from tiny children to adolescents, often consume more water and deposit more sediments into the septic tank than other types of households.
Another key issue when determining how frequently a septic tank should be pumped is the time of the pumping.
This is especially true for tanks that do not have exit filters, which are common in older tanks.
By the time sewage has backed up into the home, the soil absorption area has become clogged with a nearly impermeable biomat and has become inundated with wastewater due to the soil’s inability to absorb the wastewater produced on a daily basis due to the soil’s inability to absorb the wastewater produced.
The biomat will not be removed from the septic tank by pumping it.
Then the pump-access hole to the absorption area should be left open for a few days to allow the absorption area to drain.
It is recommended that the septic tank be pumped in conjunction with the absorption area pumping, in order to promote the establishment of aerated conditions in the absorption area.
Is It Time To Pump Your Septic Tank?
So, how does one go about determining how frequently a septic tank needs be cleaned? We are aware that residences who dispose of huge volumes of non-biodegradable and slowly biodegradable organic waste into their septic tank require more frequent pumping. It is also known that prior to the time at which the collected solids have accumulated to the point that they are being taken with the tank effluent to the absorption region, the septic tank should be pump out. When it comes to determining when (and how frequently) to pump your septic tank, there are two generally safe ways to use.
The alternative method is to open the access port to the first chamber (as shown in Figure 1) once a year and insert a long pole to the bottom of the tank and then pull it out of the tank.
If the sludge has accumulated to more than one-third of the tank’s total depth, it is time to have it drained out completely. The majority of households will benefit from having their tanks drained every two or three years instead.
The Pumping Process
Contractors who specialize in septic tank pumping and hauling may pump your septic tank. It is a good idea to be present to check that everything is completed correctly. For the material to be extracted from the tank, it is necessary to break up the scum layer, and the sludge layer must be combined with the liquid section of the tank. In most cases, this is accomplished by alternately pumping liquid out of the tank and re-injecting it into the bottom of the tank. Not the little intake or outlet inspection openings situated above each baffle, but the two huge central access ports (manholes) are required for pumping the septic tank.
- It is not suggested to use additives in septic tanks to minimize the volume of sludge or as a substitute for pumping in order to achieve these goals.
- When you have your septic tank pumped, you should consider taking an additional step to ensure that your septic system continues to perform correctly for a long time.
- This inspector can tell you whether or not your septic tank needs to be repaired, as well as whether or not other components of your sewage system require upkeep.
- Mark the position of the tank as well, so that it may be found simply in the future for pumping.
Schedule Septic Tank Pumping
Homeowners should develop the practice of getting their septic tanks drained on a regular basis. As long as you are able and willing to schedule regular septic tank pumping (every two or three years, for example), it may be feasible to improve the overall performance of your complete on-lot wastewater disposal system. According to research conducted at Penn State, your soil absorption system will benefit from frequent resting periods (a period during which no wastewater is added to the absorption area).
In other words, the whole system, particularly the soil absorption region, will have the opportunity to dry up, and any organic waste (biomat) that may have formed in the soil absorption area will degrade swiftly in the absence of water.
A septic tank is simply one component of a complete on-site wastewater treatment system. Its purpose is to remove solids from the effluent prior to it reaching the soil absorption region, to allow for the digestion of a part of those solids, and to store the remainder of the solids in a holding tank. It is not necessary to use biological or chemical additions to enhance or speed the breakdown process.
Grinders contribute to the solids load on the system by reducing the size of garbage. Solids must be removed on a regular basis in order to prevent them from accessing the soil absorption zone. Every two to three years, you should have your septic tank drained and examined by a professional.
For additional assistance contact
Your local Sewage Enforcement Officer or Extension Educator can help you with these issues. A contact for the Pennsylvania Association of Sewage Enforcement Officers (PASEO) is as follows:4902 Carlisle Pike,268Mechanicsburg, PA 17050 Phone: 717-761-8648 Email: [email protected] Philadelphia, PA 18016 717-763-7762 [email protected] Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA)P.O. Box 144 Bethlehem, PA 18016 717-763-7762