All in all – the optimal temperature range for residential wastewater treatment is between 68oF -to 104oF (20oC to 40 oC). Note, that biological treatment in onsite residential wastewater is mostly carried out by Mesophilic bacteria.
- The ideal range for aerobic microbes decomposing the waste is between 77 and 95 degrees F. For a commercial kitchen, the ideal temperature in a septic tank or grease interceptor to allow for FOG to solidify and bacterial activity to take place is below 80 F.
How warm is a septic tank?
The ideal range for aerobic microbes decomposing the waste is between 77 and 95 degrees F. For a commercial kitchen, the ideal temperature in a septic tank or grease interceptor to allow for FOG to solidify and bacterial activity to take place is below 80 F.
Do septic tanks get hot?
My septic tank lies under a couple feet of insulating earth, yet it produces enough heat to melt snow on several square feet of ground! Bacteria do generate heat when they digest organic material, as is most easily seen in compost piles. Those piles can get really hot – 130 degrees Fahrenheit is not unusual.
How do septic tanks not freeze?
A new septic system (tank and drainfield) where the soil is bare commonly has freezing problems the first year. A thick insulating layer over all bare soil generally will prevent a frozen system. Insulating distribution boxes and around exposed inspection pipes, risers and the manhole is especially important.
Do septic tanks work in the winter?
In general, pumping septic tanks is not recommended in cold climates during the winter months. Winter’s arrival can vary year to year, but a good rule of thumb in Minnesota, for example, is to avoid pumping from November to April. Below are the most common problems associated with winter pumping.
Do septic tanks smell more in hot weather?
While this summer weather is great for BBQs and sunbathing, it can also bring out some funky odors from your septic tank and leach field. Products like Febreze and Lysol may work great for neutralizing odors in your bathroom, but it’s not going to be much help outside!
Is it normal for snow to melt over the septic tank?
Generally speaking – melted snow over your septic tank is probably not a cause for concern. It’s actually a good sign that there is heat rising to the ground level – it shows that your tank is working right and it’s breaking down the solids.
Do septic tanks drain slower in winter?
During winter, the freezing temperature outside makes the various components of your septic system freeze up. With the septic tank being frozen, the waste does not break down quickly, which causes problems for the residents.
Can melting snow cause septic problems?
When springtime does roll around and the ground begins to thaw, all that extra moisture melts and can oversaturate the soil above your septic system. This excessive water can flood soil and lead to overflowing liquid waste that overwhelms your septic tank and damages your drain field.
How can you tell if your septic tank is frozen?
Symptoms Your Septic System Is Frozen
- First up is the toilet. With a frozen system, the functionality of the toilet is removed and it won’t flush.
- None of the sinks in the home are going to drain.
- The washing machine water line is not going to work.
How do you know if your septic system is frozen?
It’s not something that happens all the time, but there are symptoms of a frozen septic system that should set off the alarm bells. The first symptom is that the drains stop working. Toilets won’t flush, sinks, bathtubs, and washing machines won’t drain. In extreme cases, you may have sewage backing up into your home.
How do you winterize a septic system?
Winterize the pipes Shut off the water main and open all faucets to let them drain. Flush the toilets a few times until the water no longer fills the tank and bowl. Drain all appliances, including your water heater. Completely empty your septic system’s pressure tank.
Why would a septic tank freeze?
Your system can freeze when the septic line isn’t buried deep enough in the ground to avoid frost, or if compacted soil is covering the septic line. The leak allows a slow continuous flow of water through pipes, which freeze and lead to a blocked pipe. Infrequent use can also cause a septic system to freeze.
Should I insulate my septic tank?
Keep in mind that insulation is not necessary for all tanks. For example, if the system is not used during colder times of the year, the tank contents may freeze because warmer water is not being added. In this case, insulation can actually delay the thawing process in the spring when active use begins again.
Can heavy snow cause septic problems?
When snow or frost gets around your septic tanks and surrounding parts, then freezes, problems can occur. Particularly, it slows down or prevents the healthy bacteria in your tank from breaking down waste. When wastewater is not broken down properly, it may cause system overload.
How to Prepare Your Septic Tank for Winter: 7 Helpful Tips
Because a septic tank is not inexpensive, it is critical that it is properly maintained. Unfortunately, most individuals don’t think about their septic tank until something goes wrong with it. During the winter, the extremely low temperatures can cause the septic tank to freeze, resulting in a variety of complications. As a result, you’ll need all of the assistance you can get to maintain your septic tank operating at peak performance over the winter and avoid any unpleasant surprises. Some suggestions for preparing your septic tank for the onset of cold winter weather are provided below: 1.
Before the onset of winter, get your septic tank inspected by a reputable septic business in your area.
First, turn off the main water supply, then open all of the faucets and leave them open for as long as necessary to allow the water to drain entirely.
- The most crucial thing to do is to release the tank’s pressure.
- A tight-fitting cover prevents dirt, toddlers, and small animals from getting into the tank and contaminating it.
- The bacteria’s metabolic rate is kept high by the heat generated within the tank.
- It’s a good idea to pump the septic tank if you close the house for the winter or only use it a few times each year.
- Generally speaking, you should pump your tank every three to five years, so if this is the year you should pump yours, make sure to do it before the temps plummet to dangerous levels.
During the winter months, you must take every precaution to keep your septic tank safe since frozen ground can cause damage to the tank.
This may be accomplished by allowing grass to grow around your septic system, which will allow it to efficiently hold snow.
If you don’t have a lawn, you can lay the leaves or straw over the drain field to keep it from clogging.
These procedures safeguard the tank and field by conserving heat and preventing the entire system from becoming corroded by freezing.
Make Use of the Septic Tank on a Regular Basis It is possible that a lack of use will cause complications during the cold season.
If you are not at home during the winter, make arrangements with a trustworthy individual to utilize the septic system on a periodic basis while you are gone to ensure that the tank remains in good condition.
Alternatively, you can redirect the leaking water into a pail, a floor drain, or any other drainage system that is not linked to the septic system.
These actions will assist you in protecting your septic tank and ensuring that it remains operational during the harsh winter months.
Please call Pete’s Outflow Technicians if you require assistance with winterizing your septic tank. We are the septic tank experts you can rely on for all of your requirements.
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.
Dropping Temperatures Can Cause Your Septic System Pipes To Freeze
I’m not sure about you, but I’m ready for the warm weather to arrive! Winter, on the other hand, looks to be here to stay for the time being. Temperatures that fall below freezing throughout the winter might cause problems for your septic system. This winter, we want to make sure that you have as few septic system troubles as possible so that you may enjoy the holiday season. Septic systems are particularly vulnerable to damage from freezing temperatures simply because the pipes are underground and so exposed to the elements in Kansas.
- It is possible that any variation from the required depth restrictions due to settling or heaving may put your septic system in jeopardy.
- The explanation for this is simple: the snow works as an insulator for the pipes and other components of the system and system components.
- Water and waste that has not been properly disposed of will back up into your home or business because the disposed water and waste will not be able to exit the tank and will end up in the lateral field, where it will cause unseen damage.
- The first step is to ensure that your system is sufficiently covered with the necessary amount of gravel and fill, according to the recommendations.
- Always keep in mind that damage to pipes can occur if heavy equipment runs over them, freezing temperatures reach them, or if you mistakenly uncover the pipes during the winter season.
- Under no circumstances should you expose, snow blow, or plow the area around or surrounding your septic system during the winter months if there is a good snow covering over it.
If you are encountering difficulties, please contact us as soon as possible to avoid a minor problem becoming a significant problem.
Three Common Winter Septic Tank Problems
Septic tanks can become clogged as a result of the harsh winter weather. From frozen ground to frozen pipes, there are a variety of difficulties that may occur and must be addressed. Prepare for winter with these suggestions, which should help you prevent septic tank issues in the long run. When the ground freezes or snow accumulates, it forms an additional barrier that prevents water from reaching the tank. When you have to dig through hard or frozen ground, tank pumping and maintenance quickly become a hassle to do.
A septic tank riser can also be installed as an alternative approach.
Risers are designed to resist the rigors of the winter season, giving a reliable solution.
Compacted snow and soil surrounding your septic system can cause a variety of issues.
Compacted soil and snow:
- It does not provide as good an insulation barrier for the tank, which might result in a frozen system. It is possible that wastewater will be unable to filter and drain adequately. Creates pressure over the tank and pipes, which can result in damage and, eventually, make it easier for the tank to freeze.
- Drive vehicles or heavy equipment over your tank or drain field at your own peril. Generally speaking, driving over your gas tank should be avoided at any time of year, but it may be particularly hazardous during the winter months. Remove any snow that has accumulated on the system
- Before winter, aerate the soil surrounding the septic system.
When snow or ice accumulates around your septic tanks and nearby areas and then freezes, it can cause difficulties to develop. It does this by slowing down or completely prohibiting the good bacteria in your tank from breaking down waste. When wastewater is not adequately broken down, it can generate a system overload, which is dangerous. In addition, if wastewater accumulates in a frozen pipe and subsequently ruptures, it poses a serious health concern to those who are exposed.
Steps to Prepare:
- Insulate your septic tank and system with a cover, a blanket, straw, leaves, and/or soil, among other things. Consider putting a cover over your leach field as well. Increase the amount of flora in the area around your tank to help protect it from the cold. Every day, fill the tank with water and utilize it. Keep pipes free of leaks and obstructions so that the line stays heated and the drainage system functions correctly
About Miller Septic
Miller Septic is a locally owned firm that provides septic cleaning services for both residential and commercial properties. We have more than 30 years of expertise in serving the requirements of residents and companies in Northeast Ohio and surrounding areas. Pumping septic tanks, identifying septic tanks, giving point of sale inspections, cleaning grease traps and catch basins, trucking municipal sludge, offering leach line rejuvenation, and more are some of the services we provide. We are pleased to service the following counties: Holmes County, Wayne County, Tuscarawas County, Coshocton County, Stark County, Ashland County, Carroll County, and others.
Septic Tanks In The Winter Months
The necessity of septic tank care has been discussed several times, and this time we’re going to include winter weather advice — both before and throughout the coldest months of the year. It is recommended that you get your septic tank cleaned and pumped before the winter months. Tanks with an excessive amount of stored sludge might potentially cause difficulties in the winter – and repairing a damaged septic system in the winter can be difficult and expensive due to the cold weather. Frozen septic tanks and main pipe lines are conceivable throughout the winter months, however it is not recommended.
- It is possible, depending on the depth of the pipe and the depth of the ice.
- Compacted snow will not provide the same level of insulation as uncompacted snow.
- Tanks should be cleaned every three years, but depending on how often they are used in your household, this might be as often as once a year (size of your family and if you have a garbage disposal are two things that might factor in).
- Push the pole slowly to the bottom of the tank, through an inspection pipe or a manhole, until it reaches the bottom.
- If the sludge thickness is larger than 12 inches, you will need to contact a qualified plumber for assistance.
- Cleaning a tank entails more than merely emptying the tank of its contents.
- Maintaining your septic system is actually less expensive than allowing it to become clogged, because the additives in your septic system are far more effective when it is clean.
We do not recommend adding chemicals to your septic system without first consulting with your professional plumber to ensure that you will not inadvertently cause harm to your system.
Back to winter and septic tanks.
Winter pumps are doable as long as our vehicles can access to the location where the tank is located. This can be more expensive in some cases owing to show or ice coverage, as well as the difficulty in reaching your septic system. It is possible that if your tank is completely full, effluent will back up into your pipes and cause them to break if the contents freeze. Try to check for this before winter and be diligent about reducing the quantity of water that is being flushed into your tank during the cold months to avoid damage to your tank.
In cold temperature stress scenarios, frequent usage, higher water temperatures, and a greater overall water consumption are all critical considerations.
These little trickles freeze easily within the pipes and can cause the line to become completely frozen.
What Should You Do If Your Septic System Freezes
The first and most crucial step is to contact a septic tank professional. If you do not address the underlying cause of the freezing, your system will freeze again the following winter. Your local Mr. Rooter plumbers are experts in septic tank repair and can assist you in determining where the leak is coming from and how to repair the problem. Use caution if you come across a frozen pipe and want to try to thaw it out with an open flame. In the event that you turn to Google and believe that you might be able to cure your own frozen septic systems, here are a few pointers to consider:
- Do not put antifreeze, salt, or a septic system additive into the system
- Instead, flush the system. It is not permissible to pump sewage onto the ground surface. Do not build a fire over the system in an attempt to thaw it out
- Instead, use compressed air. It is not necessary to run water continuously to try to unfreeze the system.
Septic tanks and plumbing are two topics that Mr. Rooter plumbers in Greater Syracuse, New York can provide you with further information. Previous PostNext Post Previous Post
Will My Leach Field Freeze in Cold Weather?
Septic tanks and plumbing are two topics that Mr. Rooter plumbers in Greater Syracuse, NY can help you with further information on. The preceding and next posts
How to keep it from freezing
There are a few conditions in which your septic leach field may be at risk of freezing. These include:
- For example, if it was only recently placed this year and the green ground cover has not yet recovered
- For example, if the system will be unusable for a few days or longer due to cold temperatures
- If the air is extremely dry and cold, especially for a lengthy period of time (low humidity, no rain or snow), the following conditions apply: If your septic system is in poor condition
Insider’s Tip: If you have a grassy lawn, you should leave it unmowed while the temps drop into the single digits. Under the snow, the longer blades of grass will trap more little pockets of air (which will act as an insulator). The use of ground cover will go a long way toward preventing the ground from being frozen. Even a simple grassy lawn may provide an additional layer of insulation. Consequently, if your septic system was just established and the earth is still rather raw and the ground cover has not yet returned, you’ll want to cover the area with a substantial amount of hay or mulch to protect it from the elements during winter.
A system in use is less likely to freeze.
The fact that your septic tank and drain field are less prone to freeze while they are in use may appear to be counter-intuitive at first. We think to ourselves, “water. extremely cold. freezes into ice,” don’t we? However, there is a certain amount of heat in water, and there is also heat being created by the bacterial activity taking place in the septic tank and drain field. Do you remember your high school chemistry? Heat is created by all organisms, including the smallest bacterial creatures, when energy is spent.
However, if you are planning to be away for an extended period of time during really low conditions, try spreading down a thick layer of hay or mulch over the septic tank area and the drain field area to help keep it warm.
A blanket of snow will insulate the ground.
Also, if you live in a snowy climate, a new, fluffy snowbank may act as an excellent insulator. Simply allowing the snow to fall and remain undisturbed can help to keep the leach field earth warm and insulated. An interesting side note: Have you ever noticed how silent it is when there is a fluffy snowstorm? And how silent it is once the snow has stopped falling? This is due to the fact that snow acts as an insulator and muffler. Ironically, it also acts as an insulator against the cold. However, if it begins to melt or becomes compacted as a result of driving or walking on it, its insulating properties are lost.
But what if you’re at home?
Don’t allow the dogs have free reign of the place.
Consider using one of those temporary plastic fence rolls to clearly designate the leach field area so that everyone can see what is going on.
If you believe your leach field is a potential freezing problem waiting to happen, and if it hasn’t been properly landscaped yet, you could also hire a load of fill dirt to add a few inches of dirt over the drainfield, which will increase the thermal mass and help to keep it warmer throughout the winter.
- Add a substantial layer of additional earth or soil
- For the winter season, cover the area with approximately one foot of hay or mulch. If you get a little snowfall, leave it alone and fence off the area with temporary fencing
- Otherwise, call for help. In the event that your drain field is already displaying signs of seepage or water pooling over the lines, have it corrected as soon as possible before winter arrives.
What not to do
There are certain things that may appear to be a decent answer, but in reality, they aren’t.
Don’t add antifreeze.
A lot of folks wonder if they can simply add antifreeze to the system and be done with it. If it’s conventional automobile antifreeze, the answer is absolutely no! Chemicals such as these should not be allowed to accumulate in your tank or drain field. It has the potential to damage or entirely eliminate the bacterial army in your system that is responsible for decomposing solid waste. Furthermore, if the solid waste is not being broken down, your septic tank will fill up with feces and other waste much more quickly than it should be.
However, even though RV antifreeze is manufactured differently and is not harmful, it is not recommended for use in a septic system by the manufacturers of the product.
Even when using antifreeze to winterize a vacation house, it is necessary to use full strength (or near to full strength) antifreeze in the pipes and toilet to ensure proper operation.
I bring this up since your septic tank is most likely between 1000 and 1500 gallons in capacity.
Even if you were to have your septic tank filled first before you left your house for the winter, you’d have to fill that empty septic tank with approximately 1000 gallons of antifreeze in order for it to reach the outgoing line that connects to the leach field in order for it to function properly.
Don’t light a fire.
Do not set a fire on the ground over the frozen leach field, which is another another “don’t do” suggestion. While it may be effective, it may also result in significant collateral harm. Your drainfield pipes or chambers are made of plastic, and if they are located close enough to the surface, the heat from a fire can cause them to get damaged, making your drain field problems worse and more expensive.
Don’t run lots of hot water
This may appear to be a viable solution, however consider how the system is designed to function:
- Water drains from your home into a 1000- to 1500-gallon septic tank, which is full of water and other waste. As more water is drawn into the tank from the home, more water is drawn out of the tank on the other end, where it is discharged into the drain field.
As a result, as soon as the hot water meets the tank water, it begins to cool. Despite the fact that it will still be warm, the water in the septic tank will not be nearly as hot as the water that is pouring down the sink drain. Then, if the drainfield pipes and/or ground are completely frozen with ice, a small amount of warm water sprayed on them will not completely melt everything. So, if you keep adding water to the septic system and the drain field is still frozen and not draining, all of the hot water that you are pouring down the drain will eventually have to find a way to exit the system somewhere.
Why is it bad if your drain field freezes?
What happens if your drain field freezes, you may wonder? Here’s what occurs. According to the information provided above, water exits your home and travels via the septic tank and drainfield, where it is filtered as it seeps down into the earth. It is impossible for water to enter or seep down leach field lines if the ground surrounding them is frozen, and the lines themselves are frozen. If it is unable to depart, it might result in a terrible backlog of sewage water into your lowest drains, which are often shower drains because they are lower than toilets and sinks and hence more accessible.
What if your leach field has already frozen?
Our recommendation, if your drain field lines have frozen, is to consult with an experienced septic specialist who will assess the issue for you. They should be able to pinpoint the location and extent of the freezing, as well as possess the necessary jetting equipment to clear the lines.
What do I do if My Septic Alarm is Going Off?
In the event that your septic alarm goes off, it may surely create some anxiety and uncertainty; and if you happen to be experiencing this right now, then you’ve arrived to the correct location! Don’t be concerned; it does not necessitate urgent action. Instead, take your time to go through this full essay so that you will be prepared to act now or in the future if the situation arises. What Septic Systems Are and How They Work The alarm works in conjunction with the septic system to alert you when the water level within the pump tank has increased to an unsafe level or has decreased to an unsafe level.
The timer is in charge of regulating the time intervals during which the pump is permitted to pump wastewater into the drainage system.
Thus, during periods of excessive water use, the drain field is kept from getting overflowing, which might cause damage to the drainage system.
A large amount of water is injected into the system in between pumping cycles for whatever cause, and the water has nowhere else to go but back into the system’s pump tank.
Depending on how much water was and continues to be put into the system and how the pump is set up to operate on a timer, it may take many pumping cycles until the water levels are returned to normal. Causes of the alarm going off in the first place
- There is an excessive amount of water being put into the septic system. This is the result of excessive water use, which might be caused by multiple loads of laundry, an excessive quantity of dishwashing, or a disproportionate number of long showers.
- Somehow, groundwater is making its way into the system. If there is an excessive amount of standing water surrounding the septic tanks, whether generated by rain or another source, the water may seep into the tanks and cause the internal water level to rise.
- It’s possible that one of the components of the septic system is malfunctioning. If anything goes wrong with your system — including the pump and floats — the alarm and timer will go off and the septic system will stop working correctly.
The Best Thing to Do If Your Alarm Goes Off Alternatively, if you hear an alert, you should press the red button or turn on the alarm box. The alarm will be turned off as a result of this action. There should be a red light and a green light on the alarm box, which should be situated someplace on the unit. The green light indicates that the alarm is operational and should be left on at all times. It is shown by a red light if the alarm is getting a signal from the pump tank indicating that the water level is increasing above or decreasing below what is expected.
- If the breaker occurs to be tripped, look around the septic tanks to see if there is any standing water.
- It is possible that the red light on the alarm box will go out on its own after allowing the septic system to operate for a couple of pump cycles (which should take approximately 10-15 hours).
- If the red light turns off, it signifies that the system is operating properly and that it only needs to catch up with the extra water that has overflowed into the storage tank.
- To be clear, an alarm signal from the septic system does not always imply that sewage is about to back up into the house right away.
- Do you require septic system repair on a regular basis or emergency service?
- Want to learn more about septic systems?
How the Winter Affects Your Septic Tank
When it comes to your home or property, harsh winter weather may do significant damage to a variety of areas. If you have a septic tank, you should know that cold conditions can be hazardous to specific components of your system. A septic problem in the middle of winter is the last thing you want to deal with. For more information on how the winter affects your septic tank and what you can do to keep it from becoming frozen, continue reading this article. Ground That Is Freezing Whenever the ground around your septic system freezes or large amounts of snow build, it provides an additional barrier that prevents waste from reaching your tank.
- Make a strategy ahead of time to avoid this situation.
- If you live in a location where freezing conditions are regular, you may want to consider installing a septic tank riser to keep your tank from freezing.
- Pipes that have been frozen It is always possible for pipes to freeze during cold weather conditions.
- Freeze-thaw conditions in your septic system components may prevent the microorganisms in your tank from properly decomposing the waste.
- It is possible to prevent frozen septic tank components by using an insulating cover over your system.
- A small amount of additional warmth makes a significant effect.
Do you want to be sure your septic system will be able to withstand the winter? Call the experts at Affordable Pumping Services for assistance. In order to prevent worsening situations, we can pump and clean your septic tank as soon as possible. Give us a call right now.
A Beginner’s Guide to Septic Systems
- Septic systems are used to dispose of waste from homes and buildings. Identifying the location of the septic tank and drainfield
- What a Septic System Is and How It Works Keeping a Septic System in Good Condition
- Signs that a septic system is failing include:
Septic systems, also known as on-site wastewater management systems, are installed in a large number of buildings and houses. It is easy to lose sight of septic systems, which operate quietly, gracefully, and efficiently to protect human and environmental health due to their burying location. Septic systems are the norm in rural regions, but they may also be found in a lot of metropolitan places, especially in older buildings. It is critical to understand whether or not your building is on a septic system.
Is Your Home or Building on a Septic System?
It is possible that the solution to this question will not be evident. If a structure looks to be connected to a sewage system, it may instead be connected to a septic system. It is fairly unusual for tenants to be unaware of the final destination of the wastewater generated by their residence. Some of the hints or signs listed below will assist in determining whether the facility is served by a septic system or whether it is supplied by a sewer system:
- Sewer service will be provided at a cost by the city or municipality. Pay close attention to the water bill to see whether there is a cost labeled “sewer” or “sewer charge” on it. If there is a fee for this service, it is most likely because the facility is connected to a sewage system. Look up and down the street for sewage access ports or manholes, which can be found in any location. If a sewage system runs in front of a property, it is probable that the house is connected to it in some way. Inquire with your neighbors to see if they are connected to a sewer or septic system. The likelihood that your home is on a sewer system is increased if the properties on each side of you are on one as well. Keep in mind, however, that even if a sewage line runs in front of the structure and the nearby residences are connected to a sewer system, your home or building may not be connected to one. If the structure is older than the sewer system, it is possible that it is still on the original septic system. Consult with your local health agency for further information. This agency conducts final inspections of septic systems to ensure that they comply with applicable laws and regulations. There is a possibility that they have an archived record and/or a map of the system and will supply this information upon request
All property owners should be aware of whether or not their property is equipped with an on-site wastewater treatment system. Georgia law mandates that the property owner is responsible for the correct operation of a septic system, as well as any necessary maintenance and repairs.
Locating the Septic Tank and Drainfield
Finding a septic system may be a difficult process. They can be buried anywhere in the yard, including the front, back, and side yards. After a few years, the soil may begin to resemble the surrounding soil, making it impossible to distinguish the system from the surrounding soil. It is possible that in dry weather, the grass will be dryer in the shallow soil over the tank and greener over the drainfield, where the cleansed water will be released, but this is not always the case, especially in hot weather.
- The contractor who built the house should have presented the initial owner with a map showing the tank and drainfield locations, according to the building code.
- The installation of the system, as well as any modifications made to it, would have been examined by your local health authority.
- Unfortunately, if the system is very old, any records related with it may be insufficient or nonexistent, depending on the situation.
- Look for the point at where the wastewater pipes join together if the building is on a crawlspace or has an unfinished basement.
- The sewer line that runs through the structure is referred to as the building sewer.
- To “feel” for the tank, use a piece of re-bar or a similar metal probe.
- If you use this free service, you may avoid accidentally putting a rod through your gas or water line.
Try to locate the tank after a rainstorm, when the metal probe will be more easily maneuvered through moist dirt.
This should be done with care; extreme caution should be exercised to avoid puncturing the building sewer.
A tank is normally 5 by 8 feet in size, however the dimensions might vary.
Be aware that there may be rocks, pipes, and other debris in the area that “feels” like the tank but is not in fact part of the tank.
However, it is possible to have the lid or access port positioned on a riser in addition to being on the same level as the top of the tank in some cases.
Once the tank has been identified, make a rough drawing of its placement in relation to the house so that it will not be misplaced again!
It may be easier to discover the drainage lines now that the tank has been identified, particularly if the area has been subjected to prolonged periods of drought.
How a Septic System Works
Typical sewage treatment system (figure 1). It is composed of three components (Figure 1): the tank, the drain lines or discharge lines, and the soil treatment area (also known as the soil treatment area) (sometimes called a drainfield or leach field). The size of the tank varies according to the size of the structure. The normal home (three bedrooms, two bathrooms) will often include a 1,000-gallon water storage tank on the premises. Older tanks may only have one chamber, however newer tanks must have two chambers.
- The tank functions by settling waste and allowing it to be digested by microbes.
- These layers include the bottom sludge layer, the top scum layer, and a “clear” zone in the center.
- A typical septic tank is depicted in Figure 2.
- It is fortunate that many of the bacteria involved are found in high concentrations in the human gastrointestinal tract.
- Although the bacteria may break down some of the stuff in the sludge, they are unable to break down all of it, which is why septic tanks must be cleaned out every three to seven years.
- In addition, when new water is introduced into the septic tank, an equal volume of water is pushed out the discharge lines and onto the drainfield.
- The water trickles out of the perforated drain pipes, down through a layer of gravel, and into the soil below the surface (Figure 3).
- A typical drainfield may be found here.
- Plants, bacteria, fungus, protozoa, and other microorganisms, as well as bigger critters such as mites, earthworms, and insects, flourish in soil.
- Mineralogical and metallic elements attach to soil particles, allowing them to be removed from the waste water.
Maintaining a Septic System
The most typical reason for a septic system to fail is a lack of proper maintenance. Septic systems that are failing are expensive to repair or replace, and the expense of repairs rests on the shoulders of the property owner (Figure 4). Fortunately, keeping your septic system in good working order and avoiding costly repairs is rather simple. Figure 4. Septic system failure is frequently caused by a lack of proper maintenance. It is in your best interests to be aware of the location of the system, how it operates, and how to maintain it.
- You should pump the tank if you aren’t sure when the last time it was pumped.
- It is not permissible to drive or park over the tank or drainage field.
- No rubbish should be disposed of in the sink or the toilet.
- It’s important to remember that garbage disposals enhance the requirement for regular pumping.
- When designing a landscape, keep the septic system in mind.
- It is also not recommended to consume veggies that have been cultivated above drainfield lines (see Dorn, S.
- Ornamental Plantings on Septic Drainfields.
Any water that enters your home through a drain or toilet eventually ends up in your septic system.
Don’t put too much strain on the system by consuming a large amount of water in a short period of time.
Additives should not be used.
Various types of additives are available for purchase as treatment options, cleansers, restorers, rejuvenator and boosters, among other things.
To break up oil and grease and unclog drains, chemical additives are available for purchase.
Pumping out the septic tank is not eliminated or reduced by using one of these systems.
They remain floating in the water and travel into the drainfield, where they may block the pipes. Acids have the potential to damage concrete storage tanks and distribution boxes.
Signs a Septic System is Failing
A failed system manifests itself in the following ways:
- Sinks and toilets drain at a snail’s pace
- Plumbing that is backed up
- The sound of gurgling emanating from the plumbing system House or yard aromas that smell like sewage
- In the yard, there is wet or squishy dirt
- Water that is gray in hue that has accumulated
- An area of the yard where the grass is growing more quickly and is becoming greener
- Water contaminated by bacteria from a well
If you notice any of these indicators, you should notify your local health department immediately. An environmentalist from the health department can assist in identifying possible hazards. There are also listings of state-certified contractors available from the local health department, who may do repairs. Repairs or alterations to the system must be approved by the health department and examined by an inspector. Keep an eye out for any meetings that may take place between a health department inspector and a contractor to discuss repairs to your system.
- Household garbage that has not been properly handled is released into the environment when systems fail.
- It has the potential to pollute surrounding wells, groundwater, streams, and other sources of potable water, among other things.
- The foul odor emanating from a malfunctioning system can cause property values to plummet.
- Briefly stated, broken systems can have an impact on your family, neighbors, community, and the environment.
- Septic systems are an effective, attractive, and reasonably priced method of treating and disposing of wastewater.
Figures 2 and 3 reprinted with permission from: CIDWT. 2009. Installation of Wastewater Treatment Systems. Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment. Iowa State University, Midwest Plan Service. Ames, IA.
History of the current status and revisions Published on the 15th of August, 2013. Published on March 28th, 2017 with a full review.
Winter Weather, Water & Wastewater
The state of Nebraska is prone to high winter temperatures that can arrive fast and last for long periods of time. Extensive periods of cold may be difficult on the environment, but what effect can extended periods of cold have on your septic system? Is it possible that they will have an impact on your well and water system? And what can you do to mitigate any negative consequences? TemperatureBacteria A popular myth is that the bacteria in a septic tank generate heat as they try to digest the waste in your wastewater system.
- Because digestion does not generate heat, once the temperature in a tank reaches roughly 39 degrees, practically all of the bacteria in the tank cease to function.
- Keeping your tank operational and preventing the water contained within the tank from freezing is therefore critical.
- Newer septic tanks are constructed with a layer of Styrofoam-like or other comparable insulation applied to the tank’s lid to keep the tank’s interior temperature stable.
- Snow cover can act as a natural insulator, shielding the tank and other system components from direct exposure to the severe temperatures that are experienced in the winter.
However, once those extremely cold conditions persist, whether or not there is snow cover, the following suggestions can help avoid your tank from becoming a costly igloo:
- Warm water (hot is even better) should be used throughout the day and throughout the week. Consider running the dishwasher first thing in the morning and then doing a load of laundry last thing at night. It is also beneficial to use baths or showers to deliver warm water into the system. As a general rule, spread out your usage to avoid overburdening your system. Also, never leave the water running all the time. It is not necessary to compress the dirt over your drainage field. Driving across your drainfield, or engaging in other activities that might compress the soil, should never be attempted. However, during the winter, these kind of operations might cause frozen soils to be forced into the drainfield. Those soils can produce a “back-up” in the system, as well as the drainfield becoming fractured or blocked. Ask a friend to stop by every day while you are away for the holidays or on a winter vacation
- If you are away for a long period of time, consider hiring a housekeeper. A tank heater or more insulation surrounding the tank may be necessary for those who relocate south for the winter months or who have seasonal residences. If you are considering this option, consult with a trained specialist before proceeding. Consider applying a thick layer of mulch (8-12 inches deep) on the tank and other system components next autumn to help insulate the system from periods of extreme cold.
Water Well Maintenance in the WinterA water well is often less vulnerable to damage during seasons of intense cold. Extremely low conditions put the well pump at the greatest danger of failure. If your well pump is housed in an above-ground well house, be certain that the house is properly insulated before using it. To further preserve your water system, close the shut-off valves for outside hydrants to keep the water from freezing inside the hydrant and distribution pipes. This has the potential to cause pipes to burst or cause other problems in your system.
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Can You Pump a Septic Tank in Winter?
11:37 a.m. on November 11, 2020 If your septic tank has to be pumped and it’s the middle of winter, you might be concerned that the weather would make the job difficult. It is true that septic system pumping in Strafford County, New Hampshire may be accomplished at any time of year. Whew! Now that you’ve set your mind at ease, there are a few things you should think about when it comes to winter septic system pumping:
- It makes no difference what the temperature is: Septic system pumping in Strafford County, New Hampshire may be completed by a professional expert regardless of the outside temperature. Generally speaking, this component of the weather has little impact on most septic systems. Please do not hesitate to engage a professional to perform this operation on your behalf if it is the middle of January and you require a system flushing. Snowfall may have an impact: If your septic tank is completely covered with snow, it is unlikely that your septic pumping services would be affected. A snowstorm, on the other hand, may prevent the technician from reaching your location if roads in your region are impassible due to the weather. In this instance, you may have to wait until the roads have been cleared and a way to your tank has been established before your septic system pumping in Strafford County, New Hampshire can be completed.
- It’s possible that a replacement will have to wait: This project may have to be postponed until spring if you need to replace your septic tank rather than merely pump it out of the ground. If the ground becomes frozen as a result of severe temperatures, the installation process might be quite difficult. When it comes to tank repairs or replacement, your expert will most likely recommend waiting until the ground thaws before starting work. Fall is preferable: It is preferable to get your septic system maintained in the autumn if you want to prevent any potential issues caused by winter conditions. The specialists at your local septic company can do an assessment and make any required repairs, installations, or pumps before the winter season arrives. Now that this task is over, you may relax for the winter and enjoy a smoothly working system for the remainder of the year
- Make a reservation as soon as possible: Schedule your service as soon as possible to guarantee that you finish your autumn maintenance before the arrival of the winter season. The ideal time to arrange an appointment is before the Christmas season, as scheduling appointments at this time of year might be difficult to coordinate with your other commitments. Use the beginning of the school year as a reminder to plan your autumn septic system pumping in Strafford County, New Hampshire each year
- This will help you remember to do so. Selecting the Most Appropriate Professional: Always work with skilled specialists to ensure that your septic system in Strafford County, New Hampshire is properly pumped. Locate an organization with extensive knowledge in the field and a well-established reputation in the business.
Schedule your next service
As a family-owned and operated business servicing the neighboring counties since 2005, B.H. Cameron Septic Services LLC prides itself on offering efficient, cost-effective solutions to satisfy your home or commercial septic system needs. We will assist you in developing your original design and obtaining permits for installation, as well as converting your property to the city sewer system. On top of that, we provide piece of mind by providing routine maintenance service once the project is completed.
Categorized under the heading: Septic Pumping Writer was the author of this article.