- You can mix 1/2 a cup of baking soda with vinegar and 4 table spoons of lemon. The solution will fizz once the baking soda comes in contact with the vinegar. This mixture will dissolve the clog in the pipes and allow the drains to move freely into the septic tank. Another way is to use enzyme drain cleaners.
How do you slope a septic line?
A typical septic tank has a 4-inch inlet located at the top. The pipe that connects to it must maintain a 1/4-inch-per-foot slope toward it from the house. This means that for every 10 feet of distance between the tank and the house, the inlet must be 2 1/2 inches below the point at which the pipe exits the house.
How do you tap into an existing septic tank?
Use a 4-inch pipe to connect the two septic tanks. Place this pipe into the inlet hole of your new septic tank before you lower it into the ground. After you’ve lowered your new septic tank, insert the other end of the pipe into your old septic tank’s outlet hole.
Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?
The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.
How do you tell if your septic tank is full?
How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying
- Pooling water.
- Slow drains.
- An overly healthy lawn.
- Sewer backup.
- Gurgling Pipes.
- Trouble Flushing.
What is the fall on a 4 inch sewer pipe?
For 4-inch PVC piping and a building sewer less than 50 feet long, the minimum slope is 1 inch in 8 feet, or 1/8-inch per foot, and the maximum is 1/4-inch per foot. For sewers longer than 50 feet, the slope should be 1/4-inch per foot.
How deep are septic lines?
A typical drainfield trench is 18 to 30 inches in depth, with a maximum soil cover over the disposal field of 36 inches.
How much drop should a drain pipe have?
You probably know that drains need to flow downhill into your sewer. But do you know the proper slope? The ideal slope of any drain line is ¼ inch per foot of pipe. In other words, for every foot the pipe travels horizontally, it should be dropping ¼ inch vertically.
How much fall should a leach line have?
In a conventional gravity system, the pipe from the house to the septic tank, and the outlet pipe from the tank to the distribution box or leach field, should both slope downward with a minimum slope of 1/4 in. per ft. (1/8 in. per ft.
How is plumbing from house connected to septic tank?
The septic tank is connected to the house by a single main drainage pipe also called inlet pipe. The water waste from your home goes through it and into the septic tank where solid and liquid waste are separated from liquid.
Why the inlet pipe in the septic tank is higher than the outlet pipe?
Level the septic tank: The septic tank inlet tee is designed to be higher than the septic tank outlet tee. This helps assure that incoming sewage clears the baffle and enters the tank correctly, while outgoing effluent does not carry along floating solids, scum, or grease (which would clog the drainfield).
How do I find my septic tank outlet pipe?
The outlet pipe should be approximately 3 inches below the inlet pipe. Inlet Baffle: The inlet baffle is installed on the inlet pipe inside the tank.
What can I use instead of a septic tank?
Alternative Septic Systems
- Raised Bed (Mound) Septic Tank Systems. A raised bed drain field (sometimes called a mound) is just like what it sounds.
- Aerobic Treatment Systems (ATS) Aerobic systems are basically a small scale sewage treatment system.
- Waterless Systems.
What is an alternative to a leach field?
Sand Filter This is one example of an alternative septic system without a leach field, which makes it compatible with environmentally sensitive areas. In some cases, the treated water can pass directly from the sand filtration system to the soil without needing to flow through more piping to a leach field.
Are septic tanks still legal?
Septic Tanks Explained… Septic tanks cannot discharge to surface water drains, rivers, canals, ditches, streams or any other type of waterway. you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.
installing drain piping on steep slopes
- Fields of absorption What happens when it rains? Does your condition recur? A professional inspection may be necessary in this case. Your septic tank’s absorption field should be approximately five feet below the level of the high water table, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The field may become flooded if the field is placed incorrectly, and the outflow from the tank may be unable to be accommodated. This means that you might be poisoning the local groundwater with pathogenic materials that are escaping from the tank. A do-it-yourself solution is not recommended. Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in the Bay Area and we’ll send out a septic tank system expert who is knowledgeable and well qualified to assess your problem and recommend a cost-effective solution. The only alternatives when an absorption field fails are to construct a completely new drain field or to add more branches to the current field to boost its capacity. The sludge in the tank has the potential to develop a layer of biodegradable material beneath the pipes, preventing the water from seeping into the earth. In order to prevent this from happening, the standard for septic tank care advises that the tank be pumped out every three years
- A pumping has been performed, however backups continue to occur in the sewer system. A clogged septic tank drain pipe might be an indication that the pipes connecting the fixtures are clogged as well. Having these pipes properly cleaned out should be the first order of business. In order to find any blockages caused by sludge, fractures or cracks in the pipe, or roots, our plumbers can send a camera into the line. The effectiveness of the septic tank may also be determined using this process. Standing water is discovered in the line that runs between a building and the septic tank after the problem has been isolated. In addition to the causes listed above, the drain pipe may have collapsed as a result of movements in the soil, power snake damage, corrosion, or a combination of these factors. In many of these situations, the scum (on the top) and sludge (on the bottom) levels in the tank have risen past their maximum limits, and the septic tank must be drained out as quickly as possible. Despite the fact that the lines are clear and the septic tank has been flushed, there is still a backup into the house. A problem with the drain field is most likely to be the source of the problem. Effluent sludge in the tank rises to the surface and pours out of the tank, blocking the drain field and causing the flow from the tank to get backed up. Rainwater and groundwater can become trapped in a field that has been incorrectly pitched or laid out, resulting in it becoming a magnet for both. Therefore, the wastewater is prevented from adequately draining into the field as it should, resulting in septic tank backup during a party or while visitors are coming or staying at the residence. This is frequently the case when the septic system is unable to handle the increased volume of water created by a sudden increase in the number of people who are using the facilities. It is a problem with a large amount of wastewater, which is made worse by the fact that the tank was not completely empty to handle the increased volume of wastewater. Having a large amount of wastewater in a short period of time might generate a flooding situation in the drain field, which can result in a backup of wastewater entering your home through the drain line.
InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Installing or replacing sewer lines on steep hills is a challenging task. This article discusses the construction of drain lines on steep slopes between a house and a septic tank, as well as the maintenance of drain lines. For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page. Use the SEARCH BOX to discover the information you’re looking for quickly.
Guide to installing the replacement sewer pipe line at Steep Sites
Conflicts of interest are not tolerated at InspectAPedia.com. No affiliation exists between us and any sponsors, products, or services mentioned on this website. Installing or replacing sewer lines on steep slopes is a complicated process. Installing drain lines on steep slopes between a house and its associated septic tank is described in this article. There is an article index for this topic available as well, or you can use the page top or bottom navigation options. Use the SEARCH BOX to locate the information you want quickly.
- Septic pipe installed in a zig-zag pattern on steep hillsides
- Septic pipes with a U-turn on steep hillsides
- Septic pipework running parallel to the fall line of a slope Designing steep septic systems for sewer or septic pipe repair or new installations
When it comes to a drain waste pipe, what is the right slope or pitch to use? When wastewater travels at the proper pace via a drainpipe, the water transports solid waste, such as feces and toilet paper, as well as water, to a septic tank or sewage mains for disposal. Generally speaking, plumbing rules and wastewater piping guidelines state that building drains should be pitched at a rate of 1/8” to 1/4” of slope for every foot of linear length or distance. Problems associated with steep dips between the home and the septic tank include: A steep building site, such as the one depicted in our page top photograph, can result in a significant drop in elevation between a building main drain and the septic tank inlet opening (or sewer main connection), resulting in waste piping slopes that exceed the recommended limits for slope in the waste piping.
If waste passes through the sewage line at a rate more than 2 fps, there is a possibility that water will leave sediments behind in the pipe, resulting in recurring obstructions.
ZigZagging Drain Line Piping Down a Slope
zigzagging the pipe down a steep slope, making multiple bends, would be one method of reaching the required wastewater flow rate in a drain line down a steep slope. However, in my opinion, the increased number of turns and length of this approach may increase the likelihood of future sewer line blockages. Additionally, the zigzag drain line approach will make it more difficult to clean out blockages, and therefore you will need to include sewer line cleanout access points at every run and turn in the installation.
In brief, a zigzag pipe ran down a hill is more expensive, has more twists that increase the chance of clogging, is more difficult to clean out, takes up significantly more room on the construction site, and is not often installed by contractors.
Straight-run Drain Line Piping Down a Steep Drop Slope between House and Septic Tank or Sewer Main
According to my observations, many waste line contractors simply establish a straight sewer line from the home to the septic tank or from the house to the sewage main, regardless of the building slope, as long as we have at least 1/8″ per foot, ideally 1/4″ per foot, or more, of water pressure. Drain lines with a lower slope or those are practically flat are more likely to clog. On a related note, if you’re building a drain line that may be too steeply sloped and you won’t be able to readily correct the problem, make sure to include extra cleanout access ports.
Experience in Installing Steep Sewer Drain Line Piping
It is my opinion that if the whole pipe run is steeper than what is generally specified, it is possible that you will never see a clog occur. The sewage line dips on a slope between 2″ and 3″ per foot over a 40-foot run between the home exit line and the septic tank entrance baffle at the property depicted in these images and in the other photos in this series on sewer line replacement, as seen in the other photos in this series. In order to avoid leaving particles behind while flushing the toilet, this house-to-septic tank drain pipe should be placed in the “risk zone.” However, after managing this property for more than two decades, we can confidently state that we have never had an issue with too-rapid drainage clogging the waste line.
Since we replaced the old clay plumbing with plastic piping, we have not experienced any sewage obstructions.
The black line on the right-hand pipe portion indicates to the installer when the pipe sections have been completely connected together.
The only issue we experienced with the line was when the previous clay line was smashed and subsequently became clogged with mud and other debris.
Other Steps to Avoid Problems with Septic or Sewer Drain Lines on Steep Sites
- Cleanouts of septic tanks or sewer drain lines: I’d put external cleanout access ports on the sewage line every 20 feet or so for the sake of ease. Proper septic pipe hookups include the following: Ensure that the new pipe connections are made correctly, that they are lubricated, and that they are completely seated during the assembly process. The following are the proper sewage pipe directions: The receiving pipe hub, often known as the “female” end of the pipe, is located at the bottom of the following downhill segment. Make sure you don’t do this in reverse or you’ll attract leaks and blockage in your sewage system.
- Smooth drain line connections should be employed: the hub-less drain pipe connector shown in our photo was used to connect the new plastic waste line (which runs downhill to the septic tank) to the old cast iron waste line at the point where it exited the structure. These pipes needed to be correctly aligned (to avoid leaks at the connector) and their connections and pipe ends needed to be filed smooth in order to reduce the likelihood of waste line clogs at this point in the system.
Installing SepticDrainfieldPiping on Steep Slopes is a Different Matter Entirely
Please understand that we have examined the installation of solid plumbing between a building and its septic tank or sewage main in this articleand that higher slopes may be acceptable in some circumstances. However, the possibility of a “OK” for steep drain pipe does not apply in any manner to the perforated piping put in a septic drainfield gravel trench, which is a different story. Those looking for help on installing a septic system on a steeply sloping or rolling site should check out the following articles:
- Please understand that we have covered the installation of solid pipe between a building and its septic tank or sewage main and that steeper slopes may be acceptable in this post. While the potential “OK” for steep drain piping may apply to steep drain piping, it does not apply in any manner to the perforated pipe laid in a septic drainfield gravel trench. Those looking for assistance on installing a septic system on a steeply sloping or rolling property should check out the following pieces:
Reader Q A – also see the FAQs series linked-to below
@hello there, dude. Sweep turns with a wider radius (e.g., 2 45s) will often flow better than sharper turns. On a corner where the toilet waste flow is present. If trenching provides for 4″ deeper depth, is it preferable to construct the 90° corner with a 1° drop rate as normal, or is it preferable to make the corner with two 45° corners while lowering the 4″? [email protected], Start by consulting with your local building or health department to see what type of design would be considered suitable in your nation and neighborhood.
- We have a shortage of service personnel for upkeep, and I believe that a sprinkler system would be more beneficial to our grounds.
- [email protected] That doesn’t appear to be a concern in my opinion.
- @inspectapedia.com.moderator, Yes, without a doubt, that is not hygienic.
- [email protected], In a situation when you are just transferring a cleared fluid, there should be no particulates left behind in the wastewater stream.
- That is a very other issue.
- What if it’s been sitting in a septic tank for a while, breaking down as if it were going to a leach field instead?
- That would be the material that would be sent to the aerobic tank.
You may be required to utilize a grinder sewage pump and force main; we are in the process of establishing a traditional tank close to our home.
What is the maximum percent drop per foot for the effluent line in terms of percent drop?
Thank you very much.
It goes without saying that such lines must have the proper pitch in order to reach the final position of the septic tank.
You should verify with your local building authority to find out exactly what is required to be placed at a 4 foot depth in your area.
My issue is, can I dig a smaller trench and then descend vertically to the requisite four-foot depth before finishing?
Thank you for the information, it was really useful.
What would be the best configuration for the septic tank and pipes when the designated drain field area is 500 feet away from the house?
The slope before and after the hill is rather level, descending very gradually in the direction of the drain field before becoming steeper.
A construction site located in a swale below the city sewer lateral service point has been identified as a potential concern.
(Let’s pretend it’s 8 feet below the surface) Is there an alternative to the brute force strategy of bringing in hundreds of cubit yards of fill and compacting it to raise the elevation of the construction site?
A septic tank is just 18 inches away from the building foundation, which is a little near.
Solids dropping vertically have the potential to adhere to and clog the pipe; however, employing 45-degree elbows instead of 90-degree elbows can help to mitigate this danger.
I would begin by having the tank examined to identify which items are most important in this order of significance.
A sound septic tank, as opposed to one built of brick or rusted steel; how well the baffles and protection from groundwater leaks are maintained; and how well the baffles and protection from groundwater leaks are maintained.
The quality and capacity of the drainfield are important considerations.
Is this a reasonable drop?
This is an ancient septic tank that I was allowed to utilize because of a grandfather clause.
What is the length of the pipe drop when the septic tank is 120 feet away?
How steep do the pipes have to be from one drop box to the next?
Does the length of the pipe, in addition to its angle of incline, have a limit in terms of length?
Please let us know if this is the case!
Verne, you have an issue with a septic or wastewater system that has too much downslope.
The difficulty with longer segments of excessive slope sewer plumbing is that the liquid waste will occasionally overtake the solid waste in the line, causing the system to back up.
One of the most valuable aphorisms I can share, at least in the context of the building construction and mechanicals fields, is that it is extremely uncommon to come into a situation that has never been experienced before.
According to one of the solutions described on this page, the sewage line is made even longer by zig-zagging across the steeply inclined areas of the land.
I’ll leave the graphic specifics to your imagination, so go ahead and go creative.
Let’s put the question to your septic installer and see what she has to say about it.
STATIONS FOR PULLING OUT SEWAGE Hello, I have a question concerning the installation of a toilet in a cabin that is around 300 feet from the main home, septic tank, and field.
Is too much slope a concern in this circumstance, given the considerable distance that the effluent must travel to reach the tank?
Do you think that building a sewage pump would make any difference in this circumstance, considering that the septic tank is located downhill from the toilet?
There should be a thorough inspection of the whole sewage line (perhaps using a sewer camera), and any slope issues should be addressed.
It’s always filled, no matter how long you wait.
Is it necessary to have the angle coming out of the home re-done?
What type of valve is used to connect the pump to the drain field?
Alternatively, seeSEWER / SEPTIC LINES for STEEP SITES FAQs- questions and answers that were originally posted at the bottom of this page. Alternatively, consider the following:
Steep Slope Septic System Articles
- Septic consultants, designers, and engineers
- Septic system design alternatives-home
- Septic system design basics-home
- Septic system design alternatives
- Septic system design basics
- SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
Suggested citation for this web page
INSPECTION OF SEWER AND SEPTIC LINES AT STEEP SITES An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Apedia.com. Alternatively, have a look at this.
INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to DRAIN SEPTIC SEWER PIPES
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Please use the search box just below, or, if you prefer, you may make a question or remark in theCommentsbox below and we will react as soon as we can. Thanks for visiting! InspectApedia is a website that allows you to search for information. Please keep in mind that the publication of your Comment below may be delayed if it contains an image, a web link, or text that seems to the program to be a web link. Your posting will appear when it has been reviewed by a moderator. Excuse the delay in getting back to you!
How to Run a Septic Tank Line From Your House
A septic system is made up of two lengths of pipe that are connected together. Initially, it runs from the house, where the system services are located, to a tank, where the waste is separated and solids settle out. The second section runs from the tank to the drainage field, where fluids from the tank are dispersed into the earth underneath the tank. The process of installing the first run of pipe is quite similar to that of installing a traditional sewage line. It is necessary to maintain a downhill slope to the storage tank.
Locating the Septic Tank
The tank is the heart of the septic system. It is required to be situated between the residence and the drainage field. Each and every septic installation must begin with a soil test, and depending on the results, soil conditions may necessitate the placement of the tank in a less-than-ideal site for digging sewer lines. Also required are minimum setback distances from property borders, functioning wells, surface water and other obstructions to provide a safe working environment. Due to the fact that the tank intake pipe slopes toward the tank, the more away the tank is from the house, the deeper you must dig in the ground to reach it.
A standard septic tank has a 4-inch intake at the top, which is positioned towards the bottom. Ideally, a 1/4-inch-per-foot slope toward the pipe from the house should be maintained by the pipe connecting to it. To put it another way, for every 10 feet of distance between a tank and a home, the inlet must be 2 1/2 inches lower than where the pipe departs the house at its lowest point.
The pipe usually exits at ground level, although it may need to pass beneath a foundation footing or concrete pad in rare cases. Because the pipe can never be reversed in its slope, the depth of the footing or pad at the bottom defines the depth of the tank below the surface.
Digging the Trench
The trench for the septic pipe should be dug before the hole for the tank since you will need a backhoe to complete the work and the tank will get in your way if it is already in the ground. To allow rainfall to drain properly, the pipe should be placed on a 2- or 3-inch bed of drain rock, so remember to account for this extra depth when digging. It is normal to use a four-inch pipe, and it should be installed far enough down to link with the main soil stack, which is a three-inch pipe that runs vertically past the main bathroom and through the roof of the home.
Local building and health agencies will demand permits for a septic tank installation. You will also be required to submit a design plan before the permits will be provided, so prepare ahead of time. This layout should be developed in collaboration with a local builder who is familiar with the unique characteristics of the topography in your neighborhood. Stay away from planting trees or plants near the tank, drainage field, or any of the pipe systems. They will be drawn to the pipes in their hunt for nutrition, and their roots will be able to successfully block them.
Removal may be both expensive and time-consuming.
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 seen 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 region 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.
How To Fix A Leaking Septic Tank
Even though septic systems perform a very vital function, we rarely give them a moment’s thought. When they leak, on the other hand, the only thing we can worry about is the leak. Our water use is becoming increasingly restricted within our homes, and our septic tank is leaking into the yard, harming the environment and the health of the surrounding community. Naturally, if and when this plumbing emergency occurs, we want to be prepared to handle the problem in a calm, efficient, and well-informed manner.
How Does a Septic System Work?
Despite the fact that there are many various septic system designs, their essential function is the same. They are all intended to transform home waste water (blackwater and graywater) into a less polluted effluent that can be blended with groundwater in a manner that has no detrimental influence on the environment or human well-being.
Septic systems can be either passive or active, but passive septic systems account for the great majority of residential sewage systems. Generally speaking, passive systems are composed of three fundamental components:
- This line transports wastewater from the house to the septic tank
- It is also known as the inlet pipe. Septic tank: This container is used for the biological degradation of organic solid waste. The absorption component is commonly represented by a gravity drain field.
As a result of flushing your toilet, wastewater is channeled via an input pipe and into an underground septic tank. A proportional quantity of effluent is displaced in the tank when wastewater is introduced and exits to the drain field when wastewater is removed. Finally, the effluent is absorbed by the earth. In the septic tank, there are numerous anaerobic bacteria that feed on the solid organic material present in the effluent. The quantity of bacteria in the tank is dependent on the amount of organic material in the tank; thus, when the amount of organic material in the tank is low, the number of bacteria falls, and when the amount of water used is large, the quantity of bacteria grows.
- If this function is not there, the tank might quickly get depleted while the house is vacant, such as when a family is on vacation and no water is being utilized.
- In the wastewater industry, this period is referred to as “holding time,” and it may be described as the amount of time that passes between the time that wastewater enters the tank and the time that it flows out.
- Bacteria in the wastewater break down solid organic material contained in the wastewater during this time period, lowering the strength of the substance by around 40%.
- This, in turn, defines the length of the holding period and the amount of processing that takes place in the tank.
- The anaerobic bacteria in the drain field continue to cleanse the effluent, eliminating the majority of the organic material that remains before the effluent is absorbed into the groundwater.
Signs of Septic Tank Problems
Sewer backups and other sorts of damage to septic tanks can occur, and these problems are frequently accompanied by warning indications such as strange odors, unusually lush flora, and overflowing toilet bowls. Both new and old systems can experience problems, and a system failure can occur suddenly if a new family moves into the house, as their cooking, laundry, and showering habits are often different from those of the previous residents. A new family’s cooking, laundry, and showering habits are often different from those of the previous residents.
1. Foul Odor
If you detect the stench of sewage gases, it is possible that one of the system’s lids has been broken or has been moved. This might be the lid that covers the filter access port or the riser that connects to the septic tank. Alternatively, these sewage gases might be escaping from the tank body itself, implying that the tank body may have fractures or holes in its outside. You may be aware of it for only a few minutes or for an extended amount of time. Make an effort to determine where the scents are the most potent in your environment.
Is it in close proximity to the tank itself, the drain field, or the tank of the next-door neighbor? Always remember that this odor might be originating from the drain field and that it does not necessarily indicate that your tank has been damaged.
2. Lush Vegetation
Lush vegetation can also be a warning indication that a septic tank is failing to function properly. Alternatively, it might indicate that the system is overflowing, or that a neighboring pipe has been broken or become loose in some way. If your drain field or filters become blocked, this may result in a damp area forming in the area surrounding the drain field or the tank, which will in turn encourage the growth of further plants.
3. Soggy Yard
You should be aware of wet ground surrounding your tank, which might indicate that septic tank water is seeping out of the ground. To begin with, make sure to rule out your sprinkler system, as this can also cause portions of your yard to get damp.
4. StandingWater Around Septic Tank
When soil is subjected to moist circumstances for an extended length of time, it is likely to compact. If you have a leak in your tank, the water that leaks might cause the soil in the surrounding area to settle and decrease as a result. In particular, if the area surrounding your septic tank contains loose backfill that was poured there after the septic tank was installed in the hole, this is a possibility. When earth settles and lowers down, it creates a collection point for water from rainfall and sprinklers to gather.
In addition, the sewage line that leads to the septic tank might be causing issues.
5. Toilets or Sinks Are Backing up or Slow to Drain
If these incidents occur frequently, they may serve as a signal that the tank has been damaged. The roots of trees can sometimes obstruct and cause harm to the region where wastewater comes out of the tank. In other cases, this is caused by a collapsed baffle, which can also result in clogs and the failure of the drain field. Tanks and sewer systems may potentially become backed up as a result of this. It is also possible that the tank will back up due to an excess of scum and debris in the tank.
If the scum and sludge together account for more than a third of the tank’s total capacity, the tank may fail and will most likely need to be emptied out of the system.
6. Alarm Sounds
If you have a more recent septic system, it is likely that it has a built-in alarm that will notify you if there is a problem. These alarms make a beeping sound or flash a red light when activated, and they may be installed either inside or outside of your home as needed.
Why Is My Septic Tank Leaking?
The alarm on your modern septic system will most likely sound when there is a problem, so keep an eye on it. A blaring noise or a flashing red light indicates the presence of an alarm, and they may be installed either inside or outside your home.
1. Insufficient Maintenance
As wastewater passes through the tank, nonbiodegradable elements, as well as some solid debris, drop to the bottom of the tank almost instantly, according to the manufacturer. The level of muck increases with time. It is advised that septic tanks be drained every three to five years in order to avoid an overflow situation. Of course, the frequency with which the tank is pumped is determined by the size of the tank as well as the amount of wastewater it holds.
If there are four persons in a home with a 1,000-gallon storage tank, the tank should be pumped every two and a half years. The average four-person home will only need to pump out their 1,500-gallon tank once every four years or so, if they have a tank that holds that much water.
2. Cleaning Products Are Killing the Useful Bacteria
Septic tank bacteria, as previously indicated in this article, aid in the breakdown of wastewater before it is discharged into a drainage field or pond. If the numbers of bacteria in the tank are insufficient, the solids will not be broken down and will begin to collect at a faster pace than usual, resulting in a clogged tank. This may result in the tank overflowing or the blockage of drainage lines or trenches in the surrounding area. Bacterial levels in wastewater can be reduced as a result of the presence of cleaning chemicals in the wastewater.
To ensure that cleaning agents such as bleach, toilet cleansers, and disinfectants do not enter the waste pipe system, it is essential that they are kept out of the system entirely.
3. Damaged Pipes Between Tank and Drainage Field
Upon leaving the septic tank, effluent that has been broken down is sent via a series of pipelines and into a drainage field. If the pipes in this region are broken, it is possible that an overflow will occur as well. Tree roots have been known to grow through pipes, causing the walls of the pipes to collapse and preventing appropriate drainage from occurring. Overflow can also occur as a result of blocked drains.
4. Poorly Designed System
Overflow might occur from a system that has been constructed incorrectly on occasion. Drainage pipes normally require a slope of 1 to 2 percent in order for the wastewater to drain adequately through them. Water will not flow as efficiently through pipes with a shallow slope, and the pipe will need to be rebuilt if it is too shallow.
Solutions for a Leaking Septic Tank
In the event that you discover a leak, how do you deal with the situation effectively? Here are some of our best recommendations:
1. Do Not Pump Water Out
Start with something you certainly should not do: pumping water from your tank onto your yard is not a good idea. This creates a serious health threat since children and dogs may be able to walk through it, and it has the potential to make its way into a nearby stream. This, in turn, might result in the spread of waterborne sickness, which can be extremely fatal and spread quickly from person to person.
2. Determine the Exact Location of Your System
Whenever a tank is flooded, water can enter through any entrance, including the intake and exit pipes, the manhole cover, and the tank lid. This may then result in groundwater filling the tank, which may take dirt and silt with it as a byproduct. As a result, any floating trash that has already accumulated inside the tank, such as scum, will rise to the surface and may clog the tank’s inlet and outflow pipes. It is possible that water from the drain field will find its way into the tank. You should determine the precise location of the tank and drain field on your property before beginning any work.
Your septic system may have been installed by them and they may have files providing information about it.
Learn how deep your drain field and tank are by measuring their heights above ground. By driving a pointed metal rod into the ground at the top of the tank, you can determine the depth down to the bottom of the tank. The majority of tanks are just two to three feet below the surface of the water.
3. Inspect for Damage
Whenever a tank is flooded, water will enter through any opening, including the intake and outflow pipes, the manhole cover, and the tank’s lid or cover. This may subsequently result in groundwater filling the tank, which may take dirt and silt with it as it flows. As a result, any floating debris that has already accumulated inside the tank, such as scum, will rise to the surface and may clog the tank’s inlet and exit pipe connections. Occasionally, water from the drain field will find its way into the tank as well.
If you are unsure, you should contact the local health district office.
Learn how deep your drain field and tank are by measuring their heights from the ground.
The majority of tanks are little more than two to three feet below the surface of the water.
4. Measure the Depth of the Groundwater
The depth of groundwater around the tank and the drain field should be measured. It is possible to achieve this with a soil probe, or you may dig a hole using an auger. This should be done within 10 feet of your tank and around 20 feet of the drain field. It is OK to utilize your tank as a holding tank if you establish that the tank’s top is at least 3 feet above the water table but that the drain field is still saturated or inundated. In this scenario, you should have the tank pumped, but you should make sure that at least 50% of the tank’s capacity remains in the tank after the pumping.
It is possible that water will enter the tank while it is being pumped from the drain field and the home.
All but one mound system is placed 2 to 4 feet below the ground’s surface, and this is where most drain fields are located.
It might take anywhere from a week to many months to complete the process.
5. If You Have a Mound System, Turn off the Power
The depth of groundwater surrounding the tank and the drain field should be determined. This can be accomplished using a soil probe or by digging a hole with an auger. This should be done within 10 feet of your tank and around 20 feet of the drainfield. As long as the top of the tank is at least 3 feet above the water table and the drain field is not saturated or inundated, you may utilize your tank as a holding tank for the water. This is a situation in which you should have the tank pumped, but you should ensure that at least 50% of the tank’s capacity remains in the tank.
The tank may be filled with water from the drain field and the home while the tank is being pumped.
Unless they are part of a mound system, the majority of drain fields are positioned 2 to 4 feet below surface level of the land.
It will take a long time until the groundwater recedes to the level of the drain field’s bottom. It might take anywhere from a week to many months to complete the process. Monitor the water table depth surrounding the drain field on a frequent basis to avoid causing harm.
6. Reduce Water Use
As soon as the septic system is operational again, it is beneficial for the home to limit their water use. Check to see that there are no leaky sinks or showers, and that there are no running toilets. Even if a faucet drips only one drop every 15 seconds, the cumulative effect over time might result in a significant amount of water being accumulated in the septic tank. In the event that any fixtures leak, get them fixed as quickly as possible. The water from your basement sump pump should not be discharged into your septic tank for safety reasons.
In addition, rainwater from roof gutters should be diverted away from the drainage field.
When attempting to reduce your water consumption, utilize common sense.
If the water table in the area surrounding the drain field is high, the drain field’s capacity to manage the water from your home is severely restricted.
7. If You Continue to Experience Problems, Hire a Licensed Professional
If you’re still experiencing plumbing problems after the water table has returned to normal levels, it’s possible that the septic tank or drain field has been compromised. It is possible for groundwater to set or move when the level of the water is high, which can have an impact on the septic tank as well as the drain field’s distribution system. The inlets and outputs of the septic tank may potentially become clogged as a result of this. If any of these things occur, call a septic system installation or a qualified septic tank pumper for assistance.
Contact Us for Your Septic Needs
However, one thing this essay did not teach you was how to repair a leaky septic tank. This is due to the fact that it is preferable to leave this tough and perhaps risky work in the hands of trained experts. You can count on Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse to provide you with septic system repair services if you are a homeowner or a business owner in need of septic services in or around the greater Syracuse, New York, region. The best of both worlds is what you get when you work with Mr.
In Onondaga County, our plumbers are trained and licensed in the detection of leaks and the completion of all plumbing-related jobs.
With a diverse spectrum of plumbing difficulties ranging from minor drain troubles to emergency pipe repairs, they have dealt with them all before.
We also provide new septic system installation.
If you need to schedule an appointment on our website, or if you are in need of emergency repairs, you may reach us at any time by dialing(315) 472-1203.