What Are Florida’S Septic Tank Regulations For Being Pumped Out? (Question)

The septic system needs to be at least 200 feet from any public potable wells that are currently being used to service non-residential or residential establishments that have a greater total daily sewage flow of 2,000 gallons or more. The OSTDS is not allowed to be placed under any buildings.

  • If six people reside in a three-bedroom house, the tank should be pumped every 1.3 years. If the same system serves a family of two, the tank would be ready for pumping every 5.2 years. Systems installed before the current rules and regulations were implemented may need to be pumped more often, perhaps every year or less.

How often should a septic tank be pumped in Florida?

The Florida Department of Health recommends that septic tanks be pumped out every four to five years to reduce accumulations of sludge in the tank. Do check your plumbing for leaks on a regular basis.

At what level should a septic tank be pumped?

If the bottom of the scum layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet, your tank needs to be pumped. To keep track of when to pump out your tank, write down the sludge and scum levels found by the septic professional.

How often should a septic tank be pumped for a family of 5?

Using a septic tank pumping frequency chart, you can get a good idea of how often you should have your septic tank pumped out. For instance, if your home has a 1000-gallon septic tank that’s used by a family of five, the pumping frequency chart recommends having your tank cleaned out every two years.

What are the new regulations for septic tanks?

Under the new rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.) 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.

How long can a septic tank go without being pumped?

You can wait up to 10 years to drain your tank provided that you live alone and do not use the septic system often. You may feel like you can pump your septic tank waste less frequently to save money, but it’ll be difficult for you to know if the tank is working properly.

How do you know if your septic tank is full?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:

  1. Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
  2. Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
  3. Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
  4. You Hear Gurgling Water.
  5. You Have A Sewage Backup.
  6. How often should you empty your septic tank?

What to do after septic is pumped?

After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.

  1. 1) Get on a Schedule.
  2. 2) Take Care of the System.
  3. 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
  4. 4) Check Other Possible Issues.

Can you pump a septic tank too often?

If your septic tank is pumped too often, that bacteria will have no place to go but out into the drain field, which can lead to clogs and failures. So unless your septic tank’s sludge and scum levels reach certain thresholds, it’s actually beneficial to leave the septic tank alone.

How much does it cost to pump a 1000 gallon septic tank?

The typical costs for septic pumping are as follows: National average cost for a septic tank pump out: $295-$610. Up to 750-gallon tank: $175-$300. Up to 1,000-gallon tank: $225 -$400.

How often should you clean out a 1000 gallon septic tank?

For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.

How often should you pump out a 1000 gallon septic tank?

But here are some general guidelines: Family of 2, 500-gallon tank – pump every 2.5 years. Family of 3, 1000-gallon tank – pump every 4 years. Family of 5, 1000-gallon tank – pump every 2 years.

Do you really need to pump your septic tank?

Septic Tanks require regular pumping to prevent malfunction and emergency servicing. The most fundamental, and arguably the most important element required to maintain your septic system is regular pumping of the septic tank. Most experts recommend pumping the septic tank every 3 to 5 years.

Do I need a certificate for my septic tank?

The General Binding Rules were designed to simplify the regulation of small sewage discharges. Septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants no longer need to be registered and there is no legal requirement to keep records of maintenance (although this is advisable).

Is my septic tank illegal?

No, septic tanks aren’t going to be banned. Septic tanks do a good job of holding back solids and separating solids from liquid, they also offer a small degree of biological cleaning, however the waste that is discharged from them is still very high in ammonia and requires treatment before entering the environment.

Do you need building regulations for a septic tank?

The short answer is yes. You will need planning permission from a local authority in order to have a septic tank installed, no matter if it’s at your own home or on a business site.

Septic System Information and Care

When municipal sewer service is not available, a septic system that has been properly constructed and maintained is an excellent option for treating wastewater and protecting groundwater quality. A typical septic system is comprised of two key components: the septic tank and the drainfield (or leach field). Waste from toilets, sinks, washing machines, and showers is channeled into a septic tank, which is a holding tank that is typically constructed of pre-cast concrete or fiberglass and is proportioned according to the projected wastewater flow from a given-sized house or commercial establishment.

In the first stage of wastewater treatment, anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that can survive in an oxygen-free environment) break down solids into liquids and generate gas that is vented through the building’s plumbing vent stack.

The lack of oxygen inside the septic tank also has the added benefit of deactivating some of the disease bacteria that are prevalent in sewage.

Because it allows aerobic (oxygen-using) bacteria to continue deactivating the disease germs that remain in the wastewater, the drainfield serves as a secondary treatment facility for sewage.

Evaporation of water also occurs through the layer of soil that surrounds the drainfield.

That way, enough permeable or unsaturated soil is available to filter the wastewater before the remainder of it gets into the groundwater table and underlying aquifer.

In certain instances, modern wastewater treatment systems that “aerate,” or add oxygen to the wastewater, may be necessary to treat the effluent.

Septic System Care

Don’t flush cigarette butts, tampons, condoms, or any other indigestible things down the toilet or down the sink drain. Consequently, the exit filter or drainfield will become clogged. Never throw grease down the drain since grease cannot be digested by the septic system and will cause it to become clogged! rather than dumping it in the garbage, pour it into an empty container or bottle and throw it away. Make sure you don’t use excessive amounts of bleach or other cleaning agents in your septic tank since doing so will interfere with the bacterial operation inside the tank.

  • Instead of doing numerous loads of laundry back-to-back, stretch your wash loads out over the course of the week to reduce the amount of water that the septic system has to treat (a normal wash load consumes between 60 and 90 gallons each load!).
  • Roots from trees and plants will grow into the drainlines and cause them to get obstructed.
  • Driving over your drainfield can cause the pipes to become crushed or the dirt surrounding them to become compacted, and driving over your septic tank can cause the lid to fracture or even fall apart!
  • Consider the installation of water-saving showerheads, toilets, and other water-saving appliances in your home.
  • Septic tanks should be pumped out every four to five years, according to the Florida Department of Health, in order to prevent the buildup of sludge in the tank over time.
  • Stoppages and overcrowded drainfields are caused by leaking toilet flapper valves, which can allow hundreds of thousands of gallons of waste water to enter your septic system each day.
  • In addition to providing you with many useful suggestions and information, our Environmental Health Professionals can also assist you extend the life of your existing septic system.

If you would like more information on the operation of traditional or sophisticated wastewater treatment systems, or if you have any questions about maintaining your septic system, please call us at (386) 758-1058.

A Guide To Florida Septic Tank Regulations and Rules

Home/A Guide to the Septic Tank Regulations and Rules in the State of Florida

A Guide To Florida Septic Tank Regulations and Rules

The Florida Septic Tank Regulations play a vital role in preserving our drinking water supply from contamination. Because ground water supplies 90 percent of Florida’s drinkable water, it is critical that septic systems be properly planned, built, and maintained in order to safeguard this valuable natural resource from contamination. Septic tank systems in Florida, also known as onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), are an effective and safe method of disposing wastewater for around 30 percent of the state’s population, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Environmental Health Section of the Florida Department of Health is responsible for inspecting and approving septic systems in each of the state’s counties.

Generally speaking, this page gives an overview of Florida Septic Tank Regulations.

Florida Septic Tank Regulations and Rules

Currently, the Florida Department of Health is in charge of all oversight pertaining to the installation, repair, operation, or changes of onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems. Whenever the amount of waste being disposed of each day surpasses 5000 gallons per day, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for the disposal (DEP). Most homes dispose of significantly less wastewater than this, utilizing between 50 and 100 gallons of water each day, and this volume of wastewater is often symbolic of a very large organization.

License Requirements for Septic Tank Contractors

The State of Florida requires that anybody engaged in septic tank contracts in the state be registered and approved by the State of Florida. Training is provided for any new installations or repairs of septic systems in Florida, and it is available statewide. Registration with the Department of Health and Human Services (DOH) must be renewed on a yearly basis. You may look for approved Floridaseptic tank contractors by visiting this page.

The Installation of a New Septic System

An application for the installation of a septic system on a property must be submitted to the Department of Health before work can begin. These application packets, which are available from the Department of Health and Human Services, offer instructions on how to submit the request. The application packet also includes information on the fees that will be charged. After that, the homeowner must submit the completed application, as well as soil/percolation testing and sit plans, to the Health Department in their county of residence.

Placement of Sewage Treatment Disposal Systems

onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems must be installed in compliance with the standards established by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) for each county in Florida, taking into mind the following factors to minimize groundwater contamination: In order to be effective, the OSTDS must be located at least 75 feet away from any bays, lakes, surface water, multifamily water wells, or privately operated portable wells.

Where there is no potable water available, the onsite wastewater treatment and disposal systems must be located at least 50 feet away from the water source.

A water storage tank that comes into contact with potable or ground water must be at least 11 feet away from the system unless the lines are adequately sealed with waterproof sealants in a sleeve of comparable pipe material that is at least 10 feet away from the nearest component of that system.

  • It is necessary to install back-flow or check valves within 24 inches of the water system in order to prevent any pollution.
  • The OSTDS is not permitted to be installed underneath any structures.
  • Subterranean utilities and documented easements that serve more than one property are not permitted at this site.
  • In the case of any OSTDS being installed in limestone soil, there are specific regulations that must be followed.
  • The FDOH predicts that the building or house will create a certain quantity of garbage, which is the sole basis for these size restrictions.
  • The only type of soil that may be used with mounded septic tank systems, or to replace any poor soils that are existing in the ground, is fresh fill dirt.
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Detention areas, swales, and retention areas that are solely designed to contain flowing or standing water for less than 72 hours after any rainfall should have their onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems placed 15 feet away from the design high-water lines of the detention areas, swales, and retention areas.

The zoning of any location where an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system will be implemented is critical to the success of the project.

The OSTDS must be installed in an appropriate location at least 15 feet away from any groundwater interceptor drains.

Significant Note: This is a high-level summary of the most important needs. For further information, contact your local County office or download the Florida Septic Statute Codes (FS381.0065 – Chapter64E-6) from the state’s website.

Information on Reporting Sewage Issues

You should notify the Bureau of Onsite Sewage Programs as soon as you become aware of any wastewater or environmental issues caused by the onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems. Call 850-245-4250 or send an email to [email protected] to reach the Bureau of Environmental Health’s Onsite Programs at 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A-08 in Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1710. Depending on where you reside in the state of Florida, county health authorities are in charge of dealing with all complaints and complaints are dealt with.

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2021 Handbook of Florida Water Regulation: Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems

In order to give an accurate, current, and authoritative review of the most important federal and state (Florida) laws that directly or indirectly pertain to agriculture, this handbook has been written by legal experts. A general review of the various rights and obligations that farmers, farmland owners, and other landowners have under both federal and state laws is included in this guide, as well as the relevant contact information for obtaining more thorough information. It is important for the reader to be aware that, because the laws, administrative regulations, and court judgments on which this handbook is based are constantly being revised, elements of this publication may become out of current at any moment.

This guidebook is intended to serve as an educational resource for anyone who are interested in Florida’s water consumption and water resource challenges.

This manual does not contain all of the information necessary to comply with federal and state laws and regulations concerning water protection, nor does it purport to be exhaustive.

Please keep in mind that UF/IFAS is an abbreviation for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

OSTDS Overview

The Florida Statutes offer a set of comprehensive requirements for onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems that are applicable across the state (OSTDS). The Clean Waterways Act, which governs OSTDS, was approved by the Florida Legislature in the year 2020. OSTDS is a term that often refers to septic tanks and drain fields.

Who regulates OSTDS?

However, while the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) has been the primary authority for specific statewide regulations controlling the installation and use of OSTDS systems, the OSTDS program will be transferred from FDOH to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) as part of a Type Two transfer as defined in section 20.06(2) of the Florida Statutes (Florida Statutes) on January 1, 2019. ().

Which federal and state regulations apply?

The installation and usage of OSTDS is subject to the approval of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in accordance with the federal Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. This is especially true when an OSTDS or an OSTDS drain field is constructed in a wetland, or where the failure (leaking) of an OSTDS would endanger the quality of groundwater and/or surface water by contaminating it, and so render public well water unfit for consumption by humans.

If one of the following circumstances is satisfied, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that a well comply with Underground Injection Control Program requirements:

  1. The OSTDS, regardless of its size, receives any amount of industrial or commercial wastewater
  2. The OSTDS receives solely sanitary waste from multiple family residences or a nonresidential establishment and has the capacity to serve 20 or more people per day (also known as a large-capacity OSTDS)
  3. The OSTDS receives solely sanitary waste from a single family residence or a nonresidential establishment and has the capacity to serve 20 or more people per day (also known as

The owners or operators of the OSTDS must comply with all applicable state and federal standards for Class V wells if any of the two conditions are satisfied. In accordance with Federal law, the following conditions must be met:

  1. Follow the non-endangering performance level that has been established to preserve the quality of drinking water. If the presence of any contaminant in the fluid allows the movement of fluids containing contaminants into underground sources of drinking water, the non-endangerment performance standard prohibits any injection that may cause a violation of any primary drinking water regulation or adversely affect public health. Provide inventory information to the state or regional Underground Injection Control Program of the Environmental Protection Agency. Included in the inventory information is the facility’s name and location, as well as the names and addresses of its legal representatives, as well as information on the injection wells’ nature and kind, as well as their operational condition.

In the following cases, waste disposal laws established by the FDEP are applicable at the state level:

  • In addition, the expected amount of domestic sewage to be handled each day surpasses 10,000 gallons (domestic sewage comprises wastes from residences, boats, and portable toilets)
  • Each day, it is expected that more than 5 thousand gallons of business wastewater will be handled (commercial sewage includes trash from restaurants, animal grooming establishments, and beauty salons)
  • Currently or in the future, the water contains or will include industrial or hazardous waste

If the system falls into one of these categories, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) would most likely require a second permit and put additional restrictions on the system. Local governments may have more stricter laws and procedures for authorizing and regulating the waste disposal system in addition to the statewide standards, which may be more restrictive. More information about obtaining permits may be found here.

Where must the OSTDS be placed?

According to Florida law, the OSTDS must be located within a reasonable distance of the state capital.

  • 75% of the distance between private potable wells, 50% of the distance between non-potable wells, 10% of the distance between storm sewer pipes, and 5% of the distance between any structures or property lines 75 feet apart from any bodies of water on the surface of the earth

Furthermore, Florida law stipulates that

  • On-site sewage systems that process more than 2,000 gallons per day must be located at least 200 feet away from any public drinking well, and those that process less than 2,000 gallons per day must be located at least 100 feet away from any public drinking well (unless otherwise specified).

How should the OSTDS be maintained?

The system’s upkeep and repair are the responsibility of the property’s owner. Keep in mind that the OSTDS must be operated in accordance with the conditions of the regulation and building permit that were used to authorize it. The owner is not permitted to make any alterations to the structure or sewage system, or to increase sewage flow, without the prior consent of the local health authority. According to Florida Department of Health regulations, the owner must have the level of the tank tested at least once every three years by a qualified septic tank contractor.

It is necessary for the owner to have their septic tank system examined by a qualified septic tank contractor or plumber at least once a year if they are using garbage grinders or business sewage to discharge into the tank.

Prior to the removal of septage from any OSTDS, a professional contractor must be awarded a yearly service permission by the local government.

What are the procedures for OSTDS abandonment?

For the system’s repair and maintenance, the property’s owner is ultimately accountable. Keep in mind that the OSTDS must be operated in accordance with the conditions of the regulation and building permit under which it was initially permitted. Unless the local health department gives permission, no alterations may be made to the structure/system or no increase in sewage flow can be made. As required by the Florida Department of Health, the owner must have the tank’s level examined at least once every three years by a qualified septic tank contractor.

Unless the owner has contracted with a professional septic tank contractor or plumber to examine the system once a year, the owner is responsible for having the system inspected every year.

Before any septage from an OSTDS may be removed, a professional contractor must be awarded a yearly service permit.

  1. It is necessary to pump out the septic tank. It is necessary to open or break the bottom in order to prevent water retention. A clean sand or other acceptable material should be used to fill the tank, which should then be entirely covered with soil. System abandonment must be inspected by either the Florida Department of Health or the local utility or plumbing authority responsible for completing the system abandonment.

What permits are required for OSTDS construction?

For the installation, operation, repair, alteration, modification, replacement, or abandonment of allOSTDS, a construction permit is required by the Florida Department of Health. Prior to receiving any permits, a property owner must complete an application and have a site inspection conducted by the Florida Department of Health, Florida licensed professional engineers, or other authorized people. The Florida Department of Health also demands that the whole septic system be inspected before burial.

The Florida Department of Health will charge a fee for the permit, the inspections, and any other essential services that FDOH provides.

In many situations, the issuing of these licences will be conditional on the applicant having already secured an FDOH permission from the Department of Health.

What alternative systems can be used and when?

Alternative systems, if approved by the Florida Department of Health and the county health department, may be employed in situations when regular subsurface systems are insufficient or where alternative systems are more practical, at the discretion of the applicant. County health agencies that are part of the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) are given the ability to authorize alternative onsite sewage systems such as mounds, gravity sewers, low pressure pipe, and other systems, provided that the county believes there will be no negative consequences.

Before contemplating the implementation of any alternative system, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) or the county health department may demand the submission of designs developed by an engineer who is licensed in the state of Florida.

In addition, the FDOH regulations establish a Variance Review and Advisory Committee, which is responsible for hearing petitions for deviations.

When the committee determines that strict conformity with the laws and rules regulating the OSTDS will not be satisfied, it may recommend to the FDOH that a deviation be granted. A variance, on the other hand, may only be granted by the Florida Department of Health.

Additional Considerations

Using the OSTDS is discouraged when public or investor-owned sewage systems are easily accessible for use, as the state believes they are in most cases. Using public or investor-owned sewage systems in places where they are easily available, where the plumbing of a house or business is genuinely capable of being connected to these systems, is required by both the legislation and the FDOH rules. It is necessary to connect to a public sewage system within one year of the date on which a public sewage system becomes available in the area unless the system has been authorized by the utility and is being used to dispose only graywater (i.e., residential wastewater from the bathtub, shower, lavatory, laundry, and sink, except kitchen sink waste).

The Act made the following changes to OSTDS regulations:

  • New septic tanks are not permitted to be installed on lots smaller than one acre in areas associated with the Outstanding Florida Springs (referred to as Priority Focus Areas), if the septic tank is in contradiction with the Basin Management Action Plans meant to maintain the water quality of the springs. OSTDS remediation plans must be developed by local governments in areas where septic tanks are responsible for at least 20 percent of the overall nonpoint source (i.e., diffuse) contamination of the Outstanding Florida Springs
  • And
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Section 381.0065 of Chapter 381 of the Florida Statutes and Chapter 64E-6 of the Florida Administrative Code


This handbook would not have been possible without the assistance of professionals from both state and federal agencies who volunteered their time and advise throughout the development of this manual. We would like to express our gratitude to Carol Fountain and Susan Gildersleeve from the University of Florida for their assistance in revising this manual. We would also like to express our gratitude to the James S. and Dorothy F. Wershow Agricultural Law Endowment for providing money for the revision of this publication.

Septic Contracting Frequently Asked Questions

In Florida, who has the authority to do work on a septic tank?

  1. A homeowner can only perform septic work on his or her own single-family residence that is occupied by him or her. A state plumber who is licensed pursuant to Section 489.105(3)(m), Florida Statutes
  2. A septic tank contractor who is registered pursuant to Part III of Chapter 489, Florida Statutes, and Part III of Rule 64E-6, Florida Administrative Code
  3. And a septic tank contractor who is licensed pursuant to Section 489.105(3)(m), Florida Statutes.

Is experience gained under the supervision of a qualified plumber equal to experience gained under the supervision of a certified septic tank contractor? Is it possible to obtain approval if an applicant can demonstrate that septic tank contracting services were performed under the supervision of a state plumber licensed pursuant to Section 489.105(3)(m), Florida Statutes? Is a state-licensed plumber exempt from the requirements of Chapter 64E-6, Florida Administrative Code, regarding septic tank installation permits, inspections, and other procedures?

The only requirement that the state licensed plumber not violate is the obligation to register as a septic tank contractor.

Is septic tank work experience gained outside of the state admissible for the purpose of qualifying for the septic tank contractor registration examination?

According to the definitions in this section, an equivalent examination means that at the very least the following topics were tested and passed: system location and installation; site evaluation criteria; system size determinations; disposal of septage; construction standards for drainfield systems; and the USDA soil textural classification system.

  1. When it comes to qualifying for the septic tank contractor registration examination, is employment experience in septic tanks recorded with an IRS Form 1099 considered acceptable?
  2. The Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 is used to document non-employee pay for services provided.
  3. When and where are septic tank contractor registrations made available to the public?
  4. Exams will be held from 9:00 a.m.
  5. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  6. No.
  7. Is it possible to face repercussions if you provide or provide septic tank contracting services without first obtaining a registration and business permission from the department?

Individuals and businesses who execute or supply services without the advantage of a business registration and/or a business authorization may be liable to administrative proceedings, citations, penalties, and other legal actions.


It is permissible for a licensed septic tank firm to advertise under several (more than one) trade names.

Septic tank businesses that have been approved by the department may only advertise under the business name that has been approved by the agency.

An authorized business organization that loses its qualifying contractor has 60 days from the date the qualifying contractor left the business to find another qualifying contractor.

The certified septic tank contractor may fulfill any existing and ongoing (cyclical) contracts that were executed previous to his or her departure from his or her approved business during this period.

Private organizations that provide continuing education courses are the most common providers (i.e., Florida Onsite Wastewater Association, Florida Environmental Health Association, etc.).

The certificate of business authorization can be waived for a licensed septic tank contractor, although this isn’t guaranteed.

A registered contractor who operates as a sole proprietorship and offers septic tank contracting services under his given name is free from the requirement to obtain a business authorization certificate.

If John Doe’s wife Jane were to become a co-owner, a fake name would need to be registered with the court and a certificate of authority would need to be obtained.

If you are exempt from filing with the Department of State for a fake name, you are also excused from obtaining a certificate of authorisation from the Department of Justice.

Yes. Registered septic tank contractors (as well as state-licensed plumbers) are permitted to pump septic tanks if they have a suitable active service permit from their local county health authority in place. If you cannot find the information you want on this page, please contact us.

Everything You Need To Know About Your Septic System

Florida people rely on roughly 2.6 million septic systems to dispose of waste and wastewater on a daily basis, accounting for 30% of the state’s population. Homes and businesses in rural regions rely on these systems to dispose of garbage in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

What Are Septic Tanks Made From?

Septic tanks are a waterproof box composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene material that is used to dispose of sewage. In other words, there will be no debris, dirt, or water from the surrounding ground that may get into the tank. Septic tanks made of concrete and/or fiberglass are the most common types.

Common Styles Of Septic Tanks

Septic tanks are waterproof containers constructed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. In other words, there will be no trash, dirt, or water from the surrounding ground able to enter the tank. Septic tanks made of concrete and/or fiberglass are the most common.

Double Compartment

Most tanks built since 1976 feature two compartments for filtering effluent, sediments, and wastewater that enters the tank during the construction process. The first compartment, which is placed adjacent to the intake pipe, is often bigger than the second compartment, which is located further away. It is possible to see the liquid flowing from the first container into the second compartment. Before the effluent is discharged into the outflow pipe, any remaining sludge and scum separate from the liquid.

Pump Tank

The quantity of wastewater that flows from the septic tank is controlled by a pump tank. Pump tank level increases as effluent accumulates in the tank and eventually reaches the level set by a control float. As soon as the float is activated, the pump starts pumping effluent into the drain field in a predefined volume.

Holding Tank

In lieu of septic tanks, holding tanks can be used to collect and store waste. They are either above or below ground and require constant pumping to remove the contents of their holding tanks. The majority of holding tanks are equipped with an alarm that sounds when the tank is full.

Single Compartment

A single compartment tank was utilized in the majority of septic systems constructed before to 1976. These tanks could hold up to 1,000 gallons of liquid at a time. After entering the tank and separating into three levels, liquid waste is discharged into the septic drain field via the outflow line.

What Is FOG?

Fats, oils, and grease (also known as FOG) are frequent cooking byproducts that occur naturally in a wide variety of foods and other items. While FOG is viscous when it first enters the septic tank, it cools swiftly as it comes into contact with the wastewater in the tank. However, because of its viscosity, FOG coats and covers every surface it comes into contact with when it solidifies.

How A Septic Tank Works

Fatty acids, oils, and grease (also known as FOG) are frequent byproducts of cooking and may be found in naturally occurring quantities in a wide variety of foods and other items.

While FOG is often viscous when it first enters the septic tank, it cools fast as it comes into contact with wastewater throughout the treatment process. However, because of its viscosity, FOG coats and covers whatever surface it comes into contact with during the solidification process.

What Are Septic Tank Solids?

The majority of solids contained in a septic tank may be divided into three categories:

  • Non-biodegradable organic solids include pet litter, plastics, and other items that do not decompose over time
  • Biodegradable organic solids include vegetable scraps and other cellulosic compounds, as well as toilet paper
  • And biodegradable organic solids include solid human feces.

Septic System Drain Fields

After leaving the septic tank, effluent goes into a drain field, which is a network of underground pipes and dirt that collects the waste. Other phrases that are commonly used include absorption field, leach field, and trench. The size of the space required is determined by the following factors:

  • Soil type
  • Seasonal variations in groundwater level
  • Amount of water absorbed each day
  • And soil percolation rate are all factors to consider.

The soil percolation rate is defined as the amount of water that the soil can absorb in one minute per inch of soil thickness. A significant consideration in determining the site of a septic drain field in Florida is the percolation rate, which is crucial because the state has a high water table.

How A Drain Field Works

An underground network of perforated pipes may be found in this location, which can be found in either several trenches or a gravel-lined soil bed. Drainage from the pipes filters through the gravel and dirt before entering the sewer system. Compaction of the soil has a significant impact on its function, which is why it is critical not to construct structures on it or drive or park vehicles of any size over it.

Why Is A Drain Field Important?

Natural filtration is provided for effluent, which is recycled back into the groundwater source. It is possible that biological and chemical pollutants may infiltrate the water and create health problems for anybody who consumed or came into touch with the water without this filtering system in place.

How To Find Your Septic TankSeptic Drain Field

The location of the septic system will be shown on the majority of property plans and surveys. Possibly handed to you after the sale of your house or company, these documents are also maintained on file at the county government office. The septic tank is often built along the sewage line that leads away from the house or other structure. When this line is many inches in diameter, it means that it is located at the lowest level of your home, such as a basement or crawl space. Stick a metal probe every two feet along the sewage line as it exits the house, following it all the way out to the street.

Locate the borders of the septic tank lid with the probe – typically tanks are 5 feet by 8 feet in size, so this may take some time.

As soon as you discover a discrepancy between the system location and previously prepared diagrams or maps, make sure to update these materials and retain a duplicate for your records.

The Septic Tank Pumping Process

In order to prepare for extraction, the floating scum layer is first broken up by alternately sucking out liquid from the tank and pumping it back in to break up the bottom solid layer. Pumping is accomplished through the two access ports, which are referred to as manholes. The tank should never be pumped through the inspection apertures on the baffle wall.

This can not only cause damage to the baffles, but it can also result in insufficient waste removal from the tank. Until the septic tank is completely depleted, industrial vacuums are used to remove waste from the tank and into our tanker truck.

How Often A Septic Tank Should Be Pumped?

In most cases, every three to five years is sufficient. However, depending on the size of your septic tank and the amount of sediments and wastewater you produce on a daily basis, you may need to contact a septic tank pumping firm such as Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service sooner rather than later.

What To Expect During A Septic Tank Pumping

Before starting the pumping process, it is necessary to measure the thickness of the scum and sludge. This information is important in determining the pace at which waste accumulates and in determining when the next pumping should be scheduled. The pumping process is monitored closely by our personnel, who are actively monitoring for any possible system problems, such as backflow from the outflow pipe. Backflow that is significant typically indicates a backup in the drainfield, whereas slight backflow indicates a weaker outflow line in most cases.

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Septic Tank Cleaning

Before beginning pumping, it is necessary to measure the thickness of the scum and sludge. Using this information, you may determine the rate at which waste accumulates and get an idea of when the next pumping should be scheduled. We have our personnel actively searching for any potential system concerns, such as backflow from the outflow pipe, as they are pumping the water through it. In most cases, a significant amount of backflow indicates a blockage in the drainfield, whereas some leakage indicates a weaker outflow pipe Once the septic tank has been completely emptied, it is ready for cleaning, and the trash is transported to a state-approved disposal facility.

How Often Should A Septic Tank Be Cleaned?

With every septic tank pump out, there is a new beginning. Keep in mind that the frequency with which the tank is pumped is determined by the number of people who are using the system and the volume of wastewater created on a daily basis. You may work with an aseptic tank pumping firm, such as Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service, to establish a regular pumping and cleaning program for your tank.

How To Keep A Septic Tank In Good Condition Between Cleanings

Upon each and every pump out of a septic tank. You should keep in mind that how frequently a tank is pumped is determined by how many users are utilizing it and the volume of wastewater produced on a daily basis. Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service, for example, can assist you in establishing a regular pumping and cleaning program for your septic tank.

Don’t DisposeFlush Items At-Will

In order to degrade materials that enter the tank, a septic system relies on bacteria that are found in nature. Although it is a mutually beneficial connection, it is susceptible to being pushed out of balance depending on the materials that are disposed of. Fat, oil, and grease (FOG); chemicals, paints, fuels, and/or motor oils; disposable diapers, sanitary, and personal hygiene products; coffee grounds; egg and nut shells; and disposable diapers, sanitary, and personal hygiene products are all common household items that should never be flushed down the toilet.

Schedule Annual Inspections

Home and business owners may do an outside inspection of their septic system on their own. However, only a professional and skilled septic tank firm, such as Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service, should check the tank and its interior components. Because of the formation of toxic vapors and gases within the sewage treatment plant, it is dangerous to work near one without the proper safety equipment and training.

Look for areas of unusually tall grass, sewage odors or smells, and unexplained standing water as you walk around the area where the septic tank is situated. These symptoms are typically connected with septic systems that are in need of repair.

PumpClean The Tank As Necessary

Skipping regular septic tank services is a surefire way to end yourself in a situation that might have been avoided. Performing routine pumping and cleaning allows our personnel to check the overall health of the system and correct any issues that may arise before they become a major concern.

Keep Records Of Septic LocationService

It is essential to understand the location of the entire system in order to properly maintain it. Parking or driving cars over any portion of the septic system should be avoided at all costs. The weight of vehicles can cause the system to collapse. When this occurs, the only option for repair is a complete replacement. It is also recommended by Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service that you preserve records of when the system was examined, pumped, and cleaned for your own records and in case you decide to sell your home in the future.

Conserve Water

The volume of water entering a septic system has a greater influence on the health of the system than the amount of solids created by the system. The greater the volume of water that flows through the drain field, the shorter the functional lifespan of the drain field and the overall system. An excessive amount of water flow impairs effective separation of particles inside the tank, increasing the likelihood of clogged intake and outflow pipes, which can result in sewage backups in the tank.

Septic Tank Repair In Gainesville, FL

Too much water in the septic tank increases the likelihood of sediments being transferred into the pipes, which might result in a clogged system.

Aggressive Tree Roots

Tree roots are well-known for generating problems with septic tanks and systems. Many species of tree roots are stronger than septic tanks, and they can cause leaks and other structural damage by cracking the pipes and tank.

Common Septic Tank Repairs

There are a variety of reasons why the pipes might fail, including compacted and/or moving soil. Once the pipes burst, they must be fixed as soon as possible to avoid significant drainage problems. When it comes to reaching and repairing the pipes, excavation of the area is frequently necessary.

Broken Baffles

The baffles of a septic tank are responsible for keeping sediments contained within the tank. Rust or contact with sulfuric acid are the most common causes of damage. It is quite beneficial to have an annual septic check performed in order to see if there are any difficulties with the baffles before a problem occurs.

How To Prevent A Septic Tank Failure

The fact is that septic systems are not foolproof and that they benefit immensely from routine maintenance and upkeep. The majority of failures may be avoided by paying attention to what goes into the plumbing and septic lines.

Only Flush Toilet Paper

As a rule, toilet paper degrades and disintegrates more quickly than other types of paper goods. Particularly problematic are paper towels and wet wipes, which are two of the most prevalent causes of septic tank clogging and premature tank cleanouts.

Never Pour FOG Down The Drain

Ordinary toilet paper degrades and disintegrates more quickly than other types of paper goods.

That’s especially true for paper towels and wet wipes, which are two of the most prevalent causes of sewer line backups and premature tank cleanouts, and should be avoided.

Regular Drain Cleaning

The numerous commercial drain cleaners available may temporarily unclog a clogged drain and associated plumbing, but they do so at the expense of the septic system’s ability to function properly. They include chemicals that swiftly eliminate the bacteria that are important for the decomposition of particles within the septic tank once they are applied. The layer of solids accumulates quickly — and needlessly — on the surface of the water. As an alternative, call a plumber to do expert drain cleaning.

How To Tell When You Need A New Septic System

A septic system may last anywhere from 20 to 40 years if it is maintained properly and repaired when needed on time. However, if you detect any of these frequent indicators of a failing septic system, it’s time to call Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service to have a new septic system installed in your home or commercial property. The following are common indicators that the present system should be replaced:

  • Sinks and toilets that take a long time to drain
  • Plumbing that is always backed up
  • Sewage odors in the company, house, or yard
  • Patchy mushy, swampy, or damp areas of the yard Gray water that has accumulated
  • And grass that has grown more swiftly and is a darker shade of green

What To Know Before A Septic Tank Is Installed

Sewage odors in the business, house, or yard; Sinks and toilets that are slow to drain; Plumbing that is always backed up patchy mushy, swampy, or damp areas of the yard Gray water that has accumulated; grass that has grown more swiftly and is a darker shade of green; and other factors

Required Applications, FeesPermits

The Environmental Health Service of the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in Alachua County is responsible for issuing the necessary applications and permits. Before a permit may be issued, the house or business owner must submit a completed application, as well as a site plan, a building floor plan, and any applicable application costs to the local building department. A site evaluation is also necessary, which analyzes the overall condition of the land, as well as the soil type. Total fees are determined on the kind of septic system installed as well as the services provided by the county health division.

Minimum Tank Size

A minimum 900-gallon capacity is required for all septic tanks in Florida; however, this capacity requirement rises based on the size of the occupancy and whether the system is intended for residential or commercial usage. The specialists at Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service can assist you in determining the right tank size that complies with local and state specifications.

Landscaping Changes

Because septic systems are installed underground, it is probable that the existing landscaping will need to be removed and replaced. Our professionals, on the other hand, may propose that the new system be installed in a different place in order to minimize interference with plant and tree roots. The Florida Department of Health mandates that the following distances be respected in order to prevent groundwater pollution from septic systems:

  • If the property is located more than 75 feet from the annual flood line of a permanent, non-tidal surface water body or from the high water line of a tidal body of water, the following restrictions apply: 15 feet from a dry drainage ditch or stormwater retention area
  • 10 feet from stormwater pipelines
  • At least 200 feet away from public drinkable wells that are already in use for non-residential or residential structures with a total daily sewage discharge of more than 2,000 gallons
  • And At least 11 feet away from any water storage tanks that come into touch with potable or groundwater
  • A minimum of 15 feet away from a groundwater interceptor drain is required
  • Minimum distances between bays, lakes and surface water
  • Minimum distances between multi-family wells and/or private potable water wells
  • And minimum distances between other wells.

New Home ConstructionSeptic Systems

Construction of new dwellings in rural locations or in any area that is not served by a municipal sewer system necessitates the installation of septic systems. Any system installed as part of a new house building project will have to take into consideration the elements and laws outlined above.

In addition to establishing septic systems for countless new houses, Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service is happy to assist you through the application and permitting process, in addition to properly installing the system.

How Often Should My Septic Tank Pumped in Florida?

A properly designed and regularly maintained septic system is essential in determining whether or not your septic tank has to be pumped. An effective groundwater management system is both environmentally friendly and effective in protecting groundwater resources. The majority of septic systems are comprised of two major components: a septic tank and a drainfield. The wastewater generated by your home comes from toilets, sinks, washing machines, and showers. The water that is released goes into a holding tank or a septic tank to be treated.

The first is made of precast concrete, and the second is made of fiberglass.

How Does Your Septic Tank Work?

Using a septic tank, wastewater is separated into three main components:

  • Solids, also known as “sludge,” floatables, sometimes known as the “scum layer,” and liquids. A body of water that is relatively clear

“Sludge” is made up of solids; “scum layer” is made up of floatables. a body of water that is comparatively clear

So….How often should my tank be pumped?

As you can see from the diagram of how a septic system operates, there are several elements to consider. The business that originally designed and developed your system should be able to provide you with a quote. This estimate will be based on water use as well as other elements, such as the soil and drainfield, that will be considered. If you live in a home that was not built by you or if you do not know who constructed your septic system, you will need to hire a professional to help you. Give Martin Septic a call if you have any questions.

We can also tell you the size of the tank and give you an estimate on when it should be emptied and cleaned.

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