- A septic tank should always be “filled” to its normal liquid level, or the bottom of the outlet pipe which carries effluent to the absorption area. This normal liquid level is usually between 8” to 12” from the top of the tank on average (see picture at right).
How much dirt should be in the top of a septic tank?
Septic systems are generally planned to have anywhere from 6 inches to 30 inches of soil on top of them.
What does a healthy septic look like?
Drains that Drain Your toilets and sink should drain quickly. If they do, this is a sign of a healthy septic system. Slow-moving drains in your sink or toilet signal clogs on your pipes or septic system. This means either a plumber or septic professional needs to come to take a look at your pipes and system.
Why is the ground wet above septic tank?
If the grounds near your septic tank are wet, it likely points to a few sources. This could include a problem with your drain field, the subsurface piping used to remove contaminants and impurities from the liquid exiting the septic tank.
How far down is a septic tank lid?
Often, septic tank lids are at ground level. In most cases, they have buried anywhere from four inches to four feet underground.
How do you find a buried septic tank?
Tips for locating your septic tank
- If the septic tank lid is underground, you can use a metal detector to locate it.
- You can use a flushable transmitter that is flushed in the toilet and then the transmitter is tracked with a receiver.
How do I check my septic tanks sludge level?
To measure the sludge layer:
- Slowly lower the tube into the septic tank until it touches the bottom of the tank.
- As the device is slowly pulled out of the water, the check valve closes capturing a liquid/solid profile of the septic tank water. The thickness of the sludge layer can be measured.
What are signs of septic tank problems?
7 Warning Signs Your Septic System Is Failing
- Gurgling Pipes. They would occur when you run water in the house (e.g. when using the sink or shower) or flush the toilet.
- Bad Odours. It’s never a pleasant experience when this occurs.
- Water At Ground Level.
- Green Grass.
- Slow Drainage.
- Blocked Pipes.
Does poop float in septic tank?
The American diet is often high in fats (which cause feces to float in a septic tank), or high in iron-rich meat (which blackens your stool and causes it to sink like torpedo). Neither of these is good for your septic tank, but you can change that by changing your lifestyle and eating habits.
How do I know if my drain field is failing?
The following are a few common signs of leach field failure:
- Grass over leach field is greener than the rest of the yard.
- The surrounding area is wet, mushy, or even has standing water.
- Sewage odors around drains, tank, or leach field.
- Slow running drains or backed up plumbing.
Why is my septic leaking from the top?
A leak in your septic tank could mean that sewage seeps out and contaminates the soil. During wet weather, the same leak could mean your tank takes on too much water, like a sinking ship, due to water pressure from the saturated ground nearby.
Can I take a shower if my septic tank is full?
Only the water would get out into the leach field in a proper system unless you run too much water too fast. The thing to do is to run your shower water outside into it’s own drain area, but it may not be allowed where you are. Used to be called gray water system.
Can heavy rain affect septic tank?
It is common to have a septic back up after or even during a heavy rain. Significant rainfall can quickly flood the ground around the soil absorption area (drainfield) leaving it saturated, making it impossible for water to flow out of your septic system.
Can a septic tank never be pumped?
What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.
Landscaping Around a Septic System: Do’s and Don’ts
Riverside, California 92504-17333 Van Buren Boulevard Call us right now at (951) 780-5922. A big number of large plants, patios, and other structures are likely to be absent from the region surrounding your septic system. Indeed, conventional thinking is that you should avoid both large landscaping and septic systems in the vicinity of one other. This is a reasonable guideline to follow since roots can entangle themselves around pipes and cause them to burst. Plants, on the other hand, can absorb excess rainfall and decrease erosion, so landscaping around your septic system might not be such a bad idea after all.
You don’t want roots to penetrate the perforations and clog the system, so keep them out.
Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts
- Plants that do not require a lot of water should be used. This stops plant roots from looking for water and interfering with your system’s functionality. Make use of herbaceous plants with shallow roots, such as flowers and ground cover. When planting quarts, gallons, or plugs, make sure to keep your plants somewhat near to one another to prevent erosion. This will help restrict the growth of weeds. If you have any trees or shrubs growing in your yard in the future, consider how their development may impede access to the septic tank lids, leach field, and sprinkler system. Using a potted plant, riser cover, or lawn ornament just above your access hatch, you may mark the position of your access hatch. When it comes time to dig it up, it will be much simpler to do so. Allow tall Kentucky bluegrass or another type of lawn to grow over the plot of ground that serves as a septic tank cover. Consider the benefits of growing perennials. Because both grasses and perennials have a shallow root structure, they should have no negative impact on your tank or drain field. Make use of tiny, non-woody groundcovers to disguise weeds. Think about planting shallow-rooted trees and vegetation (such as cherry trees, dogwood trees, holly bushes, azalea shrubs, and boxwood shrubs) in the area around your septic system, but make sure they are at least 10-15 feet away from the tank.
- Get so concerned about plants and grasses hurting your septic tank that you completely demolish the surrounding region. Some grasses and plants are particularly effective at collecting excess rainwater surrounding the drain field, hence reducing the likelihood of drainage problems. Overwatering your lawn may encourage freshly planted plants to flourish more quickly. Overwatering can cause soil to contract over your leach field, which can cause your septic system to get clogged. Root vegetables can be grown in the vicinity of your system. If these nutrient-absorbing plants are planted too near together, they may cause problems with microorganisms.
- Install plastic sheeting or ponds to keep the water out. These characteristics obstruct effective drainage from the tank to the leach field. Overlook the septic tank or leach field and construct walkways and high-traffic routes
- Don’t forget that the placement of fencing and gates might have an impact on septic pumper truck access. The hoses on the truck are quite heavy, and we do not recommend that you use them to cross fences. The majority of pumpers like to have access within 50 feet of their vehicle. Planting plants or trees around the septic system is a good idea. Forestry professionals recommend planting trees 20 feet or more away from water, but trees that are known to hunt for water should be planted 50 feet or more away from water. Planting shrubs near the system is a good idea. Vegetables that are nutrient-rich can be grown on a septic system. However, contamination is a worry depending on how efficiently your soil filters microorganisms, even if it appears to be excellent for a garden. Susan Day, an expert on urban forestry at Virginia Tech, advocates planting aboveground veggies rather than root vegetables in close proximity as a safeguard. Disrupt the drainage system by constructing ponds, using plastic sheeting, or planting plants that require a lot of upkeep. Increase foot traffic in regions that are already established. The greater the amount of foot traffic, the more compacted the earth gets.
Plants Safe to Grow Over Septic Tanks and Drain Fields
As long as you choose the landscaping for the region around your septic system with care, you won’t have to be so concerned about the possibility of septic system damage caused by roots that you refrain from planting in these places entirely. It is not only permissible, but really desirable, to cultivate the appropriate kind of plants in this location. Plants will help to prevent erosion and will also help to absorb some of the surplus rainwater from the drainage system. The ideal plants to use around your septic tank and drain field are perennials and grasses (including decorative grasses).
Small, non-woody ground coverings are a wonderful choice for the same reason: they are low maintenance.
It is not safe to consume food crops that have been planted in the ground near a drain field since doing so may result in the consumption of hazardous microorganisms.
The following are examples of shallow-rooted plants and shrubs:
- Dogwood trees, Japanese maple trees, Eastern redbud trees, cherry trees, azalea shrubs, boxwood shrubs, and holly shrubs are examples of ornamental trees and shrubs.
The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems
Planting huge, rapidly growing trees is often discouraged. However, some of the greatest offenders are trees and shrubs with root systems that are aggressively seeking out sources of water, which makes them particularly difficult to control. They are not picky about the water source from which they draw their water, which means the pipes in your septic tank drain field are completely fair game. Weeping willow trees are a well-known example of this. There are several trees and bushes to avoid, however the following are only a few examples:
- The following are examples of plants and trees: Pussywillow bushes, Japanese willow shrubs, Weeping willow trees, Aspen trees, Lombardy poplar trees, Birch trees, Beech trees, and Elm trees The majority of maple trees, with the exception of Japanese maples
- American sweetgum trees
- Ash trees
- Tulip trees
It is advised that a layer of vegetation, such as a lawn, be placed over the drain field to help hold the dirt in place and boost the effectiveness of the system. Certain principles, on the other hand, should be followed in order to avoid costly and unpleasant situations. Perhaps the greatest piece of advise would be to keep trees and bushes out of the landscaping surrounding this location. The most important factor should be the best possible functioning of your septic system, but each homeowner will need to do a cost/benefit analysis of the plants they choose on an individual basis.
If you suspect that encroaching tree roots are causing damage to your system, please contact us at (951) 780-5922 as soon as possible. If you have any questions, we have specialists standing by to help you resolve them and get your system back up and running.
6 Things to Know About Landscaping Around Your Septic Tank
You’re undoubtedly already aware that dumping some items into your sewage system, such as paint or grease, can cause harm to your septic tank. However, you may not be aware that certain gardening methods can actually cause harm to your septic system. In order to avoid unwittingly causing difficulties or damage to your septic tank, here are six things you should know regarding landscaping around your septic tank. 1. The location of the access point. It is OK to use landscaping to conceal the entry port to your septic tank; however, you must not totally conceal it.
- One option to conceal your access port without totally concealing it is to use a landscaping element such as a birdbath or any other fixed lawn decoration to mark out its position on the property.
- Characteristics of Vegetation that is Safe It is possible for some species of vegetation to grow above and around a septic tank without the risk of septic tank damage rising.
- You should also limit the vegetation that grows above your tank to plants that do not require a lot of water.
- In order to grow anything other than grass over your sewage tank, use perennials that are drought-resistant to the elements.
- Characteristics of Trees that Have the Potential to Be Destructive Large bushes or trees should not be planted anywhere near your septic tank under any circumstances.
- In the case of a 20-foot-tall tree, it is recommended that it be placed at least 20 feet away from the septic tank.
- Trees with actively growing roots can cause damage to septic tanks and pipelines, even if they are located a long distance away.
Grazing animals consume the protective vegetation that covers your drain field, exposing the components of your septic system to the elements.
There are a lot of methods you may use to keep livestock from grazing on your septic tank.
You may also apply animal repellents around your drain field, which deter animals by emitting unpleasant sounds or odors that they find uncomfortable.
Preventing vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Your landscaping should be planned and your yard should be put out in such a way that cars do not drive over the area where your septic tank is positioned.
Foot traffic, in addition to car traffic, can cause damage to a septic tank.
As an alternative, if possible, direct foot traffic away from the area.
The Positioning of Architectural Elements You could choose to include architectural elements into your landscaping, such as retaining walls, stone paths, or fire pits.
If you plan to incorporate architectural elements into your landscaping, be certain that these elements are located far away from your septic tank. Get in contact with Walters Environmental Services if you want to learn more about maintaining your septic tank in excellent working order.
Types of Septic Systems
Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of variables. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all considerations to take into consideration. The following are 10 of the most often encountered septic system configurations. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list; there are several additional types of septic systems.
- A variety of reasons might cause septic system design and size to differ significantly from one location to another, both inside and outside of your community. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, proximity to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all aspects to consider when making a home purchase. Septic systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the following are the 10 most popular. There are a variety of additional types of septic systems not included in this list.
Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of issues. Household size, soil type, site slope, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all aspects to consider. The following are 10 of the most often seen septic systems. There are several different types of septic systems that are not included in this list.
Septic tanks and trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration systems are two types of decentralized wastewater treatment systems (drainfield). When it comes to single-family homes and small businesses, a traditional septic system is the most common type of system. For decades, people have used a gravel/stone drainfield as a method of water drainage. The term is derived from the process of constructing the drainfield. A short underground trench made of stone or gravel collects wastewater from the septic tank in this configuration, which is commonly used.
Effluent filters through the stone and is then further cleaned by bacteria once it reaches the soil below the gravel/stone trench.
Gravelless drainfields have been regularly utilized in various states for more than 30 years and have evolved into a standard technology that has mostly replaced gravel systems. They take several forms, including open-bottom chambers, fabric-wrapped tubing, and synthetic materials such as expanded polystyrene media. Gravelless systems can be constructed entirely of recycled materials, resulting in considerable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during their lifetime. The chamber system is a type of gravelless system that can be used as an example.
The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.
This sort of system is made up of a number of chambers that are connected to one another.
Wastewater is transported from the septic tank to the chambers through pipes. The wastewater comes into touch with the earth when it is contained within the chambers. The wastewater is treated by microbes that live on or near the soil.
Drip Distribution System
An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is very versatile. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a vast mound of dirt because the drip laterals are only placed into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive.
Aerobic Treatment Unit
An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is quite inexpensive. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a significant mound of dirt since the drip laterals are placed inside the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive than other wastewater treatment systems.
Using mound systems in regions with short soil depth, high groundwater levels, or shallow bedrock might be a good alternative. A drainfield trench has been dug through the sand mound that was erected. The effluent from the septic tank runs into a pump chamber, where it is pumped to the mound in the amounts recommended. During its release to the trench, the effluent filters through the sand and is dispersed into the native soil, where it continues to be treated. However, while mound systems can be an effective solution for some soil conditions, they demand a significant amount of land and require regular care.
Recirculating Sand Filter System
Sand filter systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the use. The effluent is discharged from the septic tank into a pump compartment. Afterwards, it is pushed into the sand filter. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. The effluent is pushed through the pipes at the top of the filter under low pressure to the drain. As the effluent exits the pipelines, it is treated as it passes through the sand filtering system.
However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system because they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus better suited for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to bodies of water.
Sand filtration systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the circumstances. Drainage from the septic tank is directed to a pump chamber. A sand filter is then used to filter the water. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. Under low pressure, effluent is pushed via pipes that run up to the top of the filter. While passing through the sand filter, the effluent is treated as it exits the pipes and enters the environment.
Water is then dumped to the drainfield once it has been treated. However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system since they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus suitable for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to water bodies.
Constructed Wetland System
Construction of a manufactured wetland is intended to simulate the treatment processes that occur in natural wetland areas. Wastewater goes from the septic tank and into the wetland cell, where it is treated. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media that eliminate pathogens and nutrients. Typically, a wetland cell is constructed with an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the necessary wetland plants, all of which must be capable of withstanding the constant saturation of the surrounding environment.
As wastewater flows through the wetland, it may exit the wetland and flow into a drainfield, where it will undergo additional wastewater treatment before being absorbed into the soil by bacteria.
Cluster / Community System
In certain cases, a decentralized wastewater treatment system is owned by a group of people and is responsible for collecting wastewater from two or more residences or buildings and transporting it to a treatment and dispersal system placed on a suitable location near the dwellings or buildings. Cluster systems are widespread in settings like rural subdivisions, where they may be found in large numbers.
Green Grass over the septic tank, Brown Grass, Snow Melt over the septic tank Indicate Septic System Condition
- If you notice melting snow or poor quality of grass cover, you can use this space to ask or comment about where to find a septic tank or soak beds.
If you notice melting snow or poor quality of grass cover, you can use this space to ask or comment about where to find a septic tank or soak beds.
Snowmelt over the Septic Tank or Drainfield – what do they mean?
We have recently moved into a house with a septic system for the first time. We had the septic tank examined and emptied as part of our home improvement project. We observed that there is a brilliant green patch of grass just above the septic tank that is distinct in color from the rest of the grass in the yard. Now that the snow has melted away over the same septic tank location, the situation has reversed. It appears that the ground beneath the tank is heated and that the tank is defrosting the earth.
Is this a usual occurrence?
– Thank you so much for your assistance.
Reply: your septic system clues sound normal but here is how we can check for developing septic system trouble:
Snow melt and even greener grass over the septic tank may be typical, but it might also indicate a problem with the system. Good news would be the lack of any scents (SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS) or damp or soggy areas (SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS), as well as the absence of any sewage backup into the residence (SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS) (SEWER BACKUP PREVENTION). It is also important to note that snow melt over drainfield trenches (as shown in the top photo of this page) is not always an indicator that the system is failing.
Take some shots of the area over the tank with snow melt (and later with greener grass) and, while you’re at it, take some photos of the region where you believe the drainfield is located so that we can all see whether there are any depressions, snowmelt, damp patches, or other problems.
This is a regular occurrence and is not a cause for concern. Photos of snow melting over septic tanks may be seen atVISUAL CLUES LOCATE THE SEPTIC TANK for more information.
Guide to Diagnosing Snowmelt or Green Grass Over the Septic Tank
Opening the inspection cover over the septic tank outflow end will quickly reveal the presence of this issue. If the sewage level is only as high as the bottom of the tank outlet pipe, where it flows through the tank wall, this is considered regular operation. If the level of sewage rises over the bottom border of the horizontal section of the outlet pipe, this indicates that the outlet pipe or drainfield is clogged with sewage. You may get more information and photographs about this method at SEPTIC TANK BAFFLES.
Explanation of Greener Grass over the Septic Tank
Opening the inspection cover over the septic tank outflow end will allow you to quickly determine the problem. If the sewage level is only as high as the bottom of the tank outlet pipe, when it flows through the tank wall, this is considered to be OK. It is possible that the outlet pipe or drainfield is backing up if the sewage level is higher than the bottom edge of the horizontal component of the outlet pipe horizontal portion. You may learn more about this operation and see images of it by visiting septic tank baffles.
Explanation of Brown Dead Grass over the Septic Tank
Opening the inspection cover over the septic tank outflow end makes it simple to detect this problem. If the sewage level is just up to the bottom of the tank outlet pipe, when it flows through the tank wall, this is considered typical. If the level of sewage rises past the bottom border of the horizontal section of the outlet pipe, this indicates that the outlet pipe or drainfield is clogged and has to be cleaned. SEPTIC TANK BAFFLES has more information and photographs regarding this process.
- A former building owner may have left stones, slates, stakes, or other markings to indicate the position of a septic tank pumpout access cover
- However, this is not always the case. Cast iron or white or black plastic pipes sticking out of the ground, perhaps between 10′ and 20′ from the house, and especially if they are 4″ to 6″ in diameter and are cast iron or white or black plastic, may indicate vent or cleanout locations on the waste line between the building and the septic tank, or they may indicate where the tank is located. The installation of a 6″ top 8″ “riser” pipe with a cap near to ground level (which may be painted green by the homeowner) by certain septic pumping firms is used as a rapid access port to pump the septic tank. If one removes the pipe cap and glances inside, maybe with a torch, it is simple to determine whether or not one of these ports is directly above the tank. When there are symptoms of impending collapse, such as soil subsidence, it is not safe to walk over or near septic tanks. Electrical boxes protruding from the ground may indicate the location of electrical connections feeding electrical components that are utilized in some septic systems, according to some reports. Examples include septic tanks employing effluent pumps to transport effluent to an uphill site, pumping chambers using sewage grinder pumps to drive sewage to an uphill septic tank and drainfield. A video demonstrating a septic tank with a pumping station and its electrical connections can be seen atSeptic 101 part 1: Septic Tanks and Pumping Stations. Video on How to discover the septic system
- Rectangular depressions of approximately 4 ft. x 8 ft. On the other hand, it is possible that soils have settled away from the septic tank and created an elevated rectangular area on rare occasions. One of our sites experienced this because the bottom of the septic tank was situated on bedrock, and after backfilling, certain soils around the tank settled and compacted, but the tank itself did not move
- A rectangular region with less grass growth – this is due to the fact that the tank is not sunk very deeply and so has less dirt above it
- If the tank is leaking or backing up and spewing effluent around itself, the grass will grow more lushly in the vicinity of the tank. Depressions in the earth, each measuring around 2 sq.ft., that may indicate a past excavation for tank pumping
- Snow melt: In regions where snow falls, portions of melted snow may be seen at the top of the septic tank’s tank wall (or areas of a failing leach field). Photograph of this clue, which shows drainfield trenches as depressions in the snow, may be found on the websiteVisualClues to Location. Drawings or drawings depicting the position of a septic tank can occasionally be found in a building’s basement or crawl space, scribbled on a surface at the point where the main waste pipe exits the structure, indicating that the tank is in the correct place. Of course, a conscientious previous owner may have left a sketch on a piece of paper for the new owners to find. AtRECORDS to LOCATE the DRAINFIELD, an example of a drawing for finding septic system components can be found. Wet areaswhich may signal a deteriorating drainfield. Pipes ending in streams, lakes, or swamps, or at the boundary of a property, may indicate an overflow drain that was installed to deal with a malfunctioning septic system. Septic smells may also indicate an overflow drain. This is a shot of one of these that is most likely found in a DRAINFIELD
- I’d like to express my gratitude to reader (anonymous) for addressing the significance of snowmelt or greener grass above the septic tank (12/2010)
- Thank you to Donica Benwho, in her letter of November 11, 2007, warns against the dangers of digging into hidden electrical cables, which we will examine further at a later date. Safety Procedures for Septic Tanks and Cesspools
- Clogged DrainDiagnosis – is the problem the septic system or the Building drain system? Septic Tank Safety: Safety Warnings for Septic Inspectors, Septic Pumpers, and Homeowners Regarding Septic Systems, Septic Tanks, and Cesspools
- Condition of Septic Tanks- How to Inspect Septic Tanks and Evaluate the Septic Tank Condition, including the condition of the baffles and sludge levels, as well as damage and signs of septic failure
- Form OF SEPTIC DRAINFIELD: factors for the shape and placement of a septic drainfield or leaching bed
- LOCATION OF THE SEPTIC DRAINFIELD: where to look for the septic drain field or leaching bed
- Procedural for Drainfield Inspection Leach Fields – how to check and diagnose septic drainfield problems.
. Continue reading atVISUAL CLUES LOCATE THE SEPTIC TANK, or choose a topic from the closely-related topics listed below, or visit the completeARTICLE INDEX for a comprehensive list of articles. Alternatively, see PLANTS OVER SEPTIC SYSTEMS.
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INSPECTION OF SEPTIC TANK GRASS OR SNOWMELTat 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 SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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Building Near and Over Septic Tanks
Posted on a regular basis In most cases, minimum setback rules imposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality (TCEQ) preclude the building of a new residence from occuring over any point of an existing sewage disposal system. Foundations, pools, property lines, wells, and other structures must be kept at a certain distance from the septic tank and drainfield in order to meet these setback requirements.
It is possible that some homeowners will install objects such as patio decks or house additions over their systems, whether by accident or design. This might result in higher costs when it comes to locating and maintaining the system.
Building over septic tanks
Construction of a building over any section of your septic system is not recommended. The most typical issue we see is when someone wants to pump out their septic tank but is unsure of where their tank is situated on their property. Tanks hidden beneath a hardwood deck, pool patio, driveways, or even room extensions are not unusual for us to discover and investigate. The majority of the time, this occurs because the homeowner is uninformed of the tank’s location and/or does not have a plan in place for future tank maintenance.
However, in this scenario, the homeowner will be able to pump out their septic tank because no permanent constructions should be constructed over any component of the system.
Building over drainfields
Construction of a building over any section of your septic system is never suggested. Someone who has to pump out their septic tank but doesn’t know where it is situated is the most prevalent issue we see at our facility. Tanks hidden beneath a wooden deck, pool patio, driveways, or even room extensions are not unusual for us to discover and repair. A common reason for this is because the homeowner is uninformed of the tank’s location and/or does not have a plan in place to do future maintenance on the tank.
However, in this scenario, the homeowner can pump out their septic tank because there should be no permanent constructions erected over any component of the system.
What You Need to Know About Your Septic System’s Drainfield
In the absence of a municipal sewer system, the likelihood is that you are utilizing an aseptic system for all of your wastewater disposal. It is your septic tank that is emptied every time you flush the toilet or when water drains down the drain from sinks or the laundry. Residential septic systems are available in a variety of configurations, but they invariably include an aseptic tank, into which wastewater is channeled for treatment, and a drainfield, into which effluent evaporates or drains into the ground.
What Is a Septic System Drainfield?
In order for a septic system to work correctly, drainfields, also known as leach fields or absorption fields, must be installed. Drainfields collect and manage wastewater that has been pumped from the septic tank and are thus essential. They are comprised of perforated pipes that are buried two to four feet underground and lead away from the tank. Septic tanks would overflow if a drainfield was not there, resulting in runoff and a foul stench in your yard. Whenever everything is operating properly, the soil in the drainfield filters the wastewater, and naturally occurring bacteria and microorganisms decompose the solid waste.
What Are the Signs There Is a Problem With Your Drainfield?
- Waste smells, particularly outside in the vicinity of the septic tank and drainfield
- Predominant presence of dark green, luxuriant flora covering the drainfield It may be visually appealing, but it indicates a severely overburdened septic system. It’s possible to have wet, soggy, or spongy regions over your septic tank or drainfield even in dry weather. It’s possible that you’ll discover puddles of standing water. Slow kitchen and bathroom drains
- Toilets that are overflowing or sewage backups
What Are the Causes of These Problems?
A drainfield can live for 50 years or longer if it is properly cared for and maintained.
However, several of the indications listed above might indicate that a drainfield is beginning to fail. The system just does not have the capability to take any additional garbage. This can create sewage blockages, a bad stench outdoors andslow drainage in your house.
When erected over a drainfield, heavy objects such as a shed, animals, or automobiles can cause the pipes below to get damaged or destroyed. Compaction of the soil can also be caused by an excessive amount of weight on the drainfield. Wastewater cannot be adequately absorbed in compacted soil, resulting in the occurrence of many of the symptoms described above.
Pipes are blocked
A possible source of obstruction is the infiltration of tree and plant roots into sewer lines, which prevents wastewater from draining correctly. The accumulation of sludge and the flushing of objects that should not be flushed down the toilet can also cause clogging of pipes.
The septic system is overloaded
Doing multiple loads of laundry while running the dishwasher on the same day might overflow the septic system. A leaky faucet or a gurgling toilet might also be problematic. Time is required by all septic systems in order for the effluent to pass through the treatment procedures. It is otherwise necessary to compel wastewater to flow into the drainage field at a quicker pace than the drainage field is capable of handling. This can result in standing water or the mushy, spongy conditions described above.
Gutter downspouts draining over the drainfield
Having gutters that drain across the septic system drainfield makes it more difficult for the drainfield to absorb wastewater and perform its function. This might result in a squishy region that is constantly wet or standing water.
What to Do to Maintain a Healthy Drainfield
- Heavy machinery, automobiles, recreational vehicles, boats, grazing animals, and structures should be kept away from the area above your drainfield. Planting trees or other plants over your drainfield might cause harm to the pipes since the roots will grow into them. Make certain that all gutter downspouts are directed away from the drainfield. Every two to three years, have your septic tank pumped. Solids are conveyed into the drainfield by the absence of frequent pumping, resulting in blockage of the pipes. Apart from the waste that comes out of your body, the only item that should be flushed down the toilet is toilet paper. Other solids should not be flushed. Additionally, refrain from dumping any fats, oils, or grease down your drains. You should space out your laundry and dishwashing days so that you don’t overburden your septic system.
Symptoms of Septic Problems — Magneson Tractor Service Inc.
If you know what to look for, you will be able to detect problems with your septic tank system if it is not performing properly. Noises made by a pipe gurgling A gurgling sound from pipes when flushing or running the water may indicate that a tank is full or that it needs to be pumped. It may also indicate that there is another problem with the tank. 2. Problems with the toilet flushing When the toilet is sluggish to flush or refuses to flush at all, and a plunger does not resolve the problem, it is possible that there is a problem with the septic system.
- A blockage in the pipes might possibly be the cause of this symptom.
- Drains that are too slow 3.
- One of the most unpleasant indications of a failed septic system is sewage back up into the home.
- Unpleasant Smells All you need is a keen sense of smell to determine whether or not something is amiss with your septic tank.
- You are most certainly inhaling poisonous sulfur vapors, unless they are leftovers from the last Easter Egg search.
- It is common for grass to grow quicker or greener than the rest of the land as a sign that the septic leach field is failing to function properly.
- A failure in the system has resulted in stinky water gathering near a drain field, which is potentially hazardous to human health and thus has to be rectified promptly.
- The Root Causes of Septic Tank Issues Frequently, septic tank problems are caused by objects entering the tank that shouldn’t be there in the first place, such as toilet paper, kitchen sink waste, or garbage disposal.
In order to minimize sediments and excessive use of the trash disposal, only gray water should be used in the kitchen sink. Identifying and Understanding Potential Leach Field Issues Try to avoid these frequent septic tank concerns that are related with problems near the leach field.
- Over the drain field, you should never park a car or other heavy equipment. The additional weight may cause difficulties such as cracking and buckling, which will interfere with the tank’s ability to function. The region above the drain field should be completely clear of obstructions. The pipe below may become compromised as a result of the weight of the objects or the volume of traffic. If the pipe becomes compacted and then breaks, it can cause significant damage to your leach field and be extremely expensive to repair. Having too much sludge near the drain field can cause sulfite and bio-mat accumulation, both of which require the knowledge of a septic specialist to remove before your system backs up
- Putting grease down the drain or into the toilet will cause it to cool and solidify as it travels down the line. Hardened fats have the potential to induce capping, which is the complete removal of all oxygen from the system, as well as damage to the leach field. Never plant new trees in the vicinity of a septic tank’s drain field. Roots will ultimately seek for moisture underneath and will pierce the tank, drain field, or pipelines linked with the septic system, depending on the amount of moisture available. The roots will develop swiftly and inflict substantial harm as soon as they reach the source of the moisture.
To avoid any septic tank problems in the future, call the experts at Magneson Tractor Service to check your system before trouble arises.
If your neighborhood has recently been flooded or has been subjected to strong rains, you may discover that your toilet isn’t flushing properly and that your drains are draining more slowly than usual. It is possible that raw sewage will back up into your tub and sink drains. Drains that are slow or clogged may signal that the water table has risen over the level of your septic field and septic tank. If you believe that your septic system has been flooded, there are four things you should do immediately.
- Check the level of groundwater in your area.
- Septic tanks are typically located a few feet below the surface of the earth.
- If you are aware of the location of your septic tank and drainfield, you should check the water level in the area to ensure that flooding is not a concern.
- When there isn’t any evident standing water in the area, use a probe to check the water level or an auger to dig deep into the earth to find out how much water is there.
- If your tests reveal that the water level is higher than the top of the septic tank, you should immediately cease utilizing the tank.
- Until the Ground Becomes Dry When you believe that your septic system has been flooded, contact a septic pumping specialist immediately; however, you must wait until the earth has become less soggy before having your tank drained.
- If a septic tank is pumped out when the earth is saturated, it may potentially float out of its location.
- Following a decrease in the water table level, it is necessary to pump your system as quickly as feasible.
- Approximately 70 gallons of water are flushed down the toilet per person every day in the average home.
The first step is to check for leaks in all of your fixtures. An inoperable toilet flapper or fill mechanism can leak up to 200 gallons per day, creating a backup of water that your flooded septic system doesn’t have room for. Other suggestions for keeping water out of the drains are as follows:
- It’s possible that your toilet isn’t flushing properly or that your drains aren’t emptying quickly if your neighborhood has recently been flooded or has been subjected to strong rainfall. Your tub and sink drains may even become clogged with raw sewage. It is possible that the water table has risen over your septic field and septic tank bottom, resulting in slow or backed-up drainage. Four things should be done immediately if you detect flooding in your septic system. 1. Determine the level of groundwater Drainfields for septic tanks are typically located between 2 and 4 feet below the surface of the soil’s water table. Septic tanks are typically located a few feet below the surface of the ground. Your septic system may be unable to manage wastewater from your home if the ground level rises over certain levels. Verify that flooding is not a concern in the area where your septic tank and drainfield are located if you know where they are located. You may have a flooded septic system if you notice standing water over the drainfield or tank. When there isn’t any evident standing water in the area, use a probe to check the water level or an auger to dig deeper into the earth to find out how much water is there. Select a location that is within 10 feet of the tank and 20 feet of the drainfield. The use of your septic tank should be discontinued if your tests reveal that the water level has risen over its maximum capacity. It is OK to utilize your septic system sparingly until the water table drops at least 3 feet below the level of your tank. 2. Refrain from pumping till later. For as long as the ground remains moist When you believe that your septic system has been flooded, contact a septic pumping specialist immediately. However, you must wait until the earth has become less soggy before having your tank pumped. Waiting too long might result in the infiltration of water into the tank and drainfield, exacerbating the situation. Additionally, if the septic tank is drained out when the earth is inundated, the tank may float away from its location. Pipes in the inlet and outflow areas may be damaged as a result. As soon as the water table has been decreased, it is necessary to have your system pumped as quickly as feasible. In order to minimize compaction of the soil, avoid driving any heavy gear near the septic region prior to this happening. 3 – Minimize the amount of water that is flushed down the toilet Approximately 70 gallons of water are flushed down the toilet per person every day in the average household. It is necessary to restrict the quantity of water you use until the groundwater level falls below your septic tank in order to lessen the amount of water that enters the already failing system. The first step is to check for leaks in all of your fixture. An inoperable toilet flapper or fill mechanism can leak up to 200 gallons per day, creating a backup of water that your flooded septic system cannot handle. The following are other suggestions for keeping water out of drains:
If your clothes washing machine drains into your main sewage line, it can cause a significant amount of water to be discharged into your septic system. Wash your garments at the laundry until the water table begins to fall below the surface. In the event that you must use the washing machine, wash only modest loads and wait a few hours between each load of laundry. 4. Make modifications to your septic system to make it more efficient. After your septic tank has been drained and your house drainage system has been restored to working order, you should make certain modifications to your system in order to minimize flooding problems in the future.
During a septic emergency, the backflow preventer prevents waste water from entering your home or building.
Also, check to be that your yard’s storm drainage does not overflow into your septic field and storage tank area.
When your septic system is inundated, call Eckmayer Inc right away.
5 Signs Your Septic Drainfield Has Stopped Working
Unlike municipal septic systems, which consist just of a subterranean tank that collects waste and water, residential septic systems are more complex. Water finally departs the tank through an outlet pipe and into a network of long perforated pipes known as the leech or drainfield after reaching the tank’s interior. The drainfield is equally as vital as, if not more so than, the septic tank in terms of wastewater treatment. In the event that this component of the system begins to fail, prompt action might mean the difference between relatively small repairs and a total drainfield replacement.
- Drainage is being slowed.
- As long as there is still any water in the pipes of the field, the drains in your home will continue to function, albeit at a slower rate.
- The presence of obstructions in the inlet or outlet pipe, as well as several other septic problems that are less difficult to resolve than drainfield problems, might result in delayed drainage.
- You may detect puddles or spongy and mushy ground all over the place if you look closely.
- A backup occurs when the water level rises to a level that forces sewage up the input pipe and into the lowest drains in your house, which is known as a back up in the system.
Drainfield leaks can provide visible consequences on the surface if the drainfield leaks at a higher rate than typical or contains decaying material that is meant to remain in the tank.
Returning Flow is the fourth step.
If you presume that the tank just need pumping, the service technician may discover water and sewage entering the tank from the outlet in a reverse flow, which would indicate that the tank requires more than pumping.
The presence of reverse flow from the drainfield is an obvious indication that you want jetting or pipe replacement services.
The Development of Odors In the end, you can utilize your sense of smell to detect indicators of drainfield issue.
Any sewage or toilet scents, even if they are weak and difficult to detect, signal that you should have a professional evaluate your home immediately.
This is the most effective way.
Whenever we observe a decrease in drainage capacity, we will inform you of the problem and your choices for resolving it before the system stops processing waste altogether.
In addition, we’re pleased to address any of your questions or concerns concerning your drainfield or septic system in general with a professional response.
Above Ground Septic System: How They Work and Their Advantages
Because of the greater risk of failure associated with traditional septic systems, when site circumstances are not ideal for establishing a conventional septic system, an above ground septic system, also known as a sand mound system, is utilized for on-site sewage treatment. A look at the key factors that might cause a septic system to fail, the implications of a failure, and how an above-ground septic system can provide a solution to these issues are discussed in this article. Every residence that is not linked to a sewage system requires some means of treating the sewage that is created by the individuals who live in the home in which they are located.
In most cases, they are comprised of an underground concrete, plastic, or fiberglass chamber divided into two portions.
The sediments are processed anaerobically within the chambers, while the residual effluent is discharged through gravity into a drain field, where it is naturally filtered by microorganisms in the soil before being discharged into the groundwater under the surface.
Typically, there are three naturally occurring characteristics that make it impossible to establish a traditional underground septic tank system that discharges to a conventional drain field.
- When the percolation rate of the soil is either slow or too quick, the soil’s permeability is reduced. Effluent will reach groundwater without being effectively filtered or cleaned by microorganisms in extremely permeable soils (such as very sandy soils) with a fast percolation rate in highly permeable soils. On the other hand, in soils with a poor permeability (such as clay soils) that have a low percolation rate, water may not drain away fast enough. A result of this may be waterlogging in nearby soils and surface ponding that can be hazardous to human health and well-being in the long run. As previously stated, the primary goal of a drainage field is to allow for the unsaturated flow of effluent to the groundwater, which exposes the wastewater to microorganisms in the soil that break down waste and destroy pathogens, it is critical that the soil does not become too saturated in order for treatment to be effective (as explained in greater detail below).
- When there is a limited layer, which is often a shallow layer of soil sitting over a layer of clay, porous bedrock, or perched groundwater wedged between rock and soil, the effluent treatment efficacy is reduced as it filters through the soil. Having a high water table occurs when there is insufficient distance between the drainfield and the water table to filter and treat the effluent before it reaches the water table, resulting in the groundwater becoming polluted and potentially endangering drinking water supplies. If the groundwater becomes polluted, the contaminants can be transferred away from the location via lateral groundwater movement, contaminating neighboring freshwater systems
- Should this occur.
Restricted layer: When there is a restricted layer, which is often a shallow layer of soil sitting over a layer of clay, porous bedrock, or perched groundwater wedged between rock and soil, the effluent treatment efficacy is reduced as it passes through the soil. Having a high water table occurs when there is insufficient distance between the drainfield and the water table to filter and treat the effluent before it reaches the water table, resulting in the groundwater becoming polluted and posing a risk to drinking water sources.
Protecting EnvironmentalHuman Health
Grey water (from sources such as bathing/showering, laundry, dishwashing, and so on) and black water (from sources such as toilets, sinks, and so on) constitute household wastewater (human waste). This effluent can include a range of chemical contaminants and pathogenic organisms that can be hazardous to human health if not handled adequately. Typhoid, cholera, dysentery, giardiasis and other gastrointestinal illnesses can occur as a result of the presence of disease-causing microbes in human feces.
When clay or tight soils are prevalent, a sand mound method is used.
loading=”lazy” src=”is-pending-load=1 038;ssl=1″ alt=”above ground septic system” loading=”lazy” src=”is-pending-load=1 038;ssl=1″ width: 501 pixels, height: 571 pixels ” data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-src=” is-pending-load=1 038; ssl=”” srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAP” data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-src=” is-pending-load=” is-pending-load=1 038; ssl=”” data-recalc Septic system with a sand mound The contamination of soils, groundwater, and surface water systems by improperly treated human waste can pose a health risk to anyone who comes into contact with it, whether directly or indirectly, for example, through the consumption of contaminated water, the consumption of contaminated food (e.g., fruits, vegetables, shellfish), or the swimming in contaminated rivers, lakes, or coastal bays Furthermore, because untreated sewage is both unattractive and foul-smelling, it is definitely not something you want to have pooling up on your back yard lawn.
The opposite appears to be true, as flies, rodents, and even the family dog are drawn to it like bees to a honeypot, spreading it around the house, as well as any diseases that may be lurking inside it, according to the author.
Infants who are exposed to nitrates in their drinking water can develop blue baby syndrome, which is characterized by a decrease in the capacity of the blood to transport oxygen, and which can be deadly.
Take a look at our above-ground septic system maintenance plan for more information on how to maintain these sorts of systems operating efficiently for extended periods of time.
How do Sand Mound Septic Systems Work?
Wastewater is channeled from the home to a septic tank, where it is pumped to a sand mound located above ground level, where it is distributed evenly throughout the drain field. When wastewater is discharged into the drain field, it percolates through the sand and gravel bed, where microorganisms in the soil digest any harmful bacteria that may be present.
Removal of Pathogens
The vertical barrier between the septic system and the groundwater serves as the first line of defense in the fight against disease transmission. Because of this, it is critical that there be adequate depth between the two to allow the population of microorganisms (good bacteria, fungus, protozoans, and nematode worms) that live in the soil to accomplish their jobs. The depth between the two should be at least six inches. These germs, in contrast to the anaerobic bacteria that live inside the septic tank, require oxygen to thrive and perform their functions.
Another key point to remember about these microorganisms is that they reside on the surface of the soil particles, where they filter toxins from the effluent as it passes past them through air gaps between the grains of soil.
The microorganisms that have taken up home in the system are the blue-collar employees who maintain the system operating at peak performance.
Removal of Nutrients
Septic systems that have vegetation planted in them not only seem more visually beautiful, but they also perform better in terms of overall performance. Water absorbed by the plant roots from the soil serves two purposes: 1) it reduces the likelihood of the soil becoming waterlogged, and 2) it allows the plants to absorb dissolved nutrients (such as those responsible for blue baby syndrome and algal blooms) for their own growth, thereby reducing the risk of the soil becoming waterlogged. However, it is critical to pick vegetation judiciously, preferably grass and/or tiny plants with shallow root systems rather than large trees and shrubs.
Key Components of an Above Ground Septic System
Generally speaking, above-ground septic systems are comprised of three major components: 1) a septic tank (pretreatment unit), 2) a dosing chamber that houses the pump, and 3) an above-ground sand mound that acts as a drainage bed for the system.
The Septic Tank
This enormous concrete, polyethene, or fibreglass chamber that is buried below serves as a pretreatment separation chamber. The septic tank is where the wastewater from the home is disposed of. Upon entering the tank, the wastewater divides into three layers: the heavier solid matter (sludge) falls to the bottom, the middle layer consists primarily of liquid effluent, and the lighter particles (scum) float to the top. The anaerobic bacteria that flourish in these oxygen-free circumstances breakdown some of the sludge that accumulates at the bottom of the septic tank’s bottom.
The Dosing Chamber
The dosing chamber, also known as the pump chamber, is similarly made of concrete, polyethene, or fiberglass, and is equipped with a pump, pump control floats, and a high-water alarm float. It collects the effluent that flows from the septic tank and is connected to the main sewer line. As soon as the level of the effluent in the tank reaches that of the control float, the pump is activated and begins pumping a predefined volume of effluent up to the sand mound, which is placed above the ground level.
- Adjusting the control floats located in the pump chamber allows for the delivery of the most suitable volume of effluent that the mound is capable of processing.
- Designed to activate if the effluent levels increase above the ‘on’ float without triggering the pump, this feature is configured to activate.
- It is a good idea to make certain that the pump can be removed without breaking a sweat in the event that things go horribly wrong.
- In the event that the pump fails, a length of nylon rope linked to it will make it easier to remove it from the chamber.
The Sand Mound
Essentially, the sand mound is a drainage field that has been intentionally constructed by raising a drainage bed above the natural surface of the surrounding land. It is made up of a bed of sand and gravel that has a distribution system made up of perforated pipes that transports the water. The effluent in the dosing chamber is pushed up to the mound at low pressure in order to guarantee that it is distributed evenly throughout the drainage bed.
The effluent then trickles out of the tiny holes in the pipes and down through a bed of gravel into a sand mound beneath the pipe system. Aerobic bacteria in the sand clean the effluent, eliminating pathogens before it seeps through the soil to the groundwater.
Things to Consider WhenDesigningSand Mound Septic Systems
When planning to build an above-ground septic system, it is critical to understand the soil qualities of the area in question. It is important to have a professional soil evaluation performed by a trained soil analyzer to get the best results. According to your location, this may be required by law, but even if it is not, it is still a good idea to do so in order to determine the flow rate of the soil so that the septic system can be designed and sized for optimal performance according to the specific site conditions on which it is installed.
Some regions need the creation of a designated space for the construction of a replacement mound — it is always a good idea to have a backup plan.
Conclusion: Advantages of an Above Ground Septic System
It is possible to use an above-ground septic system as an alternative to an underground system on sites where the soil characteristics are inappropriate for standard in-ground sewage treatment systems. Septic systems with sand mounds not only conserve groundwater by artificially raising the vertical separation layer, but they also do not discharge directly into a surface water body such as a ditch, stream or river, which reduces the possibility of damaging nearby freshwater systems. As little excavation is required for the building of a sand mound drain field, construction damage is generally kept to an absolute minimum provided all steps are followed with caution.
They are the best option in these situations and should be considered.
Please watch the following video to gain some insight into the building of an above-ground septic system.
Please contact us with any questions you have about our services, prices, or appraising your lot: