- Septic tanks should be pumped out by a septic system pumper before attempting to fill in your tank. You may want to call a local septic system company to see if they offer septic tank filling as a service. They may also have filling guidelines on hand, as well.
How long does a 1000 gallon septic tank take to fill?
A family of four will fill the 300-gallon storage volume of a 1,000-gallon septic tank in about 1.5 years. By making adjustments in this analysis for adults working outside of the home a third of the time and children going to school, it is easy to conclude that a septic tank should be pumped every two to three years.
What are the signs that your septic tank is full?
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:
- Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
- Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
- Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
- You Hear Gurgling Water.
- You Have A Sewage Backup.
- How often should you empty your septic tank?
How do you fill an old concrete septic tank?
The Old Tank Is Crushed and Buried or Removed If it is made of steel, it will probably be crushed in place and buried. If it is made of concrete, the bottom or sides may be broken apart so the tank can no longer hold water, and then the tank can be filled with sand, gravel, or some other type of rubble and buried.
How do I know if my septic tank is failing?
8 Signs of Septic System Failure
- Septic System Backup.
- Slow Drains.
- Gurgling Sounds.
- Pool of Water or Dampness Near Drainfield.
- Nasty Odors.
- Unusual, Bright Green Grass Above Drainfield.
- Blooms of Algae in Nearby Water.
- High Levels of Coliform in Water Well.
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) Get on a Schedule.
- 2) Take Care of the System.
- 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
- 4) Check Other Possible Issues.
Can I 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.
Does shower water go into septic tank?
From your house to the tank: Most, but not all, septic systems operate via gravity to the septic tank. Each time a toilet is flushed, water is turned on or you take a shower, the water and waste flows via gravity through the plumbing system in your house and ends up in the septic tank.
Can heavy rain cause a septic backup?
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.
How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?
How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.
Why doesn’t grass grow over my septic tank?
Lawn grass species prefer moist, high pH soil, and direct sunlight. Growing grass over a septic tank can be challenging due to the acidic, low-pH soil resulting from sewage runoff into the leach field.
What does a buried septic tank look like?
Septic tanks are typically rectangular in shape and measure approximately 5 feet by 8 feet. In most cases, septic tank components including the lid, are buried between 4 inches and 4 feet underground. You can use a metal probe to locate its edges and mark the perimeter.
Can you reuse an old septic tank?
In addition to the standard abandonment process of pumping your septic tank and having it rendered useless by filling it with gravel or cement and crushing the tank lids, you have the opportunity to reuse your tank as a cistern.
Can septic tanks collapse?
Septic tanks can collapse for a variety of reasons. This is one of the most serious septic tank problems that can occur. Once a tank is emptied of water, it is much more prone to collapse. That is because the pressure of the surrounding soil is no longer counter-acted by the water inside the tank.
How Your Septic System Works
Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.
Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.
Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:
- All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.
Do you have a septic system?
It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:
- You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system
How to find your septic system
You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:
- Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
- Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
- Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it
Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!
A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:
- Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
- It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
- A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield
How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:
- Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
- Conserve water
- Dispose of waste properly
- And keep your drainfield in good condition.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.
- The size of the household
- The total amount of wastewater produced
- The amount of solids present in wastewater
- The size of the septic tank
Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.
When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge 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 bottom of the outlet.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
If additional repairs are recommended, contact a repair professional as soon as possible. An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.
Use Water Efficiently
In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.
- Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
- Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.
Properly Dispose of Waste
Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:
- Cooking grease or oil
- Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
- Photographic solutions
- Feminine hygiene items Condoms
- Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners
Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.
Think at the sink!
Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:
- If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
- Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.
Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?
If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.
- The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.
Maintain Your Drainfield
It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:
- Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.
How to Fill in Old Septic Tanks
Septic tanks that have collapsed are a safety threat in your yard. It is common practice for people to fill in old septic tanks when they migrate to a public sewer system for the sake of safety. Before you fill a septic tank, check to see if the regulations in your state allow you to do so rather than having to remove the tank entirely. If you fill up an empty septic tank, you will prevent it from collapsing and causing a sinkhole in your yard to form. Before filling the tank, have it pumped out by a competent sewer service firm.
Inquire with your local health department to see whether you require a permit to fill your septic tank with water. If this is the case, you must seek a permission.
A water pump should be used to remove any standing water in the septic tank. Rainwater or groundwater will be used to fill the septic tank if there is any.
Take the cover off and throw it away.
Break up the concrete lid with a jackhammer so that it may be disposed of more easily. Most hardware stores provide jackhammer rentals on a short-term basis.
Make holes in all of the septic tank’s side walls and the bottom to allow for drainage. Drainage for all future rain and groundwater will be enabled as a result of this. If you do not drill holes and water accumulates in the septic tank, it may float to the surface of the earth and cause damage.
Fill the septic tank with soil or gravel to prevent overflowing. The earth above the tank will not be able to collapse as a result of this.
How to Fill a Septic Tank
Filling a Septic Tank: A Step-by-Step Guide. Many homeowners have made the decision to abandon their old septic system and connect to the municipal sewage system. It is the responsibility of the property owner to properly dispose of their septic tanks once they have been drained out and are no longer in use. Many jurisdictions allow you to keep the tank in the ground rather than having it removed, however it must be filled in for safety concerns in all cases.
For further information, contact your local municipality or health authority to determine whether you need a permit to remove and replace your old septic tank.
A water pump can be rented or purchased from your local hardware shop. Tanks that are more than a decade old have most likely accumulated water and debris that must be removed.
Remove any standing water in your septic tank by pumping it away. Due to the fact that all garbage should have previously been drained out prior to the commencement of your operation, the water in the tank should only be rainwater or groundwater.
Make holes in the bottom and sides of the tank with a drill or other means of puncturing them. This permits any water that will ultimately find its way back into the tank to be drained out safely.
Fill the tank with sand or gravel to make it more stable. Up addition to allowing water to filter through, the sand and gravel also serves to fill in any voids that may occur if the tank were to finally collapse.
Septic tanks should be emptied out by a professional septic system pumper before you attempt to replenish your tank. In order to determine whether or if a certain local septic system provider provides septic tank filling as a service, you may want to phone around to several companies. It’s possible that they’ll have filling instructions on hand as well.
How Long Does It Take for Septic Tanks to Fill Up?
Whatever your situation is, whether you have just completed the installation of a new septic tank or are wondering when it is time to do periodic maintenance on your existing underground septic tank, it is critical that you understand how the tank works and when, if at all, it becomes full. The topic of how often you should pump your septic tank or how long it takes for a septic tank to fill up has been questioned for some years now, and the answer is: it depends. Some allege that they didn’t know or just didn’t care to pump their tanks, while others believe that a policy should be in place defining when and how to do so should be implemented.
It should be noted that this is a highly subjective response.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these criteria to see if your septic tank is approaching capacity.
Understanding How a Septic Tank Fills Up
There is a direct relationship between the amount of food consumed in a home and the amount of garbage created in that household. Adults generate around one liter of garbage every day, which equates to 90 gallons of waste per year on average. Not all of this garbage ‘fills up’ a septic tank, as the expression goes. The waste is reduced to around 60% of its original volume in the tank. It is recommended by both regulatory agencies and the pumping industry that you should not allow the sludge/scum layer at the bottom of your tank to occupy more than 30% of the total capacity of your septic tank.
After the 305-mile threshold, the procedure gets significantly slower, resulting in a significantly faster filling of the tank.
All of these figures are based on a single individual filling a 1,000-gallon septic tank with sewage.
As youngsters get older (and reach school age), the length of this time period will shorten.
The smallest septic tank size that is suggested for a certain number of rooms. According to these estimates (which are supported by multiple state-wide studies), it is reasonable to conclude that a septic tank should be pumped once every two to three years. There is just one primary duty for every septic tank, and that is to collect sludge that would otherwise be difficult to deal with while distributing cleaned water to the land underneath the tank via drain fields. The lighter and more floatable particles are ultimately responsible for filling the tank.
What Happens Whenthe Septic Tank Fills Up?
As previously said, many people claim that they have never had to pump their septic tank before, although it appears to be ‘functioning normally.’ In fact, the reason for this is that when an increasing amount of settled and floating organic material is added to the septic tank, certain particles begin to escape. When the tank is full and there is no more space for the tank to absorb and hold solids, particles begin to leak through the tank’s walls and into the water. These are particles that have accumulated at the bottom or near the drain pipes for an extended period of time and have grown soft enough to flow with the water.
- Eventually, these particles reorganize themselves to block the soil absorption region, resulting in backflowing toilets and gutters. Alternatively, small solid particles may escape due to the pressure put on the bottom layer of the soil (because of its weight). Your property will initially have a strong scent that passersby and guests will notice
- But, over time as these particles continue to sink into the soil, your property will develop an unpleasant odor that both passersby and guests will notice.
This is why it is critical to get your septic tank pumped on a regular basis.
Can I Shower If My Septic TankIs Full?
If your septic tank is completely full, you CAN take a shower. Slow drainage is the only issue you’re likely to encounter in this situation. The water in your shower, tub, sink(s), and other fixtures will begin to drain much more slowly as your septic tank continues to fill up with waste. Although this is true in certain cases, it is crucial to remember that shower drains do not run to septic systems, but rather straight into sewage lines, because there is no solid waste contained inside them.
However, because this is only liquid water, you will not be causing as much harm to your septic tank as you might otherwise be if the water were to enter it. However, it is not recommended to do so.
Will My Toilet FlushIftheSeptic TankIs Full?
Your toilet should continue to flush regularly until your septic tank is full to 90 percent capacity. After then, you will notice that the toilet begins to behave in an unusual manner. Either the toilet may flush very slowly or the drain will begin to make strange sounds, depending on the situation (such as passing gas or gurgling). It is fairly unusual for the toilet to begin to bubble. The problem can be solved with a band-aid approach, but keep in mind that this is simply a short-term remedy.
Alternatively, some acid can be used to achieve the same results.
If you flush the toilet, you should be able to pump your tank without experiencing any severe difficulties for a number of days.
Signs ThatItIs Timeto PumpaSeptic Tank
It is always possible to use the “cross that bridge when we get there” approach if you are unable to predict how long it will take for septic tanks to fill up completely. In order to do so, you must be aware of the indicators of a clogged septic tank. It is possible to just open the tank and have a look inside (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME). Afterwards, you’ll almost certainly become ill and spend the following several days in bed – or even worse, in the hospital. You have two alternatives if you want to be on the safe side:
- Simply have it pumped after a specified amount of time, such as 2 to 3 years
- And Alternatively, you may open the inspection port on the first chamber (as seen in the image below) once a year and insert a pole into the chamber to test it. Make an effort to locate a pole (or stick) that is long enough to reach the bottom of the tank. It is possible that these poles will be included in the purchase price or not. When withdrawing, keep your face away from the sludge and pull out to observe how deep the muck has gotten into your pores. If the water level has risen to more than 70% of the tank’s total depth, it is necessary to pump it out. When doing so, make sure you’re wearing the appropriate safety equipment.
An illustration of a common septic tank configuration You should have your tank pumped every 2 to 3 years, unless you are a professional plumber who knows what they are doing.
Septic Tank Pumping Process
A pipe that runs through a septic tank to allow it to be emptied. Hire septic tank pumping contractors and delegate the task to them; this is the best course of action for everyone, including do-it-yourselfers. Keep in mind that you are not only responsible for pumping the waste, but also for transporting it to the appropriate facility. The procedure begins by removing the scum layer that has formed on top of all of the sludge. The sludge, on the other hand, is unable to be pushed out properly.
- The chemicals eat away at the sludge, causing it to shrink in bulk.
- The fact that there isn’t enough liquid in the container indicates that you have filled it to the recommended level.
- Mixing is accomplished with the assistance of a pump, or by simply pumping liquid into a container, withdrawing it, and pouring it back into the container.
- The septic system must be pumped through the two access ports seen in the picture above to function properly.
Manholes are exactly what they sound like (not the smaller one that is used for inspection, above the baffle). Once the water has been drained out, it is typical for specialists to inspect the area for damage. At this phase, it is decided whether or not any repairs are required.
HOW TO SAFELY ABANDON AN OLD SEPTIC TANK ON YOUR PROPERTY
If you’ve recently purchased an older house, it’s possible that a septic tank is located on the property. This is true even if your home is currently linked to the municipal water and sewer systems. A prior owner may have abandoned the ancient septic system and connected to the city sewage system when it became accessible at some time in the past. Despite the fact that there are standards in place today for properly leaving a septic tank, it was typical practice years ago to just leave the tanks in place and forget about them.
- The old tank may either be demolished or filled with water to solve the problem.
- It is possible that permits and inspections will be required.
- They are dangerous because curious children may pry open the lid and fall into the container.
- Falls into a septic tank can be lethal owing to the toxicity of the contents and the fact that concrete can collapse on top of you while falling into a tank.
- Eventually, this approach was phased out due to the fact that the steel would corrode and leave the tank susceptible to collapse.
- When it comes to ancient septic tanks, they are similar to little caves with a lid that might collapse at any time.
- The old tank is crushed and buried, or it is removed from the site.
If it is built of steel, it will very certainly be crushed and buried in its current location.
After that, the tank can be completely filled with sand, gravel, or any other form of rubble and buried.
Tanks can either be entirely dismantled or destroyed and buried in their original location.
The abandonment has been documented and plotted on a map.
It’s possible that you’ll forget about the tank once it’s been abandoned.
As a result, you might wish to sketch a map of the area where the old tank used to stand.
If you can demonstrate that an old septic tank was properly decommissioned, you may be able to increase the value of your property, and the new owners will enjoy knowing that large chunks of concrete are buried underground before they start digging in the yard to put something in it.
It may take some detective work to discover about the history of your land and what may be lying beneath the surface of the earth.
Upon discovering an old septic tank on your property that is no longer in service, contact Total Enviro Services for propertank abandonment procedures that meet with local standards and protect your family, pets, and farm animals from harm or death.
What Happens If I Don’t Pump My Septic Tank?
When you fail to maintain your home’s septic tank, the consequences extend beyond the unpleasant odors; depending on the severity of the problem, it can have an influence on the entire neighborhood. It is recommended that you pump your tank on a frequent basis to keep it in good working order. For the following reasons, it is an essential duty.
Purpose Of Your Septic Tank
Taking care of your septic tank extends beyond just avoiding unpleasant odors; depending on the severity of the problem, it may have a negative influence on your entire community. It is recommended that you pump your tank on a frequent basis to ensure that it is operating correctly. Here’s why it’s such a crucial task: 1.
What Pumping Does
When your system reaches capacity, it will need to be pushed out again. This will occur spontaneously as a result of regular usage. Pumping is an element of routine septic system maintenance, just as are inspections and repairs for your system. Pumping has been assigned the task of clearing your system of water waste so that it can create way for more. As a result, your tank’s lifespan is extended, sewage odors are avoided, and other problems that might affect your family and your neighbors are avoided.
When it reaches a publicly owned wastewater treatment plant, it can be processed and the water recycled for use in a variety of additional uses, depending on the treatment facility.
What Happens if You Don’t Pump Your Septic Tank?
Septic tanks are loaded with human waste, and if they are not maintained properly, they may discharge bacteria, phosphorus, and nitrogen into your water system, causing it to become contaminated with these contaminants. A conventional septic tank is typically comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drain field, also known as a soil absorption field. If your system becomes overburdened, it may begin to block the critical components that allow it to function properly. The following are some of the ramifications of failing to pump your tank:
- Contamination of the water supply for your home and adjacent properties Smell of sewage in the yard or in the house Drains in your house are either too sluggish or fail to drain completely
- The water in the home is backed up
- In the vicinity of your tank or in the yard, look for swampy patches.
Signs You Need Your Tank Pumped
Your tank will eventually fill up and need to be emptied because it is unable to pump itself. This is a crucial component of your home’s systems, and it need maintenance in the same way that your HVAC, plumbing, and automobile do. It is recommended that you pump your tank at least once every three years. Keep an eye out for these frequent warning signals to determine whether or not your septic tank requires pumping:
- In your yard, there is standing water
- You have a clogged drain or toilet that refuses to unclog. You notice that your yard smells like raw sewage or garbage, especially in the vicinity of your septic system manholes. Sinks, bathtubs, toilets, and other fixtures that take a long time to drain
- Nitrate levels in your well water are quite high
- The last time your septic system was cleaned and pumped was several years ago
Call The Professionals
Septic tank pumping is a tedious and time-consuming task that the ordinary homeowner is unable to complete on their own. It’s possible that they don’t have the required equipment or information about how to properly dispose of the garbage. This does not imply that you should forego pumping; rather, it indicates that you should contact your local pros to do the task before it becomes an issue.
Turn to NoCo Septic in Boulder for all your residential and business septic requirements if you aren’t sure when you should have your septic system cleaned. If you have any questions, please contact us by phone at (720) 513-5037 or by completing our online contact form.
How Does a Septic Tank Work?
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family You may save a lot of money if you understand how a sewage treatment system works—and what can go wrong—so that you can handle your own septic system maintenance.
How does a septic tank work?
Pumping the tank on a regular basis eliminates sludge and scum, which helps to keep a septic system in good working order. It is possible for a well-designed and well built septic system to last for decades, or it might collapse in a matter of years. It is entirely up to you as long as you can answer the question of how do septic tanks function. Healthy septic systems are very inexpensive to maintain, but digging up and replacing a septic system that has completely collapsed may easily cost tens of thousands in labor and material costs.
It’s critical to understand how a septic tank works in order to maintain one.
Let’s take a look below ground and observe what happens in a properly operating septic system, shall we?
Understand that a septic system is a cafeteria for bacteria
Bacteria are responsible for the proper operation of a septic system. They decompose garbage, resulting in water that is clean enough to safely trickle down into the earth’s surface. The entire system is set up to keep bacteria healthy and busy at all times. Some of them reside in the tank, but the majority of them are found in the drain field. 1. The septic tank is the final destination for all waste. 2. The majority of the tank is filled with watery waste, referred to as “effluent.” Anaerobic bacteria begin to break down the organic matter in the effluent as soon as it enters the system.
- A layer of sludge settles to the bottom of the container.
- Scum is mostly constituted of fats, greases, and oils, among other substances.
- Grease and oils float to the surface of the water.
- (5) A filter stops the majority of particles from reaching the exit pipe.
- The effluent is discharged into the drain field.
- Effluent is allowed to leak into the surrounding gravel because of holes in the drain septic field pipe.
- The garbage is completely decomposed by aerobic bacteria found in gravel and dirt.
- Potable water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer system from the surface.
Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system
Septic systems that have been correctly planned and constructed require just occasional ‘pumping’ to remove the sludge and scum that has built up inside the tank.
However, if you don’t understand how a septic tank works, you may unintentionally hurt or even destroy the system.
- Drains are used to dispose of waste that decomposes slowly (or not at all). Cigarette butts, diapers, and coffee grounds are all known to cause issues. Garbage disposers, if used excessively, can introduce an excessive amount of solid waste into the system. Lint from synthetic fibers pours from washing machines. This substance is not degraded by bacteria in the tank and drain septic field. Bacteria are killed by chemicals found in the home, such as disinfecting cleaners and antibacterial soaps. The majority of systems are capable of withstanding limited use of these products, but the less you use them, the better. When a large amount of wastewater is produced in a short period of time, the tank is flushed out too quickly. Too much sludge inhibits bacteria’s capacity to break down waste. Excess sludge can also overflow into the drain field
- Sludge or scum obstructs the flow of water through a pipe. Roots from trees and bushes can obstruct and ruin a drain field
- Compacted soil and gravel prevent effluent from seeping into the ground and deprive bacteria of oxygen. Most of the time, this is caused by vehicles driving or parking on the drain field.
Get your tank pumped…
Your tank must be emptied on a regular basis by a professional. Pumping eliminates the accumulation of sludge and scum that has accumulated in the tank, which has caused the bacterial action to be slowed. If you have a large tank, it may be necessary to pump it once a year; but, depending on the size of your tank and the quantity of waste you send through the system, you may go two or three years between pumpings. Inquire with your inspector about an approximate guideline for how frequently your tank should be pumped.
…but don’t hire a pumper until you need it
Inspections and pumping should be performed on a regular basis. However, if you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may verify the sludge level yourself with a gadget known as The Sludge Judge. It ranges in price from $100 to $125 and is commonly accessible on the internet. Once you’ve verified that your tank is one-third full with sludge, you should contact a professional to come out and pump it out completely.
Install an effluent filter in your septic system
Garbage from your home accumulates into three distinct strata. The septic filter is responsible for preventing blockage of the drain field pipes.
Septic tank filter close-up
The septic tank filter is responsible for capturing suspended particles that may otherwise block the drain field pipes. Obtain an effluent filter for your tank from your contractor and place it on the outflow pipe of your tank. (It will most likely cost between $50 and $100, plus labor.) This device, which helps to prevent sediments from entering the drain field, will need to be cleaned out on a regular basis by a contractor to maintain its effectiveness.
Solution for a clogged septic system
If your septic system becomes clogged and you find yourself having to clean the filter on a regular basis, you might be tempted to simply remove the filter altogether. Hold on to it. Solids, wastewater, and scum are separated into three levels in septic tanks, which allows them to function properly (see illustration above). Solids sink to the bottom of the container, where microbes breakdown them. The scum, which is made up of trash that is lighter than water, rises to the surface. In the drainage field, the middle layer of effluent leaves the tank and goes through an underground network of perforated pipes to the drainage field.
- Keep the effluent filter in place since it is required by your state’s health law.
- Waste particles might flow through the filter and clog the perforated pipes if the filter is not used.
- Your filter, on the other hand, should not require cleaning every six months.
- A good chance is high that you’re flushing filter-clogging things down the toilet, such as grease, fat, or food scraps.
- A garbage disposal will not be able to break down food particles sufficiently to allow them to flow through the septic tank filtration system.
- Plastic items, disposable diapers, paper towels, nonbiodegradable goods, and tobacco products will clog the system if they are flushed through it.
For additional information on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, contact your local health authority. More information on removing lint from your laundry may be found here.
Get an inspection
Following a comprehensive first check performed by an expert, regular inspections will cost less than $100 each inspection for the next year. Your professional will be able to inform you how often you should get your system inspected as well as how a septic tank functions. As straightforward as a septic system appears, determining its overall condition necessitates the services of a professional. There are a plethora of contractors who would gladly pump the sludge out of your tank, but many, in my experience, are unable to explain how a septic system works or how it should be maintained.
A certification scheme for septic contractors has been established in certain states; check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office to see whether yours is one of them.
Also, a qualified inspector will be able to tell you whether or not your tank is large enough to accommodate your household’s needs, as well as the maximum amount of water that can be passed through it in a single day.
As you learn more about how a septic tank works, your professional should be able to tell you whether or not your system will benefit from this treatment.
Alternatives to a new drain field
If an examination or a sewage backup indicate that your drain field is in need of replacement, the only option is to replace it completely. As a result, it’s important to talk with a contractor about other possibilities before proceeding with the project.
- Pipes should be cleaned. A rotating pressure washer, used by a contractor, may be used to clean out the drain septic field pipes. The cost of “jetting” the pipes is generally around $200. Chemicals should be used to clean the system. A commercial solution (not a home-made one) that enhances the quantity of oxygen in the drain field should be discussed with your contractor before installing your new system. Septic-Scrub is a product that I suggest. A normal treatment will cost between $500 and $1,000. Make the soil more pliable. The practice of “terra-lifting,” which involves pumping high-pressure air into several spots surrounding the drain field, is authorized in some regions. Some contractors use it to shatter compacted dirt around the pipes. Depending on the circumstances, this might cost less than $1,000 or as much as $4,000 or more.
Protect your drain septic field from lint
When this device is in place, it inhibits lint from entering the system, especially synthetic fibers that bacteria are unable to digest. One of these filters, which I’ve designed and termed theSeptic Protector, was invented by me. An additional filter is included in the price of around $150 plus delivery. Learn more about how to filter out laundry lint in this article.
Don’t overload the septic system
Reduce the amount of water you use. The volume of water that flows into your tank, particularly over a short period of time, can be reduced to avoid untreated waste from being flushed into your drain field. Replace outdated toilets with low-flow ones, install low-flow showerheads, and, perhaps most importantly, wash laundry throughout the week rather than just on Saturday mornings to save water.
Meet the Expert
Septic systems, according to Jim vonMeier, are the solution to America’s water deficit because they supply cleaned water to depleted aquifers, according to vonMeier. He travels the country lobbying for septic systems, giving lectures, and giving testimony. For septic system inquiries, as well as information on the operation of the septic tank, contact him by email.
Misconceptions of Septic Systems
|You never have to have the septic tank pumped.As the septic system is used, the solids (sludge) accumulate on the bottom of the septic tank(s). When the sludge level increases, sewage has less time to settle properly before leaving the tank through the outlet pipe and a greater percent of suspended solids escape into the absorption area. If sludge accumulates too long, no settling of the solids will occur, and the solids will be able to directly enter the absorption area. These solids will clog the distribution lines and soil and cause serious and expensive problems for the homeowner. To prevent this, the tank must be pumped out on a regular basis.If you use additives you don’t have to have the tank pumped.The claims made by companies that sell additives are that you never have to pump your tank. What the products do is break up the scum and sludge so that there is a greater percent ofsuspended solidsin the tank that then flow down the over flow pipe with the effluent to your absorption area, causing your system to fail.The absorption area is designed to treat water or effluent, not solids.The septic tank is designed to contain and treat the solids and they should remain in the tank. It is much less costly to pump your tank on a routine basis than ultimately having to replace your absorption area.It takes years between having the tank pumped for the septic tank to fill to its capacity.The average usage for a family of four will fill a septic tank to its working capacity of 1000 – 1500 gallons in approximately one week. When the contents (liquids and solids) in the tank reaches the level of the overflow pipe, the effluent flows down the overflow pipe to the absorption area every time water is used in the house.The tank works at this full level until it is emptied when it is pumped again.When the alarm for the pump sounds it means you need to pump your tank.If you have a system designed with a pump to pump the effluent to the absorption area you also have an alarm for the septic system.The alarm sounds when the water level rises in the pump tank and alerts you that there is a malfunction with your pump, float switches, or other component in the pump tank.It does not mean that it is time for a routine pumping of your tank.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUMP YOUR SEPTIC TANK?
By Admin on November 12, 2020 Your efforts to live as environmentally conscious as possible, as a responsible homeowner, are likely already underway, with practices such as recycling, composting, and purchasing energy-efficient equipment among your list of accomplishments. As a septic tank owner, you want to be sure that anything you put into your tank and septic field is causing the least amount of ground contamination as is reasonably practicable. Fortunately, there are a number of modest improvements you can do immediately to make your septic system even more ecologically friendly than it already is.
- Have your septic tank inspected and pumped on a regular basis.
- A bigger septic tank with only a couple of people living in your house, for example, will not require pumping as frequently as a smaller septic tank or as a septic tank that must manage the waste products of multiple family members will require.
- When in doubt about how often to pump your septic tank, consult with a professional for advice.
- In addition to locating and repairing any damage, a professional can ensure that the septic field is in good working order and that your septic tank is functional, large enough to handle your family’s waste, and not causing any unwanted pollution in nearby ground water.
- Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet or down the toilet.
- Items that are not biodegradable are unable to properly decompose in the septic tank and might cause the system to get clogged.
- In addition to causing issues in your house, septic system backups can damage ground water in the area surrounding your septic field.
Towels made of paper Products for feminine hygiene Grease or fats are used in cooking.
grinds from a cup of coffee Even if you have a trash disposal, the food scraps that you flush down the drain and bring into your septic system may cause unanticipated harm to your plumbing system.
Food scraps can enhance the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the wastewater, which can disturb the natural bacterial balance of the septic tank, among other things.
Water conservation should be practiced.
Exceedingly large amounts of water use will interfere with the normal flow of wastewater from your home into your septic tank.
Limiting the amount of time you spend in the shower and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, as well as purchasing a smaller dishwasher and washing machine that use less water, are all simple strategies to reduce water use in your home.
The following are some basic steps you can take to make your septic system more ecologically friendly: save water, maintain your septic system and tank, and recycle wastewater. To get answers to any of your septic tank-related issues, get in touch with the experts at Upstate Septic Tank, LLC.
3 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SEPTIC TANK BAFFLES
Written by Admin on November 12th, 2020. Your efforts to live as environmentally conscious as possible, as a responsible homeowner, are likely already underway, with practices such as recycling, composting, and purchasing energy-efficient equipment among your priorities. As a septic tank owner, you want to be sure that anything you put into your tank and septic field is causing the least amount of ground contamination as is reasonably feasible. Fortunately, there are a number of minor adjustments you can do immediately to make your septic system even more ecologically friendly, beginning now.
- Make sure your septic tank is inspected and pumped at least once every three years.
- For example, if you have a larger septic tank and only a couple of people living in your house, your septic tank will not require pumping as frequently as a smaller septic tank or a septic tank that must manage the waste products of multiple family members.
- When in doubt about how often to pump your septic tank, consult with a professional for advice.
- This is true regardless of how old or large your tank is.
- Non-biodegradable items should not be flushed down the toilet.
- Objects that are not biodegradable are unable to properly decompose in the septic tank and may cause the system to clog.
- In addition to causing problems in your house, backups have the potential to damage ground water in the vicinity of your septic field.
Products for female hygiene Ghee, lard, or other oils Litter for cats grinds from a coffee maker If you have a trash disposal, the food scraps you dispose of down the drain and into your septic system may cause unanticipated harm to your septic system as well.
Additional to this, the food scraps enhance the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the wastewater, which might disrupt the normal bacteria balance in the septic tank.
It’s more environmentally friendly.
Cutting back on water consumption is one of the most straightforward methods to save money while also protecting the environment and keeping your septic system from being damaged.
Your tank will ultimately fill too rapidly as a result of this, and the layer of waste floating on top of the tank will be pushed into the septic field and, eventually, into the groundwater surrounding your field.
It is possible to make your septic system more ecologically friendly in a variety of ways, ranging from water conservation to regular maintenance of your septic system and tank. To get answers to any of your septic tank-related issues, reach out to the experts at Upstate Septic Tank, LLC.
Septic Tank Pumping
Septic tanks are used in the vast majority of on-lot sewage systems nowadays. The subject of how frequently a septic tank should be pumped has been a source of contention for several decades. For example, there are some homeowners who say they have never drained their septic tank and that it “appears” to be in fine working condition. While trying to establish a standard pumping strategy, authorities have taken a more conservative approach and have declared that all septic tanks should be pump out every two to three years.
How a Septic Tank Works
Box 1.Can you tell me how much solid trash you generate? The average adult consumes around one quart of food every day. The body removes just a very little percentage of this meal and utilizes it to provide energy for the body’s functions. The remaining portion is discharged into the waste water system. This translates into around 90 gallons of solid waste being discharged into the septic tank per adult each year. Based on the assumption that the anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank reduce the waste volume by around 60%, this indicates that each adult contributes approximately 60 gallons of solids to their septic tank each year.
- Consequently, it will take around 5 years for one adult to completely fill a 1,000-gallon septic tank with sludge and scum, which is approximately 300 gallons.
- It is simple to infer that a septic tank should be pumped every two to three years after accounting for adults who work outside the home for a third of the time and children who attend school after making these modifications to the study.
- Single chamber septic tanks were the most common type of septic tank until recently.
- Septic tanks are designed to aid the removal of particles that are heavier than water by encouraging these heavy particles to settle to the tank bottom, resulting in the formation of the sludge layer.
- It is also designed to keep particles that are lighter than water by encouraging these lighter particles to float to the surface and be maintained in the tank, resulting in a layer of scum on the surface of the tank.
In part, this is due to the fact that the temperature of the septic tank is equal to that of the soil surrounding it, and the anaerobic bacteria require higher temperatures in order to effectively decompose organic material in wastewater and thus reduce the biological oxygen demand (BOD) of the wastewater.
- Holding on to the heavy (settleable) and lighter (floatable) particles allows the septic tank to gently fill with solids from the bottom up as well as from the top down.
- Septic tanks with an exit filter will catch and decrease the flow of solids into the absorption area when the tank is properly designed and installed.
- As a result, it is critical that every septic tank be pumped on a regular basis to eliminate the organic particles that have been collected and partially digested.
- Small amounts of the particles kept in the tank degrade, but the vast majority of the solids stay and build up in the tank.
- Under no circumstances should you enter a septic tank.
- With continued usage of the on-lot wastewater disposal system, an accumulation of sludge and scum builds up in the septic tank.
- As the amount of sludge and scum in the tank fills up, wastewater is maintained in the tank for a shorter period of time, and the solids removal process becomes less efficient as a result.
It is necessary to pump the tank on a regular basis in order to avoid this. Asseptage is the term used to describe the substance injected. Cross-sectional view of a two-chamber septic tank (Figure 1).
|Number of bedrooms in the home
|Estimated daily flow (gallons/day)
|Minimum septic tank size (gallons)
How Frequent should a Septic Tank be Pumped?
Pumping frequency is determined by a number of parameters, including:
- The capacity of the septic tank
- The amount of wastewater that is put to the septic tank each day (see Table 1)
- The amount of solids in a wastewater stream is measured. In this regard, it should be noted that there are various different types of particles that are regularly dumped into a septic system. This group of solids includes (1) biodegradable “organic” solids such as feces (see Box 1), (2) slowly biodegradable “organic” solids such as toilet paper and cellulosic compounds, which take a long time to biodegrade in the septic tank, and (3) non-biodegradable solids such as kitty litter, plastics, and other non-biodegradable materials, which do not biodegrade and quickly fill the septic tank It is possible to significantly reduce the quantity of slowly biodegradable organics and non-biodegradable trash that is introduced to your septic tank by reducing the amount of organic waste that is added to the tank.
Another factor that influences how soon a septic tank will fill with solids is one’s way of living. In terms of septic tank function, the two most essential aspects of one’s lifestyle are as follows: Homes with expanding families, having children ranging in age from tiny children to adolescents, often consume more water and deposit more sediments into the septic tank than other types of households. Empty nesters, and especially the elderly, on the other hand, have a tendency to consume significantly less water and to deposit significantly less solid waste in septic tanks.
- The particles in a septic tank tend to be taken away from the tank to the soil absorption region, as previously indicated.
- As additional materials collect in the absorption region, these sediments begin to choke the soil, preventing wastewater from being able to fully absorb.
- In most cases, the removal of these biomats is both expensive and time-consuming.
- Pumping the wastewater that has accumulated in the soil absorption area is required for the removal of the biomat.
- The biomat normally decomposes within a few days after the absorption area has been completely dewatered and has been aerated.
Is It Time To Pump Your Septic Tank?
So, how does one go about determining how frequently a septic tank needs be cleaned? We are aware that residences who dispose of huge volumes of non-biodegradable and slowly biodegradable organic waste into their septic tank require more frequent pumping. It is also known that prior to the time at which the collected solids have accumulated to the point that they are being taken with the tank effluent to the absorption region, the septic tank should be pump out. When it comes to determining when (and how frequently) to pump your septic tank, there are two generally safe ways to use.
The alternative method is to open the access port to the first chamber (as shown in Figure 1) once a year and insert a long pole to the bottom of the tank and then pull it out of the tank.
If the sludge has accumulated to more than one-third of the tank’s total depth, it is time to have it drained out completely. The majority of households will benefit from having their tanks drained every two or three years instead.
The Pumping Process
Contractors who specialize in septic tank pumping and hauling may pump your septic tank. It is a good idea to be present to check that everything is completed correctly. For the material to be extracted from the tank, it is necessary to break up the scum layer, and the sludge layer must be combined with the liquid section of the tank. In most cases, this is accomplished by alternately pumping liquid out of the tank and re-injecting it into the bottom of the tank. Not the little intake or outlet inspection openings situated above each baffle, but the two huge central access ports (manholes) are required for pumping the septic tank.
- It is not suggested to use additives in septic tanks to minimize the volume of sludge or as a substitute for pumping in order to achieve these goals.
- When you have your septic tank pumped, you should consider taking an additional step to ensure that your septic system continues to perform correctly for a long time.
- This inspector can tell you whether or not your septic tank needs to be repaired, as well as whether or not other components of your sewage system require upkeep.
- Mark the position of the tank as well, so that it may be found simply in the future for pumping.
Schedule Septic Tank Pumping
Homeowners should develop the practice of getting their septic tanks drained on a regular basis. As long as you are able and willing to schedule regular septic tank pumping (every two or three years, for example), it may be feasible to improve the overall performance of your complete on-lot wastewater disposal system. According to research conducted at Penn State, your soil absorption system will benefit from frequent resting periods (a period during which no wastewater is added to the absorption area).
In other words, the whole system, particularly the soil absorption region, will have the opportunity to dry up, and any organic waste (biomat) that may have formed in the soil absorption area will degrade swiftly in the absence of water.
A septic tank is simply one component of a complete on-site wastewater treatment system. Its purpose is to remove solids from the effluent prior to it reaching the soil absorption region, to allow for the digestion of a part of those solids, and to store the remainder of the solids in a holding tank. It is not necessary to use biological or chemical additions to enhance or speed the breakdown process.
Grinders contribute to the solids load on the system by reducing the size of garbage. Solids must be removed on a regular basis in order to prevent them from accessing the soil absorption zone. Every two to three years, you should have your septic tank drained and examined by a professional.
For additional assistance contact
Your local Sewage Enforcement Officer or Extension Educator can help you with these issues. A contact for the Pennsylvania Association of Sewage Enforcement Officers (PASEO) is as follows:4902 Carlisle Pike,268Mechanicsburg, PA 17050 Phone: 717-761-8648 Email: [email protected] Philadelphia, PA 18016 717-763-7762 [email protected] Pennsylvania Septage Management Association (PSMA)P.O. Box 144 Bethlehem, PA 18016 717-763-7762