A full septic tank doesn’t allow enough room for incoming wastewater, and it can cause slow-flushing toilets or slow-draining sinks and bathtubs. This can lead to leaks in the leach fields, which causes wastewater to build up on your yard. If your septic tank is full, have it pumped as soon as possible.A full septic tank doesn’t allow enough room for incoming wastewater, and it can cause slow-
Flush toilet – Wikipedia
or slow-draining sinks and bathtubs. This can lead to leaks in the
Septic drain field – Wikipedia, which causes wastewater to build up on your yard. If your septic tank is full, have it pumped as soon as possible.
- Excessive or wasteful water usage forces your septic tank to hold more water than it is built for. Excess water impedes the solid wastes from breaking down before the increased water level in the tank forces them to pass out of the tank and into the distribution lines that are built to handle liquids, effectively blocking the lines or pipes.
Why is there standing water over my septic tank?
Standing water around the septic tank area or drain field can be caused by excessive rain, improper drainage or overtaxed, clogged or broken elements in the system. In some cases, however, standing water may be caused by a broken or blocked distribution box that is preventing the flow of water to the drain field area.
Will a flooded septic tank fix itself?
Most septic tanks are not damaged by flooding since they are below ground and completely covered. However, septic tanks and pump chambers can fill with silt and debris, and must be professionally cleaned. If the soil absorption field is clogged with silt, a new system may have to be installed.
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.
How do you fix a septic tank that backs up when it rains?
After a major rain event, the only way to relieve pressure on the system is by using it less. If possible, reduce or eliminate water going down the drains until the drainfield dries out. An emergency septic service cleaning can provide temporary relief, but this is often a futile exercise in battling mother nature.
How long does it take for a flooded septic tank to drain?
In a conventional system, the septic tank holds wastewater for 2-3 days as the anaerobic bacteria treat it.
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.
How do I lower the water in my septic tank?
You can reduce the amount of water pumped into your septic tank by reducing the amount you and your family use. Water conservation practices include repairing leaky faucets, toilets and pipes, installing low cost, low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, and only running the washing machine and dishwasher when full.
How do you tell if your septic is backed up?
Septic Tank Back Up: Top 5 Warning Signs
- Drain Clogs. Clogged drains are a common indicator of septic problems, as well as being one of the most common problems homeowners face.
- Sewage Backup.
- Standing Ground Water Near Septic Tank.
- Bad Odors.
- Patch of Overly Green Grass.
How do you tell if 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 test a septic drain field?
In order to test the overall health and liquid capacity for your leach field, it is necessary to perform a hydraulic load test. This is done by running water at a certain rate over an allotted period of time. A failure occurs when water back-drains to the source before that allotted time period is up.
Why is my septic drain field wet?
Debris Buildup & Clogs These blockages could be caused by invasive tree roots or dumping grease, oils, or other non-biodegradable materials down household drains. These may be the factor due to the bacteria’s inability to break them down in the septic tank.
Are septic tanks always full of water?
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 long does it take for a drain field to dry out?
Except for mound systems, most drainfields are 2 to 4 feet below the ground surface. The groundwater will take time to recede to the level of the bottom of the drainfield. This could happen within a week or two or require a couple of months.
HOW EXCESSIVE WATER AFFECTS YOUR SEPTIC TANK AND WHAT TO DO
Because it drains into your main sewage line, your clothes washing machine is responsible for dumping numerous gallons of water into your septic system every time it is used. Wash your clothing at the laundry until the water table begins to fall below normal levels. In the event that you must use the washing machine, wash only modest loads and allow a few hours between each load of laundry. Prepare Your Septic System for Use After It Has Been Pumped 4. Making improvements to your house drainage system once your septic tank has been pumped and your home drainage system is in proper operating condition will help to minimize flooding issues in the future.
Septic crises need the use of a backflow preventer in order to keep waste water out of the house.
There is an area of your land where you would like the water diverted.
We are the most dependable septic system repair company in Southeastern Wisconsin.
Why Your Septic Tank Looks Full After Pumping – Septic Maxx
If your clothes washing machine drains into your main sewage line, it can pour hundreds of gallons of water into your septic system. Use the laundry until the water table begins to fall. If you absolutely must use the washing machine, wash only modest loads and wait a few hours between each load. 4. Make modifications to your septic system to make it more effective. After your septic tank has been emptied and your house drainage system has been restored to working order, you should make certain modifications to your system to minimize future flooding problems.
During a septic emergency, the backflow preventer protects waste water from entering your house.
Also, be certain that the storm drainage from your yard does not enter your septic field or tank area.
If your septic system is inundated, call Eckmayer Inc right once.
Water is Necessary
Pumping a septic tank removes the solid waste or sludge from the tank’s bottom, allowing it to function properly. Excessive sludge in a septic tank can find its way through the outlet and into the drain field pipes, causing severe flooding in the surrounding area. Not everyone is aware that there is a specified operating level for all septic tanks, which may be found here. 8 to 12 inches from the top of the septic tank’s lid should indicate that the tank is “full.” This might vary based on the size and kind of septic tank used.
When the water level in your tank exceeds the capacity of the pipe, your tank is considered to be overfilled.
It is possible that the high water level is the consequence of a faulty system. You should get your septic system examined and water usage should be restricted until an expert can determine the source of the problem.
What Can Cause Your Septic Tank to Overfill
There might be a variety of factors contributing to your septic tank being overfilled. The presence of an overfilled septic tank is frequently a symptom that your drain field is not operating properly. The drain field is the final fixture in the septic system, and it is responsible for returning treated wastewater to the surrounding soil. When your drain field floods, the water flow becomes obstructed, causing the water level in your septic tank to increase significantly. Plumbing problems and excessive water use are two more prevalent problems.
Excessive water use might cause the septic tank to fill with more contents than it is capable of handling, resulting in a high water level.
Septic Maxx provides high-quality solutions that effectively tackle the problems that afflict septic tanks.
Get in touch with us to talk with a septic specialist right now.
How To Fix A Leaking Septic Tank
If you have an overfilled septic tank, there might be a variety of causes behind it. An overfilled septic tank is frequently a symptom of a problem with your drain field. The drain field is the final fixture in the septic system, and it is responsible for releasing cleaned wastewater back into the ground. Drain field flooding causes the water flow to get obstructed, resulting in an increase in the volume of water in your septic tank. Plumbing problems and excessive water use are two more concerns that arise frequently in the home environment.
Excessive water use can cause the septic tank to fill with more contents than it is capable of handling, resulting in a high level of water in the tank itself.
In order to tackle the challenges that affect septic tanks, Septic Maxx offers powerful solutions.
To talk with a septic specialist, please contact us right now.
How Does a Septic System Work?
Despite the fact that there are many various septic system designs, their essential function is the same. They are all intended to transform home waste water (blackwater and graywater) into a less polluted effluent that can be blended with groundwater in a manner that has no detrimental influence on the environment or human well-being.
Septic systems can be either passive or active, but passive septic systems account for the great majority of residential sewage systems. Generally speaking, passive systems are composed of three fundamental components:
- This line transports wastewater from the house to the septic tank
- It is also known as the inlet pipe. Septic tank: This container is used for the biological degradation of organic solid waste. The absorption component is commonly represented by a gravity drain field.
As a result of flushing your toilet, wastewater is channeled via an input pipe and into an underground septic tank. A proportional quantity of effluent is displaced in the tank when wastewater is introduced and exits to the drain field when wastewater is removed. Finally, the effluent is absorbed by the earth. In the septic tank, there are numerous anaerobic bacteria that feed on the solid organic material present in the effluent. The quantity of bacteria in the tank is dependent on the amount of organic material in the tank; thus, when the amount of organic material in the tank is low, the number of bacteria falls, and when the amount of water used is large, the quantity of bacteria grows.
- If this function is not there, the tank might quickly get depleted while the house is vacant, such as when a family is on vacation and no water is being utilized.
- In the wastewater industry, this period is referred to as “holding time,” and it may be described as the amount of time that passes between the time that wastewater enters the tank and the time that it flows out.
- Bacteria in the wastewater break down solid organic material contained in the wastewater during this time period, lowering the strength of the substance by around 40%.
- This, in turn, defines the length of the holding period and the amount of processing that takes place in the tank.
- The anaerobic bacteria in the drain field continue to cleanse the effluent, eliminating the majority of the organic material that remains before the effluent is absorbed into the groundwater.
Signs of Septic Tank Problems
Sewer backups and other sorts of damage to septic tanks can occur, and these problems are frequently accompanied by warning indications such as strange odors, unusually lush flora, and overflowing toilet bowls. Both new and old systems can experience problems, and a system failure can occur suddenly if a new family moves into the house, as their cooking, laundry, and showering habits are often different from those of the previous residents. A new family’s cooking, laundry, and showering habits are often different from those of the previous residents.
1. Foul Odor
Sewer backups and other sorts of damage to septic tanks can occur, and these problems are sometimes preceded by warning indications such as strange odors, unusually lush flora, and overflowing toilet bowls. Both new and old systems can experience problems, and a system failure can occur suddenly if a new family moves into the house, as their cooking, laundry, and showering habits are often different from those of the previous residents.
A new family’s cooking, laundry, and showering habits can cause a system failure to occur suddenly. The following are some of the most typical warning signals of a failing sewage system:
2. Lush Vegetation
Lush vegetation can also be a warning indication that a septic tank is failing to function properly. Alternatively, it might indicate that the system is overflowing, or that a neighboring pipe has been broken or become loose in some way. If your drain field or filters become blocked, this may result in a damp area forming in the area surrounding the drain field or the tank, which will in turn encourage the growth of further plants.
3. Soggy Yard
You should be aware of wet ground surrounding your tank, which might indicate that septic tank water is seeping out of the ground. To begin with, make sure to rule out your sprinkler system, as this can also cause portions of your yard to get damp.
4. StandingWater Around Septic Tank
When soil is subjected to moist circumstances for an extended length of time, it is likely to compact. If you have a leak in your tank, the water that leaks might cause the soil in the surrounding area to settle and decrease as a result. In particular, if the area surrounding your septic tank contains loose backfill that was poured there after the septic tank was installed in the hole, this is a possibility. When earth settles and lowers down, it creates a collection point for water from rainfall and sprinklers to gather.
In addition, the sewage line that leads to the septic tank might be causing issues.
5. Toilets or Sinks Are Backing up or Slow to Drain
If these incidents occur frequently, they may serve as a signal that the tank has been damaged. The roots of trees can sometimes obstruct and cause harm to the region where wastewater comes out of the tank. In other cases, this is caused by a collapsed baffle, which can also result in clogs and the failure of the drain field. Tanks and sewer systems may potentially become backed up as a result of this. It is also possible that the tank will back up due to an excess of scum and debris in the tank.
If the scum and sludge together account for more than a third of the tank’s total capacity, the tank may fail and will most likely need to be emptied out of the system.
6. Alarm Sounds
If you have a more recent septic system, it is likely that it has a built-in alarm that will notify you if there is a problem. These alarms make a beeping sound or flash a red light when activated, and they may be installed either inside or outside of your home as needed.
Why Is My Septic Tank Leaking?
The alarm on your modern septic system will most likely sound when there is a problem, so keep an eye on it. A blaring noise or a flashing red light indicates the presence of an alarm, and they may be installed either inside or outside your home.
1. Insufficient Maintenance
As wastewater passes through the tank, nonbiodegradable elements, as well as some solid debris, drop to the bottom of the tank almost instantly, according to the manufacturer. The level of muck increases with time. It is advised that septic tanks be drained every three to five years in order to avoid an overflow situation. Of course, the frequency with which the tank is pumped is determined by the size of the tank as well as the amount of wastewater it holds.
If there are four persons in a home with a 1,000-gallon storage tank, the tank should be pumped every two and a half years. The average four-person home will only need to pump out their 1,500-gallon tank once every four years or so, if they have a tank that holds that much water.
2. Cleaning Products Are Killing the Useful Bacteria
Septic tank bacteria, as previously indicated in this article, aid in the breakdown of wastewater before it is discharged into a drainage field or pond. If the numbers of bacteria in the tank are insufficient, the solids will not be broken down and will begin to collect at a faster pace than usual, resulting in a clogged tank. This may result in the tank overflowing or the blockage of drainage lines or trenches in the surrounding area. Bacterial levels in wastewater can be reduced as a result of the presence of cleaning chemicals in the wastewater.
To ensure that cleaning agents such as bleach, toilet cleansers, and disinfectants do not enter the waste pipe system, it is essential that they are kept out of the system entirely.
3. Damaged Pipes Between Tank and Drainage Field
Upon leaving the septic tank, effluent that has been broken down is sent via a series of pipelines and into a drainage field. If the pipes in this region are broken, it is possible that an overflow will occur as well. Tree roots have been known to grow through pipes, causing the walls of the pipes to collapse and preventing appropriate drainage from occurring. Overflow can also occur as a result of blocked drains.
4. Poorly Designed System
Overflow might occur from a system that has been constructed incorrectly on occasion. Drainage pipes normally require a slope of 1 to 2 percent in order for the wastewater to drain adequately through them. Water will not flow as efficiently through pipes with a shallow slope, and the pipe will need to be rebuilt if it is too shallow.
Solutions for a Leaking Septic Tank
In the event that you discover a leak, how do you deal with the situation effectively? Here are some of our best recommendations:
1. Do Not Pump Water Out
Start with something you certainly should not do: pumping water from your tank onto your yard is not a good idea. This creates a serious health threat since children and dogs may be able to walk through it, and it has the potential to make its way into a nearby stream. This, in turn, might result in the spread of waterborne sickness, which can be extremely fatal and spread quickly from person to person.
2. Determine the Exact Location of Your System
Whenever a tank is flooded, water can enter through any entrance, including the intake and exit pipes, the manhole cover, and the tank lid. This may then result in groundwater filling the tank, which may take dirt and silt with it as a byproduct. As a result, any floating trash that has already accumulated inside the tank, such as scum, will rise to the surface and may clog the tank’s inlet and outflow pipes. It is possible that water from the drain field will find its way into the tank. You should determine the precise location of the tank and drain field on your property before beginning any work.
Your septic system may have been installed by them and they may have files providing information about it.
Learn how deep your drain field and tank are by measuring their heights above ground. By driving a pointed metal rod into the ground at the top of the tank, you can determine the depth down to the bottom of the tank. The majority of tanks are just two to three feet below the surface of the water.
3. Inspect for Damage
Inspect the area around the septic tank and drain field for any signs of damage or malfunction. Things like holes in the soil and dirt sinking are examples of common signs. If you see any symptoms of damage, you should contact a qualified specialist to come and evaluate your system for you immediately. While the earth is saturated, it is best not to operate heavy gear near the drain field or storage tank.
4. Measure the Depth of the Groundwater
Observe for signs of damage in the area surrounding the septic tank and drain field. Things like holes in the earth and dirt sinking are common symptoms of a leaking foundation. If you see any symptoms of damage, you should contact a licensed specialist to come and evaluate your system immediately. While the earth is saturated, it is best not to operate heavy machinery near the drain field or tank.
5. If You Have a Mound System, Turn off the Power
A lift station is commonly seen in above-ground septic tanks that include a mound for entering wastewater and a drain field. If your electrical control box is submerged in water, you must make absolutely certain that the power has been switched off before you touch it. After that, remove the lid and allow it to air dry. To be safe, a qualified electrician should inspect the components of the control box before they are turned on and turned off again. If your pumping chamber and septic tank are separate, make sure you get both of them drained out at the same time to avoid any complications.
You should, however, continue to monitor the water table depth surrounding the mound on a frequent basis.
6. Reduce Water Use
As soon as the septic system is operational again, it is beneficial for the home to limit their water use. Check to see that there are no leaky sinks or showers, and that there are no running toilets. Even if a faucet drips only one drop every 15 seconds, the cumulative effect over time might result in a significant amount of water being accumulated in the septic tank. In the event that any fixtures leak, get them fixed as quickly as possible. The water from your basement sump pump should not be discharged into your septic tank for safety reasons.
In addition, rainwater from roof gutters should be diverted away from the drainage field.
When attempting to reduce your water consumption, utilize common sense.
The drain field was only intended to manage the quantity of water that would ordinarily be discharged from your home’s plumbing system. If the water table in the area surrounding the drain field is high, the drain field’s capacity to manage the water from your home is severely restricted.
7. If You Continue to Experience Problems, Hire a Licensed Professional
If you’re still experiencing plumbing problems after the water table has returned to normal levels, it’s possible that the septic tank or drain field has been compromised. It is possible for groundwater to set or move when the level of the water is high, which can have an impact on the septic tank as well as the drain field’s distribution system. The inlets and outputs of the septic tank may potentially become clogged as a result of this. If any of these things occur, call a septic system installation or a qualified septic tank pumper for assistance.
Contact Us for Your Septic Needs
However, one thing this essay did not teach you was how to repair a leaky septic tank. This is due to the fact that it is preferable to leave this tough and perhaps risky work in the hands of trained experts. You can count on Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse to provide you with septic system repair services if you are a homeowner or a business owner in need of septic services in or around the greater Syracuse, New York, region. The best of both worlds is what you get when you work with Mr.
- In Onondaga County, our plumbers are trained and licensed in the detection of leaks and the completion of all plumbing-related jobs.
- With a diverse spectrum of plumbing difficulties ranging from minor drain troubles to emergency pipe repairs, they have dealt with them all before.
- We also provide new septic system installation.
- If you need to schedule an appointment on our website, or if you are in need of emergency repairs, you may reach us at any time by dialing(315) 472-1203.
Four Common Reasons Why Septic Tanks Fail
The septic tank in your home is the most crucial portion of your plumbing system if your home is not linked to city sewers. Septic tanks are responsible for the proper treatment of all of the wastewater that you generate at your home. Your septic system becomes ineffective when it is unable to properly dispose of all of the wastewater generated in your house. That implies it will return to you untreated and in a dangerous state. Septic tank failure is a very significant (and frequently extremely expensive) problem that affects thousands of people every year.
Fortunately, if you take care to prevent the following issues, you won’t have to worry about it!
Lack of Maintenance
In order for your septic system to function, all of the wastewater you generate must be sent into the septic tank. Heavy pollutants separate from the water and sink to the bottom of the tank, where they are known as sludge. Light contaminants, such as oil and grease, float to the surface of wastewater and form scum on the surface. It is only after the sludge and scum have been separated that the water is discharged into the drainfield by the septic tank. The scum and sludge remain contained within the tank, preventing them from contaminating groundwater.
Pumping out your septic tank at least once every three years is necessary to eliminate built-up sludge and scum from the system.
Eventually, they will take up too much space and may even begin to flow into the soil along with the processed water, causing flooding. When this occurs, it will not be long before the tank’s ability to function is completely lost.
Excessive Water Use
In order for your septic system to function, all of the wastewater you generate must be sent to the septic tank. Sludge forms on the bottom of the tank when heavy impurities separate from the water and settle there. The scum formed on the surface of the wastewater is caused by light contaminants such as oil and grease floating to the surface. It is only when the sludge and scum have been separated that the water is discharged into the drainfield. Scum and sludge remain contained within the tank, preventing them from polluting groundwater.
A septic tank pumping should be performed at least once every three years in order to eliminate built-up sludge and scum from the system.
When they take up too much space or begin to sink into the soil, they will eventually become an eyesore and will be removed.
A number of factors can cause substantial harm to a septic system. Four major components make up a septic system: the pipe that connects your home to the tank, the tank itself, the drainfield, and the soil surrounding the tank. If something happens to any of these four components, the septic system may become inoperable. The septic system is affected in a variety of ways by different types of damage. Most of the time, a small amount of harm that appears to be trivial eventually develops into something more serious.
On rare occasions, tree roots will penetrate the septic system and cause it to malfunction.
In addition to blocking drain lines, roots may cause damage to the pipe and tank as well as clog them.
You should try to prevent straining the drainfield surrounding your septic system if at all feasible.
Even if your tank is the correct size, it will not function effectively if it has not been properly fitted. To be effective, septic systems must be placed at an exact depth in a certain kind of soil. To be honest, your drainfield’s soil composition is one of the most significant components of the overall system. It is in charge of absorbing, processing, and finally distributing wastewater in an environmentally friendly manner. If the soil in your drainfield is not suitable for septic usage, it will be unable to perform its function correctly.
The result will be that sewage will reach groundwater while it is still tainted.
The same care must be used with the installation of every other component of the system.
You should hire a professional to inspect your septic system if you are concerned that it was not installed properly.
Our technicians can evaluate your system, detect any issues that may arise, and then resolve them as fast and effectively as possible. Whatever your septic tank issue is, simply call The Pink Plumber and we’ll come up with a solution for you.
Septic System Basics
When a household isn’t connected to a public sewage system, it normally relies on septic systems to treat and dispose of wastewater. Sewage treatment systems require a substantial financial commitment. The correct maintenance and upkeep of a well-designed, installed, and maintained system will provide years of dependable and low-cost service. The failure of a system can become a source of pollution and public health concern, resulting in property damage, ground and surfacewater pollution (such as contamination of well water used by you and your neighbors), and the spread of disease.
Aside from that, if you are planning to sell your property, your septic system has to be in good functioning order.
Septic systems are available in a variety of configurations to accommodate a wide range of soil and site conditions.
A conventional septic tank system is composed of three major components:
- This is known as the Septic Tank. In order to remove particles from wastewater, store and partially decompose as much solid material as possible, while allowing the liquid (or effluent) to flow to the drainfield, a septic tank must be installed. more
- The Drainage System After the particles have settled in the septic tank, the liquid wastewater (also known as effluent) is released to the drainfield, which is also known as an absorption or leach field, or both. more
- The Soil is a very important factor. The soil under the drainfield is responsible for the ultimate treatment and disposal of the septic tank effluent once it has been treated. Following the passage of wastewater into the soil, organisms in the soil remediate the effluent before it percolates downward and outward, eventually entering ground or surface water sources. A drainfield’s efficacy is also affected by the kind of soil
- For example, clay soils may be too tight to allow much wastewater to run through, while gravelly soil may be too coarse to give much treatment.
- Septic System Inspection Done at Home In order to aid you in examining your system, a VideoField Guide and Checklist may be available at the bottom of the homepage.
Homeowners and residents have a significant impact on the functioning of their septic systems. Overloading the system with more water than it is capable of handling might result in system failure. A septic system can also be damaged by the improper disposal of chemicals or excess organic waste, such as that produced by a trash disposal. The following maintenance suggestions might assist you in ensuring that your system provides long-term, effective treatment of domestic waste.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
The most critical step in keeping your septic tank in good working order is to eliminate sludge and scum build-up before it may flow into the drainfield. The frequency with which your tank has to be pumped is determined by the size of the tank, the number of people in your family, the quantity of water utilized, and the amount of solids (from humans, garbage disposal, and any other waste) that enter the tank’s drainage system. Tanks should be pumped out on average every 3 to 5 years, depending on usage.
- Septic Inspection and Pumping Guide
- Inspecting Your Septic Tank
- Septic Inspection and Pumping Guide
Use Water Efficiently
System failure is frequently caused by an excessive amount of water. The soil beneath the septic system must be able to absorb all of the water that is used in the residence. Too much water from the washing machine, dishwasher, toilets, bathtubs, and showers may not provide enough time for sludge and scum to separate properly in the drain. The less water that is consumed, the less water that enters the septic system, reducing the likelihood of system failure. For further information on water conservation, visit:
- System failure is frequently attributed to an excess of water. A septic system’s soil bed must be capable of absorbing all of the water consumed by the residence. Sludge and scum may not separate properly if there is too much water coming from the laundry, dishwasher, toilet, bath, or shower. In other words, the less water that is utilized, the less water that enters the septic system, reducing the likelihood of system failure. Here’s where you can learn about water conservation:
Minimize Solid Waste Disposal
What you flush down the toilet can have a significant influence on the performance of your septic system.
Many things do not breakdown properly, and as a result, they accumulate in your septic tank. If you have the option of disposing of it in another manner, do so rather than introducing it into your system.
Keep Chemicals Out of Your System
Protect your septic system against home chemicals such as caustic drain openers, paint and pesticides. Also avoid flushing down the toilet with chemicals such as brake fluid, gasoline, and motor oil. The improper dumping of dangerous substances down the drain is damaging to the environment, as well as the bacteria that are necessary for the breakdown of wastes in a septic system, and should be avoided.
Septic System Additives
It is not essential to add a stimulant or an enhancer to a septic tank in order to assist it in functioning or “to restore bacterial equilibrium.” The naturally occurring bacteria required for the proper operation of the septic system are already present in human excrement. Septic systems, like automobiles, are designed to offer long-term, effective treatment of residential waste if they are properly run and maintained on a regular basis. The majority of systems that fail prematurely, on the other hand, are the result of poor maintenance.
In the event that your septic system fails, call Thurston County Environmental Health at 360-867-2673 for assistance.
- Odors, surface sewage, moist areas, or a dense growth of plants in the drainfield region are all possible problems. Backups from the plumbing or septic tank (which are often a dark liquid with a foul odor)
- Fixtures that take a long time to drain
- The plumbing system is making gurgling sounds. Your drainfield may be failing if you have a well and tests reveal the presence of coliform (bacteria) or nitrates in the water from it. Even in the midst of a drought, the drainfield is covered with lush green grass.
How Often Should A Septic Tank Be Pumped
In the United States, more than one in every five houses – generally in rural regions – relies on an individual onsite system or small community cluster system to treat wastewater, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With the average cost of a new septic system ranging between $3,000 and $7,000, periodic septic system maintenance not only saves homeowners money, but it may also assist to ensure that their homes are safe and healthy.
Septic System Basics
A septic system is comprised of two major components: a septic tank and a drain field. The septic tank is the primary component of the system.
- Tanks are water-tight containers that are placed underground and used to store sediments and scum that have collected from your wastewater
- They are made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. In a drain field, pollutants are removed from the liquid as it is absorbed into the ground by a layer of soil.
Because it is expensive to replace a septic system, it is critical to keep it in good working order. The more proactive you are in keeping your system in good working order, the longer it will endure. Septic tanks, on the other hand, may survive for up to 30 years or more. The primary objectives of a septic tank maintenance program are to avoid the buildup of sediments in the tank as well as any pollution of groundwater. The good news is that septic system maintenance is not difficult, and can be accomplished with only a few simple tasks.
Septic Tank Cleaning
Drain pipes that connect the tank to the drain field will gradually fill with solids and other debris and become clogged with debris over time. In order to eliminate and clear any debris that could prevent your system from operating efficiently, the majority of professionals recommend high-pressure water jetting every five years.
Using Your Septic System Wisely
Following the exit of wastewater from your septic tank, it is directed towards the drain field of your septic system. If the drain field becomes flooded, either from within your system or from outside sources, it might flood, resulting in a backup of the system. As a result of this:
- Planting gardens and trees too close to your drain field should be avoided. Never park, drive, or otherwise operate your vehicle over it. Remove it from the vicinity by diverting roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems.
The average single-family house uses roughly 70 gallons of water per person, each day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water every day. Furthermore, the less water that enters your septic system, the better off you are.
- If you reside in a house with a septic system, you may increase its performance by doing the following: replacing existing toilets with high-efficiency models
- Replacing existing toilets with high-efficiency models Using aerators on faucets, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restrictors to save water. repairing dripping faucets and overflowing toilets Maintaining a safe distance between rainwater drainage systems and your drain field
Another important source of worry is the use of washing machines. The right load size for your washing machine should be chosen carefully. If you are unable to pick the load size, only full loads should be used. Additionally, distribute laundry responsibilities throughout the week. Clothes washers that have earned the ENERGY STAR designation consume 35 percent less energy and use 50 percent less water than regular units. For hot tubs, ensure sure the water has cooled before draining it to avoid any unpleasant surprises later.
Everything that goes down your drains – whether you flush, pour, or grind it (like in a garbage disposal) – ends up in your septic system. There’s no getting around this basic fact: And the health of your septic system is affected as a result. Toilets are a particular source of temptation for far too many of us. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the only items that should be flushed down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper. There will be no cooking oil, flushable wipes, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, dental floss, diapers, cigarette butts, medications, coffee grounds, paper towels, or cat litter among other items, to mention a few of the most popular.
Also, while dealing with a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers.
Even garbage disposals are a source of contention.
Septic System Maintenance
We recommend that you get your septic system inspected by a service specialist once a year to ensure that it is operating effectively. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, septic systems in homes should be flushed every three to five years. 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. Keep complete records of every maintenance performed, including reports on prospective or present leaks, scum levels, and any potential harm to the system.
When you get your system serviced, it’s also crucial to have the service provider clean or replace your filter.
In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.
Despite the fact that Casteel can handle most common domestic plumbing issues, it does not provide septic tank service.
Our company does, however, provide sump pump repair services, which are occasionally mistaken for septic systems. Contact the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association if you need help locating service specialists in your region (NOWRA).
Septic Tank Treatment
You should utilize living, organic bacteria to break down artificial compounds and sediments that can enter your septic system, such as detergents and soaps. These common home compounds have the potential to harm naturally existing microorganisms that are essential to the correct functioning of your system. Additives that inhibit the growth of bacteria assist to maintain your pipes clean and clear, as well as allowing your system to work correctly and without smells.
Live, organic bacteria should be used to break down artificial compounds and solids, such as detergents and soaps, that can enter your septic system. Naturally occurring microorganisms that aid in the healthy functioning of your system may be killed by these common home items. Additives that inhibit the growth of bacteria assist to keep your pipes clean and clear while also allowing your system to operate correctly and without smells.
How Often Should A Septic Tank Be Pumped?
The result is that septic tanks are normally drained every three to five years for the majority of homeowners. The size of the household, the total volume of wastewater created, the amount of particles present, and the size of the tank are the primary parameters that influence the frequency of pumping. If the top of the scum layer is within 12 inches of your tank’s T-shaped exit, the EPA recommends that you get it pumped. This is because sludge and scum are prevented from leaving the tank. Systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components must be examined more frequently, generally once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order.
Establish a routine to avoid solids from collecting in your system later on.
In certain cases, the presence of bad odors in your septic system indicates that your system is blocked with particles and is therefore more likely to fail. In the event that you fail to properly maintain your septic system and facilities, sewage may back up into your home. If this occurs, avoid coming into touch with the sewage, which may include diseases and bacteria that are dangerous to your health. You’ll want to bring in a professional cleanup crew and report the breakdown of your septic system to your local health agency.
Most importantly, seek the services of specialists.
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.
Having the sewage tank emptied should become an annual ritual for homeowners. If you are able and willing to have your septic tank pumped on a regular basis (every two or three years, for example), it may be feasible to improve the overall efficiency of your complete on-lot wastewater disposal system even more. It has been demonstrated by researchers at Penn State that occasional resting of your soil absorption system is beneficial (a period during which no wastewater is added to the absorption area).
Therefore, the entire system, particularly the soil absorption region, will have the opportunity to dry up, and any partially digested organic waste (biomat) that may have grown in the soil absorption area will degrade swiftly in the absence of water.
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