Why Is There A Hard Layer Of Scum In Septic Tank? (Correct answer)

If the scum is thick, it may mean that the tank needs to be cleaned; but it can also indicate that there is a backup due to a plugged outlet or plugging in the drainfield that is backing up into the tank. A thick scum layer may also mean that excessive amounts of soap or grease are being delivered to the tank.If the scum is thick, it may mean that the tank needs to be cleaned; but it can also indicate that there is a backup due to a plugged outlet or plugging in the drainfielddrainfieldThe drain field typically consists of an arrangement of trenches containing perforated pipes and porous material (often gravel) covered by a layer of soil to prevent animals (and surface runoff) from reaching the wastewater distributed within those trenches.https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Septic_drain_field

Septic drain field – Wikipedia

that is backing up into the tank. A thick scum layer may also mean that excessive amounts of soap or grease are being delivered to the tank.


  • If this layer becomes too thick, the wastewater won’t be able to drain from the septic tank and move on to the leach field for the final stage in processing. Grease and fat can become very thick over time, which can cause this scum layer to push down into the liquid layer and reach the exit pipes of the septic system.

How do you stop a scum layer on a septic tank?

How to Reduce Sludge in a Septic Tank Without Pumping

  1. Install an aeration system with diffused air in your septic tank.
  2. Break up any compacted sludge.
  3. Add a bio-activator or microbe blend.
  4. Maintain the aeration system.
  5. Add additional Microbes as required.

What is the septic scum layer?

The septic tank is a watertight vault in which the purification process begins. In the tank, density differences automatically separates the sewage into three layers. The topmost layer is called “scum”. Scum is composed of materials that float on water such as grease, oil, and fats.

What causes crust in septic tank?

If there is a solid, thick (over one inch) crust on the top, it should be pumped out with the rest of the tank contents. Thick crusts may be the result of excessive soap, grease or fats put down the drain.

Should my septic tank have a crust?

There should be a ‘crust’ on the first chamber. It looks disgusting – brown chocolate mouse coloured, but is a sign of a healthy tank. The water level in the second chamber (or the single chamber if it is a single chamber tank) should be no higher than the bottom of the outlet pipe.

Why is my septic tank foaming?

Phosphates that pass through the septic system due to improper design can enter surface water, causing very high growth rates of algae. Surfactants typically cause foaming or suds in water.

What does scum in septic look like?

Scum: Substances lighter than water (oil, grease, fats) float to the top, where they form a scum layer. This scum layer floats on top of the water surface in the tank. Aerobic bacteria work at digesting floating solids.

What are the signs that 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 thick should the sludge layer be in a septic tank?

Septic tanks need to be pumped out when the sludge layer exceeds 24 inches in depth or when the bottom of the scum layer is less than 3 inches above the Page 2 lower end of the submerged outlet. If you cannot locate the submerged outlet, clean the tank if the scum layer is more than 12 inches thick.

How thick should scum layer be?

A scum layer should be present, although depending on practices within the home or facility it may be a thin zone of an inch or less, or could be thicker. Items to evaluate are discussed below. 1.

How do you clean sludge out of a septic tank?

Know the location of your septic tank and drain field so that inspections can be done at regular intervals. Flush down only toilet paper and human waste down the toilet. Follow water conservation practices by using waterless toilets or water-saving toilets. Minimize the number of times you flush your toilet.

How do I keep my septic tank healthy?

Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system

  1. Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
  2. Pump your septic tank as needed.
  3. Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
  4. Be water-wise.
  5. Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
  6. Landscape with love.
  7. Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.

How often should you Desludge a septic tank?

As a rough guide though, most septic tanks tend to require emptying once every three to five years. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until yours is full before doing so. The more sludge there is in your tank, the less efficiently it will work and the more chance there is of it becoming blocked.

How do you prevent fat build up in a septic tank?

Using a grease trap additive, such as the liquid or powder form of Bio-Secure Grease Trap Concentrate, can help prevent septic tanks, grease tanks, and sewer lines from clogging. It is relatively easy to use. Just mix the power or liquid additive with warm water and rinse it down the drain.

What is the top layer in a septic tank?

Scum – The top layer of the septic system is made up of scum. This comes from things like soap byproducts and cooking oils which go to the top of the wastewater tank. Sludge – The bottom layer of your septic system is made up of a material called sludge.

What Are the Septic Tank Layers? – Septic Maxx

Millions of people in the United States still have septic tank systems linked to their residences. Do you understand how your septic system works, despite the fact that they are so common? Despite the fact that you may not be employed in the septic system sector, it is critical that you grasp the primary components of your septic system as well as its fundamental operations. Even a rudimentary grasp of how your wastewater system works may help you keep repairs to a minimum and extend the life of your wastewater system.

Scum, sludge, and effluent are the three layers of wastewater that make up your septic tank: scum, sludge, and effluent.

Spillage: Spillage is the solid material that accumulates at the bottom of your septic tank, forming an unsightly coating on top of the water.

Anaerobic bacteria that grow at the bottom of your tank and feed off of the sludge layer can be found in the tank bottom.

  1. Scum is a term used to describe a collection of material found in a septic tank that are lighter than water.
  2. Most of the floating solid waste items float to the surface of the water, where aerobic bacteria begin to work, digesting the bulk of the floating solid waste materials.
  3. A large portion of the liquid in your septic tank is composed of this substance.
  4. In order for your septic system to work effectively, these layers must remain balanced and maintain an appropriate retention duration throughout time.
  5. In order for your tank to function effectively, it must have a minimum retention time of twenty-four hours.
  6. In most cases, clogged drainfields are the most prevalent reason for a sewage treatment system to fail.
  7. It is completely natural and has been particularly formulated to assist in replenishing the beneficial bacteria and protease in your tank in order to guarantee adequate drainage into your drainfields.

Please contact us soon at 800-397-2384 to take advantage of our free trial offer. We have a team of expert septic tank technicians available to assist you with any septic tank problems.

Why You May Have A Septic Tank Crust

There are a variety of reasons why you may notice a septic tank crust on the surface of your septic tank’s surface. What is a septic tank crust, why you could have one, and what to do if you do have one are all discussed in this article. Taking care of a septic tank Keeping an eye on your sewage disposal system, including your septic tank, is a good idea, even though it’s probably not something you’ll want to get too close to every now and then. As you’d expect, keeping an eye on your septic tank and septic tank crusts is also a good idea, because it will ensure that your sewage disposal system remains efficient and safe.

Yes, it can be a little disgusting, but what exactly does it entail?

Do you know what you can do if you have septic tank crust, and will it indicate that you will need a septic tank pump-out or that you will have to call in the professionals to lend you a helping hand?

What is a Septic Tank Crust or Scum Layer?

On the surface of the septic tank lies a thin layer of material that will ordinarily (and should) float to the top. This often contains some fats, oils, and greases, and it’s a clear greenish, greyish, or even brown bubbling liquid that’s normally transparent. Lighter stuff will naturally climb to the top of the pile, just as solids will tend to sink to the bottom, according to fundamental science. Septic tanks are made up of multiple levels, which differ depending on what is put into them. The presence of this layer floating on top of your tank is not uncommon, and it is certainly not uncommon to see a few loose particles, like as feces and paper, that have drifted to the surface along the way.

  1. Isn’t it true that a septic tank should include sludge all the way down?
  2. The top layer is almost always likely to include some type of scum, however this is not always the case.
  3. At the very bottom of your tank should be a layer of thick septic sludge, which, as you would guess, contains the majority of the natural waste that has been released into the system from your home over time.
  4. Consider the following: why there could be a crust in the first place, and what you should do if there is any crust at all to address the situation.

Should Your Septic Tank Have a Crust?

As previously stated, the top layer of your septic tank should typically include some type of scum or scum-like substance. This is fairly common, and it has a tendency to be a little frothy and thin in appearance. If your septic tank is in good working order, it is usual to notice a scum layer on the surface of the water with a few bits and pieces floating to the surface. If you look closely, you may notice fragments of toilet paper and perhaps a few floating particles, despite the fact that it is really unpleasant.

Make no distinction between being a scruncher or a wadder; don’t think about it too much.

On the whole, while it’s disgusting to look at, you should be able to notice a greenish-brown color to the top scum on the surface.

If this sounds like the top layer of your septic tank, you generally don’t need to worry about anything at this point.

On rare occasions, though, this scum layer might harden and form a crust on the surface of the water. This is something that may generate a great deal of stress for septic tank owners, so it is important to understand what to expect in the long run. Is it even an issue in the first place?

What Causes the Surface Crust in a Septic Tank?

The surface crust on the surface of your septic tank is almost certainly going to contain a mixture of different oils and fats. As a matter of fact, there’s a word for it: FOG. FOG is an abbreviation for Fats, Oils, and Greases. They will never sink into the lower levels of the tank, therefore the only place they will ever be is at the top of the tank’s water column. Furthermore, because of the nature of these fatty liquids, they might have a tendency to solidify. Septic tank surface – there are no visible fats, oils, or grease.

  1. However, if you leave your tank unattended for a period of several weeks or months, it is much than probable that this will occur.
  2. If you leave it for an extended period of time, it might result in a crust.
  3. To summarize, anything that is even somewhat heavy will sink to the bottom layer of the tank.
  4. So while you may see a few floaters and the occasional piece of paper wadding floating upward into the scum layer, the most of what you see is likely to be FOGs (foul-smelling algae).
See also:  Septic Tank Floods When It Rains? (Solution found)

Lack of Septic Tank Activity

A lack of activity, such as a complete absence of use, contributes to the growth of septic tank crust. Because there is less fluid flowing about, FOG not only floats to the top of the layer and lingers there, but it also crusts over on the surface. This is as a result of the drying out of the FOG. It begins to harden, which means that your effluent and solid layers underneath it may become trapped and locked off. By doing so, you are preventing air from entering the effluent via the surface, depriving microorganisms of essential oxygen.

When it comes to dealing with the crust on a septic tank, you should only do it if you have a very strong stomach.

Consequently, you may want assistance in order to break through it and restore your tank’s full functionality.

Do I need to Improve My Septic Crust?

It’s easy to believe that a septic tank crust isn’t something to be concerned about in the first place. Leaving it to its own devices, on the other hand, will hinder the bacteria in the tank from getting down to business and breaking down organic matter. Bacteria, like all living organisms, require oxygen in order to thrive and reproduce. By allowing a septic tank crust to accumulate on the top layer of your septic tank, you are essentially preventing air from reaching the bacteria in your tank.

The crust that forms on the surface of a septic tank effectively closes off the effluent and solid layers, causing the bacteria to become anaerobic, become considerably less active, and emit unpleasant gases as a result of the lack of oxygen in the tank.

It is at this point that they begin to physically stink, thereby bringing your tank to a near-standstill in its operation.

3 Tips to Prevent Your Septic Tank From Crusting Over?

This trio of suggestions will keep your septic tank from being further crusted over while also reactivating the bacteria to a very efficient aerobic state?

1. Break Up the Scum Layer

This trio of suggestions will keep your septic tank from being further crusted over while also reactivating the bacteria into a highly efficient aerobic state?

2. Use a Biological Septic Tank Deep Cleaning Solution

These three suggestions will keep your septic tank from further crusting over and will reawaken the bacteria to a very efficient aerobic state.

3. Reduce Your FOG Discharge

Reduce the quantity of FOG that is released from the kitchen sink by putting all used fats, oils, and greases in the kitchen trash bin as soon as they are finished cooking. A biological waste trap and drain cleaner that does not include “chemicals” can help to decrease FOG build-up in your tank and will guarantee that your drains run freely without the chance of becoming clogged with debris.

In Conclusion

Overall, dealing with a septic tank crust problem isn’t a particularly pleasurable experience. Crusts, on the other hand, should be avoided at all costs since they can cause serious difficulties for you in the long term. Draining and repairing septic tank problems later in the process is never enjoyable and will result in needless expenditure and inconvenience. We at Muck Munchers recognize that septic tanks are important infrastructure that people rely on on a daily basis. It’s really simple to let these tanks fall into chaos if you don’t pay attention.

A septic tank crust can cause issues, and in order to solve the problem, the crust must be broken in order for air to be allowed to flow in.

Learn more about what we can do to assist you by browsing our selection of septic tank goods online.

What are the Septic Tank Layers?

The process of resolving a problem with a septic tank crust isn’t especially enjoyable. Keep a watch out for crusts, though, since they may cause serious difficulties for you in the long term if you don’t pay attention. Further down the line, draining and repairing septic tank problems is never enjoyable and will result in unneeded expenditure. septic tanks are infrastructure that people rely on on a daily basis, which is why we at Muck Munchers are well aware of this. If you allow these tanks fall into disorder, it’s quite simple to lose track of where they are.

It may be necessary to break up a septic tank crust in order to allow air to flow into the tank if you are experiencing troubles.

Special FOG digesting treatments, such as an organic septic tank deep-cleaning reactivator for troublesome systems, should be used to help in this process as well. Learn more about what we can do to assist you by browsing our selection of septic tank goods on our web site.

What Are The Three Layers of Wastewater?

  1. Scum is the substance that makes up the top layer of the septic system. When items like soap byproducts and cooking oils reach the top of the wastewater tank, they create this scum. Effluent is the wastewater that remains in the intermediate layer of the septic tank after the scum has risen to the top of the tank and the sludge has sunk to the bottom of the tank, which is known as the effluent layer. In certain cases, it may contain minute particles of waste items. When your septic system is operating properly, the effluent/water is released into the drain field from the tank
  2. However, this is not always the case. In your septic system, sludge makes up the lowest layer, which is made up of a substance known as sludge. In your septic tank, sludge is made up of byproducts of the breakdown of various waste materials that have been disposed of in the tank. Heavy items that sink to the bottom of the septic tank become a part of the sludge as a result.

Pumping the sludge out of your tank on a regular basis is essential for keeping your septic system in excellent operating order. Find out how often you should pump your septic tank by reading this article. The Septic Medic team may be contacted online or by phone at 570-828-7444 to book routine septic maintenance or a routine tank pumping for homeowners in Pike County, Pennsylvania, including Delaware Township and the surrounding suburbs of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Septic Emergency? Contact us immediately at570-828-7444

Services Provided by Septic Medics:

  • Septic System Pumping and Tank Cleaning
  • Repair of a Clogged Drainor Septic System Back Up
  • Septic System Maintenance for Tanks
  • Septic System Pumping and Tank Cleaning Leach Fields
  • Septic Tank Repair or Replacement
  • Septic Tank Maintenance

Your Wastewater System: The Septic System

Unclogged septic tanks are a type of tiny sewage treatment plant that is installed on your land. This “on-site” facility is placed beneath the surface of the ground. A septic system is composed of several components, the most common of which are a septic tank, one or more distribution boxes, and a leachfield, all of which are connected by pipe. In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll go over each of these components and the duties that they perform in more detail. Every toilet and sink in the home is connected to a main waste pipe that runs through the foundation of the house and out to the septic tank at the end of that line.

  1. The septic tank is a waterproof vault in which the purification process takes place and is where it all starts.
  2. “Scum” is the term used to describe the uppermost layer.
  3. The liquid and suspended solids that make up the intermediate layer are the most important.
  4. Because it is more thick than water, sludge is produced by decomposing most of the solid element of sewage waste.
  5. The liquification of the scum and sludge layers occurs as a result of the usual metabolic activities of the bacteria that live in the system.
  6. This substance will be taken into the liquid layer as a “suspended solid” once it has been broken down to a sufficiently small size.
  7. Normally, just the liquid layer of the septic tank is allowed to drain away.

When a tank does not have a baffle, the scum layer is prevented from entering the effluent pipe because the scum layer is located at a height that is higher than the effluent pipe opening in this scenario.

One or more transfer pipes exit from the distribution box, which is a tiny waterproof concrete box with one or more transfer pipes inside it.

These transfer pipes are connected to other pipes that have perforations in their walls.

In reality, the leachfield is far more sophisticated than a simple network of plumbing that has been placed in the ground to collect wastewater.

Then you need to install the correct pipe, lay a fabric silt screen over the piping and stone, add more stone to cover the silt screen, and finally fill the trenches with soil.

Once in the soil, the liquid waste is further cleansed by other soil microorganisms as well as by the soil itself, which works as a filter by trapping bacteria and other suspended materials in a manner similar to that of a filter.

Ideally, by the time the liquid reaches the groundwater or water table, it will be devoid of any harmful bacteria as well as sewage toxins, indicating that the septic system has performed its function successfully.

Proper maintenance is actually rather straightforward; thus, prevent the headaches and sorrow that eventually arise as a result of poor maintenance. Put Roebic’s years of expertise, competence, and knowledge of septic systems to work for you. «back

Troubleshooting Septic Tanks

Receive articles, stories, and videos about septic tanks delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Septic Tanks and More Receive Notifications It is necessary to open the tank when resolving onsite system problems or when doing an examination of a septic tank so that the contents can be inspected and the condition of both the inlet and outflow baffles can be checked. By just observing the contents of the tank and the baffles, it is possible to gain valuable insight into the overall operation of the system.

  1. In order to identify if the tank contains the three separate levels that should be present, the contents should be analyzed.
  2. If any of these layers are missing, the tank will not operate as efficiently as it should.
  3. The homeowner should be informed of the presence of a large amount of floating material that does not belong in the tank, as well as a large amount of undigested food, so that they may learn how to properly maintain their system and avoid introducing these materials into the wastewater.
  4. In the case of a large amount of undigested food, it might suggest that one of the members of the home suffers from an eating issue or that the garbage disposal is being used excessively; any talk with the owner should be done with caution.
  5. The scum layer should not be extremely thick, and it should not extend beyond or below the exit baffle at any point.
  6. A heavy layer of scum may suggest that the tank need cleaning, but it may also signal that there is a backup owing to an outlet or blockage in the drainfield that is causing water to back up into the tank.
  7. Users of the system may be able to adjust their behaviors or have the tank cleaned on a more frequent basis in this setting.
  8. The tank should be cleaned if the top of the sludge layer is closer than 12 inches to the bottom of the exit baffle, which indicates that the sludge layer is too thick.
  9. A result of this scenario is that sediments are supplied to the soil treatment area, which causes the effluent screen to get clogged with particles.
  10. Otherwise, it may be necessary to build a larger tank or an extra tank in series in order to alleviate the greater flow problem.

If you have any questions concerning septic system maintenance and operation, you can send them to him by email at [email protected].

This article is part of a series on troubleshooting septic tanks:

  • Troubleshooting Problem Systems
  • Troubleshooting Septic Tanks
  • Tank Troubleshooting: Checking Inlet and Outlet Baffles
  • Troubleshooting Septic Tanks Troubleshooting: Additional Items to Check in Septic Tanks That Are Having Problems

Fat, oil and grease are really bad for your plumbing and septic system

Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are derived from a variety of sources, including cooking oil, lard, beef fats, salad dressing, mayonnaise, gravy, margarine, butter, sour dressing, and other condiments. If FOG is dumped down the drain, it may build up in the pipes and create a variety of issues. As FOG accumulates in plumbing, it interferes with the flow of water through the system, which can result in the backup of untreated wastewater into the system. Manholes that are blocked with FOG have the potential to overflow onto yards, parks, storm drains, and roadways, resulting in the pollution of both surface and groundwater sources.

See also:  Where The Effluent Filter Cartridge Attaches On A 1500 Gallon Septic Tank? (Perfect answer)

How FOG affects the septic system

Septic systems are intended to break down only tissue and waste; they are not intended to break down anything else. This is one of the primary reasons why fat, oil, and grease (FOG) should be kept out of the food supply chain. Most of the time, FOGs are not degraded by the bacteria in the septic tank, but rather float to the top of it and form the scum layer. The scum will rise to the outlet and begin to force some of the FOG out of the tank if the scum builds up too much in the tank. It is extremely harmful to the aerobic stage of effluent treatment, which is found in the leach field, when it is present.

  • Scum is also associated with the gases that are released into the system, as some of the sludge particles may be carried up into the scum layer by the gas bubbles as they rise through the system.
  • Having airspace encourages vegetative molds to accelerate the trapping of rising sludge particles, resulting in the formation of a leathery scum layer that is difficult to remove by pumping.
  • The wastewater must be allowed to sit in the septic tank for a period of time in order for the suspended solids to settle into the sludge layer and the FOG to float in the scum layer.
  • However, if the scum layer becomes too thick, the amount of time that wastewater can be retained in the septic tank is significantly reduced.
  • As a result, if this wastewater ends up reaching the soil before it has been adequately treated, the pathogens contained within it may cause contamination.

Measuring the scum depth

In addition to following the manufacturer’s suggested septic tank cleaning interval, you should evaluate the depth of your scum on a regular basis to verify that it hasn’t gotten too thick. Actually, the depth of the scum is extremely essential information since it may help you determine how healthy your system is and whether or not it is being pumped on a regular basis as it should be. The following principles will assist you in determining when you should plan the pumping of the tank depending on the measurements of scum depth in the tank.

  • Whenever the overall depth of the scum and sludge layer is equal to one-third of the total depth of the entire tank, it is recommended that you pump the septic tank.
  • To determine the depth of the scum, place a 3-inch piece of wood to the end of a long stick and measure it.
  • Make a slow, gentle movement across the layer until you notice a difference in resistance.
  • When you reach the bottom, place a marker at the top of the septic tank’s opening and note the length of your measuring stick from there.

The distance between the two marks you create should be the same as the distance between the bottom of the scum layer and the bottom of the output baffle (see illustration below).

Grease traps

Restaurants generate a significant amount of grease in their kitchens, which can result in a significant number of clogs and other associated concerns. Thousands of dollars are spent yearly by restaurants and other food facilities to deal with plumbing difficulties that are directly connected to FOG, according to industry estimates. The installation of grease traps in all restaurants is mandated by the government as one of the techniques for combating this problem. Grease traps are designed to catch grease before it exits the kitchen and are often positioned directly below the sink in the kitchen or on the exterior of the kitchen.

In-kitchen passive grease trap

As wastewater from the kitchen passes through the unit, these interceptors capture the grease that rises to the top of a tiny baffled tank where it is collected. The grease that has accumulated in passive grease traps in the kitchen will have to be physically cleared from the area. As a result, they should be cleaned on a regular basis (daily or weekly depending on their size and amount of FOG generated). If they are not cleaned on a regular basis, FOG will build up in the traps and be driven into the septic system.

Pre-cast in-ground concrete grease traps

Pre-cast concrete grease traps function in the same way as in-kitchen interceptors, with the exception that they operate on a much larger scale. Pre-cast in-ground grease traps with capacities ranging from 750 to 2000 gallons are the most prevalent. As a result of their size, they are capable of withstanding more FOG, but this also means that they are more expensive to acquire and install. These grease traps are great for large restaurants and are often cleaned on a regular basis by grease pumping firms.

Automatic grease trap

The primary distinction between automated grease traps and the other two types of traps is that automatic grease traps are meant to automatically remove FOG on a timetable that is specified. Because of the automated cleaning mechanism, these traps are quite effective. They are successful at removing at least 98 percent of the FOG present in the wastewater. Because they have the characteristic of automatically eliminating FOG, they are often smaller in size and may thus be readily accommodated in the kitchen space available.


It is not recommended to dump oil or grease down the sink. When cleaning the dishes, scrape away any fat and oil from the plates before starting to wash them. Instead of putting cooled leftover fats down the drain, you may place them in a plastic container and keep them in the freezer until they are ready to be disposed of. Once the container is completely filled, close the lid and throw it away in the garbage.

How your septic system works

A septic tank and a drainfield are the two main components of a septic system. Water from your home is channeled into your septic tank, where heavy sediments sink to the bottom of the tank and produce a layer of sludge on the bottom of the tank. Grease, toilet paper, and other light substances float to the surface and accumulate to produce a scum layer on the surface of the water. Between the sludge and the scum is a semi-clear layer of wastewater known as effluent, which contains no particles and is located between the two layers.

Bacteria living in the soil purify wastewater by devouring dangerous bacteria and viruses before the wastewater seeps into the groundwater table.

These layers will ultimately require the services of a professional septic pumper to be removed.

In order to properly maintain and check your septic system, you must first identify the sort of system that you have, as well as the needs for particular maintenance and inspection.

The gravity system is the most frequent variety since it does not require the use of a pump to function. Pressure distribution systems, sand filter systems, mound systems, and aerobic treatment units such as the Glendon BioFilter system are examples of other types of systems.

Should You be Concerned if a Septic System has No Scum Layer?

Get articles, news, and videos about Onsite Systems delivered directly to your email! Now is the time to sign up. Plus, there are Onsite Systems. Receive Notifications Septic tanks allow gravity to separate materials from wastewater because heavier particles settle while fats, grease, and other lighter solids float, allowing heavier solids to be removed from the wastewater. Particles removal in a septic tank is often thought of as occurring predominantly through settling, although separation of suspended solids by flotation is also extremely significant in the tank’s operation.

  1. The presence of fats, oils, and grease in the wastewater helps to improve the flotation process because they congeal on the surfaces of tiny particles, making them more buoyant and floatable in the water.
  2. After six months or more of usage, septic tanks should have established three layers: a scum layer on the surface, a cleared effluent layer in the center that is free of big particles, and a sludge layer at the bottom of the tank.
  3. A scum layer should be present, albeit it may be a thin zone of an inch or less in thickness, or it may be a bigger coating depending on the methods used within the house or facility.
  4. 1.
  5. The effluent baffle’s aim is to ensure that the scum layer remains in the septic tank and should be replaced as soon as possible if it has been removed or has become inefficient.
  6. The design detention period for a septic tank should be lengthy enough to allow for appropriate suspended particles and oil/grease removal by sedimentation and flotation.
  7. Third, there should be little to no turbulence in the septic tank in order to allow settleable particles to build at the bottom and floatable solids to accumulate at the top.


In little, typical doses, they should not be an issue, but when used excessively, additives such as powerful phosphate-based cleansers, fabric softeners, and degreasers can have an adverse effect on scum development and cause it to build more quickly.

In addition, greater water temperatures and higher water flow rates aid in the mechanical emulsification of lubricating oils.

The influence of the microbial community – A healthy microbial community is required for the septic tank to function correctly.

This covers any product found in a house that has the ability to destroy microorganisms.

Ideally, the pH level should be in the range of 6-8, which is close to the pH of tap water.

Low pH levels are caused by acidic substances such as cleansers or furnace condensate, whilst high pH values are generated by basic substances such as basic cleaners or other chemicals.


This has been observed when regeneration water from water softeners enters septic tanks.

It may be possible to help by routing the recharge out of the system or by replacing outdated units that require much more salt.

When there is no scum layer, you should collaborate with the property owner to identify the potential causes of the problem and take steps to correct them in order to extend the life of downstream components.

She has presented at several local and national training events on topics such as the design, installation, and administration of septic systems, as well as research in the related field.

Email [email protected] with any questions on septic system design, installation, maintenance, and operation and Heger will respond as soon as possible!


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.
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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.

How Your Septic System Works

Posted on February 8, 2015 by Pro Tips The septic tank and the drain field are the two most important components of a basic septic system, respectively. The septic tank is the first place where household wastewater ends up. During the wastewater treatment process, heavy particles are deposited at the bottom of the tank, where they create a layer of sludge, while oil and light solids float to the top and produce a layer of scum. The sludge and scum stay in the tank, where naturally occurring bacteria are at work breaking them down to make way for new material.

  • With each new batch of wastewater entering the septic tank from the home, the separated wastewater in the intermediate layer of the tank is pushed out into the drain field.
  • If an excessive amount of water is flushed into the septic tank in a short period of time, the wastewater will run out of the tank before it has had a chance to settle.
  • Ideally, homeowners should spread their laundry loads throughout the week and limit themselves to no more than two load of laundry every day.
  • In addition to providing extra treatment for wastewater, drain fields enable it to flow through a system of perforated pipes, through a layer of gravel, and then down into the soil.
  • Solids cause harm to the drain field by blocking the tiny pores in the drain field pipes, and excess water causes the system to overwork needlessly by saturating the drain field.
  • They do not have any moving components and are simple to use and keep up to date.
  • * The National Environmental Services Center provided the information for this article.

How Often Should A Septic Tank Be Pumped?

Rural residents frequently inquire as to how frequently they should have their septic tanks drained. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide them with a number or formula because everything is dependent. The frequency with which the tank must be pumped will be determined by the size of the tank and the amount of solids that are dumped into it. Tanks with greater capacity will require fewer pumpings in less time than tanks of lesser capacity. More significantly, if the amount of solids entering the system is kept to a minimum, the tank will have a longer interval between pumpings.

  1. Scum is formed at the top of the tank as a result of lighter material floating to the surface.
  2. When sludge and scum accumulate in the tank, the effective tank volume decreases.
  3. Furthermore, sediments might be transported to the drainfield, leading it to get clogged.
  4. Have the tank pumped by a Nebraska pumper who is licensed and insured.
  5. Under Title 124, rules set out by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) limit the maximum amount of waste that can accumulate before pumping is necessary.
  6. If you have any questions, please contact us.
  7. As a result of gathering this information, your qualified professional will be better able to identify whether or not the level of sludge and scum in your tank has reached the point where pumping is necessary.
  8. How many years have elapsed since the first pumping took place?
  9. If the amount of wastewater generated varies, repeat the operation or alter the pumping frequency.

You may take steps to reduce the amount of sediments that enter your tank. First and foremost, avoid using a waste disposal or use it only rarely. According to studies, when a waste disposal is utilized, tanks must be pumped twice as often as when they are not. Other suggestions are as follows:

  • Cigarettes, diapers, feminine hygiene items, paper towels, face tissue, and “wipes” should not be flushed down the toilet. They may not decompose completely and will lead to the formation of scum or sludge layers. Dispose of these goods in the same manner as other solid garbage. Grease and oils should not be flushed down the toilet. Grease and oils from cooking, frying, and applying skin creams contribute to the formation of a scum layer in the septic system. Instead of powdered detergents, liquid detergents should be used. Powdered detergents include “fillers,” which contribute to the formation of the sludge layer. Make use of toilet tissue that decomposes quickly. To perform the test, place a tissue sample in a jar of water, cover the jar opening with a cloth, and shake vigorously. When the jar is shaken, the toilet paper should come apart in a short period of time. Filter the washing machine’s water output pipe to catch lint and prevent it from getting into the machine. Clean in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations
  • An effluent filter at the septic tank outflow can assist in preventing particles from entering the drainfield. Have it cleaned in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations

How to Care For Your Septic System

Let’s start by going over the operation of your septic tank system. Sewage from the residence is channeled into the tank, where heavy solids (sludge) sink to the bottom while grease and light solids (scum) float to the surface. Naturally occurring bacteria help to break down a percentage of the sludge and scum in the wastewater treatment plant. Because the bacteria can’t break down everything, the tank will require frequent pumping and cleaning to keep it functioning properly. As new wastewater is introduced into the tank, the existing wastewater is channeled down the drainfield.

If your house or company consumes a substantial volume of water in a day, it will have a big influence on how successfully the septic system filters wastewater.

When this material accumulates, it can block the pipes and gravel layer, leading to a swollen drainfield and other problems.

Septic Tank Maintenance

Depending on the kind of system, it can survive for several decades, ranging from 15 to 20 years for a steel septic tank and up to more than 50 years for a drainfield. However, the lifetime of your system is not assured, and there are a number of things you can do to ensure that it reaches the maximum usable lifespan possible.

Annual Inspections Help Prolong The Life of Your System

Annual inspections of septic tanks are included in the septic tank services we provide. With an annual inspection, we can assess how old the system is, how efficient it is, and what kind of septic system repair should be done. If you’ve recently acquired or relocated into a property with a septic system, you may not be aware of this information, which is vital to be aware of and have on hand at all times.

Location Of The System

Septic systems, believe it or not, may be tough to discover. Start by following the path of the sewage line that is exiting the building. This is an excellent starting point. Once the tank’s position has been discovered, an insulated probe is utilized to locate any underground pipes or even the tank’s actual location.


The ports could require some digging in the yard, but verifying connections means ensuring that the domestic plumbing is connected to the system in an appropriate manner as well. This includes flushing toilets, operating the washing machine, and/or running water through the sink.

Depth Of ScumSludge Layers

The depth of these layers will decide whether or not septic tank pumping will be required immediately or in the foreseeable future. It is necessary to pump out the tank if the sludge depth is equal to or greater than one-third of the total liquid depth. The size of the tank, the number of people living in the house, and the behaviors of the household all influence how often the tank has to be pumped.

Watch What You Flush

Your septic system’s ability to function effectively is dependent on the presence of natural bacteria or live organisms. You should dispose of items in the garbage if they can be conveniently disposed of instead of flushing them down the toilet or washing them down the drain.

The objective is to keep the volume and kind of sediments entering the septic system to a minimum. If you use too much, your septic tank may need to be cleaned more frequently. Furthermore, groundwater can get contaminated by home contaminants that reach the drainfield.

Home Appliances Impact Your Septic System

The appliances we use on a daily basis have a huge impact on how much more septic tank maintenance your system will require in the future. Garbage disposals should not be used in conjunction with a septic system, since they can increase the amount of solids in the tank by up to 50 percent, according to the EPA. Allowing the water to cool and drain into the yard or other landscaped areas is preferable to draining it into the septic system if you have a hot tub and plan to drain it that way. A large amount of water entering the system at the same time might overwhelm it, causing sediments to be pushed into the drainfield early, resulting in blockages and a costly drainfield failure.

Monitor Household Or Business Water Use

It is important to note that the appliances we use every day have a big impact on how much further septic tank maintenance your system will require. Garbage disposals should not be used in conjunction with a septic system, as they can increase the amount of solids in the tank by up to 50 percent. If you have a hot tub and are planning to drain it, rather than emptying the water into the septic system, let the water to cool and flow onto the yard or other landscaped portions of your property. It is possible for an excessive amount of water to enter a system at once, which might cause it to get overwhelmed and instead force particles into the drainfield early, leading to blockages and a costly drainfield failure.

Signs Of A Septic Tank Problem

The number of probable causes of septic tank problems is almost as many as the number of symptoms that indicate a problem. The following are some of the most common reasons of septic system failure:

  • Driving and/or parking on top of the drainfield is prohibited. cleaning the system by flushing household chemicals and cleansers through it Extremely high amounts of water consumption
  • And Roots of plants and trees growing in the drainfield and in the tank

The following are examples of signs of a septic tank problem:

  • The presence of abnormal grass growth or dead areas over the septic tank
  • Frequent plumbing backups in the house or company
  • The presence of septic or sewage odors
  • Soft areas in the earth over drainfields or storage tanks, as well as

If you are experiencing any of these problems with your septic system, contact Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service to book an aseptic tank cleaning and inspection. In order to carefully check the system and determine the root of the problem, our professionals employ cameras, mirrors, and other instruments. Depending on the situation, we will pump and clean the tank before inspecting it for structural problems.

Septic Tank Services in Gainesville, FL

You should contact Jones PlumbingSeptic Tank Service to have your septic system inspected and cleaned if you are experiencing any of these problems. In order to carefully check the system and identify the cause of the problem, our professionals employ cameras, mirrors, and other instruments. We’ll pump and clean the tank if it’s essential before looking for structural problems with it.

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