Tips to be a Successful Septic Tank Owner
The average household septic tank system should be inspected at least every three years by a professional septic tank company. Residential septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
Four major factors influence the frequency of septic tank pumping:
•Size of Household
•Total wastewater generated
•Volume of solids in wastewater
•Size of septic tank
What happens when a septic tank company is coming to inspect your septic tank:
When you call a Woodstock septic tank company, they will inspect for leaks and examine the scum and sludge layers in your septic tank.
It is important to keep maintenance records on the work performed on your septic tank system.
Your septic tank includes a T-shaped outlet which prevents sludge and scum from leaving the septic tank and traveling to the drainfield area. If the bottom of the scum layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet, your septic tank needs to be pumped.
To keep track of when to pump out your tank, keep a diary of the sludge and scum levels found by the septic professional.
The licensed plumbing company should note repairs completed and the septic tank condition in your system’s service report. If other repairs are recommended, hire a Woodstock professional septic tank company soon.
What Causes Septic Tanks to Back-Up?
An anaerobic septic system is generally what most people who have septic system already have installed. It's been the most popular type partly because there has been so little to compete with it. They don't cost that much to install, they are relatively simple to maintain, and it's been accepted that this is the standard for residential systems. While the private sector has certainly embraced the anaerobic system, municipalities do not use these at all.
An anaerobic septic system breaks down waste product at a rather slow and inefficient rate. When considering the residential use of a septic system this could be found to be acceptable. By the consistent standard use and the fact that one household would have to work pretty hard to fill up the system there has been little question as to the efficiency of the system. Municipal use of such systems simply doesn't exist. These systems can not handle the large volumes of waste that they encounter on a daily basis. Thus, industrial systems are aerobic.
Anaerobic systems also tend to discharge a foul, repugnant sludge that is thick and slimy. It turns into what is known as a bio-mat. Aside from being a hazard to the environment this is also what eventually backs up the system and requires costly repairs. It may only happen once every 20 years, but the system will eventually stop working properly because of the bio-mat. The waste product that these septic system leave behind is considered to be an environmental hazard and is generally unhealthy to live around. The aerobic systems are starting to win favor among residential units because they tend to counteract all of the general negatives that the anaerobic systems offer.
High Pressure Jetting
Class 4 septic systems are divided into two components, the septic tank and the septic field or leaching bed. Waste is piped out of the house into the septic tank, which is essentially a water clarification tank, in which anaerobic bacteria break the waste down into solids (sludge), liquid effluent, and scum.
The solids settle to the bottom, the scum floats to the top and the liquid effluent flows through an outlet pipe into a distribution chamber, where it is directed to the septic field. The septic field is an effluent water disposal system, where the liquid is channeled through perforated pipes to different parts of a field of loose gravel.
Septic tank materials that initially float in the scum layer are kept out of the drainage system by an outflow tee or baffle. If the tank is not pumped regularly, the level of solids can rise, and if it approaches the level of the outflow tee, scum and solids can proceed out into the drainage system, clogging the pipes and gravel - and eventually preventing the absorption of the water by the surrounding earth.
A Class 5 septic system is a holding tank for the storage of sewage at the site where it is produced. A typical holding tank system is comprised of a single compartment tank with a pump-out stack and an audible or visual warning device to alert the homeowner when the tank requires emptying. A holding tank is costly to operate, places restrictions of the owner, and is dependent on Class 7 (hauled) sewage system for waste collection and disposal.
General Guidelines for Purchasers
- If the system is 5-7 years old and has never been pumped it is unlikely that there are serious problems.
- If there is no record of the system having been pumped but the owner has a vague recollection of pumping the system at some time in the distant past, figure that it has never been pumped.
- If the system is over 10 years old and has never been pumped, it is possible that there has been some damage to the septic field, and if it's not been pumped for over 15 years it is quite likely.
- Flushing dye through the system looks good but will only indicate systems that are already seriously clogged, in which case there should already be more obvious signs.
- Flushing dye may not indicate serious defects or indicate systems that are close to failure but still functional.
- If you are on a septic system, adding a bedroom, even without adding a bathroom, may mean having to increase the size of the tank and drainage field.