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 Lake Lanier Islands 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 Lake Lanier Islands professional septic tank company soon.
Septic Systems: The Inside Story
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.
High Pressure Jetting
Understanding septic systems capabilities and limits is needed to ensure water quality. A septic system is a type of On-Site Sewage Facility and is a self-contained, underground waste-water treatment system. By using natural processes to treat the waste-water on-site, septic systems do not require the installation of miles of sewer lines, making them less disruptive to the environment. A septic system consists of a septic tank, a distribution system and a soil absorption system, also called a drain field. The septic tank is a watertight box, sometimes made out of concrete or fiberglass, with an inlet and outlet pipe. The septic tank treats the waste-water naturally by holding it in the tank long enough for solids and liquids to separate. The waste-water forms three layers inside the tank. Solids lighter than water float to the top forming a layer of scum.
Solids heavier than water settle at the bottom of the tank forming a layer of sludge. This leaves a middle layer of partially clarified waste-water. The layers of sludge and scum remain in the septic tank where bacteria found naturally in the waste-water work to break the solids down. The sludge and scum that cannot be broken down are retained in the tank until the tank is pumped. The layer of liquid flows from the septic tank to the drain field. A drain a series of trenches lined with gravel or sand and below the ground. The drain field treats the waste-water by allowing it to slowly trickle from the pipes out into the gravel and down through the soil. The remaining impurities are trapped and disposed of in the soil. The excess water is eliminated through percolation into the soil, and eventually returning to the ground water, through evaporation, and by uptake through plants and transpiration.
The Center for Watershed Protection notes that septic systems can be effective methods of water treatment, however failures are common in many areas. Even properly functioning septic systems can leak and are not designed to effectively deal with most of the phosphorus and nitrogen load found in the water it treats. Pathogenic fecal bacteria are also a concern. The primary concern for a municipality is proper maintenance of septic systems, and in some cases the total load of partially treated pollutants that can impact local drinking water and wildlife in [post_name]. A solid understanding of septic systems capabilities and limits, and a good government plan is needed to ensure water quality.