Septic System Advice

Septic Tank Maintenance Service

Septic Tank Maintenance – Are You Doing Enough to Protect System?

When it comes to Septic Tank Service, most homeowners rely upon periodic pump outs.  That is the beginning and septic tank serviceend of their septic tank maintenance regimen.  When the system slows down or becomes problematic, we initial the septic contractor and they come pump out the system.   Problem Solved….Right?  Wrong.  The reality is that your system needs much more attention that a quick pumping every 3-5 years.

There is a guaranteed way to keep your Septic System Working Perfectly.

In order for your to properly maintain your septic system, you must first understand your septic system and how it works.  Septic Systems rely upon naturally occurring bacteria from your waste.  This bacteria and enzymes flourish in your septic tank, where it is able to digest and breakdown the solids waste into liquid.  This liquid is then leached through the drain lines and out into the drain field.

If the bacteria levels in your tank begin to drop, this process can quickly become a potential financial disaster.  If the solid waste is not effectively liquefied, then particles of waste can make their way out into the drain field.  These particles of waste will build up in the piping and especially at the soil line.  This build up quickly restricts drainage and leads to drain field failure.  A problem that can cost you anywhere between $4, 000 and $20,000.

Proper Septic Tank Service

Proper Septic Tank Maintenance begins by understanding that Bacteria is Everything.  Pay attention to the household cleaners you use, are they designed to kill germs?  Do you use anti bacterial hand soap?  Do you clean with bleach, other sterilizing cleaners?  Your laundry detergent and your dish washing detergent are both designed to kill bacteria and leave your clothes and dishes clean and germ free.  But what effect are these cleaners having on your septic system’s bacteria levels.  The answer…they are killing your septic bacteria.

It is not likely that you can completely avoid these items.  In fact, keeping your family and home germ free is extremely important.  But you need to be aware of the negative affect you are having on your septic system and take steps to give your system proper septic tank service.

Having your septic tank pumped, will not fix the bacteria kill off, in fact it will only further problem.  Removing the solid waste from which the bacteria comes from further reduces the naturally occurring bacteria.  While pumping every 2-3 years is mandated in many counties, pumping alone does not protect your septic system and the expense of replacing your drain field.

Steps You Can Take to Protect Your System 

Septic Tank Maintenance starts with the steps you take by yourself each and every month.  If you know that you are killing off more bacteria each day then you putting into the system, you need to correct it.  You can start by trying to reduce the amount of bleach and other harsh cleaners that go down the drains and into your system.  This will help but not solve the problem completely.

Septic Tank Additives are an affordable and critical step for septic tank maintenance service.  By taking the time to add septic bacteria supplements into your system each month, you can offset the bacteria kill off and maintain proper septic bacteria levels within your tank.  The cost of these treatments is minimal, with many purchase options costing only a few dollars a month.  Much better than 10k on a new drain field, don’t you think?


septic tank maintenance treatmentWhat Septic Tank Maintenance Product does the trick?    We Firmly believe that our granules of high-powered bacteria in both the “Shock formula” and the “maintenance packs” are the ultimate way for a property owner to Rescue a failing septic system, and also to ensure that their functioning system Remains that way, and continues to perform well.  Take a look at our “What do I need to buy” page, to figure out which option is best for YOUR septic system.

While Septic Tank Service is something you will always have to maintain and practice, it does not have to be so risky.  Don’t just rely on pumping the tank every few years.  Take steps each and every month to preserve your septic bacteria and you can prolong the life of your septic system for years and years.

Septic Tank Problems

Septic Tank Problems – Don’t Deny It’s a Problem

septic tank problems Septic Tank Problems are more common than any homeowner with a septic system may want to admit.  The Reality is that ALL septic systems will have a problem on a long enough time line.  The only question is whether or not you can do anything to avoid these problems or if it is all just a matter of ‘Luck!”

It may be hard to imagine that your financial security will come down to dumb luck.  But thats the approach homeowners make when they choose to do nothing about their septic system.  The regular practice of prolonging time between pump outs and the refusal to support your septic system with septic additives is common among homeowners with septic systems.  The problem is that eventually your luck runs out.

Septic Tank Problems

Many homeowners will confuse the idea of septic tank problems vs. septic system problems.  In fact, over 90% of the problems that septic systems have is in the drain field.  The drain area can no longer keep up with the water and waste consumption in the home and the drain field floods.  You may have a wet soggy yard, or maybe the system backs up into your home.  This is all as a result of drain field failure, not septic tank problems.

While the failure of the system may be in the drain field, the PROBLEM began in the septic tank.  In order to understand it better, you need to understand how the science behind septic systems work.

‘Septic’ systems rely upon the presence of naturally occurring bacteria in the septic tank.  This is why it is called a septic tank in the first place.  The bacteria digests and liquefies the organic waste and paper  in the septic tank.  The remaining liquid is then sent to the drain field to be absorbed by the soil.  If bacteria levels are reduced, or if the amount of waste in the tank becomes too much for the bacteria present in the tank, particles of waste make their way to the drain field.  Over time, this leads to drain field failure.

While the structure of the septic tank may not fail, the contents within the tank can be negatively affected and bring the whole system down.

What to Do to Prevent Septic Tank Problems

The first step is to admit that their is the potential for a problem on any given day.  Whether your system is new, old, working well or struggling there is a chance of your septic system starting to fail every day.  The regular use of anti bacterial soaps and detergents in most households is enough of a problem to reduce bacteria levels within your septic tank.  If you use hair products, body washes and scented soaps, this problem can be magnified by their waxy consistency.  Lastly, harsh cleaners like bleach and other germ killing solutions may be necessary to keep bathrooms and kitchens clean, but what about the negative affect they have on your septic system.

Chances are that you use some, if not all of these items.  So ask yourself, what am I doing to offset that damage within my system.  Do you pump your tank as often as my county regulates it?  Do you regularly add septic bacteria additives to keep bacteria levels healthy and effective?  Or do you just close your eyes and hope that everything is OK?

Remember, even if you have ignored your system in the past, there is still time to restore and prolong the life of your septic system.  Replacing a septic system can cost anywhere from $4,000 – $20,000.  This is nothing to sneeze at.  Stick to your pump out schedules and make sure you use a high quality monthly septic maintenance treatment to prevent problems.  If your system is already giving you trouble, there are septic shock treatments available online that can restore failing drain fields, but do your research carefully and get one that has a track record for success.

Septic Tank Pumping – Is it the Cure?

Septic Tank Pumping almost Never Fixes the Main Problem.

septic tank pumpingIt seems like any time a homeowner has an issue with slow flushing toilets or slow drains, or even some backup in the yard, they “run” to the simple solution of septic tank pumping.   While that might be the solution for a quick-fix for SOME problems, it is very rarely the long term solution, and will most often need to be repeated on a monthly basis, if there is a root cause that’s not being addressed.   If You are considering septic tank pumping, please take the time to read this article.   You will certainly be enlightened, and you Hopefully will get a new understanding of the causes of septic system failure and the Best way to rescue a septic system once and for all.  It’s NOT septic tank pumping.  Go see Why Septic Systems Really Fail

The first thing to understand about septic tank pumping is that the ONLY THING IT DOES is remove the non-organic matter or “stuff that can’t decompose” from your septic tank.  That means things like diapers, cigarettes, tampons, condoms, etc.  (Gross, we know.. sorry).   If having that type of stuff in your septic tank is the MAIN CAUSE of your issue, then pumping the septic tank could fix it for good, as long as you don’t go flushing more things like that down the toilet.    However, if you do NOT flush that type of stuff down the toilet, the problem is something else.    Usually, a lack of bacteria in your system. (we will discuss how that happens later in the article)

One VERY important thing to remember about a Septic System is that it consists of more than just the tank.   Attached to your tank is some sort of drainage area.. sometimes called a leach field, or drain field.  What happens is that bacteria in the septic tank digests the sludge and solid matter and turns it into liquid.   This liquid then flows to the drainage area, and seeps gradually through holes out into the soil, where it finally just goes away.   Septic tank pumping ONLY removes matter from the tank.   It does NOTHING to the drainage area, which makes up about 50% of your septic system.   So really, pumping out the septic tank is at best, only a 50% solution.

The PRIMARY area where this system goes wrong is out in the drainage area.   If your septic tank doesn’t have enough bacteria in it, the solid matter is not liquified before heading out to the drainage area.   When that happens, it clogs up the drainage area.  This, in turn, causes the backup to creep back to the tank, and often right back up to your toilets, drains, sinks and tubs.   When that happens, it’s usually considered a total septic system failure.

To FULLY solve the issue of a failing septic system, in a way that septic tank pumping can NOT do, is to treat the septic system with specially engineered bacteria to rapidly liquify the solid matter in your septic tank AND drainage area, thus allowing it to return to a system where liquid can flow freely out into the drainage area, and into your soil.   This is the ONLY real way to rescue a septic system that is failing.  If you pump your septic tank, but do NOT address the bacteria issue, you will just end up having to pump it out over and over on a continual basis.  This can be costly and frustrating.

How did my bacteria get so Low in my septic system?   Good question.   The answer lies in the things that go down your drains, tubs and toilets, and also your laundry machines.    Products like bleach, anti-bacterial soaps, cleaners, and shampoos are usually the cause of this.   Every time you introduce a product down the drain or toilet that kills bacteria or germs, you are KILLING the bacteria that is VITAL to your septic system.   This doesn’t mean that you have to stop using all these products.   It just means that you need to replace the bacteria in your septic tank and system from time to time.   Think of it as a Probiotic for your septic system.

That is where our product, SEPTICLEANSE, comes in.  This is an INDUSTRIAL strength bacterial treatment that is two types of septicleanse treatmentformulated into granules and packaged into water-soluble plastic packets.  You can flush these packets down the toilet and introduce billions of bacteria into your system that multiply by 400% right away.   This bacteria will start liquifying the matter in your pipes, septic tank and drain field… even in the soil immediately surround the drain field.    By doing this, the septic system can return to performing at optimal levels.    If you use some of our monthly maintenance packs, which are also just a flushable packet, you can keep your system running smoothly, even as you continue to use antibacterial soaps and bleaches.  Go See Why Septic Tanks Fail and get some more information.   Also, you can check out the page, What Septicleanse Package Do I Need that will lead you to the package that suits your problem best.

You will find that it’s no longer necessary to pump out your system all the time, and the cost will be considerably lower.  Your septic system, and your wallet will thank you for it.

 

Septic System Contractors – Don't Let them Panic You

So your Septic System has been acting up, and you called Septic System Contractors.

septic system contractorsUsually, this dreaded call is made when you can no longer put it off.   The drains or toilet are barely taking any more liquid, and possibly the yard is beginning to flood (and maybe even stink).   It’s usually a little intimidating, because you, like most other homeowners are NO Expert in septic systems.  The septic system contractors tell you you’re going to need a NEW septic system.  And before you can think of any other questions to ask, he hits you with it… “It could cost up to $20,000”.    Boom, Panic sets in, and you don’t know what to do.     You luckily did the right thing, and found your way to this website.     The good news is that you don’t have to panic.   Let’s remember a few things that we’ll outline in this article, and you will immediately feel better, more in control, and will save a TON of dough.

The first thing to remember is that the septic contractor is also a salesman.   He makes his living by SELLING new septic systems. Not necessarily by giving you the best information that would most quickly solve your problem.   Septic system contractors love saying things like “In the long run you’ll need to replace it”  or “we could do a quick-fix now, but you’re going to Need to replace it soon”.    All these things are designed to get them a new client, not necessarily to getting your septic system back in working order for the cheapest amount possible.   It’s unfortunate, but YOUR goal is often quite different than your septic contractor.    Keep that fact in mind when hearing what he has to say.   Take your time, and continue your research despite these septic system contractors stories.

Another thing that causes many homeowners to ask hastily, is that they allow the “grossness” or “stink” of the situation to make them act SO quickly that they don’t make the right choices.   We all understand that nobody wants the neighbors to smell a disgusting septic backup coming from your yard, and we Definitely don’t want to see waste backing up from the bathtub drains.   But just hang in there for a minute, and make sure you get ALL the information and Understand ALL the options before you go rushing into a decision.    Septic tank information can be quite confusing, so don’t rush into anything.  Especially a decision that could cost thousands upon thousands of dollars.    MANY of our Septicleanse clients tell us that they were inches from spending thousands on a new system before trying our products, and they thank us very much for saving them the expense.   They are the ones who don’t rush, and who took the time to find a better solution than system replacement.

You should remember that replacing your septic system (or part of it) should be the last resort.   You don’t go buying a new car, just because the air conditioner is failing do you?   Try to keep that same concept in mind when listening to these septic system contractors.   Also, you should definitely remember that there is a ROOT CAUSE to the failure of your system.    Pumping out the septic tank is only going to temporarily ease the symptoms.   But the ROOT CAUSE is that there is not enough bacteria in your system to dissolve the solid matter and allow the liquids to leech into the ground, so that the system can perform correctly.    The key thing to remember is that you need to address the root cause of bacterial shortage, NOT just pump it out or replace part of the system.

It might sound TOO SIMPLE to you, that by adding industrial strength bacteria to your septic system can cure such seemingly overwhelming problems.   However, It really is true.    Now, that’s not to say that you can run down to your local hardware store and buy some off-the-shelf drain cleaner or bacterial additive and it will solve your problem.   If you’re at the point of calling a septic system contractor, you WILL NEED A STRONGER TREATMENT.    But, when you find the right one, and you add it to you system, it really will work, and really will get your system back to functioning correctly.  These super-bacterias are not cheap, but when you compare it to the ridiculous cost of replacing your septic system with a contractor, they seem VERY AFFORDABLE.   Plus, with continued use of maintenance bacterial treatments, you can keep your system for decades longer.

two types of septicleanse treatmentOur brand of Septic Treatment is called Septicleanse.   We feel that it is absolutely the best choice… but that’s our opinion, of course.   You can read a bunch of our customer testimonials to see what many people had to say.   They are quite impressive.   We offer some great value options that include a “System Shock” which is a heavy, heavy dose of bacteria that will rescue the system.  We also have some options that include maintenance plans to keep the system flowing perfectly after the primary problem is solved.  ONE GREAT feature of our bacterial treatments is that they are in the form of granules in a dissolvable plastic pouch.   So you can just drop a pouch into the toilet, let it dissolve, and flush.   You don’t have to deal with messy, heavy buckets of liquids that some of the competitors offer.   You can read our page called What Do I Need to Buy to help figure out the best package for you.

Common Septic System Myths

Septic System Myths and the Truths to Set You Straight

Septic Systems are used by roughly 25% of Americans, however the systems are most commonly used in rural areas.  Despite the large number of systems out there, there is far too little trustworthy information about septic systems out there for homeowners to read.  Neighbors and community members often exchange tricks and insight that may have worked for them in the past, however that advice is neither based upon science or a full understanding of how septic systems work.

myths about septic systemsHere are some of the more common myths.  While not a complete list, we did our best to cover the most common mistakes that homeowners make when maintaining their septic system.

Myth  My septic system is designed to last forever.

Truth – While many septic systems have been known to operate for 50 years or more, there are countless others that have failed within a year.  The average for a septic system to continue performing is roughly 20-30 years.  With increasing knowledge and understanding of system sizing and design importance, new septic systems should be able to last even longer.  The main characteristic for long lasting systems is that the owners of the system take the time to do proper maintenance and upkeep.

Myth – Pumping my tank will take care of the current problems.

Truth – A few problems can be corrected by pumping and cleaning the tank.  Clogged tanks due to soap crystals or greases and fats can be corrected.  Most problems, however, are caused by saturation of the drain field.  This plugging or blocking of the soil is not going to be corrected by pumping out the system.  A proper evaluation of the system is necessary to determine the extent of the damage and to decide which option is the best next step for your system.  Pumping is a tremendous asset to maintaining your systems performance and preventing a problem, it seldom does the trick however when you are looking to fix a problem.

Myth – If I call the health department to ask questions they will target my property and force an expensive system install.

Truth – In most instances, the health department is there to help prevent health hazards.  Recognizing that you have a problem and being aware of the proper next steps to take is an important part of that process.  While each health department may function differently, they are a resource that can be utilized to help you take the proper course of action for your particular situation.

Myth – My septic contractor said the drain field is failed, so it must be failed.

Truth – While most septic contractors are honest and tell the truth about the condition of the system, they are directly compensated by any repairs you may ‘need’ to have done.  This puts their advice in a conflict of interest with yours.  While your septic system may absolutely need some repairs, it is best to do some homework yourself before you fork over your hard earned money to replace the system.

Myth – The best way to maintain your septic system is to follow the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ motto.

Truth – Many homeowners forget about their septic system that serves their home.  Most only think about it when experiencing a problem with the system.  Maintaining your septic system is a necessary part of homeownership.  You wouldn’t own and drive a car without at least periodically changing the oil.  The same is true here, you have to give the system some love in order for it to last, otherwise you will spend considerably more money on repairs or replacement.

Myth: My septic tank has never failed.

Truth: Most septic system failure occurs in the drain field and not the tank.  The septic tank is just a tank or reservoir that holds 4 or 5 days worth of daily water use.  The real purpose of the tank is to have the solid waste settle out of the liquid so that only the liquid goes to the drain field.  When solid particles make their way into the drain field, it causes failure.  Pumping the tank is required in order to prevent that, it is not a step that you wait for problems before doing.

While there are countless other septic system myths, these are the most common that we hear.  An important part of owning a home with a septic system is to understand the system and how to properly maintain it.  Problems can be very costly to repair so it is always better to take steps to prevent problems before they arise.

If you are experiencing a problem, do your own homework first, then seek out any assistance you may need once you have a good understanding.

 

The Role of Bacteria In Your Septic System

Healthy Bacteria Levels and the Products that Cause Imbalance

It may come as a surprise to many homeowners, but the amount of bacteria that your septic tank has directly impacts the overall performance of your septic system.  In fact, if you are experiencing septic system problems, back ups, foul odor or gurgling sounds it is caused by a reduction in the levels of bacteria within your system.  In this article we take a closer look at Septic Systems and discuss why Bacteria levels are so important to the process.  Furthermore, we examine which household products homeowners likely use that may be causing irreparable damage.

bacteria is required in your septic tankThe word Septic is defined as being ‘infected with bacteria.’  Therefore a septic system is designed to use naturally occurring bacteria and enzymes to help breakdown the solid waste, greases, fats, detergents and soaps that are deposited into the septic tank daily.  The bacteria in your septic tank feeds upon this organic matter and digests it. The digestive process results in the solids being liquefied within the septic tank.  Once liquefied, the gray water leaves the septic tank into the drain field where it drains through tiny perforations in the pipes and is returned to the soil.  It is actually a pretty impressive process when you stop and think about it, but what happens if their is not enough naturally occurring bacteria in the septic tank to break down the solid waste?

The Causes of Septic Failure

If the bacteria levels in a septic system drop, the solid waste cannot be liquefied.  The sediment piles up in the tank until it reaches a critical level and begins to affect the drain field of the system.  This pile up of solid waste may cause a foul odor and even back ups in the house.  While both of these are extremely unpleasant, the most costly damage is done when these particles of waste leave the septic tank and enter the drain field.

As you can imagine, the liquid that leaves your septic tank is not exactly clear.  You would not want to drink the water as it is, it is filled with particles of waste.  As these particles travel through the drain line and out through the perforations they are collected.  The sides of the drain lines and the perforations themselves commonly accumulate these particles and over time, they build up and can restrict the drainage of your system.  Even more troubling for your system is the fact the soil acts like a natural filter as the water drains into it.  This means ALL of the particles that leave your septic tank are collected within the first few inches of soil surrounding the drain lines.

This collection of organic material is called Bio Mat.  This bio mat acts like a wet sponge, once saturated it can prevent your drain field from draining.  This is where the serious problems occur.  Because the system cannot drain, gray water back fills into the tank and home or it surfaces in the form of flooding yard.  The repairs can cost thousands of dollars to homeowners.

Maintaining Bacteria Levels

At the time of their inception, septic systems were designed to use only naturally occurring bacteria to process the solid waste.  This worked fine in the old days, but as the household water consumption has changed over the years, so have the products we use in our homes.  The combination of the two can lead to these serious septic system problems if you are not careful.

Most homeowners take the time to clean their home. Research has shown that a cleaner home can prevent the spread of germs and sickness.  Homeowners disinfect the counters, floors and bathrooms regularly, especially if there are children in the home.  Regular laundry loads drop massive amounts of bacteria killing detergents into your septic system. Even the hand soaps we use are anti bacterial now a days.  The point being that most of the household cleaning products we use sanitize and kill germs.  The very same germs that your Septic System relies upon to process the solid waste and paper in your septic tank.

Each day, our normal household activities kill bacteria and lower the overall bacteria levels.  If nothing is done to increase the bacteria levels or reduce the amount of bacteria killing products used then the septic system will ultimately fail.

What Can Be Done to Help

There are a number of things that can be done as regular septic maintenance for your system.  Many homeowners pump their septic tank out regularly.  Regular pumping is a good way to keep the amount of sediment in your septic tank down.  Theoretically, the less solid waste build up in your septic tank, the lower the chances of it spreading to the drain field and causing massive headaches. Keep in mind, however, that each time the septic tank is pumped out, so is the naturally occurring bacteria in the tank so pumping too often can also lead to problems.

By reducing the anti bacterial products you use in the home, you can reduce some of the bacteria kill off.  Not using bleach in the laundry helps, of course, as would restricting or limiting the use of any anti bacterial cleaners.  Moderation is the key here.  It is OK to keep your home clean and germ free, but think about the quantity you use or how often these products are used.

Lastly, there are bacteria additives that can be used in your septic system.  By supplementing bacteria into your septic tank on a regular basis, you can effectively maintain the bacteria levels within your system and avoid the potential problems we have discussed.  There are even some bacteria additives strong enough to help reverse the damage already done.

The most effective way to maintain proper septic system maintenance and bacteria levels is to practice each of these three things.  Make sure you have your septic system pumped regularly, but not too often.  Many counties may regulate the frequency of pumping, but in general, every 3 years is good.  Reduce the amount of bleach or detergents you use.  The household cleaners we use have a cumulative affect on your system, so take inventory of the products that kill germs and take steps to reduce the volume and frequency of their use.  Lastly, find a septic additive that delivers a concentrated dose of bacteria to the system for you each month.  By following these steps you can properly maintain bacteria levels and keep your system performing well for years to come.

Septic Tanks – The Guide

What is a Septic Tank:

A septic tank an essential part of the septic system.  A septic tank is for small scale sewage treatment; they are common in areas that are not connected to the main sewage line.  They are mainly controlled and operated by local governments, though they are sometimes privately owned and maintained as well.  Close to 25 percent of the North American population relies on septic tanks.  In North America septic tanks can be used in cities, small towns, and rural areas.  However in other areas of the world, such as Europe, septic tanks are not suitable in cities, so they are primarily used in rural areas.

side view of septic tank diagram

The Septic Tank is Step 1 of the process. After liquid leaves the septic tank it goes to the Drain Field.

Septic Tank Emptying:
Solid waste from the septic tank must eventually be liquified by the bacteria in the tank, otherwise the system will discharge these solid materials into the drainage system.  This would have negative effects on the environment, and may clog piping systems, which may result in expensive repairs.  When a septic tank is emptied the solid waste is removed by a vacuum truck. The size and amount of waste in a septic system are the determining factors in how often the tank must be emptied.  A properly maintained septic tank will not require emptying, as bacteria eats the solid waste, rendering it in liquid form, which is then safely and efficiently dispersed through the drainage area into the soil.

cross view of a drain field for a septic system

The Drain Field is how the liquid waste is dispersed safely into the soil. This is the Second and Final Step of the process.

Septic Tank Maintenance:
Like all sewage systems, septic tanks require maintenance.   The maintenance is usually the responsibility of the resident or property owner.  However certain actions may result in an increased need for maintenance.  Disposing of cooking grease or other types of oil and grease may cause blockage throughout the system and may be difficult and costly to repair.  Also the disposal of cigarette butts, cotton swabs, and sanitary napkins may also result in a clogged system.  Certain chemicals may also cause the septic system to need repairs or require more effort for septic tank maintenance.  Some chemicals or pesticides may kill important bacteria needed in order for the septic system to operate properly.  Other factors may include tree roots or branches rupturing or blocking the system, excessive water emptying the system, excessive rainfall, and the development of biofilms that form after long periods of time.

Septic tank additives:
Septic tank additives can be used in order to help reduce septic tank built up and reduce odors.   Primarily, if a septic tank is failing, it is because of a lack of bacteria in the tank.  There are, luckily, bacterial additives that can be administered to the tank, which can restore bacterial levels, and therefore, the functionality of the septic tank.  There are varying types of bacteria that can be added to your septic system.   In general, if proper bacterial levels are constant in a septic tank, the need for pumping and maintenance can be avoided.  As a result, it is common to administer a bacterial additive monthly, as a preventative maintenance procedure.

Environmental concerns:
A septic tank that is properly maintained poses no real environmental risks or concerns.  However when septic tanks are not properly maintained, the risk of groundwater pollution and surface water pollution can become an issue.

Works Cited
“Septic Systems.” National Environmental Services Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 March 2016. <http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/subpages/septic_defined.cfm>.
Tilley, Elizabeth. Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies. Dübendorf: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), 2014. Print.

Drain Fields – The Guide

What is a Drain Field:

Septic Drain Fields are used to remove impurities and any contaminants from the liquid that leaves the septic tank.  Drain Fields are often called Leach Fields, Weeping Beds or Leach Drains.  Drain Fields can come in a variety of designs depending on soil and property specifics.  A complete septic system is the septic tank, the drain field and any associated piping.

construction of a drain field

This typical drain field setup shows how perforated tubing in rows allows liquid waste to filter into the surrounding soil.

 

What is a Sand Mound:

Sand Mound or Mound System is an engineered drain field in locations where the soil has conditions that may be problematic.  Extremely Permeable or Impermeable Soils, High Water Tables and Porous bedrock can create conditions where normal drain fields will not work effectively.  The Mound System is designed to offset those concerns.

The Reasons for Drain Field Failure:

There are two reasons that a drain field can fail.  Hydraulic Overload and Biological Overload are the two reasons.  Hydraulic overload occurs when too much water is sent to an under designed system. Capacity is often determined by the number of bedrooms for a house.  This is not always accurate which is why as older homes are renovated or a hot tub is added, the amount of wastewater becomes too much for the system to handle.

Biological Overload when too much organic matter is in the effluent leaving the septic tank.  A drop in bacteria counts in septic tanks or excessive solid build up in the tank can lead to particles making their way into the drain field and developing Bio Mat, which leads to drain field failure.

Drain Field Maintenance:

Like all sewage systems septic systems need regular maintenance.  Drain Field maintenance is not any different from the septic tank maintenance.  Essentially, by taking good care of the bacteria levels within the septic tank and observing regular Septic tank pump out schedules you are taking the necessary steps to maintain your drain field.  If proper septic tank maintenance was overlooked and the drain field is failing, you need to seek out septic shock treatments for the system, or consider replacing the drain field.

Drain Field Rehabilitation:

There is much debate on the proper steps for drain field rehabilitation.  Contractors will usually recommend replacing the drain field with a new system in a new area of the property.  Other developments will attempt temporary relief until they can connect with a sewer system.  There are septic shock treatments designed to digest the biological overload or Bio Mat which can restore your septic systems drainage.  The process can take roughly a month, however the cost is a fraction of replacing the system.

Environmental Concerns:

A septic system that is maintained properly poses no significant environmental risks or concerns.  However when septic tanks are not properly maintained, the risk of groundwater pollution and surface water pollution can become a concern.