A well-cared for, well-maintained septic system will remain clear and free flowing for many years. If you neglect your system, it will eventually clog or fail which will lead to large costs or even system replacement! A failed septic system is costly and may become a health hazard.
The Septic Tank and Disposal System
Your septic system consists of a septic tank and absorption area. The purpose of the septic tank is to collect all water coming from the household (bath water, laundry, toilet waste, etc). Solids settle to the bottom while scum and greases rise to the top of the tank. Between the two areas of solid waste is liquid, which is allowed to pass through the baffles (pipes) into the absorption area.
Bacteria from the septic tank and from material entering the septic tank work to break down scum and organic matter. Inorganic and hard to decompose material remain as sludge at the bottom of the septic tank. By cleaning the septic tank regularly (on average once every two years) and being careful about what is put into it, a system will work well for many years as long as it has been properly installed.
When a septic tank is not cleaned at the proper intervals the sludge layer increases, filling the tank. It may then overflow into the absorption field clogging it and causing system failure.
Warning Signs of Septic System Failure
If you see any of these signs call us to have your tank pumped and system thoroughly checked.
Septic Cleaning Process
When we, at Walters, clean your septic system we first pump all waste from your tank using a method called back flushing. Back flushing is the process of cleaning your tank using vacuum suction and injecting water into the tank to break up the scum layer so as to be sure we have removed the scum and sludge from your tank. The septic tank should be pumped through the larger manhole, not the baffle inspection ports. A septic tank cannot be thoroughly cleaned through the baffle ports. If cleaning is attempted through the baffles, small holes may be damaged in the process. This may have several deliterious consequences on your septic system's operation.
Before closing the septic tank, we check the inlet and outlet baffles to be sure they are properly in place. If they are not intact, they will need to be replaced so that your septic system will function properly. Inlet and outlet baffles are in place so that the scum layer must stay in the tank and can not clog a line or go out into the drainfield. To help with future cleaning, riser material should be installed on the tank manholes so that they will not need to be dug open in the future. The extensions bring the tank lid closer to the ground surface so that the lids are only a few inches under the ground surface.
If you do not know where your tank is located we can help you. There are a couple of options available from probing the ground with a metal rod to find the tank, to flushing a sensor down the toilet and following it with a hand held device that tracks the signal to the septic tank.
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Real Estate Inspections | Escavation and Plumbing Work