Septic tanks are a great solution for remote or urban property owners who either cannot or do not want to be part of a municipal sewage system. A septic system is connected directly to the pipes of the residence or business and serves as an immediate filter and containment unit for water-bound domestic waste. There are certain risks related to the installation and maintenance of a septic tank; such risks have resulted in rules that need to be followed to protect the environment and property especially with the regular removal of the contents of the tank by a vacuum truck.
Depending on the size of the unit and the household, a tank must be emptied every three to five years. This is necessary not only because of space limitations but also because the tank needs to be inspected with some regularity to check for cracks, leaks and blockages. Other reasons are as follows:
- Emergencies – Pumping can also become necessary in cases of emergency. Sewage backup and drain clogging may occur due to blockages which need to be cleared immediately to keep the problem from escalating. Flooding can cause similar problems.
- Precautionary Measure – Emptying the primary container can also be a precautionary measure when there are many household members; parties with many guests; or other circumstances where many people would be using the toilets.
- Odors – Sometimes tanks are suctioned due to permeating sewer odors escaping from the system as that could be a symptom of leaking gas needing to be repaired separately. Evidence of septic failure must be attended to immediately by a professional repair company.
- Selling Property – It is also customary to pump out the septic system before selling property.
Septic tanks serve a very useful purpose for many households. As long as properly maintained by regular pumping, cleaning and inspections, they should correctly function under all conditions and for a long service life. Hopefully this information will be helpful in knowing how a septic tank is cleaned!
Follow these safety tips given below when inspecting your septic system:
1. Septic tank lid
Make sure that the access port of your tank is covered with a solid lid. Make sure that the lid is strong enough. Kids should not be able to open it. If you have no idea as to how to install the system, you can call a professional for help. The company will be more than happy to help with the inspection.
2. The tank opening
You should never lean over the septic tank opening. The reason is that the gasses that come out of the tank may knock you out. You may also fall in the tank, which may prove fatal.
3. Driving Over The septic system
Driving heavy machine on the ground where the tank system is buried is not a good idea. Actually, you may have to bear heavy costs in order to get the broken pipes repaired. So, make sure you don’t drive heavy equipment or machinery on the ground where you buried the tank system.
Name: Billy Fowler
Organization: ASAP Advanced Septic & Drainage, Inc.
Address: 5011 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: (813) 986-6070
What is a lint trap?
Lint traps are mesh screens that are designed to go over the discharge hose of a washing machine that empties into a sink, and are also known as lint snares or lint filters. They can be made of aluminum, stainless steel or nylon. They are used to capture any lint that is discharged from the water to keep it from going down the sink. Lint traps are more important today since washing machines no longer come with a built in lint filter, as a result, more lint gets washed down the drain, and stays on the clothes.
If you are anything at all like me, you realize the effect that lint from your laundry has on your pipes, sink and septic system. This lint that is discharged with the water, clogs your pipes and can harm the flow of your septic system. It took a while before I realized that there were pre made solutions out there that were easy to use and inexpensive to buy. To me time is money and searching for a old nylon stocking and finding something to attach it with onto the hose so that it wouldn’t come off when the water was coming out of the hose, was more of a pain and more expensive time-wise for me.
If I have to spend more than 15 minutes to create something, then it’s worth the $5 to just buy the solution. To create my own solution meant that I would have to find a nylon that was long enough and still had enough integrity to it to effectively filter out the lint. I would then have to find a rubber band that would twist tight enough to hold the nylon in place for until it was time to replace it. This solution worked in being able to reduce the lint, however the solution was always haphazard and took way to much time for me to spend to get it to work. Luckily I found these lint traps that are especially made for washing machine drain hoses to specifically filter the lint from the drain water. The particular snares I found are made of stainless steel and come with an attachment tie that holds the filter to the hose tight enough to keep it secure when the water discharges from the laundry machine. The great thing is that there is no additional equipment needed to attach them to the washing machine output hose. That means I don’t have to spend time searching the house for something to attach it with. Remember for me, time is money. Once the lint traps get full of lint, the best practice is to replace them when they are about 1/2 full, although I have seen them 90% full before they were changed.
5 packs of lint traps on Amazon are available for purchase or you can just search for washing machine hose lint filters on Amazon and see what comes up.
Some problems that Lint Snares keep us from having to experience:
- clogged sink drains that are caked with lint from the discharge water during the laundry machine spin cycle
- your sink filling up with water during the water discharge because the drainage screens get filled with lint over time and begin to block the water from draining out of the sink.
- globs of lint getting stuck to the side of the sink to have to be washed out time and time again… more maintenance!
Unfortunately these lint traps don't solve the problem of more lint on our clothes now after the wash cycle..... That is another problem for another solution to handle.
Washing Machine Lint Traps Facts
- Usually made in China but some are made in the USA too.
- comes in a range from a pack of 2 to a pack of 50 lint traps and ties.
- simple to install - includes ties to attach lint filters to the output hose and no additional tools are needed.
- large enough to fit almost all washer hose sizes.
- they can be made from stainless steel, aluminum or nylon
- they should be replaced when they are half full.
What are some benefits of Washing Machine Lint Traps?
1. Lint Traps Help to Protect Your Septic Sewage System
Households that utilize septic systems have to especially be aware of what goes down their drains and their toilets. With many homes, their drain water flows into the septic drain field, therefore it must remain clear of debris so water can pass freely through the drainage field. Most lint from the washing machine is made of non biodegradable particles and if these particles eventually build up in the lint field, then they will eventually create enough of a blockage to reduce the efficiency of the drain field, thus causing the septic system to fail over time because the water can no long pass through it easily. Filtering out the lint from the water will go a long way over time to keep the drainage field free of non biodegradable particles, so therefore, using lint snares will keep the health of your septic system in tact.
2. Washing Machine Lint Filters Protect the Household Plumbing
I have read many stories about homeowners having to deal with clogged pipes and needing to call the plumber out to clean the out. One particular story I read was the plumber showed the homeowner some of what was stuck in the pipe and there was a lot of lint fiber that was mixed with food particles and grease stuck to the pipe. That combination of substances cause a hard layer of coating that caked on the pipes over time. This particular plumber shared with the homeowner one thing that would keep that from occurring again. The plumber told the homeowner about lint traps and how that would keep the lint out of the drainage water. The homeowner had never heard of them before so they were quite grateful and began using them right away. They have since been rewarded with trouble free plumbing. It’s great when a plumber is willing to empower their customers enough to talk them out of future work!
When lint builds up from washing machine waste water, it can create problems for homeowners. The two mentioned above and in addition, lint build up from sinks can occur as well. That is one more thing that needs to be taken care of in regards to home maintenance that these filters can help you with. The good thing is that these solutions are very inexpensive and are very simple to install. They can be found at the hardware store, or on online places like Amazon and other retailer websites.
In order to ensure that your septic tank has no damages, you need to monitor it regularly. It is necessary to get in touch with the health department in your area to know about the regulations in terms of maintaining a septic tank. In case you face some septic tank issues, you have to hire a septic tank repair professional to take care of the operation. Your local health department can surely help you in finding the professional. But to make sure that your tank is working well all the time, here are some precautions that you can consider.
Always Maintain Your Septic System
There are many things that you can do to maintain your septic tank and you can go online to get some ideas. But one common way is to always be aware of how long you have last pumped your tank. Also, you have to know the last time you had issues with it. A lot of sewer and cleaning services stressed that it is necessary to your tank every three to five years. As a precaution to some tank problems in the future, you should know where your septic system is exactly located.
Be Alert in Determining Trouble Signs
Whenever you suspect tank leaking, you must contact your local health department immediately so the situation can be dealt with. Leakage signs include grass growth abundance in the drain field and overflow of water around the system. If your home is situated near a river or lake you observe that your friends or family have been experiencing illnesses after they swam into the water source, find a professional to test your water because it may be contaminated already. Be alert with unusual odors which could develop around the place.
Septic systems fulfill a crucial function for many homes and businesses, especially in rural areas, though many people are clueless as to how they work. While septic tanks are usually low-maintenance systems, they can become extremely tricky and expensive if something goes wrong. A basic knowledge is important to anyone wishing to avoid future problems with their septic tanks.
What is a septic system?
Septic systems are small-scale sewage treatment systems that are used in areas not connected to a sewage system operated by the government or a private company. They are often used by homes and farms in rural areas where it is too costly to connect to faraway sewage mains. Septic systems work by pumping wastewater from bathrooms, kitchens and laundry facilities into effluent tanks, which process the waste and then disperse it onto a septic drain field.
What is a septic tank?
What happens to waste that doesn't decompose?
Some of the contents of the effluent tank will not decompose; therefore it is important to empty the tank occasionally. If tanks are not pumped the septic tank can fill with undecomposed substances that will be pumped into the drainage field. This can result in environmental problems as well as expensive repairs. How often the tank needs to be pumped clean varies depending on its size, the number of people using it and the outside temperature. Because there are so many variables, there is no rule of thumb for how often the tanks should be pumped: some need it every few years while other can go between 10 and 20 years without pumping. Have a professional inspect your tank to let you know when it needs to be pumped.
An aerobic treatment system or ATS, often called (incorrectly) an aerobic septic system, is a small scale sewage treatment system similar to a septic tank system, but which uses an aerobic process for digestion rather than just the anaerobic process used in septic systems. These systems are commonly found in rural areas where public sewers are not available, and may be used for a single residence or for a small group of homes.
Unlike the traditional septic system, the aerobic treatment system produces a high quality secondary effluent, which can be sterilized and used for surface irrigation. This allows much greater flexibility in the placement of the leach field, as well as cutting the required size of the leach field by as much as half.
The ATS process generally consists of the following phases:
The disinfecting stage is optional, and is used where a sterile effluent is required, such as cases where the effluent is distributed above ground. The disinfectant typically used is tablets of calcium hypochlorite, which are specially made for waste treatment systems. The tablets are intended to break down quickly in sunlight. Stabilized forms of chlorine persist after the effluent is dispersed, and can kill plants in the leach field.
Since the ATS contains a living ecosystem of microbes to digest the waste products in the water, excessive amounts of items such as bleach or antibiotics can damage the ATS environment and reduce treatment effectiveness. Non-digestible items should also be avoided, as they will build up in the system and require more frequent sludge removal.
Small scale aerobic systems generally use one of two designs, fixed-film systems, or continuous flow, suspended growth aerobic systems (CFSGAS). The pre-treatment and effluent handling are similar for both types of systems, and the difference lies in the aeration stage.
Fixed film systems use a porous medium which provides a bed to support the biomass film that digests the waste material in the wastewater. Designs for fixed film systems vary widely, but fall into two basic categories (though some systems may combine both methods). The first is a system where the media is moved relative to the wastewater, alternately immersing the film and exposing it to air, while the second uses a stationary media, and varies the wastewater flow so the film is alternately submerged and exposed to air. In both cases, the biomass must be exposed to both wastewater and air for the aerobic digestion to occur. The film itself may be made of any suitable porous material, such as formed plastic or peat moss. Simple systems use stationary media, and rely on intermittent, gravity driven wastewater flow to provide periodic exposure to air and wastewater. A common moving media system is the rotating biological contactor (RBC), which uses disks rotating slowly on a horizontal shaft. Approximately 40 percent of the disks are submerged at any given time, and the shaft rotates at a rate of one or two revolutions per minute.
CFSGAS systems, as the name implies, are designed to handle continuous flow, and do not provide a bed for a bacterial film, relying rather on bacteria suspended in the wastewater. The suspension and aeration are typically provided by an air pump, which pumps air through the aeration chamber, providing a constant stirring of the wastewater in addition to the oxygenation. A medium to promote fixed film bacterial growth may be added to some systems designed to handle higher than normal levels of biomass in the wastewater.
Another increasingly common use of aerobic treatment is for the remediation of failing or failed anaerobic septic systems, by retrofitting an existing system with an aerobic feature. This class of product, known as aerobic remediation, is designed to remediate biologically failed and failing anaerobic distribution systems by significantly reducing the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) and total suspended solids (TSS) of the effluent. The reduction of the BOD5 and TSS reverses the developed bio-mat. Further, effluent with high dissolved oxygen and aerobic bacteria flow to the distribution component and digest the bio-mat.Doing so on single tank systems where solids do not have anywhere to settle, or there is no a clarifying area can do damage to the field lines as the solid matter is stirred up in the tank.
Composting toilets are designed to treat only toilet waste, rather than general residential waste water, and are typically used with water-free toilets rather than the flush toilets associated with the above types of aerobic treatment systems. These systems treat the waste as a moist solid, rather than in liquid suspension, and therefore separate urine from feces during treatment to maintain the correct moisture content in the system. An example of a composting toilet is the clivus multrum (Latin for 'inclined chamber'), which consists of an inclined chamber that separates urine and feces and a fan to provide positive ventilation and prevent odors from escaping through the toilet. Within the chamber, the urine and feces are independently broken down not only by aerobic bacteria, but also by fungi, arthropods, and earthworms. Treatment times are very long, with a minimum time between removals of solid waste of a year; during treatment the volume of the solid waste is decreased by 90 percent, with most being converted into water vapor and carbon dioxide. Pathogens are eliminated from the waste by the long durations in inhospitable conditions in the treatment chamber.
The aeration stage and the disinfecting stage are the primary differences from a traditional septic system; in fact, an aerobic treatment system can be used as a secondary treatment for septic tank effluent. These stages increase the initial cost of the aerobic system, and also the maintenance requirements over the passive septic system. Unlike many other biofilters, aerobic treatment systems require a constant supply of electricity to drive the air pump increasing overall system costs. The disinfectant tablets must be periodically replaced, as well as the electrical components (air compressor) and mechanical components (air diffusers). On the positive side, an aerobic system produces a higher quality effluent than a septic tank, and thus the leach field can be smaller than that of a conventional septic system, and the output can be discharged in areas too environmentally sensitive for septic system output. Some aerobic systems recycle the effluent through a sprinkler system, using it to water the lawn where regulations approve.
Since the effluent from an ATS is often discharged onto the surface of the leach field, the quality is very important. A typical ATS will, when operating correctly, produce an effluent with less than 30 mg/liter BOD5, 25 mg/L TSS, and 10,000 cfu/mL fecal coliform bacteria. This is clean enough that it cannot support a biomat or "slime" layer like a septic tank.
ATS effluent is relatively odorless; a properly operating system will produce effluent that smells musty, but not like sewage. Aerobic treatment is so effective at reducing odors, that it is the preferred method for reducing odor from manure produced by farms.
So, these are a few precautions that you may want to take if you are going to work on a septic tank system. This is important should you want to keep you and your family safe around the system. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to call a local septic service in Hillsborough County . Hopefully, these tips will help.
Septic tank systems become clogged with roots in the leach lines, leach field, drain field or seepage field, causing backup of wastewater into the house. The inexpensive fix is to use copper sulfate through an installed cleanout or septic field pump.
Septic tank systems
Septic tank systems do not last forever and replacing one is a very expensive proposition. If your house is connected to the city sewer system, then you do not have a septic tank. A septic tank can be described as your very own little sewage treatment plant. There are three basic elements of a septic system:
- The septic line that carries sewage and waste water from your house to the tank. There is usually a cleanout plug at the house-end it so that you can run a snake down it to remove obstructions.
- The septic tank itself where sewage is held while undergoing decomposition. This is underground, probably under a grassy area, and has a cover that is usually buried in residential installations.
- The leach field, also referred to as a drain field or seepage field. This is a branching network of underground porous trenches, pipes or something similar that carries the clear liquid from the septic tank throughout adjacent soil where it is absorbed.
A clogged leach field
Eventually leach fields become clogged because the roots from trees and other vegetation are attracted to the nutrient-rich effluent. The roots grow through the pores intended to drain the liquid, seepage gradually slows or stops.
If sufficient pressure cannot be released through the pores of the leach field, the entire septic system cannot accept any more waste water and it backs up in the house, usually at a low point such as a shower or tub drain. If it gets that bad, you may have to replace the entire leach field. In many localities, that will require a building permit and meeting current building codes, which means replacing the entire septic system, which is expensive, etc.
Kill roots with copper sulfate
Since this is obviously something to avoid, you can often extend the life of the old system by taking action when sewage flow has slowed, but not completely stopped. Copper sulfate kills roots. If it can be placed into the system so that it will flow through the leach field, the roots will die (but not the plants) and waste water will begin to flow more freely again after a few weeks. In many systems, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, because copper sulfate is so heavy that it will settle to the bottom of the septic tank unless inserted into the leach line leading from the tank. If you have a cleanout or other access there, you’re all set, but many residential systems do not. I prefer the crystal form over the powder because it's easier to handle, cheaper and dissolves more slowly, .
Install a leach line cleanout
If necessary, it is not very expensive to have a cleanout installed in the leach line expressly for the purpose of adding copper sulfate periodically. If that still doesn’t quite work, or if you want to be sure the stuff is going to flow more quickly, you can pump it through the leach field.
It is possible to install a pump on the leach line cleanout between the septic tank and the leach field. It can be buried below ground level or installed above ground and concealed with landscape bushes. The pump turns on and off automatically to maintain a slight pressure on the waste water, pushing it through the pores of the seepage field. Adding copper sulfate at intervals through a cleanout at this point is effective to drive the chemical towards the offending roots.
Killing the roots may extend the life of the septic system a few years, but it will ultimately need to be replaced with a completely modern one—unless you can successfully lobby for a neighborhood hook-up, of course.
Hillsborough County Septic Drain Field Contractor