Septic systems are most often found in rural areas of 97136 and will consist of a series of pipes connecting it to the home, a septic tank, a filtering system to separate the solid waste from the liquid and connecting pipes that drain off the liquid waste into the yard, in a designated area called the drain field. These systems are often inspected before septic installation and tested afterwards, to make sure that it is operating properly.
Ownership of a septic tank system in 97136 means that everyone understands the importance of having regular septic tank inspection and septic pumping to catch potential problems before they happen. All too often, nothing is done until the worst happens, like the tank developing a leak, or it backs up into an area away from the drain field. Two easy ways to avoid this from happening include monitoring what goes into it as waste and remembering its physical location to avoid accidents.
When there is a septic system installation, the area where the septic tank is placed should be noted so that no accidental driving or parking of a heavy vehicle can occur. While most tanks are buried deep enough to avoid this, as a general principle it should be avoided to prevent damage to the tank in the future.
What are the health department regulations for a Septic Tank in 97136?
Septic systems require regular inspection and repair for proper functioning. The factors which influence the amount of work required in the maintenance are the size of the tank, the extent of its use by the household and the amount of water used in it. These factors influence how frequently the inspections are needed, but it must be kept in mind that even the best maintained septic systems require regular inspection.
The septic tank inspector is usually a qualified private contractor or a health professional with the local health administration. You can get in contact in one through your local health administration or the municipality. The health department will give you a list of the septic system inspectors who work locally. Most waste experts will require a fee for the job.
Locating the Tank
If you have purchased a new house, or have forgotten where the septic tank is, the first job is to locate the septic tank. Septic system inspectors take a fee for this job - so to save money and time you better find it yourself before the inspector comes.
If you are unable to do it yourself, the waste inspector has a number of methods to find a tank.
Sludge Judge and Tank Inspection
The waste expert inspects the condition and status of the solid waste in your septic system using a device called a Sludge Judge. It is a long pipe that is hollowed out to allow waste to enter it from the bottom. When inserted in the septic system waste, it takes a core sample of the solid waste. The inspector then visually inspects core sample to get an idea of the amount of solid and sludge contained in the tank and how decomposed they are. That then helps him decide whether to pump the tank or not.
The inspector also checks that the tank has remained watertight. He also checks the various components and parts of the system, along with the construction of the tank itself. Septic tank inspections are well worth the money if they help you find a problem early, before it becomes costly.
No one ever thinks about what happens to the waste and water once they have flushed the toilet, that is just a fact of life. For those of us whose homes are on urban water systems, we never will have to think about it. But, for those of us who own homes hooked up to septic systems, it is another maintenance issue that simply cannot be ignored. No matter how new or how old your home is, you need to have a regularly scheduled septic tank inspection and replacement costs may be avoided by spotting issues before they become emergencies.
How a Septic System Works
Most septic systems will include large holding tanks for storage, usually made out of plastic, but older ones may be steel or concrete. These tanks hold all of the household waste, especially the water and waste released when you flush the toilet. At some point the tank will be filled to its maximum level, and will need to have the waste disposed of in some fashion. This is usually done in one of three ways: by being pumped out, having bacteria or chemicals added that will break down and destroy the waste, or by allowing it to be drained into the soil through a leech field.
Like all hard working systems, eventually time will run its course, and maintenance will need to be done. Because septic systems are usually buried underground, it can be hard to tell when it is time for regular maintenance, and that is the main reason why regularly scheduled septic tank inspection and replacement assessments are so important. There can be a lot involved with doing even the basic maintenance on such a system, and being able to avoid major problems or even potential problems will insure that the cost of doing so will not skyrocket unnecessarily.
How Does an Inspection Work? How Often Should It Be Done?
Even if your particular septic system uses a leech field, or has decomposition additives used to break down the waste, it still should be pumped out on a regular basis, so that the service technicians can have a chance to inspect it for maintenance issues. Small tanks will require this more often than larger tanks, of course, and even if your system has water conservation measures in place, it still should be pumped out and inspected at least once every three to five years.
A good and thorough inspection should involve not only a visual check of the tank, connectors and drainage points, as well as the leech field, but the tank should be opened as often as possible, and the inside inspected. There are tests that field service agents can perform to test the function of the tank itself, like adding dye to the water to test for leaks. Any baffles or lids should also be checked for signs of wear and tear, as well as any connections and connecting pipes that the technician can reach readily.
Signs that Replacement is Needed
If you are in the market to purchase a home that is connected to a septic tank system, you should have a proper inspection done right away. Not all prior owners reveal the true facts about the system, or may not even know that it is close to being repaired or replaced. The more you know, the more prepared you will be for potential problems down the road. If the tank in the installed system is steel or concrete, you may want to negotiate getting it replaced right away.
Steel tanks rust, and may develop breaks and leaks that will eventually cause the leech field to be flooded. Concrete tanks break down over time, and if the area where the tank is buried is near the home, chances are something has been driven over it at some point. Even the smallest car has the potential to break down a concrete tank by exerting added pressure at a weak point. If water has reached the surface of the leech field, the leaks are extensive, and it is far past the point where any septic tank inspection and replacement check will help.
Regular septic tank inspections done by a professional plumber can help avert a major disaster caused by a septic system failure. Unfortunately, these are more common than you would think. Because the septic system runs underground, most homeowners tend to ignore it. However, failure to carry out regular inspections of the sewer system can be a health hazard and can also result in destruction of the surrounding property.
Before buying a new home, it is crucial to find out as much as you can about the system. Find out how old the system is and whether or not is has been regularly maintained. Better still, get an inspection done so that you do not start having problems as soon as you buy it and shift in.
What Causes Failure Of The Septic System?
There are several different factors that may cause the septic system to fail. Some of the more common reasons include:
• The septic tank is too small
• The diameter of the drainage pipes are too small
• The drainfield is not large enough or it may not leveled correctly
• The soils in which the system is installed is unsuitable
• Tree roots have entered into the pipes and are causing a blockage
• Faulty surface drainage
The problem is, more often than not, by the time the homeowner realizes there is a problem the damage done would already be quite extensive. To make matters worse, without the proper knowledge and equipment it is almost impossible to determine the cause of the problem. Leaving it unattended or trying to contain the damage by trial and error will only make matters worse. The only way to prevent extensive damage is by calling in a professional to try and resolve the issue.
How Septic Tank Inspection and Maintenance Is Done
When you call a professional plumber to inspect the septic tank and carry out the necessary maintenance, they will come with all of the latest tools.
First they will test for a blockage or seepage by using a sewer camera or by the fluorescent dye method. After determining the exact cause of the problem, they will then use the correct tool to correct it. A sewer snake is usually used to clear a stubborn blockage if that is what is causing the problems. A sewer snake, also called an electric eel, is a long, slender and flexible pipe that is sent into the drain pipe. Though flexible and slender, the pipe is tough enough to dislodge the clog. If the blockage is caused by tree roots that have invaded the pipe, these are usually cut by using a specially designed device called a drain rooter.
Anyone who lives in a rural area should know that more often than not sewage is not disposed in the same way as it would be in a city or large town. Rural residents often depend upon septic tank systems being placed on their property to process waste from their homes, making them responsible for the regular maintenance that these systems require. To illustrate the need for maintenance to avoid septic tank repairs, we will give examples of what can go wrong, and how they can be avoided so that owning a septic system remains worry-free.
The Typical Septic System
The septic system most often found in rural areas will consist of a series of pipes connecting it to the home, a holding tank, a filtering system to separate the solid waste from the liquid and connecting pipes that drain off the liquid waste into the yard, in a designated area called the leech field. These systems are often inspected before installation and tested afterwards, to make sure that it is operating properly.
Ownership of a septic system means that everyone understands the importance of having regular maintenance to catch potential problems before they happen. All too often, nothing is done until the worst happens, like the tank developing a leak, or it backs up into an area away from the leech field. Two easy ways to avoid this from happening include monitoring what goes into it as waste and remembering its physical location to avoid accidents.
When a septic system is installed, the area where the tank is placed should be noted so that no accidental driving or parking of a heavy vehicle can occur. While most tanks are buried deep enough to avoid this, as a general principle it should be avoided to prevent damage to the tank in the future. This includes letting utility workers know where the tank is, especially if you are having grading done on your land. The same goes for the pipes leading from the tank to the house and the drainage pipes leading to the leech field. If any are damaged, they can cause sewage to leak into the land around your home.
Some physical damage cannot be avoided. Shifting soil can damage pipes, or expose them to the elements. Extreme temperature shifts during winters can reach to where the tank is buried, and cause it to expand and crack. Regular maintenance by a licensed provider of septic tanks and septic tank repairs not only ensures that the holding tank is pumped out regularly but also includes a thorough physical inspection of the equipment and can spot potential cracks and leaks.
What Goes In Does Not Always Come Out
The most important thing to remember when using a septic tank system is that all the drains in your home lead to the septic tank, not just the toilet. Not everything is good for it and if the wrong substances enter the septic system, they can cause potentially expensive problems in the future. For example, to prevent unnecessary clogs in the holding tank, never put cooking oils, grease or caustic chemicals of any kind down your kitchen or bathroom drains. These items can congeal, clog up the filtering system or even potentially cause damage to the tank interior, or the pipes.
As far as the toilet is concerned, you can prevent septic tank repairs in the future by not putting anything in there to be flushed away that is not rated for use in a septic system. This includes feminine products, plastic, cleaning aids and even some brands of toilet paper. Unless it says that it is flushable in a septic system, or biodegradable, on the label, play it safe and do not drop and flush, simple as that. Regular maintenance on the system will prevent clogs from occurring and if there is matter in there that can clog it up, it will be removed when the tank is cleared and inspected.
Due to the daily use of septic tanks, the lives of humans are saved from the numerous diseases which get destroyed by these systems. Cesspits are mainly used to treat sewage, which in turn uses bacteria to break down the solid waste into smaller harmless substances. Septic tanks are mainly used in rural areas and in a number of cities in the US, like Gainesville and Buford; you would find numerous homes where such systems are used.
Just like any other utility devices, it is important to hire professional septic tank cleaners every now and then to get the entire system serviced. There are some common problems of septic systems which you should be aware of. Some of them are:
1. Napkins get blocked: It is normally recommended not to put any type of sanitary napkins or towels inside such tanks. These tend to block the entire system and fill up the tank with dirty water and other solid wastes.
2. Susceptible to damage: In most of the cities in the US, like Loganville and Gainesville, it is seen that cesspits get damaged due to playgrounds or storage buildings which are at a close proximity. In such cases the only option left would be to hire professional septic tank cleaners to take care of the problem.
3. Use of garbage disposers may put a lot of pressure on the system: It is best to avoid disposing waste food into the garbage disposers since it may put excessive pressure on the entire system which may prevent it from functioning properly.
4. Excessive water may overload the cesspits: At any time if you notice excessive water going in the septic tank then try to prevent it at all costs. Unreasonable amount of water would prevent the process of breaking down the solid wastes, which may block the entire system in the long run.
5. Grease is hard to break down: Try to avoid dumping excessive grease or cooking oil into the system, as this would block the inlet drains by filling up the upper layer of the cesspits.
A properly designed, constructed and maintained septic system should be virtually trouble free. Unfortunately things do go wrong and problems with the septic tank are usually the cause. But since they are buried, out of sight out of mind so to speak, it's not until a nasty odor starts to hang over the property that the homeowner is aware that something is amiss.
There are several things to watch for that will indicate if you are indeed having issues with your septic system. First, as mentioned earlier, is bad smells emanating from various areas of the house. The smell may be coming from toilets or drains, or it may just be lingering with no real identifiable source.
Toilets that flush slower then normal or backed up drains may also indicate a problem. Of course this may be nothing more then a clogged drain or pipe but if plunging or snaking doesn't fix the problem then it is probably a septic system problem.
You may also notice the proverbial "the grass is always greener over the septic tank" actually coming to life. If the grass over the septic drain field is noticeably more lush then surrounding areas, particularly during dry weather, this may be an indication that there is an issue with the tank.
There are a variety of things that may cause these problems and we have listed them out below.
1. Failure to get the septic tank pumped out at regular intervals. Proper maintenance will keep most septic systems running smoothly and number one on the maintenance list is regularly scheduled removal of built up solids and sludge.
2. Flushing non-biodegradable or slow to degrade items down the toilet or sink drains. Sanitary napkins, paper towels and cotton balls are all able to cause clogs in the systems pipes and the tank. Plastics and Styrofoam are even harder on septic systems as they are nearly impossible to break down and should never be flushed if at all possible.
3. Pouring cooking oil and grease down the sink drain will also cause major issues. It does not break down quickly and will cause clogs in the inlet and outlet drains as well as in the upper chamber. It can also cause odors and make pumping out the tank more difficult.
4. Limit the amount of food particles put into the system. While garbage disposals are a great convenience septic systems aren't designed to break down food wastes.
5. Too much or too little water in the system can also create problems. Excess water in the system can force sludge and solids into the drain field pipes resulting in clogs and environmental hazards. It can also cause a system failure resulting in expensive repairs.
Not enough water is also detrimental and can lead to a die off of the bacteria that breaks down the sewage. These bacteria are responsible for neutralizing the nitrogen that build up in septic tanks.
6. Inadequate tank ventilation can be another problem. Vents are used to ensure adequate airflow through the system and keep the pressure within the tank equalized. If these vents get plugged or don't work correctly there is a good chance that bad odors will result.
7. Dumping chemicals, paints, solvents, herbicides or pesticides into a septic system can cause un-repairable damage resulting in a complete system replacement elsewhere on the property. It can also cause harmful damage to the environment that could take many years to fix before returning to normal.
The best way to prevent septic tank problems is to follow the 7 points listed above and get the tank pumped out and inspected regularly. For most systems this is about every 2 to 3 years. Doing so will minimize potential problems and ensure that your system will work efficiently year after year.
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