Septic systems are most often found in rural areas of South Lebanon OR 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 South Lebanon OR 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 South Lebanon OR?
Most of us pay ample value to the interiors of our homes, but often, we intentionally or unintentionally choose to avoid things that need attention like proper septic tank installation and maintenance. No matter where you have your home, having the right kind of septic tank installed and ensuring its maintenance is one aspect that you just cannot ignore. Before going in the details of how to choose a company, it is essential to understand the need to invest in such maintenance costs.
Avoid health hazards and damage to environment: In the case of septic tank failure, the local environment can be largely affected. This can lead to further health related hazards for your family and those families living nearby. This is a condition can often be immensely dangerous, and the effects can be there even after a long time.
Avoid the repair costs: Most people don't realise the simple fact that septic tank service is easy on the pocket rather than repairs. In fact, repairs can run in thousands of dollars, and in an unfortunate event where reinstallation is required, you are in for big troubles. Rather than investing so much in a single payment, hiring the services of a professional for cleaning, pumping and maintenance is a safer and better option any day.
Avoid property damage: Apart from the damage mentioned above, you can also face damage to the property values. If you are really concerned about your home and want to fetch a good resale value at a later stage, maintenance and upkeep of septic tank is something you just cannot ignore. Property evaluators may not consider your home to be worth of what you ask if there is any damage related to septic tank.
The main question lies in how to select the right company for septic tank cleaning, pumping and maintenance. It is obvious that a local company must be selected, but make sure that you take a look at the traits given below before choosing one.
Look for a construction company: Rather than looking for company that can offer maintenance, it is essential that you look for a company that is well versed with installation, repairs and other tasks. This will not only bring you the best expertise, but at the same time, you can get emergency services when required.
Look for costs: The costs of annual septic tank maintenance contracts can vary from one company to another, and this is also large dependent on the tank type you have. While looking for hiring a company, ask for quote and compare the same with others.
Look for experience: Always choose a licensed company over a company that is still looking for it. It is important that your company has the right experience to handle repairs, pumping, cleaning and maintenance, and when required, they must be available for service. A reputed company should good at commercial and residential sites alike.
Check online on a few company websites for details on septic tank maintenance.
Where your waste goes after it gets flushed down the toilet isn't something that many of us think about very often, nor should it be. Thanks to technological advances in the last century, plumbing and public sanitation has become much more convenient, hygienic and precise. The vast majority of those of us who live in metropolitan areas have our home sewer lines tapped into the city sewer mains, which means that our waste travels to a public treatment plant to be processed. For homes and businesses that cannot tap into public sewer lines, however, using a septic tank is an option that provides similar results in a different manner.
They are large holding tanks for sewage, almost always located below ground. They are usually constructed of plastic, and are often able to contain many weeks worth of waste. A septic tank can generally allow for the permanent disposal of waste in one of three ways: by being pumped out on a regular basis, by having bacteria or chemicals applied that eats away the waste naturally, or be allowing the waste to be dispersed naturally into the ground through a leech field. In all of these cases, septic tanks usually require less maintenance than you would think after the initial installation is complete.
A tank is generally called for in a couple of different scenarios. The first and most common is in more rural areas that do not have public city sewer systems available to tap into. The tax dollars that we pay as residents of a city go partially toward providing sanitary services, one of which is maintaining a public sewage treatment plant and sewer system. If, however, your home or business is located too far away from existing city sewer lines, it becomes necessary to dispose of your own waste by installing a septic tank system. Generally, permanent tanks are relatively affordable, can be installed in a few days, and are reliable.
Another scenario where septic tanks might be necessary is on temporary, extensive construction projects that will require many laborers over a longer period of time. In this case, portable toilets might be too temporary and inadequate, but actually building a sewer main to attach to the city sewers might be too expensive and time consuming. In this case, a small tank system is a more intelligent solution that can be used temporarily and then removed when the construction project is complete.
If you think that you might need to have a tank system installed at a home, business or constructions site, make sure that you research local contractors to see who offers the best prices and service. Thanks to modern technology, you shouldn't notice any discernible difference between being attached to a public sewer system and using a septic tank.
For those non-city folks that rely on a septic system instead of a city sewer, having a failed septic system is a major headache. It is amazing to hear the horror stories, as well as, the vast amount of mis-information being circulated about septic tanks, leaching systems, septic system repair costs, etc.
With over 30 years of experience in the design engineering of subsurface sewage disposal systems, commonly called "Septic Systems", I've prepared this easy to follow 12 step outline as a guide in replacing a Septic System. There is one very important pre-qualification before you start, you need to retain a qualified professional civil engineer or registered sanitarian. I have to stress the word "qualified", unless you want to enjoy being the leading role in the next release of "Horror Stories from the Leaching Field". Take the time to do a little homework, such as going to your local Health Board office and asking what civil engineers are designing septic systems in your Town and whose design plans are typically approved without having to be sent back for corrections and revisions. Once you get a few names, do a little research on the web, Better Business Bureau, etc. Then you should contact these civil engineers and talk with them about your problem septic system and ask for a written proposal that will outline the tasks and costs. Just like you wouldn't eat a rotten piece of fruit, if you don't have a good feeling about a particular civil engineer, then do not hire him!
Now you are ready to go forward with the 12 steps.
1. A test application is submitted to the local Health office (some States, like Rhode Island, control the testing, etc. so the application would have to go to a State agency.)
2. You hire an excavation contractor to dig the test holes. If you do not know a local excavating contractor, then your engineer should provide you with a few contact names. (FYI - by hiring a contractor for the test holes, you are not making a commitment or obligation to hire him to install the replacement septic system.) This excavation contractor will need to follow local / state safety regulations (such as obtaining a "dig-safe" number and having the underground electric, telephone, CATV, gas, etc. located before the test holes are dug.
3. The engineer coordinates with the Health Agent, excavating contractor and you (the client) to set the testing date.
4. The engineer performs the official deep hole soil evaluation and associated "perc" percolation testing. Soil samples may have to be obtained and taken to a lab for further testing. The engineer prepares the official forms (soil logs) and submits a copy to the local health office and to you.
5. The engineer performs a limited existing conditions topographic "topo" survey of your property where the replacement septic system is proposed. (FYI - Unless you have a small lot or do not know where your lot lines and/or lot corners are located, you typically would not need to have your property line surveyed.)
6. The engineer uses the results of the soil evaluation, perc. testing, topo survey in combination with the current and anticipated building use (number of bedrooms, garbage grinder, etc.) and State / Local Sanitary Codes to design a replacement septic system for your property.
7. The formal design plans (with the original seal and signature of the professional civil engineer) and construction permit application are submitted to the local Health Agency for review and approval.
8. The engineer provides you with additional copies of the design plans for you to submit to licensed contractors to obtain a price quote / bid.
9. Once you have selected a contractor, he coordinates with the local Health Agency (to obtain the permit) and the engineer, prior to starting the work.
10. The Health Agent visits the construction site as the work progresses to observe and confirm Code compliance.
11. The engineer, in most States, must visit the construction site to observe the critical construction stages, make measurements and prepare a formal plan showing the completed "as-built" septic system. The engineer submits a copy of this plan to you and the local Health Agency along with a signed compliance statement. Some States also require the contractor to sign and submit a compliance statement.
12. The local Health Agency reviews the "as-built" plan, etc. and issues a "Certificate of Compliance" which signifies that the replacement septic system as installed is in compliance with the State and Local Sanitary Code.
One other item, if you have wetlands on or near your property and the anticipated work will be within 100 ft. of these wetlands, then additional permitting will be necessary before you can have the replacement septic system installed.
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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