Septic systems are most often found in rural areas of 97283 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 97283 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 97283?
So you have realized that your septic tank is an important part of your property but how exactly do you maintain it? Much like a car, a little maintenance will go a long way towards the life system. Follow these steps to properly maintain your septic system.
1. Locate Your Tank
While this may seem obvious, finding your septic tank is a little more difficult than what many think. They are buried deep underground and if your house has any age to it there is probably no visible signs as to where your system could be. If you happen to have a basement you can go down and follow your sewer lines out the wall to give you an idea as to where your septic tank might be buried. Otherwise, leave it to the professionals to locate it. They have special tools like an insulated piping they stick deep into the ground to find your tank and all its's components. Once located make sure you mark it in some way for future reference.
2. Uncover the Manhole and Inspection Ports
More than likely the man hole and inspection ports on your septic tank are buried down with the tank itself. This will require some digging at might be wise to replace with elevated access covers or risers for future inspectors to easily locate your system.
3. Check Your Connections
Since you are already going to all this trouble to check your septic tank system it would be wise to go ahead and check all your plumbing as well. This can be easily done by flushing toilets, running water in faucets, or running a load through the washer to make sure all your plumbing connections are working properly and flowing through your tank.
4. Measure the Scum and Sludge Layers
Now we're to the nitty gritty. Let us preface by saying you should NOT do this your self. Allow a trained inspector measure your septic tank system. It can be very dangerous to try and do this without training. Inserting a tool through the inspection port, the inspector will measure your tank and see where your levels of scum and sludge lay. This will also include a visual inspection of these levels.
If the sludge depth is equal to 1/3 the liquid depth your septic tank is in need of a pumping. If the tank is 1/3 full in general it also will need to be pumped. It is highly advised to pump your system when the inspector recommends; like mentioned in previous posts a little work now will greatly increase the life of the tank and save you a lot of time and money.
**WORD OF CAUTION**
As mentioned above, ONLY allow a trained professional inspect your septic tank. This is a tank full of waste; toxic gases created by the natural process in the tank can kill in MINUTES. Merely looking down into the tank can be hazardous to your health.
5. Checking your Septic Tank and It's Drainfield
After checking the scum and sludge layers of the tank the inspector will check for any cracks in the walls and drainfield for any signs of failure. If there are any additional pieces of equipment with your septic tank system, such as a distribution box, drop box, or pump, he will inspect these as well. After a thorough inspection the inspector will give you his recommendation as to what you should do to properly maintain your septic tank.
If you need to pump your septic tank it is very important that you hire a professional licensed contractor. There are many things that could be damaged in the process of pumping your tank, such as the contractor using the inspection port instead of the manhole to pump out the waste. It is recommended to be present at the time the contractor is pumping your tank. Since you are spending all the time and money on getting your tank cleaned, make sure that he pumps it ALL. You do not need to have anything in your septic tank to restart the process inside the tank, nor do you need to scrub or clean the inside of the septic tank.
This is the single most important thing you can do for your system. If it gets too full solids can move to the drainfield causing clogging and a whole "heap" of other problems.
Septic tank is a necessity in every household when there is no available centralized community wastewater treatment especially in the rural areas. Septic is where all the wastewater from the household runs into before it is drained in the environment. Maintaining and taking care of your septic system is not difficult because the modern design of septic tank system functions efficiently. There is however few guidelines you need to follow in order to keep your tank functioning effectively for a long time. Here are some tips to have a trouble-free tank system.
First, you must not allow the rainwater coming from the roof gutters to be diverted at the drainfield. A wet drainfield may no longer absorb and neutralize the effluent liquid from the septic system. The drainfield must be kept dry at most times because that is where the liquid from the septic system goes. You must plan your landscaping by planting grass on top of the drainfield. They will help absorb the excess water when the drainfield becomes soggy. Just make sure that the grasses will not have roots that can reach the lateral pipes to prevent going through the perforations. Additionally, keep trees away from the septic system. The roots of the trees can damage the pipes and the septic tank itself.
Second, you must avoid overloading the septic tank by reducing excessive use of water. Check your faucets of any leaks and repair at once. You can also use aerators on faucets and flow reducer nozzles on bathroom showers to lessen the consumption of water. When doing your laundry reduce the water levels especially for small loads. If you will run the dishwasher wait until it is full. Do not use the dishwasher for small dishes so you'll prevent using water often. Reduce the amount of water needed to flush the toilet by using displacer. You will not only overload the septic tank system but you can also save water.
Third, do not make your toilets as garbage disposal. Avoid flushing disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, paper towels, facial tissue, coffee ground, cigarette butts and filters. They will fill your septic tank system because some of these items are not biodegradable. They will also clog your septic tank system in less time and may pose bigger problems. Wise use of garbage disposal must be practiced. The amount of garbage that is added in the septic system can pile up and make it fail. Choose a top of the line garbage grinder so foods will be ground into tiny particles before it is disposed to the septic system. In this way it will be easier for the septic system to digest it.
Minimize the use of heavy cleaners and products with anti bacterial ingredients because this will kill the beneficial bacteria in the septic tank. The natural bacteria are the one that help in the digestion process of the wastewater in breaking down the solids turning it into liquid effluents. Additionally, avoid pouring hazardous chemicals, varnish, paints, thinner, gasoline, motor oils and other chemicals that may not only ruin the septic system but is also dangerous to the environment.
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.
Septic Tank Inspection Oregon