Septic systems are most often found in rural areas of Beaverton 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 Beaverton 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 Beaverton OR?
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.
Septic tanks help dispose of the dirty water from the house and purify it. However, for a septic tank to function efficiently, it must be maintained properly so that you do not have to suffer from clogged drains and a leaking plumbing system. Septic tank risers will help you have easier access to the area so that you can keep a check on it when necessary and also locate it easily.
Different Types of Septic Tank Risers
A septic tank riser will vary in size depending on the size of your tank. You will usually need one that is between six inches and twelve inches long with a diameter of twelve to twenty-four inches. If the container is buried deep underground, these devices may have to be stacked on top of each other.
There are three kinds of risers that you can purchase depending on the material that is used to make them.
The first and most basic option available is a concrete riser. This is usually quite heavy and it can be a little difficult to install. Concrete also suffer a lot of wear and tear so you may need to replace it often. This means that even though it is the cheapest option in the market, in the long run you may end up spending more because you will have to replace it more often than the others.
The other two options are PVC and Polyethylene risers. These are a lot more durable and they look better than the concrete ones. They are also lighter so it is easier to get them fitted to the tank. During their installation, gaskets are used in order to seal them. This makes the lids fit more securely and it prevents outside matter from getting inside the area. PVC and Polyethylene is also non-reactive to other chemicals so they don't get damaged easily and you will have to replace them very rarely.
Why Get a Riser?
A septic tank riser has two basic functions. First, it helps you locate the area. Even though this may not seem important, locating the container can often get difficult, especially when it is buried deep underground. In fact, building regulations now make it compulsory to install these accessories for all septic tanks that are located in the premises of the building. The other important function is to help you lift the lid of the container. Since these tanks are fastened securely and held down by steel screws, it can get very difficult to lift the lift without a riser. In fact, some risers are even made with structural ribs so that frost does not build on them and they can be used easily during all weather conditions.
Do you know where your septic tank is? Okay, so you can point to an area on your property and say "yeah, it's over there" with a hint of un-sureness. The next question is probably more important then the one just asked. Do you know where the lid to your septic tank is? Does that have you scratching your head?
Septic tanks by their very nature are buried, sometimes 3 feet or deeper underground. Out of sight out of mind so to speak. But that's not necessarily a good thing. There will come a time when your septic system begins to exhibit problems and needs some maintenance/repairs and the tank needs to be pumped out. Having a general idea as to the location of your tank can make getting this simple task done much more difficult.
There are two ways to deal with this problem and one way to make sure that in the future it won't be an issue. First let's look at finding the lid to the septic tank if you don't know where it is. You can either dig for it yourself or have the septic pumping service do it. Doing it your self can be time consuming and not a lot of fun. Having the pumping service do it can be costly.
Generally it is done in this fashion. You or someone you hire has to dig down until they find the top of the septic tank. That is usually the easy part of the process. Once you find the top of the tank you then need to find the lid. This can involve digging concentric circles outward from your initial hole until you find the lid. Once you find the lid now is the time to fix the problem; install a riser.
A septic tank riser is essentially a large tube that extends from the lid of the tank up to the surface of the ground. Once installed it will provide quick access to the septic tank that's easy to find any time there is a problem or it needs to be pumped out.
There are three basic types of risers to choose from; concrete, PVC, and polyethylene.
While concrete risers are generally cheaper it isn't the best choice. A concrete riser is heavy and may need heavy equipment to lift and install it. It is also more apt to leak then the other materials and may have rust problems if rebar is used to strengthen the cement.
PVC and polyethylene risers are lightweight and easy to install. They are resistant to corrosion and of course will not rust. They also incorporate a gasket seal to keep water from entering and prevent sewer gases from escaping from a leaky lid. The increased cost of these two types of risers is well worth it. They are virtually maintenance free and will easily last for the life of the whole septic system.
Every septic tank needs a riser and in many places they are now a code requirement. If you don't have one it might be worth having one installed before something goes wrong with your septic system. Quick access to the tank is one of the first steps to diagnosing any problems.
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.
Septic Tank Inspection Oregon