Area’s premier Septic Tank Pumping Company.
Getting rid of waste from our homes and businesses is a necessity for a healthy prosperous society. We’ve come a long way from our pre-industrial methods of moving waste around… there was a time not so long ago when we simply tossed our chamber pot contents out into the street and let the rain take care of it (eventually).
Today, there are better and safer methods of waste disposal, which include public sewer systems and septic systems. Public sewer systems differ from septic systems in that they serve communities with a network of conduits that end up at a central wastewater treatment plant and are more likely to be found in developed areas. Septic systems serve individual households and are usually found in rural areas where a public sewer hookup is not available.
What is a Septic System?
A septic system is a method of draining wastewater from homes and businesses that don’t require the infrastructure of underground pipes and sewers to carry wastewater to a central location. It consists of a buried watertight plastic, concrete or fiberglass septic tank on the back or side of the property. This tank receives water from tubs and sinks (gray water) and from the toilet (black water). The other critical components of the septic system are the drain or leach field and the soil below the drain field.
What Takes Place inside the Septic Tank?
As the wastewater from your home flows into the septic tank, its components immediately start separating with the heavier solid materials settling at the bottom to form a sludge layer while the lighter and greases float at the top to create a top layer or “scum.”
The primary purpose of the tank is to retain solids. The liquid component flows out of the tank via a special T-shaped outlet and filter leaving the solids behind.
This retention period is vital as it facilitates the complete separation of the solids from the liquids while allowing the solids to undergo a digestion process by anaerobic bacteria (no oxygen needed) while inside the tank. The bacteria break down the solids into a sledge that can be removed later.
What Takes Place in the Drain field and Soil
The drain field is a configuration of perforated pipes in trenches that deliver the liquid effluent to the soil. Further treatment occurs underground as the effluent flows out of the tank through the buried pipes, and seeps through the holes through gravel and sand. These fine particles filter out pathogens while aerobic bacteria take advantage of free food and complete the decomposition process. Eventually, the final product finds its way, after a natural cleanup, to local groundwater.
Every three to five years- depending on usage volume- solids will eventually accumulate inside the tank and will need to be disposed of. If it’s not pumped out, the tank will overflow and solids will begin to accumulate in your drain fields, clogging the soil pores caused the entire system to back up instead of being absorbed into the ground.
Benefits of Septic Systems
1. Save Money
Septic systems can cost less over time than a public sewer hookup. If you are located in a rural or remote suburban area, the cost of running sewer lines to the house can be prohibitive or impossible. If you do have a choice, it’s not as clear cut. Installing a septic system is going to be significantly cheaper than installing a public sewage hookup on your residential property.
Moreover, septic systems do not incur a monthly cost as they run independently from public sewage systems. And because a septic system can last for decades, you will not have to worry about replacement costs. If you take care of your septic system, paying for a pump-out every four years is much less than a regular municipal sewer fee.
The process applied in the septic system ensure that they do not affect the environment or contaminate groundwater, while a broken or flooded public system might. Moreover, even in the event that the system leaks, the subsequent damage is contained within the surrounding property.
Also, septic systems utilize drain fields or leach fields as natural filters to ensure that only liquid effluent that is free from bacteria reaches the soil. Septic systems, additionally boost local flora and fauna by providing the soil with water and nutrients that spur plant growth which is advantageous in many areas.
Septic System Downside
1. Costly to Replace
If not properly maintained, or when it ages to a certain point, your septic system will corrode, crack or leak. The longest-lasting tanks made from steel or concrete can last from 20 to 40 years but will need to be replaced at some point. It may run you $5000 or more, but it still may be a bargain when considered over the life of the system.
The Importance of Proper Maintenance
Given that it is costly to replace a faulty septic system, it is imperative that you take all the precautionary measures necessary to keep your system in good shape. The more proactive you are in your approach to maintenance, the longer your system will last.
The following are some useful maintenance tips:
- Only biodegradable wastes should go into the system- trash of any kind that cannot be broken down by bacteria will only shorten the time into overflows.
- Divert all surface runoff water from driveways, patios, and roofs away from your drain field.
- Make sure your septic tank is always accessible.
- Do not dig, drive or park on your drain field or build anything over it.
- Make sure that your septic pump is pumped regularly. In the process, it should also be professionally examined for any cracks or leaks.
The Importance of Proper Maintenance
The following are the warning signs that you need to pump the tank
- A strong odor from the drain field and tank
- Muddy soil or pooling water around your septic system
- Bright green, wet grass on your drain field even during dry weather
- Wastewater backing up into your household drains
When you observe the above signs, it means that it is time to call in the experts to pump the tank for you
How is the Tank Emptied, and Where do the Contents Go?
This process involves a pump truck vacuuming out the scum and sludge from the tank and leaving it ready to be filled again. During this process, the technicians will also take a look at the tank to check for any faults and repair them while doing other relevant maintenance services.
The contents from the septic tank (septage) are then either taken to a waste treatment plant or dumped into an approved landfill. Nonetheless, septage has found various uses today. It can be safely applied as fertilizer to grow food or even to generate methane to produce electricity.
Septic systems are efficient, inexpensive, and convenient means or treating and disposing wastewater from households. Nevertheless, as not all soils are suited for this process, it is imperative that a comprehensive soil analysis is performed before the system is installed.
Be kind to your septic system and it will serve you well for years! If it does need a little extra TLC, Thompson and Thompson septic services offer you fast, knowledgeable service and repairs. Our experienced technicians will get your septic system back to working order as quickly as possible.