Septic Systems: The Inside Story


Article by: Gil Strachan

Two Components

Class 4 septic systems are divided into two components, the septic tank and the septic field or leaching bed. , Gas Boilers Waste is piped out of the house , Benefits Of Laminate Wood Flooring into the septic tank, which is essentially a water , How To Get A Rebate for Using Alternative Energy in Illinois clarification tank, in which anaerobic bacteria break the waste down into solids (sludge), liquid effluent, and scum.

Septic System

The solids settle to the bottom, the scum floats to the top and the liquid effluent flows through an outlet pipe into a distribution chamber, where it is directed to the septic field. The septic field is an effluent water , Effects Of Softener Discharge on Septic Systems disposal system, where the liquid is channeled through perforated pipes to different parts of a field of loose gravel. , Electricity and Energy - A Glossary of Terms for UK Homeowners

Septic Tank

Materials that initially float in the scum layer are kept out of the drainage sytem by an outflow tee or baffle. If the tank is not pumped regularly, the level of solids can rise, and if it approaches the level of the outflow tee, scum and solids can proceed out into the drainage system, clogging the pipes and gravel , Seven Interior Design Psychology Ideas for Dining Pleasure - and eventually preventing the absorption of the water , Seven Interior Design Psychology Ideas for Dining Pleasure by the surrounding earth. , Seven Interior Design Psychology Ideas for Dining Pleasure

A Class 5 septic system is a holding tank for the storage of sewage at the site where it is produced. A typical holding tank system is comprised of a single compartment tank with a pump-out stack and an audible or visual warning device to alert the homeowner when the tank requires emptying. A holding tank is costly to operate, places , Bathroom Vanities - How To Give A Tired Bathroom A New Lease Of Life! restrictions of the owner, and is dependent on Class 7 (hauled) sewage system for waste collection and disposal.

A property , Taking Care of Your Adirondack Chair serviced by a holding tank system requires an agreement registered on title to notify current and future owners of the servicing restrictions on the property. , Hardwood Flooring Selection

Care and Maintenance

With proper care and maintenance, your septic tank and field should provide many years of trouble-free service. There are, however, some important steps to follow to help you maintain the proper operation of your sewage disposal system.

The Honey Wagon!

The septic tank in a residential system should be inspected at least once every two years for sludge buildup. The tank should be pumped by a licensed , Building Your Dream Home - Part 1 septic tank pumping contractor , Bathroom Vanities - How To Give A Tired Bathroom A New Lease Of Life! when necessary. Under normal use a septic tank should have its contents removed every two to three years.

The use of starters, bacterial feeds or cleaners in a septic system is normally not necessary.

The final grade (top soil) over the field should not be altered after it has been installed and inspected, and should be kept grassed after installation. Shrubs, , The Techno-Witch and Magickal Appliances trees , Western Red Cedar - A Multi-Purpose Softwood or gardens , Benefits Of Laminate Wood Flooring should not be established over the septic field.

Discharge from evestough drains and sump pumps , Three Great Concepts for Remodeling a Master Bedroom should not be directed into or over a septic field, and lawn , Demolition - Where Do You Start? sprinkler systems must not be located within this area.

Helpful Hints

Limiting excessive amounts of water , Hardwood Versus Laminate Flooring - The Truth! in a short time can help reduce disruption of the septic process. You may want to consider the following water , Generators - Buying Tips for Finding the Best Value use reduction practices:

* Install water , Trend-setting Across America: The New Medieval Architecture saving shower , Home Improvements – Planning heads, sink aerators, and low-flush toilets.

* Use dishwashers and washing machines only for full loads, and stagger the loads through the week.

* Don't run water , VoIP and 911 Warning continuously when shaving, brushing teeth, rinsing dishes or veggies.

* A container of water , Daydreaming About Your Home Makeover Projects in the fridge prevents the need to run water , Get Creative with Designs for Small Kitchen Spaces continuously for a cold , Dishwasher Secrets - Make It Clean Perfectly drink.

* The installation of garbage grinders, large volume hot , Trend-setting Across America: The New Medieval Architecture tubs or spas are not recommended unless the septic system has been sized to accomodate their use.

* The use of biodegradable products , Repairing / Fixing a sliding glass door in a easy way. is highly recommended. Disposal of non-biodegradeable products , history of lacquer paintings such as condoms, feminine hygiene products, , Creating Your Joyful Home: Inspiration to Make a Home Planning Journal plastics, , Generators - Buying Tips for Finding the Best Value dental floss, etc. is strongly discouraged.

If you have questions regarding the care and maintenance of your septic system, consult your contractor , UFFI: Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation - What is UFFI? or the Environmental , Effects Of Water Softener Discharge on Septic Systems Protection Division of your local , Effects Of Water Softener Discharge on Septic Systems Health Department.

The standards for private sewage systems are prescribed in Ontario Regulation 358/90, under the Enviromental Protection Act, and the Guidelines established by Ministry of Environment, , Helpful Tips On Hardwood Floor Care and requirements of your local , Western Red Cedar - A Multi-Purpose Softwood munipality or township.

General Guidelines for Purchasers

* If the system is 5-7 years old and has never been pumped it is unlikely that there are serious problems.

* If there is no record of the system having been pumped but the owner has a vague recollection of pumping the system at some time in the distant past, figure that it has never been pumped.

* If the system is over 10 years old and has never been pumped, it is possible that there has been some damage to the septic field, and if it's not been pumped for over 15 years it is quite likely.

* The only way to make an accurate determination of the system is to have a licensed , Home Inspection: 22 Questions to Ask Any Home Inspection Company contractor or engineering firm perform a tank, distribution chamber and field inspection, and possibly soils , Enjoy a Cooler Summer with the Latest Home Appliances sampling.

* Flushing dye through the system looks good but will only indicate systems that are already seriouslyclogged, in which case there should already be more obvious signs.

* Flushing dye may not indicate serious defects or indicate systems that are close to failure but still functional.

* If you are on a septic system, adding a bedroom, even without adding a bathroom, , Benefits Of Laminate Wood Flooring may mean having to increase the size of the tank and drainage field.

Visit the RotoRooter website for more info about plumbing, , Sharp Solar – Solar Energy Manufacturer sewage, and septic systems.
Copyright Gil Strachan - All rights reserved.

Gil Strachan is a professional home , Designing With Hardwood Floors inspector, representing Electrospec Home , UFFI: Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation - What is UFFI? Inspection Services in east-central Ontario, Canada since 1994. Visit to learn more about home , Generators - Buying Tips for Finding the Best Value inspections.

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