getting the right septic tank

Getting the Right Septic Tank

Having a licensed septic professional look over your septic system on a regular basis can save you time, money and worry. Much can go wrong with your septic tank, from issues with the tank itself or the contents within the tank. Proper Maintenance allows your tank to last a good long time.

Septic tanks come in a variety of materials:

septic repairs

Concrete:

  • These are the most common type of septic tanks.
  • They are susceptible to cracking or having seam separation.
  • Can last 40 or more years when properly maintained.
  • Will require heavy machinery to shift into place.
septic-tanks-fiberglass

Fiberglass:

  • These are lightweight and less vulnerable to cracking
  • The lower weight makes them more likely to suffer structural damage.
  • Tanks can shift in the soil.
  • Environmental changes like soil erosion or soil acidity can have an effect.
  • Tank can be repaired far easier than either steel or concrete
plastic-septic-tank

Plastic:

  • Less costly as there is no need for heavy machinery.
  • Incapable of rusting.
  • They can be damaged upon installation.
  • The tank can float to the surface if not properly installed.
  • Will last 30-40 years.
steel-septic-tank

Steel:

  • These are the least durable. A steel septic tank will more likely rust out due to soil acidity, steel quality and coating integrity
  • The covers often the first thing to corrode, leaving a dangerous access to the tank.
  • If buying a home with a steel septic tank, get an inspection prior to closing.
  • Lifespan is 15-20 years if maintained properly.
  • Due to rust and often developing perforations (holes) over time, they are difficult to remove.

Having Tri-county Septic professional team on your side will help with deciding which tank is right for your family size as well as what works on your property. Additionally they can help with the regulations regarding your town’s ordinances as to which septic tanks are acceptable.

After having your tank installed, there are a few things for you to avoid to make sure your tank last as long as it can.

  • Never park cars or trucks on top of the septic tank or the drainfield.
  • Plant only grass seed on top of the tank and drainfield.
  • Plant trees well away from the area and look for trees without extensive root reach.

By working with a professional septic company and taking reasonable precautions your septic tank, whichever one is chosen, will last for many years to come.

why maintaining your septic is crucial

Why Maintaining Your Septic System is Crucial

If you like saving money and don’t like stinky surprises, then getting your septic system on a regular plan of maintenance is the way to go. Most people are only concerned with getting their septic tank pumped, not realizing that the system has other parts which are important as well. Yes, of course getting your septic tank pumped needs to be done on a three to five year basis. Having Tri-county Septic come out to do it, enables them to also check on the condition of your tank and its components. Septic tanks like many things in life do not last forever, having a professional do an assessment for dings or cracks is a cost saving measure.

septic-alarm

Is your float switch active?

Most septic systems have alarms, many people see the green light flickering and assume everything is okay. The problem arises when the alarm is no longer attached to anything. Often over time the coated wires become corroded, leaving an alarm’s green light blinking merrily along. Generally, the alarm is connected to the float switch. When the float rises it is supposed to set off the alarm which is a red light along with beeping, it is a warning that the liquid inside the tank is rising. This can only happen if the alarm is functional.

Other reasons the float switch might activate:

Too much water is being put through the septic system.

Several long showers as well as an increased amount of laundry can cause too much water usage. Sometimes the solution is an easy one. Use as little water as possible for a day or so and do a couple of pump cycles to see if the float regulates.

Ground water is getting into the system.

Heavy rain may cause seepage. When too much standing water occurs around the septic tanks, the water can seep into the tanks causing the water level to rise inside of the tanks.

Something may be wrong with one of the septic system’s components.

The pump, floats, alarm, timer, etc. may have something wrong that is notallowing them to work properly.

As you can see having a properly working alarm system allows for you to have advanced warning on a possible failing of your septic system or its components. Letting the professionals at Tri-County Septic maintain your septic system is a win for you.

Before Your Septic System Fails

Before a Septic System Fails….

It Leaks

Out of sight out of mind is great for some things and not for septic systems. Although your septic system is hidden, it still needs regular maintenance. Let’s look at some of the common reasons your septic is leaking.

  • Clogs in the pipes from solids. Many items should NOT go down your drains, grease and oils from cooking should be disposed of separately.
  • Other blockages can be caused by trees planted too close to the system.
  • Broken pipes or sewer lines in the system.
  • Failure to maintain the septic system.

Routine maintenance includes pumping the septic tank every 3 to 5 years, depending on the system you have and how many people are using it. A yearly inspection can prevent small issues from becoming expensive repairs

Other signs your septic system may be leaking:

sewer-gas-leak
  • Foul odor- Smelling sewer gases. One of the system's lids could be damaged or out of position. Sewer gases could also be escaping from the tank body itself, it might be the tank body may have cracks or holes. See how long the odor lasts and where it is coming from, the tank or the drainfield.
  • Soggy ground– You may notice that the area around your tank is soggy; this could be septic tank water coming out of the ground. However if you have an inground sprinkler system, check that first.
  • Standing water around the septic tank- When soil is exposed to wet conditions over long periods, it will often get compacted. If there is a leak in your tank, water coming from the leak could cause the nearby soil to settle and drop down as a result.
septic-flooding
  • Alarm Sounds- Newer septic systems have a built-in alarm that will alert you of problems. These alarms either emit a beeping noise or flash a red light, and they can be located either inside or outside of your house. It is important to be mindful of them and test them yearly to make sure the alarm is working.
  • Cleaning products can kill the useful bacteria- The bacteria found in a septic tank helps break down the wastewater before it continues to the drainage field. When the levels of bacteria in the tank are insufficient, the solids will not break down. This can lead to clogging of the pipes. The levels of bacteria can drop as a result of cleaning products present in the wastewater. Cleaning products that are toxic to human beings will also kill off the bacteria that are necessary to maintain a septic system. Be aware that cleaning products of bleach, toilet cleaners and disinfectants ought not make their way into the waste piping.

DO:

  • Find the exact location of your septic system – generally it will be ten to fifteen feet out from your basement access
  • Call the professionals at Tri-County Septic to address your concerns and maintenance of your septic system

DO NOT:

  • DO NOT pump water from your tank into your yard. This is fecal matter and other pollutants which can poison the ground as well as children and pets. Also water from your tank will adversely affect ponds or streams it runs into.
  • DO NOT attempt to go down into the system without wearing protective gear. The gasses are poisonous. It is time to call in the Pros.

Taking the time to keep your septic system in good repair not only helps extend its life, more importantly it keeps you and your family, as well as surrounding waterways safe.

septic pump

Does Your Home Need a Septic Pump?

What is a Septic Tank Pump - and Do You Need One?

Most septic tanks do not require a septic tank pump. (Not to be confused with septic tank pumping, which is the process by which your tank is emptied by a Septic Company. All septic tanks need to be pumped, in that sense.) A septic tank pump, on the other hand, is piece of equipment placed inside of a septic tank to help disperse water above the percolation area to the drainae field. 

A septic tank pump is necessary when the leach field or drainage field that the waste water seeps into is at a higher point than the septic tank, eliminating gravity as an option for flow dispersal. 

If I Need a Septic Tank Pump, Do I Need to Replace My Entire Septic Tank?

Unless there are other major problems with your septic tank, you will not require a septic tank replacement to install the pump. If your septic tank has multiple chambers, your pump can be intalled in your existing septic tank in the final chamber of the tank. 

If you have a single chamber septic tank, you do not want to place the pump directly in the tank as it will pump settled solids into your leach field. If your leach field becomes saturated or compacted, it will result in improper drainage and without leach field rejuvenation, can potentially damage your entire septic system. 

If your septic is a single chamber system, then a pump station can be installed near your septic tank to house the pump. There are filters than can be installed on your pump station to keep larger debris and effluent out of the pump. These filters should be removed and cleaned every 2-3 years, which is the same recommended schedule for septic pumping services

Septic Tank Pump Alarms and Controls

Septic Tank Pump alarms can be installed to give warning in the event of a pump failure or clog. These alarms are activated by a loat switch that is wiered into an alarm panel and can give you much needed notice that maintenance and repairs are required. If you have a septic tank pump alarm and it goes off, please call Tri-County Septic right way before it results in greater damage. 

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