Septic System Maintenance Secrets
Article by: Corey K. Tournet
Septic System Maintenance
When you buy a car, you are given an owner's manual with instructions on how to , Yard and Garden Trends for 2006 care for your car. Septic systems can cost as much or more than a car, unfortunately nobody gives you a manual when they are installed. Some people don't even know they have a septic system! As a result, many septic systems fail unnecessarily.
The Price for Failure is Steep
The price for failure is steep in two way. More than 1200 people in the US die each year from contaminated water, , Easy Rose Planting and failing septic systems are a leading source of waterborne disease , Great Recipes for Barbecues outbreaks in the country today. In a 2000 EPA report, 31 states listed septic systems as their second greatest potential source of groundwater contamination. Septic system replacement is also very expensive, with costs often running from $5,000 to $20,000 or more. Fortunately, there are some highly effective, ineffective steps you can take to eliminate this problem. Before discussing solutions, let's look at why septic systems fail.
Septic system failure is actually pretty easy to understand. When a system fails, the tank itself doesn't fail- the drainfield soil , Building A Birdhouse: Things To Know fails. In most cases the soil , Fertilizing Your Lawn fails when it gets plugged up with solids and won't allow liquid to pass through it. For example, it can get plugged with solids from the tank if the tank hasn't been pumped, or with lint from a washing machine. Now for your solutions:
1. Use a washing machine filter.
Did you know that washing machines are a leading cause of septic system failure? The primary culprit is lint generated by washing machines, which clogs the soil , Emerald Green Arborvitae for Souderton Pa. in drain fields. Did you know that a typical family washing machine produces enough lint each year to carpet , Lawn Care Tips and entire living room floor! , Re-Using Old Picture Frames Lint screens and nylon traps found in hardware , The Benefits of Screened Gazebos stores trap 5% or less of these particles. Because they are so light , Have you considered a Braided Rug? and small, the lint particles do not settle out in the septic tank. Instead, they stay in suspension and are flushed out to the drain field, where they plug up the pores of the soil , Plant Now for Colorful Spring Blooms bed.
To compound the problem, much of our clothing is now manufactured with synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon. These substances are not biodegradable, and will not break down in a septic system. Instead, they accumulate and plug the soil. , How to build a Folding Screen Once these materials enter the soil, , Re-Using Old Picture Frames there is no way to remove them.
The good news is that lint can be prevented from entering the septic system through the use of a reusable, inline filter which attaches to your washing machine discharge hose. The filter, called the Filtrol 160, retails for $139.95.
2. Avoid Excessive Water , The Benefits of Screened Gazebos Use
You can also damage your septic system by doing a large number of laundry , Plant Now for Colorful Spring Blooms loads in a short period of time. In standard septic systems, solid materials settle in the tank, while effluent flows out into the ground. If you put more water , Curtains offer many decorative choices into the system than it is built to handle, the high volume of water , Tarragon: A Favourite of French Chefs will flood , The Benefits of Screened Gazebos your system, and can also stir up and flush solids out of the tank into the drain field (in fact, septic pumpers use water , Blue Spruce Trees - Not a Good Choice in Horsham, PA from their hoses to help break up solids in your tank before pumping them out). A typical washing machine can use up to 60 gallons of water , Gardening for Kids per wash load. On a heavy day you can easily put 400, 500 or 600 gallons of water , Butterfly Gardens For Your Region through the system in a few hours. The solution is to spread out your water , A Fast Growing Trees suitable for Plumstead Township use. Do one or two loads of laundry , What Is A Black Orchid - Fascinating But Elusive per day, rather than 10-12 loads on Saturday morning. Water , Lawn Care Tips softeners can also damage your system by putting too much water , Add Some Pizzazz to Your Powder Room! through the septic system. These devices can put several hundred gallons of water , Sky Pencil Hollies Are Used in Horsham Pa. down the drain every week, water , Fertilizing Your Lawn that is not contaminated and does not need to go through the treatment process.
There are a couple solutions to this problem. You can upgrade your softener with a newer efficient model that uses less water , Yard and Garden Trends for 2006 and regenerates on demand, instead of a timer system that regenerates whether you use water , Buying and planting bulbs the right way or not. You can also install a mini septic system for your water , A Dehumidifier Wrings Out Your Home softener.
3. Prevent Solids from Leaving the Tank
First of all, you should get your tank pumped on a regular basis to prevent excessive accumulation of solids in the tank. Under normal conditions, you should have the tank inspected and pumped every 1-3 years. Very important: tanks should be pumped and inspected through the manhole cover, not the inspection pipe. Your septic contractor , The American Arborvitae Grows well in Dublin Pa. should also install an effluent filter in the exit baffle of the tank. Effluent filters stop the larger solids from getting out to the drainfield. They are cleaned out every few years when you have your tank pumped. They are usually only about $80. Effluent filters are cheap insurance and along with a washing machine filter, one of the best things you can do to protect your system.
4. Use of Household , Fruits and Juices Important for Relieving Hemorrhoids - Part Cleaning Products
Excessive use of these products , Garden Fountains - How To Create A Haven Of Tranquility In Your Own Backyard can contribute to septic system failure. If you do over 5 loads a week containing bleach, problems could arise. Avoid powdered detergents as they contain plastic , Curtains offer many decorative choices fillers that can plug up your lines and drain field. Also, be careful with harsh automatic toilet bowl cleaners, which have put quite a few systems out of commission.
5. Should I Use a Separate System for My Washing Machine?
Some people say you should use a separate system for your washing machine, called a laundry , Finding The Right Replacement Windows interceptor. However, this is not necessary and in fact undesirable. Washing machines should discharge into the regular system because it actually works better than discharging into its own system. In order to work, septic systems require bacteria colonies which break down biodegradable matter. These bacteria require "food" which is found in our wastewater, but not in detergent. Without "food" these bacteria colonies die out and the system fails. Many people who have installed these systems have found this out the hard way. A research project conducted in several east coast states utilized some rather high tech systems for washing machine discharge and many began failing in as little as eight months.
Do: Divert surface runoff water , The Viburnum Blackhaw from roofs, , The Orchid Plant: Important Aspects patios, , Add Some Pizzazz to Your Powder Room! driveways and other areas away from your drainfield.
Have your septic tank pumped regularly. It should also be inspected for leaks, cracks and to make sure the exit baffle is in place. , Curtains offer many decorative choices
Install lint and effluent filters.
Spread out your laundry , Blue Spruce Trees - Not a Good Choice in Horsham, PA loads.
Compost , Great Recipes for Barbecues your garbage or put it in the trash
Use a garbage disposal.
These appliances normally double the amount of solids added to the tank!
Flush sanitary napkins, disposable diapers or other non-biodegradable products , Lawn Care Tips into your system.
Dump solvents, oils, paint , Add Some Pizzazz to Your Powder Room! thinners, disinfectants, pesticides or poisons down the drain as they can disrupt the treatment process and contaminate the groundwater.
Dig in your drainfield or build anything over it.
Drive over your drainfield or compact the soil , Fruits and Juices Important for Relieving Hemorrhoids - Part in any way.
Plant , Accent lighting - Adding the right touch to your home lighti trees , Garden Design: How to Choose and Place Garden Art in Your
Backyard or shrubbery close to the septic system, because the roots , The American Arborvitae Grows well in Dublin Pa. can get in the lines and plug them. Grass , Fruits and Juices Important for Relieving Hemorrhoids - Part is the only thing that should be planted on or near a drainfield.
If Your System Fails
In quite a few cases, a tune-up can fix your system and you can avoid the high costs of replacing the system. This tuneup includes properly pumping the tank, cleaning (jetting) the drainfield lines, and installing washing machine and effluent filters. If these measures are not sufficient, some failed systems can be rejuvenated by fracturing the soil. , Accent lighting - Adding the right touch to your home lighti This process utilizes a hollow tube inserted into the soil, , Fruits and Juices Important for Relieving Hemorrhoids - Part then a 300 pound blast or air , How to build a Folding Screen is injected into the soil , Have you considered a Braided Rug? creating thousands of tiny fissures. These fissures allow the drainfield to drain, creating an oxygen atmosphere and the aerobic bacterial colonies to repopulate. Aerobic bacteria, which require oxygen, typically live in the top 26 inches of the drainfield and process waste much more quickly than anaerobic bacteria. This process can be performed in a matter of hours with no digging or damage to the yard. , Plant Now for Colorful Spring Blooms One company which performs this service is Terralift International (http://www.terraliftinternational.com).
If you have a clay soil , How to uy a Porch Swing which has become plugged due to sodium from wastewater binding with the clay, Septic Seep can help. These product , Lawn Care Tips releases sodium bonded clays and reopens soil, , Butterfly Gardens For Your Region restoring passages air , Finding The Right Replacement Windows and water. , The $27,000 Toilet Seat - A Funny DIY Story It also has the benefit of dispersing greases and scums that clog the soil. , Easy Rose Planting
Corey K. Tournet is the President of The Laundry , Fighting Plant Enemies Alternative, Inc., a company which specializes in providing unique, eco-friendly laundry products. , Emerald Green Arborvitae for Souderton Pa.
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