septic pumping_tank - Septic System Failure

Bacteria in Your Septic System

Bacteria in Your Septic System. A septic system is out of sight, so it is easy for most homeowners not to think of it. There is more to this system than being a maze of pipes and drains. It is a highly active, living environment. It is a microbial system comprising of various bacteria, enzymes, and yeasts, all of which are working continuously to maintain the ‘health’ of the system. These bacteria and other microbes are important to the functioning of your septic system and you should be careful about what you put into it, while also ensuring its timely maintenance and repair.

At Diamond Septic Pumping, we would like to share some valuable insight into the importance of septic system bacteria and ways to maintain a ‘healthy’ system.

Types of Septic Tank Bacteria

There are two primary types of bacteria in your septic tank. Their purpose is to break down all solids at different levels of the tank and to initiate the decomposition process. The two different types of bacteria are as follows:

i. Aerobic Bacteria

Aerobic bacteria in the septic tank require oxygen to survive. They work by breaking down the organic waste in the tank before feeding on it. These bacteria are highly sensitive to any changes to their environment and are larger compared to their anaerobic counterparts.

ii. Anaerobic Bacteria

As the name suggests, anaerobic bacteria need no oxygen to survive. These bacteria work at a lower level of the septic tank to break down the waste. They are better capable of withstanding changes to their environment.

How Do the Bacteria Work?

In an ordinary situation, the solid waste materials entering your septic system will need to be removed with a regular septic pumping service. Else, they would cause the clogging of the drainage field and cause a backup. However, it is these different bacteria that prevent the need for frequent pumping. They help push back the need to pump the septic tank every 3 to 5 years.

  • The wastewater in the septic tank will separate into 3 layers
  • Aerobic bacteria will break down and digest the top layer of the waste
  • Anaerobic bacteria break down the sludge at the bottom of the tank
  • Almost 50% of the solid waste gets broken down into gases such as sulfur dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide

Septic tank pumping service is required only to remove the sludge that remains after the bacteria have done their job.

Ensuring Healthy Septic System Bacteria

You can prevent your septic system from breaking down or requiring emergency pumping or more frequent tank pumping if you know what you can put in the drain and toilet. It is recommended to prevent the following materials from getting into the system:

  • Non-biodegradable detergents
  • Liquid bleach
  • Prescription drugs, strong over-the-counter medications, & antibiotics
  • Insecticides

If you are concerned about maintaining the bacterial balance in the system, you can take a few steps in the right direction. The following are simple things you can do:

  • Add beneficial bacteria to the septic system
  • Get the septic tank professionally cleaned from time to time
  • Prevent solid objects from getting into the tank
  • If there are any issues, get them fixed quickly without wasting time

You can rely on the services and guidance of Diamond Septic Pumping to ensure your septic system is well maintained and operates at its optimal levels at all times. We provide septic tank pumping, emergency pumping, and grease trap pumping services throughout Southern California. Feel free to contact us at 1-866-592-2115 to discuss your needs or septic system problems. You may also send us your queries using this Online Form and we will get back to you at the earliest.

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Pumping septic truck - Septic Tank System

Septic Tank Needs to Be Replaced

Septic Tank Needs to Be Replaced. If your home has a septic tank, you already know the importance of regular maintenance. It is just like any other household appliance and requires periodic inspection and maintenance. A septic tank will have to be replaced at one time or another. Proper and timely maintenance can help extend its lifespan and save you the cost of expensive repair or replacement. 

Septic systems are hidden from sight and easy to forget about. However, this doesn’t mean they are not there and need timely repairs, pumping, and replacement. Many homeowners realize that they have such a system only when the pipes start backing up. There are many signs that can tell you that your septic system has serious problems and needs a professional inspection and probable replacement. 

Here are a few common signs that usually mean that the septic tank needs to be replaced.

1. Age

Septic systems are designed to last for around four decades. If you live in an old house that has had a septic system for decades, you should get it professionally inspected. If the system starts giving your problems and requires more frequent pumping, it may be time to consider a replacement. It is recommended to check how old the system is before calling the experts at Diamond Septic Pumping.

2. Pipes Backing-Up Frequently

When you experience frequent back ups in your home, it can be a sign of a failing septic system. Some of the common signs include:

  • Raw sewage backing up into the toilet
  • Gurgling sound from the pipes
  • Unpleasant odor in your home
  • Improper flushing or draining

If you experience these problems in your home, you should call professionals for an inspection. 

3. Puddles

If puddles keep forming in your yard, even during the dry season, you should consider getting your septic system checked. Look for any signs of pools around the drain field or the tank. This can mean that the system is no longer capable of disposing of wastewater. When the septic system cannot function effectively, it may be time to replace it.

4. Problems with the Septic Tank

If there is any problem with the septic tank, it will usually mean a replacement is required. The common signs of problems with the tank are as follows:

  • Frequent overflowing, which means that the tank is not able to dispose of the wastewater effectively.
  • The tank can get filled with high amounts of solids. In that case, it may no longer be able to break down the solids properly. 

5. Slow Drains

Do your sinks and bathtubs take longer than usual to drain. If yes, then this could be a sign that there is a clog or a major problem. If all the sinks are showing the same signs, it is an indication of a septic tank problem. There may be a build-up of sludge at the bottom of the tank, causing the water to move slowly.

6. Greener Grass Near the Tank or Drain Field

Do you suddenly notice the grass being peculiarly greener in the areas around the septic tank and drain field? When the drain field breaks down, the moisture level in the area shoots up. The grass can become greener than in other areas. 

This heightened level of moisture can also cause more plant growth in the area. Access to sewage, which can act as a fertilizer, can further promote plant growth. While having more greenery in your yard can seem to be a great thing, you should see it as a warning sign that your septic system may be failing.

7. Contaminated Well Water

If you notice unexplained contamination in your well water, it can mean that the septic system needs immediate attention and replacement. You should immediately call the professionals for a water test. Nitrates, bacteria, and various other contaminants can enter the well water and create serious health hazards. 

Well contamination can mean that the system has failed to dispose of water and filter it effectively. You cannot wait for long and allow such a problem to persist. 

If you notice any of these signs, you should immediately call a professional service such as Diamond Septic Pumping. We serve homeowners and business owners throughout Southern California. 

Diamond Septic Tank Pumping

septic_hole - Septic system

Septic System Things that Can Ruin It

What will ruin a septic system?

Septic system. It is a common practice for homeowners to put things into their septic system, causing clogs, damaging pipes, and affecting the balance of bacteria.
These actions have the potential to ruin a septic system. Any action that affects the balance of good bacteria is discouraged.
It is recommended to avoid putting the following items in your toilet to prevent it from getting ruined:

  • Nonbiodegradable items:
    This includes disposable diapers, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, and cigarette butts among others.
    You can flush only biodegradable items into the toilet.
  • Food Scraps: Flushing down any type of food into the system is going to cause buildup in the pipes.
  • Drain Cleaner: The harsh chemicals in drain cleaners have the potential to ruin your septic system.
    They can cause corrosion of the pipes and tank and/or destroy the good bacteria.
  • Excess Water: Putting excess water into the drain can fill up the tank quickly and prevent the system from working properly. 

It is important to avoid these items from damaging the septic system. If you notice any problems with the system, call Diamond Septic Pumping for our services.

Take Timely Action to Prevent Damage to Your Septic Tank 

Has it been 2 to 3 years since you had your septic tank pumped? Delaying septic tank pumping is a good way to cause the septic system to be ruined.
At Diamond Septic Pumping, we recommend having your tank pumped twice a year.
There are many scenarios where you should take timely action to prevent the septic system from failing.

If you are going to have heavy septic system usage for some time but the tank has not been pumped for many months, you should call us for a clean out.
If you notice a bad odor in your lawn or a wet yard without any rain, it may be a sign of a failing septic system.
Standing water or soggy grass patches can be signs of an overflow or a failed system.
You should call us immediately if you notice these signs on your property.

Diamond Septic Tank Pumping

septic pumping_tank - Septic System Failure

Septic System Failure – What Are The Causes

Septic System Failure What Causes Septic Systems to Fail?

Septic System Failure. The septic tank in your home will usually have 4 components. This includes the source, the tank, the drainfield, and the soil under the drainfield. There are many different septic system designs that are used in Southern California. The type of system you have depends on the soil and conditions you have. 

The septic system should be managed in a way that it doesn’t harm the environment, create an unhealthy condition, cause any problems for you, and works effectively to break down the solid matter in the wastewater with the help of microorganisms. 

What Does a Failing Septic System Mean?

When your septic system is failing, it means that it is no longer treating or disposing of wastewater properly. Improperly treated or untreated wastewater gets released on the surface areas or even back into your home through the pipes. When a septic system starts failing, it can make negative impacts on the environment and your health. 

In a practical sense, a failing septic system will cause the buildup of sludge and scum to make its way into the inlet and outlet pipe of the septic tank. A blockage is created and the wastewater backs up and increases the risk of flooding.

Signs of a Failing Septic System

If you experience the following issues, these can be associated with a failing septic system and you must call us at Diamond Septic Pumping for a professional inspection:

  • A bad odor from the septic system
  • The toilets, drains, and/or sinks regularly back up
  • The septic system needs more frequent pumping than normal
  • The bath, shower, or sinks drain slowly
  • Regular appearance of damp spots near the septic tank or the effluent release point
  • Household plumbing starts making gurgling sounds
  • If high amounts of nutrients and noxious bacteria appear in your water well

Causes of Septic System Failure

So, what can be causing your septic system to fail? There can be a number of reasons and the most common ones are described here.

i. Excess Water Usage

Septic tanks have limited capacity and they can process only a certain amount of wastewater at a time. The tank for a house is selected to handle the water flow rate matching that house’s size. The tank must discharge wastewater at the same rate or faster than the rate at which it takes water. When it can’t do this anymore, there is a problem.

Since the system takes on more water than it can discharge, the tank fills up. The excess water will usually move back through the pipes or onto the surface. There are two potential underlying causes here:

  • There is excess water usage in your home and the septic tank has become too small to meet your needs.
  • Runoff or drainage has entered the tanks from the outside.

Only a professional evaluation can help determine what caused the problem.

ii. Damage to the Septic System

Your septic system may be having problems because it has been damaged. As mentioned above, there are 4 key components to this system:

  • Pipe connecting the system to your home
  • The septic tank
  • The drainfield or leach field
  • The soil around the tank

The system can start failing if any of these components get damaged. 

Different types of damages can affect the system in different ways. Consider the following examples:

  • Tree roots often grow down into the system and puncture or dislodge the pipes or even enter the tank. They can also clog drain lines. 
  • Driving or paving on the drainfield can crush the components or compact the soil. 

iii. Poor Design & Installation

Poorly designed and/or installed septic systems are bound to fail.  Some of the common causes of such systems failing in a short period of time are as follows:

  • Inadequate size
  • Installation in impenetrable soil
  • Improper construction

There should be many inches of unsaturated soil under the soil absorption system to a limiting layer. Examples of limited layer include bedrock, water tables, and impervious soil. Our professionals will design and install your system only after an assessment of the limited layer. The soil is simply the most important component of this system and should be carefully evaluated and protected. 

A septic system can also fail due to the items being thrown into the septic system. This system is designed to handle only human waste. It can also process and break down biodegradable toilet paper. Oftentimes, people flush apparently harmless items down the drain that can clog the system or affect bacteria. So, when it seems that your septic system is failing, you should get it inspected by professionals. At Diamond Pumping Services, we can inspect, pump, and even dig and uncover the septic tank in your home. If the system requires replacement, we can handle the entire project for you.

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When should your septic tank be pumped

When Should Your Septic Tank Be Pumped?

When should your septic tank be pumped is a good question.  As most of the home owners tend to forget about their septic tank until it is too late.

However, if neglected for long, the whole system can become a huge problem for you. A septic system is designed to process all your bio waste efficiently if however, it is regularly maintained and pumped.

A flurry of questions arises then, like when should your septic tank be pumped?

What are some signs that reveal this information? How do you maintain the septic system? And many more.

One thing is for sure that you should act much before a small problem becomes a huge nightmare and costs you much more than it would have.

Some early warning signs that tell that your tank is unhealthy

Detecting an unhealthy septic tank by looking at it is not possible from inside the house however there are multiple markers that indicate that the system needs an emergency or scheduled maintenance.
Some of which are

  • Unpleasant and strong smells mostly resembling that of a rotten egg
  • Grass outside around the tank area is much greener and thriving exceptionally well
  • You struggle to clear toilets and drain in the house
  • The area around the septic tank outside is mostly remains wet
  • Liquid waste is overflowing

If these are some of the things you can observe, it is time for the annual maintenance if it has not yet been carried out.

If the annual maintenance has been carried out and still these signs occur, then you might need some emergency assistance.

This should answer your question about when should your septic tank be pumped?

How often does the tank require to be pumped?

Most of the septic systems are designed to have maintenance carried out once in every two years. Having said that, it should not sway you from getting a regular inspection done once in a year.

If you have a large family or your family has significantly grown since the septic system was installed, then the frequency should be at least once in a year.

The more pumping is done, the easier it is for the system to run in its peak condition. There are times when you get confused as to when should your septic tank be pumped even though it has not been long since the last time the cleaning guy visited your house.

In that case, you can easily call up the company and enquire about the situation. Timely pumping helps you to:

  • Prevents the slow drainage in showers and toilets
  • Prevents blockages in the sewer and drains
  • Eliminates foul odors
  • Prevents damage to the system due to clogging
  • Reduces the discharge of raw sewerage

Maintaining your septic system for longevity

It is a no brainer that regular maintenance is essential for any sort of utility system, sewerage or any other. You must prevent the smaller issues escalating into larger, unmanageable ones by following some tips that will help you in the long run:

  • Do not flush just about anything down the toilet – use trash bins.
  • No harsh chemicals and paints should be poured into the drainage system.
  • Trees and shrubs that have deep roots do not need to be near your septic tank area.
  • Always seek help from trained professionals for regular or emergency situations.
  • The lesser grease and oils you dispose in the drain the better it will be for the health of your septic system.

As a thumb rule, if any time someone enquires you or you are confused about when should your septic tank be pumped, all you need to remember is once in a year. Annual maintenance is key to a healthy septic system.

Diamond Septic Tank Pumping

Septic pumping-septic tank cleaning

Septic Tank Is Full – The WarningSigns

Septic tank is full, what to look for. If you own a property which depends on a septic tank for waste removal, then you must be aware of the unique challenges it comes with. Forgetting to emptying the septic tank before it gets full can cause a lot of inconvenience and damage. If you have owned a septic tank for a long time, you must keep an eye out for signs that your septic tank is full. 

Meaning of ‘full septic tank’

Before we take you through the signs that you must look out for, it is also important that you understand what a ‘full tank’ means. Experts usually refer to the below three definitions to define a ‘full tank’. 

  1. Accumulation of sludge in the tank: This is a common situation that is faced by many people who own a septic tank. Sludge gets built over time and gets trapped in the tank. It does not disappear on its own, but needs to be removed periodically so that it does not block the tank.
  2. Tank being full up to the normal level: Normal level is the level for which the tank was designed to hold waste and waste water. At this level, there are no glaring issues and the valves are functioning properly. 
  3. Over filled septic tank: This is the point on concern, when the drainage field stops accepting water. In this situation, water will start backing up into the overflow tank. At this stage, water level rises beyond the normal level.

Now that you understand the different scenarios when your septic tank can be full, we can dive into the signs that your septic tank is full. 

Look out for signs that your septic tank is full

Be alert for the below signs and get your septic tank pumped at the right time, to prevent damage to your property and to the tank. 

  1. Slow drainage: If you see all drains throughout your home draining out slowly, you must take a note. This sign can be due to two possible reasons, either a clog in the septic system or your septic tank being full. The first action you can take is to use a drain cleaner and if the problem persists you must call a professional to pump the tank and empty it.
  2. Unpleasant odor: When the tank is full, the gases in it do not get an escape route and hence you will notice a foul smell in your drains, sinks and area surrounding the tank. This is the time to immediately call for your local septic tank expert. 
  3. Water pools: Puddles or pools of water around the drain field are a sure shot sign of the tank being full. Usually the when the tank is at full capacity and solid waste is blocking the system, the liquid gets forced outside.
  4. Slow or troublesome flushing: If your toilets show a sign of struggle when being flushed, there are high chances that your septic tank is full. If all the toilets are showing this, then it is surely beyond a local clog.
  5. Gurgling sound in the pipes: Do not ignore a gurgling sound in the pipes, especially if it is consistent. Such a persistent sound is a sign that your tank if full and needs pumping. 

Experts recommend that every septic tank must be emptied every 3 to 5 years. Proper interval of emptying the tank depends on multiple factors like:

  • Size of the septic tank
  • Household size
  • Amount of waste water generated
  • Volume of solid waste

When buying a new home that has a septic tank make sure you get the maintenance schedule from the owner. With this information in hand you will be able to plan the maintenance of the septic tank properly. 

Septic Tabk Full - Septic Pumping Hose

Signs That Your Septic Tank Is Full

Signs that your septic tank is full. If you own a property which depends on a septic tank for waste removal, then you must be aware of the unique challenges it comes with. 

Forgetting to emptying the septic tank before it gets full can cause a lot of inconvenience and damage. If you have owned a septic tank for a long time, you must keep an eye out for signs that your septic tank is full. 

Meaning of ‘full septic tank’

Before we take you through the signs that you must look out for, it is also important that you understand what a ‘full tank’ means. Experts usually refer to the below three definitions to define a ‘full tank’. 

  1. Accumulation of sludge in the tank: This is a common situation that is faced by many people who own a septic tank. Sludge gets built over time and gets trapped in the tank. It does not disappear on its own, but needs to be removed periodically so that it does not block the tank.
  2. Tank being full up to the normal level: Normal level is the level for which the tank was designed to hold waste and waste water. At this level, there are no glaring issues and the valves are functioning properly. 
  3. Over filled septic tank: This is the point on concern, when the drainage field stops accepting water. In this situation, water will start backing up into the overflow tank. At this stage, water level rises beyond the normal level.

Now that you understand the different scenarios when your septic tank can be full, we can dive into the signs that your septic tank is full. 

Look out for signs that your septic tank is full

Be alert for the below signs and get your septic tank pumped at the right time, to prevent damage to your property and to the tank. 

  1. Slow drainage: If you see all drains throughout your home draining out slowly, you must take a note. This sign can be due to two possible reasons, either a clog in the septic system or your septic tank being full. The first action you can take is to use a drain cleaner and if the problem persists you must call a professional to pump the tank and empty it.

  2. Unpleasant odor: When the tank is full, the gases in it do not get an escape route and hence you will notice a foul smell in your drains, sinks and area surrounding the tank. This is the time to immediately call for your local septic tank expert.

  3. Water pools: Puddles or pools of water around the drain field are a sure shot sign of the tank being full. Usually the when the tank is at full capacity and solid waste is blocking the system, the liquid gets forced outside.

  4. Slow or troublesome flushing: If your toilets show a sign of struggle when being flushed, there are high chances that your septic tank is full. If all the toilets are showing this, then it is surely beyond a local clog.

  5. Gurgling sound in the pipes: Do not ignore a gurgling sound in the pipes, especially if it is consistent. Such a persistent sound is a sign that your tank if full and needs pumping. 

Experts recommend that every septic tank must be emptied every 3 to 5 years. Proper interval of emptying the tank depends on multiple factors like:

  • Size of the septic tank
  • Household size
  • Amount of waste water generated
  • Volume of solid waste

When buying a new home that has a septic tank make sure you get the maintenance schedule from the owner. With this information in hand you will be able to plan the maintenance of the septic tank properly. 

Diamond Septic Tank Maintenance & Cleaning Services

Septic Tank Inspections

Septic Tank Inspections When Buying a Home

Why septic system inspection is a must when buying a new property?

If you are buying a home with a septic tank it is essential that you get a complete inspection of the complete system. The right time to know about any damages or problems with the septic system is before you shift into a new home and that makes septic tank inspections when buying or selling a home critical. The problems with septic systems range from a simple repair to a complete replacement. The simple repairs are easier to do and cost comparatively lesser whereas the complete replacement can burn a hole in your pockets.

Things to do for the inspection:

The best time to get septic tank inspections when buying or selling a home is to coordinate it with the time of your overall property inspection. This helps you bring any issues with the septic system to the home inspector’s attention and can then be recorded in the inspection report. Clubbing these two inspections together also keeps you aligned to any inspection related timelines that you are targeting.

The septic tank inspections when buying or selling a home start with a pre-inspection which is all about gathering information. In this stage, you will be putting together all the documents as a homeowner and figuring out answers to the questions asked. This pre-inspection, helps the inspectors with more clarity on what exactly they should be looking for. As the septic system is underground, a complete check can only be done with excavation which is not practical. Hence, it is important to identify the potential areas of problems and do an inspection at those spots.

Here is a list of questions you should seek answers for before the inspection:

  • Has the septic system ever been pumped to remove solid waste and excess water? Periodic pumping is an important maintenance task performed on a septic system and as a homeowner it is important for you to understand the maintenance schedule of the system.
  • What is the location of the septic system? Knowing the location of the system is important and if the seller is not aware of the location, it is most likely that no maintenance has been carried out.
  • Complete available history on the maintenance of the septic system. It is important to understand things like how often pumping has been done, which contractor was used, were there any problems with the system and did they get fixed.

When you gather the above information, there will be twofold benefits, one you will be able to help the inspection technician with better information to perform the inspection and secondly, you will have more information about how the system has been maintained.

What happens during the inspection process?

During septic tank inspections when buying or selling a home the technician will first perform a flow test to confirm that the sanitary pipe which delivers the liquid to the system in intact and functional.

To check this, all taps in the house are turned on, if enough water does not flow into the tank then there is a potential problem with the system. If such a problem is identified, then the technician will check each source of water to identify the exact spot of problem. If the water in the septic tank rises too quickly then there is a potential problem downstream.

The next step is to check the septic tank itself and check the levels of effluent, solid waste particles, sludge and accumulated scum. The distribution box in another point for potential failure and the problems usually occur due to clogging.

There are various problems that can occur with a septic system. While septic systems have a long life, and continue to work fine for many years, septic tank inspections when buying or selling a home are a wise choice.

Diamond Septic Tank Inspections