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’.
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.
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:
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 tank pumping service, along with the installation of the septic tank has become a common practice.
For example, about one-third of homes in America have a septic tank installed in the backyard outside of the house.
Simple in design and very effective at treating all types of waste that come out of a home, a septic tank is essentially an environment-friendly option.
Design and working principle
The septic tank mainly works to remove the more massive particles from the wastewater that comes out of a home.
It might be a single or dual chamber. All the drains coming out of the house converge to form a single pipe leading to the septic tank.
The septic tank receives the wastewater coming out of all outlets like toilets, washrooms, kitchens, sinks washing machines, etc. and facilitates its separation with:
The sludge which is the most massive particulate portion sinking to the bottom,
The scum which consists of particles of fats, oils, proteins, etc., floating on the top and
The effluent or greywater is the relatively transparent layer of liquid present in the middle.
All these layers combined are known as the septage. Septic tanks are designed to able to release the greywater into a drain or leach fields with the help of small pipes. The drain field lies under the ground, but much above the underground water, to ensure the underground water does not get polluted. The effluent is somewhat affluent in organic matter, and with the soil providing an appropriate filter, the water from it percolates down. In contrast, the organic matter remains behind to act as a fertilizer.
Need for septic tank pumping service
Due to the efflux of the effluent layer, what is left behind is solid, and semi sold material. This tends to settle down and get deposited on the tank floor, gradually filling up the tank. Hence they need constant monitoring by the homeowner to avoid any problems that might crop up. These problems, if allowed to arise, can cost a person a lot of money to get it fixed. Hence they are best avoided by getting regular cleaning from a professional septic tank pumping. DiamondSeptic.com
Frequency of septic tank pumping
The build-up of scum and sludge inside the septic tank happens even though various actions keep simultaneously happening inside the septic tank like:
The microbial ecosystem attacks the septage,
The septic system functions quite well and
The presence of a right drain field.
Hence it is generally recommended that professionals check the whole system of septic tanks:
At least once a year or when the sunken sludge attains a height of about 12 inches.
An average septic tank, however, requires a good pumping approximately every three years to keep it functioning fine for many years more. The frequency of pumping a septic tank depends on:
The number of people present in the family,
The waste product produced volume,
The total amount of the solid wastes which enter the system,
Septic drain field condition,
The size of the septic tank and
The type of usage it undergoes.
Septic tank pumping tips
There are specific procedures that need to be maintained and followed to have a successful septic tank pumping session. These procedures include:
Getting a reasonable price for the same from contractors well-versed in this,
Always be prepared to face the worst and act accordingly,
Employ proper water management techniques in your family and
Keep records for minute details like the tank size, the tankage, and the capacity of the tank in use.
Septic tank cleaning means effectively refers to the process of the removal of the septage from the container with the help of a pump truck. After the extraction of this waste, it is disposed of in either of the following ways:
Taking it to the municipal wastewater treatment plant,
Taking it to a private beneficial use facility etc.
Common mistakes made during the process
Some prevalent septic tank pumping mistakes made are:
Infrequent cleaning of the septic tank,
Increased frequency of septic tank cleaning and
Doing it to clear a failed or clogged drain field.
Maintenance of septic tank
The maintenance of the septic tank enables a homeowner to:
Keep the pumping cost levels down and
Does away with instances of broken tank.
Some ways in which to take proper care of the septic tank are:
The location of the house and the septic tank should be appropriately drawn,
Never parking cars on top of it to prevent any additional pressure,
Natural grass complements the drain field like no other plant can and
Things flushed out of the drains need to be checked for plastics, diapers, and prepare napkins.
Of course, it is always best to go in for professional help for this project. They do the job effortlessly and efficiently, thereby ensuring the proper pimping out of the waste products.
Septic tank overflow and the septic system. The septic tank is a large underground holding tank connected to the house with the help of pipes. Waste exit the house through a series of pipes coming from the bathroom, kitchen, sink, toilet, etc. and converge to form one single pipe which enters the septic tank.
On entering the septic tank, the waste gets divided into three parts, with the more massive particles settling at the bottom, the floating particle staying on the top, and the middle portion consisting of greywater. This water is released into a drain area situated below the earth’s surface but above the water table where it gets filtered naturally and also helps to fertilize the soil.
Reasons for overflow
There may be several reasons for the overflowing of the septic tank. Pinpointing the cause for the overflowing enables overflow experts to sort out and solve the problem immediately and also ensure that such a problem does not recur. Some of the common reasons for a septic tank overflow are:
Due to the continuous passage of wastes into the septic tank, along with the non-biodegradable materials, some amount of solid waste also reaches the bottom of the tank. Over some time, the level of this sludge rises, and if the tank is not pumped out regularly, every 3 to 4 years to remove this sludge, the septic tank overflows.
In the septic tank, it is the naturally present bacteria which help to break down the waste and help it to percolate into the fields nearby. Low bacteria levels tend to hamper this process resulting in a faster build-up of sludge and ultimately cause the septic tank to overflow.
Chemicals such as bleach, detergents, etc. used in the cleaning process ultimately find its way in the septic tank, thereby killing the naturally present bacteria in the tank. This is one of the significant contributors to the reduction in the bacterial levels inside septic tanks, and care should be taken to ensure that these chemicals do not find their way into the septic tanks.
Designing flaws and clogs: The exit of broken-down particles along with water from the septic tank into the nearby drain field can, at times, result in the area becoming soggy and wet. This condition occurs as a direct result of septic tank overflow and outflow of water from broken, damaged or clogged pipes. One of the commonly seen reasons for damaged and cracked pipes is the in-growth of the roots of the trees into the pipes. A strict watch needs to be kept out for such incidents and, if seen to occur, should be dealt with immediately.
Heavy rains: Weather conditions wherein heavy rain persists for a long time can lead to septic tank overflow. This condition becomes even worse if the gutter drains directly over it. A dry spell following the heavy rains generally remedies the problem. However, it should be noted that if these conditions result in an overflow of the septic tank, the sludge should not be pumped out. This makes the mud and other sediments settle at the bottom, thereby clogging the septic tank further. It is only during a dry spell that the septic tank needs to be pumped.
How to deal with a septic tank overflow
There is only one effective way of dealing with a septic tank overflow; to facilitate a septic tank pump out. These professionals who specialize in this sort of work need to be called in for inspection and subsequent pumping out.
To ensure a capable pump out, the person staying in the house should:
Ensure the removal of the sludge in totality by the professionals working on the problem
Ensure that the lid of the septic tank is tightly and properly closed after the work is over.
There are other treatments also available, which are also quite effective in dealing with this problem. For example, biological treatments deal with the introduction of enzymes and other non-pathogenic bacteria into the septic tank in order to enhance the rate of the breakdown of solid waste.
Also, care must be taken to ensure that fats, grease and cooking oils, antibacterial products, etc. do not enter the septic tank. Also, some things like a sanitary napkin, baby wipes, or even diapers, should never be flushed into the toilet. Even though some are said to be flushable, any non-biodegradable solid tends to clog drains and result in an overflow and should thus be rightly avoided.