Septic tank maintenance

June 5th, 2012:

Sand Mound Preventative Maintenance

For households that have a sand mound as their septic system, one should be aware that it needs to be cared for and maintained just like any other type of septic system out there. It is part of your home and it is responsible for the proper disposal of the wastes that you have every single day. The systems are usually stable and proficient but there is a fine balance that must exist between the bacteria life within the system and what fuels you feed the system daily.

If you do your part in the preventive maintenance of your sand mound, you can be sure that your will have a smooth operating system for years to come. Since sand mounds are finicky at times and are relatively expensive compared to common
drain field type systems, it is vital for you to have your sand mound inspected regularly to determine if and what might be needed to enhance system performance. Regular inspections will assist in detecting problems immediately before they even have the chance to really harm the system.

The sand mound system is complex and very prone to inadvertent abuse from its owner. When something goes wrong with the mound system, it will be very expensive to repair and many people are generally not prepared for the financial hit that a septic system can create. Six months after it is installed, the sand mound should be re-monitored and double checked to assure that proper settling has occurred and that there are no leaks or misalignments. The monitoring continues again after six months and then every year thereafter. Here are the particular points that should be considered when you perform preventive maintenance on your sand mound system.

1. Sludge inspection

Sludge inspection should be done on an annual basis. Gunk and sludge accumulate gradually. As they do, ample room for the wastewater becomes smaller and smaller. This allows the wastewater to pass through the tank at a much faster rate, which gives the bacteria not enough time to digest the solid wastes before they leave the tank. The tank lowers in its efficiency to protect the sand filter from blockages and contaminants.

2. Pump the tank

Watch the level of sludge in the tank. If it reaches a foot deep, the tank should already be pumped. This can be a very dirty job to do but you have to do it to make sure that your tank is in tip-top condition. If you are squeamish about it, you could just have the professionals do it for you. You should know the exact location of your pump tank and septic tank for easier maintenance.

3. Include pump tank

When you have the septic tank pumped, include its compartments and the pump tank as well. A report should be given after the pumping processes.

4. Tank baffles

Tank baffles are the ones that separate the solid from the liquid wastes. These devices make sure that the solids are able to settle at the bottom for digestion. They just permit clarified effluent to enter the sand filter. Make sure that you always check the filter baffles because if these clog up, there will be a backing up of wastewater and the drains will go slow. They should be checked and cleaned up on an annual basis. You can do this on your own. Just make sure that no one uses the water inside the household as you clean the filter baffles. Ding this regularly will make sure that sludge and scum do not get to the sand filter layer.

5. Pump tank and controls

Between the tank and the sand filter of your sand mound is a pump that delivers the effluent. From the sand filter to the mound, another pump makes this happen for the effluent to be distributed to the surrounding soil. There are also control floats that regulate the amount of effluent that enters the sand filter. These components should also be maintained to ensure the proper conveying of effluent to the sand filter and mound.

6. Considerations

To make the job easier for your sand mound and to prevent any untoward malfunctions, consider making a compost out of the food scraps that you have instead of using the garbage disposal unit. This lessens the solid wastes that enter your tank. Divide your laundry tasks to prevent water overload into your sand mound system.

The sand mound is basically a leach field that is elevated due to whatever conditions lead to the requirement for such a system. Remember that all septic systems need to be looked at regularly and inspected at least once each year. If you do not use a regular maintenance additive then you most certainly will need frequent pump-outs to assure that the tank sludge never escapes out to the pump station that feeds your mound.

Let a septic remediation professional guide you through more of the needed information about your sand mound’s preventive maintenance. This will enable you to have a better and clearer grasp of your responsibilities as a sand mound owner.

Are the toilets backing up from your septic system?

Are the toilets in your home backing up? This would probably be the most disgusting and the most awful thing that you could ever experience from your own septic system. There is nothing more terrible than just doing your business in the toilet and then having it back up again when you flush. You can never forget that and you would probably be upset for an entire month or until everything is all right. One toilet is enough but when the other toilet in your house back up all t the same time, it can pretty much be classified as a dire emergency.

Your septic system is something to be regarded as a living organism. Just like you, when it is not taken care of, it gets sick. And when your toilets back up, it is a symptom that something should pay attention to. Your toilets are backing up because you may have blockages in your indoor drains and pipes or your septic system might be failing. What should you do then if you suspect that you have a septic crisis? Read the following:

1. If your toilet is backing up all of a sudden, you should check all the drains as well. Do this by running water down each drain. If the water is not running down or is running down slow, it is possible that you have a clog or a blockage. When you discover that all your drains have the same issue, then your septic tank is really backed up.

2. Go to the toilet in the basement or on the first floor of your house. If they back up as well. It is a sign that your system is backed up and worse, your septic system is really failing.

3. Make a visual inspection of your septic system but don’t just look at what is superficial. Check the pipelines, d-box, and drain field. Upon inspection of your drain field, try to look for wet, squishy, and black water areas that have a very foul smell.

4. Get a plumbing snake and run it down your toilet or drain to check for clogs. Solid wastes, a broken pipeline, or damage by tree roots may cause this. If the snake gets t clear the line, then your septic tank is definitely not backed up.

5. You could hire a septic professional to lift the lid of your septic tank and measure the height or thickness of the sludge or scum that has accumulated. It the measurement from the bottom of the tank yields less than a foot to a foot, you have to pump out your septic tank. Some septic tank covers do not have a riser. If your septic tank cover is like this, then just have one installed so that your tank will be easier to access next time.

Remember that water always gets its way. Your tank may already be overflowing or full and obviously, this doesn’t permit the wastewater to get in anymore. That’s why your toilets back up. Have you septic tank empties and pumped out. You should’ve done this on regular basis (every 3 or 4 years). You could also have the solidified soaps residues removed if you use the powdered kind. It is more ideal to use liquid detergents.

Another reason why your toilet is backing up is that your drain field might be failing. This is caused by the heavy sludge accumulation in your septic tank that has not been pumped out regularly. The sludge has been stirred up and dispersed into the drain field that caused it to be blocked and fail. If this is the case, you should seek the help of your septic professional and have your septic system assessed. If the drain field can still be saved, then you will have less expense. But if you’re septic system needs to be replaced, then you have to be ready for a large amount to be spent.