Septic tank maintenance

November, 2012:

Do garbage disposals harm septic tanks?

In a conventional septic system, there are two main components—the septic tank and the drain field. The most obvious and the most urgently attended one is the septic tank. This is the holding vessel of the wastewater that comes directly from your household. Here, three layers are formed—the scum (top solid waste layer), the effluent (the middle clear liquid layer), and the sludge (the bottom layer resulting from anaerobic bacteria degradation. The septic tank is where the primary treatment of the wastewater takes place. If something wrong happens here, then you can be sure that the rest of the entire septic system will eventually perish. One of the big questions we encounter is do garbage disposals harm septic tanks?

Your new home has just been furnished and necessary appliances have just been installed such as the ever present garbage disposal unit. This appliance is considered as a very important tool in disposing of garbage easier. It is an alternative to keeping leftovers and other garbage to rot in your trash bin. Doing so could just attract pests like cockroaches, rats, flies, and stray animals. It could also be a means to spread disease and contamination to the surrounding environment. When you have a garbage disposal unit installed, you could be assured that the sanitation in your home is optimal. Before you had the garbage disposal installed, you did your needed research on it. Do garbage disposals harm septic tanks?

Well, most American homeowners think so. Majority of the US population d not have garbage disposal units installed because of the idea that the septic tank would have a hard time accommodating all the additional solid particles produced by the garbage disposal unit. The true answer to the question is a resounding NO. If you observe the function of the garbage disposal, it grinds up and increases the surface area of the solid wastes that you dump in it. This may add to the solid wastes but it also makes the solid wastes much easier for the resident bacteria to break down. The septic tank is a component f the septic system that received everything that your household delivers as waste. It is only proper that its size and the capacity should fit the household. With regular maintenance and pumping out, the septic tank would do just fine even with a garbage disposal gobbling up all those solid wastes.

You have to make sure that the septic tank gets regularly pumped out because the sludge should not be allowed to accumulate. Once this happens, the resident bacteria will get suspended and will not break down the solid waste products effectively. This will eventually result in clogging, backing up, overflow, and system failure. Pay attention to the septic tank care and the garbage disposal would do just fine with it. Another thing to remember is that you should treat the garbage disposal unit as an organic garbage grinder and not a garbage transformer. It only grinds up the solid wastes into finer pieces so that the bacteria could decompose them right away. With this, you should make it a point not to dump non-biodegradable materials, grease, and oils into it because when they enter the garbage disposal, they are still what they are. And what they are will harm the tank and the system. Just place them in an enclosed jar and dispose of them in the trash bin. Bad habits can be very difficult to break but you have to change them for the sake of your septic tank.

These days, you can opt for bacterial additives that can be used on garbage disposals. These additives help the anaerobic bacteria in making sure that the added solid wastes would be degraded faster and easier. It can really be taxing to have anything installed in your home. Every single thing should make things easier for you and not make your life more difficult. Do garbage disposals harm septic tanks? A garbage disposal unit is a good tool to have. It is generally safe for your septic tank just learn to use it properly for your septic system’s sake.

How to get rid of cesspit bio-mat buildup?

Two weeks to go and your daughter’s engagement party are going to take place. She didn’t want it in a hotel or in a resort. She didn’t even consider holding it in her fiancés home. Your daughter wanted to have her engagement party in the house where she grew up. They said brides tend to be sentimental and it was true. You were surprised at her choice of venue because you thought that she would want a place that was more spacious and more glamorous because she was an interior designer after all. Your wife has been nagging you to take care of the yard and make sure that nothing unexpected would ruin the occasion. Everything was like a roller coaster ride for you. It has been years since you entertained in your home and you weren’t sure if you could still be the same host. Just then, your daughter entered the front door and asked how things were. You just gave her a reassuring smile and promised her that everything would be all right. Your main concern was how to get rid of cesspit bio-mat build up in our septic system.

After a hearty lunch of roast chicken, mashed peas, and mushroom soup, you went out to look at your yard again. It seemed fine. It looked as flawless as ever. The fruit and flowering trees framed the property beautifully. The grass was green but in the area of your cesspit, there seemed to be a shadow over the grass. When you checked a bit closer, the grass was dark green and soggy. You knew that this was trouble. Immediately, you called your septic expert and reported what happened. He said that he would come over as soon as he could. After a few minutes of assessment, the septic expert told you that there was a buildup of cesspit bio-mat. He brought the treatment log and found out that you didn’t adhere to the schedules. You admitted to this because of the fact that you became so busy with so many projects at work.

The septic expert checked the sinks, toilets, and drains first before he eliminated the bio-mat. He lectured you on how to get rid of the cesspit bio-mat effectively. Of course, you had no choice but to listen. Your wife was going to bite your head off if you didn’t.

  1. The cesspit system could be shocked with a treatment of non-pathogenic bacteria. This would allow the resident bacteria to be more effective and aggressive in breaking down the solid waste materials. As a result, the population of the bio-mat would be decreased because of this treatment. It would even correct the damages brought about by the antibacterial detergents and cleaning agents that you used.
  2. The water load of the cesspit should be lessened. This could be done by installing a dry well beside your cesspit. If the water load increases, then the solid waste materials would be stirred up and be dispersed into the surrounding soil absorption system.
  3. You should properly use your sinks, drains, and toilets. Do not treat them as trash bins where you dump non-biodegradable materials.
  4. Keep the maintenance and treatments schedules recommended. This does a lot to prevent further bio-mat build up.
  5. The last resort that is considered the most expensive one is replacing your cesspit. Here, the cesspit and the surrounding soil must be dug up.

It was a good thing that you were able to spot the problem or your wife and daughter would go ballistic. The smell from the soggy grass was pretty foul. There was only little backup in the house and no one noticed the smell because of the cooking done. You were just glad that the cesspit bio-mat was already cleared. So now you know how to get rid of cesspit bio-mat build. Your daughter was to have the best moment of her life in your house. It was definitely one of the best engagement presents that you could ever give her. You were a bit sad that your little girl was to get married already but you love your daughter and this was your way of making sure that her happiness started with you.

How to get rid of septic tank bio-mat buildup

You have always been known as a person who sees to it that an investment was something worth every penny. It was your mantra to double check everything before making the final purchase. Since you were young, even when you bought something from your allowance, you checked the item out several times first before returning to pay for it and taking it home. You have incorporated this trait until you were able to purchase your own property. It was a large investment so you made sure that you visited it three times a month until you finally decided to make the buy. You made your real estate agent very happy when you finally signed the documents and the title. It even came to a point when he thought that you would never buy the property. But you did. How to get rid of septic tank bio-mat buildup was a question for a septic professional.  

Almost immediately, the construction team got to work in materializing your dream home. It was a design that you have made with your architect friend. You spent months working on it and even had your fiancé accompany you in choosing the right furniture to go with your new home’s theme. It was a contemporary Bali inspired home that you and your fiancé both dreamed of since you got back from your vacation there the year before. Of course, the construction took some time but when the house was finished, you could never hide your happiness and pride. The yard was the final thing to work on and this involved the septic system. It was the dirtiest part of having a house done but you had to see to everything that was done so that you may have the necessary information for any emergency.

The landscape architect gave way to the septic expert first, who immediately installed the septic system. It was a conventional septic system but still, it needed the recommended maintenance and care. Part of the treatment and care of your new septic system knew how to get rid of the septic tank bio-mat buildup. Since your septic system was new, you didn’t have bio-mat accumulation to worry about yet but it would be of great help to know how to get rid of septic tank bio-mat buildup before it was too late:

  1. Shocking the septic system with non-pathogenic bacteria so that every nook and cranny of your system will be reached by the good bacteria. This will significantly lower the population and the thickness of the bio-mat and even repair the damages brought about by the harsh antibacterial soaps or detergents used by your household.
  2. Using water wisely to lessen the water load of your septic system. This lessens the water load of your septic system. This doesn’t stir up the solid wastes inside the septic tank that could pour into the drain field and further thicken the bio-mat.
  3. Proper use of toilets, drains, and sinks by not dumping non-biodegradable materials into them.
  4. Making sure that you keep the treatment and maintenance schedules that your septic expert recommended. This will prevent bio-mat buildup and eliminate the present bio-mat buildup that your system may have presently.
  5. Replacing the entire septic system. This involves digging up the septic tank and the drain field as well. As a last resort, septic system replacement if the most expensive method of removing any trace of bio-mat.

Of course, it only seemed proper for you to see to it that bio-mat that obstructive would not have any place in your septic system. Your home was to be your lifelong investment with your fiancé. A month after your dream home was built, you finally got married. Your home was to be your nest. As the man of the house, you didn’t want your wife and future children to worry about things like septic system crises at all. You’re double checking habit definitely paid off big time when you discovered how to get rid of septic tank bio-mat buildup in your septic system.

How to clean a cesspit?

How to clean a cesspit is a question that many homeowners would like to know. By the end of the week, you were determined to sit back and relax. It was a very taxing work week for you. All those cesspits from various areas of the state made you so worked out that you looked forward to doing absolutely nothing when the weekend came. When you got home, your youngest daughter came running to you. It was one of the best things that a hard working father could ever get from his child. Your daughter has always been very curious about so many things but she never asked anything about your work until that day.

Dinner was already served. Your wife made beef lasagna and garlic bread with creamy garlic dip. It was your favorite. After eating, your daughter followed you on the porch and sat beside you while you had your night cap. She asked what your work was all about and you said that you clean cesspits for a living. She looked at you with a bewildered look and asked how you did your job. It was the very first time that someone asked you that. You were never invited for career days in schools so you really had to hold your breath for a while and think of how you would be able to deliver your message to such a young child. You looked at her and told her that things were very complicated to explain but you would try to tell them as simple as you could possibly could. Below is a brief look into how to clean a cesspit.

  1. First thing to be done is to find where the cesspit’s opening is. It has to be found even if it has to be dug up.
  2. Next thing is to remove the lid of the cesspit’s opening. A metal bar or a brow bar can be used in the process.
  3. Before you start cleaning the cesspit, you have to wear proper safety attire like gloves, goggles or face shield, and extra layer of clothes.
  4. You have to get the filter from the filter unit.
  5. You should hose down the filter away from you until all of the waste is gone. You wouldn’t want to end up with all the waste in you.
  6. Place the filter back where it should be.
  7. Then the special enclosed truck of the septic professional will pump out all the sludge in the cesspit.
  8. The tank will then be hosed down until clinging sludge is removed from it. The dirty water will also be pumped out by the septic expert.
  9. The septic professional will then add in bacteria-friendly additives into the cesspit. This will help the bacteria to be better at breaking down the solid waste materials and also to help them have a balanced population. Such products can be poured into the cesspit or even into the toilet.
  10. The cesspit’s lid is then returned.
  11. The septic expert will then give the authorities a report that the cesspit was already cleaned.
  12. If the septic expert has a disposal certificate, he is permitted to dispose of the sludge in the proper area.

Your daughter scratched her head at what you just told her but more or less, she had the idea of what you just told her and she thought to herself about how to clean a cesspit. You added that even if the cesspits were already cleaned up, the homeowners should still do things that would make their cesspit last much longer. They should make sure that they do not dump grease, strong chemicals, non-biodegradable materials, and oils into their toilets and sinks; that they install a dry well to help ease the cesspit’s water load; that rainwater will not go over the cesspit; they should not let any form of construction and any type of vehicle over the cesspit; that they switch to bacteria- and environment-friendly household cleaning agents; that they follow the maintenance and treatment schedules; and that they do not plant trees near the cesspit area.

Do water softeners harm cesspools?

This article will cover the age old question of do water softeners harm cesspools? Obsessive-compulsive was the usual description given to you by close friends and family. Well, being the first born usually excuses you for being a perfectionist. They said all first born were like that. It all started when you already learned how to play. You always made sure that the toys were arranged in a certain way. When you ate, you didn’t waste anything and finished everything off like any toddler should. When you started going to school, you were always keen on getting your work done and submitting it on time. You were never late in every appointment and when you started working, you made sure that every presentation was flawless and very innovative. It wasn’t a bad trait to be a perfectionist. In your case, you handled it pretty well. When you had your own home, it was spotless. Every utensil and every minute detail was in place. This was basically one of the reasons why your friends thought it very challenging to fins you a woman who could possibly be better than you in the house.

You went on a few dates, mostly to give way to your friends’ requests on meeting women who they think were right for you. After a while, when they finally gave up, you met someone on your own who really stood out because of her brains. She was a laboratory scientist for a local research facility. In a way, she had a little to do with your work on septic systems. Your business was all about designing and improving septic systems and septic system products. Technically, you spoke the same language and this brought you even closer. One day, you proposed to her and just a little over a month, you got married. Everyone was ecstatic because you have finally found the one woman to complete your life.

Since your business was about septic systems, you also dealt with the hard water issues that many homeowners encounter. Hard water really made cleaning very tedious and very time-consuming. There were even homeowners who gave up using their own water and just used a Laundromat for their clothes. They used so much water and soap in cleaning the house as well. It was a problem that your company wanted to find a solution to. You wanted to do something innovative that no other company in your field has thought of before. You wanted a water softening system installed with your septic system designs. This was for areas that had hard water. But because of the very confusing data about water softeners during that time, no one in your board seemed to be convinced that your idea was feasible.

It just so happened that your wife handled things like hard water and water softeners in her company. So, you invited her to explain what water softeners really did to septic systems like cesspools. Before the entire board, your wife presented her facts and tried to explain the age old question of do water softeners harm cesspools?

1) The salt discharges that contained minerals like iron, magnesium, and calcium do not harm cesspools. These minerals aid in the improvement of the percolation of the cesspool’s soil absorption system. The magnesium and calcium elements greatly make the movement of the air and water much better when the effluent gets dispersed into the surrounding soil. When this happens, no clogging takes place.

2) The amount of salt is not enough to combine with the clay in the surrounding soil to harden and clog it. It isn’t even enough to affect or kill off the residing bacteria that decomposed the solid waste particles. The salt discharge only occurs 2-3 times every week.

3) Water softeners do not only benefit the cesspool but also benefits the pockets of the homeowners. When the hard water is turned soft, water and soap consumption is decreased. The water load of the cesspool is lessened as well. When the water load in the cesspool is not that heavy, the bacteria have enough time to degrade the solid waste particles.

Because of your wife’s presentation, the new production line that you want was set into motion. You definitely owe it to your wife and your brilliant perfectionism for such a success to be brought about. Your wife did an excellent job of answering that age old question of do water softeners harm cesspools? You were very proud of her.

How to clean a cesspool

This article covers the task of how to clean a cesspool. The cesspool is a term that has received numerous feedbacks of disgust and utter distaste. It is one part of your property that you would never want to frequent if given the choice. The mere idea that a cesspool is underneath your home often send shivers down the spine of many homeowners. But this kind of attitude towards your cesspool will not help you gain the best service that it offers. The cesspool is a living organism that treats the wastewater that comes from your home. Through this system, you and your family are safe from the toxins and pathogens that are contained in the wastewater. Like the conventional septic system, the cesspool recycles the wastewater into a form that is usable and environment-friendly.

Your cesspool is different from the usual septic system because of the holes around it and the absence of the outflow pipe. The holes serve as the outflow pipe, enabling the pre-treated effluent to be absorbed into the surrounding soil absorption system. Proper maintenance and care should also be provided for such an efficient server. The cesspool should be regularly inspected and pumped out. But how exactly does one do this? What are the steps that you should remember in cleaning a cesspool?

1)       Locate the lid or the opening of your cesspool. You could ask your septic expert or consult the blueprint of your property. The septic expert can also explain how to clean a cesspool.

2)       Remove the lid of your cesspool with the use of a crowbar and a metal bar.

3)       Protect yourself well before you start cleaning. Don an extra layer of clothing, goggles/face shield, and think gloves.

4)       Any form of filter should be unscrewed.

5)       Hose down the filter away from you.

6)       Return the filter and replace its lid.

7)       With the help of your septic professional, the cesspool will be pumped. The special, enclosed truck will contain the sludge that is pumped out from your cesspool.

8)       You could then hose down the sides of the cesspool to make sure that there are no significant amount of sludge that still clings on.

9)       The water from the last hose down will again be pumped out.

10)   The septic professional will administer a bacteria- and environment-friendly additive that will optimize the number and performance of the existing bacteria in the cesspool.

11)   The cesspool’s lid is replaced and covered.

12)   The septic expert will give a report containing the information about the success of your cesspools clean up.

13)   If the septic expert has a disposal certification, only then would he be allowed to properly dispose of the sludge that he collected.

The care for your cesspool doesn’t stop in cleaning. The effort would be much more effective if you make sure that you do the right things after the actual cesspool cleaning. Small things like making sure that no vehicle or no construction will be placed over your cesspool; not dumping grease, strong chemicals, antibacterial agents, and non-biodegradable materials will be dumped into the toilets and drains; installing a dry well to lessen the cesspool’s water load; making sure that no rainwater runoff will reach your cesspool area; and not planting any woody rooted plants and trees over your cesspool area. These are things that you have to remember after each treatment or pump out. This is like resetting the life span of your cesspool to a brand new start.

How to clean a cesspool is a lot to undertake. It may not be easy to accept this kind of responsibility at first because this does need your time, attention, and budget considerations. But think about the long-term benefits of having a smooth –running cesspool system. You may be looking at decades of continuous cesspool function if you care for it properly. It is not something that you should take very lightly because the moment you do not fulfill your end of the deal, the cesspool will malfunction or fail. And you will be left with much regret and a large hole in your pocket.

What is a septic system d-box

What is a septic system d-box? For those who have just heard this term… No, it’s not a digital box or a music box of some sort. The d-box or the distribution box is one of the components of the drain field, wherein the treated effluent goes through to be distributed equally throughout the surrounding environment. More than ne d-box can be installed and used. It connects the single line of effluent from the septic tank to a vast network of lateral lines, galleys, or seepage pits.

If a d-box is installed properly, then there could be a regulation of the actual distribution of effluent through the use of a plug with a hole for electricity. Just in case the d-box is clogged or tipped, the effluent could be diverted to only one part of the soil absorption system. This results to an overloading and a bursting out of the effluent right onto the surface. It may even result to a backup or clogging of the system. The interior of the d-box should be inspected for any possible clogging or saturation has taken place. If the drain field has been flooded before, then that part of the septic system would be malfunctioning or failing soon.

To care for the d-box or distribution box, you have to know how to find it. Here are some steps in finding the d-box:

1)       First, you should check with the local health department for any permits or plans made for your property. It’s likely that the contractor inserted an outline of the installed septic system. It would not be sure thing but it is definitely a good place to start your search. Even if you’re not sure about this record map, it would help you know the location of the pipe routes, the septic tank and the drain field.

2)       Go to the area of your property where you think the drain field and lateral lines were installed. Look at the grass over the drain field. They appear to grow a lot faster and are greener than the other grass in the yard. The d-box would most probably be located at the side near the house, at the center of the lateral lines.

3)       You can use a metal rod to find out the exact location of the drain pipes from the house. Follow that pipe to the septic tank. Carefully dig into the ground with a metal rod. Slowly do this until you hit the pipe so you won’t damage it. The outlet pipe that you hit will lead you to the d-box, which is just a square of 16 inches.

It is important for the d-box to be located so that you may be able to have it inspected and cleaned. The d-box could also be clogged because of the condition of the effluent and the drain field itself. When it is time for your septic tank to get pumped out, ask your septic expert to inspect and clean out your d-box as well.

If you have located your d-box already, make a simplified map of it with labels and measurements so that your septic expert could have a reference the next time he goes to your home to treat your system. The more detailed the drawing, the better. Make several copies of it to make sure that you won’t lose that valuable information. Never count on your memory when it comes to determining such a complex location.

The d-box is not that deep bit it is quite small. If you want your septic expert to replace the small d-box make sure that the larger d-box would not be tilted or tipped. This way, the effluent would be distributed through all the lines of the drain field.

Regular pumping helps in making sure that the d-box is sludge-free. Talk to your septic expert to know the pumping out schedule. Also make sure to use the septic system properly. What you do to one part of the septic system affects the rest in the system including the d-box. So, now you know the answer to the question, what is a septic system d-box?