Septic tank maintenance

August, 2013:

Why septic tank systems overflow?

In this article we will cover why septic tank systems overflow? Centuries have passed and the planet as we know it has long benefited from man’s inherent curiosity. So many inventions and innovations have brought about changes that improved lives in every part of the world. Questions kept on springing up. Corresponding answers have satisfied them. And in these answers, new perceptions arose. Ordinary things that people encounter everyday turn into extraordinary moments because of the simple discoveries made. One such common place for such an occurrence is the home. Houses are so much more complex than what they actually seem. They are comprised of so many components that have to be in harmony together so that the entire household could benefit from them.

The homeowner’s curiosity is very useful in maintaining the entire property. If you are one of those who have their own home, you should be aware of your septic tank system. Doing so will give you enough knowledge to care for it and maintain it the best way you can. You should know why septic tank systems overflow because this is one of the most common problems that you will encounter with it. The septic system separates your household from the harmful substances in the wastewater. It treats the wastewater that your household produces so that n harm will befall the environment and the surrounding residences.  Your septic expert could help you with this. Some of the reasons why septic tank systems overflow are:

  1. No pump outs

It’s a basic rule to have the septic tank pumped out regularly. This is because of the accumulated sludge in it that has to be eliminated so that the tank could have enough space for wastewater treatment. If the tank does not undergo any pump out, then the sludge level will go higher. The incoming wastewater will not have enough space to occupy and therefore will only back up and overflow in the home and onto the yard. It will even affect the clean water supply in the area.

  1. RootsThese complex root systems by hardwood plants never stop searching for effluent that’s rich in water and nutrients. The deeper they go, the more they occupy the septic system, especially the tank. Once the tank and the surrounding pipes are completely blocked by the hardwood roots, the incoming wastewater will no longer move forward and be treated. Instead, it will only backup or overflow. The roots should be immediately pulled out manually. If strong chemicals are used to kill them, the surrounding environment will only be polluted.
  2. High water load

Water load of the septic tank depends on the consumption of the household. This is why the septic tank is specifically designed according to the number of people who live in your home. If there is an increase in number of persons, then water consumption increases. If the washing machine and dishwasher are used at the same time, then water load also increases. This condition is aggravated when heavy rains take place. The outpour from the rain gutter and the flood water will force water into the system, making the effluent overflow. There should be a dry well to help accommodate the grey water from the washing machine and dishwasher; water consumption should be regulated; and the gutter should be diverted away from the septic system to prevent very high water load.

  1. Wrong use of toilets, drains, and sinksToilets, drains, and sinks should be treated well if the septic system is to last longer and function better. Harsh chemicals should not be dumped into them because they corrode the physical components of the system and kill the resident bacteria that do all the digestion of solid wastes. Paint, grease, and non-biodegradable materials should not be thrown into them, too, because they won’t be deteriorated by bacteria. They will just stay in the tank and occupy necessary space, resulting to overflow.

Work with your septic expert in making sure that your septic system is well-cared for. With proper knowledge and guidance, your septic tank system will last for decades.

Greywater systems to limit water going into your cesspool.

This article will cover using greywater systems to limit water going into your cesspool. Having a business or a home of your own can be a very exhausting endeavor especially if you always end up with a cesspool problem. The problem lies within the cesspool. It was designed and made to cater to your household or business establishment. Maintaining it in optimal condition requires you to observe proper waste disposal and regard for the surrounding environment. Part of this regard is to limit the water that enters the cesspool system. This means that you should be mindful of how you use your water inside the home or business. If you only have your cesspool to catch all the wastewater and grey water, then you should anticipate inevitable system failure. You should discuss using grey water systems to limit water going into your cesspools with your septic expert. Only then would you achieve peace of mind that your cesspool will not fail.

What is grey water? This is the waste liquid that comes from houses or buildings excluding the waste from toilets. It is water from the bathtub, shower, sink, or laundry area. Backwater is the waste liquid that includes waste from the toilets. If your home or building has a mixed liquid waste from showers, tubs, sinks, and toilets, these become blackwater. If you want to lessen the water load that enters your cesspool, you need to have a grey water system installed. A grey water system is a wastewater system that decreases the amount of effluent that enters a cesspool system by collecting the grey water and separating it from the blackwater. If you know that your cesspool is built with a limited capacity, you should talk to your septic expert about constructing a drywell or a grey water system in your premises.

Grey water systems are also utilized for recycling and conserving water especially in areas where there is a minimal supply of water. There are grey water systems that include the roof runoff or rainwater. In general the grey water system does not include human waste. This means that the grey water does not need to be treated like blackwater when it is disposed of within the premises. The soil bio-mat and the soil filtration processes within the property are enough to make the water clean enough to release into the surrounding environment. With this, building code requirements for disposing of grey water is less strict than those for disposing blackwater. However, other areas still require the treatment process involved in a drywell to allow property owners to dispose of grey water on the surface of the ground.

Your cesspool needs a grey water system if it has a limited water load capacity. You should prevent the water load from filling up your cesspool because it is going to stir up the solid waste materials. This delays the degradation process done by the anaerobic bacteria. When this happens, the solid waste flow through the perforations of your cesspool and block the surrounding absorption area. When the absorption area becomes filled with untreated wastewater, the aerobic bacteria die off, allowing the bio-mat to proliferate. The bio-mat clog the soil absorption area. Eventually, the cesspool fails. That is why you need to consider using an efficient grey water system for your cesspool. Doing so will enable you to save money on huge cesspool repairs and a great deal of heartbreak.

Installing a grey water system for your home or business will let you recycle or conserve water especially if you are in an area where there is a shortage of clean water. These places have certain limitations in supplying water, so it is necessary to treat and filter grey water so that it could be used for flushing toilets and watering crops and lawns. Generally, a grey water system can save about 50 gallons to 100 gallons of water in one day or perhaps even more than that. It depends on the manner and level of water usage in your home or business. Even if your home or business has access to a municipal water supply, you can still benefit from a grey water system. You could effectively recycle water in your own home or building and this could definitely help you save on your water bills.

Talk to your septic expert about the grey water system so that you could gain the benefits of having recycled grey water within your premises.

How plastics and nylons from laundry water can cause clogging in a cesspit

This article will cover how plastics and nylons from laundry water can cause clogging in a cesspit. Pollution is a genera term for contamination that happens in the main parts of the environment—land, air, and water. It has long been an issue in many communities and once again, the awareness of pollution has been increased. More and more households are participating in making sure that their components are functional yet environment friendly. It is not a hidden fact that plastic makes it into every home. It may have been an accidental product but it certainly made a lot of difference. Plastic can be found in anything. You find it in food containers, car parts, appliances, furniture, accessories, and even clothing. Laundry water is a common vehicle for nits of fibers and non-biodegradable fragments to make it into your cesspit. When an uncontrolled amount of plastic or nylon enters the cesspit, clogging takes place. If your cesspit experiences clogging, your household and your entire property will turn into chaos.

The cesspit is the forerunner of the modern septic system. It is responsible for treating and purifying your wastewater. If you don’t have a greywater system or a dry well, your cesspit will take all the used water from your dishwasher, showers, drains, and washing machine. If plastic is present in the greywater that come from these sources, your cesspit will surely be in trouble. Plastic is a synthetic substance. Manufacturers of plastic products may have discovered a way to make them biodegradable but most of it remains synthetic and non-biodegradable. So, when plastic makes it into your cesspit, the anaerobic bacteria won’t be able to break down the rest of the plastic components. Bits of non-biodegradable plastic will just stay in the cesspit and clog the entire system. If this clogging isn’t addressed at the soonest, your entire property will experience total chaos. There will be wastewater backups, flooding, and overflow that will lead to cesspit failure.

Another bad thing that comes from biodegradable plastic in the laundry water is the methane that’s produced when it is degraded by the anaerobic bacteria. Methane is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. In high levels, methane can be toxic. Methane is a flammable gas that is hazardous to your home especially if it is exposed to flames. You might end up with a large crater in your backyard  because of an explosion. Worse than that, household members may be injured. Because of the possible dangers of plastic, you should know how plastics and nylons from laundry water can cause clogging in a cesspit. If you do, you will be able to prevent cesspit problems.

As a responsible home and cesspit owner, you should make sure that plastic will not be able to enter the cesspit. Additional filters in the washing machine and in the inflow pipe should be able to prevent plastic fibers and particles from entering the cesspit. Filters should also be installed and constantly checked so that they could be replaced on a regular basis. Efficient filters will definitely help keep solid waste particles from laundry water away from the cesspit. Since plastic fibers won’t be degraded anymore, they will only accumulate and clog the perforations along the sides of the cesspit. Minute particles of plastic might even be pushed into the surrounding soil absorption system. The aerobic bacteria in the soil absorption system also won’t be able to break down the plastic particulates so clogging will still take place.

When cesspit clogging happens, the aerobic bacteria are killed off. If aerobic bacteria die, the biomat will not be regulated anymore. Biomat will increase in number and help the plastic particles clog the system as well. Plastic is not your cesspit’s friend. So, you have to make sure that it doesn’t make it into your wastewater treatment system. You should discuss installing a greywater system or a dry well with your septic expert so that your cesspit won’t have to deal with laundry water and possible plastic contamination. It may cost more, but it will yield more benefits for your cesspit.

French drains can help your raised mound systems

This article will cover how French drains can help your raised mound systems. Every property is made unique. There are properties with soil that has normal percolation rate while some don’t. If you belong to those properties with normal percolation rates, then you must have a conventional septic system that is built underneath your property. However, if you belong to the special homeowners whose soil in their properties filter too slowly or too quickly, then you should have a raised mound system to treat your wastewater. A raised mound system is literally raised above the ground to make room for additional filters that will help treat your wastewater. It’s an efficient way to help maintain your property’s health and sanitation. Raised mound systems are specialized systems of wastewater treatment. With this, it is understood that it needs special care. Aside from the regular pump outs, you should be able to do the following to maintain your raised mound system’s optimal condition:

1)  Remove heavy structures and vehicles over or near your raised mound system. Their heavy weight results to soil compaction that damages the raised mound components. Leaks, backups, overflows, and flooding take place because of the cracks.

2)  Clear your raised mound system of tree roots. These invasive roots penetrate the raised mound components. The result is damage and clogging, which will eventually lead to failure if not corrected immediately.

3)  Do not dump non-biodegradable materials and grease into your drains, toilets, and sinks. These cannot be broken down by the raised mound’s resident bacteria. They just stay in the tank and get pushed into the filters and soil absorption area, clogging everything.

4)  Do not pour harsh chemicals into your toilets, sinks, and drains. These compounds easily kill off the raised mound’s resident bacteria. Without bacteria in your raised mound, there can be no wastewater treatment.

5)  Minimize water consumption. It is common for many households to use water too much. To save time, you use the dishwasher and the washing machine at the same time. This adds too much water into your raised mound. When there is too much water, the solid waste particles cannot be broken down as quickly as before. The solid waste particles are just pushed into the filters and soil absorption area, clogging everything. The same thing happens when heavy rains occur.

The excessive water load that your raised mound experiences is a terrible problem. The raised mound system that helps your special soil perform filtration now needs help in reducing excess water load. This is where the French drain enters the picture. French drains are also known as soakaways. Knowing how French drains can help your raised mound systems will help you appreciate how a simple system can make a complicated form of septic system work more efficiently.

If you install a French drain around your raised mound system, your excess water load problem will be instantly resolved. The French drain catches the wastewater overflow in your raised mound’s tank. The wastewater stagnates for some time, allowing some of the anaerobic bacteria to continue breaking down the solid waste particles in the wastewater. After that, gravity powers the gradual flow of the effluent that passes through a layer of durable media. The slime that grows in this durable media helps breakdown more of the solid waste particles. When the effluent disperses into the soil absorption area, the latent bacteria there will purify the effluent. The resulting water is clear, clean, and potable. It can be reused by the time it reaches the water table.

The French drain is a very efficient component in your property. It can help waterproof your home and prevent your raised mound system from failing. You can add this simple structure into your landscape without hurting its design. With the help of your landscape architect, arborist, septic expert, and drain expert, your will have a French drain that will turn your property into the best investment decision you have ever made.

How French drains can help your lateral lines

This article will cover how French drains can help your lateral lines. The most common problem in many properties these days is excess water. This is mostly brought upon by heavy rains that can be very unpredictable. Because of this, you can never tell when the run off would be too excessive that it would cause flooding around your house or in your basement. When this happens, the clock starts to tick for your house. Excess water that stagnates for prolonged period in these areas of your home subject its foundations to early stages of rot or deterioration. This is bad news especially if this has been happening for quite a while. If you inherited such a water problem from the previous owner, then you would have to do the necessary steps to strengthen your home. One of the best ways to do this is to waterproof your house. Doing this doesn’t involve wrapping your home with airtight plastic. All you need to do is build a French drain.

This structure can also be used in helping your septic system, particularly your lateral lines. As you know, your septic system is prone to water overload. Your septic tank is designed to cater to a certain amount of wastewater or water in general. However, due to the excessive use of water in the home and heavy rainfall, the water load exceeds the tank’s capacity. This brings forth wastewater backups, overflows, and flooding. The overflow of untreated wastewater affects the septic’s lateral lines. Lateral lines are the distributors of pre-treated effluent into the drain field so that it can be purified before it is released into the surrounding areas. This presents an opportunity for you to understand how French drains can help your lateral lines. If you build French drains around your lateral lines, the excess wastewater that comes from the septic tank will not saturate the lines anymore. Instead, it will go directly into the French drain to be filtered. The aggregates help filter the wastewater. The anaerobic bacteria that spill into the French drain continue their work in degrading the solid waste particles in the wastewater. When the effluent reaches the layer of slime in the French drain’s durable media, more solid wastes will be degraded. The effluent is then dispersed into the drain field where latent bacteria will purify it. By the time the cleaned effluent reaches the water table, it is already potable and ready for reuse.

French drains can be constructed according to their primary use:

  • The collector drain  and the interceptor drain

This is responsible for collecting groundwater, intercepted by run-off or surface water. It can be connected to the underground pipes directly to make the water diversion faster. It needs to have a filter that can be cleaned regularly. This is to prevent debris from the surface from clogging the area underground.

  • The filter drain

This French drain takes care of the groundwater.

  • Find the drain

This system makes use of a perforated pipeline that has a fin or a section vertical to the pipe. It’s about 7.9 inches or 200 millimeters long. This is much more inexpensive to construct that a conventional French drain.

  • The dispersal drain

The French drain that disperses the wastewater from your septic tank.

You can have your French drain built with 2 to 3 drainage pipes. Multiple pipes can help support each other’s functions in case one of the pipes becomes clogged.

A well-built French drain is powered by gravity. It gradually diverts the excess amounts of water away from the house foundations or the septic towards areas that need water or where water can be recycled for reuse. It can drain into a dry well where the water can be treated so that it can provide water to the lawn or to the toilets for flushing. If the water system of your city becomes inaccessible, the accumulated water in dry wells can be reused. Make sure you talk to your septic expert about where to drain your French drain so that it can help make your property more sustainable.

How French drains can help your septic system

This article will cover how French drains can help your septic system. Every plan needs a backup. If you’re a homeowner, you very well know why this is necessary. If one component of your home fails, you should have a ready replacement or a repair plan for it. It applies to the major elements that you have in and around your home such as your French drain. These days, especially in areas where rainfall and water use are always prolific, excess water is usually a problem. In maintaining your property, excess water is an issue that you have to face with strategy. When water accumulates in your basement or at the sides of your home, you have to do something about it. If you let the water stand for prolonged periods, you will have a problem with moisture in your home’s foundations. When moisture seeps into the base of your home, premature rotting takes place. This weakens the materials uses to build your home. It would just be a matter of time until you have to spend thousands of dollars to repair the damages. With the help of a French drain, you can avoid such large expenses and terrible worry.  French drain, with its simple structure, could indeed waterproof your home. It can easily divert the excess water accumulation away from your home and deliver it to a part of your property that needs watering.

A typical French drain is also known as a rubble drain, blind drain, drain tile, rock drain, French ditch, land drain, and perimeter drain. It is actually an established trench filled with crushed rock or gravel. It also contains a perforated pipe along its length. The pipe is the one that diverts or redirects the groundwater or surface water away from your home’s foundations. The perforations of your French drain are needed to disperse the water through the rock layers as quickly as possible. These days, there are pre-made French drains that do not need the conventional rock layer anymore. It only has a gravel substitute that is installed around the perforated pipe. The pipe and gravel substitute are then covered by a geo fabric that is used as a filter.

French drains are used to divert water away from areas that need a dry environment such as your home’s foundation. It also helps in decreasing the water load from your septic system, which usually experiences high water load. The water load produced by your household should not exceed your septic tank’s capacity. When this happens, the wastewater overflows and your entire property becomes flooded. When there is too much water rushing into the septic tank, the solid particles get pushed into the drain field. They block the treatment process and this brings forth backups, overflows, and flooding as well. The same thing happens when it rains hard. This is where the French drain helps. It allows the excess water to be filtered even when it overflows from the septic tank. The layers of filters, together with the slime that build up in its durable media break down the solid waste particles. The filtered effluent is then dispersed into the surrounding soil to be treated again by the latent bacteria. If a French drain is installed near the septic area, it can help the French drain built near the sides of your house. It will help catch excess water especially surface and ground water brought in by heavy rains. This is how French drains can help your French drains. Extra French drains help the pre-installed French drains do their job more efficiently and with fewer issues to deal with.

Excessive amounts of water around your home and in your property can bring havoc to the landscaping and to the house foundations. French drains can help you save a lot of effort, time, and money in maintaining your property. Consult your septic and drain expert so that you may determine where it is best to install French drains within your premises.

This article will cover how to keep excess water away from leach field lines

This article will cover how to keep excess water away from leach field lines. The integrity of a property reflects the dedication of the owner in keeping it in prime condition. You do this by always making sure that the components are functional, the surroundings are tidy, and the living space is secure. You as a homeowner should always be aware of the elements that make your property desirable especially if you plan to sell it someday. Your septic system is definitely one of the key areas that you always have to maintain. As you know, the septic system is your personal wastewater treatment system since you cannot be accommodated by the municipal sewage system. With this in mind, it is a given that you have to do your best in keeping your septic system optimal, especially your leach field lines.

Leach field lines are crucial in completing the wastewater treatment process. They make sure that the pre-treated effluent is evenly distributed throughout the leach field to be further treated and purified. They have to be professionally installed so that the pipes are level. If not, the wastewater will pool to only one part of the leach field. Diverting excess water away from your leach field lines is an effective way to keep it functional at all times. The effort to keep excess water away from leach field lines enables the aerobic bacteria and the biomat to do their jobs before the effluent is released into the surrounding environment. Conserving water helps lower the level of water load that enters the entire septic system. It also helps improve the condition and functionality of your leach field lines.  If your leach field lines are always in tip top shape, you can be confident that your groundwater or clean water supply and the surrounding bodies of water will always be free from contamination.

Take note that your leach field lines are comprised of perforated pipes that help in the even distribution of the  pre-treated effluent. This field is vital so that you may enjoy your septic system for years. If you want to keep excess water away from leach field lines, you have to perform the following:

  • Redirect the rain gutter drainage.

As you know, excessive water from the surface should not reach the leach field lines. If this happens, the untreated wastewater will backup and flood your home and property. The additional water in the leach field area will also enter the septic tank. The increased water pressure that enters the septic tank will stir up the solid waste materials. The movement of the solid waste will delay the anaerobic bacteria’s degradation process. Then the solid particles will be pushed into the leach field, causing a clog in the system. Ask your drain or septic expert to redirect the rain gutter so that it won’t drain over the leach field lines or the septic system area.

  • Save water.

This is also one of the responsibilities of your household if you want to keep excess water away from leach field lines. Tub baths should not be an everyday activity for the entire household. It is also ideal not to use the dishwasher and washing machine simultaneously. You should also avoid dumping grey water over the leach field area.

  • Use a dry well or a greywater system.

There are two types of wastewater—blackwater (from the toilet) and greywater (from the dishwasher, washing machine, drains, showers, sinks, and tubs). Greywater enters the septic system, too, if you have no dry well or greywater system to take care of it. These systems separate the greywater from the blackwater, therefore significantly decreasing the water levels in the septic. The greywater is treated separately so that it can be used to water plants or flush the toilet.

Keep your leach field lines happy and you will experience a sanitized environment and a problem-free septic system. Always keep in touch with your septic expert to avoid water load problems in the system.

Brown grass over cesspool

This article will cover brown grass over cesspool. True lawn masters know a well-maintained lawn when they see one. It’s pretty obvious that many people obsess over their own lawns that most of them have made careers out of it. It’s a science and a love affair that can never be completely understood. Perhaps it’s a fascination at how the balance of care affects the lawn’s condition. Or maybe it’s the attention given to the plants that totally makes a huge difference.

Well, an ideal lawn or property to the untrained eye would be entirely green and perfectly manicured. It would be a property that would entice you to step on it but you would just change your mind because you’re afraid you might damage it. It’s a post-card or poster type of lawn that resembles a green ocean. But let an experienced lawn guy look at the grass and he will tell you that if there is a patch of brown there, the lawn’s perfect. You may think of that guy as some sort of a loon but he’s right. If there is a patch of brown, preferably over the cesspool, then the homeowner is doing a great job in caring for the property.

The cesspool is the wastewater treatment system that’s still being used by many homeowners in the country. It resembles the modern septic system but it lacks the outflow pipe. Instead, it’s surrounded by perforations and a soil absorption system to which the pre-treated effluent drains. Since the onset of the recession, homeowners decided that it would be more practical to keep their cesspool and not replace it with a new septic system. It would cost too much for them to do this. They have to prioritize making it back on their feet first before spending thousands of dollars on a brand new septic system.

There should be brown grass over the cesspool. It’s ideal because the brown coloration of the grass indicates the dryness of the cesspool area. It means that the cesspool is functioning optimally. You should immediately call on the septic expert if the grass over the cesspool is dark green and soggy. This would mean that the cesspool is suffering from an internal leak or a heavy clog.

When you see the brown grass over the cesspool, you should not be alarmed. You shouldn’t even water it. Watering the brown grass would immediately saturate the aerobic bacteria that lives in the topsoil on which the brown grass is planted. When the aerobic bacteria get saturated, they will die because they’re deprived of oxygen. The aerobic bacteria are responsible for regulating the biomat in the soil absorption area that rids the pre-treated effluent of pathogens before they’re returned to the surrounding environment. The aerobic bacteria also break down any minute solid waste particle left in the pre-treated effluent. If you water the brown grass over the cesspool, then this will severely alter the ideal condition of the cesspool. The additional water that you want to pour over the brown grass will push the untreated effluent back into the house and over the yard itself, increasing the water load.

It would be best to leave the brown grass over the cesspool alone. Dark green and soggy grass is an indicator that the cesspool is having some clogged areas or damaged parts. It’s always best to have a regular cesspool inspection and treatment. The cesspool should always be pumped out on schedule to avoid this type of grass over the cesspool. Talk to your septic expert with regard to the use of bacteria as a form of regular treatment for your cesspool.

Bacteria are the best additives that you could use on your cesspool because they’re organic and they don’t have chemical pollutants that harm the environment and contaminate the clean water supply. They just voraciously eat the solid waste and eliminate the foul cesspool smells that occasionally waft through your home. Regular use of bacteria will ensure brown grass over the cesspool all the time.

Keep excess water away from cesspits

How to keep excess water away from cesspits. Anything in excess is bad. This applies to everything, whether it’s food, affection, money, and yes, even water. Excess water in the natural environment means flooding. When this happens, properties are damaged and lives are lost. The ones living in the lowlands are affected the most. If you are a homeowner, you would understand that flooding of any kind can cause damage to your home and its components. Your cesspit is a very vulnerable component of your property when it comes to excessive water. Rains and a high level of water consumption can negatively affect your cesspit. It is vital that you know how your cesspit operates first so you can keep excess water away from cesspits.

A cesspit is an old system of wastewater treatment. It is comprised of a tank that has perforations along the sides. These perforations are passageways for the pre-treated wastewater to enter the soil absorption field. It does have an inflow pipe that allows the entry of raw sewage that comes from your home. The cesspit’s tank is where the primary wastewater treatment process takes place. The solid waste materials are taken care of by anaerobic bacteria, which turn them into sludge. This sludge has to be removes regularly through established pump out schedules with your septic expert. If the sludge is always removed, more room is given for the treatment of raw sewage.

There are times when the cesspit has a layer of sludge that is just waiting to be pumped out and then suddenly, a sudden flow of excess water sets in. This could come from too much water consumption in the household or by too much rain. Either way, what happens is that the solid waste materials present in the sludge are stirred up, delaying the anaerobic bacteria’s job of breaking them down. The solid waste particulates then flow into the soil absorption system. They stay there and clog everything, retaining effluent, which drowns aerobic bacteria. The aerobic bacteria in the soil absorption system regulate the biomat that purifies the effluent before it is released back into the surrounding areas. The aerobic bacteria also break down any solid waste particle left in the clear effluent. As you can see, the cesspit needs to have a normal water load so that it could efficiently treat the wastewater that your household produces.

To keep excess water away from cesspits, you have to consider the following:

1)  Conserve water

Your household should know that excessive amounts of water primarily come from the water that you use. Tub baths, running showers, and running garden hoses contribute a lot to the amount of water that enters the septic system. Conserving water could cut down the water load of your cesspit. You can do this by not taking tub baths everyday and by not letting water run continuously. Remember that your cesspit has a certain capacity or limit. If you let too much water enter it, your cesspit will overflow and you have problems with sanitation in your property.

2)  Redirect your rain gutter

The rain gutter diverts the rain away from the roof area. It drains the rainwater to the ground. Some gutters are left to drain over the cesspit. This allows excessive amounts of water and sediments to enter the cesspit area. The cesspit then overflows and the solid waste particles clog the system.

3)  Install grey water systems or dry wells.

These additional components in your property will help separate the grey water from the black water. Grey water is the wastewater from your drains, showers, tubs, dishwasher, and washing machine. Black water is wastewater that contains human waste or toilet waste, If grey water systems or dry wells are installed, your cesspit will not be overwhelmed by too much water load.

Talk to your septic expert about excess water in your cesspit. With proper water use and some modifications, you will eventually be able to keep excess water away from cesspits like yours.

How to landscape around lateral lines

This article will cover how to landscape around lateral lines. Your septic system is an important component in your property that has to be maintained well. It treats your wastewater on a daily basis so you should cater to its needs. You have to regard its presence whenever you want to change something in your yard. Landscaping is one of the activities that homeowners are fond of doing to their lawns. In landscaping, you have to consider plants and structures for beautifying your property. When it comes to landscaping around your septic, you have to remember that there are many guidelines to consider. It would be bet to consult your landscape architect, septic expert, and arborist so that you can be sure of the system’s safety and optimal function.

Your septic system has a septic tank and a drain field. The septic tank is the one that collects wastewater and pre-treats it. The anaerobic bacteria in the tank break down the solid waste particles so that only a clear effluent enters the drain field. Here, the aerobic bacteria breakdown the leftover solid particles in the effluent. They also regulate the biomat that purifies the effluent before it returns to the surrounding environment. The drain field is always the part of the septic that needs to be regarded during landscaping. It has lateral lines that have perforations. These perforations are easy access points of root systems that you may be planting over or near your drain field.  If you want to have some landscaping around your lateral lines, you should remember the following pointers:

  • Do not plant vegetables in near your lateral lines. Remember that wastewater runs through the lateral lines. Your vegetables will surely access that water. Even if the wastewater here is already pre-treated, they still have to be purified. The vegetables just want to access as much nutrients as they can to survive. Your lateral lines have that supply and they will absorb that, making their flesh and pulp unsafe to eat. It would be better to plant carefully selected ornamental plants instead.
  • Study the tree type that you want for your property. Know how tall it is expected to be upon maturity. The expected height will tell you how far it should be from your lateral lines. There are trees that should be planted at least 50 to 100 feet away from the septic system. Some of them are the following:
    • Birch trees
    • Beech trees
    • Bamboo trees
    • Monterey pine trees
    • Pepper trees
    • Poplar trees
    • Walnut trees
    • Silver males trees
    • Red maples trees
    • Willow trees
  • Choose to have plants that you are familiar with when it comes to root growth range. If you are confident that your plant will not interfere with your lateral line system, you can go ahead and include them in your landscaping design. However, you should take note that roots tend to travel farther when a nutrient rich water source is close. Some plants that can be placed near your lateral lines are:
    • Cabbage tree
    • Aralia
    • Coprosma
    • Begonia
    • Canna lilies
    • Hebe
    • Flax
    • Fuscia
    • Kohuhu
    • Heketara
    • Pokaka
    • Rangiora
    • Lacebark
    • Manuka
    • Ribbonwood
    • Weeping mapou
    • Taro
  • Do not place landscaping structures over or near your lateral lines. These cause soil compaction that will damage the lateral lines components. The lateral line pipelines will have cracks and these will lead to leaks, backflows, and flooding.
  • Make sure to have the rain gutter drains and irrigation systems moved away from your lateral lines. This will make sure that the lateral lines will not be dealing with excess water load. Some landscaping structures such as fountains or birdbaths should be placed away from the lateral lines.

Work well with your septic expert, arborist, and landscape architect to make sure that your lateral lines will not be negatively affected by any landscaping design elements that you want to have. Knowing how to landscape around lateral lines will make your property both attractive and functional at the same time.