Septic tank maintenance

August 12th, 2013:

Chemicals used to keep roots away from lateral lines??

This article will cover chemicals used to keep roots away from lateral lines. Your property is optimal when every component is working flawlessly. The most important part you should always keep an eye on is your septic system. The septic system is a modern version of the cesspool. It has an inflow and outflow,  a septic tank, and a drain field that efficiently takes care of the wastewater treatment. The major divisions of the septic systems are the septic tank and the drain field. As you know, the septic tank collects and treats the wastewater with the help of the anaerobic bacteria. The raw wastewater stays there for a while until it forms three layers—the scum (top), the effluent (middle), and the sludge (bottom). The scum layer has the lightweight solid waste. The effluent layer is the clear, treated wastewater. The sludge layer has the heavy waste materials being broken down by the anaerobic bacteria. The next division is the drain field. It is comprised of lateral lines that are perforated to allow the even distribution of treated wastewater. Lateral lines should be installed professionally so that the pipes are level and the effluent doesn’t flow to one side of the property.

Lateral lines should be maintained and cared for. Any malfunction that happens to the septic tank affects the drain field and its lateral lines. To make sure that everything is ok with your lateral lines, consider the following pointers:

  • Do not use harsh chemicals as household cleaners. These kill off the resident bacteria in your septic tank. When the bacteria die, the wastewater treatment stops. The solid waste materials flow into the drain field and into the lateral lines. This results to blockage. If the lateral lines get blocked, the wastewater will backflow into your house and onto your yard.
  • Do not dump grease, paint, and non-biodegradable materials into the toilet and drains. These will not be broken down by bacteria. They will just block the normal flow of wastewater. They will also flow into the drain field and the lateral lines, eventually causing a septic system failure.
  • Do not place vehicles or structures on the lateral lines. The weight will cause soil compaction and the pressure will crush the lines. The damage will cause leaks, backflow, and wastewater flooding.
  • Do not plant trees and other hardwood plants near or over the lateral lines. The roots are invasive because they seek abundant and regular sources of water and nutrients. Lateral lines are easily accessible. Roots get into their perforations and completely block the normal flow of wastewater. Untreated wastewater then backs up into your home and floods the property. Roots should be removed from the lateral lines once they have penetrated them. They should also be protected from root invasion.Roots are very detrimental to lateral lines and the entire septic system. They persistently enter the system and create impenetrable meshes that block the flow of wastewater. They could also damage the lateral lines and other components of the septic system. This will eventually lead to septic failure and huge septic replacement bills. It can set you back thousands of dollars to replace your entire septic system. 

    Invasive root systems can be removed by manually removing them. This is a more laborious method of eradicating your root problem because of all the digging and replacements involved. For a more inexpensive means, there are chemicals used to keep roots away from lateral lines. All you have to do is to relocate the trees and shrubs and form a shield of root killers around the lateral line premises. Dig lines of small holes between the trees and the lateral lines. Fill the holes with root killers and then cover them with soil. These will effectively keep out the roots from entering the lateral lines again.


    Consult your local septic expert for the best means to control roots. It would be ideal to consult a landscape architect as well to know where to replant the trees without causing significant harm to the lawn.

Keeping groundwater away from leach field lines

This article will cover keeping groundwater away from leach field lines. Groundwater is generally accessed for irrigation, industrial use, and drinking. Rainfall delivers it to the ground. When it reaches the ground, it moves into the rocks and soil called aquifers. This is accessed by water companies so that they could tap into the groundwater and deliver clean water that we can use for everyday activities. It is a very important resource especially during dry seasons. Groundwater helps sustain the flow of the streams, wetlands, and other aquatic environments.

Various communities prioritize the safety of groundwater because majority of residents use it as a sources of clean drinking water. Sadly, there have been cases where groundwater has been polluted. This is because many have taken it for granted. That is why the US Environmental Protection Agency has come up with the Ground Water Rule. It was published in the Federal Register on the 8th of November, 2006. This rule aims to increase the ground water’s  level of protection against pathogens. The EPA is mainly focused on the groundwater that is very susceptible to contamination brought about by fecal material. Disease-causing bacteria thrive in fecal matter so it is crucial to protect groundwater from this type of impurity.

The established GWR applies to public water supply systems that use groundwater as their main resource. It is also applicable to any water system that is able to mix groundwater and surface water. There are systems that just directly add groundwater into their system without treating it. As a result, their consumers receive untreated groundwater. Health and sanitation are very important and with the help of the GWR, all consumers are confident that they will always get safe drinking water.

Some residents have private wells dug and built on their premises so that they could also get direct access to groundwater. As homeowners, they have to make sure that their access point is hazard-free by keeping groundwater away from leach field lines.  If you want to have a well, you have to isolate the groundwater from your leach field. Once wastewater and groundwater mix up, you won’t be able to use your clean groundwater anymore. Below are some of the things you can do to make sure that your groundwater is separated from your leach field lines:

  • Always be aware of the GWR.

If you are always aware of the GWR, you allow yourself to be educated about how important sanitation is when it comes to protecting groundwater.

  • Maintain a regular pump out schedule for your septic tank.

By doing so, you will prevent the sludge from accumulating in the tank. If the sludge is just allowed to build up, the tank will overflow with raw sewage. It will go straight into the soil and reach the groundwater.

  • Provide a secure cap for your well.

This cap will keep impurities from the surface of the well from contaminating the groundwater. It will also keep out animals that might eliminate in the well. Make sure that only you or a loved one have the key to the cap so that it will remain intact and stable even if you’re out of the house.

  • Avoid keeping toxic compounds (solvents, fertilizers)  near your well.

This should be practiced strictly to protect your groundwater. You should keep them stored away from your well or from your groundwater access point.

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals for cleaning.

Once these compounds reach the septic system, the resident bacteria will be killed off and the wastewater won’t be treated anymore. The solid waste particles will reach the leach field lines and clog them. The result would be a dreadful wastewater overflow that will seep into the ground and contaminate the groundwater.

If you have your own well or direct access to groundwater, it is best to have your drinking water tested regularly so that you can monitor its safety. Keeping groundwater away from leach field lines  will definitely make you feel more secure about the water you use and drink every day.