Septic tank maintenance

How calcium can cause clogging in a sand mound system

This article will cover how calcium can cause clogging in a sand mound system. Every property is unique. Some homeowners end up with soil with normal percolation rates. These properties required conventional septic systems that are installed underneath the ground. Other property owners have a more unique disposition because their properties have percolation rates that are either too fast or too slow. Their properties could only accommodate the sand mound system. The sand mound system is literally a mound. It is elevated. It is actually seen above ground. Because of this, the sand mound is included in the overall landscape design. Like the conventional septic system, the sand mound collects and treats your wastewater. Both greywater (wastewater from the dishwasher, washing machine, drains, and showers) and blackwater (wastewater from the toilet) are transformed into their safe forms before they are returned to the surrounding environment. The sand mound system is elevated to make room for additional filters needed to treat your wastewater. It also has anaerobic bacteria to break down the solid waste materials. With these microorganisms, the effluent could safely flow into the surrounding soil absorption system, where it will be purified before it is returned to the surrounding environment.

The sand mound system is a specialized septic system that is more exposed to the elements. It needs special attention such as changing the construction fabric that lines it. The construction fabric makes sure that heat is retained in the system. You should always see to it  that  the fabric is changed before cold weather begins because if it is damaged, you can be sure to experience septic problems during winter. Ice and snow will enter the sand mound system and it will surely freeze over. Another priority for the sand mound is to prevent clogging. Clogging is a common problem with sand mounds. Many factors cause clogging. Below are some of them:

  • Invasive roots of higher plants. Invasive root systems constantly look for water and nutrients that are closest to them. If you have higher plants in your property, your sand mound system is their instant source of sustenance.
  • Excess water load. Excessive amounts of water that enter the sand mound cause the solid waste particles to be disturbed. Their break down is delayed. They are pushed into the soil absorption system, clogging the process or wastewater treatment.
  • Soil compaction. When your sand mound area is made into a parking lot, storage facility, or driveway, the heavy weight compressed the soil. As a result, the sand mound components are crushed. Leaks result from the damage. Because of these leaks, the flow of the wastewater backs up and floods the property with untreated effluent. Sediments and rainwater also enter the system through the cracks produced by the crushed components.
  • Calcium sulfoaluminate or ettringite formation. The formation starts with the anaerobic digestion of the thiocillus bacteria. The process produces hydrogen sulfide gas that accumulates in the headspace over the waterline. Here, the gas interacts with oxygen, producing sulfuric acid. The acid forms white ettringite, which deteriorates the concrete reinforcement  of the system. When the concrete layer is destroyed, the metal components are exposed to the elements. The damage then allows excess water and debris inside the sand mound. These clog the wastewater treatment process.

The sand mound system is severely deteriorated if you see ettringite formation on the concrete layer. If you are lucky enough to decide which brand to use on your sand mound, choose the one that resists sulfuric acid. If you don’t have an idea what kind of concrete was used on your sand mound, it would be best to make your sand mound system an aerobic one. The oxygen will prevent the formation of sulfuric acid. The thiocillus bacteria will continue to produce the hydrogen sulfide gas but it won’t be able to occupy the headspace anymore. If you want to have a long lasting sand mound system, you have to know how calcium can cause clogging in a sand mound system.

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