Septic tank maintenance

failed septic system

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.

What causes septic tank failure?

In this article we will cover what causes septic tank failure? A septic system may be the least regarded component in entire property. There are still households who think that just leaving the septic system alone with a block of yeast is enough for it to last forever. This is a misconception because the septic is technically, a living organism that depends on the homeowner as the primary caregiver. Care and maintenance should be regularly given to the entire septic system so that the overall flow of the wastewater treatment will not be interrupted.

The septic system is comprised of the septic tank and the drain field. The septic tank is where the first stage of wastewater treatment occurs. The raw wastewater is collected and then separated into three distinct layers—the scum, the effluent, and the sludge. The scum is made up of lightweight solid wastes that float on top. The effluent is the middle part that’s clear liquid. The sludge is made up of the heavy solid waste that the anaerobic bacteria digest. If this process of pre-treatment happens successfully, then there will be no problems at all.

What causes septic tank failure?

Basically, the septic tank could fail because of neglect, which can be manifested in a lot of ways. The following are the most common reasons why a septic tank fails:

  1. The trees and other higher species of plants that are planted on and near the septic tank have root systems that penetrate deep into the septic system. When they reach the septic tank, the roots tap into a very rich supply of effluent that they need to survive. The roots thrive and occupy the space in the septic tank that’s needed to perform the wastewater treatment. The roots should be removed manually and the plants should be relocated to a place that’s far away from the septic tank area. If the situation is not corrected, then the septic tank will fail.
  2. It’s mandatory to pump out the septic tank so that the sludge level is kept very low. There is a high risk that the sludge will take over the septic tank and prevent the incoming raw wastewater from entering it and starting treatment. There will be wastewater backup, overflow, flooding and failure if the septic tank is left to fill up with sludge. Pump out schedules should be discussed with your septic expert because it depends on how many are residing in your home. For large households or six or more people, the septic tank should be pumped out every year. If you have up to five people in your home, then you should have the septic tank pumped out every two years. When there are only two people at most in your home, then every three years would be an ideal schedule for a pump out.
  3. Soil compaction is caused by heavy vehicles and structures that are placed over the septic tank. The soil gets too compressed that the physical components of the septic tank are crushed. The resulting damage will cause effluent to leak, backup, overflow, and flood. The vehicles and structures should be removed immediately. The septic expert should immediately check for the damages and make the necessary repairs and replacements. If this is not attended to, the septic tank will inevitably fail.
  4. Dumping harsh chemicals into the septic tank is a big negative. These compounds kill off the bacteria in the septic tank. Without bacteria, there is no septic system. The raw wastewater and solid waste will just stay in the tank until it gets full. There will be effluent leaking, flooding, and backup. This will be aggravated if you continue to dump non-biodegradable materials, grease, and paint into the system because they cannot be decomposed by bacteria. They will just fill up the tank as well.Feel free to consult your septic expert for more methods on how you should take care of your septic tank. There is nothing like being able to care for your septic and your home at the same time.

Septic system failed

Help! My septic system failed within weeks of moving into my new home! Your phone conversation with your sister lingered in your head. She just declared the worst investment that she had made in all her born days. She just bought a home in an area that she dreamed of since she was in college. It was the perfect house. It was painted cream. The yard was green. It had a perfect view of the lake. It even had a gazebo just like she pictured. You thought she had the best taste ever. Two days after she moved in, she hosted a house warming party that lasted an entire weekend. Even her boss was there. But three weeks after that, she called you up and frantically asked for you to be there because of a huge crisis—her septic system failed. With some knowledge on real estate, you asked her if she really asked for a septic system inspection like you told her. She said she did but when you asked her who did the inspection; she said that only a house inspector did it. You just shook your head and agreed to visit her that weekend.

There can be a myriad of reasons as to why a septic system failed in just s few weeks of usage:

  1. The previous owner could have just plainly neglected the system and pumped it out a day before the purchase. This is common unethical behavior by homeowners who just want to have the purchase done. They really don’t care if the next homeowner will be happy with the property on a long term basis. To prevent misinformation on your septic system, check with the local septic expert to clarify any possible problems that the property’s septic system could have had untreated and have them corrected before you pay for the property.
  2. There could be mechanical failures that comprise of pipe collapse, deterioration of the system, and blockage by roots. You may never know if there are any structural anomalies in your septic system until the day it actually fails. A good septic inspection should be performed before you move in so that you will know what could potentially cause the failure. If ever there are problems to deal with, any amount spent in making things right should be factored with the amount of the property.
  3. There could be an alteration to the condition of the anaerobic and aerobic bacterial population. The killing off of the bacteria may cause septic odors, sewage ponding, overflow, and septic backups. Bacteria are the basic workers in the septic system. They are the ones that break down the solid wastes and purify the resulting effluent. The alteration of the septic system’s internal bacterial environment could be brought about by the use of harsh chemicals; antibacterial detergents and soaps; and the wrong use of drains, toilets, and sinks.
  4. The unmaintained septic tank could increase the bio-mat level in the drain field that will eventually lead to the system’s failure. As you know, the septic tank should be pumped out and treated regularly. If the previous owner failed to perform regular maintenance then the entire system was bound to fail.
  5. Increase in the septic system’s water load could also be a main cause of septic system failure. If you don’t have a dry well that will take in the grey water from the washing machine and dishwasher, then you would have trouble with how much water actually goes into the septic tank. You should regulate your laundry loads or have a dry well to keep things stable.

By the time you arrived at your sister’s house, the septic expert you contacted was already there. He said that the septic system failed and could still be restored but an aeration system and a dry well should be installed afterwards. It really cost a lot more for your sister to keep an inhabitable house. You took care of the septic service while she covered the treatments and installations. It was the least you can do. Hopefully, she won’t neglect the newly restored system like the previous owner did.