Septic Tank Repair

Promoting the Longevity of the Leach Field

The leach field is a vital part of your home’s septic system. This area is where the effluent that drains from your septic system is treated to final processing and released into the ground so that microbes in your soil can safely finish breaking it down. Your leach field should be able to repeat this process for decades, but there are some practices you can make to enhance the longevity of this aspect of your septic system.

Leach Field Overview

Septic systems provide on two components to process waste as it leaves the home. Waste travels to the septic tank where bacteria break it down for safe removal. Some of the waste remains as sludge that must be removed from your tank periodically, but most travels as liquid from the tank out into your leach field where the breaking down process is completed with the help of your soil’s microbes. Essentially a field of drains, the leach field contains perforated drains that release the treated effluent into the ground where it can safely join ground water. Gravel is usually embedded along the pipes to aid in the filtering process. The gravel and pipes then covered with soil, hiding the system from view and from prying animals.

Serious problems can occur with your septic system when there is a drain field clog, so homeowners must take care not to flush anything that shouldn’t be going out into the system. Most leach field systems will last between ten and twenty years, but with excellent care, some have lasted even longer.

Enhancing the Longevity of Your Leach Field

With effective care, you can support the longevity of your leach field. Septic tank experts suggest that you first respect the plumbing system by not flushing anything down the toilet that shouldn’t be introduced into the septic system. Paper towels, baby wipes, or even food can create serious clogs in the system that require expensive fixes and also reduce the life of your leach field.

You can also care for you septic system by spreading out water usage. For instance, try not to run your washing machine and dishwasher at the same time. Spread out your washes so that you’re not doing one after the other, which can overwhelm the system. For instance, your septic tank might not be able to contain the amount of water you release into it. This results in liquid entering the leach field before it has been adequately processed in the septic tank. This ineffectively treated effluent can cause problems for your leach field, particularly if you make a habit of overwhelming the system.

Finally, don’t forget to schedule routine maintenance of your septic system. Maintenance performed by septic system professionals will enhance the well-being of your entire system. You may be able to fix small issues before they can become serious problems. You definitely don’t want your leach field to cause environmental concerns or affect your well water. For this reason, it’s important to work with professionals who know how to keep your system operating safely.

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Tree Roots and Your Septic System: NOT a Match Made in Heaven

Trees, shrubs, and a dazzling landscape may be far, far prettier than your septic system, but combining these two elements can be a disaster. Septic system experts suggest that the best covering for your septic system is simply dirt and grass. Plants with more extensive root systems, especially trees, can pose massive problems for the longevity of your system and create more maintenance calls regarding than you’d care to experience.

The Problem with Trees

Trees can pose problems for all underground sewage systems. However, because you are responsible for a septic system, you have to shoulder the burden of dealing with a tree root problem on your property. Tree roots pose problem for septic systems because they seek out water as they grow and stretch out to locate sources beneath the ground. Cracks in your pipes or joints allow these roots to get into the pipes to get to the water within them. As the roots grow, they can block the drainage pipes, resulting in a large problem. Not only can the roots clog the pipes, they can actually bust them.

Slow drainage can be a sign that tree roots have gotten into your system. The sooner you call a professional septic system service provider to deal with this problem the better. As the clog worsens and sewage begins to back up, you can experience a complete system failure. This problem can further be complicated by sewage that leaks into the environment–particularly near your well. Not surprising, the cost to repair this mess can be very high. For this reason, you should never plant trees near your leach field.

Dealing with a Tree Root Problem

Some people may be inclined to dump chemicals down their toilets designed to kill tree roots. However, experts warn that this could damage your septic system by killing the bacteria inside it needed to break down the raw sewage. It is never advisable to introduce any chemicals into your septic system.

Instead, it’s important to ask a septic system expert to examine your problem. In most cases, the service technician will attempt to auger the pipes of your septic system and employ a cutter to pull out any tree roots that are causing the blockage. Frequently, there is more than one blockage to contend with when it comes to those persistent tree roots. Sometimes, it is necessary to replace pipes, particularly older ones that have cracks that allow the tree roots to get into your system.

Know Your Landscape

Homeowners should know where their drain field is in order to remove any trees or shrubs growing on or near it. Local records departments should have this information if you do not. If you have to remove trees, be sure to take out the stump and root system; even after cutting down the tree, the roots can continue to grow and cause problems for your system.

Again, make sure that the only thing growing near your septic system is grass. If you have any questions about the trees and shrubs on your property, consult your septic system technician for advice about how to deal with them.

Septic Tank Pumping Lawrenceville GA

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The Do’s & Don’ts Of Septic Repair From Septic Tank Pumping Lilburn GA Flanigan Brothers

Family Lying In Pile Up On Grass TogetherConventional septic tanks are wonderfully efficient designs that only need pumping once every four years or so. With good care, they last as long as 100 years. If you treat your septic tank as if it were a simple cesspool, and dump every type of waste that your home produces into it, your system won’t be very useful. To retain efficient function, you need to know the correct way to use a septic tank.
In a septic tank, solid human waste and other natural waste are broken down by anaerobic bacteria present in the system. These bacteria, though, are only able to function in a natural environment. You need to make sure that you don’t do anything to disturb the natural flora present in the septic tank. The pointers here should help.

What not to do with a septic tank system


Don’t dump too many solids into your septic tank

If you were in a home with municipal sewage connections, you might get away with throwing all kinds of things down the toilet – cigarette butts, wet wipes, ripped up paper and so on. In a septic tank, though, the bacteria present are not able to biodegrade these items. Non-biodegradable solid items clogging up your system will cause an imbalance in the environment present in your septic tank, and render the bacteria ineffective over time.

Do not use chemicals

Bleach, chemical toilet cleaners, cooking oil from the kitchen, antifreeze, pesticides, drain cleaners and other strong chemicals can kill bacteria, and make the septic tank less effective. While small quantities of these items will usually not do much harm, large quantities certainly can. It isn’t even a good idea to run your washing machine more than once a day, unless you use a high-efficiency washing machine. With large amounts of soapy water being dumped in, the environment in the septic tank will soon lose the ability to break down waste.

Do not use a garbage disposal

While the bacteria in septic tanks are capable of breaking down solid waste, large amounts may be a problem. Keeping solid waste out of the septic tank as far as possible will extend the time that you can go between cleanups. Dumping large amounts of water in your septic tank can also cause problems.  
Don’t use additives: Many manufacturers advertise expensive bottles of additive that are intended to help septic tanks break down their waste quicker. These items don’t help, though.

The dos of septic tank use

Use mild products: Whatever soap, detergent or bathroom cleaner you use, make sure that it’s a mild product to avoid doing unnecessary damage to the bacteria in your septic tank.
Do check for blockages: If your internal sewage system contains a block, it will usually show itself as a stopped drain or one that’s slow to flow. You can easily check for blockages yourself, and remove them. Alternatively can call in a professional.

Do be careful with the leachfield: The leachfield, the system of pipes distributing relatively clean  septic tank effluent out, needs careful attention.It’s important to never park a vehicle over it.

A little training is all that it takes to keep a septic tank in top working condition.

Septic Tank Pumping Lilburn GA

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Common Septic Tank Problems and How to Fix Them

Fixing Shower Drain Problems

Most households never come into contact with their septic tank unless something goes wrong. Your septic system is responsible for one of the most unpleasant yet most vital tasks in the home, and addressing any problems before they escalate is of utmost importance. It is extremely rare for a septic system to fail completely, and most issues can be fixed with a simple procedure. Never attempt to open your septic tank yourself or perform any repairs without the guidance of a trained specialist.


The Water from Your Shower or Tub Does Not Drain 

If water begins to back up in your shower or tub, it may be a sign that you have a blockage in the main sewage line that carries water out of your home. You may also see water rising from drainage holes in your basement. A plumber’s snake can be used to clear any minor blockages from sewage pipes. If only one drain in your home is backing up, then the blockage may be in that particular line and not in the main sewage line. If a snake does not remove the blockage, then you may want to check for any damage to the exterior pipes. Tree roots can occasionally cause damage to pipework, and any trees within 100 feet of a septic system should be removed for this reason.


Your Toilet Makes Gurgling Sounds

If your toilet makes a strange gurgling sound after flushing, this could signal a problem with your drainage field. The drainage field is the area where liquid is pumped out of the septic tank and into the surrounding soil. The septic tank separates solid waste from liquid and allows water to flow into the drainage field where bacteria and microorganisms breakdown any remaining particles. Drainage fields can become overloaded if you suddenly consume more water than usual. If you have recently had friends or relatives staying with you, then the problem will usually fix itself once you start using less water. If the problem persists, then you may need to expand your drainage field.


There is a Bad Smell in Your Home

Bad smells in the home usually indicate that that your septic tank is in need of emptying. Most tanks only need to be pumped once every few years depending on the size of the household. However, using a garbage disposal or installing a small septic tank will mean that you will have to empty it more often. Solid waste that cannot be broken down collects at the bottom of the tank. Once the waste fills around one third of the tank, it is time to call a professional septic tank repair company to empty it.

Always make sure you tackle any minor problems with your septic system as soon as they appear. Ignoring the problem may lead to total system failure which will cost a lot of time and money to repair. A faulty septic tank can also lead to bacteria and viruses such as hepatitis seeping out and polluting local groundwater, ponds and lakes.

Photo Credit: Forty Two.

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