Hello, Wally Raindrop here. Hope you haven't forgotten me (Don't remember? Click on "Wally Raindrop" in the upper right corner of this page).
In case you haven't figured it out yet, old man Hilton doesn't control me, I write what I feel like when I feel like it. You can be assured that poopie is not something I care to discuss with you. I am sure you have no interest in reading about such a nasty subject. Can you think of anything worse than falling from the sky and landing in a pile of dog poop? It is not a pleasant experience.
Hilton has five children, six grandchildren. One is two years old at that age when poopie is a daily subject for everyone in hearing range including me whether I care to hear or not. Then the subject arose; Grandad, where does the poopie go?
Not lucky, don't have a connection to public sewer? You must be much more concerned about where your poopie goes because it probably does not leave your yard and you are now responsible for it forever. Go with me on my little adventure as we go round and round again out of the light through the pipe, its just like the slide at the water park (you had better hold your nose) except at the end we fall into a tank with all of the poopie from the past along with water and soap from the washing machine and dishwasher and last nights leftovers from the garbage disposal. Oh, there is the scuba diver and fish baby flushed down the toilet before us. At least we will not be lonely here.
A well designed, installed, and maintained septic system can provide years of reliable low-cost service. When these systems fail to operate effectively, property damage, ground and surface water pollution, and disease outbreaks can occur. Therefore, it makes good sense to understand and care for your septic tank system.
A "conventional" septic tank system has three working parts:
- The septic tank.
- The drainfield with its replacement area.
- The surrounding soil.
The Septic Tank
Wally Raindrop is not a heavy solid and stays at the top) where bacterial action partially decomposes them to digested sludge and gases. Most of the lighter solids, such as fats and grease, rise to the top and form a scum layer. That's where old Wally is now in the "Scum Layer". I would like to drag the old scum bag that flushed me here down to join us.
Septic tanks may have one or two compartments. Two compartment tanks do a better job of settling solids and are required for new systems. Tees or baffles are provided at the tank's inlet and outlet pipes. The inlet tee slows the incoming wastes and reduces disturbance of the settled sludge. The outlet tee keeps the solids or scum in the tank. All tanks should have accessible covers for checking the condition of the baffles and for pumping both compartments. If risers extend from the tank to or above the ground surface, they should be secure to prevent accidental entry into the tank.
Solids that are not decomposed remain in the septic tank where old Wally has absolutely no intention of overstaying his welcome. If not removed by periodic pumping, solids will accumulate until they eventually overflow into the drainfield. Most septic tanks need to be pumped every 3 to 5 years, depending on the tank size, and the amount and type of solids entering the tank.
Early Waring Levels Inside Your Septic Tank
The bottom of the scum layer is within 3 inches of the bottom of the outlet tee or baffle, or the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet fitting.
Many products on the market, such as solvents, yeast, bacteria, and enzymes claim to improve septic tank performance, or reduce the need for routine pumping. None have been found to be of benefit. Some can cause solids to carry over to the drainfield, which results in early soil clogging and the need for a new drainfield. Products containing organic solvents contribute to groundwater pollution.
The wastewater leaving the septic tank is a liquid called effluent. It has been partially treated but still contains disease-causing bacteria and other pollutants. Discharging effluent onto the ground's surface or into surface and ground water is against North Carolina State law.
Every new drainfield is required to have a designated replacement area. It must be maintained should the existing system need an addition or repair.
- Odors, surfacing sewage, wet spots or lush vegetation growth in the drainfield area
- Plumbing or septic tank backups
- Slow draining fixtures
- Gurgling sounds in the plumbing system
Caring For Your System - The Ten Essentials
- Practice water conservation. The more wastewater you produce, the more the soil must treat and dispose. By reducing and balancing your use, you can extend the life of the drainfield, decrease the possibility of system failure, and avoid costly repairs.
To reduce your water use:
- Use water-saving devices.
- Repair leaky faucets and plumbing fixtures.
- Reduce toilet reservoir volume or flow.
- Take shorter showers.
- Take baths with a partially-filled tub.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and laundry.
- Keep accurate records. Know where your septic tank system is and keep a diagram of its location. Records of its size and location may be available at your local health department. It is also wise to keep a record of maintenance on the system. These records will be helpful if problems occur, and will be valuable to the next owner of your home.
- Inspect your system once each year. You may want to leave this to a professional it is a nasty job. Check the sludge and scum levels inside your septic tank to assure that the layers of solids are not within the early warning levels. The tank also should be checked to see if the baffles or tees are in good condition. Periodically inspect the drainfield and downslope areas for odors, wet spots, or surfacing sewage. If your drainfield has inspection pipes, check them to see if there is a liquid level continually over 6 inches. This may be an early indication of a problem.
- Pump out your septic tank when needed. Don't wait until you have a problem. Routine pumping can prevent failures, such as clogging of the drainfield and sewage back-up into the home. Using a garbage disposal will increase the amount of solids entering the septic tank and require more frequent pumping.
- Never flush harmful materials into the septic tank. Grease, cooking fats, newspaper, paper towels, rags, coffee grounds, sanitary napkins, and cigarettes cannot easily decompose in the tank. Chemicals such as solvents, oils, paint and pesticides are harmful to the system's proper operation and may pollute the groundwater. Septic tank additives do not improve the performance of the septic tank, nor do they reduce the need for pumping.
- Keep all runoff away from your system. Water from surfaces such as roofs, driveways, or patios should be diverted away from the septic tank and drainfield area. Soil over your system should be slightly mounded to help surface water runoff.
- Protect your system from damage. Keep traffic such as vehicles, heavy equipment, or livestock off your drainfield or replacement area. The pressure can compact the soil or damage pipes. Before you plant a garden, construct a building, or install a pool, check on the location of your system and replacement area.
- Landscape your system properly. Don't place impermeable materials over your drainfield or replacement area. Materials, such as concrete or plastic, reduce evaporation and the supply of oxygen to the soil for proper effluent treatment. They also can hinder getting to the system for pumping, inspection, or repair. Grass is the best cover for your system.
- Never enter any septic tank. Poisonous gases or the lack of oxygen can be fatal. Any work to the tank should be done from the outside preferable by an experienced professional.
- Check with your local health department for help with system problems. Although some malfunctions may require complete drainfield replacement, many problems can be corrected with a minimum amount of cost and effort.
Often the most suitable soil for a septic system is on the highest ground on the site. Under ideal conditions, however, the septic system should be located lower than your well, but good soil is most important. Also, the deeper your well, the less likely it is to draw in sewage effluent.
What are the rules and regulations governing septic systems?
North Carolina State law requires a comprehensive soil and site evaluation by your local health department to determine the suitability of your soil and land site. Before construction begins on your home or septic system, you must receive an improvement permit from the health department. Permits for septic systems are valid for no more than five years. Beginning in July 1992, state regulations require a septic system maintenance contract between homeowners and management organizations for certain types of alternative septic systems.
The size of the septic system that you install is legally determined by the number of bedrooms in your home and the type of soils at the site. Once installation is complete, the system must be approved by the health department before electrical service can be permanently connected to your home.
What are the alternative types of septic systems?
The conventional septic system is the most widely used and least expensive. Alternative types of septic systems include low-pressure pipe systems, fill systems and aerobic treatment units. These cost a great deal more to install than a conventional system, and the low-pressure system needs to be inspected every 6 months. The aerobic treatment unit must be inspected 4 times a year.
Other possible options for on-site wastewater disposal include cluster systems, sand filters, mound systems, and spray irrigation systems.
What interest do banks and mortgage companies have in my water and septic systems?
Some banks or lenders require that the prospective buyer or seller furnish proof of a bacteria-free water supply before they will issue a mortgage. Also, some will not issue a mortgage for homes with a failing septic system. Thus, it pays to be concerned about your water from well to wash to waste. Here we are back in the clean world. The next time old man Hilton or his stinky little grandchildren have poopie ideas you will find me running for the hills.
|Bye, see you next time!|
Some folks poppie is other folks gold
Ever paid a plumber or had your septic tank pumped?
On the side of septic tank pump trucks
Sweet Thing / Honey Bee / Liquid Gold