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   Septic Tank Problems

Learn the signs and  symptoms of common septic tank problems and failures: Learn how to diagnose your system and how a few simple steps will help avoid the headache and high costs associated with septic tank problems. Discover the solution to correct problems and steps to prevent them from occurring

  Septic Tank Problems
 People often say, "I don't know why I'm have septic tank problems, I've never even had to pump my tank before;' as if that were proof that their septic system worked fine then suddenly failed. But be aware, most failing septic systems have been in trouble for one or more decades before the tell tale signs appear.

Everything that goes down any of the drains in the house (toilets, showers, sinks, laundry machines, water softener) ends up in your septic tank. The septic tank is a large-volume, most always watertight tank which provides the first treatment of the household wastewater by intercepting solids and settle able organic matter before disposal of the waste­water (effluent) to the drain field. First we will look at a septic tank without any problems (lower right)

A Scum: Substances lighter than water (oil, grease, fats) float to the top, where they form a scum layer. This scum layer floats on top of the water surface in the tank. Aerobic bacteria work at digesting floating solids.

B Effluent: Effluent is the clarified wastewater left over after the scum has floated to the top and the sludge has settled to the bottom. It is the clarified liquid between scum and sludge. It flows through the septic tank outlet into the drainfield.

C Sludge: The "sinkable" solids (soil, grit, bones, unconsumed food particles) settle to the bottom of the tank and form a sludge layer. The sludge is denser than water and fluid in nature, so it forms a flat layer along the tank bottom. Underwater anaerobic bacteria consume organic materials in the sludge, giving off gases in the process and then, as they die off, become part of the sludge.
functioning septic tank
  Septic Aeration FAQ
Septic aeration's most common and frequently asked questions.
Do Septic Additives Work? The not so simple answer is Yes and No. Learn which ones work and how not to pay an arm and a leg for them.
Why Does Septic Aeration Restore Systems? Aerobic microbes are the reason septic aeration works so well. Learn why aerobic microbes are more effective then anaerobic microbes.
filters prevent problems Septic Tank Effluent Filters One of the most cost effective tools to avoid septic system problems is the effluent filter. The primary function of the septic tank is to allow a period of 24 hours for solids and suspended solids to settle out and facilitate digestion of the organic material within the waste-water stream. With this in mind, you can understand the function of an effluent filter. A effluent filters must filter out solids that are larger than 1/8 of an inch in size. It is therefore understandable that the effluent filter does require periodic maintenance. The maintenance intervals will be determined by the instructions of the effluent filter’s manufacturer as well as the homeowner’s waste-water generation habits.

  The Beginning of Septic Tank Problems


septic tank problems After several years of use, a build-up of bottom sludge and floating scum will reduce the effective capacity of the tank, as shown in the "problem septic tank" illustration on the left. This means waste. passes through the tank too fast, and solids eventually plug the pipes in the drain field. This overfilling off the tank can occur many times over a span of years or even day to day. Heavy water use such as laundry days or entertaining guests taxes your system and introduces solids into the drainfield. This is when your drain field becomes filled with water. By the time either untreated effluent begins surfacing on the ground or sewage backs up into house drains you have a full blown problem. These are common signs and symptoms and the outward appearance of a septic problems that could have existed for years.
Even though numerous studies by universities and other organizations have shown that septic aeration is eco friendly and affordable solution to restoring and avoid septic system failure, the waste water industry is extremely slow to embrace it. This is totally understandable when you consider the likelihood that a conflict of interest could exist. For instances, If you owned a septic tank pumping company and had to maintain a fleet of pumping trucks would you promote a product that could solve your client’s septic problems? A problematic or failing septic system can mean a steady flow of income since it may need to be pumped two or three times per year. If the system fails and is replaced with a new advanced system these expensive septic systems carry "operating permit". Which under the law, each County Health Department is responsible for enforcement. This enforcement includes yearly or biyearly inspections and pumping at the cost of the homeowner. warning sign

  Tank Problems = Drain Field Problems
drain field problems The early signs and symptoms of septic tank problems are usually unnoticed by the time the outward appearance and visible signs occur the problem has moved to your drain field.

You can suspect the problem is the drain field if:
• there are odors or persistent wet spots over the field.
• the plumbing becomes sluggish over a period of time, or when it's used heavily, or during wet months
• problems persist even though the tank has been pumped recently
• the septic tank is flooded
click here to learn more about drain and leach field problems
To Learn More Visit These Related Topics
Cesspool & Seepage Pit Problems: Understanding Cesspool & Seepage Pit and the differences between the two. Diagnosing common problems and solutions.

Drain Field Problems:  Understanding leach field and drain field principles, common leach field problems, septic tank problems lead to drain field problems that are easy to diagnose.

How Septic Aeration Works:  Understanding septic system aeration principles, how and why septic aeration works fixing septic tank problems and drain field problems.

 
Effective Septic Aeration Pays for Itself in Pumping Costs

It is widely recommended that septic tanks be pumped every two to five years. However, recent studies indicate that adding a septic aerator to a well functioning tank, may result in only having to pump it every 10 to 12 years. Septic tanks without aeration break down approximately 60 to 70 percent of the solids. Whereas, adding effective septic aeration breaks down 90 to 98 percent of solids and at a much faster rate.
septic aerator