Septic Tank Maintenance For All of Bend & Central Oregon Including:Sisters, Bend, Redmond, Prineville, LaPine, Sunriver, Madras, Black Butte, Crooked River Ranch, and Terrebonne.
Septic System Maintenance Operation
As the owner of a septic system you need to be aware of the important role you have in protecting your community’s water quality and property values. The negligent homeowner who allows his or her onsite system to contaminate the environment can effect the entire community.
First some basics: When properly designed, installed and maintained, an onsite wastewater system, also known as a septic system, is a cost-effective and efficient method of wastewater treatment. Septic systems collect, treat and disperse wastewater generated by residences and businesses. A typical system consists of two main parts: the septic tank and a soil absorption area also know as a drain field, leach field or disposal.
The septic tank is a watertight container that is corrosion resistant, usually made of precast concrete, fiberglass or plastic. Some older systems have metal tanks. The main function of the tank is to collect wastewater, both the black water from the toilets and the gray water from the sinks, showers, laundry, etc. A properly sized system allows the water to remain in the tank long enough to separate the solids from the liquids. Solids lighter than water float to the top forming a layer of scum. Solids heavier than water settle to the bottom forming a layer of sludge. Natural bacteria present in the wastewater digest a portion of the solids. Biological and chemical additives are not necessary to aid or accelerate decomposition and some can actually damage the system. Any scum or sludge which is not digested remains in the tank, this is the reason garbage disposals are not recommended as they add unnecessary solids. Remember the solids in black water have undergone some natural digestion in the human body; items put down a garbage disposal have not. Once the solids are separated, there remains a middle layer of partially clarified wastewater. It is this partially clarified wastewater that flows into the absorption portion of the system. The wastewater is further treated by letting the soil act as a biological filter. As the wastewater moves through the soil, the filtration process and organisms in the soil work to remove toxins, bacteria, viruses and other pollutants before it reaches the ground water.
With continued use solids accumulate in the tank. As solid levels increase, there is inadequate time for incoming wastewater to separate the solids from the liquids. When allowed to build beyond proper operating levels, solids are forced into the absorption area which can create costly repairs. An increase in solid levels past proper operating can also cause sewage to back up onto your home or business.
As a property a property owner, it is your responsibility to maintain your septic system. At George’s Septic Septic Tank Service, we can help you with the maintenance of your septic system to keep your investment running smoothly.
Maintain a Healthy Septic System
- First it is important that you know your system.
Is it a standard gravity flow, sand filtration or another technology?
Where are the components located?
Does the system have mechanical components such as pumps, alarms or filters?
- Once you have located the system components.
Do not drive or park on any portion of the system. This can compact the soil and break pipes.
Consider your landscaping carefully. Roots from trees and shrubs can clog and damage drain lines.
Remember that septic tank lids need to be accessible for pumping.
Redirect surface water flow away from your system.
- Conserve water to avoid overloading the system.
Fix leaky faucets and toilets.
Space loads of laundry.
- The septic system is not a trash can!
Do not flush nondegradable items such as disposable diapers, baby wipes, sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms, paper towels, cat litter or cigarettes. These items decrease the systems efficiency and cause back-ups.
Avoid dumping grease or fats down drains. They solidify and contribute to system blockages.
NEVER put hazardous chemicals in the system! No paint, varnish, thinners, oil, pesticides or unused medicine. Even small amounts can destroy the biological digestion taking place in the system.
- Have the Tank Pumped Out Every 3 to 5 Years.
- Have screens cleaned annually or as instructed by the system designer.
Keep records of pumping, inspections and other maintenance.