Septic Maintenance Serving the San Francisco Bay Area
The Importance of Septic Maintenance
Water overload occurs when the drain field is flooded with more water than it can effectively absorb. It also increases the risk that effluent will pool on the ground surface and run off into surface water or down nearby water well casings. Typical indoor water use is about 50 gallons per day for each person in the family. Water-saving devices such as low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, toilet dams or low-flow toilets can greatly reduce water flow into the system. Strategies such as taking short showers, spreading out laundry loads over the week and never allowing rain water from downspout’s to enter the septic system will also help.
Inspect And Pump Frequently
You should have a typical septic system inspected at least every 3 years and your tank pumped every 3 to 5 years.
- Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components need to be inspected more often, generally once a year.
- A-1 Septic will inspect for leaks and look at the scum and sludge layers in your septic tank. If the bottom of the scum layer is within 6 inches of the bottom of the outlet tee or the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet tee, your tank needs to be pumped.
- Remember to note the sludge and scum levels determined by your service provider in your operation and maintenance records. This information will help you decide how often pumping is necessary.
- Even a properly designed and installed septic system cannot treat wastewater if the tank is not used and maintained properly. Here are a few tips for installing and using your septic system
- For future maintenance and to avoid deep root planting and other damaging activities in the drain-field area, make an accurate diagram showing the location of your tank & drain field.
- To simplify tank access for inspection and maintenance, install a watertight riser over the septic tank. Call A1 Septic for installation of a riser at 1-800-538-8320.
- The area over the drain field should be left undisturbed, with only a mowed grass cover. Roots from nearby trees or shrubs may clog and damage your drain lines.
- Keep automobiles and heavy equipment off the drain field.
- Do not plan any building additions, pools, driveways, or other construction work near the septic tank or drain field.
- Do not put too much water into the septic system.
What Not To Do
- Do not flush non-biodegradable materials such as plastics, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins and applicators, they rapidly fill up the tank and will clog the system.
- Restrict the use of your kitchen garbage disposal, it increases the amount of solids in the tank, making them slower to decompose
- Do not pour grease or cooking oils down the sink drain because they solidify and clog the soil absorption field.
- Don’t allow paints, motor oil, pesticides, fertilizers or disinfectants to get into your septic system. They can pass directly through the septic system and contaminate groundwater. These chemicals can also kill the microorganisms that decompose wastes and can damage the soil in the drain field.
- Do not use caustic drain openers for a clogged drain. Instead use boiling water or a drain snake to free up clogs. Clean your toilet, sinks, shower and tubs with a mild detergent or baking soda rather than the stronger and potentially system-damaging commercial bathroom cleansers.
- If a water softener is used in the home, the salt recharge solution should not be allowed to enter the system if the predominant soils in the drain field are very fine textured and drainage is very slow. In these situations, sodium in the softener recharge solution may damage soil structure in the drain-field and plug the system. If you have a water softener, the size of the absorption field must be increased to accommodate the additional flow.