Septic Tank Pumping – How To Determine The Frequency

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Septic Tank Pumping Frequency Determination

Septic Systems have been installed within about six in ten homes of the United States.  Especially in the great Northwest territory of Washington State and especially in King County Wa, where septic systems are abundant. They are a clean and cost efficient way to manage household sewage water. Properly cared for septic tank systems will for sure provide a home several years of breakdown free management of household gray water. The most significant part of maintaining your system is routine septic tank pumping and septic system inspection by a certified King County septic system service.

Getting the septic tank inspected by a experienced King County septic tank pumping service on a regular basis will help you decide when septic tank pumping is required. Many septic tank systems need to be inspected about once every 3 years. Certain septic tank systems with mechanical components will need to be inspected more often. The septic tank system’s records will have a proposal about the frequency of septic tank pumping and septic system inspection.

Septic Tank Pumping – Many homeowners desire to know how often they should have their septic tank pumping done depending on how many individuals live in the residence. A variety of conditions influence when a septic tank pumping is needed, so there is no exact answer for everyone. There are, however, ways to estimate when a septic tank will need pumping and things you can do to lengthen the time before septic tank pumping is required.  It is smart to not take a risk with the Septic tank system and have the septic tank pumping done each and every 3 years as recommended by the King County Health Department.

There are specific ways that your certified King County Septic Tank Pumping Contractor can establish the needed septic tank pumping frequency for your actual family and septic tank system.  In order to have the septic tank pumping professional estimate how often your household should have the septic tank pumping performed, you will need to have the septic tank pumped, at that time the septic system service professional will make that determination. As an example: an average 4 bedroom house will have (in King County WA) a 1000 to 1500 gallon septic tank and with a family of 4 should expect to have the septic tank pumped out, every 3 to 5 years of standard use.

The main determining factors for septic tank pumping schedule is, the scum (top) and sludge (bottom) layers of the septic tank. A technician will check the layers during the septic tank inspection. Septic Tank Pumping

Both of the layers are extremely dependent of how the septic tank system is used and what is being put down the household drains. An additional factor is the size of the septic tank in relation to the size of the family using the septic tank system. A septic tank system that is too small for the house will need to be pumped out more frequently. This situation is usually more prevalent in older homes built earlier than 1980.  After about 1980 the size of the residence being built on the property is considered when a new septic tank system is installed.

The main two things which effect the schedule of septic tank pumping is the number of individuals living in the house and how the system is used. Of course, the more individuals using the septic system and drainfield means more waste water will be created. This is not something you can do anything about, other than it is significant to keep in mind when considering how often to schedule septic tank pumping and inspection of the septic tank system.

Use of the septic tank system is the one factor that homeowners can keep an eye on and adjust to help expand the schedule between septic tank pumping. Managing the amount of water being used in the household and what is being put down the toilet, dishwasher, washing machine or sink and if a garbage disposal is being installed is truly important.

Water – Using high efficiency or water saving plumbing fixtures, such as toilets and faucets, can to a great extent decrease the amount of water that goes into the septic system. Fixing leaks and drips is an added way to decrease the overuse of water that can cause the septic tank to fill up earlier.

Waste – Managing the solid waste that flows into the septic tank system is an added technique to keep the septic tank system continues operating properly. Things which should by no means go into the septic tank that are either washed or flushed down the drains could overburden the septic tank system. Do not use a garbage disposal with a septic tank system and do not flush anything except toilet paper.

Find more information about Septic Tank Pumping frequency at our Septic Tank Pumping page.

Pump Alarms sounding due to heavy rainfall

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Is your Septic Tank Alarm going off?  If we have had heavy rainfall in the Northwest just before or during a Pump Alarm situation this may be due to a high water level in the Pump Tank.

If your Septic System Pump Alarm is sounding and we are having heavy rainfall,  you may have a saturated drainfield that will not allow the pump to disperse water into the drainfield lines because they are not able to drain properly due to standing water in the drainfield.  If this is not taken care of quickly the Septic Pump could burn up due to running continually due to resistance in the lines.

Heavy rainfall can also cause water infiltration into the Septic Tank and into the Pump Tank, consequentially causing a high water level in the Pump Tank  that causes the Pump alarm to sound.  If this is the case you will want to have sealed risers installed or make sure that your current lids are seated properly so they will not allow water infiltration into the Septic Tank or Pump Tank.

The Home And Bioseptic Tanks

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Households may still be running on bioseptic tanks even if we live in a day and age where large scale wastewater treatment plants are readily available. Septic systems were servicing 26.1 million housing units in 2007 and this is based from the statistics from the US Environmental Protection Agency. It is important that a maintenance schedule be applied considering that you are still using a septic tank system in your home so continue reading this.

A long lifespan is usually associated with bioseptic tanks. They can easily last you for a lifetime but you need to apply a proper maintenance schedule. By following several simple guidelines, it will be possible for you to maintain the best performance of your tanks. Further education on the subject of water tanks can be found at Septic Tank.

What comes into play in this particular situation is the saying ‘Prevention is key’. When it comes to this, it can easily be applied to bioseptic tanks. A longer lifespan is possible when it comes to your tank but you need to see to it that you only use safe cleaning products at home.

Apart from cleaning products that read ‘dangerous’ or ‘poisonous on’ the back labels, you should also stay away from dish washing liquids. Passing through the bioseptic tanks is all the water that goes down your drain and this is what you should not forget. For your septic tank system, if you want to avoid any damages, avoid cleaning agents which have corrosive and poisonous ingredients.

It is possible for your bioseptic tanks to have some form of physical damage if you use cleaning agents that contain poisonous chemicals and these can also be fatal to the bacteria inside them. It is a less effective system that you will end up with if you decrease the bacteria count inside the tanks since the solids in the wastewater are broken down by these microorganisms. Here, the components inside your tank are being broken down but they are doing so at a slower pace and this can eventually lead to clogging and leakage problems. This article is about water tanks and more info found at Septic Tanks Prices.

To counter this, people utilize sink grinders. You should never mix the workings of sink grinders with that of bioseptic tanks. What sink grinders do to the food waste products is slice them into very small pieces and this actually translates to more work for the microorganisms in your septic tanks.

There is more work for the septic bacteria when the sink grinders used in homes make more solid waste for them to deal with and break down requiring more time to be used up. If breakdown processes take a longer time to accomplish, expect problems with your septic systems. Problems with clogging and leakage normally result from the use of sink grinders.

Do consider several simple guidelines in order to ensure that your bioseptic tanks are performing at their best. With regard to your drainage septic field, avoid growing plants near this area. In this case, what you have is the area where the septic system releases the clear liquid from wastewater.

The first thought that comes to mind is that this will make for nutritious soil but it will not. Keep in mind that plants have roots that can grow thicker and stronger in time. Due to this, the roots of the plants can damage the pipes connected to your septic system.

Septic tank additives aid the internal bacteria that work hard in your bioseptic tanks and so you should consider purchasing these for the active microorganisms. Numerous companies actually offer routine check ups and debris removal for the septic tank systems you may have at home. If you have bioseptic tanks, these maintenance steps and preventive measures will ensure that your tanks last for a very long time.

A Discussion On Pressure Tanks

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Two fold practical uses of putting pressure in water pump systems are explained. Firstly, it prevents the pump from overheating. It also lets water to be stored inside the tank. Drawdown water is known as the standby water that doesn’t need drawing out by the pump.

The manufacturer advice people to choose tanks based on the ampleness of drawdown. If one would install a pressure tank, it should be able to hold the same number of gallons of drawdown as the pump could produce water per minute. Contractors sell two kinds two kinds of pressure tanks. It can be sorted into captive air tanks and conventional tanks. Learn more about Septic Tank and the wider subject of water tanks.

Some people get confused by calling conventional ones as hydro pneumatic. The presence of air and water are the two major factors that make up every pressurized tank. Captive air or conventional should be used in distinguishing the two kinds of pressurized chambers.

Inside a captive air tanks, there is a rubber partition that divides water from air. This kind of tank also has pressure which should be set at a lower psi than its control switch. If the pump control is set from 40 to 60, the pre charged pressure is reset too. One should never check for pre charge pressure until he or she is completely sure that all water has been drained from the tank.

The main difference between captive air tanks and conventional tanks is that a device is fitted in an air captive tank to prevent air and water from mixing freely. Cases like this, conventional tanks need constant refilling of its air because its molecules are constantly sucked by water particles. Supposing that air is not replaced, the tank wouldn’t be able to supply a residence with water because there is no pressure to bring out the water from the pump. Our article discusses water tanks and is further explored at Septic Systems.

Balls made of light plastic can be placed inside to reduce the chances of a water logged tank. The stretchy material makes it possible to be contorted into one of the pipes and plop right inside. Although one still needs to watch if the air pressure inside remains at an acceptable level. Is there a reason behind the continued patronage of traditional tanks despite its impracticability?

Although paradoxical, it can be explained. Conventional tanks help reduce iron and sulfur dioxide in water by bringing in air and oxidizing it. A tank like this requires the expertise of the contractors. Some contractors may prefer conventional ones just because they have grown so comfortable in using them. Now is the time for them to step out of that habit and try better types of tanks instead.

The Deal With Street Cleaning

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

When it comes to street cleaning, this is an expense that cannot be handled by some municipalities. Expect to pay around 70 to 150 thousand dollars when you spend for street sweeping efforts in your area since you need to buy a number of water tanks and prices depend on the design of these tanks and such vehicles also need all sorts of equipment for them to be fully functional. Here is where maintenance engineers and local representatives are looking for methods of bringing the costs down.

Considering how most cities cannot afford street cleaning equipment, they need ways to bring down the costs involved to avail of the service and this can be done if they go with portable equipment which can be used with old vehicles that are still functioning and the same goes for the rectangular water tank which they can use with dump trucks or flat beds. In line with this particular tank, you can use it with a high powered pump not to mention various spray and cleaning elements as well and what is amazing with its water spray delivery system is that it is self sufficient. Options have been included in this tank in order to allow the varying needs of cities to be complied with. Articles on water tanks like this can be viewed at septic tank.

There are specific spray nozzles like the duck bill or fan that can be used for all types of cleaning apart from street cleaning as these have been proven to work effectively for dusting landfills, removing the stink from sewers, and even removing the salt that tend to form on bridges. Firemen can easily store water in these portable tanks to serve as reserves for certain situations. It is possible to customize a tank in such a way that coatings are added to prevent damage by rust, corrosion, brine, and other chemicals but when it comes to the size, you will have a number of readily available options to choose from usually within a gallon range of 1000 to 4000.

It is important that all equipment are cleaned in this case so you need a high powered hose. Depending on the need, a tank can be gravity run or pressure run and the latter is normally used for high volume spraying. Here is where cab controls are used and this allows for easy system operations and any source of water can be used to fill it up.

The crews working with the ten brand new 2500 gallon tanks of the Missouri DOT were all tremendously pleased by the kind of performance that they got out of these machines. Aside from an increase in the level of pressure for the sprays, the only other concern of the people pertained to having front spray bars. When it comes to these tanks, they have fitted each one over a dump truck and they are used to deal with decks, bridges, curbs, and islands. Visit sewage treatment systems to learn more about water tanks.

Most of the time, you can expect a city to have several trucks and the like on hand and if this is the case then a small cleaning budget will not be a big deal since you can simply purchase portable water tanks to line the trucks with. If you are dealing with multiple districts, it would be better if each one was provided with the same kind of equipment and this is something you need to consider. You can lessen more than just your equipment costs with this standard piece of equipment that is made to be more affordable than other options in the market.

Landfills tend to make dust and lots of it and this was the problem for one waste management company in Bristol and their site manager thought of putting a tank onto a roll off truck that they had to use for this particular task. When it comes to the landfill, they had a lot of land area to cover and the tank was able to work on the entire area effectively so dust was no longer an issue. Non stop work is possible for the trucks during the hotter days of the year.

There were no problems getting the tank on and off the trucks when they needed to be used and in this case, the tank was all they needed. The people were able to use the truck for other types of jobs around their locale. Available pieces of equipment were made use of in this case and it benefited them greatly since they did not have to buy water tank trucks of any sort and this is how they managed to save money not only on maintenance and insurance but also on license fees and the like.

Septic Systems explained

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

This video will give you a good idea of how your septic system functions, if you have any questions about your septic system please do not hesitate to call our office and one of us will be happy to help with any of your septic Tank and Drainfield questions.

What is a Septic Tank …

Septic Tank: “an underground tank in which waste matter is decomposed through bacterial action.”

If there is too much solid material in your septic tank, the “bacterial action” is not taking place properly. Why? Not enough bacteria.

Parts of a Septic System

There are two main parts to the basic Septic System: the tank and the drain field. The household wastewater flows into the tank where the average detention time is 30 hours. The tank should have at least 1,000- gallon capacity.

How It Works

There are two main parts to the basic septic system: the tank and the  drainfield. In short, waste flows into your septic tank, is decomposed, and then distributed through the drain field.

Anything you put down a drain or toilet goes straight into your tank. It will stay there, decomposing through natural bacterial action. Then, the wastewater flows out of the tank and through the drain field.

Over time, three layers form in a septic tank. A layer of sludge at the bottom, wastewater in the middle, and scum at the top.

The sludge and scum stay in the tank where bacteria work to break them down. But in time, these layers build up. When they become too large, your tank needs to be pumped. If the tank is not pumped annually, your septic performance will suffer. The solid build-up may be carried into your drain field, clogging it, and causing complete system failure.

The extreme cost and inconvenience of repairing a failed system can usually be avoided by basic preventative maintenance: regularly pumping the Septic Tank

Stay tuned for more Homeowner Education how to videos form Lilly’s Septic System Services

  • how to locate your Septic Tank Lids
  • How to determine if the Septic Tank needs pumping
  • How to clean your outlet filter
  • How to clean your inlet baffle
  • How to landscape around the Septic Tank
  • We will be taking requests for “How To” Videos … Stay tuned

To make a suggestion for a “Homeowner How To” Video please leave a message in the form below

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Keeping Your Septic System Healthy

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Keeping Your System Healthy

Guidelines for a Healthy Septic System

By following a few simple rules, you won’t have to think about your system on a day-to-day basis.

Indeed, with proper use, conventional onsite systems can operate for years without much management.

Maintenance begins with sound water use and waste disposal habits. Since your family will determine which materials enter the system, we encourage you to set rules and stick to them.

Here is a partial list of the items to keep OUT of your system. Do not introduce any of the following:

  • Grease or cooking oils
  • Disposable diapers
  • BABY WIPES
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Any latex products
  • Paper towels
  • Plastics
  • Cat litter
  • Latex paint, pesticides, or any hazardous chemicals

Ask us for a complete list of prohibited items for your custom system.

Many homes have garbage disposals to help manage vegetable and other food waste. Excessive use of your garbage disposal may introduce a high level of unwanted solids into your system. Use disposals moderately and consider composting as an option to handle vegetable waste. If you use a garbage disposal the septic Tank will need to be pumped every 3 years to ensure that solids to not reach the baffle level and potentially damage the drainfield.

Do not put too much water into the septic system. Excess water puts too much strain on the decomposition process and can cause problems. Do not do all loads of laundry in one day, try to stagger laundry over the week. Maximum water use should be about 50 gallons per day for each person in the family. Estimate by using the following numbers per person so you can keep track:

  • Shower: 2.5 gallons per minute – 10 minute shower = 25 gallons
  • Toilet: 2 gallons per flush (for toilets bought in the last 20 years)
  • Washing machine: 40 gallons per load
  • Dishwasher cycle: 10 gallons

With large families, keeping track of water use can be hard. But laying down guidelines can help everyone do their part. Also consider getting energy and water-wise appliances when you need to replace your current models. Visit www.energystar.gov/ for suggestions.

Be aware that your system is sized to handle the number of people anticipated to be using it when it is installed. If that number increases, you may need a larger system.

Do not use harsh drain openers for a clogged drain. The best alternative to conventional, caustic drain openers is to use boiling water or a drain snake to clear clogs. Though this approach may be a little messier, the chemicals in drain cleaners can cause havoc with your septic system.

Use mild or natural cleaners for your bathroom and kitchen. They should either be okay-ed for use in septic systems or marked biodegradable.

Be aware that bleaches and antibacterial soaps can inhibit the enzymatic action necessary to help bacteria break down the solids in the tank.  Again, harsh chemicals can cause expensive and unpleasant problems in your system.

If you use or intend to use a water softener in the home, let your installer or maintenance contractor know. Under certain soil conditions, the salt recharge solution must be handled carefully and the size of your absorption field may need to be increased.

Have the solids pumped out of the septic tank on a regular basis. Your Septic System Installer, Septic Tank Pumping contractor or your local health department can give you guidelines. Lilly’s Septic recommends Cleaning and Pumping the Septic Tank every 3 to 5 years. (see pumping page for pumping frequency)  If you use a garbage disposal seriously consider pumping your Septic Tank at minimum every 3 years!

Remember, more sophisticated systems may require additional maintenance. So always ask your pumping technician or our office for details on the recommended Septic Tank Pumping frequency for your Septic System.

Septic Systems Explained

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

From Webster’s Dictionary…

Septic Tank: “an underground tank in which waste matter is decomposed through bacterial action.”

If there is too much solid material in your septic tank, the “bacterial action” is not taking place properly. Why? Not enough bacteria.

Parts of a Septic System

There are two main parts to the basic Septic System: the tank and the drain field. The household wastewater flows into the tank where the average detention time is 30 hours. The tank should have at least 1,000- gallon capacity.

How It Works

There are two main parts to the basic septic system: the tank and the  drainfield. In short, waste flows into your septic tank, is decomposed, and then distributed through the drain field.

Anything you put down a drain or toilet goes straight into your tank. It will stay there, decomposing through natural bacterial action. Then, the wastewater flows out of the tank and through the drain field.

Over time, three layers form in a septic tank. A layer of sludge at the bottom, wastewater in the middle, and scum at the top.

The sludge and scum stay in the tank where bacteria work to break them down. But in time, these layers build up. When they become too large, your tank needs to be pumped. If the tank is not pumped annually, your septic performance will suffer. The solid build-up may be carried into your drain field, clogging it, and causing complete system failure.

The extreme cost and inconvenience of repairing a failed system can usually be avoided by basic preventative maintenance: regularly pumping the Septic Tank

Water Conservation Tips

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

  • Collect the water you use for rinsing produce and reuse it to water houseplants.
  • Don’t use running water to thaw food.
  • Use a layer of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year.
  • Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, light, and water.
  • Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  • Aerate your lawn. Punch holes in your lawn about six inches apart so water will reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
  • When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold drinks, so that every drop goes down you not the drain.
  • Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours, when temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter.
  • Plant during the spring or fall when the watering requirements are lower.
  • Start a compost pile. Using compost when you plant adds water-holding organic matter to the soil.
  • Water your summer lawns once every three days and your winter lawn once every five days.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. This saves 150 gallons or more each time, and if you clean your property once a week, that’s more than 600 gallons a month.
  • Don’t water the lawn on windy days. There’s too much evaporation. Can waste up to 300 gallons in one watering.
  • In the fall, add four to six inches of mulch to your plant beds. This will protect the roots from freezing during the winter and prevent water evaporation. Such preparation will reduce the need to water as often in the coming spring and summer.

Septic Tips

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

  • Don’t route surface water drainage toward your absorption field. Snowmelt, rain, and other surface runoff can temporarily inundate your field.
  • Install a lint trap on your washing machine. Lint will clog the pipes in the absorption field.
  • Look for areas in your lawn that remain moist during dry times. Check for excessive grass or plant growth. If you live near a creek, river or lake, check for excessive plant and algae growth along the shoreline. If you see signs of failure, schedule an inspection and necessary repairs immediately.
  • Don’t plant anything over the disposal field except grass, and be especially careful not to cover the tank or field with asphalt, concrete or other impermeable material.
  • Make sure your septic is located an appropriate distance from your well.
  • Don’t hire just anyone to service your septic system. Incomplete treatment of wastewater can result in the spread of hepatitis, dysentery, and other diseases caused by harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the wastewater.
  • Use low flush toilets and showerheads to conserve water.
  • Dont attempt to open a septic tank yourself. Gases and bacteria in it are dangerous.
  • Keep trees and shrubs at least 35 feet away from your field to prevent roots from plugging or breaking pipes.
  • Read product labels! Use low phosphorus detergents and cleaning products whenever possible. Phosphorus is the nutrient most likely to cause damage to a lake after leaving your septic system.
  • Use toilet paper that decomposes easily. Purchase brands labeled “safe” for septic systems.
  • Insert a water displacement bag inside the toilet tank of older, less efficient toilets to reduce the amount of water used per flush.