Septic Tank FAQ’s

As a suburban homeowner, you most likely have a septic tank system. This vital underground system may not always be on your mind, yet it is constantly working to treat your wastewater in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

However, when septic tanks malfunction, in addition to emitting foul odours, they can also require expensive repairs. In order to take good care of your tank and avoid potential problems, it is important to know how to take care of it.

To help you learn more about septic systems, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common questions:

How eco-friendly are septic tanks?

Well-designed on-site septic systems offer the following environmental advantages:

🪠 It is a natural process. In contrast to commercial waste treatment plants utilising artificial chemicals that are often hazardous, household septic tanks services use biological processes. As a result of naturally occurring bacteria, household waste gets broken down into harmless waste materials.

🪠 Diseases are prevented. Contaminated soil and water can spread many serious illnesses. Leaving household waste untreated can pose a severe health risk to you and those around you. However, a properly functioning septic tank and system play an instrumental role in this protection – so it’s important to inspect them regularly.

Where Should Septic Tanks Be Placed?

Choosing the right location for your septic tank is crucial as it determines how well it will perform. Tank location factors to consider:

🪠 The terrain. Place your tank away from steep hills. A rainstorm will cause water to rush downhill, flooding your tank or leach field. The wastewater could then backup into your house and cause a plumbing issue. Avoid this unpleasant situation by installing your tank on a high or level surface.

🪠 Characteristics of soil. The quality of your soil can greatly affect your septic system’s efficiency. A high absorption rate is necessary to absorb effluent and treat it before it enters the environment. Undisturbed sandy soil is the most absorbent. Clay-rich soil and bedrock should be avoided.

🪠 The land design. Your drainage system can be negatively affected by both natural and man-made structures. To protect the system from damage, you should avoid areas such as trees, buildings, and water wells.

What is the lifespan of my septic tank?

Septic systems can have a lifespan ranging from 15-40 years. Several factors can affect the system’s life expectancy, such as the materials used, floods caused by groundwater, or roots clogging the system.

It also depends on the type of septic tank you have. Below are the 3 most common system types and issues they may encounter:

🪠 Steel. These will inevitably rust over time according to soil acidity and tank quality. Many steel septic tanks installed more than 15 years ago have most likely become so rusted that their bottoms are unsalvageable. During periodic inspections, a Shadai technician can easily detect all of these issues.

🪠 Drain field. Many factors influence the lifespan of this system. These factors include the size of the drain field, the percolation rate of the soil, and the frequency with which it is used. A large, well-maintained drain field can last for over 50 years, but a poorly installed drain field may not even last a day.

🪠 Concrete. There is no doubt that concrete septic tanks have a longer lifespan, lasting anywhere from 40 years to forever, assuming they are correctly designed and constructed with high-quality materials. If a septic tank is built with poor-quality concrete in a place with acidic soil, there is a good chance the baffles and components will fail far sooner.

Maintaining your septic tank regularly is the best way to extend its lifespan.

There is more to septic tank service than just pumping the tank. While you should have your tank pumped at intervals appropriate to your tank size and use, the tank should also be inspected. During this inspection, the Shadai technician will suggest any fixes or other maintenance.

In addition to regular maintenance, other factors affect septic tank longevity. Despite some things being beyond your control, you can take some steps to extend its life:

  • Design and quality. A well-placed septic tank, healthy soil, and proper installation will prolong its life.
  • Material. A concrete tank can last for more than 40 years. On the other hand, steel tanks rust much faster.
  • The contents. Avoid flushing down chemicals or non-biodegradable materials.

Will My Septic Tank Work Without Power?

The first thing you need to do if you lose power is conserve water, such as taking shorter showers, not doing laundry, and not flushing toilets constantly. In the absence of electricity, effluent cannot be pumped into the drain field, which causes the tank to fill.

If your system’s pump is timed or “on demand,” then the next step will vary:

🪠 On-demand pump. This system starts pumping when a certain level of wastewater is reached in the tank. During a power outage, wastewater accumulates in the tank, and when the power comes back on, it is released all at once, causing issues. When the power goes out, there is no way to pump effluent into the drain field. The drain field will become flooded if too much water is pumped out simultaneously.

🪠 Timer. Pump systems with timers will control effluent flow into the drain field over 24 hours and ensure the drain field doesn’t receive more effluent than it can handle. Upon restoring power, this system will take care of itself. Therefore, even after your power is restored, continue conserving water so your pump can catch up.

Contact us for more info on septic waste management!

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