Septic Tank System Failure

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Septic System Tank Failure occurs when the existing system fails to digest and leach digested effluent into the drainfield rendering the system ineffective. In this difficult situation, a property owner will have to install a new system or repair the existing system. Unfortunately, many home owners do not have an adequate site to construct a new system and the property owner has few options.

If the soil conditions are suitable and space is available, a property owner may be able to construct a mound system or a sand bioreactor with an onsite irrigation system to replace a failed septic system at a cost of thousands of dollars. If available, a home may be able to connect to a sewer that carries the wastewater to a system that can treat it to protect the public health and the environment. Hook up fees are normally charged to the home owner along with a monthly sewer and water bill. If no other options exist, the property owner may have to rely on a holding tank to collect and pump out sewage at considerable expense to prevent a public health or environmental threat. This is by far the most undesirable method of organic waste management removal.

Tanks and pipes buried in the ground can be expected to last 100 years plus before they begin to deteriorate and or require repair or replacement. The soil itself does not wear out, but if water use has increased over the years from when the system was first installed, the system can be overloaded. Design and construction practices have improved over the last 30 years. Systems built before 1975 may be inadequately designed by today’s standards. Most systems can be revitalized with a septic treatment consisting of bacteria and enzymes.Bacterial septic system shock treatment is an alternative to replacing the septic tank system and drainfield lateral lines or cesspit. Bacterial shock treatment is a proven method of restoring cesspits and drainfields at a fraction of the costs related to the replacement of a system. Typically a property owner could have a failing septic system for one of three of the following reasons:

1) The systems designer sited the system on soil that is not suitable for the system. For example, the initial perk test resulted in a failure; the septic systems constructed in a wet land fail to function during the rainy season of the year, resulting in groundwater raw contamination. Groundwater contaminates nearby beds, wells, canals, streams and creeks.

2) The system was not built properly. If the installer made an error when installing your septic tank system. The installer may have improperly leveled the lateral drainlines directing the flow of effluent back to the drainfield. The installer may have placed a low or shallow drain around a septic tank system constructed in wet soil areas allowing these drains to carry polluted water to ditches and streams threatening public health and the local environment. The property owners may not be aware their system is failing and polluting public water sheds, because the problem was moved off the lot. Polluted waste water can travel under ground level several hundred feet. 3) Excessive amounts of anti bacterial products being used in the household such as bleaches, anti biotics, soaps and F.O.G. (Fats, Oils, Greases) are directly flushed into the system killing the bacteria used to digest organic solids in the tank.

If the solids are not digested into effluent or waste water they will travel into the drainfield turning into bio-mat (black tar like substance) and eventually clogging the drainfield or cesspit. Most systems can be revitalized with a septic treatment consisting of bacteria and enzymes.Most septic system failures can be avoided by using a monthly maintenance bacterial treatment. This will ensure a solid bacterial base and ensure digestation in the system ensuring a long life for your septic system.

By: Bradley Skierkowski

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