The importance of scheduled maintenance to your homes septic system can't be over-emphasized! Don't leave your home septic system to chance, contact the pros at Copsey's.
Your homes septic system is like the engine in your car, if you maintain it properly it will last you years to come. However, if you abuse it, slack on maintenance, or simply ignore it, it could cost you greatly or leave you with a complete mess. Normal maintenance on a residential septic system is every 2-5 years depending on the amount of people, and usage. You must have the sludge (solids) pumped out of your tank in order to NOT RUIN your drain fields, or the interior of your lovely house. We at Copsey’s Septic pump the complete tank when we provide our service. We also backflush the septic system, which means we pump the tank, and then allow the solids to settle on our truck. We then spray liquid from our pressurized hose on the walls of the septic tank. This removes the solids that stick to the tank. We then re-pump the entire tank.
Residential septic tanks are designed in a couple different ways. Approximately 98% of them are 1000-1500 gallon concrete; with dimensions 4 foot wide, and 10-13 ft in length. Other residential tanks may either be fiberglass or metal. This information should be provided at the time of purchase, or per the inspection of the septic system.
Most houses built since 1990 have what they call a DUAL CHAMBER TANK. The tank has a wall in the middle with baffles in it. The front chamber is approx. 1000 gallons, and the second is approx. 500 gallons. This means you CANNOT pump the complete tank from one access lid. This dual-tank system was designed to slow the sludge down from entering the drain field, before it completely settles to the bottom. This tank is designed to have more solids in the front chamber (typically closest access to the house), and the second chamber should have more water and less solids. This does not mean the second chamber is exempt from sludge. We at Copsey’s pump the entire tank to provide the best benefits to the customer. Copsey’s Septic Never charges extra to pump the second chamber, it is part of our flat pump-out rate. We contacted the local health dept., and they all recommend pumping the entire tank. The access lids are approx. 1 foot in from each short side of the tank. There is a small 6-8 inches round plug, inside a 2 foot round hole. We recommend cleaning from the 2-foot hole in order for us to get a proper cleaning. The second chamber can be pumped from the small hole, because as stated above there isn’t as much grease or solids on the walls. This can be confirmed based on the condition of the 1st chamber.
If your house was built before 1990, you probably have a single chamber tank. Which means you do not have a wall with baffles in the middle of your tank. These tanks typically have a square lid to clean from. These tanks can also be 1000 or 1500 gallons, depending on what the health dept. recommended at the time. These tanks get pumped from the lid closest to the house. Once again, they will also be back-flushed, and then emptied completely.
The residential septic system is design to have 3 layers. The first layer top to bottom is a layer of “scum”, (a mixture of solids, liquids, household chemicals, and of course good ol’ toilet paper). This layer of scum will always be there. The lighter particles such as grease, and light objects will remain in the layer of scum. The second layer is primarily water with living bacteria, naturally produced by the human body. The Third layer is solids, which settle from the top. The bacteria only digest about 50% of the solids, which means the solids can then accumulate, and eventually end up in the drain fields. (a few hundred dollars verses several thousand dollars, and a destroyed lawn.) When the scum layer is not maintained (pumped out) it can cause an accumulation of grease, which is very sticky and more problematic as well.
Allowed to continue to grow, this will cause other objects to accumulate, and cause a mass at the end of the main pipe coming from the house. This mass will eventually block off the sewage flow from the house, and cause a back-up into the house. This back-up is usually at the least resistant place in the house. (a basement tub or toilet, laundry tub, or unfinished bathroom pipe). This can create a stinky disgusting mess and is among the primary reasons to be sure your home has regularly scheduled maintenance pump-outs. To avoid that situation, contact us today for an evaluation or to schedule a pump-out of your septic system.