Knee Deep Septic, serving Chesterfield, Hanover, and the greater Richmond area
What homeowners need to know about septic systems
Modern plumbing systems revolutionized how people live, improving access to hot and cold water for everything from drinking to bathing, cleaning, and more. Once all that water has been put to good use, it has to go somewhere. In cities, it is removed from the home via sewage lines and routed to a municipal water treatment plant, but that’s not a practical option for rural and suburban homeowners.
People who live far from municipal centers must find another way to treat their wastewater. More often than not, they install septic systems.
What Is a Septic System?
Septic systems are on-site wastewater treatment solutions that separate solid waste from liquid waste, reintroducing the liquid waste back into the environment after it has been treated using sand, rocks, soil, and sometimes plants. There are many kinds of septic systems, but they have similar components. Each system consists of a septic tank with access risers, pipes and pumps to move the water into and out of the tank, and a drain field where the wastewater can be treated to remove contaminants before being reintroduced into the local ecosystem.
How Do Septic Systems Work?
Each type of septic system is a little different but they all follow the same basic principles. They all harness a combination of technology and natural processes to remove contaminants. The following list of components are what comprise a septic system:
Pipes and Pumps
The septic system starts where the home’s indoor plumbing system ends. The water, along with all liquid and solid wastes, is pumped through a pipe to the septic tank.
Septic tanks are large, watertight containers buried in the ground. These can be made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, but most commonly they are concrete. They are designed to facilitate the separation of solid waste from liquid waste. Most modern septic tanks have access risers or even a manhole that allows access to the tank for inspections and maintenance. Once the solid waste has settled, the liquid waste exits the tank for discharge into the system’s drain field. It typically passes through at least one filter to preclude any remaining solids before discharge.
Drain fields are where the magic happens. In most types of septic systems, they leverage the natural action of soil microbes to remove harmful contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and nutrients from the wastewater leaving the septic tank before it is reintroduced into the groundwater. Some drain fields are located completely underground, while others are placed in a mound of dirt above ground level. Some feature sand or gravel as well as soil. Ultimately, they all serve the same purpose: to remove contaminants from waste water safely and effectively on-site.
Why Septic Systems Fail
When septic systems fail, it can cause serious health hazards for homeowners, their neighbors, and surrounding ecosystems. With proper maintenance, high-quality septic systems can last upwards of 40 years but there are many things that can cause premature failure.
The number one issue that causes septic systems to fail is introducing too much water into the system. This can be avoided by switching to more water efficient appliances and fixture or by replacing a smaller system with a larger tank and drain field to accommodate more frequent use.
Introducing chemicals into a septic system can also cause it to fail by killing beneficial microbes. Systems installed in unsuitable soils are also prone to failure as are poorly maintained drain fields, which are prone to damage from root growth or soil compaction.
Finally, defective components, improper installation, or poor choice of design can all cause premature system failures as can clogged filters. Homeowners are much better off following basic best-use protocols like reducing wastewater introduction, preventing the introduction of solids and floatable liquids into the tank, and ensuring that they schedule routine professional maintenance than waiting until something goes wrong.
It’s usually easy to spot septic system problems. Look for pooling water on top of the drain field and check the quality of the grass in the area. If the septic system fails, the grass may be more verdant directly above the drain field.
In terms of interior signs of failure, keep an eye out for water backups in the home. They are most likely to occur when residents are doing laundry or dishes or taking showers since these activities introduce a lot of water into the system at once. These wastewater backups often produce unpleasant odors and can pose a serious health hazard to the home’s residents and visitors.
Unfortunately, not all septic system failures are obvious. If effluent is entering the groundwater system before it has been completely cleansed of contaminants, it may be harder to detect. Soil and water tests will indicate whether pathogens or other contaminants are entering the groundwater.
Septic System Installation and Replacement
Those who have recently purchased new homes or properties may need help locating tank components or drain fields or performing real estate inspections. Septic system technicians can help with these practical planning issues. Homeowners who want to install new tanks can get permit assistance and help with the sewer line installation in addition to all the parts and labor they need to install their new septic systems.
If you see any of the signs of septic system failure, call Knee Deep Septic, Richmond's best septic pumping service, at 804-315-0630 and we will send an experienced professional to assess the problem.
Septic Tank Service Near Me
If you are looking for an experienced and reputable Septic Service that communicates well and takes great pride in every job, look no further than Knee Deep Septic. We care a lot about customer satisfaction and will go the extra mile to insure you are happy with our work.
The Bottom Line
Septic system technicians can help with everything from basic maintenance and repairs to full system installations. If you are in need of septic services, look no further than Knee Deep. We can accommodate all your septic needs. We serve the greater Richmond area including Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, Ashland, and Varina. We provide hydro-jetting, pumping, line cleaning, unclogging, filter cleaning, rooter, and installation services.
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