All Clear Septic, septic system pump chamber

What is a Septic System?

All Clear Septic, septic system pump chamberDown to Earth Construction Services are always happy to answer questions customers have about their septic systems. Maybe the most important questions is ‘What is a septic system?

Septic systems are individual wastewater treatment systems (conventional septic systems, innovative/alternative (I/A) systems, or cesspools) that use the soil to treat small wastewater flows, usually from individual homes. They are typically used in rural or large lot settings where centralized wastewater treatment is impractical.

There are many types of septic systems in use today. While all systems are individually designed for each site, most systems are based on the same principles.

A conventional septic system consists of a septic tank, a distribution box and a drainfield, all connected by pipes, called conveyance lines.

Your septic system treats your household wastewater by temporarily holding it in the septic tank where heavy solids and lighter scum are allowed to separate from the wastewater. This separation process is known as primary treatment. The solids stored in the tank are decomposed by bacteria and later removed, along with the lighter scum, by a professional septic tank pumper.

After partially treated wastewater leaves the tank, it flows into a distribution box, which separates this flow evenly into a network of drainfield trenches. Drainage holes at the bottom of each line allow the wastewater to drain into gravel trenches for temporary storage. This effluent then slowly seeps into the subsurface soil where it is further treated and purified (secondary treatment). A properly functioning septic system does not pollute the groundwater. – Mass. Gov website.

However even knowing what a septic system is and how it works it is always inadvisable to carry out septic repairs and maintenance yourself. A reputable septic company will be happy to answer questions and discuss concerns you have and make an appointment for a repair if necessary. Today we have septic repairs scheduled for customers in Attleboro, Norton, Seekonk and Dighton MA. If you have questions or concerns about your septic system or you want to make an appointment please do contact our Norton office on 508-622-5759 or visit www.downtoearthconst.com

Providing Improvements to Customers Septic Systems

 

Down to Earth Construction Services provide improvements to customers septic systems in addition to repairs. Today we are installing a septic alarm for a customer in North Attleboro who wants to ensure that they know if their septic system is not operating as it should. A septic alarm will notify the customer when a septic pump out is required in addition to if there are other problems with the system. Often acting quickly if you do have a septic problem will keep a small septic issue from becoming a very large and expensive repair. We have other septic repairs and septic improvements in Marshfield, Holliston and West Bridgewater. If you wish to make an appointment or if you have any questions please do contact our office at 508-622-5759 or visit www.downtoearthconst.com

Detectives Skilled at Locating the Septic Issue That Is Causing Your Septic Problem

 

Down to Earth Construction Services are skilled at the ‘detective’ work that is sometimes required to locate the septic issue that is causing your septic problem. We not only have up to date equipment to help us with our investigations but also have extensive experience, knowledge and training to better able us to help our clients. We endeavour to not only locate the problem but also recommend a repair that will fix this septic issue and ensure that you do not have a the same septic failure in the future.

Today we have septic repairs scheduled in Mansfield, Franklin, Foxboro, North Attleboro and Plainville MA. If you require a septic repair or you are concerned that you have a problem with your septic system please do contact our Norton office at 508-622-5759 or visit www.downtoearthconst.com

Leach Field Problem Solved in Attleboro, MA

 

Down to Earth Construction Services have been contacted by a customer who has a leach field problem at their Attleboro, MA property. A leachfield or a Soil Absorption System (SAS) is part of an on-site system: the area of ground and system of subsurface pipes or chambers into which partially treated wastewater from the septic tank or I/A system is discharged for final treatment and absorption by soil. Unfortunately a driveway was placed incorrectly over their leachfield. As stated by the Massachusetts Official Website of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs:

“Title 5 precludes using area under a driveway for a soil absorption system unless restrictions on the land leave no other feasible option. Impervious areas such as driveways or parking lots restrict air passing through the soils. In addition, the weight of the cars can compact the soil and may break distribution pipes. Lack of oxygen prevents the degradation of the septic tank effluent in the soil, and compaction reduces flow, making the system likely to clog and fail. Soil absorption systems which are placed under driveways are required, by 310 CMR 15.240 (7), to be vented to the atmosphere. Additional standards apply to system components in areas where automobile or other heavy equipment is anticipated.”

In this instance venting will not be sufficient so we are relocating their leach field to a more efficient location which will remove this problem and enable the property owners to keep their driveway in its present site. We have all of the equipment and expertise to ensure that this work is done correctly to reduce the likelihood of any further problems. If you require a septic repair, for a leachfield or another component, please do contact our office at 508-622-5759 where we will be happy to help.

 

Septic Repairs on the Agenda Today

flooded septic system

Flooded Septic System Tips

hurricaneWith Two Major Hurricanes behind us,  What should you do with flooded septic systems

With hurricane season still upon us,  it’s a good time to brush up on the proper care of septic systems during flooding events.

Before the Storm

Once heavy rains start to fall and a flood is underway, try  to cease water usage going to the system. Depending on the elevation of the septic tank and floodwaters, the tank can be used as a holding tank. The amount of damage to the system is related to the elevation of the flooding over the system combined with the length of time the system is flooded.

Make sure all inspection ports, lids and covers are properly capped and in place. Pumps and controls in the system can be removed and stored; remember to shut off electricity to the system. There should be no connections between the floor or foundation drains in the house and the system where water can drain through the system.

After the storm

After the floodwaters recede, the system shouldn’t be used until the soil has adequately dried to allow sewage to be absorbed without backing up, which could take several weeks. Homeowners should conserve water during that time.

Now is the time to call Septic Preservation Services to evaluate your system and let you know the condition and what steps you should be taking before using the system.

A comprehensive system inspection and assessment should also be conducted before putting the system back in use. This means opening all parts of the system — sewage tanks, drop boxes, anywhere there is access to system components — and assessing whether sediment or vegetative debris has entered the system. All sewage tanks should be pumped and cleaned out.

The tanks should be evaluated for watertightness and structural defects due to the flooding. Debris in the drop boxes should be removed. If there are pumps and a pressure distribution system, the distribution laterals should be jetted and cleaned. Pumps and controls should be reinstalled, recalibrated and tested.

The evaluation should include making sure wastewater moves between the parts of the system as intended. This may involve running a hydraulic load test on the soil treatment part of the system.

About a month after the system is restarted, Septic Preservation  willschedule a follow-up visit to check for proper operation. Any pumps and controls should be checked and the pump calibrations re-evaluated to make sure they are delivering the correct amount of effluent.

Septic tank manhole covers should be secured and inspection ports should be free of blockage and damage. Make sure there’s no damage caused by animal intrusion in the soil treatment a

Inspections also should include a look at the vegetation over the septic tank, and any erosion damage should be repaired with sod or seeding to provide good plant cover.

If sewage backed up inside the home, homeowners should thoroughly disinfect the house, but they should avoid flushing disinfectants down the drain.

Destroyed systems

Floodwaters can cause components of a septic system to be partially or completely washed away. The owner of such a system shouldn’t assume that soil or other fill can be added and new system components constructed.

Heavy rains can cause slides to partially or completely cover septic system components with rock, mud or silt. These slides can affect the operational integrity of the system, especially the soil treatment systems.

Special care should be taken to keep vehicle and equipment traffic off the soil treatment system to avoid compaction.

If the soil treatment system is saturated or has standing water long after other areas have dried out, there may be a long-term problem related to the flood.

With luck, we won’t have to worry about a major hurricane impacting New England but preventative steps may be able to help save your septic system.

Septic Preservation Services is ready and able to answer all your questions on prevention and are the first call to action in case of a major disaster.  You can reach them at 877-378-4279 or visit www.septicpreservation.com

Parts of this article were published in Pumper Magazine on September 7, 2017.  Visit www.pumper.com for more septic news.

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