Rolefson Excavating and Septic Systems Information
There are circumstances that shorten the life of a drain field:
1. Hydraulic Overloading.
This is a condition where soil beneath the drain field becomes saturated resulting in ponding. This condition can be caused by:
A. drain field is undersized for the current usage
B. leaking plumbing fixtures
C. surface water into system
D. surge loading (e.g. doing all the clothes washing on one day) (laundry should be spaced out)
Excessive grease can congeal in the sewer line to the septic tank or inside the tank. The septic tank may accumulate a layer of solid fat, which cannot be readily broken down by bacterial action. Grease should be treated as garbage and kept out of the septic tank whenever possible.
3. Sanitary napkins, condoms, cotton swabs, dental floss, tampons, hand wipes, infant wipes, disposable diapers, and cigarette filters. These products are made of cellulose, plastic or other non-biodegradable components. They may plug the sewer lines, baffles and drain field perforations or lodge in the pump.
4. Antibiotics, other medicines, disinfectants, painting products, gasoline, oil, degreasers and pesticides. When disposed of through the septic system, these chemicals may kill septic tank bacteria. This can result in a severe decline in decomposition of the septic tank solids. It can take several weeks for the bacteria in the septic tank to re-establish.
5. Clear water discharges. Building foundation drains, humidifier, and water softener discharges are considered clear water, which may be disposed into the ground separate from the septic system. However, discharge from the softener during the recharge cycle is a salt brine which, in excessive amounts, could have an adverse affect on septic tank bacteria.
6. Surface drainage. Roof downspouts, driveway runoff and road ditches should be directed away from the septic system. The finished grade over the septic system should divert surface drainage of water away from the tanks and drain field
Frequent Questions and Answers
Should I add anything to my septic tank?
Biological and chemical additives are not needed to aid or accelerate decomposition. At this time, there is no conclusive data to support the effectiveness of enzymes or any chemical treatment to rejuvenate a failing drain field
What are the warning signs of a failing septic system?
These signs may be indicators that the drain field is failing:
1. Plumbing backups.
2. Grass in the yard growing faster and greener in the area of the drain field or tank(s).
3. Soft or mushy ground in the area of the drain field
4. Sluggish toilet flushing.
5. Septic pump runs constantly
6. Solids accumulating in the drain field vent or observation tubes.
What can I do to prolong the life of my drain field?
There are a variety of things you can do:
1. Install water-saving devices and be on-guard for leaky fixtures. Water conservation reduces the amount of liquid going into the drain field
2. Have the tank(s) pumped and inspected regularly.
3. Keep surface water away from the septic system area, including the septic and pump tanks.
4. Keep driveways, parked vehicles and buildings off the drain field area. Soil compaction can cause premature failure by restricting the infiltrative and evaporative capability of the soil.
5. Installing an effluent filter to confine most of the suspended solids to the septic tank.
6. The use of pretreatment components have been shown to improve effluent quality and moderate or reduce ponding.
7. Understand what can and cannot be put into the septic tank.
Septic Systems Illustration
Septic Systems Installer, MPRSW 225641
Sewer, Water, Grading, Trenching, Landscaping
Located in South Eastern part of Dodge County.
Serving Oconomowoc area Lakes, Lake Country area, Waukesha, Washington, Dodge, and Jefferson counties.