Frequently Asked Questions
With over twenty-five years of being in business, Bio-Liquid Waste Disposal has extensive experience with septic systems and is happy to answer any questions you may have. Some of the most common questions are listed below.
How does a septic system work?
The septic tank is a watertight box made of precast concrete, reinforced fiberglass, or plastic placed between the house and a disposal field. The tank protects the disposal field by removing solids and grease form the sewage before it reaches the disposal bed.
When household waste enters the tank several things occur.
- Lighter solids and materials float to the surface of the tank to form a layer called scum.
- Heavier solids and the by-products of biological digestion settle to the bottom of the tank to form a layer called sludge.
- Liquid from the clear space passes out to the disposal field to be treated by the soil. If solids are able to pass through the septic tank to the disposal field the pores in the soil will become clogged, causing a bed failure.
How often should the septic tank be cleaned?
The answer is it depends. A tank should be pumped every three to five years. (More often if you have a garbage digester.) The frequency of cleaning depends on the size of the tank and the use it is given. The owner or a qualified technician should inspect the tank every year.
There are many different sizes and shaped tanks being used, however most tanks being installed today are 1000 Imp. gallons or larger. Sludge accumulation is approximately 80 gallons per capita per year or, 320 gallons per family of four.
What are some common causes for failure?
Neglecting to regularly inspect and clean the septic tank.
- Lack of understanding on the proper use of the system
- Poor soil conditions and/or faulty design or installation
- Over use – volume of water discharged exceeds system capabilities. I.e. more people in the house, or leaky faucet
- Unusually high water table, flooding the tank and/or the bed
- Tree roots clogging pipes
- Traffic over the disposal field breaking pipes
- Obstruction in the pipe between the house and the septic tank
What are some warning signs of a failing septic system?
Please don’t wait for these signs because it may mean damage has already occurred.
- Plumbing backups
- Sluggish drainage in the house
- New gurgling noises in the pipes and drains
- Soft ground or greener grass in the area of the septic field
- Sewage odors outdoors, in the basement
- Surface breakout of sewage around disposal site
I want to have the tank pumped but I don’t know where it is?
The local Health department should have a drawing of your septic system. Bio-Liquid Waste has a septic tank locator available if you’re not sure of its exact position.
Our tank is deeper in the ground, do we have to dig it up by hand?
No. We use a mini Excavator to dig up the covers. It’s lightweight and the size makes it the perfect tool for the job.
I receive literature in the mail regarding septic tank additives. Do they really work?
Additives are no substitute for proper maintenance and proper use of your system. Many additives on the market do little to aid in the breakdown of solids, and some may even hinder the natural bacteria in a septic system.