5 Plumbing Tips On Septic Tank Installation and Maintenance
To protect the health of the public from the dangers of inappropriate sewage disposal practices, North Carolina regulations have been adopted. The regulations are created to help insure that when a septic tank system is used, it will be constructed to meet North Carolina standards, of sufficient size to handle the likely waste load, and that the soil is suitable for saturation of sewage. These regulations require that a Local plumbing permit is needed to construct a septic tank system be obtained from the county code department. A septic tank system may not be covered with dirt until an inspection is made and approval is given by the county plumbing department.
Bear in mind that a septic tank cannot be safely installed on all home lots or building sites. Some lots or building sites are unacceptable because of the type of soil, terrain (too hilly, too low or wet, etc.), size, ground water, rock, or other factors which would obstruct with operation of the system. Die testing is required and in some cases sand mounds are constructed to accomplish the positioning of a septic tank.
Pro Tip #1 normal recommendation is to have the septic tank pumped (cleaned) out every 3-6 years. Some townships, citys or mobile home parks will have strict ordinance code regarding how often.
Pro Tip #2 Only residential waste and toilet tissue should be disposed of in a septic tank system. Keep all kitchen greases out of the plumbing system. Female personal hygiene items, cotton swabs, cigarette buds, hair from hair combs, paper towels, toys or mice from traps should never be flushed down the lavatory. Even a cotton swab can lodge sideways in a pipe and toilet paper will collect blocking the pipe going to the septic tank.
Pro Tip #3 Any leaks that develop in the plumbing system should be immediately corrected. A leaking faucet or toilet bowl, no matter how small the leak, will eventually result in complete penetration and failure of the drainage field.
Pro Tip #4 A septic tank system needs occasional cleaning or pumping out of the collected solids. If the solids are allowed to build up in the tank to a point that they begin to sepp out of the tank into the soil drainage system, the soil will soon become clogged with the solids, resulting in failure of the system. If this happens, costly repairs will have to be made before the system will again work properly. Raw sewage that comes to the top of the ground will indicate that the septic system has failed. It is unpleasant, unhealthy and usually a health violation that could lead to fines which only adds to the cost of a failed septic tank system.
Pro Tip #5 cars and other heavy vehicles should not be driven over the septic tank system. This causes extreme and actual structural damage to septic tank and tile drain field. A drawing of your septic tank plumbing can usually be obtained from your county code department to help you in knowing the location of all lines of the system. This can be helpful in case of problems with the septic system or when the tank is cleaned out.
PLUMBER TRADE SECRET: The recurrence of tank cleaning or pumping is hard to determine as it depends on many factors and ranges with different sizes families. The only sure way to determine the need for septic service is to open the tank lid periodically and inspect it to determine the addition of solids. This should provide a frame of safety, but remember the most proper way to determine the need for plumbing service is to inspect the tank contents once a yearly.
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