When it comes to taking care of your waste-water solution there are many things to consider. A great first step if you do not know or understand what you have, is to get an inspection to determine if any issues can be identified. If you are aware of any issues such as wet spots, sinkholes, or pipes that run into the ditch being open about these with your inspector can actually expedite the repair of your system.
There are many types of waste-water mitigation, and the discussion between a system designer and the one taking care of the system is an important one to have. In short, all systems require some kind of care and maintenance in order to protect the system and maintain a healthy environment.
Waste-Water Lagoon Warning Signs
Some things to watch out for.
- Overgrown Vegetation
- Duck-weed, or Cattails
- Surface Water Trails
- Too Low or High Water Level
- Damage to Fence
- Unlocked Gate
If your lagoon has some of these common issues or you feel it is not working properly in another way, please call for a free assessment. In many cases, lagoon owners simply need an understanding of what’s needed. In more complicated situations, a fresh start is required. Lagoon cleanings are cheaper than a new lagoon or septic, and in most cases solve the issue and protect the lagoon for many years to come. Freezing lagoons are a problem that is caused by low lagoon water levels. Across the state we have having issues with low water levels, and it is a problem that has been addressed with state officials. It may be time to consider a sub-surface septic system instead.
Standard Septic System
A standard septic system consists of three major parts. The sewer pipe, the septic tank, and the leach field (Laterals).
Modern sewer pipe used is made from PVC is capable of handling all types of water flow and should be designed to prevent roots from blocking the pipe in the future. Older material that can be found is; “Orangeburg” a roof shingle-like material that was not designed for hot water and is often found crushed nearly flat, and “Clay Tile” which retains its structure well while lasting but does not do well when roots are involved, and “Cast Iron” that does well as long as no water sits in the pipe for any amount of time.
The septic tank is a reservoir that treats the wastewater using natural bacteria that break down the waste and separate the water from the solids that can be harmful to the environment. There are countless styles of tanks, and each has its own specific traits. The important things to consider when analyzing your septic tank are its size, and the material it is made out of. At Nebraska Septic, we use Infiltrator plastic tanks that we have found last much longer than concrete. Generally speaking, the larger the tank, the better it treats the wastewater. Your system should be designed to suit your needs, though the state of Nebraska only considers a few aspects of the home. If you feel that the type of waste your home produces is odd in any way, do not hesitate to bring that up with your system designer or inspector. Things such as fats, oils, greases, reverse osmosis systems, water softeners, industrial-style kitchens, in-home businesses, in-home health care, or heavy water usage are all things that your system will need to handle and should be designed to support. Normal situations should have the septic tank pumped once every 5-8 years. The more often the tank is pumped, the longer your laterals will remain healthy.
The leach field or laterals are how your septic system distributes the water you use back into the ground. The major aspect of this part of your septic system is how well your soil handles the excess water you’re introducing to it. If you find that this is just dumped onto the ground this is a major health issue and needs to be addressed. The most common types of laterals are “Chambers” either made from concrete or plastic. This style creates an open area that fills up with water until the ground can disperse it. The downfall of this type is it is prone to collapse and the area where these are installed should be avoided with any excess weight. The best and most used today is a pipe with filler material often gravel or a synthetic material better retains its shape. A modern system of “EZ Flow” that we use, has been found to be the best system for many situations. The area where your leach field lies needs to be protected, no driving on it, no sprinklers, divert water away from it if possible, and prevent any rainwater from pooling on or around the area.
If you have recently had laterals, or a complete septic system installed, you should wait 12 – 18 months prior to grading the location. This time allows the dirt to naturally settle around the leach field and allows for the system to last for many years to come. If you are considering doing this yourself, remember not to drive on top of the lateral field with a load, try and ensure slope grades away from the lateral, and cross the laterals with your grader not run inline with them. Even after a year of naturally settling having tires drive on top of the leach field can harm them and cause them to not work as well. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, we have an experienced team to take care of this that ensures no damage will come to your system.
In Both Cases
Consider what you flush. Fats, Oils, and Greases just get built up in your system and need to be treated or removed. If you do use a lot of this, consider a pumping contract to reduce system stress and pumping cost.
If it says “Flush-able” it probably isn’t, no plastic, metal, cotton, or other synthetic material. Toilet paper and human waste should be what is flushed, and the more soap you use, the more often you should treat your system.
If you encounter wet spots in your grass that cannot be explained by rain or surface water, or your house drains slowly, we are able to assess your situation and provide a single point of contact for your questions at any time.
We pride ourselves on being upfront and responsive while ensuring a lasting solution. This includes helping you better understand what you have for a waste-water solution as you are the most important factor in a lasting wastewater treatment system.
There are very few reasons to add chemical treatments to your system, and if you are considering any of them, feel free to call or message us and we will provide our input absolutely free.
For complete rules and regulations that Nebraska Septic must maintain at all times, please feel free to reference the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy