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Failing Septic Systems

DID YOU KNOW… Failing and inadequate septic systems are a leading source of waterborne disease outbreaks in this country contributing to the deaths of 3-4 Americans everyday? Failing septic systems are a major source of ground and surface water contamination damaging lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, even the oceans.

Failing Septic System repairs Volusia County Dixie Septic Tanks
Failing Septic Systems

Failing systems can be costly. Some states have begun fining homeowners (up to $1,000.00 per day) for a failed system. Due to septic system failure, people have had their homes condemned and been forced out in the street. System failure is that serious.

Most failures (of a proper septic system) are the result of neglect and abuse by the homeowners that use them and they abuse them because they haven’t learned how to properly maintain them.

If you have questions or concerns about your septic system, please contact us for a free consultation.

When a septic system fails:

Raw sewage can back-up into your house and ruin your carpets, hardwood floors, walls, and furniture (not to mention the smell). It can also bubble-up in your yard where your children and pets play. This contaminated water can find its way into your drinking water supply. Your neighbors’ property and drinking water, nearby rivers, lakes, streams, and wetland habitats. Entire neighborhoods have-been rendered virtually worthless and unlivable (even lake front homes) because the soil has become contaminated with bacteria from failed septic systems.

HOWEVER…a properly designed, installed, and maintained septic system will treat wastewater better than most treatment facilities, at a fraction of the cost, and can last indefinitely.

Many people say… If you put yeast, brown sugar, heads of cabbage, even dead chickens into your septic system you will never have to pump the tank. Don’t believe them. They are only myths! Some of these “Tricks” can actually damage your system.

Failing Septic System repairs Volusia County Dixie Septic Tanks
New Septic System

Be certain a certified professional designs and installs your system to code and is permitted.

On more than one occasion, we have replaced failed fiberglass tanks that after pump-out have collapsed due to side wall soil pressure. Inferior septic systems do not perform well and normally do not last very long.

To replace a failed system can cost $2,000 to more than $20,000.

Don’t make the mistake of cutting corners at this stage of the game. To properly design and install a system is a very complicated procedure. Go with a larger system than what the code requires. To increase the size of your system now, will only add a few hundred dollars. To add later will cost thousands.

A QUICK EXPLANATION OF HOW YOUR SYSTEM WORKS: As you flush waste water down the drain, the solids settle in the tank, the liquid moves on to the drainfield where it percolates down through the soil and evaporates up. Bacteria that naturally exist in the tank and soil break down the solids in size and “eat” the harmful parasites and viruses. A septic system will only treat organic materials. Bacteria does not “eat” plastic. Septic tanks seldom fail, drainfields/soils fail when they become plugged with lint, oils, grease, and fats, and solids that should have remained in the tank and/or the natural bacteria are killed off by the over use of chemicals.

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR SYSTEM; Use water wisely. Your System can only treat so much water per day. Install water saving devices in your home, i.e. low flow showerheads, low flush toilets, aerators on all faucets. Spread out your water use. Do 1 or 2 loads of laundry per day rather than 10-12 loads on the weekend.

The over-use of chemicals (like automatic toilet bowl cleaners) can kill the good bacteria and cause system failure. Normal amounts of cleaning solutions will not hurt your system.

Just like ashes build-up in a fireplace and must be removed, solids also build up in the septic tank. The tank should be inspected yearly by a certified professional and pumped when necessary. We recommend every 3-5 years regardless if it needs it or not.

Vehicles including cars, trucks and motorcycles driving over your drainfield can compact the soil and kill a septic system.

Much of the water in your system evaporates up. Do not operate lawn sprinklers over your drain field. Excess watering prevents proper draining.

Many powdered detergents use filters that can damage a septic system. Use liquid detergents.

Most septic systems fail because the drainfield gets plugged with solids. Using filters on the washing machines and in the tank can keep these solids out of the drainfield and prevent failure.

Failing Septic System repairs Volusia County Dixie Septic Tanks
Failed Stacked Pipe Septic System

The discharge from your water softener should not be allowed into your system. Ask your zoning office or contractor about installing a mini-septic system for your softener.
Do not use garbage disposals, drain-cleaners, or put grease and coffee grounds down the drain.

Many items like cigarette filters, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, paper towels, condoms, etc. are made with non-organic materials that will not break down. The only paper product that should be put into the septic system is toilet paper.

The use of store bought or mass marketed additives can actually damage your system. Talk to a professional before using these products.

Don’t be afraid to tell guest in your home the rules.

Things to Consider:

EDUCATION Talk to your health/zoning departments or septic contractor, many of
these people, will be glad to give you more information about your septic system. Education, classes are one of the most effective ways to deal with septic systems on a community level.

ANNUAL INSPECTIONS Ask your contractor to do a yearly inspection and pump your tank every 3-5 years. With this program you can catch problems before they become failures.

WASHING MACHINE FILTERS A typical washing machine discharges a tremendous amount of minute organic and synthetic material fibers. These fibers plug the pores of your drainfield and soil. Synthetics (like polyester and nylon) will never break down in a septic
system. These re-usable filters ($150) attach to your washing machine discharge hose and remove the lint before going down the drain and damaging your system.

EFFLUENT FILTERS These filters are installed in your septic tank and help prevent the larger solids from entering your drainfield. Call Dixie 386-738-3030 to have one installed in your tank. Keep in mind, septic tanks don’t fail, drainfields (the soil) fail, and the soil fails when it gets plugged with solids that should have stayed in the septic tank. Filters will prevent the solids from plugging your soil.

ADDITIVES Septic system operate on a bacterial process and in some cases your system may need “help”. However all additives are not created equal and some may even damage your system. Additives must be approved by prior to use.

THE BOTTOM LINE…When a septic system is properly designed, installed and maintained it can treat waste water as effectively as a multi-million dollar sewage treatment facility, at a fraction of the cost to you, and last indefinitely. But like anything else you own, you must learn how to properly operate and maintain it. For most homeowners, the cost per year is minimal to maintain. A centralized treatment plant can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain, which increase our taxes. Nothing is free, but a septic system is an excellent alternative.

Septic System FAQs

We are pleased to offer a few articles we have written over the past several years. We hope they might offer tips and answers to questions or issues you may have in regards to septic tanks, septic systems and drain fields. Please contact us directly with specific questions for a personal consultation.

Septic System FAQs
Smart Septic Systems
Going Green
Aggregate Rock System
Equal Distribution™
Pre-Contract Checklist
Septic Systems 101
Septic System Maintenance
Bio-Mat 101
Flushing Medication
Facts and Folklore
Pipe and Rock System
Septic Tank Installation
What is OSTDS?
Fat, Oil and Grease
Septic Industry Problems?
Sewer or Septic System?
Time to Take the Gloves Off!
Failing Septic Systems
Eye Opening Definitions
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Dixie Septic Tank, Inc.

335 N. Boundary Avenue
Deland, Florida 32720

Phone: (386) 738-3030
Fax: (386) 740-7666
Lic# SRO991327
Contact Dixie Septic Tank

Home Page Failing Septic Systems Septic System Maintenance What is OSTDS?
Septic Services Going Green Bio-Mat 101 Fat, Oil and Grease
Smart Septic Systems Aggregate Rock System Flushing Medication Septic Industry Problems?
Concrete Septic Tanks Equal Distribution™ Facts and Folklore Sewer or Septic System?
Septic System FAQs Pre-Contract Checklist Pipe and Rock System Time to Take the Gloves Off!
Contact Us Septic Systems 101 Septic Tank Installation Failing Septic Systems
Septic Tank Cleaning Eye Opening Definitions
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