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Septic Systems 101

We at Dixie Septic Tank Inc. are happy to have provided your residence with the best and highest quality “On Site Sewage Treatment” facility known in the industry today.

In this section, we will try and explain in layman’s terms what this means. We will also provide you with some maintenance information that will help keep your system working for years to come.

We would like to put to rest some controversy regarding septic systems. It has been proven throughout the United States, that septic water coming from the tank into the pipes and moving through rocks (the rocks also trap bacteria). Then moving through at least two feet of sand (this is our system, rocks and sand) is as good and bacteria free as any public sewer system operated by cities, towns, and municipalities.

Septic systems are comprised of a large collection tank (septic tank) that at one end is connected to the house (inlet side) and the outlet end has pipes connected to them to distribute the liquid into the ground below. There are several ways to do this.

Aggregate rock drain field being installed
Aggregate Drain Field

This system from us is known as an aggregate rock system. What this means is the drainfield has a crushed rock base under, around, and over the pipes that are located under the ground. The aggregate rock system is the oldest known type of drainfield in the industry. The idea of water moving into and out of homes has been in use since the Roman Empire.

If properly maintained and not abused your system should give you many years of trouble free use.

On our tanks, located on the outlet end, there is a filter required by the State of Florida. This filter should be cleaned once a year and replaced every three years. To do this, unscrew the cap and using rubber gloves pull the filter out and hose it off. This is one final step the state requires to assure no solids or debris gets into the drainfield and clogging the pipes.

Some of the newer filters have a directional flow to them. Make sure you reinsert it with the arrow pointing toward the yard, not the house. Incorrect installation can cause a backup.

Some of you may have a mound system or a system requiring a pump and alarm. If your system is one of these? Located near on the house is a box that has a couple of electrical plugs. These are the electrical source for the pump, floats, and alarm located down inside a pump chamber. This chamber may be a separate tank or it may be installed in a larger tank with a separate pump chamber. You will notice one plug is plugged into the back of the other. It is designed that way and should never be changed. It is what we call piggybacked.

You have two floats in the tank. One float for the alarm and one float operates the pump. One plug is the alarm, and the other is the float and pump combined. Disconnecting the two combined plugs and plugging them in separately, will cause the pump to run constantly, until it burns out. Do not do this!

If for some reason or another the alarm goes off (you have a sound alarm with a light alarm combined), it usually means the water level in that tank is full and liquid is not being pumped to the drainfield. First check your circuit breakers make sure they haven’t popped, these breakers should be on a separate circuit not tied to any other outlets in the house. After checking the circuit breaker if they haven’t popped out. You also have a GFI, which is a Ground Fault Interrupter. One is located in the outlet box by the alarm. Another may be located in your kitchen and bathroom. Check to see if they have popped. If so reset it. If after doing this you still have problems.

The alarm box has a switch on the side that has a “test, run, and silent” position. Turn the switch to “silent” this will stop the alarm from sounding, There are a number of things that could cause the alarms to sound. We suggest you call for a service man to check them out.

One of the worst things for your drainfield is the excessive use of water. We have found in old and new homes where toilets have a silent leak. All of this water goes into the tank and then into the drainfield. One way to quickly check this is to turn off all faucets and water use inside the house. Go outside to the water meter and see if it is turning. You may have to watch it for a few minutes. If it is moving you have an inside leak. This should be addressed immediately.

The health department figures that on average a home should use about 100 gallons per day for each bedroom. If your usage is higher, then there may be a problem. Of course filling swimming pools and watering with a sprinkler system will affect these numbers. Be aware of water usage.

Sprinkler system should never be installed to spray on the drainfield. 80% of the evaporation of a drainfield comes from the sun above. It needs to have an opportunity to dry out. That is why drainfields are green; the evaporation of water below the drainfield is actually feeding the grass. Overwatering this area is bad for the lawn and drain field.

Another thing that can and will affect your system is the planting of trees and shrubs on top of the drainfield. You should not plant anything on the drainfield. As an example, sycamore trees, rain trees, elm trees, maple trees, magnolia trees, palm trees, crepe myrtle bushes, all have extensive root systems that play havoc with the drainfield. I have personally seen the results of roots from a magnolia tree travel close to 30 feet and completely engulf the pipe in a drainfield, and continuing into the tank, causing it to fail.

Garbage disposals are not a good mix for the system. Our natural body waste creates the correct type of bacteria to do its thing in the tank. It converts solids to sludge and liquid. Any raw food of any kind is not good for the bacteria. If you haven’t eaten it, don’t flush it!

Using additives in your system is not necessary. Industry tests have shown they only benefit those that are in the business of selling them. As mentioned in the previous paragraph let your natural body waste do its thing. Don’t confuse the operation of what is happening in your tank.

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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