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Septic Tank Cleaning
Septic tank cleaning and pumping instead of having city sewer service, the homes in many neighborhoods and subdivisions have septic tanks that are used to collect and store their waste. A septic tank is a settling basin in which solids accumulate at the bottom and are gradually broken down over time by bacterial action. Some of the solid waste that is broken down is liquefied by this bacterial action while the rest accumulates in the bottom. A small amount of fats and oils float to the top of the tank forming a scum layer.
In northwest Ohio and southeastern Michigan, most septic tank systems are connected to a leach field or drainage field. The drain-field consists of long perforated pipes or tiles connected to the septic tank. The network of pipes is laid in gravel-filled trenches or beds in the soil. Further treatment of wastewater forced out of the septic tank from the accumulation of sludge build up in the tank occurs in the soil beneath the drain-field.
The soil below the drain-field provides the final treatment and disposal of the septic tank effluent or waste matter. After the effluent has passed into the soil, most of it percolates downward and outward, eventually entering the groundwater. A small percentage of it is taken up by plants through their roots or evaporates from the soil.
Tips for Using Your Septic System
A properly designed and installed septic system will provide worry-free waste solutions for many years. But your septic system cannot treat wastewater if the tank is not properly maintained.
- Avoid Planting Deep Root Trees or Other Plants in Your Drain Field Area
- Keep a Record of Pumping or Any Maintenance of Your System (ACE will help you keep track of recommended maintenance with our convenient reminder cards that we mail you when it is time for pumping.)
- Keep Automobiles & Heavy Equipment Off the Drain Field
- Do Not Build Additions, Pools, Driveways, Decks, Playground Equipment or Other Construction Near the System
- Do Not Put Too Much Water Into the System (Water overload can occur when the drain-field is flooded with more water than it can absorb. This reduces the ability of the drain-field to drain waste and filter sewage before it reaches the groundwater, causing the waste to pool on the ground surface and run off into nearby water well casings. This is a good reason not to connect your roof drains to your septic system.)
- Do Not Flush Non-biodegradable Materials Such as Plastics, Disposable Diapers, Sanitary Napkins & Applicators (They fill up the tank and will clog the system.)
- Restrict Use of Kitchen Garbage Disposal (It increases the amount of solids in the tank, making them slower to decompose.)
- Do Not Pour Grease or Cooking Oils Down the Sink Drain (They solidify and clog the drainage field.)
- Do Not Allow Paints, Motor Oil, Pesticides, Fertilizers or Disinfectants Into Septic System (They can pass directly through the system and contaminate your ground water. These chemicals can also kill microorganisms which decompose wastes and can damage the soil in the drain field.)
When Should I Have a Septic Tank Cleaning or Pumping?
This depends on three variables:
- The Size of Your Tank
- The Number of People Living in Your House
- The Amount of Water Entering the Septic System from Other Sources (Such as garbage disposal, washing machine or roof drains.)
The Health Department recommends septic tank cleaning and pumping every three years. Call us and we can look up the history of your system. ACE also sends out convenient reminder cards to your residence to let you know when it’s time for your septic tank cleaning.
How Do I Know If My Septic System is Failing?
Here are some symptoms that will tell you that your septic system needs to be serviced:
- Sewage Backup in Drains or Toilets
- Slow Flushing Toilets
- Sinks & Bathtubs Drain Slowly
- Surface Water Around Septic Tank or Leach Field
- Lush Green Grass Over Leach Field (Even during dry weather — This would indicate that excessive amounts of liquid are moving up through the soil instead of downward as they should. Some upward movement is good but too much could indicate major problems.)
- Unpleasant odors inside or outside of your house.
Call the experienced professionals at ACE Sanitation for all of your septic tank needs. We would be happy to come out and look at your system and assess the situation.