A Septic Tank is a form of holding chamber utilising a form of internal construction to slow down the flow through the tank unit. The outlet from the septic tank leads to a soakaway system below the ground surface.The diagram shows a traditional single septic tank having just one chamber and using inlet and outlet T pipes. This is the simplest form of septic tank and works.
A: Sewage enters via the inlet T pipe and discharges to the lower of the tank.
B: Gravity pulls the solids in the sewage to the base and via anaerobic biological action, a scum layer can form on the surface.
C: Effluent ( with a very low solids content ) leaves via the outlet T pipe. This can then enter a second or third chamber and then lead to a soakaway field drainage system.The basic principle is to remove as much of the solids content from the final effluent as possible.
What To Look For If You Suspect A Damaged Or Full Septic Tank
A; Backing up of sewage in the drainage pipe work and manholes.
B: . A high level or possible flooding of effluent in the area of the tank access covers.
C: . Dark effluent with an unpleasant odors emerging onto the surface near the tank or at some other location from the tank.
D: A combination of all of the above factors.
The common septic tank problem that is encountered with is the failure of the soakaway system to function correctly. if the system is not effectively separating solids from liquids then the effluent leaving the septic tank and entering the soakaway will in time tend to clog the soakaway.As more and more solid material enters the soakaway then less of the sub soil has sufficient permeability to allow dispersion of the effluent into the sub soil. If the rate of sewage entering the tank per day is greater than can be dissipated by the soakaway then an excess of sewage in the system will result. This will build up in the drainage pipes and manholes and/or may rise above the soakaway and breakout onto the surface. To rectify the problem a simple de-sludge of the tank and if possible a jet clean of the soakaway may be all that is necessary. It is more likely however that some repair work to the soakaway will be required.
Bleech & Other Detergents
Because we use a significantly higher use of water and household cleaners in our modern life it is very difficult to achieve a good anaerobic action in septic tanks. So if you have a modern tank unit, using bleaches and detergents (in normal quantities) should not present any adverse effect. With more traditional tank systems you are more susceptible to problems due to bleaches and detergents. If the tank is of small capacity or of only one chamber then you may find the soakaway will have a reduced life span.
My Tank Is Overflowing ?
If your tank is over flowing you need to check if you have been de-sludging on an annual basis. If you have then it is likely that there is some problem with the system.
A: . If you are lucky there may be a blockage or build up of debris on the outlet T pipe, a simple de-sludge should solve the problem.
B: If the soakaway is no longer effective and may have come to the end of its useful life, then a new soakaway will need to be installed.
C: . The septic tank may be undersized for the current usage. If the tank was built in the 1930,s then it was not designed for that dishwasher and en-suite shower! A new septic tank or sewage treatment plant may need to be considered.
Do I Have The Right Septic Tank ?
The size, style and construction of your septic tank need to be suitable for the flow that you are producing.The main purpose of a septic system is to remove solids and only allow liquid effluent to discharge into the soakaway system.If a septic tank is under sized then you are likely to reduce the life of your soakaway system.As a very general guide the average family house should have a septic tank system with a total holding capacity of approximately 1000 gallons. A common problem is the original septic tank may now be too small for modern usage. Over the past years household water use has increased and we now produce higher volumes of waste water.
By contacting us we can advise further on your own system.
For more information on your Tank either call us on 01325 377860 or speak to one of our professional operatives when they call to empty your tank