SEPTIC TANK/S Knowledge is essential for getting the best and extending the life of your system.
Q. Should I go from having Septic Tanks to Deep Sewerage?
A. In general terms, the cost of 1 year of deep sewerage is equivalent to the cost of 1 pump-out of a 2 Tank System. Considering that the average 2 Tank System requires pumping 3-5 years, significant savings are an advantage to having and maintaining a Septic System as opposed to being on deep sewerage.
Q. How often should a Septic Tanks be pumped and cleaned out?
A. This depends on its frequency of use, the number of people living in the home, if working or at home all day, the ground and how well it leaches away the liquids. As a rule of thumb, the tanks should be pumped out every 4-6 years.
Q. What type of Septic System do I have?
A. There are several types of systems. The older style is a 1 Tank System that’s generally found in homes over the age of 45 years old, however, this system may have been upgraded during this time if renovations have taken place in the lifetime of the home. More recent homes will generally have a 2 Tank System or a large Industrial Plastic Tank with Soakwells/Leach Drains.
Q. My sinks/shower/bath/toilet/s have started making a gurgling noise?
A. It sounds like your Septic Tank/s are full, overfull or even blocked. This can be due to the Tank being full of solids, food waste, scum, sludge, toilet paper etc. This additional material forces the liquid out from between the crust and sludge and can make like a solid block in the tank. The crust should be about 300mm thick, however, in some case the crust is most likely much thicker than this.
Expect that cleaning a Septic Tank that is full like this, could cost more than normal, as water must be mixed in with the scum/crust to break it down enough to enable pumping it out. Therefore additional time is required to mix the contents of the Septic Tank and in turn this increases the amount of liquid pumped out of your tank which then costs more to dump.
Q. Is there anything I can add to the System to help deter root growth in my Tanks?
A. “Copper Sulphate” granules can be purchased from a hardware store. It should be added to the toilet bowl last thing at night, at a rate of 1/2 cup once a month for 2-3 months, then reduced to the amount of 2 tablespoons monthly thereafter. This will help inhibit root growth.
Q. How do you measure how much waste comes out of my Tanks?
A. Our trucks have a scaled sight glass fitted to them allowing the quantity to be measured accurately.
Q. Do I need to be home when I am having my Tanks pumped?
A. We do prefer someone to be home so the job can be inspected and our driver/operator can advise you of any issues, however providing we have access to your tanks without you being present the pumping and cleaning can be carried out. It is helpful to the driver/operator to know the approximate location of you tanks and you can provide this information over the phone when you book your job in. You can also advise us of any pets that may be in the yard at the time of pumping. If you are home when we pump, our driver/operator will do a test flush of your toilet/s to ensure the system is flushing from the house before he leaves.
Q. Where does the waste go once it leaves my property?
A. Our truck completes the appropriate paperwork compliant with The Department of Environment Regulation before they leave your property. Then they transport the load to a registered and authorized dump site in the Peel Area.
Q. I am demolishing the house on my property, what do I need to do in regard to the Septic Tanks onsite?
A. Your tanks will need to be pumped first before a Licensed Plumber can disconnect your Septic System. Depending upon your request once the tanks are emptied they may be holed for decommissioning and then filled with sand for safety reasons or you may wish to remove them. We provide the necessary paperwork after completion that needs to be submitted to the Shire/City as proof.
Q. What should happen when your Septic Tank/s are pumped out?
A. The lid/s are removed from the septic tank/s if necessary. The contents is mixed up and pumped out. In addition the tank is hosed out. THIS IS A MUST! DO NOT let anyone tell you that you need to leave any material in the tank to seed or regenerate bacteria. Bacteria will naturally regenerate in the tank without the need for re-seeding. If you follow some simple practices, which we explain to you on the day we pump out your tank/s, there is no need to do anything else.
Q. What is the concrete wall in my Septic Tank?
A. Commonly found in 1000 to 2000 litre concrete septic tanks is a concrete baffel. There is generally 2 baffels in a tank, a upper and a lower with 75 mm gap between them. This allows effluent water to pass through to the outlet side of the tank, whilst containing the crust and sludge on the inlet side of the tank. The outlet side of the tank acts like a settling chamber for the effluent water before it flows out into your leach drain or soakwells. If you do not pump your tank/s out on a regular basis, the outlet chamber in your tank/s will become contaminated with sludge and crust. Now there is nothing stopping this contamination entering your leach drain or soakwells. Blockages are now only a matter of time away, along with expensive restoration works for your leach drain or soakwells.
Q. I am Decommissioning the Septic Tank/s System at my property to connect to Deep Sewerage, what do I need to do in regard to the Septic Tanks onsite?
A. Your tanks will need to be pumped first before a Licensed Plumber can connect you to the deep sewerage. You may choose to contact a plumber and elect that he make all the arrangements for the conversion or you may decide to arrange yourself the pump out and a plumber to carry out their work on the same day. Depending upon your request once the tanks are emptied they may be holed then filled with sand for safety reasons or you may wish to remove them. We strongly advise you fill the emptied tanks with sand as they will corrode away over time and are a safety issue if someone drives over the top of them, they may collapse with any weight. eg: People walking over them or motor vehicles driving across could fall into your old tanks/s. We provide the necessary paperwork after completion that needs to be submitted to the Shire/City as proof your property has been connected. Often this can be a condition of sale of a property that the tanks have been decommissioned.
Q. Last time my Septic Tank was pumped out, they pumped it out of the 100mm round hole on top of the tank?
A. The 100mm round hole on the top of your septic tank is an inspection hole!!! There is one at each end of the septic tank. This can be done depending on circumstances, the thickness of the solids and if the waste can be stirred to break it up for pumping. This maybe the only option as the tank/s are under decking or built over the top. If we feel there is an issue we will lift the lid/s as our motto is you are paying for a service, you want it done properly and your tank/s emptied out.
Q. Why has my showers/sinks/toilets/drains started to smell so bad?
A. This is most likely due to the fact that the Septic Tank/s are full and the raw sludge is backing up in the system and pipe work. A sudden change in the weather of extreme hot or cold can make the sludge ferment when a system is overdue. “It is time to have your Septic Tank/s pumped out.”