Septic System Treatment

Septic system treatment can become necessary for many different reasons, and the cost of this treatment can vary from a small amount to thousands of dollars. Your septic system is usually not complex, but there are some components that must work properly for your system to be effective at removing solid waste and fluids from your home.

There are a number of common septic system problems, as well as some that may not occur as frequently but can still be expensive or even pose a health or safety hazard. Sometimes the only problem may be poor design for your traditional system or the location of the drainfield, and at other times a traditional septic system may not be an option at all.

New septic system costs can be very expensive, so it is normally a better choice financially to treat the existing system that you have if this is possible. The methods used to treat your system will depend on the specific problem you are experiencing, and can range from biological additives or chemicals to a new drainfield or even a custom engineered system.

Proper maintenance and care is the best way to keep your septic system working properly for many years, if not indefinitely. If septic system treatment is required then there are two routes you can go, the do it yourself route or hiring a professional.

Each of the two methods will have certain advantages and drawbacks, and it is critical that the treatment is done properly to ensure your system does not back up or overflow. Septic system problems should be handled by a professional unless you are confident in your ability to handle this type of job.

Do It Yourself Septic System Treatment

Do it yourself septic system treatment may seem like a great idea, especially if your problem is one that is costly to repair or treat. Everyone wants to save money, but trying to go cheap could be a huge mistake that could end up costing you a lot more in the long run when it comes to your system.

Your septic system is full of biological material, including bacteria and enzymes which help to break down any solids in the tank. This waste can be hazardous if extreme care is not taken, so many people prefer to pay a professional to handle any treatments needed.

There are some products which are designed to be placed in your toilet and drains, and these will usually contain beneficial bacteria and enzymes to speed up the waste breakdown process. These products can help prevent some septic system problems, but not all of these products work as advertised.

Some septic system treatment methods can not be managed without a professional, and one of these is pumping out the septic tank when it becomes full. This should be done every two to four years, depending on a number of different factors that can affect how fast your tank fills up.

Professional Septic System Treatment

Professional treatment for your septic system can range from a simple tank pumping all the way up to replacing the existing system with one that is specially engineered just for your home and property. Many septic system problems can not be handled by the homeowner, and while a professional is costly you can be assured that the problem will be fixed properly.

Some problems may require professional septic system treatment, but others you may be able to handle with the right equipment and some research and knowledge. Roots clogging your drain pipes can be eliminated with a power snake that has cutting blades, and this can be purchased at many home repair stores and hardware suppliers.

The septic system costs associated with a professional repair or treatment should never be the most important consideration, keeping your system in good working condition should be. If your system starts acting up you could end up with serious problems, including sewage ponds, backed up fixtures in your home, and a foul odor.

Common And Infrequent Problems Requiring Septic System Treatment

  • Drains which are slow

  • Drains that gurgle

  • Roots blocking pipes in the drainfield

  • Septic tank is full

  • Lack of bacteria and enzymes in the septic tank

  • Sludge blocking the tank outflow or drainage pipes

  • Excessive salt causes the clay to become less porous and absorbent

  • Cracked septic tank

  • Failed drainfield

  • High water table

  • Soil saturation that is excessive

  • Pipes which have ruptured

  • Freezing in any component of the system

  • Absorption field clog

  • Outlet baffle failure

  • Harsh chemicals which destroy the natural microbes in the system

  • Excessive output that the system is too small to handle, causing an overload

  • Tank inlet blocked by scum

  • Grease and scum buildup in the pipes

  • Materials introduced such as feminine hygiene products, diapers, cigarettes, and other materials

  • Flooded field

  • Sewage ponds

  • Foul smell from seepage

  • Not enough activity through the system because it is too large for the home or other structure

Septic System Treatment Options

What are your options for septic system treatment as a homeowner? There are several things that you can do or have done which will resolve almost any septic system problem.

The specific septic system problems that you are experiencing will help to pinpoint what the right treatment will be. If you have roots or other clogs that keep the drains in your home from working properly then a snake or cutting tool in the pipes can clear the problem, and help them drain properly once more.

You can choose to purchase a product that includes bacteria and enzymes if your septic system is backing up or seems to be full, and in some cases this step may resolve this issue when combined with allowing the system to rest some. This means not putting any bleach or other harsh chemicals down the drain, and using as little water as possible for about a week following this septic system treatment.

Additives to your system may help save a failing leach field, and some people believe in these products while others do not. If your field is failing then you may need to install a new one in the reserve area set aside for this purpose.

Pumping out your system is another method that can resolve many problems experienced by homeowners. As your system fills up solids and sludge may enter the pipes and cause a blockage, and this can also cause sewage to appear in your yard as well.

Having the septic tank pumped out should be done on a regular basis, and this will stop many problems from occurring in the first place. Septic system costs can be high, so installing a new one is usually the very last resort.

Broken pipes may need to replaced, and any clogs will need to be removed so that your system can function effectively. A system which freezes may need additional insulation of some kind, and trees may need to be removed to eliminate any roots that can block or break your pipes or other components.

The Specific System Installed Will Affect The Proper Septic System Treatment Needed

Septic systems can be found in many types, from traditional models to mount systems and even those which use evaporation and absorption together. The specific system that your home has will determine what septic system problems are possible and how you should treat them.

A mound septic system has a pump chamber, because this alternative system does not use gravity to feed the effluent but a pump which moves the fluid up to the top of the mound. This means additional parts and components which can increase the septic system costs you may pay to treat any problems or make any needed repairs.

Septic system treatment for alternative systems can be more involved, and have increased costs as well. Alternative systems often have extra components such as additional filters, pumps, and other items, and if the system is custom engineered it may be harder to determine the exact problem immediately.

Septic systems which include buried or recirculating sand filters may require more time and effort to reach the components, and aerobic units can be very expensive to purchase and repair. Disinfecting units and ozone systems are also very expensive to install, maintain, repair, or replace.

Evaporation septic system problems can be a big hassle, because this type of system requires an extensive amount of property and specific temperature variations. These systems are usually only used in dry and hot areas, such as the southwest USA, and there are some problems which can affect this type of system more.

Evaporation systems have more pipes, and this means a higher probability of clogs or damage. It may also be difficult to locate a specific problem, because the field is so large that there are many areas where the problem could be.

Septic system treatment can be complex for specialty alternative systems or custom engineered and design choices, and as a homeowner you should know the specific type, components, and normal maintenance and operation of the system for your home. This can help prevent any problems, and keep your system operating for a long time to come.

The Cost Of Septic System Treatment

The cost of your septic system treatment will depend on a number of different factors, and some system types will cost less to repair, maintain, and use than others. A traditional system which needs to be pumped may cost a few hundred dollars every three or four years, while an alternative system that uses special media may cost a lot more to treat the same amount of waste from your home.

With septic system costs varying so widely how can you choose the right system to prevent future problems and unexpected expenses? If your property passes a Perc test then a traditional septic system can be the least expensive option, but if the property fails this test then an alternative system may be your only option.

Septic system problems are not only expensive at times but can also expose you and your family to waste materials which may pose a health risk. Regular inspections and routine maintenance of your septic system can help you spot any problems before they can become severe.

Septic system treatment can be a necessary expense, one that you may need to pay to get your system operating efficiently again. Sometimes a failing system can be saved and turned around with professional help or additives, but if this is not the case then you may need to install a new drainfield or even an entire new system.

Problem Prevention Is A Better Choice Than Septic System Treatment After The Fact

Preventing septic system problems is often less expensive and easier than trying to troubleshot and then resolve these problems once they have started. Pumping your tank every few years can help prevent any sludge buildup and remove scum that can cause several problems in your system.

Some septic system treatment options will work with almost every system type, but others may only be ideal for one or two types of systems. Some systems may include more than one tank, and sometimes large homes will have more than one entire system installed.

Because high septic system costs mean this can be a considerable expense you should take every precaution to keep your system in the best working condition possible. For some this can mean adding a product such as Rid X or another microbe product, for others it may mean having a professional come in and clear any blockages or take any other needed steps.

Knowing your septic system can help you determine when septic system treatment is needed, and can help minimize the costs involved in any repairs that may be needed. You should be familiar with every component and aspect of the type of septic system installed and connected to your home, and this can help you stay on top of things and prevent any unnecessary costs and repairs.

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