Septic System Failures Can Be Messy
No pun intended when it comes to septic systems homeowners often overlook what they can’t see. The fact is that many systems are in a malfunctioning state and more often than not problems are only seen when sewage comes to the surface. Older systems have no warning signs other than your toilet not flushing efficiently or if sewage water comes to the surface in your field area. Newer systems by code often have warnings such as high water alarm systems in the septic tank. A septic system repair can sometimes manage larger scale problems, later on, this could mean fixing network problems or a specific component of the septic system.
Overloaded Septic Systems
Some of the troubles you could be seeing can come in spring when there is more rainfall or after snowmelt if in areas of colder climates. Strong odours are certainly a sign of a failing component in the system, we often see field failures during the spring when the ground is oversaturated. The additional groundwater can certainly overload an already troubled system and this may bring sewage to the surface causing odours and sometimes a back up in the home.
One of the ways to help rest your field area during these overstressed months of spring is to have your septic tank pumped and become very conscientious of the volume of water being used during those times. This can often times give you a little more time in having the system assessed properly and putting a plan in order to remedy the malfunction.
Sometimes when a property switches hands to a bigger family or when you’ve added additional family members to your home, the septic tank may not be able to handle the additional loads. This is because septic tanks are often implemented into a design or plan based on the size of the home and amount of occupants.
Laundry and dishwashing machines are a major reason for septic-system failure. A typical wash cycle can use over 2,000 litres of water. Doing multiple loads in a day can overload your septic tank and oversaturate your field. It is necessary to spread this water volume over the week.
If you feel your septic system is malfunctioning:
Stay calm and find the right certified practitioner that will assist and go over the challenges you are facing, and we’re certainly happy to go over any concerns or questions at absolutely no obligation.
Often Older Septic Systems Are Not Certified
In the past, many septic systems were built by homeowners or contractors with a limited scope of how water travels through soils, this is called hydraulic conductivity. Soils with large pores such as sandy soils tend to conduct water more easily than soils with smaller pores such as clay soils. … As soils dry out, water in the largest pores is lost first. We often see malfunctioned systems because the type of septic system was not appropriate for the soil type.
Here is a great explainer video on how water travels through some of the soil structure types we often encounter:
“So do you need a completely new system if your system is currently in a malfunctioning state? ” Not always. often it can mean remediating or replacing the field area if the septic tank is in good condition. Sometimes a septic system repair to a component or network piping is all that is needed to keep the system functional.
How Much Does Fixing or Remediating a Septic System Repair or failing system cost?
This is often a difficult question to answer because there are so many factors involved, some of the things we need to understand is: how big the septic tank is compared to the volume flowing into it. How old is the septic system? What type of soils is in the location? What are the setbacks to a drilled well or water body if there is one on site? How much room do you have to accommodate a new system? It also depends on how many occupants there are in the home and how big the home is compared the size of the septic tank and field area needed. With so many components of the wastewater system, it is difficult to ascertain the exact cost of a septic system repair without all of the information at hand.
For a conventional 3 bedroom type 1 gravity septic system with mostly sandy graded soil types can range from 12-15k. It can range in increments of 1-2k per additional bedroom. Pricing can reflect utilizing different technologies such as graveless systems.
When lots become more challenging with restrictive soils, bedrock floodplains or when they are close to bodies of water and even tight lot spaces requirements for better wastewater treatment are regulatory. Contamination of aquifers, lakes, rivers, streams or riparian areas are taken very seriously and we must hold ourselves to a high standard in order to protect our natural resources.
Pricing for type 2 systems and type 3 systems where even further wastewater treatment is necessary then a quick consultation with no obligation is certainly necessary in order to provide an estimate. These systems will greatly range in pricing as there are so many different technologies, site challenges and restrictive elements that will affect the cost.
Where a Filing for a Septic System is Required:
II- 2.1.2 REPAIR OF AN EXISTING SYSTEM
Refer to Table II- 2 for instruction on when to file documents with the Health Authority.
Table II- 2. Where a filing is necessary
|NO FILING REQUIRED – Component Repair or Replacement includes the following:||FILING REQUIRED – System Repair or Replacement includes the following:|
|o Maintenance, including cleaning of components and cleaning or replacement of media in treatment units, flushing, vacuuming or jetting of dispersal laterals or other piping
o Replacement of liquid level float switch or transducer
o Replacement of a pump with one equivalent to the original
o Replacement of D-box or other distribution device
o Installation or replacement of tank inlet or outlet fittings or baffles
o Installation or replacement of effluent filters
o Installation or replacement of high level alarms
o Replacement of short sections of pipe when the pipe is broken or damaged or not functioning as intended
o Repair of a tank, including leak repairs, new lid and seal, new risers
o Installation of new tank risers and lids.
|o Construction of additional area of infiltrative surface such as new dispersal trenches or extensions to existing trenches/bed.
o Removal of biomat or existing aggregate or soil or sand followed by replacement of aggregate or chambers.
o Upgrading a gravity dispersal system from trickle gravity to pump to D-box configuration
o Replacement of existing tank (including septic, pump chamber, treatment plant, flow equalization tank)
o Addition of a secondary septic tank, flow equalization tank, grease interceptor or treatment plant/device
o Retro-fitting treatment devices
o Replacement of the treatment and or dispersal system.
We can help guide you through these questions and many more, just contact us and we are more than happy to help you without obligation…we want to make sure that you are at ease if you have concerns over your system.
Luis Goncalves, ROWP, IN, PL