Designing and building septic or sewage systems for businesses and residences is quite a fun task! It takes a lot of data collection to be able to offer the best solutions for clients. The engineer designing the system must consider such things as the number of rooms in homes, the gallons of water per day utilized in buildings and the type of soil where system will be discharged for the last part of the treatment (in septic systems it is known as the drain field). But once this design process is completed and the system is installed, the operation of the system falls to the owners and operators of the systems.
Maintenance! The Key word is Maintenance! How we take care of our septic or sewage system is very important. A failing system is pretty unpleasant to deal with; it may cause overflows or backups in the home or business which creates a terrible mess. Depending on your system, there will be some different points to consider but basically, solids (sludge) and scum will always have to be removed. Normally, wastewater from the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry flow into a tank. The solids such as feminine hygiene products, wipes and other non-biodegradable objects remain trapped inside the tank. All these solids accumulate and need to be removed and disposed of properly. The liquid known as effluent will make its way to the drain field where it leaches through the soil in traditional septics or proceeds to a secondary and tertiary treatment in advanced plants. The scum which is often oil, grease and soap floats on the top of the effluent and is removed when the solids are pumped.
If not removed, the solids and scum will accumulate reducing the effective tank volume, resulting in wastewater moving through the tank more rapidly with less treatment. This puts the ground water and surface waters at risk for contamination. As this accumulation of solids gets worse, the solids will spill over the drain field and clog it prematurely, which is very expensive to correct.
If garbage disposals are used in kitchen, these practically double the amount of solids entering the system – meaning more pumping! So let’s consider limiting the use of the garbage disposals, not using too much water (50 gallons per person per day should be the standard), avoid adding cooking oils, grease, hygiene products, cigarette butts, pesticides, paints and thinners into the system. With proper maintenance, a septic system can work efficiently for many years.
ACME Environmental Solutions offers pump services throughout Roatan. We own two pump trucks of 1,600 and 1,200 gallons respectively. ACME recommends that each owner keeps records of repairs, pumping and any other maintenance activities that have been done on their system. Proper maintenance includes having the tank pumped up regularly, conserving water and spreading out water usage and protecting drain fields.