Need the Best Septic Tank Company in Santa Maria, CA?
Santa Maria, CA Septic Tanks offer the most high-quality septic tank designs available. They can be constructed from either heavy duty plastic or concrete for longevity and performance. The septic tank is the most important part of any septic system so it needs to be designed, constructed, and installed to the highest of quality available. It's an important part of the overall septic system because a majority of the treatment process takes place inside it. You don't want to go cheap on such an important part of the overall system, so choose Santa Maria Septic Tanks to provide you with a quality septic tank.
What Does a Septic Tank Do?
The septic tank is the heart of the entire sewer treatment system. It functions like a miniature waste treatment unit by separating the waste into 3 distinct layers—solids, effluent, scum. The septic tank must be able to hold waste for a minimum of 24 hours before it is released into the leach field. This 24 hour hold time allows for proper bacterial treatment and waste breakdown. If waste is allowed to leave the septic tank before then, proper treatment won't be performed and partially treated effluent will flow into the leach field where it can potentially contaminate the groundwater.
Septic tanks come in a variety of sizes or gallons. The standard rule for choosing the right size for your Santa Maria home is to base your gallon calculation on how many bedrooms are in the home, not bathrooms or sinks and drains. It is a rule of thumb that each bedroom is calculated to hold 2 people per room and that bedroom will use 120 gallons of water per day that needs to be treated. Other figures such as square footage of a home are calculated in it as well. For example, a typical 3 bedroom home that measures less than 2500 square feet of space will require a 1,000 gallon septic tank. Most residential septic tanks range from 750 gallons to 1,250 gallons.
Inside the septic tank is where the waste treatment magic happens. As referenced above, the waste is separated into 3 layers—solids, effluent, and scum. Each layer is handled differently within the waste treatment process.
Solids: All solids sink to the bottom. Keeping a low solids level is a good practice as this level is the part that requires a pump out once every 3 to 5 years. If this level gets too high, solids can spill out into the outlet pipe that goes to the leach field and potentially cause a clog or contaminate the ground. So keeping this level low is very important.
Effluent: Sometimes called wastewater, the effluent is the treated portion of the waste stream. It floats directly above the solids layer and is released into the leach field for secondary treatment and disposal. The tank is designed to only allow the effluent to flow out to the leach field.
Scum: This layer floats above the effluent and is comprised of oils and lighter solids. This is also the layer where the bacteria live that provide the treatment process by breaking down the oils and lighter solids. Once broken down, parts of this level will slowly sink a little to the effluent level as treated waste and allowed to be discharged into the leach field.
The leach field is the final place for secondary treatment and disposal of the effluent. In a traditional leach field design, piping with holes drilled along it's sides and bottom are laid into trenches of mixed sand and gravel. The effluent flows through these holes and out into the sand and gravel mix where any leftover impurities are filtered and left behind. The cleaned effluent is then either absorbed into the soil, combined with the groundwater, used by vegetation around the leach field, or makes it's way to the surface for evaporation.
In an alternative leach field design, drain field chambers are used instead of piping with holes in it. When using drain field chambers, a sand and gravel trench isn't required as the design of the chambers allows for natural filtration from the surrounding soil. The cleaned effluent is disposed of in the same ways as above.
Another alternative leach field design isn't really a leach field design in the traditional sense. A sand mound system consists of making a mound from sand with a discharge pipe in the center of it. A pump forces the effluent up the pipe where it's spilled onto the sand mound. The effluent is filtered by the sand and cleaned. The cleaned effluent is then disposed of in the same manner as the above two methods.
Septic Tank Maintenance and Pumping
Having an annual septic inspection in Santa Maria, CA will tell you if there's any problems on the horizon and need any repairs made. During a septic inspection, the inspector will do a visual inspection of the leach field, septic tank, and toilets and drains in your home. With a full inspection, they will also remove the covers of your septic tank and perform a pump out and inspect the bacteria level as well as the structural integrity of the septic tank. All of this information is great to have and let's you know if something is going to be a problem so repairs can be made before you have a large septic tank repair cost.
Although a annual septic inspection and having your septic tank pumped out every 3 to 5 years are great maintenance items, there are daily routine maintenance actions you can perform. These may feel inconvenient to you at first, but soon will become second nature. By taking a few daily maintenance steps, you'll have a better chance of keeping your septic system in top running condition.
Never pour grease or oils down the drain
Don't allow strong or harsh chemicals go into your septic system
Never drive, park, or plant vegetation over the leach field area
Flush nothing but toilet paper down the toilet drain
Do laundry daily instead of having “laundry day”
Never allow herbicides, bleach, lye, or pesticides into your septic system
Never use a water softener
These are just a few suggestions to follow. Your septic tank contractor in Santa Maria, CA may have more specific recommendations for your personal situation. Follow the recommendations they might provide you to increase your chance of keeping your septic tank worry-free.
The longevity of your septic system not only depends on how well you maintain it, but the materials it's constructed from as well as the level of skill and knowledge it's installed with. Even the best maintained septic systems will fail if made from inferior materials and installed by unskilled contractors. Here's the expected life-spans of each of the three types of septic tanks on the market today. These life-spans are calculated with good maintenance, proper installation, and quality materials.
Poly or Plastic Septic Tank: 30-40 years
Concrete Septic Tank: 40+ years
Steel Septic Tank: 20 to 30 years
Septic Tank Alternatives
With advancement in technology, the septic industry has seen some great advancements made over the past few decades. With today's choices, we have a wide variety of septic system designs to choose from. Each one offers more efficiency and cleaner effluent. Only your budget will dictate which septic system is the best choice for Santa Maria, CA.
Aerobic Septic Systems
An aerobic septic system operates in much of the same manner as a conventional septic system design. It has the same sewer main, septic tank, and leach field connection, but differs in the way the waste is treated. A blower or bubbler forces air into the septic tank where it enhances the bacterial treatment of the waste. The resulting effluent is much cleaner than the effluent in a conventional septic system which puts less stress on the leach field.
Advanced Wastewater Treatment System
While this system comes in variations from small to large, the overall process remains the same. Sophisticated filters, sensors, and ultraviolet lights treat your waste which removes all nitrates and phosphates. It also removes 95% of the suspended solids from the effluent, which is below environmental standards. Some systems can be designed to not need a leach field at all and simply discharge the cleaned effluent into a waterway, ditch, or directly onto the ground.
• My home has been sitting for over a year. Is the septic tank safe to use?
Having a septic inspection prior to using would be a good caution to take. Shifting ground could have damaged something within the septic system and an inspection will indicate this. Otherwise, your septic tank should still have almost the same amount of wastewater in it as the last time the toilet was flushed.
• Is Dawn dish soap safe to go down the drain?
Yes. Dawn dish soap is environmentally friendly and safe for everything. This is the reason it's used in environmental clean-up sites to wash wildlife that has gotten contaminated with oil or sludge.
• I enjoy a nice long, hot shower. Will that hurt my septic system?
The short answer is yes, it will eventually hurt your septic system. Allowing too many gallons of water to go into your septic system will not only reduce the necessary 24 hour treatment time the bacteria requires to treat your waste, it will inundate your leach field with unnecessary water.