News Flash - Portable Toilets

Statewide Septic Service now has portable toilet rentals available!
Call us at 262-692-9742 for more information.
Reminder: Sheboygan County Maintenance for 3rd Quarter is Due December 6, 2019

What can I do to prolong the life of my drainfield?

1:  Install water-saving devices and be on-gaurd for leaky fixtures. Water conservation reduces the amount of liquid going to the drainfield.

2:  Have the tank(s) pumped and inspected regularly.

3:  Keep surface water away from the septic system area, including the septic and pump tanks.

4:  Keep driveways, parked vehicles and buildings off the drainfield area.  Soil compaction can cause premature failure by restricting the infiltrative and evaporative capability of the soil.

5:  Installing an effluent filter to confine most of the suspended solids to the septic tank.

6:  The use of pretreatment comoponents have been show to improve effulent quality and moderate or reduce ponding.

7:  Understand what can and cannot be put into the septic tank.

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Can I use my old drainfield later once a new one is installed?

In most cases, Yes.

If the old drainfiled was sized appropriately to its current use and there is at least 3 feet of suitable soil as described earlier, then the owner will be able to switch between the two drainfields by means of a diverter valve.  It has been estimated that within a
few years, and old ponded drainfields can recover much of its infiltrative capacity.  For homes constructed after 1977 and having a below grade drainfield, a future-replacement area will have already been designated.  Once a replacement drainfield is installed the original drainfield will be allowed to rest and rejuvenate.  Switching may occur every 1 to 5 years. Your WOWRA member contractor will help you determine the proper time and method for switching drainfields.

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What if liquid is observed in the drainfield vent or observatin tubes?

Liquid observed in the drainfield usually indicates that the soil absorbtion capability is reduced and ponding is progressing.  Many
systems begin ponding within the first few years.  The ponded state of a drainfield is usually a slowly developing condition.  The
estimated life of today's drainfields under normal usage is 15 to 25 years.  The drainfield is ponded to some degree during most of these years.  A consistently rising level of ponding is a possible indicator as to the life expectancy of a drainfield.  Sludge in a
vent pipe or observation tube is an indicatior of a more serious condition.

Many leading institutions have been using teh observance of any liquid in a vent or observation tube as the sole criteria for rejecting a septic system from a proposed sale or purchase of a home.  As noted above, this is a subjective and inaccruate conslusion.  A more reasonable condition of sale would be to make sure that there is a suitable replacement drainfield area available for the future if, and when, the existing drainfeild fails.  Technical failure of a septic drainfield is when the effluent is bleeding out onto the ground surface, wastewater backing up into the building (not due to plugged or broken sewer lines) or the existing drainfield was installed less than 3 feet to a saturatation zone, groundwater, dedrock or impervious soil.

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Can I plant trees or shrubs over my drainfield?

Generally No.

Many tree species have roots that will attempt to grow into the drainfield to seek out moisture and nutrients.  These may break sewer lines or disrupt the distribution of effluent.  There are some trees ans shrubbery whose root systems can not stand "wet feet" and are safe to plant over or near drainfields.  Your local landscape contractor or garden center is a good source of information

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Can garbage disposals be used with septic systems?

Yes.
However, try to avoid allowing grease or slowly diodegradable products such as course fruit, vegetable peelings and bones get into the disposal.

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How often should I have my septic tank pumped?

Septic tanks require pumping when 1/3 full of scum and sludge.
A good pumping interval is every 3 years.

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What are the warning signs of a failing septic system?

These signs may be indicators that the drainfield is failing:

1: Plumbing backups
2: Grass in the yard growing faster and greener in the area of the drainfield or tank(s)
3: Soft or mushy ground in teh area of teh drainfield
4: Sluggish toilet flushing.
5: Septic pump runs constantly
6: Solids accumulating in the drainfield vent or observation tubes.

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