Septic Tank Services of Mobile AL
General Information: Septic Tanks, Septic Installations, Pumping, Service & Repair
Septic Tank Services of Mobile AL is proud to help you with your septic system needs, and make sure you receive outstanding installation, service, repairs, pumping and cleaning for your septic tank. We serve Mobile Alabama, and the surrounding areas of Mobile County, Alabama
People don’t always think about their septic system. We’ve found that people tend to make better informed decisions when they are given all the necessary information. We want our customers to feel happy with our service and be fully informed throughout the process. We provide the following educational background on septic systems so you are aware of how it all works, and what happens when you flush that handle!
Septic Tanks - General Information:
The heart of any septic system is the tank.
The internal sewage pipes of a building drain into a main line that connects to your septic tank. The septic tank is outside and usually buried. Many homeowners don't even know they have a septic tank until they develop a problem, which is usually due to lack of maintenance. Your septic tank is responsible for the primary treatment of all sewage coming out of the building. Most modern septic systems will use either fiberglass or concrete septic tanks. Septic tanks can have either one chamber or two. A two chamber tank will have two separate chambers in the septic tank, separated by a partial wall. Waste flows out of your house into the larger chamber. Solids will settle to the bottom of this chamber, and liquids make their way over that partial wall into the smaller second chamber.Sewage from the house will enter the tank through an "inlet." Within the tank, “baffles” will help promote the separation of the sewage into three layers; scum, effluent, and sludge. The scum floats on top and consists of lighter things such as oil and grease. The sludge contains dense materials like waste and detergent. The effluent is suspended in the middle - between the scum and sludge, and is mostly free of debris.
Leach or Drainage Fields
Eventually, the septic tank fills with use, and the effluent in the middle of the tank exits through an "outlet," where it drains into a leach field. In this drainage field, the liquid is returned to the soil, where it is purified by the soil's natural bacteria. Most septic systems use a leach field or a drainage field. The leach field can have underground perforated pipes that slowly and evenly distribute the effluent back into the soil. Most leach fields are built with sand or gravel around the lines to help the liquid to disperse more easily. Soil and grass usually cover the entire area on top of the drainage field.
Care and Maintenance
Over time, the sludge level in your septic tank accumulates and must be pumped out. Generally, this septic pumping is required every 3-5 years. However, it may be required more often if the house has a garbage disposal, or other high volume waste producer. After pumping, all components of the septic system should be checked to make sure everything is in order and working.
Proper maintenance is will save you money in the long run, and it will also:
Keep you and your neighbors healthy
Household wastewater contains disease causing bacteria and viruses and high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. If a septic system is well-maintained and working properly, it will remove most of these pollutants. Insufficiently treated sewage from septic systems can cause groundwater contamination, which can spread disease in humans and animals. Improperly treated sewage poses the risk of contaminating nearby surface waters, and potentially cause various infectious diseases in swimmers, from eye and ear infections to acute gastrointestinal illness and hepatitis.
Protect the environment
More than four billion gallons of wastewater are dispersed below the ground’s surface every day. Groundwater contaminated by poorly or untreated household wastewater poses dangers to drinking water and to the environment. Malfunctioning septic systems release bacteria, viruses, and chemicals toxic to local waterways. When these pollutants are released into the ground, they eventually enter streams, rivers, lakes, and more, harming local ecosystems by killing native plants, fish, and shellfish.
Types of Systems
There are many different types of septic systems available. The types available to you will depend on the laws and specifics of your area. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that will cover all septic needs. We can handle all septic installations, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repairs, including the common and alternative systems described below.
Contact us today for everything related to your septic system. We can help, whether you just need an inspection to learn more about your system, are in need of maintenance or tank pumping, have a septic problem that needs repair, or need a new septic system.
Septic Tanks are the central part of your septic system. All the sewage from your building is sent to this central tank where the magic happens. These tanks can be made from a variety of materials.
The choice of materials for your tank may be limited based on local code, your soil, and other conditions. Each of these choices of materials has benefits and drawbacks that should be considered.
Cement: The majority of septic tanks are made from cement. This is the most durable option and can often last 40 years or more. However, cement is also the most expensive option.
Fiberglass: There are circumstances where transporting a cement tank to the installation site is difficult or impossible. If so, fiberglass generally becomes the next best choice. Fiberglass is lightweight, which helps in transportation and installation.
Steel: In general, the tendency to rust and local code requirements make steel tanks not a viable option. However, there are still some steel tanks in use.
Plastic: This is the most economical choice for your septic tank. However, it is not as durable as the other options. Nevertheless, its use is allowed in most places and plastic tanks can help you save a few bucks if you’re facing an unexpected installation or replacement.
Septic Tank Cost
How Much is a Septic Tank by Itself?
Most families can use a 1,000-gallon tank. A cement septic tank of this size tank will generally cost around $1,000-1,200 for just the tank. Fiberglass is usually comparably priced. And, plastic tends to run a couple hundred dollars less.
Other Expenses: In addition to the tank, you will have other expenses related to your new septic tank. You will likely need to have permits if you’re installing a new or replacement reservoir, and the work should always be performed by a licensed professional.
General Types of Septic Drainage Solutions
Most septic systems in our area utilize traditional designs where the building's sewage leaves the building via a main line and then enters your septic tank. The sewage is separated within the tank and only effluent is released from the tanks and is routed into a drainage field. In that drainage field, the effluent flows into the soil where it is further cleaned by the soil's natural bacteria.
Gravity: Many septic systems will rely solely on gravity to pull water through the system.
Pressure: Some septic systems will use a pump for easier installation and efficiency
Traditional Septic Systems
Alternative Septic Systems
There are other types of septic tanks may be an option for you (depending on your local laws) or they may already be installed on your property.
Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) These systems use many of the same processes as a municipal sewage plant, but on a smaller scale. An aerobic system injects oxygen into the treatment tank. The additional oxygen increases natural bacterial activity within the system that then provides additional treatment for nutrients in the effluent. Some aerobic systems may also have a pretreatment tank and a final treatment tank including disinfection to further reduce pathogen levels. The benefits of this system are that it can be used in homes with smaller lots, inadequate soil conditions, in areas where the water table is too high, or for homes close to a surface water body sensitive to contamination by nutrients contained in wastewater effluent. Regular life-time maintenance should be expected for ATUs.
Cluster or Community Septic Systems:
A cluster (or community) decentralized wastewater treatment system is under some form of common ownership and collects wastewater from two or more dwellings or buildings. It conveys the wastewater to a treatment and dispersal system located on a suitable site near the dwellings or buildings. It is common to find cluster systems in places like rural subdivisions.
Drip irrigation Septic Systems:
A drip distribution system is a type of effluent dispersal that can be used in many types of drainfields. The main advantage of the drip distribution system is that no large mound of soil is needed as the drip laterals are inserted into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. The disadvantage of the drip distribution system is that it requires a large dose tank after the septic tank to accommodate the timed dose delivery of wastewater to the drip absorption area. Additional components, such as electrical power, are necessary for this system, requiring an added expense and increased maintenance.
These are not likely to exist in the Southeast United States, as they are used in drier climates. Evapotranspiration systems have unique drainfields. The base of the evapotranspiration system drainfield is lined with a watertight material. After the effluent enters the drainfield, it evaporates into the air. Unlike other septic system designs, the effluent never filters to the soil and never reaches groundwater. Evapotranspiration systems are only useful in specific environmental conditions. The climate must be arid and have adequate heat and sunlight. These systems work well in shallow soil; however, they are at risk of failure if it rains or snows too much.
Mound systems are an option in areas of shallow soil depth, high groundwater, or shallow bedrock. The constructed sand mound contains a drainfield trench. Effluent from the septic tank flows to a pump chamber where it is pumped to the mound in prescribed doses. Treatment of the effluent occurs as it discharges to the trench and filters through the sand, and then disperses into the native soil. While mound systems can be a good solution for certain soil conditions, they require a substantial amount of space and periodic maintenance.
Sand filter systems can be constructed above or below ground. Effluent flows from the septic tank to a pump chamber. It is then pumped to the sand filter. The sand filter is often PVC-lined or a concrete box filled with a sand material. Effluent is pumped under low pressure through the pipes at the top of the filter.
Call Septic Tank Services of Mobile AL for All Types of Septic Systems
Whether you’re looking to install, maintain, or service your septic system we can bring knowledge and expertise to the table, so your system continues to run smoothly and can serve your family or business for decades. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
Septic System Maintenance and Repair
Regular septic tank maintenance will keep your septic system in good shape, ensure it lasts as long as it needs to, and help your family stay healthy.
Call us to have a septic tank professional take care of your system so you can relax knowing your system is in good hands.
Pumping and Cleaning:
The most important thing you can do for your septic system is to have an experienced technician perform septic tank pumping and tank cleaning every 3-5 years. If your house has a disposal, water softener, or something else that fills the tank faster, you may need to service your septic system every year.
What to Expect When Servicing Septic Tanks:
When the technician arrives, he must locate the tank and dig to get to the hatch. "Sludge" accumulates at the bottom of the tank over time. These are solid wastes that must be removed for the system to function properly. If the tank is unserviced for a long period of time, the tank can overflow, causing the system to fail and sewage to back up into the building. Our technicians will pump out the sludge and take it to a facility for proper disposal. The tank can then be thoroughly cleaned as part of a septic service call. By using a water jet to remove debris and residue, the technician can inspect the tank and examine all the parts inside the tank and make sure nothing is worn or broken due to age. If all goes well, you have another 3-5 years of smooth operation.
DIY Septic Tank Maintenance
Waste disposal has laws and regulations, so it's always a good idea to have a professional take care of regular septic tank maintenance. In addition, well-trained eyes can detect problems early, which can prevent them from becoming serious problems. There are some things you can do to make sure your system lasts for decades:
1) Know where your tanks and leach field are located on your property. You have to protect the area. Make sure no one drives over your septic system and don't plant anything near the tank or the leach field. While grass is fine and advisable, trees, shrubs, and other plants with invasive root systems can damage your septic system.
2) Minimize water consumption. The less water and material you add to the tank, the less often it needs to be pumped. Pay special attention to leaky faucets because they can overload the system and throw it out of balance.
3) Know what not to flush. Do not flush things like baby wipes, tampons and diapers. Chemicals can also wreak havoc on your system and the environment.
Call Septic Tank Services of Mobile AL today to schedule you septic tank services.
Proper septic treatment
Some companies promise results from various septic treatments that sound great. For example, some advertise that you can pour a substance down the drain or flush it in the toilet, and that the septic system will run more efficiently, and that you won’t have to pump the system as often. How do these septic treatments work and are they effective?
Your septic tank is a container specially designed to handle household waste and waste water. All the water in the house goes into the septic tank. The "baffles" help to push the new additions down into the tank so it doesn't just sit on top. These new additions begin to separate. Heavier waste sinks to the bottom as a "sludge layer" and lighter materials float to the top and form a "scum layer". Natural bacteria from your own waste works to clean the water in the tank. If it has been there for a while, the water can safely leave the tank and enter the soil through the system's drain field. The bacteria in the soil can then deal with anything that could be left in the water, but the layer of sludge at the bottom of the tank must be professionally pumped out so that it does not accumulate and block the water from exiting the tank.
Septic tank cleaners
There are generally two types of septic tank cleaners on the market. Both claim to be able to handle the sludge layer so it doesn't build up as much, and they claim that you may be able to forgo septic pumping indefinitely. The first option is to add more bacteria to the system to process the sludge faster. However, there is no evidence that this works. Another option is chemical septic treatment. This can affect the sludge layer, but it may negatively impact your system. Some chemicals can cause the sludge to float, which may send it directly to the outlet where it can clog pipes or contaminate the leach field. Or, it may leave behind pellets that still accumulate and are more difficult to remove. Neither is a good option. So, we don’t recommend you use these types of septic system cleaners.
The best septic tank maintenance is proper maintenance Heavy materials will always accumulate at the bottom of the tank. This sludge needs to be removed by a professional every 3-5 years or more often in certain cases.
Call Septic Tank Services of Mobile, Alabama to make sure you have your septic needs covered.
Septic services done right!
Tips for a healthy septic system:
To ensure that the bacteria in your septic system are doing their job, and that the septic system is operating as it should, you should: Avoid pouring chemicals down the drain. Skip the antibacterial soap. Keep old medications out of the system. Avoid household cleaning products such as bleach. Be careful not to upset the balance in the septic system. You should always fix leaky faucets so the system is not overloaded with too much water.
Contact the septic professionals at Septic Tank Services of Mobile Alabama to schedule routine maintenance.
If your tank needs to be pumped or you would like an inspection or a repair of your septic system, please call us today!
Septic System Inspections:
Septic System Inspections should be part of your regular maintenance along with your septic pump. This service should be done at least every 3-5 years, depending on how many people use the tank and other factors that may require more frequent pumping and inspection. Older systems may also benefit from an annual inspection, even if they are not pumped at the same time. Commercial and industrial systems may also require more frequent pumping and inspection due to usage and/or contaminates. In some cases, these septic tanks should be pumped and inspected every few months. In general, a septic inspection should be performed at the following times: During routine maintenance If there are signs of failure Prior to purchasing the property
What happens during a septic system inspection?
The inspector must be able to access the septic tank. If your septic system does not have risers that can bring the tank hatches up to ground level, the inspector will need to dig down to gain access.
The inspector will use a long measuring tape to check the depth of the different layers in the septic tank. When a septic system is working properly, the contents of the tank are divided into three separate layers. The "scum" consists of floating materials at the top. The "sludge", which is solid waste, collects at the bottom of the septic tank. In the middle is the "effluent,” which is ready to leave the tank and go out to the leach field for absorption back into nature. A general rule is that the amount of sludge should not exceed a third of the amount of effluent. If there is excess sludge, it is time for the tank to be pumped.
In addition to taking measurements of the contents of the tank, the inspector will visually inspect the tank itself. He will look at the walls, as well as "baffles", which help ensure sewage is separated, and the filter that prevents solids from flowing out into the leach field. If you have risers, they will also be checked. Septic Tank Covers will also be inspected to ensure they are secure and in good condition, and they can also check any visible lines for signs of problems in the drainage field.
Real estate transaction septic system inspections:
The inspection of a septic tank during routine maintenance is slightly different from an inspection for real estate transactions. Although the same components are examined, the inspector can also create a document that reflects the condition of the system for the parties.
Call Septic Tank Services of Mobile Alabama to schedule a septic tank inspection, whether you're a homeowner, real estate agent, home buyer, business owner, or manager - we can ensure that your septic system is in order, is thoroughly reviewed, and that all septic components are evaluated for your requirements.
Septic System Replacements:
The term “septic tank installation” usually refers to just the tank that works as the first stage of sewage processing. If you don’t already have a complete septic system, including a leach field or other absorption area, there will be more involved than just purchasing a tank. Is a Replacement needed?Septic tanks can last decades. It is common for a cement reservoir to last more than 40 years. So, if your septic system is failing, it may not be due to the tank. There may be a different septic component that needs to be repaired.
Call us so we can have your septic problem properly diagnosed.
Determining Septic Tank Costs
Size: For most homes, a 1,000-gallon tank is perfect, and can be adequate for as many as six people or up to a four-bedroom home. With a fifth bedroom, you may need a 1,200-gallon tank. A 1,500-gallon tank is best for six bedrooms. There may be regulations specifying the minimum size tank you may choose.
Material: Most reservoirs are made from cement. Fiberglass is a close second. Both of these options are a little more expensive than plastic tanks, but they are also more durable. In general, a 1,000-gallon cement tank averages $1,000-1,500.Permits: Septic system changes may require a permit, because the county may want to make sure your design is safe and that your system is using approved materials. These fees are generally around $100.
Disposal of the Old Septic Tank: If you are replacing a reservoir, the old one will need to be disposed of as well. Lightweight tanks can often be removed and hauled away. Cement tanks are typically crushed in place, and a new hole will need to be dug for the replacement tank.
Labor: Labor is another cost. It is dependent on the amount of work that needs to be done to install the replacement tank, and get it up and running.
Call us today to get more information on replacement septic tanks.