Choosing a Quality Septic System
How Long Does a Septic System Last?
We often hear the question: “How often does a septic system need to be replaced?” The average system should last about 20 years. You may get more time out of the treatment portion of the system since it has mechanical parts that can be replaced. However, the lifetime of the subsurface dispersal portion of the system can be problematic.
Some dispersal systems can begin to degrade with first use if the wrong materials are put into them. With some systems, degradation can also speed up with high home water usage, causing your $11,000 to $21,000 initial investment to fail earlier than expected.
Improper use may include flushing chemicals or materials down your drains that are not safe for septic systems, such as antibacterial cleaners, bleach, chemical drain cleaners, cooking grease, bath oils, or paint. These chemicals can either kill the natural bacteria that break down the waste naturally or can clog your wastewater dispersal system. Products that don’t break down easily, such as thick toilet paper or kitty litter, will also clog the system.
Overuse can also be an issue. Just because water goes down the drain, does not mean the septic system can handle the flow. Most systems are designed to overflow into the distribution system when instantaneous water use exceeds daily average design capacity. This can occur from running back-to-back loads of laundry, or from multiple showers, and especially from leaky fixtures. Septic systems are designed based on the number of bedrooms in a house. If the household uses more water than average in a given time period, some systems just push untreated sewage into the dispersal system, clog it, and shorten its lifespan.
See the maintenance guide provided by your manufacturer or other sources like the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Tips for the LandSaver MBR can be found here.
Installing the right wastewater treatment system is an investment in your property value and the safety of your family and pets. Wastewater treatment is one of the main functions of your home. You want to make a thoughtful choice. Since damage to a dispersal field is irreversible, it is better to install a system that minimizes what goes to the leach field, or better yet, eliminates the leach field or mound all together.
How Can You Be Sure You’re Choosing a Quality Septic System?
Some states allow surface or spray dispersal. This is very safe if the right treatment system is used. Insist on one that fully treats the wastewater to a standard of near non-detectible contaminant levels. This is achieved with systems that have multiple fail-safe mechanisms to prevent overflows and that have good disinfection systems that are fed very clean water from the treatment system. The best of these systems incorporate a self-cleaning ultrafilter that removes all particles including bacteria. This technology is similar to what is used by the very best municipal wastewater treatment plants.
Systems designed with ultrafiltration and fail-safe mechanisms prevent the flow of untreated sewage to the distribution system. A leach field or mound cannot plug if nothing ever reaches it that can plug it. If you and your family are new to using septic systems, it makes sense to select one that is very forgiving. This will help you avoid premature dispersal system replacements, and unwanted extra service calls to fix nuisance complaints and other issues related to failed system inspections.
Many states do not allow a house to be sold if the sewage treatment system is not up to code. This means that if your septic system does not pass inspection, you may have to replace it completely before you can sell your property. Avoid this problem by installing a quality system to begin with that will always meet code.
The LandSaver MBR will never send partially treated sewage into your yard. Learn more about how it achieves fail-safe performance and removes all harmful pathogens by reading The LandSaver MBR Difference.
Remember, you, as the homeowner, are responsible if your system discharges effluent that does not meet health and environmental standards. Make sure you are choosing a quality system to protect your sewage treatment investment, your property, and the future sale of your home. Above all, choose a quality system that will be safe for your family, pets, and the environment!