Planning for and Maintaining a Septic Tank

Planning for and Maintaining a Septic Tank

April 2, 2020

If you’re building or moving into a home that doesn’t have access to municipal sewer lines, you’ll need a septic tank to handle your home’s wastewater. Septic systems are an environmentally-friendly way to handle waste, but they require a certain amount of planning and maintenance. Here’s an overview of what to consider when you’re engaged in septic planning in Hudson, CO.

Planning for a septic tank

Before you install your septic tank, you’ll need to test the soil with a percolation test (also known as a perc test) to see whether the ground is suitable for installing a septic tank and creating a drain field. Your home will need to be approved for the septic system; you’ll submit a plan showing where the buildings and drain field will be located.

Next, you’ll get a permit for your septic tank and building plans. Your civil engineer will then design a drain field that will work best for your property, based on the soil type. At that point in septic planning in Hudson, CO, you can build your septic tank and drain field, subject to a mid-progress inspection and a final inspection, at which point you should receive approval from the city.

Maintaining your septic tank

Maintaining a septic system is key to preserving your property and septic system for the maximum amount of time. In order to keep your septic system working well, you should plan to inspect and pump the tank frequently—at least once per year.

Typically, inspections check for issues, such as when the toilets flush, look for leaks and then peer inside the tank itself. Your inspector will also measure the sludge and scum levels, pump if required and make sure all the mechanical components are still working.

When the bottom of the scum layer is around six inches of the bottom of the outlet tee, or when the sludge layer is within 12 inches, it’s time to pump the tank. (You should refer to your owner’s manual to learn more about the manufacturer’s recommendations, and any special circumstances to which you need to pay attention.)

You may need to pump your tank more frequently than once a year, based on how many people live in your home, how often you flush the toilets, how small your tank is and whether you’re using additives to help break down the waste product.

Never flush anything but toilet paper and human waste down your toilet—menstrual products, “flushable” wipes and other items can clog the pipes as well as make your tank fill up faster. Items like the above don’t biodegrade at the same rate as toilet paper and other substances.

Finally, never drive over your drain field, or plant anything but grass above it.

Get help with septic tank design in Hudson, CO

High Plains Engineering & Design, LLC offers a full variety of civil engineering and project management services, including septic tank planning and design. Our engineers are available to help you plan and oversee your project, whether for commercial, residential, industrial or agricultural properties. Call us today to get started.

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