Septic & Sewer Services

Replacement, Repair and Maintenance of Septic Tanks & Grease Traps

septic tank installationSeptic tanks and grease traps are both parts of a septic system, which are small-scale sewage treatment systems found in areas that lack private or government sewer connections. Each part plays its own separate role in the septic system, helping it to work successfully.

Septic tanks are a key component in the septic system. The waste water itself is collected in these tanks. The solids are then separated from the wastewater, and the water is funneled off into a special drain field. Grease traps are plumbing devices that cut off greases and oils in wastewater before they can reach the septic tank. Large amounts of these oils can clog up septic tanks and water treatment facilities, releasing untreated sewage into the environment — which is not good!

What Causes Septic Tank Problems?

Septic tank systems are never going to be a joy — there is always going to be a problem at one point or another during the life of the system. If the septic system is well-designed and only has to deal with human waste, then it may only have a few problems, but even that is unlikely. Septic systems are more fragile than we think they are, and we ask them to handle a great deal more than they should.

So what can cause some septic tank problems? Here are a few common issues:

  • Non-biodegradable products in the tank

    These consume space and do not leave the tank, so they must be pumped out. They raise the level of the liquid in the tank, and can force floating solids into the distribution system, clogging parts and causing backups.

  • Phosphates from detergents

    These act as a fertilizer for algae growth, blocking the perforations in the drain field distribution pipes, and preventing water from draining into the soil.

  • Excess water flow

    This means the water level rises high enough for solids to pass out of the tank and into the distribution pipes before the solids have had enough chance to break down. The pipes are only built to handle liquids, meaning these solids block the pipes.

  • Chemicals

    Solvents, paint thinners, and other toxic products will be distributed to the soil, polluting plant life. They can also wipe out the bacteria in the septic tank, preventing it from breaking down solids.

How To Eliminate Common Septic Tank Problems

These common septic problems can cause major problems that will need either costly repairs or sometimes even a replacement that can cost thousands of dollars. Luckily, they can be easy to prevent. Here are 8 simple things that you can do to avoid having to replace or repair your septic tank:

  • Lower the amount of water that enters your septic system by washing clothes over a number of days instead of all at once.
  • Use liquid gel soap instead of powders in dishwashers and washing machines, as they don’t contain phosphates.
  • Shorten shower times, and use low flow shower heads and toilets.
  • Repair any leaky faucets or toilet tanks.
  • Do not flush non-biodegradable items.
  • Don’t pour oil or kitchen waste down the sink. Garbage disposals should not be connected to the system as food breaks down differently than human waste does.
  • Do not use the septic system to get rid of toxic materials like paint thinner and solvents.
  • Do not use commercial septic system cleaners. Some are actually hazardous to its environment.
  • Ensure your system is pumped out on a regular basis — every 2-4 years — and also ensure it has the correct capacity for your home.

It is also a very good idea to ensure that you have annual maintenance conducted, as well as pumping your system more often if you have had a large amount of people over for holidays or parties (as this will also tax your system).

Repair Or Replace Your Septic Tank

septic tank replacementDepending on what could be causing your smelly septic issue, the decision facing you is to repair or replace the septic tank. First things first: Call the professionals! Sewage can be dangerous, and trained professionals should be the ones handling and repairing any problems. We have expert technicians that can assess your situation and advise you on what the next step should be. Replacements can be expensive, which is why contacting a professional to find out what the exact problem is should be your first step.

Some problems only need to be repaired, and our technicians will ensure that if a repair is all that's needed, then that is what we will suggest. If it is nothing more than a broken pipe, then it's a repair issue. Unfortunately there is no way to replace only part of a drain field, so if you have a drain field issue you will need to replace all or part of your system. But even if your drain field is gone, the septic tank may be okay.

Grease Trap Issues

Grease traps have their own issues. Problems are usually caused by warm oils that are poured down the sink. As they cool, oils solidify, causing buildup which can clog the flow of sewage to the septic tank and system. There can be some severe ramifications from this:

  • Raw sewage backup.
  • Unpleasant and costly cleanup in your home.
  • Sewage overflow in nearby parks, streets, and yards (which you may be held liable for).
  • Potential contact with harmful disease-causing organisms.
  • Increased cost for sewage bills.

There are easy ways to prevent these problems:

  • Don’t pour grease down the sink or toilet.
  • Don’t put food in the garbage disposal.
  • Use a strainer to catch food scraps and solids.
  • Scrape hot oils, sauces, and gravies into a plastic bag after they have cooled to a gel, then put them in the garbage.

It is also important to have your grease trap inspected and cleaned regularly to prevent these issues from happening. Inspections should always be done by a trained professional. We will ensure that your grease trap is cleaned and running the way it should, and will repair any issues we come across.

Repair Or Replace Your Grease Trap

septic tank repairsA grease trap is a simple mechanical device. Its only function is to filter out the fats, grease, and oil from the wastewater your kitchen generates. If your grease trap fails, the problem must be resolved quickly.

Calling a certified technician is the quickest way to find out what the issue is. Our technicians will be able to advise you to exactly what the issue is, and of the best next steps. Some minor issues will only need repairs, while larger ones may need replacement. Our trained professionals can give you the answers you need at a price you can afford.