As a septic system owner, you may want to try your best to stay septic safe. This is more important if you are around the opening of the septic tank. As a matter of fact, you should know all of the important safety precautions that should be taken prior to working on the septic system.
Follow the safety tips given below:
1. Septic tank lid
Make sure that the access port of your tank is covered with a solid lid. Make sure that the lid is strong enough. Kids should not be able to open it. If you have no idea as to how to install the system, you can call a professional for help. The company will be more than happy to help with the inspection.
2. The tank opening
You should never lean over the septic tank opening. The reason is that the gasses that come out of the tank may knock you out. You may also fall in the tank, which may prove fatal.
3. Driving Over The septic system
Driving heavy machine on the ground where the tank system is buried is not a good idea. Actually, you may have to bear heavy costs in order to get the broken pipes repaired. So, make sure you don’t drive heavy equipment or machinery on the ground where you buried the tank system.
Name: Billy Fowler
Organization: ASAP Advanced Septic & Drainage, Inc.
Address: 5011 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33617
Phone: (813) 986-6070
The septic tank is a very delicate feature of a house despite its size and its nature and it requires some very specific practices to keep it in good working order. Performing an inspection on a routine basis is vital to maintaining the tranquility of its processes and the effectiveness of its design. A common septic tank inspection that hits all of the major points should include the following items:
- An inspection of the tees and baffles of your septic system. The baffle is an important connection on the outside wall of your system, which is melded into the exterior during the manufacturing process. Concrete baffles are the most common cause of problems if they are not inspected properly for cracks and fractures, as this can indicate future failure. Tees are plastic tubing inserts that are used in cases where a baffle fails to be structurally sound and they are generally made out of PVC piping like a lot of your drain tubing.
- A proper check for water back-washing into the tank, after the septic tank has been fully pumped of all its contents. Water, whether it enters the tank from the pipes of your house or the pipes from the outlets in the drain field, can indicate a potentially serious problem. During this segment, it is imperative that you do not use the water in your house, as it could skew the results and create a false positive. If you have water coming from your house into the tank without running water, it means that you most likely have an issue with a leaking pipe. Water washing back into the tank from the outlet pipes generally indicates that you have a clog in the drain field. Both situations will require your immediate attention.
- Checking the effluence filter for proper water flow. If the effluent water is unable to successfully leave the tank or if you have unfiltered water leaving the tank and traveling to the drain field, you could have a serious problem. The inspector will remove and clean the septic filter and outlet pipes to ensure it is working properly.
- A complete examination of the septic risers is important. Risers are dense plastic or concrete tubes and covers that seal off the access to your septic tank as a safety measure. The inspector will check the structural integrity of the risers to ensure that they are able to safely protect access to the tank, as well as making sure they seal properly.
Just like the functioning of all complex systems, a septic tank requires a routine checkup and possible maintenance to keep it working properly. If you neglect to get your septic system inspected by a licensed professional on a regular basis, you could end up with very costly household damage or you could risk contaminating the groundwater with foul septic water. A complete septic inspection will help you correct any potential problems that could arise and it will give you peace of mind knowing that you have done everything you need to do to keep your septic system running efficiently.
Septic tank problems often occur with systems that are onion- shaped. The liquids and solids in a septic tank are separated by a baffle that comes in the form of a ball-shaped figure, or an inner sleeve shaped skin that has hooks attached to it at the top of the inner side of the neck. However, the wear and tear in the passing years may tear off the baffle allowing it to sink in the tank. Also, the ball in the receptacle may be knocked loose and disentangle itself. Most septic system problems begin with these two scenarios because liquid and solid wastes combine as they go through the soak away and this may cause a blockage.
One way to address septic tank problems especially if the baffle collapsed is for a homeowner to set-up a filter for his tank. Filters like these can be placed by a homeowner inside an outlet pipe, so that the septic system can function more effectively not to mention that it can save one a significant amount of money. However, if problems are more acute, a homeowner has no other recourse but to replace his or her old septic tank. Another concern that is related to cesspit are open, loose, or worn-out manhole covers.
Other problems that can be resolved yourself are solids blocking the soakway. A T-bar can used to unblock the passage. This very basic baffle is made of clay, but for those who want to replace it with a current version. The replacements units are generally reproduced in plastic to save on cost. However, one has to be careful with these baffles because if they are not correctly installed, the solids will still enter the soakway unhampered causing more damage. A homeowner would perhaps consider buying septic tank filler for him to solve his septic tank problems himself and save on the installation costs. On the other hand, this type of job is often better handled by a professional who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty.
Over 200,000 Americans, and a million more world over, die each year from Sepsis. Yet, according to the poll above, 69% of participants haven't even heard the word Sepsis, let alone know what it is.
Since the number of cases have been on the rise each year, we should get familiar with this swift and silent killer!
Blood Infection, Septicaemia, Septic Shock and Blood Poisoning are the other names sepsis is known by.
- Sepsis, (in Greek, it means putrefy or decay), is an overwhelming immune response to infection in the body.This is triggered by the invasion of microbes in the blood, lungs, urinary tract, skin or other tissues. Mostly by bacteria, but it can be parasites, fungi or viruses and other toxic pathogens.
- Septicaemia, is the medical term used to refer to the presence of any infectious disease causing organisms in the bloodstream, this leads to Sepsis.
- Bacteremia, is the presence of bacteria in the blood.
- Sepsis is defined as Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS). This is an attempt by the blood circulatory system (throughout the whole body) to remove harmful stimuli.
One can get infected through a variety of entry points, from a simple scrape to a serious medical problem. Some of the serious medical problems from where sepsis can occur are :-
- Pneumonia, this is an inflammation of the lungs that is caused by a bacteria or a virus infection.
- The Bloodstream, parasites invade the body through improperly cooked meat or a bite from mosquitoes or other bugs or inhaled when playing in dirt where there was animal feces.
- Urinary Tract Infection, when germs attack the system that makes urine and carries it out of your body.
- Meningitis, this is an inflammation of the covering around the brain and spinal cord caused by viruses or bacteria.
- Appendicitis, this is caused when the appendix gets blocked by stool, cancer or any foreign body, resulting in inflammation.
Who gets it and Where does Sepsis occur?
Sepsis does not start on it's own, it stems from other medical conditions and it can begin in different parts of the body where there is an infection or a localized infection, (my personal experience). Once you're infected and the immune system responds, this in turn causes blood clots and leaky blood vessels. Impaired blood flow causes damage to the organs, this would quickly lead to multiple organ failure and, depending on how quickly the person got medical attention, might be the cause of death or loss of a body part.
Anyone can get sepsis, especially people with a weakened immune system.
- Newborn babies. This is called neonatal sepsis, early onset passed from the mother through the placenta or birth canal during birth and is found in babies 2 - 3 days after birth.
- The elderly. Sepsis in elderly people can cause long term problems, physically or mentally, they can be left with memory problems. Delirium is common in severe cases of sepsis.
- People with chronic illnesses such as Diabetes, AIDS, Cancer, etc.
- Post surgery patients. Localized infection i.e when infected tissue stays in one area of the body.
Common places where an infection could turn into sepsis would be:-
- The bones. When bacteria invades the bone, it is called osteomyelitis.
- The liver. Infections such as hepatitis, cirrohsis, liver abscess, etc.
- The kidney. Pyelonephiritis is the name for kidney infections.
- The skin. We can get infected skin from the staphylococcus bacteria, skin lice, shingles, athletes foot, yeast infections, etc.
And for patients in the hospital, places where you can get sepsis are:-
- Intravenous lines.
- Surgical sites.
- Surgical drains.
- Implanted medical devices.
- And bedsores.
- Other skin problem areas.
Common infections where sepsis can occur are :-
- MRSA, this is a staphyloccocus infection.
- Malaria, is a life threatening, parasitic disease spread by mosquitoes.
- Kidney stones form when there is dehydration in the body. As a result, not enough urine to wash out the microscopic crystals in the urine.
Sepsis can cause :-
- Blood clots that prevents oxygen and nutrients from to vital parts of the body.
- Low blood pressure that prevents the blood from reaching to vital parts of the body.
- Leakage from blood vessel lining.
Symptoms and Diagnoses of Sepsis.
It is very important to know what the warning signs of Sepsis are and to be able to recognize them in order to prevent the body from going into Septic Shock. There are several types of symptoms:-
- Rapid heart rate, >90 bpm
- Rapid breathing.
- High glucose in non-diabetics.
- Decreased urination.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Some of the above symptoms are similar to other conditions, that's why sepsis is hard to diagnose in it's early stages. But a presence of all of them would tell you that it is time to get to the hospital ER.
- A blood test will determine whether the :-
- White blood cell count is normal or not.
- White blood cells are immature.
- Levels of plasma C-reactive protein are high.
- PCT level is elevated.
- Levels of platelets in the blood.
- Levels of lactic acids in the blood.
- Levels of oxygen in the blood.
In addition to blood tests, an ultra sound, a CT scan and a chest X-ray will be done, the heart rate and blood pressure will be checked.
Patients with Sepsis is usually in intensive care unit (ICU). Doctors will start a treatment of :-
- Broad Spectrum antibiotics, to kill any bacteria.
- IV fluids to maintain blood pressure.
- Oxygen to maintain normal blood oxygen.
- Targeted drug use, once the culprit has been identified.
- If needed, surgery to drain and clean the infection.
How I learned about Sepsis.
In the year 2001, I underwent a Laparoscopic Splenectomy to get my spleen removed because of ITP. Once my doctor deemed it to be safe, I went home to recuperate and my incision was healing nicely.
A few days after I went home, I started feeling hot or cold alternately, my incision site pained, it pains for a few seconds then it goes away. I knew that something went wrong there, I visited the ER at the hospital and they couldn't find what was wrong, a CT scan couldn't detect any infection.
The following day, the after care nurse came to attend to my incision and she was concerned by what she found so she had called it in to the hospital. Something weird happened later that day, we had Chinese food for supper, and I found that when I coughed, my incision dressing becomes wet and needed changing so I went to change it, and I wasn't sure, but the gauze smelled like Chinese food.
I had to cough again, so I placed tissues over the opening, when I removed it, I saw bits of broccoli on it where the fluid had squirted.
My neighbour was a nurse, so I went across and asked her about it and she said that with a situation like that, I should go to the hospital ER right away. I wasn't too keen on going to the hospital ER for a consecutive day, so my husband and I went to see his doctor, and his doctor, sent me to the hospital and called his contacts, at the hospital, to relay the information.
He spoke very harshly to them ( he ran a family clinic at the hospital, too). Turned out, the team of young doctors didn't do a good "clean-up" job, on the inside when they removed my spleen, some blood was left and that in turn, became a localized infection that was well on it's to becoming full blown sepsis.
The ER got hold of the head of team of surgeons that did the operation and made him and his team complete the clean-up and the mess it caused. I slept through the process and when I woke up, the pain was gone and although, I was a little weak my body felt right again. My incisions healed perfectly and on time after that and I could be happy again.
Prevention of Sepsis.
There are a few steps that can be taken to prevent a sepsis infection.
- Make sure that your vaccinations are updated.
- Avoid using contaminated needles.
- Follow proper hand washing procedures.
- Thoroughly clean any open wounds and keep them free of infections.
- Good personal hygiene practices.
- Get your annual check-ups done regularly.
- Treat your infections thoroughly.
- Use proper protection or, if possible, stay away from sepsis infected sources.
- Report any symptoms to your doctor.
- Build up your immune system.
- You can also schedule a blood test for sepsis screening.
- Be informed about Sepsis.
- Use your full dose of antibiotics, when it's prescribe for your infection.
Stay Healthy, Be Happy!
Class 4 septic systems are divided into two components, the septic tank and the septic field or leaching bed. Waste is piped out of the house into the septic tank, which is essentially a water clarification tank, in which anaerobic bacteria break the waste down into solids (sludge), liquid effluent, and scum.
The solids settle to the bottom, the scum floats to the top and the liquid effluent flows through an outlet pipe into a distribution chamber, where it is directed to the septic field. The septic field is an effluent water disposal system, where the liquid is channeled through perforated pipes to different parts of a field of loose gravel.
Septic tank materials that initially float in the scum layer are kept out of the drainage system by an outflow tee or baffle. If the tank is not pumped regularly, the level of solids can rise, and if it approaches the level of the outflow tee, scum and solids can proceed out into the drainage system, clogging the pipes and gravel - and eventually preventing the absorption of the water by the surrounding earth.
A Class 5 septic system is a holding tank for the storage of sewage at the site where it is produced. A typical holding tank system is comprised of a single compartment tank with a pump-out stack and an audible or visual warning device to alert the homeowner when the tank requires emptying. A holding tank is costly to operate, places restrictions of the owner, and is dependent on Class 7 (hauled) sewage system for waste collection and disposal.
General Guidelines for Purchasers
The only way to make an accurate determination of the system is to have a licensed septic contractor perform a tank, distribution chamber and field inspection.
- If the system is 5-7 years old and has never been pumped it is unlikely that there are serious problems.
- If there is no record of the system having been pumped but the owner has a vague recollection of pumping the system at some time in the distant past, figure that it has never been pumped.
- If the system is over 10 years old and has never been pumped, it is possible that there has been some damage to the septic field, and if it's not been pumped for over 15 years it is quite likely.
- Flushing dye through the system looks good but will only indicate systems that are already seriously clogged, in which case there should already be more obvious signs.
- Flushing dye may not indicate serious defects or indicate systems that are close to failure but still functional.
- If you are on a septic system, adding a bedroom, even without adding a bathroom, may mean having to increase the size of the tank and drainage field.
So, these are a few precautions that you may want to take if you are going to work on a septic tank system. This is important should you want to keep you and your family safe around the system. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to call a local septic service in Clearwater FL . Hopefully, these tips will help.
I hate plunging! I always feel icky and dirty after doing so.
The water from the toilet splashes all over, no matter how careful I may be. I always feel that I get at least some water on my pants making me feel as if I have to throw them immediately into the washer.
Even washing up immediately afterwards does not always make me feel clean and I feel as if I have to change all my clothes and take a full shower!
Then there's the plunger that must be rinsed off in the tub, then allowed to dry out and put back away. After doing so, I feel as if I have to once again wash my hands.
Then when you consider that you may wish to use the same plunger on different drains, such as the one in the bathroom or even in the kitchen sink, it becomes a pretty unsanitary condition.
What's worse, plunging all too often doesn't work! Or at least it doesn't work very well. True, it works to relieve mild stoppages. But it is pretty ineffective against major clogs.
Plungers Don't Always Work That Well
Take the act of trying to use a plunger in the toilet. Even a heavy duty, plumber style plunger doesn't always work all that well.
We have the type of plunger with the extra cup that pulls out from the bottom for a better fit. But it still doesn't fit the toilet well enough to create a very good suction.
The reason for this is plain to see: the plunger is perfectly round, or circular, while the opening in the toilet is oval-shaped. This means that it is not possible to form a very good seal where the plunger meets the opening.
We had a problem with our upstairs bathroom a couple weeks ago. The toilet after flushing did not always clear all of its contents. It was annoying to see this and wonder "did we flush or not?" We certainly had but it just hadn't all gone down.
So we tried plunging it, with all the mess and hassle described above. But still, it didn't seem to work very well. This was one clog that plunging just didn't seem to want to fix!
We tried going to the hardware store to see what else was available in the way of plungers. In addition to the standard plungers, we saw one plastic plunger that was shaped like a bellows and looked like it might be a bit better. But it was round and made of hard plastic and we knew that it wouldn't conform any better to the shape of the toilet drain than any other plunger.
We Noticed Problems With Our Drains
There were other problems with our drain. In fact, it was getting worse. When we ran the sink in the upstairs bathroom, we would sometimes hear a "bloop, bloop, bloop!" sound coming from the toilet. This indicated that there were air bubbles in the system that were not able to go through right away because of some kind of blockage.
When I was taking a shower, the water was starting to collect around my ankles because it was not draining properly. This despite the fact that the drain was open and there were no hairs blocking the outlet. Finally, whatever air bubble was blocking the system cleared itself and the water began to drain, but this took about ten minutes. Perhaps the warm water softened the blockage somewhere and allowed it to go down.
Obviously, some blockage was affecting all three drains in the upstairs bathroom-the sink, the toilet and the tub. This is because all three drains empty into the same sewer line.
(I am not saying the toilet water could back up into the tub or could even come out through the faucet in the sink! It's just that the blockage was lower down, where all three drains empty into the sewer line. This would explain why all three drains were exhibiting similar problems.)
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This is not the first time we’ve had a problem with our drains. In one instance, the blockage in the toilet had been nearly complete. This was so severe it called for running a steel snake down into the toilet to try to clear it.
Alas! This caused more problems than it solved. The action of the snake damaged a presumably plastic drain pipe inside the system. The result? The next time someone took a shower, water dripped from the ceiling down onto the living room floor!
We had to call a plumber in to correct this mess. This meant an expensive plumber's bill as well as money needed to repair the damaged ceiling in the living room. The ceiling was never quite as good as new, and you can still see signs of the episode to this day.
What was the culprit in this mess? The plumber found a wad of dental floss in the sewer line. Someone had been disposing of dental floss in the toilet, something we later read should never be done and which we stopped doing immediately.
Unfortunately, it was too late! The damage was already done. The dental floss, instead of going down, had accumulated in the system, forming a permanent blockage.
The moral of the story? Never, ever dispose of dental floss in the toilet! Always dispose of it in the trash instead.
Back to our current problem, the drains were obviously running slow and plunging didn’t work! We could try using chemical drain cleaner, but we were very wary of doing this, since we know how fragile the pipes are and we certainly did not want a repeat of our earlier episode! So what to do?
Fortunately, the plumber we had called about the dental floss problem recommended a great product called Bio-Clean.
What is Bio-Clean? It's a bacteria culture in a can, what is called “friendly bacteria,” that is harmless to people and plumbing but that actually eats biodegradable wastes, the cause of most stoppages.
You may be saying to yourself, what the heck is "friendly bacteria?" I know it sounds kind of weird, sort of like a science experiment that you carry out in your own home. The fact is that bacteria, or at least certain forms of it, has a very friendly relationship with what our bodies consider "waste."
Bacteria is used in municipal sanitation plants to break down sewer waste into harmless components so that the water can be returned to the ecosystem. Living creatures like humans have trillions of bacteria in their guts that help with the digestive process. So, bacteria and biodegradable materials have a very close relationship, and this has been so for millions of years.
How does this help you with your drains? Well, as time goes on and you use your drains, waste begins to accumulate on the inside surfaces of the pipes in your sewer system.
How Bio-Clean Works
It’s something like a blockage of the arteries. As a waste accumulates, it forms a thicker and thicker layer that eventually reduces the size of your sewer openings to a very small diameter. This causes slower and slower drains until, eventually, you must start plunging or use a caustic drain cleaner.
The problem is these methods don’t always work very well, as previously discussed.
The plunger attempts to use the force of suction to physically clear the blockage, but it’s impossible to totally clear months or years of accumulation. The drain opener gets more to the source of the problem, but it can be seriously bad for your bathroom pipes.
That’s where Bio-Clean comes in. The "friendly bacteria" in Bio-Clean love the substances that we consider waste and blockages and they literally eat it up! Yet they are 100% harmless to living or nonbiological substances such as the pipes themselves.
Look at a cross-section of a clogged pipe, and you will see years of accumulated slime piled up around the inner surfaces. This is what the bacteria in Bio-Clean consumes.
They feed, multiply and eat their way through all waste matter until it is all eaten up. They chemically change it into water, carbon and other harmless elements that are used by plant life and run right out of the waste system.
Where does Bio-Clean work?
Where does Bio-Clean work? In all the following areas:
Septic Tanks and Fields
Rv and Boat Holding Tanks
You can even add it to cat litter
What Are the Alternatives to Bio-Clean?
Compare Bio-Clean to mechanical equipment. As we discovered, cables can poke holes through the pipe. At best, they only leave a small opening through the mess which only leaves a base for new waste to adhere to.
Hot, caustic drain openers actually become diluted and weaker as they travel down through the pipes. They cannot defy gravity. They can only settle in a concentrated area or become weaker as they go down.
But the Bio-Clean family of friendly bacteria can digest vegetation and animal waste. They can defy gravity. They can work their way up as well as down!
It is important to note that Bio-Clean cannot repair broken pipes or mechanical defects or digest inorganic material such as baby toys or dental floss, as we discovered in our own drain. However, Bio-Clean will work for most normal blockages.
How do you use Bio-Clean?
How do you use Bio-Clean? Bio-Clean comes to you as an inert powder containing the bacteria culture, amylase, protease, cellulase and lipase enzymes.
The bacteria are in a state of "suspended animation," I guess you could say, (sort of like the old Sea Monkeys) but they "come to life" when they are added to water. You merely add a tablespoon full to your drains when they will be undisturbed for 6 to 8 hours, such as at nighttime. To give it the fullest time to work, repeat the treatment for five consecutive days.
In the instance of our clogged bathroom drain, we added it to both the toilet and the shower drain for one week.
What was the result? The sink drain no longer goes "bloop, bloop, bloop!"when we are running the water. The toilet flushes perfectly every time with no need for repeated flushings. The shower drains like when it was new. All this with no messy plunging or caustic chemicals!
Advantages of Bio-Clean
Bio-Clean may be a slight inconvenience for large families or households with only one bathroom since, for best results, it should be applied for five consecutive days. However, you can avoid even this slight inconvenience, once you get your drains cleared, simply by applying it once a month to all drains as a maintenance schedule. This will keep clogs from building up in the first place with minimal inconvenience.
Bio-Clean is also economical. A single can contains up to 100 drain treatments or will treat a 1000 US gallon septic tank.
I highly recommend Bio-Clean. It can replace plungers, caustic drain cleaners and even expensive plumber's bills. If it saves you one trip from the plumber, it will have paid for a lifetime of Bio-Clean!
Make friends with the friendly bacteria of Bio-Clean and you may never have to suffer from slow or clogged drains again!
Tips for Bio-Clean - Here are some handy tips to aid you in your use of Bio-Clean.
- In the Bio-Clean instructions, it says, "On multi-story buildings start initial treatment on the lowest level (e.g. basement) and progress to the top. Complete the five-day treatment on one floor before going on to the next higher floor." Tip: If the drains on the lower floors are running and have good flow you do not have to start on the lowest floor.
- In the Bio-Clean instructions, it says that "mouthwash should be disposed of into toilet." Tip: This refers not only to the 6 to 8 hours at bedtime when the drain is being treated but for the entire 5 to 6 consecutive days of drain treatment. You need to dispose of mouthwash this way during the entire 5 day treatment because Bio-Clean can continue working even after the sinks are being used again. Mouthwash, however, contains antibacterial agents that can destroy the residual action of Bio-Clean.
- Tip: Even though Bio-Clean can serve as an alternative to plunging, you can get better, faster results by doing an occasional plunging while using bio clean. This is because plunging can help break up the built-up wastes lining the pipes that Bio-Clean has loosened. This can give you faster and more complete results in clearing your drain blockages.
Pinellas Leach Field Replacement