Septic Systems Info

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Frequently Asked Questions About Septic Systems

 

Have questions about your septic system? Below are the questions that we are often asked about aerobic septic systems.

 

Should I ever turn off my Aerobic Treatment Unit?

 An aerobic treatment unit should not be turned off for two main reasons:

1 – The bacteria in your aerobic septic system will start to die from lack of oxygen supplied by the compressor, therefore creating a foul odor when turned back on and producing less clean effluent from the sprinklers.

2 – The wastewater in the system will fill up and flood all compartments of the tank, mixing solids throughout system, therefore producing less clean effluent from sprinklers.

 

What should I do if a light is on and an audible alarm is sounding?

There are two alarms which are designated by red and amber colored bulbs. 

 Red represents a high water alarm (HWA).

Amber represents an aeration alarm (COMP).  For each alarm light there is a corresponding audible alarm which can be muted and tested. 

For systems with only one alarm light and corresponding audio, first follow the amber alarm instructions and then the red alarm instructions.

  • If the alarm is red, follow these red alarm instructions.
  • If the alarm is amber, follow these amber alarm instructions.
  • Where do I add Chlorine?

·        Chlorine is put in the chlorine reservoir.  IMPORTANT! DO NOT PUT LIQUID BLEACH IN A TABLET CHLORINATOR OR VISE VERSA.

 ·        Liquid Chlorinator

Any type of liquid household bleach is acceptable, although generic brands tend to clog parts less frequently.  If the bleach is concentrated, dilute to a one to one ratio.  The bleach reservoir usually holds around three gallons.  Do not put chlorine tablets in a liquid chlorinator.

 

 

How much Chlorine do I add? 

·        Tablet Chlorinator
“Sanitary” chlorine tablets are required.  CAUTION, do not use swimming pool chlorine tablets, doing so could cause bodily harm and/or damage equipment or property.  Do not put in more than four tablets at a time.  Do not put liquid chlorine in a tablet chlorinator.

 

·        IMPORTANT! DO NOT PUT LIQUID BLEACH IN A TABLET CHLORINATOR OR VISE VERSA.

 

·        Liquid Chlorinator
The bleach reservoir usually holds around three gallons.  Depending on monthly wastewater entering system, average use varies from 1-3 gallons a month.  Any type of liquid household bleach is acceptable, although generic brands tend to clog parts less frequently.  If the bleach is concentrated, dilute to a one to one ratio.

  

·        Tablet Chlorinator
Do not put in more than four tablets at a time.  Depending on monthly wastewater entering system, average usage varies from 1-2 tablets a week.  “Sanitary” chlorine tablets are required.  CAUTION, do not use swimming pool chlorine tablets, doing so could cause bodily harm and/or damage equipment or property.

 

 

Should I add Ridex to my System?

 

There are only three circumstances where we would encourage adding Riddex to your septic system:

  1. Startup of a new system.  (Optional)
  2. Restarting a system after it has been pumped out.  (Optional)
  3. Restarting a system that the bacteria has died due to harsh chemicals or medications.  (Recommended)
  4. Check your system Booklet for verification

Does my water softener effect my septic system?

Yes, in different ways depending on what type of salt is used, how much salt is used, and where the drain is plumbed.

TCEQ, Title 30, TAC Chapter 285.37, spells out regulation concerning On-site Sewage Facilities and water treatment equipment and appliances.  §285.37(b)(1)(B) and (C) state that the drain line for all water softeners installed after September 1, 2003 must bypass the treatment process and connect directly to the pump tank.

  1. Potassium salt is more corrosive on the pump, but effects bacteria and plant life less than sodium salt.
  2. Sodium salt is less corrosive on the pump, but effects bacteria and plant life more than potassium salt.