Frequently Asked Questions about Septic Tanks and Sewer Lines

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What should I do if I have a blocked sink, toilet or drain?

When a block occurs, the first step is to ensure it is in your sewer or drain lines. You may try to clear the drain by yourself, but please be careful as you may damage your drain pipes or toilet. You can contact a specialist drainage contractor or plumber to clear the drain and/or carry out any repairs.

What are symptoms of blocked drains or failed systems?

  • Smell around drains and inspection chambers
  • Gurgling sound in the plumbing
  • Sluggishness when flushing the toilet
  • Plumbing backs up in sinks, bathtubs or showers
  • Ground is mushy or grass is growing faster and greener in one particular area

How to prevent clogs?

Avoid flushing paper towels, tissues, hygiene products, diapers, hairs, solid food, and grease. Paper towels and napkins seem to go down the toilet fine, but they should never be flushed.They are designed to absorb water not disintegrate in it. Regular maintenance is necessary to avoid clogs. Treat your drain regularly with a drain cleaner. Pipe inspection with a video system will check for potential blockages.

What is video inspection of sewer?

Video inspection is when a professional uses a mini-camera to look inside pipes to check for cracks, leaks, broken joints, or tree roots. In video inspection, you see the inside of your entire sewer from the cleanout in the basement to the connection to the main in the city street. It is an effective way to see the problem. Sometimes you can avoid digging or full replacement, and discover a simple solution is available.

How do septic systems work?

Waste water leaves your home through a pipeline called the main line, and then enters the septic tank. The septic holds the waste for primary treatment where heavy digested solids called sludge accumulate at the bottom of the tank and the lighter materials (grease and oils) called a scum layer float to the top. Natural bacteria generated by the solid waste partially decompose the waste in the septic tank, and reduces the amount of solid material by as much as 60%. An Automatic Liquid Septic Dissolving System will also increase the breakdown of solid material.

Why do septic systems fail?

Septic systems often fail due to lack of maintenance. When the septic tank is not maintained properly or pumped on a regular basis it will become overloaded with solid waste. This overloading will cause the solid waste to enter the drainage area, and the drainage area is not designed to handle solid matter. This will lead to the possibility of waste backing up into the household.