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Septic pumping should be on your "To Do" list for regular maintenance. When is the last time you pumped your septic? Serving Fishkill, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, New Paltz and the entire Hudson Valley NY. Call us to schedule it today.
"Pumping a septic tank is more than throwing a hose in and starting a pump. Herring does it better."
The purpose of a septic system is to treat household waste in areas where public sewers are not available. There are a number of variations in septic system design, but all basically work the same. A basic septic system consists of a large concrete or plastic tank, and a distribution box followed by a series of leach fields. Whenever you turn on a faucet, flush the toilet or do a load of laundry, the waste leaves the house through the main sewer line and enters the septic tank through the inlet pipe. While the heavy solids sink to the bottom forming a layer of sludge, the lighter solids float to the top. The bacteria living inside the tank eats the solids and reduces their volumes. Solids are prevented from exiting the tank by devices called baffles, which are located near the inlet and outlet pipes of the septic tank. The liquids flow through the septic tank up and out the outlet baffle to the distribution box where they are filtered through leach fields into the soil. See the diagram to further understand how your septic system works. Find out more about Septic Pumping or make an appointment to get your septic pumped.
For an average family of four, it is recommended that you pump your septic tank (also called Septic Cleaning) every two to three years. Like changing the oil in your car, pumping/cleaning your septic tank is periodic maintenance, which is necessary even though there are no apparent problems. Just as you would not wait for your car to break down before you change the oil, don't wait for your septic system to back up before you schedule a pumpout. Waiting for a symptom or problem can damage the septic system, clog the fields or cause a backup costing the homeowner time and money. At Herring Sanitation Service, we want to make your routine septic cleaning as hassle free as possible. After your first pumping, we put you in our system, which will send you a reminder notice through the mail. After 2 years, we will let you know that it's time to pump your septic tank again.
Finding your septic tank is not difficult. To locate your septic tank, go into the basement and determine what direction the pipe exits the house. The sewer pipe should be easy to find. It is usually the largest diameter pipe made of plastic or cast iron with clean-out access. Also, the tank is usually in line with the ventilation pipe sticking out of the roof. The tank is typically located 10 to 15 feet away from the foundation. Poke around using a crowbar or metal rod for the tank which can be located anywhere from several inches to 2 or 3 feet underground. If you have trouble locating the tank, Herring Sanitation Service has several locating devices we use to pin point the tank location.
In order for your septic tank to stay maintained properly, there must always be bacteria in the tank. After the tank is pumped, a small amount of sludge will remain in the bottom of the tank. This promotes bacteria growth, which is necessary to breakdown solids. Household cleaners, bleach, and antibiotic drugs can kill good bacteria and prevent your septic system from working properly. In this case, enzymes can be added to help break down the waste and help the bacteria to work more efficiently. It is extremely important to properly maintain your septic system in order to prevent problems and to preserve the life span of your system.
Concrete Septic Tanks
Concrete septic tanks are common in most septic systems. They are preferred to plastic tanks because of their strong structural integrity, longevity, and because the concrete tank is less prone to floating than plastic tanks. Though the concrete tank is preferred for its strength and durability, they are extremely heavy and require a large truck or heavy machinery to install. In cases where a large piece of equipment is unable to access the point where the tank is to be installed, a plastic tank is ideal.
Plastic Septic Tanks (polypropylene/neoprene/polyethylene)
Plastic tanks are lightweight and can be carried by several workmen, making them easy to install. Unfortunately, polyethylene tanks are not as heavy and durable as concrete tanks, and measures must be taken to make sure that the tank is secure in the ground. You have the option to reinforce the tank with gravel, which will reduce the risk of the tank warping, floating, or settling.
What size tank should you have?
The Board of Health requires that a house with up to three bedrooms have a septic tank that holds 1,000 gallons or more, a four-bedroom house must have a septic tank that holds 1,250 gallons or more, and a five-bedroom house must have a septic tank that holds 1,500 gallons or more. The number of occupants in the house does not determine the required size of your septic tank.
In a septic system, the leach fields are used to distribute the wastewater from the septic tank into the soil. Waste water is carried by gravity or pumped from the septic tank to the distribution box where it is then filtered out through the leach fields. The leach fields consist of a series of perforated piping, 4 inches in diameter, placed in trenches on top of gravel. The gravel promotes drainage and reduces root growth around the piping. As the effluent is absorbed into the ground, the bacteria is removed. Most of the water is filtered downward entering a ground water aquifer while a small portion of the water is removed at the grounds surface. See diagram to help illustrate how leach fields distribute wastewater.
A pump station is needed to pump fluids exiting the septic tank out to the leach fields when gravity is unable to do the job. This pump station contains a sewage effluent pump, control floats, and in some cases a high water alarm. The control floats are set so that a specific volume or dose of liquid is sent to the leach fields. When the effluent in the pump station rises, it lifts the control float to turn on the pump and send the effluent into the distribution system. As the effluent level drops, the float is lowered and turns off the pump. Should the position of the float fail to activate the pump, or should the pump itself fail, the level of effluent in the pump tank will continue to rise in the pump chamber. If present, the alarm will activate as the liquid level rises and lifts the alarm float. The alarm is set to be activated while there is still emergency storage space available in the pump tank so that the system will not overflow or back up into the house.
Herring Sanitation Service strives to deliver only the best products and services to all of our customers. That is why at Herring Sanitation Service, we are proud to say that we are members of the Goulds Professional Dealers Association. With every pump installation or replacement, Herring Sanitation Services uses only the top selling brand of effluent pump, Goulds Pumps.
With every purchase of a Goulds pump, the customer receives a two year warranty for their pump. Goulds is confident that their products are free of manufacturing errors and capable of resisting corrosion, abrasion and other natural forces that may destroy pumps. The warranty is evidence of the confidence Goulds has in the durability of their pumps. With Goulds Pumps, we believe you own the best pump on the market. More Goulds pumps are sold than any other brand. The maximum life span of pumps varies, but the warranty ensures you a new pump free of charge should any issues arise within two years of installation.
A simple septic system inspection can save homeowners a great deal of time and money. This service is most commonly used by home buyers before purchasing a new home. A properly conducted septic inspection ensures that the system is working properly at the time of inspection and reduces the chances of a dangerous and/or costly surprise to the future homeowner.
A visual septic inspection may be able to determine the status of a septic system beyond what the average homeowner is able to conclude. We ask that there be running water in the house so we can observe the flow through the tank and distribution system. The inspection consists of a visual scan of the inside of the tank to make sure that the water level is proper and that liquids are flowing into the tank and out to the leach fields without restriction. We check to make sure that the baffles are present and intact. The scum and sludge levels are observed to ensure the tank has been properly maintained in the past. We also walk around the property to check for any soft or wet spots that would suggest the leach fields are not working properly.
Other inspection services include a visual inspection of the pipes, distribution box, and leach fields using a camera to further evaluate the status of the distribution system. Visit our Septic Inspections page to find out more about the Septic Inspection options available for you.
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Serving Fishkill, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, New Paltz and the entire Hudson Valley NY
Herring Sanitation Service, Inc. • 845-226-5405 • Fax 845-897-5488 All Rights Reserved
146 Old Route 9 Fishkill NY 12524 | 5301 Route 9W Newburgh NY 12550