Septic System Maintenance

SWS Three-Step Maintenance
By Amanda Furmage-Deck

Everyone knows that in order to increase the life of a vehicle, it must undergo routine, preventive maintenance which can include changing the engine oil, replacing the brake pads, and adjusting the alignment. In addition, the exterior of a vehicle should be washed and waxed on a regular basis to ensure the removal of dust, dirt, grime and any other foreign materials that could adhere to and damage the paint.

Caring for a septic system is just like caring for a vehicle in that a decentralized wastewater system’s life can be extended through routine, preventive maintenance. The experts at Southern Water and Soil, Inc. perform a three-step maintenance program in order to increase the longevity of your septic system.

Regular Septic Tank Pumping Service
Many contractors recommend that a septic tank be pumped every three to five years. However, not all septic systems are the same. Southern Water and Soil will examine the size of your tank, the age of the system, the number of occupants in the home, if you use a garbage disposal, the amount of laundry done per week within the home, and the drain field soil before deciding how often your septic tank should be pumped.

Routine, preventive septic system maintenance is extremely important. Just like a vehicle, repairing or replacing a failing wastewater treatment system can be extremely expensive. When compared to replacing an entire septic system for thousands of dollars, routine pumping prices are significantly less, averaging just $100 to $300 per year.

Secondly, clogged or damaged septic systems can result in an expensive and unwanted mess. Not only can toilets back up after flushing and foul odors saturate the air, but toxic sewage can appear on the surface of your lawn which can generate severe threats to public health, pollute nearby bodies of water used for commercial and recreational activities, and decrease property values.

Bacteria and Enzyme Additive
Southern Water and Soil, Inc. will go the extra mile to ensure the safety of your family, your community, and the environment by adding one cup of a bacteria and enzyme additive to your system at the time of service. This additive keeps your waste water pipes clean, destroys plumbing odors, and decomposes organic waste. Rather than pouring a commercial chemical additive down your drain that can potentially destroy the beneficial drain field bacteria, put your trust in SWS’s proven bacteria and enzyme septic tank shock treatment.

Effluent Filter
A septic tank effluent filter is an important aspect of a wastewater treatment system as it acts as a strainer, preventing hair, grime, and other solid particles from entering and clogging the drain field pipes. Therefore, solids are retained in the tank, enhancing their decomposition. Southern Water and Soil recommends this filtration unit be cleaned during each septic tank pumping.

If it’s time for your septic system to undergo routine, preventive maintenance, and you live in Hillsborough, Pasco, or Pinellas Counties, contact Southern Water and Soil today. You can trust them for their experience, quality products, and quality customer service. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Cluster Wastewater Treatment Systems

Cluster Wastewater Treatment Systems
By Amanda Furmage-Deck

Since the housing boom of the early 2000s, small communities, or housing developments, have been popping up throughout the West Central Florida region, usually in undeveloped rural areas that experienced high rates of population growth. Because most of these development sites were not able to be served by municipal wastewater facilities, each home would have to rely on an on-site septic system consisting of a septic tank and drain field to dispose of wastewater.

However, in most cases, alternative shared wastewater systems were utilized to serve small clusters of homes or entire neighborhoods. According to Purdue University, shared or “cluster systems bridge the gap between [municipal sewage systems and on-site septic systems] in small communities where neither [system] is feasible.”

When installing a cluster wastewater treatment system, there are many different options and technologies to consider. For example, effluent can be collected and transported using pressure, small-diameter gravity, or vacuum sewers. Effluent is then pretreated and finally dispersed into a soil absorption area.

The benefits of cluster wastewater treatment systems are endless. For example, installing an alternative sewer system is significantly less expensive than the conventional sewer system. The small-diameter plastic pipes used in a cluster wastewater treatment system require less excavation and lift stations. Unlike the heavy, large-diameter pipes used in conventional systems, plastic piping can follow the natural contours of the land. In other words, decreased site disruption equals lower prices and less mess.

When compared to the overall cost of individual on-site septic systems, the installation of cluster treatment systems are usually less as well, as shared community systems require less maintenance. Inspecting one system serving three or more homes, for instance, involves less work than inspecting three or more whole individual systems. In fact, the EPA stated, “Adequately managed decentralized wastewater systems are a cost-effective and long-term option for meeting public health and water quality goals.”  

Cluster systems also help control future community growth while maintaining rural community character. For example, cluster systems preserve green areas—allowing for the construction of recreation parks, sports fields, community gardens, and walking/biking/equestrian trails—by permitting smaller lot sizes since each home does not need to install an on-site septic system. The urban sprawl witnessed throughout many suburban areas utilizing municipal sewage systems can be virtually eliminated, which also decreases air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

President Greg Mayfield and his experienced team at Southern Water and Soil, Inc. are available to install cluster wastewater treatment systems—cost effective, environmentally friendly, reliable wastewater collection treatment for growing communities. Their systems are permitted through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Department of Health. Please call Southern Water and Soil today for design assistance or to schedule a presentation.

Below are a few more benefits of a SWS textile-based cluster wastewater system:
Does not produce foul odors
No noisy blowers
Does not require extended aeration
Requires up to 95% less energy
Compact and modular for easy expansion
Performs in storms, power outages, etc.
Significant reduction in operation and maintenance costs
Virtual elimination of long-term repair and replacement that is typically of conventional systems
Promotes sustainable development
Great for communities, small cities, rural enclaves, agricultural clusters, and commercial development