Myth: A distribution pipe provides equal distribution.
False – Several studies have concluded that a perforated distribution pipe does not provide “equal distribution” within gravity-fed onsite wastewater treatment systems. However, under gravity flow a biomat will develop and provide equal distribution or pressure dosing is a mechanical method to achieve equal distribution.
Myth: A distribution box or header manifold provides equal distribution.
False – While distribution boxes or manifolds are installed level, they do however settle over time due to normal environmental factors. The settlement combined with low flow (gravity flow out of the septic tank is just a trickle, and the 4” pipe is large compared to the flow). Therefore, the flow discharging out will seek the lowest invert and not provide equal distribution.
Myth: Biomat is bad.
False – All systems will eventually develop a biomat. The biomat will help to provide equal distribution and better treatment of the onsite wastewater treatment system.
Myth: Venting a distribution trench provides better treatment and/or performance.
What do you think? – The process by which oxygen in gas gets transferred into liquid phase is very energy intensive, therefore little benefit is recognized. However, venting can be beneficial on a case by case basis because it provides oxygen it can only help, but there’s no scientific data to define just how much venting a system can help provide better treatment.
Myth: Design Flow = Actual Flow
False – Design flow always incorporates a factor of safety above what the actual flow of the system will be.
Myth: Roots are bad for the drainfield.
Partially true, mostly false. – Roots can potentially help remove water and nutrients from a system. Roots can be a problem if they interfere with the pipe from the house to the septic tank because that pipe carries solids. But beyond the septic tank root intrusion into a drainfield isn’t always bad. Roots shouldn’t be encouraged, but they’re not awful.
Myth: All septic systems fail.
False – It’s important to factor in the design life of an onsite wastewater treatment system. The majority of people will say a septic system will last 20 years; a septic system requiring replacement before the end of a design life would be considered a failure. All products such as tires, roof shingles, bridges, etc., have a design life. Replacing a system after it has provided long years of service should not be confused with failures.
Myth: Stone within the drainfield provides treatment.
False – There have been studies of treatment levels of drainfields installed within and without stone. The results did not show any difference in treatment. This is because the soil is responsible for treating wastewater in an onsite wastewater treatment system.
Myth: Sanitary sewers pollute less than decentralized systems.
False – Sanitary sewers are provided CSO permits, this is a special permit to discharge raw wastewater in overflow events like a heavy rain event. Onsite wastewater treatment systems pass all wastewater through treatment.
Myth 3: Flushing a Dead Mouse Down the Toilet Helps a Septic System
False – Some say that a dead mouse contains unique microbes that improve septic system performance. This is false. Every time you flush a toilet for the usual reasons, you’re introducing a fresh infusion of beneficial microbes.
Myth: You Can Build on Top of Your Septic Tank
False – Another common myth about septic tanks is that, because they are buried so far under the ground, it’s acceptable to build a deck, patio, or another structure on top of it. This is a bad idea for two reasons. First, if you build over your septic tank, you will make it impossible for a professional to access it, which means it cannot be properly maintained and pumped.
Myth : A clogged system cannot be repaired.
False – Many clogged septic systems can be restored with maintenance, so replacement is not always necessary. In some cases, clogs can require jetting, which involves installing access ports on the ends of the inlet lines so you can give them an internal pressure wash to clear them out. There’s no reason that a septic system can’t function for many years if, in addition to pumping, the inlet lines are jetted internally from time to time.
Myth : Yeast will eliminate the need to pump your system.
False – It is a common misconception that yeast is good for septic tanks. Yeast contains biological organisms that can cause more things to build up inside of your septic tank rather than break down the waste.
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West Michigan Septic Sewer and Drain offer you a full line of Septic Tank Services. We have been serving West Michigan’s septic systems for 30 years. Knowing more about your septic system will help you avoid costly repairs – let WMSSD tell you everything you need to know. Call at 231-739-7423 or contact us online for more information.