Septic System Basics
How it Works
We continue to experience situations that indicate many of our citizens do not understand our septic system.
The Lakeside City system is a modification of a rural septic system.
The modification occurs mainly in the pumping of liquid (not solids) into a sewer main. Each residence has either one or two septic tanks buried underground. These tanks are joined together by pipes that allow for liquid waste to flow to the pump-out tank (green lid exposed in yard). A pump in this tank is activated when wastewater levels reach a certain level. A line from the pump tank is used to pump wastewater to mains located on major streets. Some sewer mains are located in alleys or easements through backs or sides of property. There is a shut off valve located on these lines and is inside the small rectangular box near the main. The mains carry all pump wastewater to the lift station (big underground silo) behind JP’s Quick Stop. Two large pumps in this silo then pump wastewater south of the City to holding ponds. If evaporation does not dispose of wastewater, it is irrigated onto a 120-acre plot of land.
Each residence has a red light affixed that is activated when wastewater in the green tank reaches a certain level.
This can occur when there is a problem with the system, or when we experience rainfalls and the system is basically overloaded and pumps are doing all they can to remove water. Remember that there are one or two tanks underground and one on top. Most of these tanks leak and allow rainwater to enter, and we must then pump out large volumes of rainwater mixed with wastewater. This leaking or seepage is greater when it rains or when lawns are watered and ground is saturated. Therefore, when it is raining and for a couple of days after the rain, lights will come on and stay on until the system starts catching up. We continually drive around the City checking for red lights, but some are on the back of homes and some have bushes that have grown up around them making it difficult to see. If your light goes on during a rain and does not go back off after a couple of days of dry weather, give us a call and we will check the system.
Remember this system if for liquid water/wastewater removal.
It does not remove solids. The major problems associated with a septic system involve the buildup of grease, soap and solid waste. When the solids in your underground tanks do not biodegrade, they build up, lowering the volume your tanks can hold. With our type of system it is impossible to determine the situation (buildup) in the underground tanks, but when we perform an inspection or repair of the pump tank, we can make the determination that your septic tanks should be cleaned (pumped out). When we determine that our pump out system is working and you are having trouble flushing, it is a good indication that your underground tanks are full. Experience has taught us that the more people utilizing a residence will dictate the frequency that tanks should be pumped out by a professional septic removal company. To prevent any problems, we recommend that for a small family, the system be pumped or at least checked every three years, with more frequent checks or pump-outs as the size of family and/or use increases. Some individuals have told us they have never had tanks pumped out and some do it every year or two routinely. We do have a book of maps that shows the approximate location of underground tanks, and can help you locate them should the need arise.
Again, remember that when we experience a lot of rain, or several days of rain, the ground becomes saturated and water seeps into the tanks, and this can continue for several days.
If you are having trouble flushing during normal weather, call us first and let us check our system before you go to the expense of calling a plumber.