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Septic Services & InstallationsNCP Homes is a licensed sewage system installer/supervisor and has vast knowledge in all aspects of residential septic system design and installation. Our qualified specialists are here to assist with any of your repair or maintenance needs when it comes to your current septic system.

What is a Septic System?

Septic systems are used to treat household liquid wastes in order prevent contamination to surrounding drinking water wells, groundwater, and nearby bodies of water (i.e. lakes, streams).

A septic system has three main components: a septic tank, distribution box, and leaching field. The septic tank is a water tight, buried tank that is made of concrete, fiberglass or plastic. The distribution box is used to evenly distribute effluent (water waste) to the leaching field, most commonly completed assisted by gravity. The leaching field (also referred to as a bed, soil drainfield, disposal field or absorption field) typically consists of perforated piping laid in gravel filled trenches, all of which are connected by pipes, called conveyance lines.

How Does a Septic System work?

There are six major steps that detail the process of how your septic system works.

Step One: Water waste flows from your home in the septic tank.

Septic Services & InstallationsStep Two: The septic tanks holds the water waste for a period of time long enough for the solids to be either digested or settled out as sludge.

Step Three: Scum and grease float on top of the liquid, and submerged baffles prevent the floating scum from being discharged into the distribution box.

Step Four: Liquid waste then overflows into the distribution box, which evenly separates the effluent into the network of distribution lines in the leaching field.

Step Five: In the leaching system, the trickling water from the distribution box is further purified by filtration and decomposition by soil microbes, before it percolates into the groundwater.

Step Six: Properly designed, installed and maintained septic tank/leaching field systems provide excellent treatment, purifying water waste into drinking water within a short distance. A conventional septic system should last approximately 30 years with routine maintenance.

What are common causes of Septic System failure?

Common causes of septic system failure include:

  • Leaking fixtures or over use of water in the household.
  • Neglecting to regularly clean and inspect your septic tank. If sludge or scum is allowed to escape the tank into the distribution box and from there into the leaching field, the surrounding soil will quickly become clogged. If this occurs, the liquid will no longer be able to percolate into the coil, causing pooling areas on your property. Broken baffles in the septic tank are generally the reason for this to occur. Failure to have the septic tank pumped can also lead to a situation where the sludge and scum can overwhelm the baffles.
  • Lack of understanding on proper use of the system. A septic system is not designed to handle solids. If solids overflow from the tank into the leaching system, they will clog the holes. Many home owners are unaware and flush certain solid objects down the toilet, which can lead to this problem.
  • Poor soil conditions and/or faulty design or installation. A leaching system placed in unsuitable soil, a system that is too small for the house it serves, or improperly constructed system, can lead to early failure. We highly recommend using a qualified professional when it comes to your septic system, even if it is minor repair or maintenance.
  • High water table. During wet or abnormally wet seasons, groundwater may rise into the leaching field and force sewage upward to the ground surface. This may be an indicator that the system needs to re-installed at a higher level. It may also be possible to intercept the high groundwater with a series of drains around the system called "curtain drains."

How do you avoid problems with your Septic System?

Septic Services & InstallationsIt is important to have you septic system inspected and pumped regularly. Most problems can be prevented through simple maintenance by a licensed inspector/contractor like ourselves, NCP Homes. Over time, solids will settle out in the bottom of the tank. If they are not pumped out, they can plug up the leaching field, which can be a costly repair and impairs the ability of the soil to effectively treat septic tank effluent and causing pollution. A regular cleaning is not that expense and allows for the service technician to have a quick look within the system. The service technician can also run some water from the house into the distribution box to determine whether the leaching field is still functioning well. Keep accurate records of your septic system, these can be important to the next home owners if you ever choose to relocate.


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