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Septic tank maintenance

Note: any maintenance carried out inside the tank is done within a confined space. The person carrying out maintenance on the system must have received appropriate training. Sewage and sewage effluent can carry microorganisms and gases harmful to human health.

Suitable protective clothing; including gloves, goggles should be worn at all times. Always remove contaminated clothing and equipment after completion of work. Wash hands and face before eating, drinking or smoking.

Septic tank maintenance: how often?

Septic tanks, such as the Tricel Vento, require a certain amount of maintenance to ensure that the system is working correctly. As the homeowner, this is your responsibility, and it is to your benefit to undertake regular maintenance.

Quarterly maintenance of septic tanks (three months):

We would recommend checking the outlet distribution box on a monthly basis to ensure that the effluent is free-flowing and clear. The vents should be checked to make sure they are not blocked or covered with overgrown grass.

The outlet distribution box would be situated just after the outlet pipe of the tank, please see below image.

Tricel distribution box

Yearly maintenance: de-sludging

De-sludging, or emptying your tank, is a critical part of the continued successful operation of any septic tank system.

Only competent approved personnel should carry out de-sludging.

De-sludging is required yearly to prevent system failure as solids can rise to the height of the outlet pipe and then carried along with the liquid into the percolation trenches. Indeed, this would block the percolation area and can cause flooding.

The frequency of de-sludging a septic tank

Depending on usage and house population, more frequent de-sludging may be required. The de-sludging of the septic tank is your responsibility as the homeowner.

This process is carried out with a vacuum tanker, and we strongly recommend the use of a licensed company.

How to de-sludge (emptying the solid waste from the “primary chamber”)

  1. Remove the access cover
  2. Empty the Tricel septic tank using a vacuum tanker. Care must be taken not to damage the unit with the hose of the vacuum tanker.
  3. Replace the de-sludging access cover securely.

Notes:

  • Do not let this heavy equipment drive over the tank. Maintain a distance of at least four meters away from the covers of the tank.
  • The access cover should never be left off while the unit is unattended.
  • Never undertake de-sludging alone.
  • The property owner has a legal responsibility to ensure that the system does not cause pollution, a health hazard or nuisance.

 

How to care for your septic tank

Products to avoid

  • High volume discharges, such as those from swimming pools and Jacuzzi’s, must never enter the system.
  • Surface water must not enter the system.
  • Do not allow large quantities of chemicals to enter the system, including:
    • Water softener regenerate
    • Disinfectants
    • Strong acids and alkalis, or photographic chemicals
    • Oil or grease
    • Petrol or diesel
    • Pesticides
    • Large volumes of milk, alcohol or food.
    • Large quantities of bleaches or cleaners
  • Baby wipes
  • Sanitary towels
  • Kitchen paper
  • Nappies

 

Maintenance of your septic tank soakaway

Your soakaway or percolation area is the vicinity where the effluent from your septic tank gets released. It is the final stage of the treatment of the sewage, and as such, this is an essential area to take care of.

  • Planting: keep trees, and more especially their roots, at an appropriate distance from your septic tank and the soakaway. You can ask for advice which will depend on the type of septic tank, the landscape of your garden and the variety of trees.

As a rule, we would recommend keeping the trees 5m away from the septic tank and its soakaway.

  • Location: the location of your soakaway needs to be chosen with care to avoid any excess water interrupting or slowing down the sewage treatment process.

 

For small or difficult sites where percolation areas or soakaway can be challenging a sewage treatment plant might be recommended instead of a septic tank.

Contact us today if you have any questions regarding your septic tank maintenance.

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