Septic Systems

Bray's Hoe Services repairs and installs septic systems.
Bray’s Hoe Services repairs and installs septic systems.

If you are experiencing any of the following issues, we can help. Give Bray’s Hoe Services a call today at (559)903-1345.

Like any system, a septic system requires maintenance. The maintenance of a septic system is often the responsibility of the resident or property owner. Some forms of abuse or neglect include the following:

User behaviors

  • Excessive dumping of cooking oils and grease can cause the inlet drains to block. Oils and grease are often difficult to degrade and can cause odor problems and difficulties with the periodic emptying.
  • Flushing non-biodegradable waste items down the toilet such as cigarette butts, cotton swabs or sanitary napkins can cause a septic tank to clog and fill rapidly. Therefore, these materials should not be disposed of in that manner.
  • Using the toilet for disposal of food waste can cause a rapid overload of the system with solids and contribute to failure.
  • Certain chemicals may damage the components or the bacteria operating in a septic tank, especially pesticides, herbicides, materials with high concentrations of bleach or caustic soda (lye) or any other inorganic materials such as paints or solvents.
  • The flushing of salted water into the septic system can lead to sodium binding in the drainfield. The clay and fine silt particles bind together and effectively waterproof the leach field, rendering it ineffective.

Other factors

  • Roots from trees and shrubbery growing above the tank or the drainfield may clog and/or rupture them. Trees that are directly within the vicinity of a concrete septic tank have the potential to penetrate the tank as the system ages and the concrete begins to develop cracks and small leaks. Tree roots can cause serious flow problems due to plugging and blockage of drain pipes, added to which the trees themselves tend to expand extremely vigorously due to the ready supply of nutrients from the septic system.
  • Playgrounds and storage buildings may cause damage to a tank and the drainage field. In addition, covering the drainage field with an impermeable surface, such as a driveway or parking area, will seriously affect its efficiency and possibly damage the tank and absorption system.
  • Excessive water entering the system will overload it and cause it to fail. Checking for plumbing leaks and practising water conservation will help optimize the system’s operation.
  • Very high rainfall, rapid snowmelt, and flooding from rivers or the sea can all prevent a drain field from operating, and can cause flow to back up, interfering with the normal operation of the tank. High winter water tables can also result in groundwater flowing back into the septic tank.
  • Over time, biofilms develop on the pipes of the drainage field, which can lead to blockage. Such a failure can be referred to as “biomat failure”.

Septic systems tank additives

Septic tank additives have been promoted by some manufacturers with the aim to improve the effluent quality from septic tanks, reduce sludge build-up and to reduce odors. However, these additives – which are commonly based on “effective microorganisms” – are usually costly in the longer term and fail to live up to expectations.