Please note any maintenance and/or repairs performed, and who performed them, since the last monitoring, i.e. tank pumped, alarm repaired, pump replaced, system purged & balanced.
Additional Routine Maintenance Recommendations
Diversion Valves: Diversion valves switch the effluent flow between two or more separate leach fields. Often there will be two functioning leach fields separated by a diversion valve. Switching periodically between leach fields allows the leach fields to dry out prolonging their longevity. Often the system higher in elevation or above ground is utilized during the winter months in order to achieve a separation to ground water.
A diversion valve is either manual or automatic. A manual valve will often be found within an access container made of ABS,PVC, or corrugated pipe with an access lid at the ground surface. The valve will be located after the sump tank or after the septic tank if there is not a sump tank. An automatic diversion valve is often found within a Christy box and may consist of valve levers controlled electronically (there will be wires connected to the valves) or a number of pipes exiting from a chamber such as with the Hydrotek valve.
To determine if a Hydrotek valve is operational:
- Have one person activate the pump and send one dose of effluent, and have a second person observe the effluent flowing through the clear piping exiting the valve during a dose.
- One person sends a second dose while the second person observes the effluent. The effluent should be traveling through a different pipe. If it is not, contact a qualified septic contractor for assistance.
Electronically controlled diversion valve: To determine if it is working, first ascertain when the valve is set to open. This information should be available from the approved septic plans or from the contractor or consultant who worked on the system. If the diversion valve is set to switch between fields after every dose:
- Observe which valves are open during a dose, and then observe if the valves rotate during the next dose. If they don’t rotate between doses contact a qualified septic contractor.
- If the valves are not set to rotate after each dose contact the contractor or consultant who worked on the system for assistance.
Valve boxes: Locate the valve boxes, as shown on the approved septic plans. Check to see if they are filled with dirt or effluent and remove any excess dirt. Dirt will hinder the ability to adjust the valves when purging and adjusting is necessary. Effluent may indicate that a biomat is forming on the gravel bed and that the system needs purging and adjusting.
Vegetation: Follow proper vegetation practices. Refer to WLS-017, Landscape Guidelines for Nonstandard Septic Systems.
Soil cover: Fill in any holes in the leach field area with a permeable soil similar to the existing cover.
Interceptor drains: Interceptor drains are sub-surface drains used to catch sub-surface water in order to divert it around the leach field. Not all septic systems employ an interceptor drain. If one is used, the location of the interceptor drain should be on the approved septic plans. Locate the outfall and the cleanouts, and clear any obstructions. The best time to check to see if the drain is functioning is during or right after a rainfall. Water should be running out of the outfall.
Expansion area: Determine if the system has an expansion area. For any new improvements such as, structures, driveways, drainage ways, horse corrals, etc. setbacks from the expansion areas must be met. For questions, contact PRMD Well and Septic staff prior to the start of work.
Pretreatment units: Determine if the system has a pretreatment unit and review the maintenance manual for service instructions. Make sure the unit is always turned on. When properly working no odors should be present when the unit is closed. If there are odors present when the unit is closed, contact a qualified septic contractor for assistance.
Drip Systems: For drip systems, refer to the maintenance manual if available. Check the approved septic plans for location of the drip system, including the headworks, located in a Christy box, and the air vent/vacuum breakers. Be sure that the headworks, and air vents are free of excess dirt. Check visible plumbing for any leaks. Check for wet areas within the system which may indicate a broken line, and if there are wet areas or plumbing leaks, contact a qualified septic contractor.
Additional information related to non-standard septic systems: