Commercial septic systems are a different animal when lined up against their residential counterparts. And in our business, where we primarily deal with lift stations attached to these sorts of systems; we frequently run across a lot of common issues.
And these issues aren’t necessarily because commercial septic systems are more prone to failure. It’s just that they have a larger capacity and get a lot of use. It’s only natural that they’re impacted by wear and tear more than residential systems.
If you’re a commercial property owner, there are plenty of do’s and don’t of owning a septic system, many of which we’re going to go over today. Here are some of the things you should be making sure you’re doing and not doing – to get the most out of your commercial septic system.
Always keep a diagram of your septic system
If your system needs to be serviced, these diagrams will help inspectors and service pros find the necessary parts and know how to attack the problems.
Determine how often you should get your tank pumped
When you purchase a commercial property, you should immediately have the septic tank inspected. Why? Because there’s a lot of information you’ll need to gather; the most important of which is how much you’ll need your tank to get pumped. It’ll depend a lot on your tank’s size, the amount of water your facility uses and other factors, but you’ll want to make sure you identify how much you’ll need to have your tank pumped and make sure that regular schedule is adhered to.
Managing run of the mill problems before they become issues
This falls under the ‘just use common sense’ category. Making sure vehicles don’t drive on your drainfield is a nice start. But other things like signs that encourage people to NOT flush garbage, hygiene products, wipes and diapers. Making sure that things like leaking fixtures are addressed immediately (you can waste gallons and gallons of water if you’re not careful). And above all else – make sure you’re taking care of grease traps – particularly if one or several of your tenants are restaurants. This will prevent clogs, odors and other potentially expensive issues.
The rule of FOG
‘FOG’ in the septic world stands for “Fats, Oils and Greases.” They can create a whole mess (literally) of issues related to your plumbing system and septic system. Make sure all your tenants or employees know how to properly dispose of things like cooking oil.
Don’t build things over your system
While things like decks and patios seem like a cool idea, you don’t want to build over your septic system and we think those reasons are probably fairly self-explanatory. But if you’re going to build any additions, make sure your architect and septic provider are both part of that conversation.
Don’t plant things in your drainfield
This one is particularly dangerous. Over time, root systems can creep into pipes and damage your system, causing leaks, pollution and one heck of an expensive mess to clean up. If you want to add foliage to your property, consult with an arborist, first.
Combining runoff and wastewater
Be sure that you pay attention to your gutters. If you have runoff water merging with wastewater or drainage that flows over your drainfield, your septic system can quickly become overwhelmed and fail.
When you own a commercial building, your decisions don’t just impact your bottom line, they impact the health and happiness of your tenants, employees and customers. By understanding these aspects of your septic system, you’ll be able to put it in the best possible spot to do its job and in turn – keep your businesses running smoothly. If you’d like to learn more about how your commercial septic system can be maintained, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Good luck!