MAINTENANCE TIPS/OWNER GUIDE for AEROBIC SYSTEMS!
To keep your system functioning properly, regular maintenance is required. No matter how well the system is maintained or how well your aerobic system is designed and household usage, there will be parts that need to be replaced. Some are less expensive (and more common) like diffuser bars (if required, not all brands use diffusers), filters, sprinkler heads, airline, float switches, timers, audio and visual alarms, etc. Some are more expensive like sprinkler pumps, air compressors and septic tank cleanings, etc. With owning an aerobic system, you should expect to have parts replaced and it needing to be cleaned/pumped out. The life span of each part of your system will vary depending upon how many people use your system, how much water is used, what types of food you eat, what medicines are taken, the type of cleaning chemicals being used in the household, what you flush down the commode and of course the regular life expectancy for each functioning part, etc.
Some of the items checked during routine inspections that may need to be replaced or repaired according to their life span. These items include, but are not limited to: air compressor (aerator), a/c filters, filter pads, diffuser bars, sprinkler pumps (irrigation pumps), control panels, electrical circuit boards, float switches, timers, audio alarms, visual alarms, airline, photocell’s, toggle switches, wires, junction boxes, risers and/or lids, sprinkler heads, chlorinators, etc.
Below are some recommendations that will help you keep maintenance costs down and will help your aerobic system function properly.
· RED LIGHT ALARMS: if your alarm turns on, don’t panic (it usually isn’t an emergency) Please call our office and schedule a service call with our office. If we are closed (after hours, weekends or holidays), please leave (1) voicemail at (210) 875-3625. You may also send a text to this number. You may email us to leave a request at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unable to call or text. We will make a work order for the next available business day. During this time, you as the homeowner need to reduce all non-essential water usage. Don’t wait days to report red light alarms!
· POWER: In the event of a red-light alarm or at any other time NEVER shut off the power to your system!
· IRRIGATION SYSTEMS (lawn care) & ALTERATIONS TO THE SYSTEM: Avoid spraying your irrigation system in the same areas as your septic spray areas. This will cause over saturation to the lawn. Homeowners, landscapers, irrigation and pool companies should NEVER replace or tamper with your aerobic system, including the spray heads. Doing such will void any warranties (if applicable) and may result in additional costs to the homeowner for necessary repairs to bring the system back into compliance. For any changes wanted or needed for swimming pools, decks, sport courts, patios or irrigation systems, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to call MJ Septic, LLC at (210) 875-3625 to assist in taking the necessary measures to have alterations made. This usually requires the system to be redesigned by one of our septic designers and re-permitted with your respective county.
** Do not build over any part of the aerobic system (the sprinklers can only be applied to natural vegetation surfaces!)
** Do not landscape over any part of the aerobic system (trees, plants, flowers, etc.)
** Do not allow ants to mound by any part of the aerobic system. Ant killer can be used to treat if mounds occur. (Ants will ruin electrical
and void any warranties if applicable)
** Keep all vegetation mowed and trimmed around the entire system, including the spray heads & spray area. If the technician cannot
access the system due to overgrown grass, weeds, bushes, etc. there will be a service call charge assessed to return for inspection.
· CHLORINE (tablets & liquid): Never store your tablets near water heaters or in your water heater closet. Keep chlorine away from gas and electrical. It is always best to store it in a cool, dry and well ventilated area.
** For tablet chlorinators: use only chlorine that is designed to treat wastewater! Calcium Hypochlorite tablets are available at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. We do not sell them. NEVER USE SWIMMING POOL TABLETS! (mixing pool tablets with wastewater tablets could cause a dangerous volatile reaction. When the chlorinator is completely empty, do not add more than 4-5 tablets at a time to prevent the chlorinator from clogging.
** For liquid chlorinators: you may use liquid chlorine/bleach (same bleach used to wash whites) When the chlorinator is completely empty, add no more than 3 ½ gallons of liquid chlorine bleach at a time. We recommend 2-3 gallons monthly (this will vary depending on how much water is used in the home per month) Do not tamper with chlorinators! This will void any warranties (if applicable).
· An aerobic system should not be treated as city sewer. Economy in the use of water helps prevent overloading the system. Leaky faucets, running commodes, etc. should be guarded against as well. Avoid doing all of your laundry in the same day (try to space to 1-2 loads daily); surges of water entering the system can and will hydraulically overload the system and throw off the balance of bacteria, which will not allow your waste to break down properly.
· Items flushed down commodes and/or poured down the drains DO NOT disappear; they must be treated by the system! Aerobic systems are designed to treat domestic wastewater and most toilet paper (read labels). Things that can harm your system include, but are not limited to are: excessive use of garbage disposal (very light use is okay, only if necessary, otherwise it is strongly recommended against!) fat, grease, oils, too many cleaners, too much fabric softener, too much bleach, cigarette butts, baby wipes, facial wipes, cleaning wipes, any type of wipes, feminine products, paper towels, condoms, q-tips, paint, paint thinners, varnishes, drain cleaners, automatic toilet bowl cleaners, hair combings, pet hair, coffee grounds, fruit, fruit peels, fruit juices, cola, wine, salad oil, sugars, dental floss, any type of diapers, kitty litter, gauze bandages, unused medications, etc. Items such as these even though they may say “flushable” or “septic safe” can cause the homeowner unnecessary and avoidable expenses for repairs to the system, as well as additional expenses when cleaning out the tanks.
· We take sludge level readings at every routine inspection (every four months) unless the system has been shut off/power failure. We always recommend cleaning/pumping of the system when levels reach 10-12” of sludge. *A typical/average household will need to have their system cleaned/pump every 2-5 years; this all depends on usage and WILL VARY per HOUSEHOLD! This fee is NOT included in your annual maintenance contract agreement.