As Spring unfolds many start thinking about outdoor type projects. i.e. landscaping, porches, decks, patios, retaining walls, ponds, water features, new trees, shrubs, etc. Keep in mind however, and be extra cautious around septic tanks, drain fields, leach fields, and sewer and septic lateral drain lines. Avoid a potential disaster by having them located prior to beginning your Spring landscaping projects.
Everyone knows it's the law to call before you dig. National 811 service however, does not locate private utilities like sewer lines, septic lines, tanks, etc.
To most; underground utilities are just that, underground = out of sight, out of mind. If you don't already know the location, depth, and layout of your septic system, this is the perfect time to find out. By having a video inspection and locate of the lines and tank, you'll not only gain valuable information to help with future periodic septic system maintenance, potentially detect "underlying" problems before become an issue, and make more educated design decisions for your project.
Most plumbing companies, septic companies, and state and government entities recommend having a septic system serviced (pumped and inspected) every 3-5 years dependent on the size, capacity, and type of system you have on site. To better accommodate regular and necessary maintenance have poly risers installed on your septic tank to eliminate the need for future excavation.
If you're on city sewer, you may or may not already understand that you; as a homeowner, are responsible for the proper care and maintenance of your own private sewer lateral (main line) from the house to the street. In many municipalities, you're responsible all the way to where it ties into the city main (under the street).
In some cases sewer or septic lines can be quite shallow. Thus a simple excavation for a landscaping project like planting a tree, or installing an automatic sprinkler system could lead to damage of your sewer or septic system. Likewise, planting a tree too close to your sewer or septic lines or drain field, regardless of the depth, may cause future problems with infiltration from tree roots. Inevitably leading to a back-up.
Spring is the time when trees start come out of that semi-dormant winter state and start searching for water and nutrients from the soil. If you have a break, crack, or offset joint in your sewer or septic lines or a leaky septic tank; you're not only allowing untreated wastewater into the aquifer and nearby lakes and streams, but you're providing an incredible source of nutrients for your landscape. Sure the trees, shrubs, and lawn may look lush, green, and great, but the sewer back-up that occurs when a blockage happens will quickly turn that beauty to beast.
__________________ Brad Penske, Operations Manager - Coeur d'Alene, ID Lateral CONCEPTS, LLC - Sewer & Septic Line - Video Inspection, Locating, Consulting
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