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SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEPTIC D-BOX INSTALL REPAIR
SEPTIC DRAINFIELD FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SEPTIC DYE TEST PROCEDURE
SEPTIC FAILURE SIGNS
SEPTIC INSPECTION & TEST GUIDE
SEPTIC LIFE EXPECTANCY
SEPTIC SUPPLIES & PARTS
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES
SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN BASICS
SEPTIC SYSTEMS, HOME BUYERS GUIDE to
SEPTIC SYSTEM SAFETY WARNINGS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SOAKAWAY BED FAILURE DIAGNOSIS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS, SEPTIC
VIDEO GUIDES: Septic Videos
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WASHING MACHINES & SEPTIC SYSTEMS
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Criteria for defining septic system failure: this septic system inspection and test article discusses the Definition of Septic System Failure - septic system failure criteria - the types of septic system failure in the drain field, leach field, seepage bed, or similar component. We list the causes of each type of septic component failure, and list the septic component failure criteria or in other words what conditions are defined as "failure"?
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How can you distinguish between a blocked pipe, a septic tank that needs pumping, and a clogged drainfield that needs replacement? This is an important question as it distinguishes between relatively low cost maintenance or repair task and a costly septic leach field replacement. We also discuss what can be planted over and near a septic drainfield and what should be avoided.
Massachusetts Title 5 lists specific failure criteria and serves as a good model for septic inspections anywhere.
For details see CESSPOOL FAILURE CRITERIA.
Since homeowners may receive vague advice about the condition of their septic system, here we present specific failure criteria for septic systems. For alternative septic system designs or advanced septic systems using more specialized equipment, a failure of that equipment is more often a needed repair than a total system failure.
The most basic definition of septic system failure would be a septic system that will no longer treat and dispose of septic effluent. A "blocked" septic system may or may not be a "failed" system - it depends on the cause of blockage. Is it a blocked pipe, a clogged septic filter, or is the drainfield saturated and no longer accepting effluent?
Here are some of the specific criteria that can reliably be taken to describe a failed or non-functional septic system:
Also see SEPTIC FAILURE SIGNS: what can we see that indicates a septic system is failing, Septic Failure Causes in our septic inspection online book, and see SEPTIC DRAINFIELD LOCATION: how to find the septic drain field or leaching bed.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Design Manuals for Septic Systems
Onsite Wastewater Disposal Books