Modern septic systems are more complex than ever, and many require active monitoring to ensure they are working properly. Regular maintenance and monitoring is critical to ensure the quality of our community ground water, and is mandated by the county for some systems. When required, this service must be performed by a Certified System Service Provider, like Navo & Sons, Inc.
Below are some common Maintenance & Monitoring Questions and Answers
Who requires this Maintenance & Monitoring?
Septic System Monatenance and Monitoring are mandated by the county, per The Nevada County Wastewater Management Program, approved in 1998. The objective is to ensure systems are properly operated, regularly inspected, and maintained.
The Ordinance and Regulations:
- Require routine inspection with maintenance as needed based on inspection results;
- Sets inspection schedules to be established by the size and type of system;
- Provide On-site wastewater disposal system performance parameters;
- Apply throughout the county.
With the advent of approval of new and innovative methods to develop on-site sewage disposal systems comes the responsibility and requirement to ensure that these types of systems will function properly. While these systems provide a greater ability to utilize parcels previously designated as "unbuildable", failure to properly operate, monitor and maintain these systems will lead to subsequent failure, resulting in health hazards, water pollution, and financial and legal problems for all involved.
Meeting higher treatment standards means more maintenance. This requires that specific treatment systems be periodically inspected and maintained based upon the results of the inspection. Special Design owners must enter into a contractual agreement with a professional, certified to perform such evaluations and inspections. The owner will be given a copy of the inspection record and maintenance requirements and a copy will be kept at CDA.
Do all systems require Maintenance & Monitoring?
Currently, not all Special Design septic systems are required to be monitored. The Nevada County Land Use and Development Code Chapter 10 requires that Pressurized Distribution systems, Mound systems, Intermittent and Recirculating Sand Filter systems, Package Plant systems, Advantex, and Experimental systems have a monitoring and maintenance plan.
Can I do this Maintenance & Monitoring?
In order to ensure that service is performed by professional, specially trained and certified providers called Certified System Service Providers (CSSP'S), Nevada County has instituted a program to test and evaluate CSSP's.
The CSSP is responsible for:
- Conducting inspections to ensure quality control of new and existing systems;
- Performing field investigations and monitoring;
- Reporting of system function to owner and CDA
- Reporting deficiencies to the CDA and make the necessary repairs;
- Reporting failures to the CDA
In order to obtain a CSSP certification, all CSSP applicants must make an application to the department and demonstrate adequate knowledge and competency in sewage disposal principals to the departments satisfaction.
General Maintenance Requirements
- The effluent filter and Biotube filter should be removed and hosed down into the septic tank solid side to remove any scum and buildup.
- The pump and alarm floats should be manually activated to verify proper operation.
- The leach line laterals should be flushed to remove any accumulated scum. A flushing valve assembly should be connected to the cleanout assembly to discharge the effluent back into the trench. If flushing is not performed, the lateral orifices will eventually clog with scum and not operate per design.
After flushing is completed the pressure head should be reset to the designs specifications.
- The drainfield effluent head should be checked on each lateral to assure proper operation of the pump and that orifices are not clogged. Then the pump should be turned on and see that uniform head is maintained throughout the distribution system.
Every 3-5 Years
- Septic tank maintenance should include pumping the septic and cleaning the effluent filter. Because the septic tank maintenance is critical to the over-all performance of the sewage disposal system, failure to perform this maintenance can lead to sedimentation and premature failure of the leach lines.
- The primary and 100% repair area must be protected from vehicular traffic, corrals, animal enclosures, stables, structures, below or above ground pools, or any other activity that causes alterations such as grading, cuts/fills, ect. Failure to do so may void this report.
- Please note that all roof drainage should be diverted away from the leach field. Irrigation in the area of the leach trenches should be kept to a minimum to avoid saturating the soil. Drip irrigation should be used.
- Also we recommend water conservation should be enlisted for household water use to maximize the life expectancy of the absorption trenches. Also take care of any household leaks immediately to avoid unnecessary saturating of the leach trenches.