Frequently Asked Questions in Seabeck, WA

What is maintenance and monitoring?

Maintenance and monitoring refers to the program for inspections and maintenance for your septic system in Kitsap County. In Kitsap County, you must have an annual maintenance contract with a certified maintenance and monitoring specialist.

We do encourage homeowners to become informed on how their septic systems work and what type of system they have. Most of the different types of systems have information available on the internet. We can perform a walk-through of your system if you would like us to explain how it works to you

What does maintenance and monitoring consist of?

Alternative systems generally fall into four different types pressurized drain fields, mounds, sand filters and patented devices. The M&M required depends on the type and complexity of the system used.

Inspection of the septic tank to determine scum, sludge levels and liquid levels in each of the compartments and if pumping is necessary of the septic tank.

Inspection of the pump tank if present which may include checking the effluent pump, cleaning pump vaults, control floats and checking if pumping is necessary.

Inspection of the aerobic treatment unit which may include cleaning of the filter or media within the aerobic treatment unit, cleaning and inspecting the aeration device and determining scum, Sludge and liquid levels and seeing if pumping is necessary for the aerobic treatment unit.

Inspection of the lateral drain field lines, checking levels of effluent for ponding, flushing lateral pressure distribution lines if present.

Inspection of a sand filter unit flush lateral lines within the sand filter check unit levels for ponding.

Inspection of Glendon Bio filters or mound distribution systems check for effluent seepage, ponding, and mound integrity.

Inspection of drip irrigation system clean filtration components, measuring pressure flow, flush laterals, check for drip field absorption Inspecting for root intrusion.

Inspection of disinfection device such as UV light and chlorinators.

Alarms on your on-site sewage system?

We do occasionally have customers call with alarms on their septic system. There can be several reasons for your septic system to be an alarm. Leaking or running toilets or sinks. Overuse of water, this can be several loads of laundry, having company over using extra water in a short period of time Leaky tanks, Risers or lids of the septic and pump tank during rain events.

Most of the systems that require maintenance are using timers for dosing. Septic systems are designed for a certain amount of gallons per day, example – a 3 bedroom home will be designed for 360 gallons per day. If designed daily flow is exceeded it will cause the alarm to go off. Leaking toilets and groundwater intrusion are the most common reasons for exceeding designed daily flow. The mechanical parts (pump, floats, timer and controls ) fail and need to be replaced on occasion.

All homeowners should know how to silence their alarm when they go off. Turning the system off or powering down the system is not recommended. There is typically a button on the systems control panel that will silence the alarm buzzer.

Things to look for: Is the compressor/motor running? If not it may need to be replaced.

Effluent coming out of lids or backing up into the house: Check power to system (breaker) Septic tanks outlet filter may be clogged and needs to be cleaned. Clog at the inlet of the septic tank needs cleared.

Basic Recommendations

  • Use liquid laundry detergent.
  • Use all detergents at %4 the suggested dose by the product manufacturer.
  • Use garbage disposal (if present) as little as possible to prevent excessive organic loading to the septic system.
  • Do not dispose of fats, oil or grease (FOG) to the septic system. This includes bath oils.
  • Do not use liquid fabric softeners (high FOG content). Dryer sheets are a better alternative.
  • Do not dispose of sanitary products, cigarette butts, or other non-decomposable items to the septic system.
  • Do not use disinfecting products in the toilette tank. These are the tablets or bottles you place in the toilette tank to disinfect the bowl after every flush.
  • Do check for leaky toilettes if a high water alarm occurs. This can be accomplished by putting food coloring in the toilette tank. If the coloring immediately appears in the toilette bowl the toilette leaks and should be repaired.
  • Do not dispose of caustic chemicals to the septic system. These types of chemicals are most often found in cleaning products. As a general rule of thumb, if the product has an orange or red label stating “BIO-HAZARDOUS” or “BIO-TOXIC” you should try to switch to a more microbe friendly product.
  • Do not use toxic drain clearing products. Baking soda dumped into a drain followed by several cups of hot vinegar may be used as a substitute.
  • Do keep all components necessary for your O&M service accessible. If you intend to landscape around your components please contact our office. We will be glad to discuss landscaping options that hopefully will satisfy you and still allow reasonable accessibility.
  • Do maintain or provide positive drainage away from all tank lids to prevent surface water intrusion.