What Happens During the Decommissioning of a Septic Tank?

Decommissioning of a Septic Tank
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Installing a septic system is always an ideal option for homes, businesses and small communities outside localities served by public sewer systems. However, as soon as a public sewer connection is available to the property, the private septic system has to be decommissioned.

Under the law, local authorities require property owners to connect to larger, public sewers for easier waste management. Decommissioning should then be executed, within 60 days after connection to the main sewage.

So What is Decommissioning?

Decommissioning is simply the process of closing down a septic system by making it inoperative. It involves safe removal of unused or abandoned septic tanks, soak wells and drain fields by a licensed sewer service provider.

The contractor has to pump out the septic tank and fill it with compacted sand, concrete or gravel, before compressing the area back to surface grade.

Reasons for Decommissioning a Septic Tank

Notably, the purpose of decommissioning a septic tank is purely for safety and health reasons. An abandoned septic system could become unstable over time due to corrosion, subsequently weakening the walls of the tank. The instability could trigger a collapse of the system, causing damage, injury or even death.

Moreover, most septic tanks contain dangerous, noxious gases that could cause grievous harm to your health, and the environment. These gases might escape from unsecured tank openings and trigger an explosion. For these reasons, the decommissioning of a septic tank is not only logical but also unavoidable.

Septic Tank Decommissioning Process

The process of decommissioning a septic tank starts with applying for a permit from the municipal or the local environment office. The property owner or an enlisted sewer service provider can carry out the application process within 60 days, following connection to a public sewer.

Once approved, the decommissioning of the tank may begin.

Steps for Removing an Abandoned Septic Tank

Locate the septic tank – Finding the septic tank is not as straightforward as you would want to believe. For this reason, you need to enlist a sewer expert to help you locate the tank. A septic tank contractor ought to have all the necessary equipment to speed up the process. Normally, the tank should be ten feet straight from the main draining point, around your front yard.

Disconnect power to the septic system – After identifying the location of the system, the septic service provider should access the tank and disconnect all electrical controls and tank accessories that may no longer be of use. You should also remove buried service lines and electrical lines connecting to the sewer system.

Pump out the tank – The septic pumping contractor must then pump out any sludge or liquid before breaking open the tank bottom, to prevent the vessel from forming a water reservoir. If left intact, the tank will hold surface runoff over time, forming a mud reservoir. You should also remove the extension manway and crush the tank lid.

Fill the septic tank – You have the option of either filling the tank with rubble or taking it out completely. Comparatively, filling the tank is far much cheaper than taking it out completely, as the latter involves the use of power equipment.

The contractor should fill up the tank with clean sand, concrete, gravel or any other suitable material that is crushable. In addition, the area should be compacted to prevent settling. Future settling could be dangerous as it might cause abrupt collapsing.

Inspect and grade the area – The penultimate step involves properly grading the area and establishing vegetation cover. The septic contractor should also inspect the area to ensure permit requirements are met before documenting the decommissioning process.

Contact All Septic and Sewer Today if You Have a Septic System That Needs Decommissioning

The process of decommissioning a septic tank is not a do-it-yourself task, but a job for a certified sewer service provider. With over 20 years of experience under our belt, All Septic & Sewer is your optimal choice for the decommissioning of your septic tank safely and securely.

Moreover, we have all the necessary expertise and equipment to identify, inspect, access, pump and remove an abandoned septic tank from your property. Apart from applying for the decommissioning license from the local authorities, we will also submit a comprehensive report to the relevant agencies after successfully decommissioning your septic tank.

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