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Septic Field Issues. "Septic Field Replacement Alternatives"

With the recent heavy rain conditions, New Jersey residents have been experiencing issues with their septic systems. A lot of homeowners are not receiving accurate assessments of the condition of the system. When a septic systems field becomes saturated, homeowners are being told that field replacement is the only answer. This is not true. The following is an alternative measure to field replacement. The Terralift soil fracturing system  when used with our patented restoration procedure is an excellent cost-effective alternative to entire field replacement. The restoration procedure is also attractive because there is virtually no damage to your  lawn. It is also an extremely environmentally friendly project. The procedure is completed in one day and has less than 11% of the emissions signature that is emitted from a normal field replacement project.When a  on-lot wastewater system is suffering a field malfunction. This situation is caused mainly by two scenarios (excluding broken or missing components). The first scenario is that the soil is getting clogged because the solid waste has found its way into the drainage field. The solid waste particles find their way down into the select fill and begin clogging it, working its way up towards the ground surface until it reaches a point that the water can no longer flow through it. The second scenario is that the certified fill that was initially put into the field has either been compacted or is suffering a malfunction because of its original quarry processing.

There are two ways to rectify this problem. The first method is to excavate the field down to a level that will remove the malfunctioning material. Once the material is removed, new select fill needs to be put back into the system as well as replacement of the laterals and possibly the distribution box. The problem with this method is that it is extremely costly. It will require an engineer's sign-off in order to obtain the appropriate permits. It will also require disposal of the human-waste-contaminated soil that is being removed from the field. I do not recommend leaving this material on site or burying it on site. There is also the issue of extreme ground disturbance that is necessary in order to complete the project. A new field replacement/repair will not come with any warranty of longevity. They are only guaranteed as per design.

The second method, which is Terralift septic field restoration. It consists of an evacuation of solids and liquids located in the holding tank, distribution box, and laterals. Once the system is evacuated, a line camera locator is inserted through all accessible lines for inspection and location purposes. The distribution box is located and opened for inspection. All exiting laterals are located and thoroughly cleaned using a low pressure hydro jetting system. Waste product is once again evacuated from the lines and distribution box and transferred into the holding tank. The camera locator is once again inserted into all laterals for location purposes. The laterals are located and a grid map is then designed so that a soil fracturing procedure can commence. At this point a probe is inserted throughout the field at various locations to determine the depth that the fracturing procedure will occur. The entire field is then equally fractured. The probe that is inserted into the field injects a bacteria enzyme and polystyrene granules into the field. The non-collapsible granules that are injected into the field are used to keep the water passages open once they are fractured. The bacteria enzyme is designed to eat up and remove any waste matter that may be clinging to the soil in the field. Once the aeration procedure is completed, the system is flow-checked and leveled at the distribution box. The entire system is then treated with a bacteria enzyme to assure proper functioning. When the procedure is completed, the entire system will be functioning as per design, without the field malfunctioning. The procedure comes with a 2-year warranty. It also includes a 12-month supply bacteria enzyme for the system.The soil fracturing assures that the entire field is functioning and flowing equally. This is extremely difficult to achieve when doing a field replacement, due to the inconsistencies that occur in select fill. There is also the issue of excavation on site. If the price you were quoted is for a partial field replacement, it is likely the existing portion of the field will have issues in the near future because of the potential of compaction while excavating and refilling the absorption area.

The Terra-lift septic field restoration procedure comes with a 3-year warranty.  This procedure does not require excavation. The only excavation that will occur is exposing the lid of the distribution box and holding tank (if applicable). It is a one-day procedure. It needs to be understood that the aeration procedure, when combined with the steps listed above, is not a temporary fix. All of the issues with the system will be addressed and corrected.(The above description is based on a conventional gravity fed system. Seepage pits and non-conventional systems are addressed on a site by site basis)Always explore all of your options before considering a full system replacement. Septic systems are not as complicated as one would think and usually can be repaired.

Aero-Stream or Terralift: Which is better?

On several occasions I've been asked questions about the Aero-Stream septic rejuvenation system and how it compares to the Terralift septic field rejuvenation service we offer. First, I need to point out that the two procedures are quite different. The Aero-Stream procedure is basically an aerating pump that is installed into your septic holding tank that generates oxygen to assist in the breakdown of waste material. Does it work, you ask? The answer is yes, it does work to assist in the proper functioning of your onlot wastewater system. The procedure of aerating a holding tank is not new. The procedure of entering oxygen into the waste material is basically used on almost all sewer treatment plant facilities. I disagree with claims that the Aero-Stream will fix every septic problem. It will assist in breaking down the biomat in the tank and field, but the oxygenated water must make it to the field. The Aero-Stream system will not work if there is a baffle issue, a clogged or collapsed line, select fill failure, clogged, collapsed or unlevel distribution box, groundwater infiltration, or root issues.  These are only some of the issues that could be causing your septic system to malfunction. If your system was designed properly and biomat buildup is your only issue (gray water flowing), then the Aero- Stream system might work on your septic. The Aero-Stream rejuvenation system does not work immediately as stated in their advertisement. It could take more than two years to show results. I would recommend the Aero-Stream system (or any quality oxygen pump) on any functioning septic system, but I would not recommend it for one that is not functioning. A malfunctioning septic system can cause severe health problems, and the risk to yourself and your neighbors may not be able to wait for the potential years it could take to correct. The Aero-Stream system comes with a satisfaction guarantee at a price of approximately $1,100.00. The Terralift septic field restoration procedure that we perform is designed to bring your septic system back to its original operating condition in one day. Our procedure addresses on site all the issues with your system. The tank is pumped and inspected, and all lines are thoroughly cleaned and internally inspected with a camera. All lines and components of the system are located and inspected. The system's absorption area (drainage field) is probed and checked for permeability and soil issues. It is my opinion that all components of an onlot wastewater system must be thoroughly inspected to confirm why they are malfunctioning. The Aero-Stream system is homeowner installed. In order for a homeowner to do the same system inspection that is provided with the Terralift service, he or she would have to rent or buy a backhoe or excavator, a sewer line camera and locator, and line jetting machine. Even with all this equipment, the homeowner will still not be able to correct issues in the drainage field. This is why there is no comparison between the Aero- Stream septic rejuvenation system and our Terralift septic field rejuvenation. Our procedure comes with a three year warranty and a supply of Bio-Clean bacteria enzyme. You also have the advantage of having an environmental professional inspect your septic system to determine the correct measures needed to once again achieve full operating capacity. Aero-Stream also claims that the Terralift procedure is temporary and expensive. In fact, the Terralift septic field restoration procedure is a fraction of the cost of field replacement. It is also designed to return your septic system to its original design. What this means is that in order for the Terralift septic field restoration procedure to be considered temporary, it would mean that your original design was also temporary. If that was the case, then the Aero-Stream procedure would not work at all. When it comes to septic field restoration, our septic field restoration procedure is the right choice. Terralift septic field restoration, the green alternative to septic field replacement


Q:  Is there anything I should add to my septic system to aid in the breakdown of the solid material?
A:  There are biological enhancers that can be used to boost you septic tank after it has been serviced and for routine septic tank maintenance.  Many of the so-called additives on the market promise amazing results.  However, homeowners should be aware that only a biological enhancer like the ones available from professional septic service companies are designed specifically to enhance the necessary bacteriological environment required for a septic system to function properly.
Q:  Will laundry detergents, cleaning products or bleach harm my septic system?
A:  Under normal use, detergents, cleaning products and bleach will not damage the septic system.  However, homeowners should be aware that if excessive amounts of these products are used, the naturally growing bacteria in the septic tank may be killed.  Homeowners with heavy usage of these products may want to consider using a biological enhancer to ensure the proper bacteriological environment. 
Q:  Can I use a garbage disposal with a septic system?
A:  Yes; however, homeowners should be aware that use of a garbage disposal will cause the solids in the septic tank to accumulate more rapidly.  This may dictate more frequent servicing of the septic system. 
Q:  I have a pump on my septic system.  Why doesn’t the system work on gravity flow, and is there any special care needed for the pump?
A:  Pump systems are installed for a number of reasons:  soil permeability, high water table, drain field elevation, size of property, etc.  It is recommended that pumps be serviced annually and the pump, floats and electrical connections be inspected periodically.