RTE2FTA Daily Living

The Danger in Septic Tanks

Out of sight out of mind. Perhaps home-owners tend to forget maintaining their septic tanks because they’re hidden underground. The typical homeowner “maintains” their septic system by running the pump whenever they notice inefficiency. This is hazardous. Every household should be aware of these septic tank dangers. If you’re from Flowery Branch, better have a flowery branch septic tank service for your safety.

1.  The buildup of explosive gases

Improper ventilation is the culprit behind this. Have you ever wondered how bio-gas systems produce gas? Beneficial bacteria break down decaying organic matter into simpler compounds – with cooking gas (methane) being one of them. The same process occurs in your septic tank (except that you’re not tapping these flammable gases). Though rare, explosions may occur when these gases build up to unsafe levels.

Other gases formed:

–  Nitrogen oxide

–  Sulphur dioxide

–  Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide

2.  Sulphuric acid formation

In addition to methane and ethane, our tanks produce sulphuric acid too. This compound is formed when naturally-occurring hydrogen sulphide gas reacts with water. What’s the danger in this? Sulphuric acid “eats” up metal and concrete – just like all other inorganic acids. It slowly weakens the tanks’ lid making it structurally unstable.

This is a safety hazard as the tank may collapse any time and the sad thing is that these reactions take place underground. No warnings or visible deflections. Stay safe by installing a sturdy lid. You could even go overboard and install one that cannot be easily moved (or removed). This is especially useful when they’re children in the household – you know how curious they get.

3.  Entering the tank

If you’re reading these tips – chances are you want to know how these tanks operate. Stick to the books. Going to the tank is suicidal. In addition to safety training, septic tank service personnel are equipped with breathing equipment. What should you do when someone falls into the tank? Seek emergency services. If possible, blow fresh air into the tank using fans while you wait for help.

4.  Driving or parking over the tank

Though rare, most septic tank collapses can be attributed to this. Heavy loading may compress the ground in return transferring loading to the septic system. They’re never designed to withstand heavy external loads. Make a point of driving traffic away from the tank, whenever possible. You may accidentally break the tank’s pipes and we all know how costly underground plumbing repairs are.

5.  The growth of shrubs/ tall grasses near the tank

Inspect your tank’s surrounding regularly to ensure that there are no fire hazards, physical debris or tall grasses. In addition to being an eyesore, debris may compromise your tank’s structural integrity. Use the same principle when landscaping your lawn. Ensure that you do not plant trees near the system. Roots tend to follow moisture and they may damage your tank in the process. Consult your local plumbing experts on the plants (and vegetation) you can plant near your tank.

6.  Lighting cigarettes/fireworks near the tank

It’s common knowledge that we should keep naked flames away from these tanks. How many of us know that cigarettes, fireworks, and tiki torches fall under this category? Methane is explosive and fire pits should never be set up near septic tanks.