When you connect to a municipal sewer or install a new septic system, the old septic system needs to be made inactive or decommissioned. Decommissioning involves a series of steps to ensure the safe and proper disposal of the existing septic tank. This process is crucial to prevent environmental contamination and safeguard public health.
The Process Of Decommissioning A Septic Tank
Decommissioning a septic tank requires the expertise of a licensed contractor due to the hazardous gases present, such as methane and hydrogen sulfide gas. The following steps outline the decommissioning process:
1. Disconnecting Plumbing And Electrical Connections
The first step is to disconnect all plumbing pipes and electrical wires from the septic system. This ensures the safe separation of the old system from the property’s plumbing and electrical infrastructure.
2. Pumping Out Effluent And Sludge
Once the connections are severed, the septic tank needs to be emptied of all effluent and sludge. This involves using specialized equipment to pump out the contents of the tank, ensuring it is completely emptied.
3. Treat the Tank with Aglime
To destroy any remaining contaminants in the tank, it is treated with aglime. Aglime is a substance that helps neutralize and stabilize hazardous materials, making them less harmful to the environment.
4. Draining the Tank and Drain Field
After the tank is treated, holes are drilled at the bottom to facilitate drainage. The drain field, which is responsible for the final treatment of effluent as it seeps into the ground, is also drained during this process. Proper drainage ensures that no residual waste remains in the system.
5. Removing or Breaking Apart the Tank
In some cases, the septic tank can be removed entirely from the property. However, if removal is not feasible, the tank is broken apart and filled with sand, concrete, and gravel. This burial method ensures the tank is safely and securely contained below the ground.
6. Compacting the Ground
Once the tank is removed or buried, the ground above the area is carefully compacted. This compaction prevents future collapses or sinkholes, ensuring the stability of the surrounding soil.
7. Decommissioning Document
Finally, the licensed contractor issues a document that details the entire decommissioning procedure. This document serves as proof that the septic system has been properly decommissioned, ensuring compliance with local regulations.
The Importance of Decommissioning Septic Tanks
Decommissioning septic tanks is vital for several reasons. Firstly, septic tanks contain hazardous gases, such as methane and hydrogen sulfide, which can be dangerous if released into the environment. By decommissioning the tank, these gases are properly contained and prevented from causing harm.
Secondly, old septic systems are susceptible to corrosion and collapse over time. This poses a significant risk to individuals near the tank, potentially leading to serious injuries or even fatalities. Decommissioning ensures the safe removal or secure burial of the tank, eliminating these dangers.
When to Decommission a Septic System
There are several situations when decommissioning a septic system is necessary:
- Property Connected to Public Sewer: If your property is now connected to a municipal sewer system, it is essential to decommission the old septic tank to avoid any potential environmental or health hazards.
- Property Use Changes: If the property’s use changes, such as converting from residential to commercial, decommissioning the septic system may be required to meet new regulatory requirements and ensure the safety of the occupants.
What Is Decommissioning Of A Septic Tank: FAQs
What Is Decommissioning Of A Septic Tank: Conclusion
Decommissioning a septic tank is a crucial step when transitioning to a municipal sewer system or installing a new septic system. It involves disconnecting plumbing and electrical connections, emptying the tank, treating it with aglime, draining the tank and drain field, removing or burying the tank, compacting the ground, and issuing a decommissioning document. This process ensures the safe disposal of hazardous materials and minimizes the risks associated with old septic systems. By decommissioning septic tanks, we protect the environment and prevent potential injuries or fatalities.