S.O.S. - Save Our Septic® Wastewater Adventure Series Volume 5: How to be a "M.O.M." to your Septic System, Part 2
Synopsis: Parental tips for Maintenance, Operation, and Management (M.O.M.) of your wastewater treatment system.
Application: There’s more to maintaining your onsite wastewater treatment system than general septic Do’s and Don’ts list in an Owner’s Manual.
Simple Maintenance Becomes ApPARENT
The presentation now demonstrated a computer-generated FAST® system in action. The blower in its above ground housing displayed arrows entering into the main tank’s airlift, a large, tubular structure in the middle of the blue honeycomb-like media and water rapidly dispersed over the media.
“Now, for another acronym: S.S.S. – which stands for Sight, Sound, and Smell. Look at the blower for proper functioning. See these vents on the sides of the doghouse?” asked Robust. The animation showed the green blower housing with metal louvers on the sides. “Nothing should obstruct the vents ensuring proper ventilation. Keeping these free will extend the life of the blower.”
“You should keep the blower on to provide the robust splash over the media for optimum treatment,” Robust explained. “Times you would manually turn off the blower is when you’re testing the alarm or the property will be shut down for an extended period, like seasonal use. In some cases, the blowers can be operated by a timer (called SFR®) to automatically turn on/off the blower in intervals for special cases to reduce power consumption. All FAST® control panels are equipped with this timer. Call your local distributor if you have any questions about that.”
He continued, “When you’re testing the alarm, know there’s a ten-second delay before it goes off. To silence it—and you’ll definitely want to—push the “RESET” button on the front of the control panel. Because if you don’t…” Just then, a piercing sound came through the computer, causing Mario to jump out of his seat and put his hands on his ears. A picture of an actual panel was on the screen, with an arrow pointing to the appropriate button. Robust pushed it and restored silence to his presentation.
“Just making sure you were all still awake,” he chuckled, as he continued his tutorial.
“Check for odors. If you smell odors, other than a mossy smell, call your distributor again, as there might be something wrong inside the system. Don’t worry—they’re always happy to talk. But don’t prank call them…I have learned.” He gives a mischievous robotic smile.
“This one’s basically a no-brainer,” Robust said. “The effluent should be clean enough to see through.” On the screen now was a picture of two jars of effluent. One was rather clear, while the other was obviously contaminated.
Does Your MOM Judge?
“All right, let’s move on to sludge levels. I apologize to anyone who’s eating breakfast right now. Scheduling when to pump the tank depends on the size and design of the treatment tank.” Mario was now looking at an image of a worker holding measuring tape parallel to a transparent tube (sludge judge) filled with a cross-section of sludge that was removed from the tank.
“Insert a sludge measuring device first in the trash or primary screening tank. Then, insert and measure the treatment or secondary tank in multiple places to take a complete measurement.”
“Both tanks should be pumped if the sludge is…” The slide finished his sentence for him as he read it aloud:
1) 18” deep in the primary tank or within 6” of the outlet point; OR
2) Within 3”-4” to the bottom of the FAST® unit in the treatment tank.
“…even if one tank may require to be pumped, then the other should also be. To properly measure the scenario in number two, — uh, pun intended –,” Robust chuckled again from the presentation screen, “measure the total liquid depth in the treatment tank and subtract the height of the FAST® unit from it.”
Don’t Forget to Call Your MOM
As the rest of the presentation Mario took notes carefully throughout, laughing occasionally at Robust’s unexpected remarks. “You know, this guy’s pretty funny for a robot,” Mario thought to himself.
“What are you up to, Dad?” his son, Mark, asked as he came in the room sweaty from working in the summer heat.
“Learning how to be a M.O.M.,” replied Mario, deadpan. Mark gave him a quizzical look and went back outside.
Mario smiled, sipped his coffee from his mug. “I can be pretty funny myself.” He proclaimed, “To be the best MOM, from the ‘World’s Best Dad’!”
© Bio-Microbics, Inc. Aerobe, Robust, S.O.S.-Save Our Septic and product names are registered trademarks owned or license for use by Bio-Microbics. The “S.O.S.-Save Our Septic®” Wastewater Adventure Series stories are copyrighted by Bio-Microbics, Inc. and meant for educational purposes only.