S.O.S. - Save Our Septic® Wastewater Adventure Series Volume 5: How to be a "M.O.M." to your Septic System, Part 1
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.
Mario Smith, the first generation of Smith and Sons Plumbing, sat down at his desk, sipping fresh coffee from his “World’s Best Dad” mug and checking his wristwatch. It was 9:28 AM. The webinar was about to start.
He went to the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association’s website and clicked on a sizeable link that read, “Onsite Wastewater Maintenance Webinar, presented by Bio-Microbics.” After logging in, he was looking at the title slide of the presentation with a head shot of a most peculiar-looking robotic man. He recognized him as “Robust” from a cover story in Sustainable World Magazine.
The frame at screen left showed an inactive video player beneath the word “Presenter.” Below this was a frame listing the names of everyone attending the webinar, fifty-seven in all. To the right of this was an interactive frame for questions and comments from all webinar attendees. Bio-Microbics’s FAST® systems were catching on with customers, so Mario knew it would be smart—and lucrative—to learn how to maintain them. Mario needed the money these days; half of his business involved maintenance contracts of various systems and with the current economy, business was slow.
Suddenly, a voice came through Mario’s computer speakers, although the presenter’s box was still dark. “Welcome, everyone! My name’s Robust. I’m an onsite specialist from Bio-Microbics, and I’ll be showing you how to properly care for a FAST® system. First and foremost, can everyone see me?”After ten or so people replied, “No,” Mario could clearly hear Robust sigh. “All, right, let’s see if I can figure out a simple webcast…how about now?” Robust asked, just as his metallic face and blue, plastic hair came into view.
“…good. Again, Welcome! Today, you will get an overview on how to be a M.O.M. to your system. As describe by its coined-phrase creator, Trapper Davis, M.O.M. stands for Maintenance, Operation, and Management. There’s more to Maintaining an onsite wastewater treatment system than general septic Do’s & Don’ts. These systems have advanced technology.”
“So, use my head…” joked Robust. “…er, I mean your head when it comes to replacing pumps, float components, and similar equipment.” Various questions popped up on the screen asking if the FAST® control panels are pre-programmed; all the circuits were already installed; if Robust’s head was NEMA 4X housing; etc. To which “yes” was typed in all responses.
When in Operation, be familiar with diagnosing problems,” Robust continued. “Then, Manage scheduling things such as filter cleaning or replacement, component inspections, and/or chemical replacement that are required at set intervals. These systems should be inspected as regulations require and pumped every 3 to 5 years. This is how you become a M.O.M.”
More Parental Advice
“Now, on to a general overview of a service maintenance call.” The presentation to the right of Robust changed to reveal a picture of a steamroller, with the title “TRAFFIC.”
“Which of your moms would run you over?” asked Robust. Jarred by this question, Mario noted no responses emanated from the attendees.
“Exactly,” Robust affirmed. “So don’t run over your system with any equipment heavier than a lawn mower. A FAST system lid has an H-10 rating. With that said, a tank with an H-20 rating can be installed under roadways. Keep a record with the location of the septic system and drain field for yourself and the homeowner.”
A question popped up in the comments section, “I mow my yard out in the country with a farm implement tractor. Will this damage the treatment unit?”
Robust replied, “The H-10 rating will support up to a 1750 pound load. Without knowing the specifics of your tractor, I can’t say for certain. Most garden tractors will not pose a hazard to your system…good question. I would suggest growing grass or small plants (not trees or shrubs) above the septic system to mark a visual location. Water conservation through creative landscaping is a great way to control excess runoff as well.”
To be continued... (Click here for Part 2)
© 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.