Understanding Septic Systems

The septic tank is buried, watertight container typically made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. It holds the wastewater long enough to allow solids to settle out, forming sludge, and oil and grease to float to the surface as scum. It also allows partial decompositions of the solid materials. Compartments and a T-shaped outlet in the septic tank prevent the sludge and scum from leaving the tank and traveling into the leach field area.The most common leach field consists of a series of trenches containing perforated pipe surrounded by septic rock, or gravel, and covered with mesh and dirt. The effluent entering the leach field is partially absorbed into the soil and partially evaporated. the leach field should not be driven on or covered by a driveway or patio.

If your home’s plumbing system does include an on-site septic system, it is incredibly important to be aware of the signs of possible damage, along with the maintenance needed to prevent it. A damaged or clogged septic system can be costly to repair. It can also impose possible health risks for homeowners, tenants and neighbors. A failing septic system could be responsible for releasing wastewater and harmful bacteria and viruses, including E. coli.

Unfortunately, there is no absolute way to predict how long a septic system will last or if it will be able to handle an increased load. A septic inspection, however, can yield useful information on the condition of the system as it exists when the system is inspected. While predicting the future with regard to the septic system is not part of any septic inspection, the inspection often uncovers defects in the system which can save the purchaser unexpected expense.

The in-ground type of septic system uses a series of perforated pipes located below the ground surface. These pipes are placed in a bed of crushed stone or aggregate. The sewage flows over the crushed stone or aggregate into the underlying soil. The condition of this soil determines how well your septic system will operate and how large the absorption area needs to be. If the absorption area is too small and the soil is too tight as with clay soils, the liquid cannot soak into the soil fast enough causing the waste to either back up into the home or emerge at the ground surface. An early sign of waste emerging at the surface is “lush growth.” The saying “that the grass is always greener over the septic tank” isn’t true when it comes to a properly operating septic system.

You pump out your septic tank to get rid of the solid sludge that accumulates at the bottom of the tank and the grease that accumulates as scum floating near the top. Both sludge and grease can foul the leaching field. How often to pump out depends on your tank size, family size, and how much of your wastewater is solid waste. For example: suppose your tank is 1,500 gallons, you’ve got four people in the family, and your solid waste is the average amount. Then you should pump your tank every 4 years. The volume of solids in the wastewater varies with such things as garbage disposals, dirty clothes, where you live. A family with a garbage disposal (compared with one that scrapes the dishes into a trash can) dumps up to 50 % more solid wastes down the drain, and, therefore, needs to pump the septic tank twice as often. Additives don’t do any good-or, at least, no controlled scientific study has shown them to be effective. So, save your money.

A choice needs to be made as to how far one wants to go to investigate a system. In nearly all cases it is impossible to check all of the septic system components as this would require unearthing the tank, absorption area, distribution system, etc. If this is done, there is a risk of damaging the system and ruining the landscaping of the property. In addition, the soil conditions change over time due to both natural and man made alterations. Soil suitability testing which is discussed later could be performed, but is usually impractical in a typical real estate transaction.

Learn more about Professional Barrie Home Inspector. Stop by www.barrie-home-inspector.com. MJilitary personnel posted to Borden use the Angus Home Inspector for their relocation needs.

Small Space Gardening: How To Make Inverted Hanging Tomato …

Boy howdy, this project. This project! I heart it, is what I mean to say. Because it combines so many of my favorite things, like reusing/upcycling, and small-scale gardening, and inventive solutions to common problems, and also tomatoes. And twine! I love twine.
Tomatoes are so, so much fun to grow, because there’s a huge yield and wow, if you’ve never tasted a sun-warm tomato right off the vine, then get thee to a farm STAT. But the thing about tomatoes is that they can take up a lot of space, and they require trellising, which can be messy and/or expensive.Enter ingenuity.
I’d seen hanging tomato set-ups around Portland, and I’d always wanted to try it. The idea is simple – you suspend the plant up high, upside down, so that instead of needing to spread up and out, you let gravity take care of everything. No trellising necessary!
And it makes use of the water jugs I had to buy when I first moved back to SB, because the tap water here ohmigod . . . well, let’s not even go there. So! Starting with gallon-sized jugs, remove the labels (you could also paint these puppies to make ‘em even prettier) and then use a pair of scissors to carefully cut off the bottoms.In order too thread with twine, you’ll need to make a hole in each of the four sides, about an inch or so down from the now-missing bottom. I did this by hammering a nail to start the hole, and then using one side of my scissors to widen the hole.
Thread the twine through so that you have four loops of equal length, to evenly distribute the wight of the container.Now comes the hard part.
You’ll need to slip your tomato start, leaves and all, through the very small mouth of the water jug. It’s pretty awkward, and I suggest using smaller starts than I did. Regardless, you should be able to make it work with minimal damage. I broke a few leaves but mostly my tomatoes faired okay.
Once they’re in, fill the rest of the jug with organic potting soil. Hang ‘em up and water ‘em good!I’m so excited to see how this project unfolds! I know they’ll need extra watering since there’s no “ground” around them to protect them from drying. My biggest concern, though, is the size of the containers – and the roots having enough room to spread. We’ll see how that plays out. I know my potato tire tower project took a few years to iron out, but in the end it was awesome. I have high hopes for this one as well.
I’ll keep you all posted!

See the article here: Small Space Gardening: How To Make Inverted Hanging Tomato …

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Solar Power Systems for your house

If you are staying in a place where sunlight is present in abundance, install solar power systems. Use the sunlight heat energy to get the electricity or to heat the water for your house. This can be the most realistic and sensible approach for saving energy. Sunlight is a natural resource that is feely available in abundance and you must take the advantage of using it accordingly.

First gather the information on how much electricity you consume by taking out the average of last few months electricity consumption from the bill. This will decide how much photovoltaic (PV) panels are required. Always keep in mind for future enhancements and keep room for addition.
Secondly, get the DC to AC inverter installed to utilize the generated solar energy along with the current electrical system. Since the high voltage is involved it is always advisable to take help of a professional even you think you can handle it, just to avoid any untoward accidents.
Now days the solar power systems are not that costly as they were when introduced. Even with few PV panels you can generate electricity for your home. Otherwise also not too much sunlight is necessary to light a bulb. You can always go for this option even with less money, small house or you are not getting enough sunlight.
Now days solar panels are very advanced, can be mounted on a pole at a distance from your house or can be mounted at a tilted position. They just work fine. If your house is in a position where fitting the solar panel is just not feasible, you can align them at an angle so that they get the light for maximum number of hours to generate the electricity. If they are placed at a distance then there is definitely a loss of some voltage because of the longer path the wires need to travel. Same applies to the solar water heaters. You must keep the shortest possible wire length to minimize the voltage loss.
In due course of time, the supporting underneath frames usually attached to the solar panels has also evolved significantly. They allow changing the position of the solar panels, as and when desired depending upon the position of the sunlight to get the maximum sunlight. They also provide the provision to add more solar panels later on.
Keeping in mind the ever rising electricity bill, due to the rise in the price of non-renewable sources such as oil and coal, generating power through the sunlight is demand of the day. Sun is not only the renewable source of energy but also freely available. To install the solar power system for your house electricity requirements is not only the intelligent but the most desired decision one can take today.
It is not a distance dream to install the solar power system and use it. In due period, the cost of these has reduced and become within reach. Also the component parts of the system are easily available that a solar power system can be installed with greater ease. The new age solar systems are technologically advanced and generate more electricity with less sunlight and with less voltage loss. They are becoming better day by day with new and advanced features.
In the beginning, one can start using the solar energy system for the external purpose, like balcony lights and at other garden areas. Then slowly start using it for the internal house lighting and for heating the water.

Originally posted here: Solar Power Systems for your house