The above list is by no means exhaustive. If you cannot see your system or you are just not sure exactly what system you have, please feel free to contact us here.
Avoid costly repairs by making an effort to understand the workings of your wastewater system and always keep it well maintained and regularly serviced. A malfunctioning treatment system can lead to serious financial costs, not to mention environmental and health problems.
Therefore, to ensure compliant and reliable performance, your system must be maintained correctly by a qualified and certified Wastewater Technician. Not just a handy man.
Each Council requires the owner/occupier of a premises to receive regular servicing of their wastewater treatment system by a representative of the manufacturer, a service agent or a company acceptable to the
Council. Currently though, there is no requirement that service agents need to be qualified in anyway to service your system.
Fair Trading NSW does not license service contractors so it is left to Councils, with their limited powers, to regulate contractors. We must also point out that in NSW plumbers undergo no training on on-site wastewater treatment and land application. However they are entitled to service wastewater systems.
In the end the ultimate legal responsibility of inspection, servicing and maintenance of the wastewater system falls to the owner/occupier.
The gaps in legislation give rise to many service contractors out there not having any training, qualifications or certifications. They will happily take your money, usually upfront, and slowly and surely let your system fall almost into complete disrepair. In a partly regulated industry, like wastewater servicing and maintenance, Wastewater Technicians are few and far between.
There are currently a number of 'handyman/cowboy' contractors out there that are attempting to service and maintain multiple types of systems, with little to no idea at all. We constantly come across their mistakes and disasters. Usually contacted after the fact by customers that have been duped, lied too, ripped off and left in the lurch. We find that these systems have not been maintained or serviced correctly, or at all. Its always important to know that the person who is servicing your system is qualified, certified and experienced.
Kerry Flanagan Wastewater can inspect, service and maintain your wastewater system, no matter what the brand, black and/or grey, residential and commercial. Inspections are a general once over before the commencement of regular servicing. This way you will know how your system and its components are faring. It will show you what needs changing or fixing to bring your system up to operational and Council requirements. Inspections are a good idea even if your system has been or is currently being serviced by another contractor. It is always good to get a second opinion. If your system is not looked after properly it could end up costing you a fortune.
Even septic tanks require regular pumping out, depending on the amount of use, every three to five years is recommended. An inspection every few years, to check the scum and sludge levels, can extend this period to match system use and will save your trenches / land application area from the transfer of sludge from a 'solid' septic. This helps to keep trenches operating effectively, also saving you the need to ask us to perform our bio-augmentation therapy ( cleaning up and fixing ) your existing trenches or sometimes needing to install brand new ones.
Servicing, when done correctly, will help keep your system operating throughout its life. Some systems can be quick and simple, others can take a little more time and expertise to make sure your system keeps treating the wastewater as it was designed too. Almost all treatment systems require regular servicing and maintenance.
Almost all treatment systems require regular servicing. Each system is different so we make sure to carry out the servicing requirements for your particular brand. At every service we take water samples to satisfy the Council's permit to operate. Replenish the disinfection, replacing chlorine tablets or cleaning and/or replacing the UV lamp if required. When the system has an anaerobic ( septic ) tank we check the scum and sludge levels and the condition of the tank. If the anaerobic tank is fitted with an outlet filter we check and clean it to ensure transfer to the secondary treatment chamber or tank. On some models of AWTS ( Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems ) they have internal filters that require maintenance at each visit. When the system has an air pump the intake filter is checked, cleaned or replaced.
On suspended growth systems we test for the percentage of suspended solids and ensure that the sequencing is functioning correctly. On dry / wet composters and other terrestrial systems the filter bed is checked for its ability to transfer effluent. Living components such as worm colonies are checked to make sure nothing from the house such as harsh chemicals is killing off the living systems that treat the wastewater. On membrane systems the membranes are taken out and chlorine treated to ensure transfer to the disposal chamber. Alarms, floats and electrical components are also checked as these can save your system from disaster by alerting you and us before a little problem becomes a big one.
Keep an eye out for some of the unhealthy indicators:
Any unusual smells around the tank or land application area
Damp or soggy ground, or surface ponding
Lots of dark green grass growing on or around land application area/trenches
Toilets or drains slow to drain or backing up
Grease trap is full or blocked
Blocked sprinklers and outlets
Any audio visual alarm warning on your system
Overflow from the surcharge gully
Gurgling from the house drains
If any of these indicators are occurring or if in doubt contact us for advise and information.
The overall condition of the entire system, its components, parts, pumps, pipes and fittings etc, is checked and noted down in our service records and kept in our history for future reference and problem solving. As treatment systems include land application areas we do not see these as separate from the system. These are inspected and if required the disposal filter or auto flush valves are checked, cleaned or replaced. Sprinklers are checked for blockages and their location in regards to buffer distances from buildings, boundaries and waterways.
The condition of the area that the wastewater is disposed to is noted and any unusual growth or lack of growth may require a pH sample to determine whether the field needs to be pH adjusted. Its important in servicing and inspection to note changes in both the treatment system and the land application to preempt any problems that could occur in the future. Major faults and problems with the system or land application area are reported to the owner, to schedule in any additional work that needs to be performed, to get your treatment system operating again.