Businesses with septic systems need to take special care to keep them functioning properly, since failure to do so can lead to devastating consequences. A malfunctioning septic system can cause sewage backups, leaks into nearby supplies of groundwater, fines, and even legal issues.
This is why it is important that business owners have commercial septic inspection done regularly by a licensed septic company. There is little doubt that an “ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure” when it comes to having any septic service done on your property.
What Is Considered a “Commercial” Septic System?
The US Environmental Protection Agency defines a “large capacity septic system” as having the ability to serve at least 20 people per day. This encompasses a wide variety of buildings and businesses, including:
- Hotels / motels
- Manufacturing sites
- Office buildings
- Industrial parks
- Retail buildings
- Apartment complexes
- Retail buildings
How Does a Commercial Septic System Work?
A typical commercial septic system includes a large, underground tank (the septic tank) that stores wastewater from toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, and laundry facilities. In the tank, wastewater begins the processing cycle as it separates into three layers. The solid portion of the wastewater will sink to the bottom, while the lighter materials like oil and grease float to the top. The remaining middle layer is called effluent.
Effluent gradually moves from the septic tank through a series of pipes that lead to drain field – or leach field. The leach field is a series of trenches or beds filled with perforated pipes, gravel and soil. As the effluent leaches out through the surrounding gravel and soil, any remaining contaminants are removed. This means that the water that is returned to the ecosystem should be purified and safe for use.
Commercial septic systems typically have septic tanks that are much larger than residential septic tanks, since they need to process a great deal more wastewater. Another difference between the two is that commercial septic systems may be equipped with additional features such as aeration systems or secondary treatment tanks that are rarely found in residential systems.
What Happens If a Commercial Septic System Fails?
The first and most obvious problem that can occur if a septic system fails is that sewage will back up into the business. This can cause not only an unsanitary mess, it can also be a health hazard.
Sewage backups could result in the business needing to be closed while repairs are made. In the worst case scenario, your business might have to relocate or close permanently because of unfixable problems with your septic system.
Contaminated Groundwater Supplies
Another serious problem that can occur is that effluent from the septic system can leach into nearby groundwater supplies. This can contaminate wells and make people sick. It can also lead to long-term environmental problems, since effluent often contains harmful chemicals and pollutants.
Fines and Lawsuits
Another consequence of having a failing septic is that businesses may be subject to fines from state or local authorities. In some cases, businesses may even be sued if their septic system fails and causes damage to someone else’s property.
These are just a few of the reasons that why septic inspection companies say that it is so important to have commercial septic inspection done on a regular basis. By catching problems early, businesses can avoid many of the consequences that can occur if a septic system fails.
What Does a Commercial Septic Inspector Do?
A commercial septic inspector looks for signs that a septic system is not functioning properly. Septic inspectors are trained to assess the condition of these complex systems and make sure that they are functioning properly.
The inspector will conduct a visual inspection of the septic tank to make sure that it is structurally sound and intact. While septic tanks are designed to last a long time, they can be damaged by driving or parking vehicles on top of them, building structures, or even invasive tree roots. The inspector will assess whether any repairs or adjustments need to be made to the septic tank.
The inspector will also look for signs of structural damage to the other components of the septic system. This can include cracked or collapsed drain field pipes, leaks in the pipe leading out from the building, or even missing septic tank lids.
They will also test the water that has been fully processed through the system to make sure that it is free from contaminants and assess the property for any signs that a problem may be developing. Excessive greening in the vegetation, foul odors, or slow drains inside can all be indicators of an issue that needs to be addressed before it becomes bigger.
In some cases, the inspector may recommend that the septic system be repaired or replaced. This is often the case if the system is old, if it has sustained significant damage, or if it has not been maintained properly.
The purpose of having a commercial septic inspection is to catch problems early, before they cause major damage or become health hazards. By having an inspection done regularly, businesses can avoid many of the potential consequences of a failing septic system.
The commercial septic inspector will first conduct a visual inspection of the septic tank to make sure it’s structurally sound. Then, they’ll assess the condition of the leach field and look for any signs of contamination. Finally, they’ll test the water that’s leaching out of the system to make sure it’s being treated properly.
The Best Septic Company In and Near Lakeland
If you have been searching for “septic tank inspection near me,” contact Septic and Drainfield Depot. We provide the best residential and commercial septic service in and near Lakeland.
Our team of experienced professionals offers a full range of septic services, including not only septic inspection in Lakeland, FL and the surrounding area, but also installation, pumping, drainfields, and lift stations.
Contact us today for a free estimate.