Commercial septic systems are similar to residential septic systems in some ways. For example, they are both used in areas not served by municipal sewer systems. However, there are some special considerations to be taken into account, such as:
- Higher volumes and/or faster flow
- Harsher cleaners and chemical in wastewater
- Other substances in the wastewater, such as greases
- The tank typically needs to be pumped/serviced much more frequently
For many commercial septic systems, the number one concern is fats, oils and greases (FOG) which get into the leachfield. These materials tend to accumulate on the leachfield biomat and plug it up. To compound matters, they are slow to biodegrade in the leachfield environment. This can cause the system to fail/overflow. Because leachfields cannot handle these materials very well, many states require the use of grease traps (also known as grease interceptors) for commercial establishments which need to dispose of fats, oils and greases. In the grease traps, the FOG can settle out before the effluent moves on to the leach field. Grease traps should be pumped out on a regular basis to ensure their effectiveness.
Lint from washing machines can also be a problem, especially for laundromats and other facilities with multiple washing machines discharging into the system.
As you may know from researching this topic, failing septic systems are a major financial and environmental problem in this country. Expensive septic repairs can often run from $5,000 to $20,000 or more and a large number of systems are failing throughout the country. For news stories related to failing septic systems and tightening regulations you can go to: http://www.laundry-alternative.com/failingseptic.htm
You also can’t sell your home if it has a failing system. For more information on how to properly maintain your septic system, go to: http://www.laundry-alternative.com/septic_system_maintenance.htm