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When to inspect your septic tanks

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd October 2017 03:44 PM

Septic tanks are built underground to collect waste generated from the bathrooms, kitchens and toilets.

When to inspect your septic tanks

Septic tanks should be inspected by professionals

Septic tanks are built underground to collect waste generated from the bathrooms, kitchens and toilets.

HOMES|CONSTRUCTION

For septic tanks to perform well, they must be managed well. The best way to manage them is through inspecting them and pumping them regularly.

Septic tanks are built underground to collect waste generated from the bathrooms, kitchens and toilets.

According to Aura Mutebi, a plumber, the inspection duration depends on the number of people using the septic tanks.

For schools which have big population, with 10ft x12ft size, the septic tanks have to be inspected every year.

"For small families with 12ft x6ft, inspection is done after five years," he explains.

Some individuals do not bother hiring professionals to inspect the septic tanks. In the end, they begin stinking.

This was witnessed recently in Rubaga division, when Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) health team inspected Najjanakumbi, Kabowa and Kitebi. Some homes and schools were engulfed with a nasty smell.

When the health officials checked on the septic tanks, they found they had filled up.

Why the smell

Mutebi explains that the nasty smell shows that tanks are not absorbing the waste water well.

"When it is not operating well, the septic tank will be filled up fast. The professional will solve that problem and pour in chemicals to contain the smell. But he should pour chemicals which will not kill the bacteria. Bacteria are useful in breaking down waste materials like human wastes," Mutebi explains.

Alex Mutyaba, a plumber, says before constructing a septic tank, one should have a soak pit.

The soak pit absorbs water from the tank.

Types

Concrete tanks are the most common types used in Uganda. It is estimated that a concrete tank can hold between 30,000 and 60,000 litres.

Bio rock system

Ephraim Wainaina, the managing director of Davis & Shirtliff, says regular inspection is not required for bio rock systems.

"The waste water, which comes out of the system, does not smell," Wainaina explains.

Some waste water is also used for irrigation. Chrissy Namomo of Iconic Hedges explains that after treating and filtering the sewage water to purification, it can be used for gardening.

"The process of sewage purifi cation entails removing various contaminants such as domestic and human waste and also effluents or runoff. Sewage purification can be done using physical, biological and chemical methods," Namono says.

Longevity

According to Gabriel Kasumba, the head of Uganda National Plumbers' Association, well-planned septic tanks can last between 30 and 40 years.

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