Devries Diversified (818) 352-2636 | Gopher Construction (818) 352-2253

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any other questions or need more information about any of our services please call or email us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions and send you additional detailed information.

SEWERS

What is a Sewer Lateral?
A sewer lateral is normally the 6-in diameter sewer pipe, which extends from the city mainline sewer pipe, located typically in the middle of the street, to your front property line. The sewer lateral is a city owned pipe that serves your property only. Most cities require that a homeowner be responsible to maintain, repair, or replace the sewer lateral that serves their property. Even though the city owns the lateral, most cities do not maintain each individual sewer lateral. They only clean and service the mainline sewer in the middle of the street. Sewer laterals can be made from Vitrified Clay pipe, or sometimes they allow PVC SDR 35 pipe or ABS Sch 40 pipe, depending on which city or county has jurisdiction of that particular street. Sewer laterals can also be located at the back or side of a property, depending on where the sewer mainline pipe is located. Most cities and counties have sewer maps and know the locations of the sewer laterals. Special Public Works Permits are required to be obtained whenever a contractor repairs or replaces or installs a new sewer lateral.
What is a Mainline Sewer?
A mainline sewer pipe is a large pipe, 8-in diameter or larger, located in the center of a street usually, which is a city or county installed and maintained pipe that collects sewage from the properties on the street that are connected to it by a sewer lateral. This mainline pipe is part of the overall network of pipes that collect sewage from the community and transports it to the sewage treatment plants owned and maintained by the city or county.
What is an Onsite Private Sewer?
An onsite private sewer is the pipe or pipes that connect from your home to the sewer lateral at your property line. This pipe is typically a 4-in diameter sewer pipe and depending on when it was installed, is made of different materials. From the early 1900’s to the 1970’s, the typical material used would have been vitrified clay pipe, and sometimes cast iron pipe was used. Both kinds of pipe are prone to root intrusion over the years as it settles, cracks, and roots enter the pipe. Around 1970 both ABS and PVC style of pipe were introduced and since then a lot of the onsite sewer connections were installed using these style pipes, which have better types of connections and typically last much longer.
What is a cleanout?
A cleanout is a pipe opening that is required to be installed on a sewer pipe for the purpose of cleaning, unclogging, and maintaining your sewer. There are different types of cleanouts in different areas of your home. The sewer cleanout that is most helpful for your sewer system would be one that would be located just outside your foundation and has an opening to the surface. Sometimes this cleanout will be in an access box which is flush with the surface. Through this cleanout, we can insert a video camera in order to check your sewer system and diagnose any problems. We can also use this cleanout to insert a hydro jetter or a drain cable for clearing or cleaning your sewer for maintenance or for unclogging it when it is backed up. Even though you may have cleanouts inside your home, having a sewer cleanout outside your foundation is highly recommended. It is important for diagnostic purposes, it is good so that if your sewer pipe backs up it will typically allow your sewer to overflow outside of the house instead of backing up inside your home.
What is a Sewer pump system?
A sewer pump system is necessary in areas where the house sits lower than the main sewer pipes in the street and therefore needs a pump system to lift the sewage to the level of the public sewer.  Sometimes a sewer pump is necessary as part of a private sewage disposal system if the house is lower than parts of the septic system.  Sometimes there needs to be a pump in order to pump all the sewage coming out of a basement or lower floor to a septic tank.  Sometimes the water from a septic tank will need to be pumped from a septic tank on a lower level to the seepage pits or leach lines at a higher level. 
What is an Inspection of a Sewer System?
A sewer system inspection is typically an inspection of your sewer pipes under and possibly outside your home and all the way to the sewer mainline in the middle or the street. During the purchase of a home, a sewer system inspection is highly recommended. A cleanout outside the house on the sewer pipe is the most convenient and effective opening in the sewer system that can be used to access the sewer system. Most companies supply a written report of the condition of the sewer as well as a video recording which can be viewed on youtube or a DVD is sometimes provided. This is essential if you want a second opinion or if someone needs to determine the condition of the sewer and whether or not repairs are needed. We recommend a company called Sewerline Check for this type of inspection. We have known them for years and the quality of their work is excellent and unbiased. Their phone number is 818-951-1660. If any repairs are needed, we work closely with them to give you an estimate very quickly based on their video recording of the condition of the sewer.
What causes a sewer in a house to backup?

A backup of sewage in your home is one of the most unpleasant experiences you will have as a homeowner. There are many different causes of sewer backups. Here is a list of various causes and how to avoid them:

  1. Low flow toilets: Low flow toilets are one of the leading causes of backups across the nation. The problem with low flow toilets is that the amount of water flushed most of the time does not push the solid waste and paper all the way to your sewer mainline or to your septic system. The solid waste and paper sitting in your pipe will then cause what we call a soft clog and water will back up. The best way to avoid backups from a low flow toilet is this simple rule: If you go number one, flush once. If you go number two, flush two or three times afterward in order to provide enough water to force the solid waste and paper all the way out of your house and down the pipe to its intended destination.
  2. Roots: Roots are a continual problem with older sewer pipes. Bad connections, old pipe that deteriorates, and aggressive tree roots can cause backups in your sewer pipe and into your home. The most prudent proactive strategy for maintaining your sewer system is to have it checked with a sewer video camera at least once a year. It roots are observed in your pipe, our best recommendation is to use our Hydro Jetter to thoroughly clean the entire four inch diameter pipe. The Hydro Jetter uses high pressure water to cut and clean the roots inside the pipe. Once the pipe is clean, we recommend a product called RootX, which can be applied to the sewer pipe which is guaranteed to prevent roots from entering the pipe for up to one year. The other option is to identify the location of the root intrusion and then simply repair the pipe at that location.
  3. Other causes: Sometimes backups will be caused by objects that get into the sewer pipes that should not be there. We have pulled out toys, drink lids, rags, feminine products and other debris that can cause a backup. Grease is a big problem and can also cause backups. Never pour grease down your sink as it will solidify and restrict the flow in your pipes. Also, old cast iron pipe can rust and have buildup that restricts the flow and causes backup in a sewer pipe as well. Old cast iron pipes can be descaled or another option is to replace the cast iron pipe with newer ABS Sch 40 sewer pipe that does not have problems with buildup.
  4. There can be other causes as well that are unique and difficult to diagnose. Sometimes the sewer pipe will be damaged by someone digging outside your home and breaking or unknowingly damaging the pipe.
What is a Hydro Jetter?
A Hydro Jetter is device that employs a high pressure water jets which is proven technology for clearing pipes. This technology is much more effective than traditional sewer cable machines. It consists of a trailer we pull behind our truck with a large water tank and a powerful pump, which pumps water through a hose at up to 4000 psi. On the end of the hose, there is a special head that rotates. This cutter head has laser drilled holes, which propel the jetter hose through the pipe and the forward holes pierce the clog or roots as the head slowly turns. With this technology, we are able to thoroughly clean the entire diameter of the sewer pipe. The effect of the Hydro Jetter is that it shreds the roots and cuts them into small pieces as it flushes it out of the pipe.
What is a Pipe Video Camera?

A Pipe Video Camera is a high tech video camera specifically designed to be able to withstand the environment of a sewer pipe and give us the ability to see the condition of your sewer, drain, or leach line pipe. We use the camera to accomplish these two important functions.

  1. Use with the Hydro Jetter: When Hydro Jetting, we use the camera to ensure that the pipe is completely clear. If we see a section that needs more work with the Video Camera, we line up the Hydro Jetter, pull the Video Camera back and then complete the cutting of the roots. Once the job is complete, we can check and document that the pipe is indeed clear and free of roots.
  2. Sewer Pipe Video Diagnostics: This Pipe Video Camera is the best and most reliable way to inspect an existing sewer pipe. Often times, we can pin point the area that needs to be repaired, saving a tremendous amount of time and money. We also use the Electronic Locator with the Video Camera in order to determine the exact location of the problem area.
What is an Electronic Locator?
The Electronic Locator is a separate device that we use in conjunction with the Pipe Video Camera. When using the Pipe Video Camera, if we see a particular area of pipe that needs to be repaired or if you simply want to know where the pipe is located or where it runs, then we use the Electronic Locator above the ground to determine exactly where the pipe is. The way it works is that there is a transmitting device attached to the Pipe Video Camera lens and when the camera is in the pipe, we are able to locate and determine the depth of the pipe below the surface and the direction of the pipe. We especially use this when we encounter a broken, collapsed or damaged pipe and need to know exactly where to excavate, how deep the pipe is, and the direction the pipe is heading.

TRENCHLESS TECHNOLOGY for PIPE INSTALLATION

What is Trenchless Technology?
Trenchless Technology is the development of tools that can tunnel or drill a hole through the ground so that not a lot of trenching is needed in order to install a new pipe. If the conditions of the soil are favorable, then we can use either our Hammerhead Mole or our directional drilling device to tunnel through certain portions of the subject property in order to avoid trenching in those areas. We then insert the pipe after the tunnel is made and connect it to the existing pipes. There is also another type of trenchless technology that is a system of attempting to line a pipe with an epoxy liner and to try to rehabilitate a pipe in this manner. Our experience is such that we do not recommend any pipe lining. We have seen multiple problems down the line after the installation of these types of liners and we have had to repair many of these liners that have failed. Instead, we do have a very effective pipe replacement system called “Pipe Bursting” See below for a more detailed explanation. What we do is to basically open up each end of the pipe that needs to be replaced, and depending on the conditions, the type of pipe and location, we can pull through the old pipe a cable with a cone shaped head that breaks or bursts the old pipe with drawing through a new very strong HDPE pipe in the place of the old pipe. If you need more information, feel free to call our office at 818-352-2253.
What is Pipe Bursting?
Trenchless Technology is the development of tools that can tunnel or drill a hole through the ground so that not a lot of trenching is needed in order to install a new pipe. If the conditions of the soil are favorable, then we can use either our Hammerhead Mole or our directional drilling device to tunnel through certain portions of the subject property in order to avoid trenching in those areas. We then insert the pipe after the tunnel is made and connect it to the existing pipes. There is also another type of trenchless technology that is a system of attempting to line a pipe with an epoxy liner and to try to rehabilitate a pipe in this manner. Our experience is such that we do not recommend any pipe lining. We have seen multiple problems down the line after the installation of these types of liners and we have had to repair many of these liners that have failed. Instead, we do have a very effective pipe replacement system called “Pipe Bursting” See below for a more detailed explanation. What we do is to basically open up each end of the pipe that needs to be replaced, and depending on the conditions, the type of pipe and location, we can pull through the old pipe a cable with a cone shaped head that breaks or bursts the old pipe with drawing through a new very strong HDPE pipe in the place of the old pipe. If you need more information, feel free to call our office at 818-352-2253.
What is a Vermeer Hammerhead Mole?
A Vermeer Hammerhead Mole is a long bullet shaped device about 6-in in diameter and about six foot long that has an internal piston that pushes it through the ground, if the soil conditions are favorable. This device can be used in a multitude of applications for not only installing sewer pipes, or drainage pipes, but can also be used for conduits and other pipe installation applications. The Mole cannot be used through bedrock or if there are boulders or other underground obstacles. If you would like to know more or wish to have an estimate, feel free to give us a call at 818-352-2253.

SEPTIC SYSTEMS

What is a Private Sewage Disposal System (PSDS)?

Private Sewage Disposal System (PSDS): Is the name we have used for a system that consists of one or more units designed to receive water from a residence or business and then, traditionally, allows for some separation and eventually disposing of the water, or effluent, into the soil.

  1. Today, the term Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) is beginning to be used for both newer high tech septic systems and traditional systems without the high tech components, depending on various jurisdictions’ definitions.
  2. Sometimes the general public will use the term “Septic System”, which is a non-technical way of describing either a PSDS or an OWTS.
  3. In a traditional Private Sewage Disposal System, all the water and solid waste generated form the house flows through a sewer pipe directly into either a septic tank or primary cesspool. As the water slowly passes through a septic tank whatever floats, floats and whatever sinks, settles to the bottom and reasonably clear effluent then flows out through the T fitting or an “effluent filter” into typically either a seepage pit or a leach line and then soaks into the surrounding soil.

If you have a pre-1952 system, it most likely will consist of a primary cesspool with either an additional seepage pit(s) and/or leach lines. What this means is that your primary cesspool will be functioning like a septic tank, even though it is not a septic tank, which separates the solid waste, and allows the effluent to flow to the seepage pit(s) and/or leach lines. With a pre-1952 system, you may also have a traditional septic tank and leach lines.

What is a Septic Tank?

A septic tank is a rectangular concrete box like structure, or a fiberglass submarine shaped structure, that normally has two chambers, a primary settling chamber and a secondary settling chamber. The main purpose of a septic tank is to separate the solid waste from liquid waste and to allow for bacterial digestion of solid waste. This is usually the closest unit to the house and the waste lines from the house flow into it. Some cities or counties require that an advanced high technology septic tank be installed. The AdvanTex treatment system is the advanced treatment septic tank system we install.

What is a Cesspool?

The structure of a cesspool is the same as the structure of a seepage pit. The difference between a cesspool and a seepage pit is that the cesspool is connected directly to house waste lines and receives solid waste and water like a septic tank. Cesspools are also able to percolate water into the soil like a seepage pit. Around 1952 the building code changed and cesspools are no longer allowed according to the Uniform Plumbing Code for permanent installations. Septic tanks are now required on all new private sewage disposal systems. Most cesspools that still exist by now are completely worn out, percolate very little or no water into the soil and function more like a septic tank.

What is a Seepage Pit?

A cylindrical or well like deep hole in the ground anywhere from 12′ to 60′ in depth. The seepage pit is typically lined with bricks, or special concrete blocks or pre-cast concrete seepage pit liners, all of which allows the water (effluent) flowing from the septic tank or primary cesspool to percolate, or be absorbed, into the soil. When the soil around the seepage pit gets clogged and stops percolating water into the soil you need to install another seepage pit or a Pirana Aerboic Bacteria Generator. A Pirana is the newest concept in waste treatment that is the least expensive way to help improve the percolation of your seepage pit.

What is a Leach Line?
Typically a leach line is a trench 1 to 3-feet wide, 50-100-feet long, 4-6-feet deep, filled with 1 to 3-feet of 3/4-inch gravel, with a perforated pipe laid on top of the gravel. The water from the septic tank then flows through the pipe and into the gravel through the perforations in the pipe and then through the gravel and is absorbed or percolated into the surrounding soil.
What is a manhole?
A manhole is a large opening which is typically located on top of a septic tank, on a sewer pipe, on top of a distribution box, usually 18-24-in in diameter with a cast iron or plastic opening up to the surface or just below the surface, which give access to the unit below the surface for maintenance and inspection. Manholes come in all sizes and shapes for different reasons and different applications. Feel free to call us and we can recommend which manhole would be best for your application on your property.
What is a standpipe?
A standpipe is typically a 4-6-in pipe that extends from the surface down to the lid of a seepage pit, cesspool, or sometimes on a septic tank. A standpipe allows for pumping, for inspection of that unit, and for applying treatments to the unit below. An access box made of plastic or concrete will sometimes be placed on top of a standpipe as a cover that is flush with the surface.
What is an Inspection of a Private Sewage Disposal System?

Some houses are not connected to the public sewer in the street and consequently have what is called a Private Sewage Disposal System (PSDS). Typically, when a home is sold, an inspection or certification of the PSDS is required during escrow. We have three levels of Inspection of a PSDS listed below.

  1. Inspection and Verbal Consultation: We can inspect a Private Sewage Disposal System (PSDS) and simply have a verbal consultation with the client, where we have a conversation in person on site about the condition of the system, our opinion of the system, and our recommendations. (No written report.)
  2. Inspection and Inspection Report: Inspection of the PSDS and a written report describes the present condition of the system, our opinions about the system including any deficiencies we observe, and recommendations for restoration or replacement. (This inspection report can be used for negotiating purposes if there are any deficiencies in the system.)
  3. Inspection and Certification: If we inspect and find a PSDS which is structurally sound and functioning properly, with no signs of overflow or any major code deficiencies, we will issue a certification with this written statement that says: ” Therefore, I certify that the above information about the current condition of this private sewage disposal system is true and correct to the best of my knowledge at this time.”. Note: Before a certification can be issued all testing must be complete and all deficiencies must be corrected.
What is a Certification of a Private Sewage Disposal System (PSDS)?
  1. Certification: According to the dictionary, the definition of “Certify” is: “To declare (a thing) true, accurate, certain by formal statement often in writing: verify: attest. Our understanding of what a Certification of a Private Sewage Disposal System is as follows: A document that states, to the best of our knowledge, what is true and accurate about the PSDS.
  2. If we inspect and find a PSDS is structurally sound and is functioning properly, with no signs of overflow or any major code deficiencies, we will issue a written statement that says: ” Therefore, I certify that the above information about the current condition of this private sewage disposal system is true and correct to the best of my knowledge at this time.”. Note: Before a certification can be issued all testing must be complete and all deficiencies must be corrected.
  3. Please Note: There is no government agency or regulatory commission that sets any standard regarding what constitutes a Certification. The statements above are our best understanding of the Inspection and/or Certification process after consultation with Health Department Officials, engineers, sanitarians, California Onsite Wastewater Association, and based on our own field observations and experiences. These statements refer only to our Inspections and/or Certifications and to our standards for Certifications. Other contractors may have more liberal or more conservative standards based on their opinion of what constitutes a Certification.
What should I not put in my system?

Below is a help list of products that are not recommended to put into your septic system and a list of others that are septic system friendly. The main idea is to not use antibacterial products and harsh chemicals both of which will harm the natural growing bacteria in the septic tank. A dead septic tank causes odors and will increase the chances of deterioration of the concrete lids and sidewalls of the various units in the system.

What recommended maintenance should I do to my PSDS?
There are two things you can do for your conventional private sewage disposal system. The first is to have your septic tank pumped every 5-7-years per Health Dept. recommendations. The second is to add bacteria treatments to help keep your system in good condition. We have a product called Pro Pump, which is a sulfur and non-sulfur based bacteria additive. This bacteria helps control the odor in your system and helps to keep the soil surrounding your seepage pit or leach line clean. Our customers have been using this product for decades and it has a good track record in helping maintain and keep a system in good working order. Feel free to contact our office for service.
What is ProPump bacteria treatment?
  1. Welcome to the world of Bacterial treatments (more accurately known as Bio-augmentation). In this field there are many manufactors (some remind me of snake oil salesman) and a host of products. The particular product we sell is called “Pro-Pump” and is sold by Ecological Laboratories, they specialize in this field and have a very professional staff, including microbiologist Mark Krupka of Rutgers University. The basic concept of bacterial treatment is that the bacteria when introduced to a private sewage disposal system will benefit the system in several ways:
  • It enhances the bacterial digestion in the septic tank.
  • Helps keep pipes clear of grease and sludge.
  • Most importantly helps unclog the pores of the soil and helps improve
  • Percolation of effluent into the soil in seepage pits or leach lines.
  • Cuts down on odors originating in a private sewage disposal system.

Please see our Pro Pump Bacteria Brochure for more detailed information, call our office at (818) 352-2253.

How often should I pump my septic tank?
A typical code compliant sized septic tank with a normal amount of occupants in the home should be pumped every 5-7-years. The reason to pump the septic tank is to remove the accumulated buildup of solid waste. If the tank is undersized, then pumping should be done more often. If you only have a cesspool, then pumping could be done every three years or so. Pumping should not be done more often because it disturbs the bacteria growing in the tank that degrades the solid waste. If for some reason your septic tank overflows, then emergency pumping should be done and the problem should be diagnosed as to why it overflowed.
Should I pump out my seepage pit?
Seepage pits typically do not need to be pumped if they are functioning properly. Water should constantly be soaking into the ground surrounding the seepage pit. If your seepage pit fills and overflows, then an emergency pump out can be done to give you some temporary relief, but the pumping does not solve any problem that may have caused the overflow in the first place. If you are having a large party or a large social event planned, then you may be wise to have the seepage pit pumped a day ahead of time to ensure that you don’t have any issues during the social event. If your seepage pit is in excellent condition and the water level is far below the surface, pumping the seepage pit may not be necessary at all.
What is a Pirana?
A Pirana Aerobic Bacteria Generator is a device that is installed in your septic tank that generates beneficial bacteria, which will help keep your system functioning well by cleaning the clogged soil around the perimeter of your seepage pit or leach line. The Pirana was specifically designed to help systems that are worn out and have a lot of clogged soil around the seepage pit or leach lines to regain lost percolation and to make the system functional again. We have a very informative brochure call for details at (818) 352-2253.
What is an Effluent Filter?
An effluent filter is located at the outlet end of a septic tank. It is not standard equipment, but it can be added to an existing septic tank or it can be installed on a brand new septic tank as well. It is basically a filter that prevents larger particles from flowing out of the septic tank and it helps whatever kind of leach line or seepage pit system you have last longer and function better.  We have a very informative brochure call for details at (818) 352-2253.
What is an Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS)?
The term “onsite wastewater treatment system” is usually used to describe an advanced treatment system composed of the traditional components of a private sewage disposal system with the addition of filtering or aerating type of system that treats the waste water and cleans it up as it denitrifies it. Today, the term Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS) is beginning to be used for both newer high tech systems and traditional system without the high tech components, depending on various jurisdictions’ definitions. There are various manufacturers of these types of systems with different types of technology. The system we install is called the AdvanTex system. It consists of a traditional septic tank with the addition of one or more filter pods that aerate and clean the effluent from the septic tank before distributing it to the seepage pit or leach line or underground drip system. These systems are typically monitored 24/7 with a connection from the control panel to a phone line or cable to the internet. In Los Angeles County, and in some other jurisdictions, they are also required to be inspected, serviced and maintained typically at least twice a year and the effluent it produces must be sampled and tested in a laboratory to see if it is producing at acceptable levels of testing. We have been installing, servicing, and monitoring these types of systems for over 15-years.
How do you maintain an OWTS?
First of all, it depends what kind of OWTS you have. If you have a traditional private sewage disposal system then there are only two possible things that you may want to do. First, pumping the septic tank as mentioned above should be done every 5-7-years. Also adding the Pro Pump bacteria treatment on a regular basis can add many years of life to your system. See information about Pro Pump above. If you have an advanced OWTS (onsite wastewater treatment system), then depending on which jurisdiction you are in, there will be a much more rigid schedule of maintenance, service, and testing that must be adhered to. If you need more information, please call our office at 818-352-2253 and we will be happy to help you.
What is an AdvanTex System?
An AdvanTex system is an advanced OWTS (onsite wastewater treatment system). It consists of an oversize septic tank and one or more packed bed filters that clean the effluent, water from the septic tank, and denitrify it and clean it up to the levels that are acceptable by the permitting authority. Different jurisdictions have different protocol for the intervals of servicing and testing. The AdvanTex system is made by Orenco Inc. and has a very good track record and is the only advanced system that we have installed over the last 17-years since they became legal to install. Our experience is that these systems are very dependable, very stable, and have very few maintenance issues.
What do I have to do to replace or add to my PSDS?
There are several reasons why someone would need to replace or add to their existing septic system. First, if the existing system is completely worn out and if it needs repairs, most of the time a complete new septic system will need to be installed in order to do a code compliant repair. Sometimes if something on an existing system is just slightly broken or needs a minor repair, then you may be able to avoid a complete replacement. If you are adding any square footage or if you are adding one or more bedrooms, then either an additional system or a complete new system may be required to be installed. If you would like guidance in this area, please feel free to call us at 818-352-2253 and we will guide you through the process of whether or not you need a complete new system.
If I do an addition to my house, do I have to do anything to my PSDS?
Most of the time the answer is yes.  But it will depend on the extent of the addition, and where your septic system is located, and what your addition consists of.  It also depends on the size and location of your existing septic system.  Our best recommendation is to first of all know exactly where your existing system is located, what size it is, and what condition it is in.  With that knowledge, we can then advise you correctly as to whether your existing system is sufficient or if something new is going to be required.  Please feel free to call our office at 818-352-2253 and we will be happy to assist you through the maze of government regulations concerning these issues.
Are Private Sewage Disposal Systems safe?
Generally yes. However, there are times and problems that can be of concern in some situations. The vast majorities of septic systems are very safe and should be that way for a very long time. In some rare cases, the sewer gases, like hydrogen sulfide and methane gas, can deteriorate the concrete lids and sidewalls of septic tanks, cesspools, and seepage pits. In some rare cases, this deterioration can case a septic tank or a seepage pit or a cesspool to collapse and this can be dangerous. We have solutions and repairs available for these occurrences. In order to prevent this from happening and to check the structural condition of your system, we have a High Definition Septic Camera which we can insert into the seepage pit, cesspool, or septic tank to accurately inspect the structural condition of these types of structures. We typically insert the camera through a standpipe or manhole. Sometimes it is necessary to pump the unit out before the camera work can be done if the water levels are high. If you don’t know the structural condition of your system, performing a HD Septic Camera inspection may be a wise choice in order to accurately determine the condition of your system. Also, one thing that can help stop the deterioration of the concrete in the system is the addition of the Pro Pump bacteria on a regular basis. This bacteria gets rid of the methane gas and the hydrogen sulfide that causes the deterioration of the concrete. If you need more information or wish to have a HD Septic Camera inspection of your system, feel free to call our office for more information at 818-352-2253.
What is a Drip System?
A drip system is an alternate type of system for the dispersal of the water from an advanced OWTS and instead of the water going to a traditional seepage pit or leach line, the water would go to a drip system which is a specially designed tubing that emits water into the soil at very reduced rates at about 8-in to 1-ft deep below the surface of the soil over a wide area of your lawn. These types of systems must be tested for, designed, and approved by the appropriate city or county jurisdiction. This system introduces water into the “root zone” and then allows for both percolation into the soil and for what is called “evapotranspiration” where water evaporates through the surface of the lawn. In some cases, this type of system can be used instead of a traditional seepage pit or leach line.
What is a Percolation Test?
A percolation test is a very simple test, which can be performed to determine how quickly the water from your septic system will soak or percolate into the soil surrounding a seepage pit or leach line. There are formal percolation tests, some of which must be done by a geologist or a registered environmentalist as required by various government agencies before you can consider building a home or for installing new septic system. There are also informal percolation tests that can be done at the time of a sale of a home or if a septic system must be certified, or if you simply want to know the condition of your system. We are very familiar with this kind of testing and have a very thorough and complete testing protocol that we have developed for testing an existing system at the point of sale of a home or for other reasons. Please feel free to call our office if you wish to have more information or if you need to schedule a percolation test at 818-352-2253.
What is a Storm Drain?

A storm drain is typically a large diameter type of pipe, anywhere from 1-ft to 6-ft in diameter or larger, which collects surface water. The surface water flows into a large storm drain from smaller onsite drain pipes, or from catch basins under a city curb, and eventually ends up in a large storm drain typically under the street or on private property, which will eventually end up flowing to the larger storm drain channels leading to the ocean. We are very familiar with all types of storm drain construction, installation, and repair. If you need more information, please feel free to give us a call at 818-352-2253.

What is a Drainage System?
There are many different types of drainage systems. Most drainage systems around a home collect the surface drainage and drainage from your roof downspouts and other runoff into drain pipes and then either to a larger storm drain or to the curb. There are also specialized drainage systems like French Drains. See below. In the area of surface drains there are many different types of collection systems. There are drain boxes both large and small, special trench drains, terrarium drains, and many other styles of drains. Most importantly, there will be pipes that connect these drainage collection devices to the area of disposal. If you need more information, feel free to call us at 818-352-2253.
What are Surface Drains?
Surface drains are a system of drain boxes, or other types of round or trench drains that all connect to a drainage pipe and flow to the intended outlet of the system. There can be many different types of drain boxes and drain collection devices available. What is most important is what kind of pipe are the drain boxes attached to and is that pipe in good condition. If it is, then you have no problems with backups or overflowing. If the pipe is in poor condition, then the drainage system can back up, cause flooding and property damage. Our best recommendation is to make sure your drainage system is in good condition before the rainy season. We have pipe cameras with which we can check your system or we can use our Hydro Jetter to clean out all the built up debris in a drainage system and then check the system with our video camera. If you need more information or wish to have someone come out to evaluate your drainage system, feel free to call us at 818-352-2253.
What is a French Drain?
A French drain is a special type of drain system that is usually installed behind a retaining wall or around a basement, or behind a lower garage wall or other subsurface structures, which allows any water that may accumulate behind the wall to flow into a perforated pipe and then out by gravity to a lower level for dispersal or to a pump system that will pump the water to a dispersal location. The French drain is a system that contains both gravel and a perforated pipe at the bottom of the trench. The gravel allows water to drain to the bottom of the trench and then into a perforated pipe. The perforated pipe carries the water to its intended location. If you need more information, feel free to call us at 818-352-2253.
What is Expert Witness Consulting?
We provide Expert Witness Consulting to our clients that may have a problem as a result of the purchase of a home or other situations where problems with a septic system or a sewer system were not disclosed or were not properly repaired, or where some loss occurred due to the negligence or other problem has come up and a legal solution is necessary. We can provide expert testing, investigation into code issues, investigation into the condition or history of a system and we can also provide expert legal testimony in court as it pertains to the results of our investigations. We have helped many clients resolve these types of issues in the past. If you would like more information, feel free to give us a call at 818-352-2253.
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