Rooting Around for a Well Maintained Septic Tank
Some topics may not be particularly fun to talk about but they are important. So let’s just admit up front that a septic tank is an important topic. The septic tank accepts all the wastewater from your house, and it needs to work as intended or you can end up with expensive and serious problems.
Just in case you have never owned a septic tank before, it is a buried container that is piped to your house. Water and solids that enter the septic tank come from toilets being flushed, the washing machine, the shower and all the faucets.
The water slowly seeps out of the tank through a filtering drain field where it is percolated and purified naturally and then enters the groundwater. The sludge that forms from liquid and solids is held in the tank. There is also a layer of scum that forms on top of the water that consists of oil and grease that usually comes from the kitchen sink.
In some areas of high populations or with poor drain field configurations, alternative septic systems are used today that incorporate other media besides soil to purify and percolate the wastewater. They may also include backup pumps and float switches to prevent drain field overload.
Don’t Let Your Tank Fill Up!
Eventually the tank will fill with sludge if it is not maintained. If the septic tank gets too full of sludge, oil and grease, or the water floods the drain field, the wastewater can back up into the sinks and toilets. You can imagine what a mess that makes.
Regular maintenance of your septic tank is important for several reasons.
1. It’s expensive to fix a septic tank since it is buried underground
2. Environmental regulations prohibit improperly working septic tanks due to the threat of disease and ground water contamination
3. Improperly filtered groundwater can spread disease
4. Plumbing can be damaged by septic systems that back up
It is so easy to maintain septic systems that you have to wonder why any tank would be allowed to fill with sludge, grease or oil. You should have your system inspected and cleaned no more than every 2-3 years by a professional.
Some people choose to empty their septic tanks every year if there is a large family or just for peace of mind. If your household uses a lot of water, has a garbage disposal, or a small septic tank, the tanked needs to be pumped every year without fail.
Out of Sight But in Mind
The septic cleaning specialist will check that the ground around the septic tanks appears to be free of leaking water. Alternative system pumps and switches will be inspected. The technician will also check the thickness of the sludge and scum to determine if the tank should be pumped. Because it is so affordable to pump a septic tank, most households will just go ahead and have the tank emptied.
It is important that you don’t neglect your septic tank. Because it’s underground, it’s easy to forget all about it until you have problem. The best thing to do is get on an annual maintenance schedule with a septic cleaner and then you can flush your toilets and run your faucets with peace of mind.