Using a Septic Tank

If you have a septic tank, you should know how it works and how to maintain it to prevent leaks and clogs. A properly maintained septic tank can last for 15 to 40 years. One major way to maintain your septic tank is to pump the system every two to five years, depending on the size of the tank and the number of people in the home. It’s best to connect garbage to a municipal wastewater system to reduce the amount of solid waste in your septic tank system. Look for professional septic tank pumpers to do the right job.

To ensure your septic tank is leak-free, understand all about septic systems and check where there are signs of leakage. If you see an area with denser grass than other places or sewage smells, that is a sign of a leaking pipe. Since ecological septic tanks are buried, get a professional to check if you suspect leakage. Also, watch out for what goes down in the household septic tank. You can divert roof water from the leach field, install water-saving appliances, and space out dishwasher and laundry water. A lot of waste and water causes the septic tank sludge to build up quickly and increases pumping frequency. However, if your septic tank needs replacement, ask around how much is a septic holding tank.

Rural homes may not be connected to public sewers like many urban homes and business are; instead, they are often self-sufficient by making use of septic tanks, and as long as septic tanks and the rest of the system are taken care of and maintained, septic systems can last a long time and do their job well. Calling in professionals will sometimes be needed for pumping your septic tank or getting septic tank service, and although sometimes pricey, this can be an essential step to take so that a property’s sewage flows the way it should, making it an excellent investment for any rural homeowner. Just what are septic tanks, and how do they work? When is it time to take care of them or get them repaired or replaced?

The Basics

Around one on four American homes uses a septic system, and they will have plenty of water to deal with; after all, it has been found that on average, a single family home will use about 70 gallons of water per person, per day, so the septic tanks should be ready to handle all this. Speaking generally, a four person, two bedroom home should have a 1,000 gallon tank at minimum, perhaps bigger. What are the parts of a septic tank system?

Septic tanks are underground vessels that will receive all waste water that come from the home or other building attached to them, and once all waste water is collected into septic tanks, bacteria inside them will start breaking down the solids. Denser solids will settle to the bottom and form a thick sludge over time, and this sludge never leaves the septic tanks in which it forms. Meanwhile, an oily film may form at the top of the water, such as fats and oils from foods or other waste material, and it may be dissolved over time.

Once the water in septic tanks has been sitting there for about two days, it will now be transferred into pipes further in the system, leaving behind the sludge and larger particles as the water passes through screens. The water will now flow through a number of branching pipes and slowly leach out through holes and nozzles just under the soil’s surface, where more bacteria, gravel, dirt, and more will carefully filter the water and allow only clean water to re-enter the environment, inside a large drainage field.

Care for Septic Tanks

A septic tank and its entire system will work best when cleaned out or repaired as needed. Sludge will continue to build up in the septic tank over time, so once every two years or so, a professional can be called in to open up the tank and use a truck and its equipment to pump it all out and leave an empty septic tank, ready for further use. A homeowner can also buy a “sludge judge”, a stick that can be inserted into the tank to measure the sludge level inside.

The filters between the tank and the rest of the system should be in good shape, and if they ever become torn or clogged, they must either be cleaned off or replaced, and a clogged filter should not simply be removed, or a lot of waste will enter parts of the system where it doesn’t belong. New filters can be bought online. And what is more, the drainage field should not get any traffic, since vehicles driving on it can compress the gravel and soil and make it too compacted for any filtering work to be done, and this can jeopardize the entire system.

Septic tanks will last for a while as long as they are not misused, and a good tank will probably only need to be dug up and replaced in a handful of years, and special crews can be contacted to get this work done. What is more, a homeowner is advised against clogging a septic system with items that do not belong there; namely, items that do not break down inside the tank. Coffee grounds, baby diapers, fabric hand wipes, and cigarette butts can quickly clogged the system if they are flushed in toilets or washed down sinks, so homeowners must make sure that only regular materials end up inside the septic tank, to keep it running better.


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