Many folks choose to live in areas that are less populated or rural. They love the peace and quiet away from the large neighborhoods and the wide-open spaces. And if you are one of those, you probably will run on well water and need a septic tank.
As for your septic tank, being out of sight is a good thing. Out of mind is not, however. You see, as stinky of a topic septic tank care may be, these tanks do take a bit of care, so you never have a mess on your hands or your lawn.
What is a Septic Tank?
According to the wisdom of Wikipedia,
“A septic tank is an underground chamber made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic through which domestic wastewater (sewage) flows for basic treatment. Settling and anaerobic processes reduce solids and organics, but the treatment efficiency is only moderate (referred to as “primary treatment”). Septic tank systems are a type of simple onsite sewage facility (OSSF). They can be used in areas that are not connected to a sewerage system, such as rural areas. The treated liquid effluent is commonly disposed in a septic drain field, which provides further treatment. Nonetheless, groundwater pollution may occur and can be a problem.”
Furthermore, the accumulation in the tank is typically faster than the rate of decomposition. That is why sludge removal is needed.
How the Tank Works
Your septic tank digests organic matter and separates floatable matter and solids from the water. A traditional system works in the following way.
- Your main drain on the house empties all your home’s drains into the septic tank.
- The tank holds the wastewater long enough for the solids to settle to the bottom, forming sludge and the oils and grease to float, forming scum.
- Once separated, the effluent or liquid wastewater seeps out into the drain field.
Do You Have a Septic Tank?
Here are ways to tell if a home is running on a septic system.
- If the home is running on well water, then you have a septic tank.
- When there is no meter on the waterline coming into the house, you are on septic.
- When all the neighbors have a septic system, you probably do too.
- Sometimes, the small hill in the yard is a tell-tale sign of a septic tank’s drain field.
Why it is Essential to Keep Your Septic Tank Healthy
Typically, three-bedroom homes with a 1000-gallon tank needs to have the solids removed every three to five years. Smaller tanks will require pumping more often. And avoiding this task can be a big problem. When the sewer and tank overfill, the toilet will back up into the home. No one wants that. So that is the reason you want to keep up with the pumping of your septic tank and keep it in tip-top shape.
Furthermore, here are the ways to keep that septic tank healthy.
- Ensure the tank that was installed when the home was built in the correct size for the home. Your county should have a record of the tank and its location if they were not provided at the time of purchase.
- Have the tank pumped as recommended. When you have someone out to perform this task, they will also check for leaks and decomposition rates.
- Schedule washing machine and dishwasher usage throughout the week, rather than all on the weekend.
- Never treat the toilet like a garbage can. With the recent toilet paper shortages, folks have been, should we say… experimenting with what can be flushed. Needless to say, the results have not been good. Wet wipes, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, or other trash must be thrown into a trash bin to prevent major pipe clogging and damage.
- The Kitchen sink drain and disposal should never get coffee grounds, cooking oil, medication, flour, and more poured down the drain. These can all clog the system.
- Avoid bleach and harsh chemicals. They can destroy the good bacteria working in the tank.
- Protect the drain field area. Never drive over or park on the drain field. And don’t plant trees near this area. The root system can become intrusive.
- Use water wisely. Efficient use of water improves the operation of the system.
Signs of Septic Failure
Taken right from the EPA’s information on septic systems, here are the signs of system failure.
“A foul odor is not always the first sign of a malfunctioning septic system. Call a septic professional if you notice any of the following:”
- Wastewater backing up into household drains.
- Bright green, spongy grass on the drain field, especially during dry weather.
- Pooling water or muddy soil around your septic system or in your basement.
- A strong odor around the septic tank and drain field.
Caring for Your Pipes Too
We know you have so much to worry about daily that you often don’t have the thought to care for your plumbing system. That is precisely why the professionals at Flow Pros suggest you sign up for a full-service maintenance plan. It will take the burden of your plumbing maintenance off your hands and place it in the capable care of experts.
In efforts to keep a healthy septic tank, here are a few suggestions to help keep your pipes flowing smoothly.
- From the beginning, make sure the suitable materials are in use for your plumbing. The pipe’s lifetime varies from 20 to 70 years, but PVC and PEX pipes can last indefinitely.
- Avoiding harsh chemicals can also help to maintain the lines. The more natural the ingredients, the less they will impact the wear on your plumbing. Harsh chemicals like drain cleaner can warp PVC and corrode metals.
- Ask your plumber to clean the pipes to reduce the build-up at least once a year. If you notice slow drainage, you may want to go ahead and schedule that cleaning sooner than later.
- Check for leaks and drips often. When cleaning the home, be sure to report any leaks, no matter how small, to your plumbing company. Small leaks and drips will become huge problems if left for another day. And if the leak is also behind the walls, you will have mold and mildew growth and the possibility of a pipe burst.
- Water pressure should be consistent. A water pressure gauge can help watch pressure in the pipes not to wear lines down too quickly. The gauge is easy to install, and your local plumber can help.
Schedule Regular Plumbing Inspection
Regular maintenance calls schedule the plumber to regularly check water pressure, drains, and pipes to ensure water flows smoothly and does not place added stress on the septic system. Your local plumbing company will have various plans for you to choose from that allow for periodic check-ups.
Flow Pros Plumbing would be delighted to care for your home’s plumbing work and septic system. With our experience and professional technicians, your entire system will be flowing with no issues. Should a problem arise, your home will be a priority for our team.
So, if your pipes have reached the end of their useful life, call on the service of Flow Pros Plumbing for replacement. And if you don’t have one already, please talk to your plumber about a service agreement to help keep issues at bay.
Contact Flow Pros Plumbing for all your plumbing needs today!