Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.
- How Often Should You Have Your Tank Cleaned? As a general rule of thumb, most residential septic tanks need to be inspected at least once every three years and pumped every three to five years. If you have an alternative type of septic tank that has mechanical components or that relies on a float switch, it should be inspected annually.
Do modern septic tanks need to be emptied?
As a general rule, you should only need to empty your septic tank once every three to five years. A septic tank that is not working properly can pose serious problems for your home, including sewage back up in the drains in your home, or sewage bubbling up from the ground around your tank outside.
How long do modern septic tanks last?
Age of the System It’s pretty common for a septic system to last 40 years or longer, which means if you buy a new home, you might never need to replace it. However, you might have an older home whose septic system has been in place for nearly half a century.
How do you know when your septic tank needs to be cleaned out?
Common Signs You Need Septic Tank Pumping Services
- Slow or Frequently Clogged Drains. Since your septic tank is connected to the entire network of drains throughout your home, your sinks, showers, and even toilets can exhibit signs of a problem.
- Sewage Backup.
- Regular Gurgling Noises.
- Strong and Pungent Odors.
How often should a septic tank be emptied?
How Often Should I Empty My Septic Tank? To keep your sewage system running correctly, your septic tank needs to be pumped out or desludged every 1 -2 years. It is extremely important to keep your septic tank maintained.
What are the new rules for septic tanks in 2020?
Under the new rules, if you have a specific septic tank that discharges to surface water (river, stream, ditch, etc.) you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.
What happens if you never pump your septic tank?
What Are the Consequences of Not Pumping Your Tank? If the tank is not pumped, the solids will build up in the tank and the holding capacity of the tank will be diminished. Eventually, the solids will reach the pipe that feeds into the drain field, causing a clog. Waste water backing up into the house.
What will ruin a septic system?
Any paper products like tissues, paper towels, tampons, or sanitary products, even some heavier toilet paper, will clog your system if you flush enough of it. Wet wipes are another product that you should never flush into a septic system.
What is the most common cause of septic system failure?
Most septic systems fail because of inappropriate design or poor maintenance. Some soil-based systems (those with a drain field) are installed at sites with inadequate or inappropriate soils, excessive slopes, or high ground water tables.
How do you know if your septic system is failing?
The first signs of a failing septic system may include slow draining toilets and sinks, gurgling noises within the plumbing, sewage odors inside, continuing drainage backups, or bacteria in the well water. The area of the strongest odor will point to the location of the failure in the septic system.
What to do after septic is pumped?
After you have had your septic tank pumped by a trusted septic company, there are some things you can and should do as the septic system owner.
- 1) Get on a Schedule.
- 2) Take Care of the System.
- 3) Know the Parts of Your System.
- 4) Check Other Possible Issues.
How do you maintain a septic tank?
Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system
- Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
- Pump your septic tank as needed.
- Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
- Be water-wise.
- Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
- Landscape with love.
- Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.
Will toilet flush if septic tank is full?
Toilets Flush Slowly When your septic tank is excessively full, your toilet may start acting odd. You might find that your toilet doesn’t fully flush or flushes very slowly and odd noises occur when you flush your toilet. These noises usually sound like gurgling or bubbling.
How Often Should You Get Your Septic Tank Pumped? The Answer, Explained
Image courtesy of depositphoto.com
Q: I recently bought a new house, and it has a septic system. I don’t have any experience with septic tanks, and I’m not sure how often it needs to be emptied and cleaned. How often should you get your septic tank pumped?
The usual rule of thumb is that an aseptic tank should be pumped and flushed every 3 to 5 years. Homes located outside of a city may rely on septic tanks for waste disposal because they do not have access to local sewage systems. A septic system is an ecologically beneficial, safe, and natural method of disposing of waste generated by a household. The lifespan of a septic tank system can be extended by several decades with adequate care and maintenance, as well as regular septic tank pumping.
As a result, because the solids (or sludge) are heavier than water, they will sink to the bottom of the tank, where bacteria and microorganisms will devour and dissolve them.
- The middle layer of watery effluent will depart the tank by way of perforated subterranean pipes and will eventually end up in a drainage or leach field.
- In the long run, an excessive amount of sludge will impair the bacteria’s capacity to break down waste and will cause it to overflow into the drainage field.
- As a result, how frequently should your septic tank be pumped?
- Link up with reputable professionals in your region and obtain free, no-obligation quotations for your project.+
First, keep in mind the size of your septic tank.
The majority of septic tanks have a capacity of between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons. If you’re not sure how large your septic tank is, an expert from a septic tank cleaning business may come out and check it for you to discover its precise dimensions. The size of the tank has a role in deciding how frequently it should be pumped, among other things. The duration between pumping for a 1,000-gallon tank and another 1,500-gallon tank is 2.6 years; however, the time between pumps can be extended to 4.2 years and up to 5 years for a 2,000-gallon tank, depending on the tank size.
Your house size and number of household members will affect how often the septic tank needs to be pumped.
The size of the septic tank will be determined by the size of the house itself. If you have a 3-bedroom home, you will require a larger-sized tank than if you have a 2-bedroom home. Your neighbors might be a great source of information about the area. Consider speaking with them and inquiring about the size of their septic tank in relation to the number of people that reside in their homes. With this information, you will be able to determine how frequently you should have your septic tank pumped for your particular system.
The sorts of soaps, cleansers, and chemicals that you use in your house, as well as how frequently they are flushed down the toilet, all have an impact on when your septic tank has to be pumped. Image courtesy of depositphoto.com
Consider the total wastewater generated, including laundry, dishwashing, and showers.
Individuals use an average of 70 gallons of water each day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Septic systems will last longer if they are used efficiently, and they will be less likely to clog, backup, or leak if they are used efficiently. Septic systems are well-understood by professionals. Connect with reputable professionals in your area and obtain free, no-obligation estimates for your job. + It is possible to control how much water goes down the drain by selecting the appropriate load size in the washing machine and only doing laundry when you have a full load.
Excessive use of the washing machine in a single day can cause harm to a septic system by denying the waste adequate time to be processed and increasing the likelihood of overflowing the drainage field.
A trash disposal should never be used in the kitchen sink if your home is equipped with an onsite septic tank, according to experts.
You will increase the quantity of solids by up to 50% if you use a disposal, and you will increase the likelihood of clogging the system and causing it to back up.
Generally, a septic tank should be pumped every 3 to 5 years.
Maintaining a septic tank system isn’t that expensive, but digging up and repairing or replacing a system that has failed as a result of carelessness is far more expensive. Some septic systems may require pumping more than once a year, depending on the size of the tank, the number of people living in the home, and the volume of wastewater generated. It is possible that other systems will be able to go 5 years between septic pumpings. In order to prolong the life of your septic system, it is advised that you consult with a professional every 3 to 5 years on an average basis.
Search online for “septic tank pumping near me” to discover a specialist that can assist you in keeping your septic system in good working order and extending its life.
Link up with reputable professionals in your region and obtain free, no-obligation quotations for your project.+
Cleaning and Maintaining a Septic Tank
When it comes to wastewater treatment, the term “septic tank” refers to a big, subterranean container that is used to collect and treat wastewater that flows from a residence. The materials used to construct these tanks are generally fiberglass, plastic, or concrete. Over a period of time, sludge and scum layers will accumulate within the tank at a pace that is greater than the rate at which the tank is being emptied. It is critical that the septic tank is cleaned on a regular basis in order to get rid of the sludge and scum that has accumulated.
Despite the fact that you may have your septic tank cleaned once or twice a year, it is also possible to determine when a tank cleaning should be conducted.
Similarly, when the bottom sludge layer is approximately 12 inches away from the exit pipe, the same holds true.
This article delves deeper into the significance of septic tank cleaning as well as the specifics of what this form of cleaning includes. The most important takeaways are as follows:
- Essentially, a septic tank is a huge container that is buried underground for the purpose of treating wastewater. Four factors must be considered while cleaning your septic tank: the frequency of inspection and pumping, the use of water wisely, effective waste disposal, and the maintenance of the drain-field area. The effluent that is discharged from the tank is collected in the pump chamber. It is possible for your septic tank to entirely fail if it is not operating properly.
Four Elements to Complete Your Septic Tank Cleaning
If you’re considering about having your septic tank cleaned, you might consider doing it once per year or two, according to the photo source. By maintaining the cleanliness of your septic tank on a regular basis, you can be certain that the system will continue to operate efficiently and in good working order. The four distinct aspects that must be completed in order for a septic tank cleaning to be successful are as follows:
- Using water as effectively as possible
- Inspection and pump frequency
- Waste management that is appropriate
- Keeping the drain-field area in good condition
Inspection and Pump Frequency
Inspecting your home’s sewer system at least once every three years or so is recommended by industry experts. The tank itself should be emptied every 3-5 years at the very least. Keep in mind that certain components may require more frequent inspections than others. If you have a septic tank that is equipped with mechanical components, electrical switches, or pumps, you should have these components inspected at least once per year. If your system requires more frequent inspections, you may want to consider signing a service contract with a reputable company.
- The square footage of your home
- It is the quantity of particles that are present in the wastewater that is important. What is the capacity of your septic tank? You can calculate the quantity of wastewater created in your house.
When you hire a septic tank inspector, this expert will examine the sludge and scum layers as well as the tank’s overall condition for signs of leakage. Make certain that any records resulting from an inspection are kept on file in case they need to be referred to in the future. Even if a cleaning is not required at this time, it is critical that you maintain note of the scum and sludge layers that are identified by the inspector and recorded in your records. In the event that you are having difficulty locating expert inspectors in your region, the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association may assist you.
Using Water Efficiently
The second part of keeping your septic tank in good working order is to use water effectively throughout your property. Every day, the average individual will consume around 70 gallons of water. Leaks throughout your home, on the other hand, might waste far more water. A leaky toilet, on its own, may waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. Please remember that the water that is utilized in a residence will pass via the pipes and into the septic tank. Your septic tank will operate more effectively if you conserve water, which minimizes the likelihood of a septic tank malfunction.
With any of these technologies, it is feasible to preserve a large amount of water.
It’s also a good idea to spread out your laundry loads throughout the course of the week to save time.
In the event that you do all of your laundry in a single day, the drain field may become clogged with water.
Additionally, high-efficiency toilets are offered. The water consumption of these contemporary toilets is only 1.5 gallons every flush, which is significantly less than that of ordinary toilets.
Proper Waste Disposal
Maintaining regular waste disposal will guarantee that your septic tank continues to operate at maximum efficiency. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on the health of your septic tank. a. It is possible that your septic tank will be unable to efficiently treat the wastewater due to inappropriate waste disposal. A few examples of goods and substances that should never be flushed down the toilet are as follows:
- Diapers, dental floss, cooking oil or grease, cigarette butts, cat litter, coffee grounds, paper towels, and baby wipes are all examples of items that fall into this category. Chemicals used in the home, such as oil, antifreeze, paint, and gasoline
In addition, it’s critical to be cautious about what you put down your sink. Within your septic tank, there are a variety of live organisms that are specifically developed to treat household waste. It is possible for these organisms to be destroyed if poisons are poured down the kitchen sink, which would negatively impact the efficiency of your septic system. The following are examples of solutions that should never be flushed down the toilet:
- Drain openers that include chemicals
- Oil-based paints or solvents
- Fats, sediments, and grease should be avoided at all costs, which implies that you should avoid utilizing a garbage disposal.
Maintaining The Drain-Field Area
Water that passes through the drain field is supposed to be free of a wide range of pollutants, and the drain field is an important part of your system’s overall design. Septic tanks perform this vital job to guarantee that the water is adequately filtered. They are installed in the ground to collect rainwater. If you want to keep the drain-field area in good condition, there are various things that you may do. For example, it is critical that you do not drive or park on your drain field at any time.
- The roots of these trees may otherwise grow right into the septic system, causing thousands of dollars in damage to the system.
- These professionals can assist you in determining the appropriate distance between trees to ensure that they do not compromise the integrity of the system as a whole.
- Drain field area should be kept free of any rainfall drainage systems, sump pumps, and roof drainage systems.
- You should be able to keep your septic tank in good functioning order if you keep these suggestions in mind.
The Role Your Pump Chamber Plays with the Septic Tank
When it comes to septic tanks, the pump chamber is one of the most crucial components. Fiberglass, polyethylene, and concrete are all acceptable materials for this chamber. The wastewater produced by the septic tank is collected in this chamber, which has a functional purpose. An alert float for excessive water levels, pump control floats, and a pump are all located within the chamber. It is possible to change the many control floats throughout the system, each of which is designed to pump a specific volume of effluent.
- The pump will run until the level of effluent has dropped to the point where the “off” float is reached.
- This alarm will sound if the effluent level rises over the “on” float level for whatever reason.
- In order to convey effluent to the drain field, the pump chamber must be filled with water.
- It is critical that you take good care of the pump chamber in order to avoid these problems.
- In addition, all electrical components should be examined for signs of corrosion.
- This screen can assist you avoid causing extremely costly damage to your tank.
- It is strongly advised that you call a professional inspector when the system needs to be inspected, even though some components of maintenance may be completed without assistance.
It is the inspector you choose for the work who will be able to determine when a complete cleaning of the tank is required.
Chart: How Often Should a Septic Tank be Pumped Out?
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Septic Tank Maintenance
Out of sight, out of memory, as they say. Due to the fact that septic tanks are subterranean and the access port is typically covered in mud and difficult to reach, pumping your septic tank is one of the most common home maintenance jobs to neglect. However, doing this critical maintenance work can help you prevent having to deal with odorous and expensive septic tank or drain field repairs in the future. As long as they are maintained consistently, septic tanks may survive for decades and provide dependable sewage treatment.
How Often Should a Septic Tank Be Pumped Out?
That’s an excellent question, and the answer is dependent on a number of factors. The size of your family, the size of your tank, whether or not you have a garbage disposal, and the temperature are all factors that will determine how often you should get your tank serviced. To determine how often you should pump your septic tank, use the table below.
How Do I Know My Septic Tank is Full?
You should be cautious of a full septic tank before your yard is completely swamped with sewage, right? The presence of backed-up drains in your house is a solid indication that your septic tank needs to be emptied out. Septic tank failure can also be indicated by foul odors, sewage odours, or standing water outside your home. Clogged pipes or sewage obstructions can sometimes appear to be septic tank issues, so it’s important to have a professional inspect the system and make a proper diagnosis.
In order to be safe, put on gloves, protective gear, and protective eyewear before inserting a 6′ – 10′ wooden rod vertically into the septic tank.
Septic Tank Pump Chart
Make use of the table below to determine the proper service interval for your septic system. Keep in mind that this chart is intended to serve as a guide only, not as a fail-safe. Some states, towns, and counties may have minimum septic tank regulations that are not dependent on the size of your residence.
What Variables Affect Septic Tank Service Intervals?
The servicing intervals shown above are only suggestions. There are a variety of factors that influence how frequently you should pump your septic tank, including the following:
- You employ a waste disposal on a regular basis. You own and operate a home-based business. You routinely flush coffee grounds or other non-septic-friendly items down the toilet
- You have a clogged drain
- You frequently host parties for your friends and family. It is necessary to have a sewage ejector pump installed in your septic system. It is necessary to utilize a water softener that is connected to the septic system. When compared to the typical person or household, you do more laundry.
Professional Septic Tank Pumping
Pumping a septic tank is not a do-it-yourself project. Because Mr. Rooter® Plumbing is a locally owned and operated firm, they have all of the required equipment and knowledge to pump your septic tank. Find the septic tank access port, and dig it out if it is buried if you want to assist reduce the amount of time that has to be spent on the service. This may sometimes feel like a treasure quest! Simply contact us at 855-982-2028 or fill out our online appointment request form to speak with one of our technicians.
Rooter LLC makes this blog available solely for educational reasons, in order to provide the reader with broad knowledge and a comprehensive comprehension of the specific subject matter discussed above.
In no way can this blog be considered a substitute for the services of a licensed plumbing professional in your state or region. Before beginning any household improvement, be sure you are in compliance with local and state rules. Previous PostNext Post Previous Post
How to Clean a Septic Tank Filter
A homeowner’s only contact with their septic system’s internal workings is when they clean its effluent filter. While the procedure may seem scary or complex at first, having the appropriate knowledge may help you guarantee that your system continues to operate smoothly and that you avoid having to make costly repairs. Owner Mike Devine of Devine Septic addresses frequently asked concerns regarding septic filters and how to properly clean them.
What is a septic tank filter?
Septic tanks erected in the last several decades have been equipped with filters, which are formally called as effluent filters or tank discharge filters. This filter, which is installed in the exit of the septic tank, serves to prevent solid waste from entering the leach field and potentially polluting the treated wastewater. When the filter has been cleaned thoroughly with a garden hose, you should be able to see through it.
Do I need a septic tank filter?
It is dependent on the type of system you have and when it was constructed. While most contemporary systems are equipped with filters, the last generation was built without this technological advancement. Your parents may not have had to clean the filter on their septic system since their system may not have had one in the first place.
Do I need to clean my septic tank filter?
If your system is equipped with a filter, it was created to keep the majority of particulates out of the field while allowing the effluent to pass through. Despite the fact that it is not ideal, the filter does lessen the likelihood of jams. And it can only function correctly if the environment is clean. New homeowners are sometimes taken aback by the magnitude of their responsibilities. However, if your system is equipped with a filter, it will need to be cleaned. Beth Thomas, a Devine client whose family moved into a property with a septic system some years ago, acknowledges that she would have been completely unaware of the situation if Mike hadn’t informed her.
How do I find my septic tank filter to clean it?
Septic systems that have been erected since the turn of the century have been equipped with filters. These systems will most usually have between one and three covers that are level with the surface of the ground, with the first cover being the most common. If there is one cover that you can get to, it is the one that has the filter on it. If there are numerous covers you can reach, ask someone to flush the toilet for you if there are several covers. The newest systems should have PVC piping visible when the cover(s) are lifted, according to the manufacturer (s).
To see whether this is the case, try removing the second cover as well.
IMPORTANT: This is NOT the pipe that contains the filter.
There is no filter on the pipe that you may peer through. The one where you can’t see all the way through because there’s something inside.the that’s filter that’s in there somewhere. The color of the handle might be red, blue, yellow, or gray. The filter is contained within a PVC pipe.
How do I clean my septic filter?
- First, remove the filter from the water. Using a garden hose, spray the filter from below and then take it out of the water source. When you’re through cleaning, you should be able to see right through it. Without completely cleaning it, you would have defeated the objective. Last but not least, change the filter. Some of them have specific procedures for getting back in. Suppose yours has an arrow pointing up at the top and it reads “outlet this way,” and you want to replace it, you must point the arrow in the same direction as the one you removed.
What happens if I don’t clean my septic filter?
Maybe nothing at all. However, it is possible that a great deal has happened. If you have a septic tank filter and you have your system pumped, we will clean it as part of our regular maintenance service. It is possible that you will not need to clean your system right away depending on when it was last cleaned and how much use it receives on a regular basis. If, on the other hand, your filter becomes blocked, everything finally comes to a halt. As a result, you may be doing your clothes and have sewage pouring out of the overflow.
These obstacles might clog your drains and necessitate the hiring of a professional to clear them out.
How often should I clean my septic filter?
Depending on how many people reside in your home, you should clean your filter every three to twelve months, depending on how dirty it is. Please refer to the table above for further information. Septic system maintenance, including filter cleaning, is an important component of ensuring that your system lasts as long as possible.
Ready to schedule maintenance to keep your system working at its best and save you money in the process?Contact Mike to get started.
If you look for answers to this topic on the internet, you will discover prescriptive advice instructing you to clean your tank every three to five years, according to the experts. However, the fact is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Would you be surprised if your technician told you to replace your automobile tires every three years? A tire wholesaler may, but your mechanic would inspect your tires and tell you when it is time to alternate or replace them. Some individuals just drive more than others, so imposing a prescriptive requirement is not a viable solution.
- In many other cases, a factor of at least 8 is more effective.
- Because of regulatory amendments implemented since 2005, septic designers have begun designing tanks that are greater than the capacity of the estimated residential occupancy.
- The lifespan of modern (bigger) tanks with moderate usage can be extended to eight years, however certain older (smaller) tanks with excessive demand should be pumped every two to three years.
- While only one component of your system, the septic tank is a very significant component of that system.
- What exactly has to be flushed?
- More information, including what to do and what not to do, may be found at: What is the operation of a septic tank?
- Chemical components in your wastewater are digested by microorganisms, which is the basis of the fundamental biological procedure used.
Millions of different types of tiny bugs may be found in these three zones.
It might take months for a colony of powerful germs to re-form in a tank that has been flushed clean.
What methods are used to measure tank solids?
It’s a gadget that’s used for measuring sludge, as you would have imagined.
Inspect the levels in your tank every couple of years, and have your maintenance specialist examine the whole system while doing normal maintenance and monitoring the entire system.
How often should I pump the water out of my tank?
There are many more elements to consider, such as flushing practices, but the following table provides a decent reference for “typical household usage”: Tanks with a high capacity but low occupancy A typical tank for a three-bedroom home built to today’s standards holds around 1,000 gallons of water.
- This is encouraging news because the cost of sewage disposal is only increasing in price.
- How much does it cost to have a pump out done?
- Pump out prices are subject to change and may range somewhat between various pump out service providers.
- Alternatively, if you want to see long-term advantages for both your downstream environment and your money account, consider having a bigger tank erected.
- Studies have indicated that the water from a flush should be kept for a period of time before it is discharged from the tank in order to ensure effective treatment and a long-lasting dispersion field.
- As sediments collect in the septic tank, the amount of space available for water diminishes, as does the amount of time the water may be retained.
- Maintenance Allowing a registered maintenance worker to maintain and monitor your complete system, rather than just your septic tank or treatment plant, can provide you with more bang for your maintenance dollars.
- Monitoring the levels in the tank every couple of years, among other vital duties, should be included in a maintenance and monitoring PLAN that is customized to your system and the way your house is used.
* This tank is not scheduled for a pump out until it measures 8″ plus 3″ = 11″ divided by 41″ = 27 percent
3 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SEPTIC TANK BAFFLES
By Admin on November 12, 2020 Your efforts to live as environmentally conscious as possible, as a responsible homeowner, are likely already underway, with practices such as recycling, composting, and purchasing energy-efficient equipment among your list of accomplishments. As a septic tank owner, you want to be sure that anything you put into your tank and septic field is causing the least amount of ground contamination as is reasonably practicable. Fortunately, there are a number of modest improvements you can do immediately to make your septic system even more ecologically friendly than it already is.
- Have your septic tank inspected and pumped on a regular basis.
- A bigger septic tank with only a couple of people living in your house, for example, will not require pumping as frequently as a smaller septic tank or as a septic tank that must manage the waste products of multiple family members will require.
- When in doubt about how often to pump your septic tank, consult with a professional for advice.
- In addition to locating and repairing any damage, a professional can ensure that the septic field is in good working order and that your septic tank is functional, large enough to handle your family’s waste, and not causing any unwanted pollution in nearby ground water.
- Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet or down the toilet.
- Items that are not biodegradable are unable to properly decompose in the septic tank and might cause the system to get clogged.
- In addition to causing issues in your house, septic system backups can damage ground water in the area surrounding your septic field.
Towels made of paper Products for feminine hygiene Grease or fats are used in cooking.
grinds from a cup of coffee Even if you have a trash disposal, the food scraps that you flush down the drain and bring into your septic system may cause unanticipated harm to your plumbing system.
Food scraps can enhance the amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the wastewater, which can disturb the natural bacterial balance of the septic tank, among other things.
Water conservation should be practiced.
Exceedingly large amounts of water use will interfere with the normal flow of wastewater from your home into your septic tank.
Limiting the amount of time you spend in the shower and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, as well as purchasing a smaller dishwasher and washing machine that use less water, are all simple strategies to reduce water use in your home.
The following are some basic steps you can take to make your septic system more ecologically friendly: save water, maintain your septic system and tank, and recycle wastewater. To get answers to any of your septic tank-related issues, get in touch with the experts at Upstate Septic Tank, LLC.
The Seasons Are Changing – Is it Time to Clean Out Your Septic Tank?
While many city inhabitants couldn’t envision their lives without access to municipal plumbing, septic tanks are a reality for millions of people across the United States of America. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 60 million residences in the United States drain their wastewater into a septic tank. In the states of Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire, septic systems are used to treat the waste from at least half of all houses. Septic systems are also fairly widespread in the Southeast, where about one out of every three residences is reliant on a septic system for waste disposal.
Experts also agree that the most effective way to ensure that your septic tank continues to function for as long as possible is to adhere to a regular maintenance schedule.
Performing a thorough inspection of your septic tank maintenance checklist twice a year, at the start of winter and the start of summer, is highly recommended.
How a Septic System Works
A septic system is responsible for more than simply human waste. A typical septic system is designed to collect water from all of the drains in your home. Toilets, showers, sinks, and appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers are examples of what is covered. All of these systems discharge into a single septic tank, which serves as the initial phase in the septic system’s process. They take unclean water and solid waste away with them as they drain.
The Septic Tank
Water treatment begins with the septic tank, which serves as the initial stage in the process. It is important to note that the size of your septic tank is the most important component to consider when determining how frequently you need to have your system serviced. This is because the most frequently performed service is tank emptying and cleaning. The septic tank is responsible for performing the vital function of separating solid waste from waste water. However, there is no magic involved here; only gravity.
It takes time for sludge to build up, but it may be broken down with the aid of good bacteria in the tank.
The Effluent Filter
As the solid waste settles, the leftover gray water drains out of the tank and into the drain field, completing the cycle. Modern septic systems are equipped with an effluent filter, which keeps errant solid waste from escaping the tank and entering the drain field. [pagebreak] Older systems may not have a filter, which is something that a service professional should be aware of.
If you’re not sure, ask your septic tank service specialist to check it out for you. When the gray water ran through the effluent filter, if one was installed, it was channeled into a system of pipelines buried underground in a drain field.
The Drain Field and Final Filtering
This open section of your land acts as the final phase in the water treatment process, and it is located near the drain field. Gray water is discharged from the septic tank and collected in pipelines lying beneath the field’s surface. The pipes are perforated to allow the water to gently drain into a porous substance, usually gravel, that surrounds the pipes and collects it. As the water passes through the porous substance, it becomes even more thoroughly cleansed. The water next penetrates the soil, which serves as the final filter before entering the atmosphere.
Maintaining Your Septic System
As with frequent oil changes for your automobile or routine examinations at your doctor’s office, proper maintenance for your septic system will help to ensure that it operates as efficiently as possible. A well-maintained septic system may last for many years with little maintenance. In contrast, if you fail to maintain your system when it is in need of maintenance, you might find yourself in a smelly situation and with an unexpectedly big price.
Pumping the Tank
Pumping is the most common type of service required for a septic tank. Beneficial bacteria can assist in the breakdown of some of the solid waste that accumulates at the bottom of your aquarium. However, over time, the sludge at the bottom of the tank accumulates, and if it isn’t removed, it can cause damage to your plumbing system and other appliances. In the best case scenario, you will have some unpleasant sewage backups in your house. It is possible that you will permanently harm your PC in the worst case scenario.
- Pumping a sewage tank might take anywhere from one to three years depending on its size.
- Pumping is an expensive endeavor, thus it is usually preferable to send as little trash into the system as feasible when at all possible.
- It is best not to flush food waste down the toilet if your home is serviced by a septic system.
- In the event that it is possible, dump food leftovers into a compost bin, which you can then use to create your own compost heap.
In our last article, we discussed how beneficial bacteria may aid in the breakdown of solid waste in your septic system and the lengthening of time between cleanings. However, just like every other living thing, bacteria require specific circumstances in order to grow. The bacteria in your septic system are drawn to organic waste, giving it an excellent habitat for them to thrive. However, avoid dumping any chemicals that have been created by humans down the toilet since these might kill the bacteria.
Fortunately, the bacteria population may be quickly increased with the use of a few simple additions. You have the option of introducing some ingredients yourself. However, when a technician comes to do a routine service call, they will also include them.
Complete System Cleaning
Eventually, even a perfectly excellent septic system will begin to clog up with debris. Sludge and untreated garbage can accumulate in wastewater as it flows through pipes, the tank, and numerous filters along its journey. The accumulation would eventually prohibit your septic system from working correctly if nothing was done to remove it. The interior of your septic system will be thoroughly cleaned by your septic system service professional using a high-pressure water jet to prevent this from happening.
As part of their septic system service, a septic system service specialist should examine the complete system in addition to pumping the solid waste and clearing it. This involves inspecting the pipes, tank, and effluent filter, if one is installed. They should also inspect your drain field for signs of excess drainage or, worse still, raw sewage, which is extremely dangerous. It’s also a good idea to visually inspect the drain field from time to time. It is critical to get professional help as soon as you notice an unpleasant smell emanating from your drain field at any time.
The dirt and gravel around the drain pipes must be lightly packed in order for them to work correctly.
Find the Right Septic Tank Service Provider
Septic tanks are low maintenance and need little effort. You may normally go anywhere from a year to three years without having to visit the dentist. However, failing to maintain your septic system will limit its lifespan, resulting in significant financial loss. The most effective strategy to keep your septic system in good working order is to establish a working relationship with a reputable septic service business. Having the same personnel take care of your septic tank over a long period of time ensures that you receive consistent treatment every time, and the experts can keep track of your system and its demands.
In addition to passing Dale’s rigorous 7-point investigative assessment, each TrustDALE firm also comes with Dale’s patented $10,000 “Make It RightTM” Guarantee as a bonus.
Your Guide to Septic Tank Maintenance
Did you know that it might cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000 to rebuild an average septic tank in the United States? With this in mind, appropriate septic system maintenance is extremely necessary to ensure that your septic system continues to function properly. Routine septic system maintenance can not only save you from having to spend a lot of money on expensive repairs, but it will also help to make your home a healthier and more secure place to live in. Septic system maintenance, on the other hand, isn’t difficult to learn.
As a result, it’s critical to pay close attention to what you’re flushing down the toilet as well as the efficiency of your household equipment. More information on how to maintain your septic system may be found in the instructions provided below.
Septic System Basics
A septic tank and a drainfield are both components of your septic system. Solids and scum that have built in your wastewater are collected in a container that is placed below and is responsible for storing them. More than one in every five houses in the United States, according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), “rely on an individual onsite system or a small community cluster system to treat their wastewater.” Rural locations with limited access to public municipal sewers are common among households who rely on septic tank systems for waste disposal.
What is a drainfield?
Once wastewater has been discharged from the septic tank, it is sent to the drainfield. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a drainfield is a “shallow, covered excavation” in the soil that serves as part of a septic system. It is also referred to as a “leachfield” in some circles. It is possible for the drainfield to flood if it becomes swamped by wastewater and/or outside fluids. This has the potential to cause a sewage backlog.
Why is septic system maintenance so important?
Given the high cost of replacing a septic system, regular maintenance is essential to maintaining your septic system (and your money) in good working order. When it comes to caring for and maintaining your septic system, the more proactive you are, the longer your septic system will endure. In order to keep your septic tank in good working order, it is important to avoid the accumulation of sediments as well as any groundwater pollution.
How often should I have my septic system pumped?
If your home is large enough, the overall volume of wastewater created, the number of particles present, and the size of your tank will all influence how frequently your septic system will need to be pumped. As reported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while the average septic system is pumped every three years, systems that have “electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently.” In general, we recommend that you get your septic system examined and pumped once a year to ensure that it is operating safely.
4 Steps to Septic System Maintenance
- To avoid the buildup of solids in a septic system, each residence should adhere to a regular septic service plan. Step 1: Responsible Pumping The frequency of service varies from home to household, so be sure to contact your professional for their recommendation on how often your septic system should be pumped. Step 2 – High-Pressure Water Jetting — Regardless of how well a septic system is maintained, sediments and other debris will build up in the drain pipes over time. The presence of these materials causes the lines that link the septic tank to the drainfield to become clogged and ineffective. Because of this, we recommend that you get your system cleaned with high-pressure water jetting every five years to remove and clear any debris that might hinder your system from functioning correctly. The third step is to use a bacteria additive. Septic system owners should use a live organic bacteria additive that breaks down the presence of artificial compounds and solids, such as detergents and soap, that might occasionally enter your septic system. Step 4 – Use a Bacteria Additive Upon entering your septic system, these common home chemicals destroy the naturally occurring bacteria that are necessary for the system to work correctly. Bacteria additives are a low-cost insurance policy that helps to keep your pipes clean, clear, and odor-free, as well as your system operating effectively. 4) Install an Effluent Filter – Your filter, which keeps particles from entering your drainfield, has to be cleaned or changed at least once a year, or more frequently if your system is in need of repair. Some older systems might not have a filter installed in them. Please notify your technician if your septic system does not have a filter.
Septic System Dos
We recommend that you get your septic system inspected by a service specialist once a year to ensure that it is operating effectively. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, residential septic systems should be drained every three to five years. Septic system pumping frequency should be determined by a professional. Pumping a septic system when it is necessary will help to keep it from failing completely.
Do maintain your drainfield
Avoid growing gardens or trees near your drainfield if you want to keep it in good condition.
Growing roots and brushing up against your septic system will be prevented in this manner. You should also avoid parking vehicles directly on top of your drainfield.
Do limit the amount of stuff you put down your garbage disposal
The greater the amount of rubbish you put down the garbage disposal, the greater the likelihood that your septic system will be damaged. If you want to prevent clogging your system, avoid flushing cooking oil, coffee grinds, and lipids down the garbage disposal. Instead, place these objects in the garbage to be disposed of.
Do buy high-efficiency appliances
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, proper water use can help your septic system run more efficiently. In other words, the more water you waste (via clogged toilets, excessive use of your washing machine, and so on), the more water will enter your septic system. This has the ability to inflict harm as well as drainfield floods. The most straightforward method of preventing water waste is to use high-efficiency equipment. Look for Energy Starappliances, which utilize half the amount of water that conventional appliances consume.
Do save inspection reportsmaintenance records
When having their septic system repaired, homeowners should make a point of saving any and all maintenance records and inspection reports. A full report on prospective or actual leaks, as well as scum levels and potential damage, should be included in inspections of this nature. If there has been damage recorded, you should contact an expert repairman as soon as possible to get it repaired.
Septic System Don’ts
Avoid flushing anything down the toilet that isn’t toilet paper in order to avoid causing damage to your system. Other products, such as toilet paper, are not meant to break down and dissolve in septic tanks, unlike toilet paper. The majority of goods that are labeled as “flushable” should not be flushed down the toilet. Items that should not be flushed down the toilet, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, include cooking fat or oil, flushable wipes, feminine hygiene products, dental floss, diapers, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, paper towels, and cat litter, to name a few.
Don’t hire a septic system repairman who isn’t qualified
Do you require the services of a local repairman? Search the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association’s network of service providers to discover a specialist that is knowledgeable and qualified in their field.
Don’t pour chemicals down the drain
It’s important to avoid pouring chemical drain openers, oil, grease, and other harmful substances down the drain whether you’re in the kitchen or the bathroom. This will help to keep your septic system in good working order.
Don’t waste water
Conserving water is the most straightforward method of keeping a septic system operating efficiently. Some simple ways to save water include purchasing Energy Star appliances, replacing leaking faucets, and repairing toilets that are running.
Don’t put rainwater drainage systems near your drainfield
Your first aim should be to keep any objects off of and away from the drainfield area. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, surplus precipitation from a drainage system, such as a roof drain, might cause extra water to pool near your drainfield. As a result, the treatment process in your septic system will be significantly slowed.
Household Features That Affect Your Septic System
It is surprising how many people are unaware that the use of common appliances can have a detrimental impact on the condition of their septic system.
Hot tubs, trash disposals, washing machines, toilets, and showerheads are all examples of household fixtures that might reduce the effectiveness of your septic system if they are used frequently.
- A hot tub owner should be aware that removing the water from their hot tub all at once might cause harm to their septic system. As stated by Pipeline, “hot tub water should instead be cooled and then drained onto grass or landscaped sections of your property well away from the septic tank, drainfield, or residence in compliance with local rules.” The use of a trash disposal is not recommended for homes with freestanding septic systems since they might cause damage to the system. The elimination of the usage of a trash disposal will significantly reduce the amount of particles and scum that accumulates in your septic tank. In the event that you do use a trash disposal, you will almost certainly need to pump your septic system more frequently than people who do not utilize this house amenity. machine to wash clothes (washing machine) According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average single-family house uses roughly 70 gallons per person every day. That is a significant amount of water. Unfortunately, the greater the amount of water consumed by your household, the more overburdened your septic system will be. It raises the likelihood of failure of a septic system when it is overburdened. Those who have a septic system should restrict the quantity of laundry they wash in a single day in order to avoid this from happening. They should also use Energy Starwashing machines, which use 45 percent less water than ordinary washers
- And a toilet – Do you hear your toilet flushing? If so, you should call your plumber. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a toilet that is always running or leaking can waste up to 200 gallons of water every day. Yikes. Your power bill will rise as a result, and the amount of water in your septic system will increase as well. It is simple to prevent this from happening by replacing outdated toilets with high-efficiency toilets. Changing your showerhead — It may be time to replace your old showerhead with a modern, higher-efficiency one. These showerheads aid in reducing the quantity of water that seeps into your septic system by restricting the flow of water.
Other Septic Tank Maintenance Tips
At least once every one to three years, have a professional septic system specialist visit to your home to evaluate your tank and do any necessary repairs. When the technician comes, he or she will take note of the amount of scum in the tank. These levels should provide you with an indication of when and how frequently you will need to pump your septic system. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “if the top of the scum layer is within 12 inches of the outflow, your tank should be pumped.”
How do I know if my septic system is failing?
Is the odor coming from your septic system bothersome? According to Allstate Insurance Company, this might be a warning that something is wrong with the system. Septic systems that are congested with particles are more prone to failing than those that are not. Maintenance performed on a yearly basis might help to avoid this. Another factor that might contribute to septic system failure is the system’s design and placement. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if a septic system is placed near “unsuitable soils, severe slopes, or high ground water tables,” it may become overwhelmed with water from outside sources.
What do I do if my septic system backs up?
A sewage backup into your home is the last thing you want (or anyone wants, for that matter). The failure to maintain your septic system properly, on the other hand, might result in this. Assuming this occurs, you and your family should avoid coming into touch with the sewage. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, sewage that has backed up into your house may include hazardous diseases and nasty bacteria. Call your local health department instead of attempting to clean it up yourself to notify them of the collapse of your septic system.
If you have any possessions that have come into touch with sewage, be sure to clean them off and disinfect them.