How To Keep Septic Tank Working Properly?

How to keep your septic system working properly

  1. Use water efficiently.
  2. Repair leaky faucets and running toilets.
  3. Don’t treat your toilet like a trash can.
  4. Limit your use of heavy-duty cleaners.
  5. Don’t flush toxic chemicals (or pour them down the drain).
  6. Mind your landscaping.
  7. Don’t disrupt the drain field.

How can I make my septic system work better?

How to Keep Your Septic System Healthy

  1. How the Septic System Works.
  2. Don’t Overload the Septic Tank and Drain field.
  3. Use an Efficient Toilet.
  4. Don’t Treat the Toilet as a Garbage Disposal.
  5. Don’t Pour Grease Down the Drain.
  6. Divert Rain Water From the Septic Drain Field.
  7. Keep Trees Away from the Septic System.

How do I keep my septic tank healthy?

Do’s and Don’ts when maintaining your septic system

  1. Regularly inspect and maintain your septic system.
  2. Pump your septic tank as needed.
  3. Keep your septic tank lids closed and secured.
  4. Be water-wise.
  5. Direct water from land and roof drains away from the drainfield.
  6. Landscape with love.
  7. Keep septic tank lids easily accessible.

How do I increase bacteria in my septic tank?

Flush a packet of brewer’s dry yeast down one toilet on the bottom floor of your house once a month. The yeast will help add “good” bacteria to your septic tank and break down waste.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:

  • Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
  • Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
  • Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
  • You Hear Gurgling Water.
  • You Have A Sewage Backup.
  • How often should you empty your septic tank?

How can I increase bacteria in my septic tank naturally?

Homemade Septic Tank Treatment The ingredients required for this natural solution are the following: Water, Sugar, Cornmeal, and Dry Yeast. To concoct this mixture, first start by boiling roughly a half gallon of water. Add in 2 cups of sugar. The sugar will act as the first food your bacteria will eat!

How often should you pump your septic tank?

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 do I clean my septic tank naturally?

You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains. It’s a great cleaner and your septic system will thank you!

How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?

For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.

What should you avoid with a septic tank?

You should not put these items into your commode:

  • Cat litter.
  • Coffee grounds.
  • Cigarette butts.
  • Dental floss.
  • Disposable diapers.
  • Earplugs.
  • Sanitary napkins or tampons.

Can you put too much bacteria in a septic tank?

Too much of a good thing can cause problems. A septic system relies on the correct balance of bacteria to do its job. An overpopulation of bacteria can deplete the oxygen in the septic tank and turn the environment septic. A septic, septic system is one in which the ecosystem within the tank is out of balance.

What is the best bacteria to put in septic tank?

Much like your stomach, septic tanks need good bacteria and enzymes to break down the solids that pass through it. These beneficial bacteria and enzymes can come from several sources, but our favorite is actually rotten tomatoes. These naturally occurring enzymes are proteins called Pectinase or Pectinolytic enzymes.

What kills bacteria in septic tanks?

For example, while chlorine bleach is a useful disinfectant in the home, it kills beneficial septic tank bacteria. In addition to bleach, avoid constant use of antibacterial soap and harsh drain cleaners. Also, many toilet bowl cleaners have bleach or hydrochloric acid, which kills septic tank bacteria.

How do I check my septic tanks sludge level?

To measure the sludge layer:

  1. Slowly lower the tube into the septic tank until it touches the bottom of the tank.
  2. As the device is slowly pulled out of the water, the check valve closes capturing a liquid/solid profile of the septic tank water. The thickness of the sludge layer can be measured.

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 to Care for Your Septic System

Septic system maintenance is neither difficult or expensive, and it does not have to be done frequently. The maintenance of a vehicle is comprised of four major components:

  • Inspect and pump your drainfield on a regular basis
  • Conserve water
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • And keep your drainfield in good condition.

Inspect and Pump Frequently

Inspection of the ordinary residential septic system should be performed by a septic service specialist at least once every three years. Household septic tanks are normally pumped every three to five years, depending on how often they are used. Alternative systems that use electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be examined more frequently, typically once a year, to ensure that they are in proper working order. Because alternative systems contain mechanical components, it is essential to have a service contract.

  • The size of the household
  • The total amount of wastewater produced
  • The amount of solids present in wastewater
  • The size of the septic tank

Service provider coming? Here is what you need to know.

When you contact a septic service provider, he or she will inspect your septic tank for leaks as well as the scum and sludge layers that have built up over time. Maintain detailed records of any maintenance work conducted on your septic system. Because of the T-shaped outlet on the side of your tank, sludge and scum will not be able to escape from the tank and travel to the drainfield region. A pumping is required when the bottom of the scum layer or the top of the sludge layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the bottom of the outlet.

In the service report for your system, the service provider should mention the completion of repairs as well as the condition of the tank.

An online septic finder from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA) makes it simple to identify service specialists in your region.

Use Water Efficiently

In a normal single-family house, the average indoor water consumption is about 70 gallons per person, per day, on average. A single leaking or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day, depending on the situation. The septic system is responsible for disposing of all of the water that a residence sends down its pipes. The more water that is conserved in a household, the less water that enters the sewage system. A septic system that is operated efficiently will operate more efficiently and will have a lower chance of failure.

  • Toilets with a high level of efficiency. The usage of toilets accounts for 25 to 30% of total home water use. Many older homes have toilets with reservoirs that hold 3.5 to 5 gallons of water, but contemporary, high-efficiency toilets consume 1.6 gallons or less of water for each flush. Changing out your old toilets for high-efficiency versions is a simple approach to lessen the amount of household water that gets into your septic system. Aerators for faucets and high-efficiency showerheads are also available. Reduce water use and the volume of water entering your septic system by using faucet aerators, high-efficiency showerheads, and shower flow restriction devices. Machines for washing clothes. Water and energy are wasted when little loads of laundry are washed on the large-load cycle of your washing machine. By selecting the appropriate load size, you may limit the amount of water wasted. If you are unable to specify a load size, only complete loads of washing should be performed. Washing machine use should be spread throughout the week if at all possible. Doing all of your household laundry in one day may appear to be a time-saving strategy
  • Nevertheless, it can cause damage to your septic system by denying your septic tank adequate time to handle waste and may even cause your drainfield to overflow. Machines that have earned theENERGY STARlabel consume 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than ordinary ones, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Other Energy Star appliances can save you a lot of money on your energy and water bills.

Properly Dispose of Waste

Everything that goes down your drains, whether it’s flushed down the toilet, ground up in the trash disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system, which is where it belongs. What you flush down the toilet has an impact on how effectively your septic system functions.

Toilets aren’t trash cans!

Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system.

A simple rule of thumb is to never flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:

  • Cooking grease or oil
  • Wipes that are not flushable, such as baby wipes or other wet wipes
  • Photographic solutions
  • Feminine hygiene items Condoms
  • Medical supplies such as dental floss and disposable diapers, cigarette butts and coffee grounds, cat litter and paper towels, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such as gasoline and oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint or paint thinners

Toilet Paper Needs to Be Flushed! Check out this video, which demonstrates why the only item you should flush down your toilet are toilet paper rolls.

Think at the sink!

Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whether you’re at the kitchen sink, the bathtub, or the utility sink, remember the following:

  • If you have a clogged drain, avoid using chemical drain openers. To prevent this from happening, use hot water or a drain snake
  • Never dump cooking oil or grease down the sink or toilet. It is never a good idea to flush oil-based paints, solvents, or huge quantities of harmful cleansers down the toilet. Even latex paint waste should be kept to a bare minimum. Disposal of rubbish should be avoided or limited to a minimum. Fats, grease, and particles will be considerably reduced in your septic tank, reducing the likelihood of your drainfield being clogged.

Own a recreational vehicle (RV), boat or mobile home?

If you have ever spent any time in an RV or boat, you are undoubtedly familiar with the issue of aromas emanating from sewage holding tanks.

  • The National Small Flows Clearinghouse’s Septic System Care hotline, which may be reached toll-free at 800-624-8301, has a factsheet on safe wastewater disposal for RV, boat, and mobile home owners and operators.

Maintain Your Drainfield

It is critical that you maintain the integrity of your drainfield, which is a component of your septic system that filters impurities from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank once it has been installed. Here are some things you should do to keep it in good condition:

  • Parking: Do not park or drive on your drainfield at any time. Plan your tree plantings so that their roots do not grow into your drainfield or septic system. An experienced septic service provider can recommend the appropriate distance for your septic tank and surrounding landscaping, based on your specific situation. Locating Your Drainfield: Keep any roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainfall drainage systems away from the drainfield area. Excess water causes the wastewater treatment process to slow down or halt completely.

7 Tips to Take Care of Your Septic System

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Maintaining a home’s septic system may seem like a daunting and stinky task, but it’s really not. Being mindful of what you’re doing inside the home will keep the system healthy.

Preventing and treating problems with your septic system is not difficult and does not have to be expensive. Failure to maintain your septic system, on the other hand, might result in significant financial loss, since digging up and rebuilding a septic system can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

What Is a Septic System?

Because it handles all of the wastewater that comes from your home, including the water from the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room, if your home is not connected to a municipal water and sewer system, your septic system is essential. Septic systems are generally comprised of a tank, into which wastewater is channeled for treatment and the particles are separated from the liquid. Microorganisms break down the organic stuff in wastewater, allowing it to be recycled. A perforated pipe system transports wastewater from there to a drain or leach field, which collects the effluent.

Get Familiar With Your Septic System

Understanding how your septic tank works, what sort of system it is, and where it is placed are all important first steps in proper maintenance. The county or town should keep a record of the permit, as well as a chart showing the tank’s layout and placement, because state rules demand a permit for septic system installation. Visual clues, such as sewage covers, or the direction in which the sewer pipe, which is located in the basement, runs out of the home, may be able to assist you in your search.

Have It Pumped Routinely

Every three to five years, the ordinary residential septic system should be pumped (that is, the sediments should be removed). According on the size of the tank, the typical price of pumping a residential septic tank is between $300 and $600. When you contact a septic service company, they will also inspect your septic tank for leaks and evaluate the sludge layers in your tank for any problems.

Remember to save a copy of any maintenance paperwork pertaining to work performed on your septic tank. They will come in helpful if there are any difficulties with the house or if you decide to sell it.

Spread Your Washing Machine/Dishwasher Usage Throughout the Week

You may believe that scheduling a “laundry day,” during which you wash all of your clothing and possibly even run your dishwasher, would save you time. However, it puts a great deal of strain on your septic system. If you don’t allow your septic system enough time to process the wastewater, you risk overloading the system and flooding your drainfield with wastewater. Replace this with doing a full load of laundry (to ensure that you are not wasting water) a couple of times a week.

See also:  How To Tell If Your Septic Tank Is In Good Condition? (TOP 5 Tips)

Don’t Treat Your Toilet Like a Trash Can

The only item that should be flushed down the toilet that does not come out of your body is toilet paper. Everything else should be discarded. This implies that there will be no tissues, diapers, feminine items, hair, dental floss, or anything else. Toilet paper is supposed to decompose in the septic tank after it has been used. Any additional materials are not permitted; they will clog and cause harm to your septic tank. Make sure you use toilet paper that is safe for use with your septic system.

Think About What You Dump Down the Kitchen Sink Drain

We flush a variety of items down the kitchen sink that might cause serious damage to a septic system. Never flush objects down the sink drain, including coffee grounds, eggshells, medicine, produce stickers, flour, and other such items. All of these things can clog pipes and cause screens to get obstructed. Do not dispose of any oil, including cooking oils and paint, grease, and fat since these substances will block your sewer line and cause it to back up into your home. Even dairy products such as milk, cream, and butter are harmful if they are flushed down the toilet.

When you use a garbage disposal in conjunction with a septic tank, the ground-up food particles contribute to the layer of solids that accumulates at the bottom of the tank’s bottom.

Be Careful With Cleaning Chemicals

Cleaning agents that homeowners use can be harmful to the beneficial microorganisms in their septic systems. When washing textiles, avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach. If you absolutely must, use only a little quantity of the product. Use of drain cleaners is discouraged since, in addition to destroying beneficial bacteria, they can cause harm to the tank itself. Alternatively, if a plunger does not work, a toilet drain snake, which is also effective on clogged kitchen and bathroom sinks, may be used.

Quaternary ammonia is also present in antibacterial soaps and disinfectants, which should be avoided.

Protect Your Drainfield

As previously said, proper management of your drainfield begins with careful monitoring of water consumption and the materials that enter your septic system. Never drive or park a vehicle on top of your drainage system.

Make certain that gutters and sump pumps discharge water far enough away from the drainfield to prevent flooding. Avoid growing trees and bushes in close proximity to the drainfield since the roots of these plants might interfere with the pipes.

Tips For Keeping Your Septic Tank Running

The septic tank is a septic tank. It’s one of the most important pieces of equipment in your house — yet it’s also one of the most mysterious. Even though it might be tough to comprehend something that cannot be seen, understanding your septic tank and how it works is essential. The septic tank is where all of the wastewater from your house, including that from your kitchen, bathrooms, and even laundry rooms, is dumped. We’ve included a quick description of the operation of your septic system, as well as some suggestions for maintaining it in good operating order.

  1. The tank itself, as well as the drain field, are the two primary components of the septic system.
  2. Upon entering, solid components are classified as either scum or sludge, depending on how much of them there are in total.
  3. Within the tank, bacteria break down scum and sludge, and the separated water is sent through filters before entering the drain field.
  4. Tips for keeping your septic system in good working order Reduce your water consumption to a bare minimum.
  5. When there is an excessive amount of water flowing into the system, polluted water might escape from the tank and into the drain field.
  6. Water use by a single person every day amounts to 70 gallons, which may be surprising, but is an accurate reflection of the situation.
  • Toilets: toilets account for 25-30 percent of the total amount of water consumed by a home. Toilets that are more recent in design consume less water than older models. Give us a call right now if your home is equipped with out-of-date toilets! In the long run, your septic system will be grateful to you.
  • Sinks: Consider all of the water that goes down your sink every day that isn’t being used. When cleaning dishes, washing their hands, or brushing their teeth, it is usual for homes to leave their water running unattended. Take the initiative and make a change! Make use of the water in your sink just when you need it.

Keep an eye on what you dump down your drains. It is critical to consider what goes down your drains before flushing it. If you find yourself second-guessing an item, it is likely that it is not intended to be flushed down the toilet.

  • Grease: While putting grease down your drain may seem like a reasonable choice, it is not recommended. Using grease to clean your pipes and drain field has the potential to clog them! It sounds like something out of a nightmare
  • Due to our familiarity with flushing toilet paper down our toilets, we have a propensity to believe that comparable goods such as tissues or wet wipes are also safe to flush. This is because the microorganisms in your septic tank are unable to break down these materials, and they will most likely continue floating in your tank.

Make an appointment for a standard checkup. Septic tanks holding 1,000 gallons or fewer need to be serviced every five years or less. For septic tank maintenance, call us at 804-758-4314 to schedule an appointment with a Miller’s specialist.

How to Keep Your Septic Tank Running Correctly

Everyone does not have access to a septic system. A large number of properties are instead linked directly to a city’s municipal sewer system. In contrast, if your water line does not have a meter and you are not paying for sewer service, it is likely that you are using a septic tank. In contrast to municipal sewer systems, you are solely responsible for the upkeep of your septic system. Taking the effort to repair your septic system is the most straightforward method of keeping it in good working order.

Here are some easy septic tank maintenance suggestions to assist you in accomplishing this. How does a septic tank operate is the first thing you should understand about maintaining one.

How Your Septic Tank Works

It is a sealed subterranean container that employs both technology and nature to help cleanse wastewater from a home or other establishment. It is used in combination with a drain field or a soil absorption field to provide drainage. The tank treats organic debris, removing oils, grease, and sediments from wastewater as it goes through the process. Depending on the model of septic tank, you may need to replace the filters on a regular basis. Some tanks are also equipped with alarms, which you should check on a regular basis to ensure that they are functioning properly.

Regular pumping will be required to keep the bacteria under control and the collected muck out of the system.

Septic Tank Maintenance Practices

Once a year, perform a thorough inspection of your system. Every three to five years, you’ll need to have your septic tanks pumped out. Additionally, you should get it examined by a specialist at least once a year. These inspections allow you to remain on top of the health of your system and ensure that everything is functioning properly. Inspections like this are particularly essential because they allow us to identify minor issues before they become major issues. Preventative solutions are usually more cost-effective than reactive ones since they are proactive rather than reactive.

Get it pumped regularly.

You can detect whether or not it’s time to get your septic tank pumped in two ways. By checking the interior of the tank, you may look for indicators of these problems. You should consider flushing your toilet if the bottom of the scum layer is less than 3 inches from your toilet outlet or the top of the sludge layer is within a foot of your toilet’s outlet.

Know what you should never put into your system.

A septic tank is a container designed to hold both solid and liquid waste. Neither motor oil nor discarded diapers nor cigarettes nor coffee grinds nor eggshells nor paints nor rags are appropriate for use in these machines. A brief version of the story is that you should never flush anything other than garbage down your toilet or sink.

Practice water conservation.

A septic tank requires time to perform its separation function between solid and liquid waste. Provide it with the necessary time by implementing general water saving measures. Fix leaks as soon as you find them, invest in energy-efficient equipment, and keep an eye on your routine daily water consumption.

Hold on to your paperwork.

Not everyone is aware of the location of their septic tank. You may find out by looking through your home’s original plans or by contacting a septic service company in your area for assistance. Once you’ve located it, make a note of its location. Keep track of all of the services that have been performed on your tank throughout the years. If you ever find yourself in need of repair, you may use these documents to guide you through the process.

If you want assistance with the installation, cleaning, or pumping of your home’s septic system, contact The Pink Plumber. Our professionals are on your side. OUR EXPERT PLUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU.

8 Essential Tasks to Do Regularly for Septic Tank Maintenance

In the United States, more than 20% of homes do not utilize a municipal wastewater system, instead choosing for an individual septic system or a small community cluster system to treat their waste water, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Recognizing that, if you own or operate a septic system, it is critical that you understand how septic systems operate and are familiar with the maintenance chores you can perform to assist extend the life of your system by preventing leaks and clogging.

The two components are connected by a network of pipes that go from a home’s wastewater drainage line through the tank and out to the leach field.

It is critical to stay on top of these vital maintenance duties to ensure that your septic system remains healthy and operating for the longest period of time feasible.

What Is a Leach Field?

Solid waste from wastewater travels into the septic tank, where it is separated from the liquid waste. The liquid waste then runs through an output baffle and into a series of perforated pipes, which enable the liquid to gradually seep into the ground and be naturally filtered by the soil. A leach field, also known as a drainfield, is comprised of a network of perforated pipes as well as the surrounding region where the liquid waste is discharged into the environment.

Pump the Septic Tank Regularly

Having your septic tank pumped is one of the most crucial activities that you will need to schedule around once every two to five years, depending on how large your home is. In order for you to know whether you need to have your septic system pumped once every two years or once every five years, you must first determine the size of your tank, the number of people who live in the home, and the sort of waste that is deposited into it. While having a trash disposal in your house is convenient when you are linked to a municipal wastewater system, these appliances may considerably increase the volume of solid waste that flows into a septic system, increasing the frequency with which it must be pumped.

Inspect the System for Leaks

Taking a stroll around the septic system on a regular basis can help you notice any locations where the grass is notably more lush or dense than in other parts of the yard. Plant life benefits greatly from a leaky tank, which also has the additional benefit of emitting strong sewage odours. It will, however, be impossible to detect any leaks in the tank while it is still being utilized in the majority of situations because the tank is buried underground. During the pumping process, it is most efficient to check for leaking septic tanks.

It’s also a good idea to check the baffles at this stage to make sure that they aren’t missing, broken, or otherwise damaged.

What Are Baffles?

Baffles are used to restrict and divert the flow of incoming and exiting wastewater within a septic tank’s internal chamber. They keep scum from blocking the inlet and output pipes by removing it from the system. Damaged or missing baffles in a septic tank increase the likelihood of backups and clogging in the tank.

Clearly Mark off and Maintain the Leach Field

Because the leach field is such a delicate component of your septic system, it must be kept safeguarded at all times. Several perforated pipes run the length of the leach field, and while this area is safe to walk on, the weight of automobiles, trailers, and semi-permanent buildings can cause harm to the subterranean pipes. It’s critical to clearly delineate the leach field and notify any guests that this region of the yard is not designed to hold high loads in order to avoid any harm to the septic system in the future.

Water from the residence should be directed away from the leach field in order to avoid flooding the area, and any trees, bushes, or shrubs should be removed in order to prevent the roots from growing into the pipelines.

Limit Water Usage and Household Waste

Keeping your septic system in good working order is as simple as paying attention to the volume and composition of the materials you flush down the toilet. Because an overabundance of liquid waste might cause the septic system to overflow, it’s a good idea to redirect roof water away from the leach field, install water-saving appliances, spread out laundry and dishwasher loads, and repair any leaks as soon as they occur. In addition, a high volume of solid waste is detrimental, since it causes the sludge in the septic tank to accumulate fast, increasing the frequency with which the system must be pumped.

Keep in mind that a septic system relies on bacteria to break down waste, thus pouring powerful cleaning chemicals down the drain might hurt the bacteria, limiting the performance of the septic system and causing it to fail.

Use a Bacteria Additive

The trash that is generated in the home does not simply sit in the septic tank and gather until it is time to have the tank drained. By weight, it filters the waste, enabling the particles to settle to the bottom of the tank and the liquid waste to be discharged to the leach field, where it can be filtered by the soil. The waste that remains in the tank is progressively broken down by bacteria, which helps to maintain the health and functionality of the septic system. Strong cleaning solutions, antibacterial soaps, and drain cleaners can all harm the bacteria in your system, so in order to protect the naturally occurring bacteria in your septic system, you can introduce new bacteria that break down unnatural substances like detergents and soaps through the use of certain organic additives—just make sure you do your research to ensure that these additives are truly beneficial.

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Install an Effluent Filter

It’s a good idea to have an effluent filter installed the next time your septic tank is drained in order to assist extend the life of the leach field and prevent obstructions that might cause floods or septic backups in the future. As a result, particles are kept out of the leach field dispersal system by installing this filter on the outflow of the septic tank and grease trap, which acts as an effective barrier. Once installed, the effluent filter will continue to work for about three to five years before it will require cleaning.

If you have an older septic tank that isn’t compatible with a typical effluent filter, you may retrofit it with an effluent filter that is designed specifically for that tank.

Check the Leach Field for Clogs

Even if you limit the amount of water and solid waste that enters the residence and perform regular inspections and pumping of the septic tank, the leach field might get clogged at some point. In particular, during periods of wet and rainy weather, additional water can overwhelm the system, increasing the quantity of solid waste that travels through and onto the leach field. The melting of a considerable quantity of snow over a period of many days might result in flooding. It is recommended to stroll across the leach field during rainy or wet weather to check for sewage smells or unusually fast and lush growing grass, which could signal that the drain field is plugged.

Keep Accurate Maintenance Records

It is critical to keep accurate records of any system maintenance that is conducted, regardless of the type of maintenance that is performed. It is possible to use this information to help you determine the amount and frequency with which you should add bacteria additions to your system. Any inspection results that are inconsistent with the standard expectations for your system based on past data can also be used to identify potential problems before they become too difficult to manage. One further strong reason to keep clear, concise, and complete maintenance records is to ensure that you have them available for any prospective purchasers if you ever decide to sell your house.

How to Maintain a Septic Tank

If your home relies on a septic tank to dispose of waste water, it’s critical that you understand how to keep it in correct operating condition and avoid costly repairs.

The following are the fundamentals of maintaining your home’s septic tank system: A concrete septic tank that is ready for installation.

How a Septic Tank Works

A septic tank is a huge, underground tank having an input for the drain pipe that runs from your house and an outlet that connects to the field lines that are buried in your yard. Solid waste is allowed to settle out of the tank, and the breakdown process is initiated by the natural action of anaerobic bacteria in the tank. Solid material is retained in the tank by baffles, while liquid is allowed to flow into perforated field lines buried in the yard by the baffles. As the water soaks into the soil, the work of aerobic bacteria completes the process of decomposition of any leftover waste matter.

How to Find the Location of Your Septic Tank

First and foremost, you must discover the position of your septic tank in your yard so that it may be examined and maintained as necessary. It is typical for septic tanks to be positioned at least five feet away from the home, with the top of the tank sunk several feet below earth. Some pointers on where to look for your septic tank are as follows: Finding a septic tank with the use of a webcam.

  • If you have a plat of your land (available from your county environmental office), it should indicate the position of the septic tank in your yard. The overall position of the tank and field lines may sometimes be determined by the presence of better grass or more lush plants in the yard. To determine the position of your septic tank, it is possible to install a video camera down a drain and trace the distance to the tank
  • However, this method is not foolproof. The top of a buried septic tank may be located with the use of a probing equipment, such as a thin metal rod, once you have determined where it is located in general. When probing, exercise caution to avoid harming drain pipes, field lines, sprinkler systems, or underground utility wires.

Probing a septic tank’s top in order to determine its location.

When to Pump Out a Septic Tank

It is recommended that a septic tank be pumped out every three to five years in most cases, depending on its size and the number of people in the house. If you are experiencing drainage issues, such as slow-draining bathtubs or toilets that tend to back up after flushing, contact a qualified sewage contractor as soon as you see a problem and reduce your water use until the problem has been identified and remedied. Excavating a septic tank in order to pump and clean it out.

Septic Tank Dos and Don’ts

Use the following guidelines to maintain your septic tank system and ensure that it continues to function properly:

  • As soon as you’ve located your septic tank, make a note of its exact position for future reference
  • Maintain frequent inspections of your septic tank
  • Every three to five years, you should pump out your septic tank. Make use of toilet paper that is biodegradable and breaks down quickly. removing sewage from a septic tank
  • Conserve water in order to keep the amount of water that goes into the tank to a minimum. Never flush grease or harsh chemicals down the toilet or down the drain, including solvents, bleach, drain cleaners, insecticides, gasoline, and paint, among other things. Do not flush nonbiodegradable things down the toilet or down the drain, including dental floss, disposable diapers, kitty litter, condoms, feminine hygiene products, face tissue, and cigarettes. It is not permissible to construct or pave on or near a septic tank or field lines. Planting trees or plants on or near a sewage tank or field lines is not recommended. It is not recommended to plant a vegetable or herb garden on or near a sewage tank or irrigation lines. If your drains are clogging or emptying slowly, contact a reliable septic tank provider right once.

If you perform regular septic tank maintenance and take precautions to keep your system operating properly, your system will provide many years of trouble-free service.Dee Massey is employed by Hulsey Environmental Plumbing Services, Inc. in Gainesville, Georgia, and is a certified septic tank technician. More information may be found on their website, which can be found at.

Septic Tank Maintenance Tips

Follow these guidelines to keep your septic tank system in good working order and save money on repairs.

  • Inspections should be performed every one to two years, and cleaning (pump out) should be performed every three to five years or more regularly, depending on the tank size and number of people that use the system. It is never a good idea to flush cat litter, coffee grinds, diapers, towelettes (including the ‘flushable’ variety), cigarette butts, condoms, grease, dental floss, baby wipes, paints, thinners, pesticides, oils, pharmaceuticals, or excessive amounts of household chemicals. Understand where your system is located. You should construct a diagram or map indicating the placement of the tank in relation to permanent objects such as the corners of your home, steps, or fence posts after you have had the tank pumped. Instruct the pumper to assist you in locating the drainfield. Place it in the appropriate area on your diagram, alongside the location of your drinking water source. Keep this sketch with your septic tank records for future reference. To make it easier to discover the tank lid, place something that can be moved easily over it, like as a birdbath or ornamental rock. Maintain the drainfield’s integrity.
  • Increase the height of the barrier to prevent vehicles from driving over the drainfield, which might cause the tank lid and pipes to break and compress the soil, reducing oxygen flow. (Bacteria in the drainfield require oxygen to survive.) Downspouts and other surface water – notably irrigation sprinklers – should be diverted away from the drainfield to prevent clogging. It can be harmed by too much water. Keep anything other than grass growing over the drainfield
  • Do not dig or build anything over the drainfield.
  • Water should be conserved. Minimize your system’s reliance on wastewater treatment and disposal. Examples of ways to do this include:
  • One or two loads of clothes should be washed everyday at the most. Each load of laundry can cause up to 53 gallons of water to overflow into your septic system, so it’s better to spread washing out over the course of the week. Make repairs to leaking faucets and toilets
  • Over time, they can cause hundreds of additional gallons of water to enter your septic system. When feasible, use low-flow fixtures and appliances to save water. Low-flush toilets consume between 1.1 and 1.6 gallons of water every flush, which can cut your water cost by up to one-third compared to traditional toilets. Sink faucets with low-flow aerators are available. Showerheads with low flow rates and low-flow washing machines will also help you save water.
  • One or two loads of laundry should be done every day. Depending on how much water is used, each load of laundry might overflow your septic system, so it’s better to spread your washing out over a few days. Fix dripping faucets and toilets, which can cause hundreds of additional gallons of water to enter your septic system over time. Whenever possible, choose low-flow fixtures and appliances. Low-flush toilets consume between 1.1 and 1.6 gallons of water every flush, which can cut your water cost by up to one-third compared to standard toilets. Sink faucets with low-flow faucet aerators. It will also conserve water if you use low-flow showerheads and low-flow washing machines

Important Warning

Be extra cautious when in the vicinity of open or uncovered septic tanks. Falling into a septic tank can result in death by suffocation or drowning if not treated immediately. Even leaning over a septic tank might lead you to pass out and require medical attention.

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The 5 Biggest Questions Home Buyers Have About Septic Systems

Image courtesy of istockphoto.com The word “septic system” in a home ad is well-known for scaring away potential purchasers from the property. Some homebuyers may consider the system to be obsolete, expensive to fix, or difficult to keep up to date. Septic systems, on the other hand, do not have to be frightening. A septic tank and its accompanying parts may easily endure for decades if they have a good maintenance record and are properly inspected on a regular basis. Don’t instantly rule out an attractive property because it has this sort of system buried out back if you’re contemplating booking a viewing appointment.

Continue reading to learn more about septic systems, including how they function, common misunderstandings about them, how to maintain them, how to locate a septic system inspector, and indicators that a septic system is in danger of collapsing.

1. How do septic systems work?

Water that has been filtered by a septic system is called effluent. There are several components, including a big septic tank, distribution box, baffles, and a drainfield, all of which are buried below ground. Septic fields and leach fields are other names for the drainfield, which is a network of perforated pipes that extends out from the septic tank and allows filtered wastewater to be released back into the environment through the soil. The wastewater from your home, including that from toilets, sinks, showers, and appliances, is channeled out of the house and into the tank through the pipes.

The accumulation of particles over time offers a luxury home for helpful anaerobic bacteria, which work to break down the materials and release the grease, oil, and fats that have accumulated on the surface (the scum).

The residual wastewater (also known as effluent) runs via outlet pipes into a disposal bed or drainfield, where it is slowly and securely filtered by the earth, allowing it to be recycled.

2. What are common misconceptions about septic systems?

A lot of people have misconceptions (and even falsehoods) regarding septic systems, and this may make it difficult to decide whether or not to purchase a property that has one. Take a moment to put some popular myths and misconceptions in their proper perspective.

  • A septic system is no longer used by most people. Actually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), around 20% of homes are equipped with a septic system, or one in every five dwellings. Septic systems fail on a regular basis. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a septic system may survive up to 40 years—and possibly even longer—with proper maintenance. Septic systems have a foul odor. It is unlikely that an improperly managed septic system will release any unpleasant smells. An odor emanating from drains or the septic system itself indicates that there is a problem. A septic system has the potential to pollute a well. Installed correctly and maintained on a regular basis, a system will not cause contamination of a well on the property. To guarantee proper separation of drinking water and wastewater, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that the system be installed at least 50 feet away from a well. The septic system will be examined during a house inspection. A house inspection is often focused on the systems within the home, and as a result, it seldom includes more than a cursory examination of the septic system. Look for a professional that understands the workings of a septic system and how to do a comprehensive inspection in order to obtain a complete picture.

3. How do you maintain a septic system?

Septic systems require regular care and maintenance in order to function properly. The good news is that keeping a septic system in excellent working order is rather straightforward. Here’s how to keep it in proper functioning order.

  • Take cautious with the information you submit over the system. Pouring anything down the toilet should be avoided at all costs. This includes things like paint and chemicals, kitty litter, coffee grinds, disposable wipes, diapers, and feminine products. These are all potential clog-makers in the septic system. It is best not to use any additives in the system. Additives may be classified into two categories, according to the National Small Flows Clearinghouse, which are chemical and biological. Despite the fact that these solutions are touted to accomplish anything from speed solids breakdown to enhance the condition of the drainfield, they typically cause havoc on the bacteria that are intended to keep the system running smoothly. Keep vehicles away from drainfields and never park or drive over them, since this might cause damage to the pipes. When planting shrubs or trees near a drainfield, use caution to avoid damaging the plants. The roots of some water-loving plants, such as weeping willows, can find their way into the drainfield, outlet pipes, or even the septic tank system itself. According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension, a fair rule of thumb is: if a tree will grow to be 25 feet tall, it should be kept at least 25 feet away from the drainfield
  • If a tree will grow to be 25 feet tall, it should be kept at least 25 feet away from the drainfield
  • Get your septic tank pumped out by a professional septic provider on average every two or three years. An further visual inspection of the component is often performed at the same time by a qualified specialist
  • Call a specialist as soon as you see any signs of impending failure (as indicated below)! The sooner you contact, the less expensive a repair may be
See also:  How Uch Does It Cost To Put In A Septic Tank? (Perfect answer)

Image courtesy of istockphoto.com

4. How do you find the best septic system inspector?

Once an offer on a home is made, the deal is nearly always subject on the outcome of a thorough inspection of the property, which includes an examination of the septic system. Important to remember is that what is stated on a seller’s disclosure form is not a substitute for a thorough inspection of the property being offered for sale. The average homeowner does not have the necessary knowledge or equipment to conduct a thorough inspection of the system. If there are concealed issues, it is possible that the homeowner will not be aware of them.

  • One of the most common types of house inspection is a general home inspection, which evaluates the structure of the home, systems within it (such as plumbing and electricity), roof condition, and maybe some of the external features.
  • As a result, always seek the services of a septic system specialist for an inspection.
  • Your neighbors and real estate agent may be able to provide you with a few decent leads.
  • To begin, contact each possible inspector and ask them about their approach to the task; for example, some may use cameras to evaluate the distribution box and drainfield, while others may dig to complete their inspection.
  • Once the inspection has begun, the expert will search for pumping and maintenance records, examine for signs of leakage or backup, measure the levels of sludge and scum, and determine the age of the tank, among other things.
  • Depending on whether or not the property includes extensions that were built after the septic tank was originally installed, an inspector may give recommendations to make the residence more sanitary.

For example, a two-bedroom home will require a tank of a different capacity than a three-bedroom home will. Image courtesy of istockphoto.com

5. What are the signs that a septic system needs to be replaced?

It is critical to notice the warning symptoms of impending failure before they manifest themselves. For the most part, failure of a septic system goes unnoticed at first. Keeping an eye out for warning indicators will help you arrange a replacement before something goes wrong.

  • Gurgling noises coming from outside sewers
  • Interior drains in bathtubs and sinks that are slow to drain
  • Odors emanate from the sewage treatment plant, drainfield or inside drains of the house. There are wet places visible over the drainfield. Water is backing up into the home from the sewer line. Toilets are flushing more slowly
  • This is a problem. A sudden and dramatic increase in the amount of lush and full vegetation over the drainfield might indicate a probable obstruction or break in the exit pipes outside.

Image courtesy of istockphoto.com

Final Thoughts

Septic systems, which are used in around 20% of homes in the United States, are designed to remove effluent from a residence. While septic systems may need a bit more maintenance than utilizing a public sewage system, they are not nearly as difficult to maintain as their reputation would have you believe. A well-maintained septic system may survive up to 40 years if it is inspected on a regular basis and kept on the lookout for indicators of potential problems. It is critical for homebuyers contemplating a property with a septic system to have the system inspected by a professional before making an offer.

FAQs About Septic Tanks and Septic Systems

When it comes to septic systems, there is a lot to understand. Even after reviewing the information provided above, you may still have concerns regarding how septic systems operate and how to properly manage them. Answers to some frequently asked questions concerning septic systems are provided here.

Q: How does a septic tank work?

When sewage is discharged into a septic tank, the solid stuff descends to the bottom, where it is colonized by helpful anaerobic bacteria, which work to break down the solids and liberate the lipids contained within them. The byproducts rise to the surface of the tank and are separated by a series of baffles.

Q: What are the three types of septic systems?

Traditional septic systems are classified into three types: chamber septic systems, drip distribution systems, and septic systems with chambers. In most cases, conventional systems are employed in residential buildings. Typically, a chamber system is used in high water table settings due to the fact that it is comprised of a succession of closed compartments. Drip systems are often less difficult to install, but they require more upkeep.

Q: How many years does a septic system last on average?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a well managed septic system may survive for 40 years. It is essential that you get the septic system evaluated before to purchasing a property so that you can get an estimate of how long the septic system is projected to operate.

Q: What is the alternative to a septic tank?

An aerobic treatment system, composting waste, and a drip system are all options for replacing a septic tank in a residential setting.

Q: What chemicals are bad for a septic tank?

The use of chemicals such as oil-based paint, paint thinners, lubricants, gasoline, weed killers, foaming cleansers, and chlorine-based cleaners can cause damage to your septic tank. They have the potential to pollute the surrounding environment as well as destroy the bacteria that are necessary for waste breakdown inside the septic tank, making it difficult or impossible for matter to degrade. Septic systems are well-understood by professionals. Link up with reputable professionals in your region and obtain free, no-obligation quotations for your project.+

Caring for Your Septic System

If your system consists solely of a septic tank and drainfield, which is referred to as a gravity system, you must examine it at least once every three years, if not more frequently. All other sorts of systems are expected to be examined at least once a year, if not more frequently than that. It’s possible that your local health department has more strict inspection requirements. A septic specialist can perform the examination for you, or if your local health department permits it, you can perform the inspection on your own.

Keeping the solids, also known as sludge, from piling up and getting close to the outflow baffles of the system is critical because particles can stop the pipe leading to the drainfield or, even worse, completely choke the drainfield. The following are some options for examining your system:

  • A maintenance service provider
  • Learning how to perform your own examination
  • And other options. Inquiring with your local health agency to see if they can examine your system for a lesser fee

Pump Your Tank

When it’s time to pump out your septic tank, do so. Don’t wait until you have an issue before seeking help. Septic tanks should be pumped out every three to five years in a normal residence, according to industry standards. Pumping on a regular basis will help you avoid costly failures such as a clogged drainfield or sewage backing up into your house. Use of the garbage disposal will increase the quantity of solids entering the septic tank, increasing the frequency with which it must be pumped.

  • The number of people in the household. In general, the greater the number of people living in the house, the more frequently you must pump
  • The total amount of wastewater produced. Putting a lot of water down the drain (from inefficient or leaky toilets, washers, showerheads, and sink faucets, for example) causes the tank to be unable to settle entirely, and you may have to pump more frequently. The amount of solids present in wastewater. When garbage disposal and food waste flow down the drain, as well as RV and boat waste put into your system, solids will quickly fill your tank. The size of a septic tank. The larger the tank, the more the capacity it has to handle sediments and water, which may allow for longer periods of time between pumping sessions. Older septic tanks may not be the proper size for your property, especially if your home has been modified and is now significantly larger than before.

Learn how to hire a septic pumper by reading this article.

Use Water Efficiently

Water conservation should be practiced. The greater the amount of wastewater produced, the greater the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed of by the soil. By minimizing and balancing your water use, you may extend the life of your drainfield, reduce the likelihood of system failure, and eliminate the need for costly repairs. To lower your water consumption, do the following:

  • Invest in efficient water-saving equipment such as faucet aerators, high-efficiency toilets, showerheads, dishwashers, and washing machines
  • And Fix dripping faucets and dripping plumbing fixtures. It is possible to lose hundreds of gallons each day due to a leaky toilet. Shower for shorter periods of time
  • Bathe in a tub that is only partly filled
  • Only wash full loads of dishes and clothes. If your washing machine offers load settings, make sure you choose the appropriate size for the load you’re washing. It is not necessary to use the large-load cycle if you are only washing one or two loads of clothing.

Learn more about water conservation and water recycling by visiting this website.

Toilets Aren’t Trash Cans

Your septic system is not a garbage disposal system. Apart from human feces and urine, toilet paper, and soap used for washing, there shouldn’t be much else flushed down the toilet. Never flush a toilet:

  • Baby wipes, cleaning wipes, or any other wet towelettes are OK. Tampons and pads, as well as condoms, are examples of feminine hygiene items. Paper towels, rags, or newspaper are all acceptable options. Floss for the teeth
  • Cotton balls and cotton swabs are also acceptable. Diapers, hair, and cigarette butts are all things that come to mind. Band-aids
  • Grease and cooking oils
  • Coffee grounds
  • Cat litter
  • Chemicals found in the home, such as fuel, oil, insecticides, antifreeze, and paint. For local hazardous trash drop-off locations, call the Ecology hotline at 1-800-RECYCLE. Prescription medications are available. Check to see if there is a medicine disposal program in your region.

Take Care at the Drain

Your septic system is made up of a collection of living organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. Pouring pollutants down your drain can kill these organisms and cause damage to your septic system as well as other things. Whatever the sink (kitchen, bathtub, or utility sink), remember to keep your hands clean.

  • Septic systems are made up of a variety of live organisms that digest and treat the waste generated by your household. In addition to killing these creatures, dumping poisons down the drain might damage your septic system. Whatever the sink (kitchen, bathtub, or utility sink), remember to wash your hands after.

It is not required to use septic tank additives found in stores to maintain your septic tank operating correctly, and they do not lessen or remove the need for regular pumping.

Maintain the Area Around Your System

  • Water runoff should be kept away from your system. Drainage systems should be installed to move water away from septic tanks and drainfields. The soil above your system should be somewhat mounding to aid in the discharge of surface water. If heavy rains cause water to pool around your septic system, avoid flushing it down the toilet
  • This will prevent damage to your system. Stay away from your septic tank, drainfield, and drainfield replacement area. Heavy equipment and livestock should not be allowed on your property. The pressure can compress the earth and cause damage to the pipelines and other infrastructure. Before you plant a garden, landscape your yard, build a structure, or install a pool, be sure you know where your septic system is and where it will be replaced. Make sure your system is appropriately landscaped. Grass is the most effective cover. Placement of concrete or plastic over your septic system is not recommended. It is best to plant trees and plants away from your septic tank and drainfield in order to prevent root intrusion into your drainage system. Depending on your needs, an aseptic service specialist might suggest landscaping choices for surrounding your septic system

Keep Records

Keep meticulous records on the operation of your septic system. Understand the location of the system and have a schematic of its layout on hand. Your local health agency may be able to provide you with information on its size and location. It is also a good idea to keep track of the maintenance performed on the system. These records will be useful if there are any problems with your home, and they will also be beneficial to the next owner of your property.

Don’t Ignore Problems

Minor septic system faults can quickly escalate into major, expensive concerns. When compared to the expense of repairing or replacing a malfunctioning system, which can run into the thousands of dollars, addressing minor faults and paying maintenance costs of a few hundred dollars every few years is a bargain. Don’t ignore the warning signals of a failing septic system.

More Resources

  • Septic System 101 Video
  • Do-It-Yourself Septic System Inspection Video
  • Septic System 101 Video
  • Septic System 101 Video Using the Services of a Septic System Professional
  • Safety of the Septic Tank Lid
  • Symptoms of a Failing Septic System

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