Some people make the mistake of assuming that a septic system is as simple to maintain as a sewer - but it’s not.
A septic system needs special maintenance, including feeding and pumping to extend its life, to save on repair costs, and to ensure that your water quality is maintained.
The average household generates massive amounts of wastewater every year, and without a municipal sewer, you will need a septic tank to catch all of that. Basically, a septic tank is a living filter that separates the water from the scum and solids. It then pre-treats the wastewater before allowing it to flow out into the drain field, the final step in the purification process, which takes up to 48 hours to complete.
No matter how good your septic tank, if it's not maintained, it can easily become a health hazard that requires costly repairs. If it fails, it can lead to pollution or the surrounding ground and any surface water, and even property damage.
The septic system consists of 2 main parts:
The Tank: A large watertight container, usually underground stores all the wastewater from your laundry, kitchen, and bathroom. The solids will settle at the bottom of the tank, where bacteria will process them into sludge and gasses. Any lighter solids will form a scum layer at the top of the tank. Any undecomposed solids will remain in the tank and should be pumped out every 3-5 years. If you don't pump your septic tank, the solids will accumulate and may eventually flow out into your drain field, causing serious damages.
The Drain Field: Effluent (wastewater that leaves the septic tank) flows into the drain field, where it receives its final treatment before being disposed of. The drain field consists of a network of perforated pipes that are laid in trenches filled with gravel underground.
Septic System Maintenance
You can save on maintenance costs, protect water quality and extend the life of your system by following the tips below:
1. Regular inspection
Your septic system should be inspected once a year, and pumped every 3-5 years. A professional inspector will tell you exactly how frequently it should be pumped, based on usage and configuration.
2. Pump as needed
While pumping the system every 3-5 years is a general guideline, you may need to do it more regularly, especially if you don't remember when last it was done.
3. Keep records
Do yourself, and possible future owners of your home a favor and keep accurate records of the system, including its location and a maintenance log.
By saving water, you don't only save on utility bills, but you also place less strain on your system, thus extending its life.
5. Know when to call the experts
If you have system issues, rather call in a certified septic system technician.
Signs of Septic System Failure
➔ Slow draining fixtures
➔ Gurgling sounds
➔ Lush vegetation in the drain field
➔ Wet spots
➔ Surfacing sewage
If you note any of these signs, get in touch with Anta Plumbing right away. We are licensed experts and can help with both your septic system failure issues and future maintenance needs.