Septic tanks work around the clock to move and process wastewater. While a fairly simple and straightforward process, septic tank systems can get backed-up and cause a lot of issues when not maintained. Poorly serviced septic tanks can lead to system failure and a large bill in tow. To avoid costly repairs, it is critical that septic tank maintenance is part of your annual upkeep.
Septic Tank Basics
Septic tanks are tasked with moving wastewater from a building to a septic drain field—commonly known as a leech field—to be treated and disposed of. The first step involves wastewater entering a chamber where a natural division occurs with solids settling and scum floating to the surface. Bacteria get to work on breaking down the solids as liquids pass through a dividing wall to a second chamber for another round of settling. Excess liquid from both rounds of separation then moves on to the septic field for processing in soil. The method is a simple one, but it can run amok with a lack of septic tank maintenance and an overaccumulation of sludge. To avoid a backed-up system, it is recommended that septic tanks be inspected every year by a septic service professional.
Maintaining Your Septic Tank through Prevention
Septic tank maintenance is the onus of the property owner. These tanks are efficient systems, but even the most efficient system needs a good cleaning. While professional services are needed for cleaning and emptying, there are preventative measures that can be taken to keep a septic tank running smoothly.
1. Watch the oil!
Cooking oil can wreak havoc on a septic system. Instead of dumping oil down the drain, store oil and grease in a container and dispose of it once it’s hardened. Cooking pans with excess oil should be washed with hot water and soap in the sink to help greasy material pass through the drain.
2. Don’t just flush it!
Toilets were never designed to function as a garbage system. Disposing of waste materials, such as cotton buds, food waste, cigarette butts, and menstrual products, can overload a septic system.
3. Keep chemicals out of the drain!
Pesticides and herbicides can kill the very bacteria that a septic system relies on to break down solid materials.
Be on the Lookout for Warning Signs
In addition to maintaining a regular schedule for septic tank maintenance, there are a few signs that a septic tank needs attention. Wastewater backing up into household, building in drains, and pooling water or muddy soil around the septic system are telltale signs to watch for. Bright green, spongy grass, and a strong odor around the septic tank and drain field are also symptoms of septic distress. If you notice these signs on your property, it’s time to call in the professionals.
Get Help from the Professionals
Poorly maintained septic tanks are susceptible to costly system failure. The last thing any home or property owner needs is a backed-up septic tank and a large bill! Regular septic tank maintenance keeps septic systems operating efficiently and will save you money in the long run. Professional septic tank services will help you maintain your tank and dispose of waste material safely.