Septic Tank Maintenance – How to take care of your septic tank system so that you don’t have any problems

septic tank maintenanceSeptic Tank Maintenance

Septic tank maintenance is necessary to prevent your septic tank system from experiencing problems later on down the road. To keep your septic tank in good working order and clean will save you not only money, but also time and energy. It is far better to maintain your septic tank all throughout the year than to wait until it is clogged and in bad shape before you take concern for your septic tank.


One way to maintain your septic tank is to avoid additives. Septic tank additives have often been thought to clean a septic tank, similar to septic pumping. Additives contain chemicals that, when placed into the septic tank, would unclog the septic tank. Tests have shown, however, that these additives do not help tanks, but hurt them. The chemicals in these septic additives only further clog the septic tank and increase problems (they back up wastewater and solid waste, do not evaporate into the drain field even when the drain pipes are working properly). Many place septic additives into the system because they have been told that additives “add” some useful kinds of bacteria to the septic tank and help breakdown solid waste. Unfortunately, this is not true: they contribute so little to the health of your septic tank that natural conservation (observing water use, where you place disposable products, etc.) is likely the better way to handle tank maintenance.


Another way to maintain your septic tank is to clean the septic tank regularly. Septic tank pumping is how you can keep your septic tank clean. While wastewater is filtered through the septic system without a problem, it is the solid waste at the bottom of the septic tank that requires pumping to get it out. When the septic tank becomes filled with solid waste, the solid waste and wastewater can begin to backup into the family water system, clogging up toilets, sinks, drains, and even showers. There are two choices regarding tank pumping: you can either hire a certified pumper to do the work for you, or pump your own septic tank. If you choose to pump your septic tank, you will need a pumping truck for sale, as well as instructions regarding how to pump your septic tank.


Septic tank design determines the amount of time you have before you need to clean the tank. Larger tanks (2,500 gallons, for example) can be cleaned out later than smaller tanks (under 1,000 gallons). In many cases, septic tank designs are provided based on the number of bedrooms in a house: if three bedrooms are present, the septic tank will probably be about 1,000 gallons. For each additional bedroom, the tank size increases by 250 gallons. This means that, a nine or ten-bedroom house would have a maximum septic tank of 2,500 gallons. Major septic tanks are an advantage for a household, but they can also be a burden. If a family has nine of ten persons in the home, the tank will most likely need pumping every year (even though the septic tank is 2,500 gallons). You have to consider both the number of relatives in the house with the size of the septic tank.


Septic tanks are designed to filter out wastewater and sludge (solid waste) from the home water supply. Septic tanks come with two other components, a household water pipe and a drain field. The household water pipe is responsible for the draining of wastewater, the flushing of your toilet, and the draining of your sink and shower water. Whenever you cook, wash dishes,

do laundry, shower, or use the toilet, the wastewater flows from the home water supply into your septic system. Too much flushing of the toilets, washing of dishes, cooking, frequent laundry times, excessive showers, etc., can easily cause the septic tank to overflow. If your tank has a small design, it is not built to withstand a water overflow. To prevent a catastrophe, know the size of your septic tank and its water/sludge capacity and then act accordingly. If you know that your septic tank is not designed for increased washing frequency, then do not wash dishes so often, or do laundry so many times a week. Learn how to budget your water amounts and times of emergency where you do need to use water.


The drain field is where wastewater collects and dissolves into the soil near the septic tank. If the septic tank is not installed properly or fitted tightly into the soil, wastewater could fail to dissolve in the soil and simply backup on the grass, creating a swamp area where bugs and insects can gather. This could create other septic tank problems, so inspect your septic tank as regularly as you can. Problems on the outside of the septic system might reveal problems that are present within the septic system itself.


Septic tank preventive maintenance for your septic tank requires regular, ongoing inspections and checks to make sure it is functioning properly. Additives are one way to avoid septic tank complications, though not the only way. Other things that could harm your septic tank include cooking oils and cooking grease, cosmetic products, baby diapers, and other non-biodegradable products. In addition, monitor your water use. Increased or decreased water use could also complicate your septic tank system. Lastly, the presence of sludge (solid waste) in your septic tank will require septic pumping every 1-5 years—more or less depending upon the number of persons in your household and the frequency of water use. Septic tank symptoms do not have to turn into septic tank dangers. Do proper septic tank maintenance now to prevent septic tank complications later.


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