For many homeowners, a septic tank is the only option for sewage treatment. This is especially true in rural areas, the desert, and remote areas where city water lines are not available. Like any other type of fixture, septic tank maintenance is necessary to keep the system functioning properly.
Septic Tank Maintenance
Constructed from concrete, polyethylene, or fiberglass with tank sizes ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 gallons, a septic tank system is designed to last for a long time. There are some things you can do to keep your system operational and functioning properly:
- Be conservative with water use so the system is not overloaded.
- Repair any leaking faucets, fixtures, or toilets because these generate excessive amounts of wastewater.
- Install low-flow fixtures, such as a faucet aerator, faucet inserts, or mixing valves to help control water flow.
- Do not create overflow problems for the drainfield by draining water from hot tubs, whirlpools, or swimming pools into the area. Also, have roof drains positioned so the water does not run into the drainfield.
- Toilet paper is the only item that should be flushed down the toilet; items, such as paper based products, paper towels, cigarette butts, and other sanitary items should be disposed of separately. Even items marked "flushable" may actually hurt a septic system.
- Don't use automatic deodorizers and cleansers in the toilet.
- Provide easy access to the system.
- Protect the system from damage by not allowing parking, digging, or driving where the underground tank system is located.
When Is Maintenance Needed?
Septic tank systems are hard-working, and have components that need checking, upgrading, and replacing when necessary. Consider these steps in maintaining your septic system:
- Have your septic system inspected every 3 to 5 years.
- The septic tank should be pumped every 3 to 5 years. How often depends on the number of people in the home, the amount of water used, and the type of system.
- If water pipes become clogged, have the filters replaced to allow a continuous flow from the tank to the drainfield.
- During a flood or extremely excessive rain that floods the septic area, the water may cause the tank to float, which can lead to broken pipes. Reduce water use during these times.
- If water usage increases in the home due to additional family members, the drainfield may need to be expanded in order to accommodate the increase in water usage.
- Over time, a drainfield may fail due to microbes clogging the soil. In this case, a new drainfield will most likely be necessary.
For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.
Image source: Flickr