Not everyone has a septic system. Many homes are connected directly to a city’s municipal sewer system instead. If your water line doesn’t have a meter or you’re not charged for sewer care, however, then you probably use a septic tank. Unlike city sewer systems, you’re personally responsible for maintaining your septic system.
The easiest way to keep your septic system running properly is by taking the time to maintain it. Here are some simple septic tank maintenance tips that can help you do that. The first thing you need to know to maintain your septic tank is how it works.
How Your Septic Tank Works
A septic tank is a sealed underground container that uses technology and nature to help treat household wastewater. It works in conjunction with a drain field or soil absorption field. The tank processes organic matter, separating oils, grease, and solids from wastewater. Some septic tanks have filters that you’ll need to change out regularly. Some tanks also have alarms that you should test regularly to make sure they work. All septic tanks contain bacteria that break down solid waste. You’ll have to pump it out regularly to change out this bacteria and remove accumulated sludge.
When it comes to taking care of your septic tank, the following maintenance practices are all important:
Septic Tank Maintenance Practices
Inspect your system once per year.
You’ll need to pump your septic tanks every three to five years. You should also have it inspected by a professional around once a year. These inspections help you stay aware of your system’s health and make sure everything’s working properly.
Inspections like these are especially important because we can spot small problems before they become big ones. Preventative solutions are always more cost-effective than reactive ones.
Get it pumped regularly.
There are two ways to tell if it’s time to get your septic tank pumped. You can look for these signs by inspecting the inside of the tank. If the bottom of the scum is less than 3” from the outlet or the top of the sludge layer is within a foot of the outlet, then it’s time.
Know what you should never put into your system.
Septic tanks are meant to handle solid and liquid waste. They’re not meant to deal with motor oil, disposable diapers, cigarettes, coffee grounds, eggshells, paints, or rags. Long story short: don’t flush anything other than waste down your toilet or sink.
Practice water conservation.
A septic tank needs time to do its job of separating solid and liquid waste. Give it that time by adopting general water conservation. Fix leaks as you notice them, invest in efficient appliances, and watch your regular daily water use.
Hold on to your paperwork.
Not everyone knows where their septic tank is. You can find out by finding your home’s original blueprints or contacting your local septic provider for guidance. Once you find it, keep track of where it is. Hold on to records of all services done on your tank over the years. These papers will help you if you ever find yourself in need of repair.
If you need help installing, cleaning, or pumping of your home’s septic system, give The Pink Plumber a call. Our experts have your back.