If you have a septic tank, then chances are you already know the “shoulds.” You should pump your septic tank at least once every three years. You should call an expert to inspect your whole septic system about once every five years. Even if you know these “shoulds” by heart, however, you may not know WHY they’re so important.
Maintaining your septic tank isn’t just something you should do. It’s something you should want to do. These are the main four reasons why it pays–sometimes literally!–to maintain your septic tank. The next time you’re considering having your septic tank serviced, think about how that maintenance will help you:
According to the EPA, regular septic tank maintenance fees cost an average of $250-500 every three to five years. The cost of repairing or replacing a failed septic system, on the other hand, can be $3000-7000! That cost isn’t even considering the associated damage a failed septic tank could cost, either. Septic tank failure could inflict substantial damage on your home and property. Just getting at a septic tank to repair or replace it involves digging up your lawn.
Scheduling regular maintenance is by far the most cost-effective way to care for your septic system. All septic systems regularly require pumping and other forms of maintenance. If you don’t maintain your septic system, it will stop working as effectively as it should. That lack of efficiency could cause other plumbing problems and cost money, even before a total failure! Septic system maintenance may cost money now, but it’ll save a lot of money in the long run.
Your septic system is absolutely crucial for keeping your home and water clean. It processes and safely disposes of all the wastewater you produce every day. Wastewater is full of pollutants and contaminants that can pose a serious risk to your health. The septic tank separates these contaminants out of your wastewater before discharging it back out into your drainfield. When you don’t maintain your septic system, it will lose its ability to reliably manage contaminants.
When your septic tank can’t manage your wastewater contaminants, they could affect you in several ways. If your septic tank fills with sludge, unprocessed sewage water could actually come back up through your drains. Coming into direct contact with sewage put you at risk of contracting a wide variety of diseases. If the system stops processing sewage properly, the contaminants in it could also seep into the surrounding groundwater. Contaminated groundwater could cause health problems for you, your neighbors, and your whole area!
Preserve Your Lawn
We already mentioned how repairing a septic system requires digging up your lawn. Unfortunately, that’s not the only way a faulty septic system can hurt your lawn, either. Drainfield floods are one of the most common problems that happen when a septic tank malfunctions. If any component of the system aren’t level, they won’t evenly distribute wastewater to all portions of the drainfield. When that happens, your septic system could “overload” a part of the drainfield.
When your septic tank overloads part of the drainfield, it sends more water there than the soil can handle. The soil becomes overly saturated and can no longer “hold” all the wastewater. As a result, the water bubbles over the surface of the soil, flooding your yard. Wet spots on your yard or overly-green grass are common early signs of septic system failure for this exact reason. Over time, septic malfunctions can inflict even more severe lawn problems than flooding, such as sinkholes!
Protect the Environment
Remember: malfunctioning septic systems release untreated sewage into the soil and groundwater surrounding them. This sewage doesn’t just affect you. When the bacteria and pollutants in sewage enter groundwater, they can pose risks to the entire community. Groundwater never stays in the ground; it enters streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. When pollutants enter groundwater, they’re invariably entering other bodies of water, too. Pollutants in groundwater end up affecting the plants and wildlife relying on nearby water.
Unfortunately, polluted groundwater can affect your drinking water, too. Many people who use septic systems also use well water or another local groundwater source for drinking water. Polluted groundwater can quickly seep into these sources of drinking water and contaminate them with dangerous bacteria. Groundwater contamination may occasionally even affect city drinking water reservoirs. Most ecosystem are so affected by groundwater that it’s difficult to speculate on the full damage its pollution inflicts. Pollutants hurt property, plants, animals, and people. It’s bad news.
All this is to say: you should really, really maintain your septic system. Keeping it clean and functioning is what’s best for you, your wallet, your family, and your entire community.
Not only is maintaining your septic system important, it’s also easy! If you live in the greater Atlanta area, all you have to do is call the Pink Plumber. We can inspect, maintain, and repair your septic system quickly and effectively. Stay safe and save money at the same time, all by taking care of your septic system.