Having a septic system on your property for your home is common if you live outside the city's public sewage system, and it important that you take care of it so that it will last a lifetime. The septic system is expensive to install and even more costly to repair, so taking the steps to keep the system working the way it was designed will save you money and protect your investment as well. Here are a few things you can do to keep it working properly.
How The System Works
Your septic system is made up of a tank that holds the solids and liquids that are flushed down the drains in your home and a leach field that allows liquids to pass into the ground once the solids are removed. The system depends on bacteria in the tank to make it work properly, so there are a lot of things that you do not want in the tank. Once the solids settle in the tank, the liquid will pass from the tank and into the leach field for absorption to the ground.
Why Can't I Flush Everything?
If you flush solids that are not going to settle to the bottom of the tank, they will eventually clog up the outflow to the septic field. Remember that the leach field is a gravel field designed only for a liquid to drain through it. It is not magical and cannot handle things anything other than liquid. If you put a lot of other things down the toilet, you will eventually have to have a contractor dig of the leach field and deal with the obstruction in the pipe. Remember, your waste is not going to a treatment plant to be filtered; it is getting filtered in your backyard.
Pumping The Tank
While some people think there is something wrong if they need to have the septic tank pumped out, the reality is that the tank will need to be pumped every 3 to 5 years to keep the system working properly. The solids that settle on the bottom of the tank will build up over time and can eventually block the in and out flow of the tank. The back up into your home is just not something you want to deal with. If it has been three years since your tank was pumped, it might be time to have it pumped. There is no other way to get the sludge out of the tank, and as it increases, there will be less and less room for liquid, causing it to run straight through and flooding the leach field.
Gray Water Issues
In some systems, every drain in the house runs to the septic tank, but in truth, things like the washing machine are not passing sewage to the system. The gray water has fewer bacteria in it than the water passing from the tank to the leach field. Given the detergents and other chemicals in the washing machine or dishwasher, the drainage from these appliances might be better draining to the leach field directly. Check the local ordinances to be sure if they allow that before changing the system.
For more information on how to take care of your septic system, contact professional septic companies in your area, such as Lutzky Contracting.