A septic system is a sewage treatment system common in areas without municipal sewage systems such as rural homes and farms. Here we will go through some key maintenance and use of your septic systems to ensure they are working smoothly.
How do septic systems work?
If you have a conventional septic system, your wastewater travels through an outdoor, underground septic tank where it separates solids from liquids. Light solids such as soap scum and fat float to the top and slowly thickens, staying until you clean the tank.
The liquid waste travels through pipes connected to the tank and into a leaching bed. The leaching bed is made up of sand and gravel which acts as a filter to clean the water before it makes its way back to the ground.
The heavier waste settle to the bottom of the septic tank where they are decomposed by bacteria. Some non-decomposed solids will remain in the tank requiring it to be cleaned every three to five years.
How to Maintain Septic System:
- Inspect your septic system every three to four years
- Pump it every three to five years
- Ensure to keep up to date on maintaining the treatment units and filters according to manufacturer instructions
- Ensure to replace your septic tank if necessary. Steel tanks need to be replaced every 20 – 25 years and sometimes you need to upgrade to a larger tank so it can take increased waste.
- Have an effluent filter installed to prevent solids from clogging the leaching bed. This will save you time and money later.
What Should and Shouldn’t go into your Septic System:
- Ensure you safely dispose of hazardous wastes through a municipal facility, not through a septic tank or they will seep into your groundwater and possibly cause problems for your septic system.
- Avoid using disinfectants that may kill the beneficial bacteria in your tank. This would cause sewage to pass through your tank without proper treatment.
- Keep household items such as feminine hygiene products, condoms, food solids, hair and cat litter out of your system otherwise they may clog your pipes.
How Will I Know if There is an Issue with my Septic System?