How to Care for Your Septic System

In-ground septic tanks have been used for decades. A well designed, properly installed and frequently maintained septic system can last for ages. A septic system that is not in use presents a wide range of health and safety risks, especially if wastewater goes back into plumbing fixtures. This could result in more widespread health and environmental issues.

A malfunctioning septic system can cost you a lot of money through replacement and repairs. It can also reduce the worth of your house or property. Proper maintenance of a septic system can help eliminate a wide range of health and safety issues as well as plumbing problems.

How the Septic System Works

A septic system contains four major parts: the septic tank, the main drainpipe from your house, the soil around the drain area, and the drain field .The wastewater from your home moves through the drain and enters the septic tank. A natural procedure takes place in the tank to break down the solids. The waste is broken down into sludge by anaerobic bacteria. The sludge then sinks to the base of the tank.

A layer of scum remains at the top section of the tank while the partially treated effluent settles at the mid section. The effluent finds its way into the drain area via plumbing lines, which include punctured leach lines where bacteria continue with the decay process. Industrial waste water is let out from the drain area into the nearby soil where sifting action of the soil and aerobic bacteria break down the effluent before it gets to the ground water.

Common Septic System Problems and Prevention

• Sludge – Sludge finding its way into your drain field, blocking drain holes can cause backups in your home. Such problems can be dealt with by frequently pumping out your septic tank.

• Drain field saturated with water – Excess water can wash out into your drain area and flood it. This can be seen on the ground close to your drain field. Excess water left to gather around your drain area can cause backups on your plumbing fixtures.

• Unprocessed solids from your septic tank – Homeowners should be careful about the types of wastes they dispose into their drains. Materials such as Plastic, hard paper, and vinyl should not be disposed of through the septic tank system. In addition, avoid pouring chemicals into the septic system unless they are considered safe.

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