Septic tanks are used to process untreated wastewater in a safe and efficient way. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about septic tanks.
What is a Septic Tank?
A septic tank is a small self-contained sewage treatment plant. It’s an underground tank made of either concrete, plastic or fiberglass, and it holds wastewater from plumbing fixtures within the home. The tank itself split into two parts: The first part receives untreated wastewater from the house, and the second part is a settling chamber that allows solids to settle and decompose.
How Often Should I Pump My Septic Tank?
Generally, pumping of a septic tank should occur every three to five years depending on tank size and the amount of wastewater from the household. For example, a larger family with more than four people may need to pump the septic tank more often (perhaps up to annual service) in order to keep it functioning properly. Also, factors such as high levels of certain types of soaps can lead to clogging in the septic system, and therefore require more frequent maintenance.
Can I Install a Septic System Myself?
In most cases, you cannot install a septic system yourself and should seek the help of a professional. Professional installers have the experience and the legal authority to ensure that your new septic system is viable and that it meets all local regulations. Skilled labor is often needed when installing a septic system, and many jurisdictions require professional installers be licensed or certified by the state.
What Maintenance Tasks Should I Perform on my Septic System?
Septic tanks require regular maintenance to ensure that the system is functioning correctly and that future repairs can be avoided. Maintenance tasks include inspecting the system for any evidence of leaks or backups, having your tank pumped and cleaned regularly, testing for septic system failure or blockages, and checking any alarms or alert indicators on your system. It’s also important to have a professional inspect your septic system at least once a year to ensure there are no issues.
What Are Signs of Poor Septic System Management?
Poor septic system management can take many forms, but the most obvious signs are wet spots or odors around the drainfield area or seeping out of pipes in the house. It could also manifest itself as blockages in toilets or drains and slow draining sinks. These issues should be addressed quickly as they can lead to more serious problems such as a failing septic tank or a clogged drainfield.