Maintaining Your Septic Tank

Septic tanks are used for the treatment of sewage primarily for single homes that are not connected to sewer lines. A septic system usually consists of a watertight, underground tank made of plastic or concrete that is divided into at least two compartments. The septic tank works to separate solid waste from liquid waste.

The liquid waste is usually passed out of the tank within about 24 hours, and the solid waste is left behind. Some of the solid waste is broken down by bacteria. The rest of the solid waste settles into the septic tank and is stored there. About ever 4 years a septic tank should be cleaned out to remove the accumulated solid waste.

In order to save money, conserve resources, reduce pollution and avoid some very stinky and gross problems, it is important to properly care for and maintain your septic system.

Because not all of the solid waste is consumed or broken down by bacteria, it is very important to clean out your septic tank about once every 4 years to remove any accumulated solid waste. If a septic tank is not cleaned out, sewage can back up into the pipe in the household and the sewage can also rise to the surface of the ground and accumulate into rank smelling pools in your yard. This exposed sewage can pose health risks both to children who may be playing in the area as well as to the public. Not only that, but it is a nasty problem that is best avoided if at all possible.

Cleaning a septic tank is usually done by pumping out the solid waste. There are companies that you can hire to come and pump out your tank for you to remove any built up waste.

To improve the performance of your septic tank you should try to minimize the amount of water that enters the system. First, make sure that you don’t have any leaky taps or toilets. If you do find leaks you should fix them. Another way to minimize water usage is to install devices such as water shaving shower heads to reduce the amount of water that is used. Make sure that your downspouts from your roof do not drain into your system. You should also avoid running any water-using appliances such as the dishwasher and washing machine at the same time to lessen the burden on your septic system.

Properly maintaining your septic system will help it to last longer and will help you to avoid costly and miserable problems. Maintenance of a septic tank is easy and just takes a small amount of commitment on your part.

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