Maintenance Matters: Extending the Lifespan of Your Septic Tank After Installation

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Septic Tank

Often overlooked because they are underground and out of sight, septic systems require regular maintenance. Keeping on top of your septic tank’s needs can help it last for years. Fix leaks promptly to avoid water wastage, install water-efficient appliances (like toilets, showerheads, and dishwashers), and space out your water usage to avoid overworking the system.

Keep It Clean

Your home’s septic system works great but isn’t immune to clogs and other problems. Regular septic tank cleaning is essential. All of the wastewater in your house runs through one main pipe that leads to a septic tank underground. The septic tank holds the solid waste until nature breaks it down, and then liquid wastewater (effluent) can escape into your yard. This process relies on helpful bacteria, which can eventually die, slowing the natural digestion of the solid waste in your septic tank. Keeping your septic tank clean can restore the balance of these helpful bacteria and prevent them from dying, which extends your septic tank’s lifespan. Preventative care is a wise investment for most systems in your home, but none are more vital than your septic tank. Contact professionals for all your inspections, cleaning, pumping, maintenance, repair, and septic tank installation needs.

Check the Leach Field

A conventional septic tank drain field has a varying lifespan depending on usage level, soil percolation rate, and tank size. As wastewater moves out of your septic system into the leach field, soil microbes begin a natural filtration process to remove bacteria, viruses, nitrogen, and phosphorus from effluent. As the septic tanks filter out liquid waste, hard waste settles in sludge layers at the bottom of your tank. If too much sludge accumulates, it can clog the septic tank outlet and cause sewage to overflow into your home’s plumbing.

A few simple septic maintenance tasks can extend the lifespan of your septic tank and the underlying leach field. Limit the amount of garbage disposed, only flush toilet paper and human waste, and purchase water-saving fixtures like low-flow showerheads and faucets. Also, don’t drive or park vehicles over your septic system or drainfield, which can compress and damage underground pipes. You can also purchase shock treatments that contain specific types of bacteria and enzymes designed to break down organic matter accumulation in septic systems.

Pump It Out Regularly

A septic system is buried underground and out of sight but can only go with regular maintenance. Septic tanks should be pumped regularly, depending on the size of your family and how much wastewater is used each day. Sludge is formed when heavier waste sinks to the bottom of your septic tank, while oils and grease, also referred to as scum, float to the top. Bacteria break down the solids inside the tank and liquefy the liquid wastewater. The wastewater leaves the tank through the inlet, and the outlet tees into your absorption field. To help the bacteria work more efficiently, avoid pouring harsh chemicals or bleach down your drains. These substances disrupt the delicate balance of natural bacteria that breaks down solids, making removing them from the septic tank harder. Also, limit your garbage disposal usage and install water-saving showerheads and dishwashers.

Check the Drainage Pipes

All the waste from your home’s drains goes into the septic tank. However, some things, such as kitty litter, coffee grounds, disposable wipes, or feminine products, are not meant for it. These items can clog the system, resulting in wastewater overflow or backups. Your septic tank’s liquid waste should flow into the soil and drain field. It is a vital part of the system, as it cuts pollution and helps nearby plants and wildlife. A drain field is a network of downward-sloped pipes and gravel that disperse wastewater into the soil. Eventually, the water is treated by bacteria in the ground and returned to the environment. Unfortunately, a drainage pipe can break for various reasons, from tree roots to a digging mishap. Once a pipe breaks, untreated waste is released into the ground, which can seep into your house and create a foul smell.

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