Septic tanks perform a very important function for homes that are not connected to a city sewerage system. Domestic waste water is treated through a septic tank that is designed to reduce solids through a settling and anaerobic process. There are essential tips that should be followed to keep them in peak condition.
Maintenance is the first step to keeping a septic system in good repair, things to avoid are:
- Disposing of oils and grease
- Non-biodegradable waste
- Food waste
- Inappropriate chemicals
- Salt water
Proper maintenance and avoiding improper disposal helps the system run smoothly.
Septic tanks need to have a professional inspection done at least once a year. One of the first things that they look at is the sludge level. This is an indicator of when pumping is required. Liquid waste should not be visible on the ground. This means the system is overloaded. Riser lids must be crack free and secure. Drain lines are also checked to make sure they are not plugged and are flowing properly. A complete inspection ensures a working system. Records should be kept for reference purposes.
The location of the septic and drain field needs to be kept on file. Many tanks are buried and out of site with a few exceptions. Extra green grass in one location of the yard is sometimes an indicator of where the tank is. Knowing where the septic is saves inspectors time.
A complete service should be done every 2-3 years depending on the number of a people in the household. The size of the tank is also a major factor. Keep good records because time flies and it is easy to forget how long it has been since the last service.
Regular maintenance and service calls are much cheaper than a replacement. Old broken pipes or tanks may have to be replaced, costing the homeowners thousands of dollars. Any repair costs are the responsibility of the owner.
There are certain ways to treat a septic system. Tree roots can become problematic over time, so always plant trees far enough away from the tank and drain field. Weight on top of the septic tank creates stress on the structure. People who live in cold climates need to consider insulating the pipes. Taking extra care can save homeowners time and money.
If you have questions about how sewage systems work, or about local requirements, contact McRae’s Septic Tank. Family owned and operated since 1951.