How Does a Septic Tank Work?

If you are new to owning a septic system, you may only know the basics. You know you have a septic tank and a drain field, and you have been told you need to have your septic tank pumped. But what you may not know is why you need to have it pumped and how the tank works. Here is some basic information on how a septic tank works and why it needs routine pumping.

The science behind a septic tank is based on biology. The biodegradable waste that enters the tank from your sewer pipes will attract and breed bacteria. These bacteria feed on solid wastes, slowly breaking them down into liquid form. As water and more solid waste is added, the solids sink to the bottom, water is in the middle and anything that will float moves to the top of the tank.

When the tank becomes full, the overflow of water exits the tanks from a pipe at the top area of the tank and transports it to the drain field. This should be a watery fluid called effluent that is filtered by the drain field before it enters the ground water supply. The solids stay at the bottom of the tank, breaking down with help of bacteria in the water.

Not all solids do breakdown and the solids portion in the tank grows over time. If it gets too high, it will backflow into the home and solids could go into the drain field. Pumping is needed to remove the solids that do not breakdown and have filled the tank, leaving little room for water.

Septic tank pumping needs to be done once the tank is becoming too full of solids and not leaving enough room for waste water. This is usually every 1-2 years, but varies from home to home. The best way to stay on top of your septic tank pumping is to have annual inspections to check the level of you tank, pumping as needed.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Preventive Maintenance for Your Septic System

Septic systems are one of the more expensive components of a home to replace. The good news is that most septic systems can last for up to several decades when they are properly maintained. Preventive maintenance is the key to ensuring your septic system does not fail prematurely, which can cost a small fortune if a complete replacement is needed. Here are some preventive maintenance tips to proactively keep your septic system in tip-top condition.

Limited Strain on the System

Everything that goes down your drains impacts your septic system. Keeping items and substances out of the septic that can clog or causes harm is essential for preventive maintenance. Using water conservation methods can help reduce strain, and you should keep grease/fats, chemicals, hygiene items (cotton balls, cotton swabs, tampons, diapers, wet wipe, etc.), medications and non-biodegradable items out of your septic system.

Regular Pumping

Your septic tank needs pumping to remove solids that do not breakdown. Most tanks need pumping about every 2-3 years, depending on the size of the tank and the amount of waste that goes into the tank.

Protect Your Pipes and Drain Field

Keep heavy vehicles and machinery off the ground where your drain field and other septic pipes are located to prevent damage. Also, make sure the utility companies and other entities do not dig or drill near your sewer lines or other septic components.

Routine Inspections and Repairs

One of the best ways to keep your septic system maintained is with routine inspections, service and repairs. Schedule annual service with your local septic professional to stay on top of septic maintenance.

If you spend a little time and money on septic preventive maintenance, it can save you thousands of dollars in replacement costs. Contact your septic professional to schedule your next inspection or pumping.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

5 Warning Signs of a Failing Septic System

Septic systems can last for decades when properly maintained. Even when something goes wrong, it can usually be repaired. However, there can be a point of no return if you do not recognize the signs of trouble, requiring you to build a new drain field. Here are five signs your septic system is having issues to give you time to have it repaired before it fails.

  1. The grass is greener. If the vegetation over your drain field is very different than the surrounding area, you may have trouble starting. This can mean the waste water is not filtering down quick enough or too much solid waste is escaping the septic tank.
  2. Slow drains in your home. One slow drain in your home is a plumbing problem. When all your drains are slow, it is likely a sewer line or septic issue.
  3. Sewage odors. When a septic system is working properly, you should never smell sewage. If you have bad odors coming from your drains or you smell sewage outside, there is a problem.
  4. Wet spots or pooling water near your septic system or drain field. Wet areas, dirt erosion or pooling water anywhere near septic system pipes, tank or drain field can mean trouble.
  5. Bio-mat formation. One of the biggest alerts of a problem is a bio-mat forming over your drain field. This is a scum layer of biological material that is caused by too many solids entering your drain field.

If you notice any of these warning signs, do not hesitate to call your local septic service company to schedule a septic tank inspection. Often, the problem can be fixed, and you can avoid the expense of installing a new system.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

Septic Tank Pumping FAQs

One of the main maintenance requirements of septic systems is ensuring the tank is emptied when needed. The problem is, many homeowners are uninformed about the tank pumping process, not knowing when or why it needs to be completed. Here are some frequently asked questions about septic tank pumping to give you a better understanding.

How Often Does a Septic Tank Needing Pumping?

Most tanks are designed to accommodate about 2-3 years of waste before they need to be pumped. However, this can vary depending on how many people are in the home and the size of the tank.

What Will Happen if the Tank Isn’t Pumped?

Sludge builds up in the tank, a thick layer of solid waste. When the level becomes too high, new waste water cannot settle long enough before exiting the tank into the drain field. Too much unfiltered waste can enter the drain field and could cause a septic backup or failure of your drain field.

How Do I Know When My Tank Needs to be Pumped?

It is difficult to check when a tank is becoming full on your own. This is why annual service by a septic company is important. They can check the level of your tank each year and inspect your system, letting you know when you should schedule your next pumping.

Is Pumping Expensive?

Each region and service are different for pricing; the cost includes emptying the tank and disposal, and larger tanks will cost more to pump. However, for an average-size tank, the cost usually runs around $300-$500.

If it has been more than two years since your last pumping, schedule routine septic service and pumping to ensure you do not wait too long to perform this important maintenance.

Posted on behalf of:
Metro Septic LLC
1210 N Tennessee St
Cartersville, GA 30120
(678) 873-7934

Signs You May Need a New Septic Tank

When there is a problem with your septic tank, it is not always obvious. Buried underground, your septic tank is out of sight and out of mind most of the time. However, while these tanks can last for decades, they can also become damaged. If they crack or have other issues, you could have raw sewage leaking into the ground around your home and will need a tank replacement immediately. Here are a few signs that your septic tank may need replacing.

  • Erosion near your tank. If you notice the ground eroding or sinking near your septic tank, you should call a septic professional. You may have a leak in your tank or a sewer line may be broken.
  • Unusual plant growth. Raw sewage can make great fertilizer – if the grass is particularly green around your tank or seems to grow quicker than the rest of your lawn, you may have a leak.
  • Wet ground and bad odors. In some cases, the ground may be wet around the septic tank if there is a leak. Looking for soggy spots or pooling water. If there is this much leakage, you may also notice bad odors near your tank area, which is never a good sign when you have a septic system.

To know whether your septic tank needs repair or complete replacement, you will need a professional inspection. Never try to enter your septic tank on your own; it is dangerous due to the location and the deadly gases that can buildup inside the tank. Call a septic service professional and have your system inspected to find out where the problem is and what can be done to remedy the situation.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

Questions to Ask When You Schedule Your First Septic Pumping

Is it time to schedule your first septic tank pumping? Before you call the first septic professional you come across on Google or in a business listing, there are some things to consider. First, you want to make sure you hire a licensed, trusted professional with a excellent reputation in your area. Secondly, there are some questions you should ask when scheduling your pumping service. Here are answers you need to ensure your pumping service goes smoothly.

What is the cost and what does it include?

There are some septic companies that have a flat fee that includes everything – the pumping, inspection and disposal. Others may use separate fees for each service. One way is not necessarily better than the other, but you want to know exactly what to expect and what is covered in the quoted price.

What type of access do you need?

It can save time and trouble to make sure there is room for the septic tank truck to park at your home. Ask how close they need to be to your tank and how much room they need.

How long will the service take?

Make sure you know how long to expect your septic contractor to spend cleaning your septic tank. A decision maker for the home should be present in case there are any repairs or issues that need to be resolved.

Septic pumping service is usually needed every 2-3 years for most homes, depending on the size of the tank and the amount of waste created in the home. If you know what to expect by asking a few questions, this service can go smoothly and quickly.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 435-4441

Top 3 Common Septic Tank Issues

If you have a septic system, you know keeping the components in good working order is important. One of the main parts of your septic is your tank. This giant underground holding tank is where your solid waste is broken down, with some waste water being directed to your drain field and the solid waste accumulating as sludge. When a problem occurs with the tank, the entire system is at risk of failure.

Here are the top three tank issues that can affect your septic system.

  1. Leaks. If the tank walls crack or erode, the tank can begin leaking. When this happens, the waste water does not get distributed properly and can contaminate the soil. Most leaks cannot be repaired; the tank usually needs to be replaced.
  2. Not enough bacteria. If the bacteria needed to break down waste are not present, the tank will quickly fill up with solids. Chemicals can kill these bacteria; keeping chemicals out of the tank can help avoid this issue and there are additives that can help improve bacteria growth.
  3. Needs pumping. The most common problem with a septic tank is that it overflows. It is vital to have your septic tank serviced and the levels checked every year to avoid a full tank that will back up your septic system.

Scheduling an annual inspection for your complete septic system, including the tank, can help you avoid common septic tank problems. Regular pumping and checking the efficiency by septic professionals can help you proactively fix issues and keep your septic system working like it should. If it has been more than a year since your last septic service, call your local septic professional to schedule your maintenance.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

What is a Sludge Check?

When you have a septic system, keeping an eye on your septic tank is vital to prevent overflow and backups. Unfortunately, checking the level of your septic tank is not an easy task. There are deadly fumes in your septic tank and accessing the inside is a chore. Septic professionals are the best option to keep an eye on your septic tank levels, including a sludge check.

Sludge, when referring to a septic tank, is the layer of solid waste residue that forms inside your septic tank. This is solid waste that has been semi-dissolved, but it still a thick substance that should not be distributed to your drain field. During regular service, septic professional check the sludge level to determine if your septic tank needs to be pumped. This sludge check should be performed at least once a year to ensure it does not reach dangerous levels.

In most cases, if the sludge check reveals the tank is approaching the two-thirds level of fullness, it is time to schedule a septic pumping. This means the sludge is filling more than half the tank and will need to be removed before it backups into the sewer lines or overflows into the drain field. Sludge will not breakdown and can ruin a drain field. It is important to keep up with regular sludge checks and other maintenance to prevent septic failures.

If it has been over a year since you had your septic system serviced and a sludge check performed, it is time to call your local septic service professional. They can safely check the level of sludge in your septic tank and perform a pumping if needed.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

How Often Should You Have Your Septic Inspected?

When you buy a home with a septic system, an inspection is usually performed before the sale is finalized. Same is true when a new septic is added to a home; it is inspected before it is approved for use. However, outside these circumstances, how often should you have your septic inspected?

Your septic system has many different components, the majority of which are underground. It is difficult and unsafe to try inspecting the tank yourself – it is also almost impossible to know what is going on in your sewer lines without professional help. Like any major system, inspections can catch issues, such as components that need repair or replacement, before they cause extensive and expensive problems.

Septic inspections should be done once a year as part of your maintenance program. Your local septic service can perform a thorough septic inspection, which may include:

  • Checking septic tank levels
  • Measuring scum and sludge layers in the tank
  • Inspect tank for cracks or other damage
  • Check drain field and distribution box for proper function
  • Sewer line camera inspections
  • Check connections and function

Inspecting the septic tank is dangerous due to the gases inside the tank. It is important that this is performed by a professional for safety.

Once a thorough inspection is performed, your septic professional can give you an overview of your system. If this is done annually, you can catch small issues before they cause a sewer back up (like a clog forming in a sewer line) or septic failure if there are issues in your drain field or tank. Keeping up with regular annual inspections can help extend the life of your septic system and prevent expensive septic emergencies.

Posted on behalf of:
Seagraves Plumbing Sewer & Septic
4980 Plant Atkinson Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(494) 792-2221

New Home Septic Inspection Checklist

If you are buying a new home with a septic system, an inspection is usually required as part of the process. You want to be aware of any possible septic problems before you buy since replacing a septic system can be a large expense. While there are certain areas that must be checked for any septic inspection, you want to ensure the company you choose to do the inspection is thorough. Here are some of the areas that should be on the septic tank inspection to ensure you have a comprehensive overview of the septic system function in your new potential home.

  • Pump the tank. For a thorough inspection, the tank should be emptied before the evaluation begins.
  • Inspect the inside of the tank. Once the tank is pumped, the walls and floor should be inspected to detect any cracks or damage.
  • Septic tank lid. The lid needs to be checked for any damage and to ensure its placement meets local regulations or if it needs a riser. The lid should provide a complete seal and service openings should meet regulations
  • Ground inspection. Doing a complete inspection of the ground around the tank, distribution box and drain field should be performed to identify any possible leaks. Wet ground, pooling or erosion can be signs of a leak.
  • Components. There are many components that need to work properly. Some components that should be checked include: baffles, filters, runback water flow from drain field, and water flow from the home.

Making sure the septic system in your potential new home is working properly and has no signs of possible failure is important to your purchasing decision. Make sure you choose a septic service company that includes all these factors in their inspection for the most comprehensive evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc.
2120 McDaniels Bridge Rd SW
Lilburn, GA 30047
(770) 736-8283