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

5 Ways to Make Your Septic System Last

If you have a septic system, it is likely the most expensive “system” in your home. The cost of replacing a septic system is usually much more than a HVAC, gutters or even some roof replacements. Given the high price tag, you want to ensure your septic system lasts as long as possible. The good news is many homeowners will never need to replace their septic system in their lifetime if they protect it. Here are five ways to protect your septic system and make it last for decades.

Limit What You Put Down the Drain

First and foremost, protecting your septic system starts with disposal in your home. Limiting water use with water-efficient fixtures and practices is important. You should also keep damaging substances out of your drains such as: chemicals, antibacterial cleansers, non-organic materials, feminine hygiene products and grease/fats.

Protect Your Sewer Lines

Do not let vehicles or heavy machinery drive over where your sewer lines and underground pipes are located to protect them from damage.

Pump Tank as Needed

Do not let your septic tank get too full. You should have it pumped as needed, usually every three to five years.

Routine Inspections

You should have a professional inspect your septic system once a year to check tank levels and all the equipment. Replace parts and components as needed to prevent emergency breakdown issues.

Use a Professional for Repairs

Do not try to fix septic problems on your own. Considering the value of your system, spend the money to have a professional complete all repairs.

If you keep up with maintenance on your septic system and protect it from harm, you can postpone replacement for years. It is worth the investment of time and money to make your septic system last.

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

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

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

Learn the Basics About Your Septic System

There are many people who own houses with septic systems yet do not know the basics about how this system works. While there is little you need to do to maintain a septic system, you should know the basics on how it functions. This can help you prevent problems and identify issues when they first occur. Here is a basic overview of how septic systems with drain fields work.

From Drains to the Tank

Everything that goes down your household drains goes through your indoor plumbing and out to your main sewer line. This brings all the solid and water waste from your home to the septic tank. This journey is the first area problems can occur, such as clogs or issues with the sewer pipe.

Septic Tank Decomposition

The septic tank is where the solids from your waste are broken down. Enzymes and bacteria decompose solids, creating a layer of sludge and effluent, a liquid waste substance. As the tank fills, the effluent overflows out of the tank and a pump or gravity bring it to the distribution box for the drain field.

Filtering Waste Through a Drain Field

The last step in the septic system process is the drain field. The distribution box feeds several perforated pipes that let the effluent seep into the soil. The waste water is filtered as it goes through the soil and clean water joins the ground water below.

Knowing the path and parts of your septic system can help you identify problems. Keep up with routine maintenance which your local septic service company can do for you, including pumping your tank every few years and having annual inspections and service.

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

 

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

Safety Tips for Cleaning a Septic Tank

Have you ever cleaned your septic tank? Unless you are a septic professional, you probably have never seen the inside of your septic tank. Septic tanks are located underground and can be dangerous to access. The fumes created during the breakdown of waste are toxic and can be very dangerous if you do not have the right experience and equipment. Here are some safety tips you need to know about getting your septic tank cleaned.

  • Be careful around the septic tank opening. Once the lid is removed from the septic tank, it becomes a falling hazard. The area showed be marked to avoid anyone falling into the hole; also keep pets contained while the lid is off to avoid having a pet fall into the tank.
  • Beware of fumes. Even when you are only above the septic tank, the fumes can be strong enough to cause you to blackout. Stay away from the opening without the right expertise and breathing protection.
  • Cover your skin. Any small wound or break in the skin can be easily infected from the substances in your septic tank. Make sure all skin is covered and protected before going anywhere near your tank.
  • Hire a professional. There are too many risks involved to try to clean your septic tank yourself. You need the right equipment to pump the tank clean and the waste must be properly disposed of to avoid hefty fines.

The only safe way to clean your septic tank is to hire a licensed septic service professional. Don’t every try to clean or repair your septic tank on your own – the risks are too great.

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

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

What Are ‘Septic Safe’ Products?

If you have a septic system, there is a good chance you have heard that certain items should not be put down your drains. Keeping plastic, cotton and other non-biodegradable items out of your septic tank is important to reduce the possibility of clogging your septic filter and to reduce the frequency of septic tank pumping. However, even the items you use every day in your showers, sinks and toilets should be tailored to your septic system. Here is what ‘septic safe’ products are and why you should use them.

Toilet Paper

One of the main products you use every day that ends up in your septic system is toilet paper. Not all toilet paper is made the same and some brands do not breakdown as easily. Choose toilet paper that specifically says it is ‘septic safe’ or designed for septic systems.

Household Cleaners

You may not want bacteria in your home, but you do want them to thrive in your septic tank. Bacteria are what breakdown your solid waste and allow it to become effluent that is filtered back into the ground. Certain cleaners can kill bacteria, harming the bacterial balance in your septic tank.

However, you can still have a clean home and protect your septic system. There are many septic-safe products for cleaning, from soaps and detergents to toilet cleaners and dish soaps. Many use natural ingredients that are effective for cleaning but won’t harm the bacteria in your septic tank.

Drain Cleaners

Too much bleach or even small amounts of drain cleaners can be harmful to your septic system. There are drain cleaners or clog removers that do not use chemicals and are considered septic-safe, which are a better choice if you must use a liquid clog remover.

Using septic-safe products can help protect your septic system. When combined with regular service and pumping from your septic professional, these products can help extend the life of your septic system for many years.

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

Septic Tank Pumping 101

If you are new to owning a septic system, you may not know what to expect as far as pumping your tank. The problem is, every septic tank needs pumping at different intervals, depending on the amount of use and the size of the tank. Here are a few things you should know about septic tank pumping so you can plan for maintenance and avoid damage to your septic system and home.

What Size Tank Do You Have?

You should find out the size of the tank you own. When you bought your home, there should have been an inspection and details about your septic system and the size of the tank. Tanks are usually built based on the number of bathrooms/bedrooms in your home.

When Was Your Tank Last Pumped?

Most septic tanks need to be pumped every 2-3 years, but some can wait longer. If your tank is too small for the number of people living in the home, you may find yourself pumping every year. Find out when the last time the tank was pumped. If it has been more than a year, you may want to schedule an inspection and possible pumping to ensure you don’t overflow your system.

What Goes Down, Must Come Out

If you have always been on a city sewer system, you are used to unlimited amount of waste that can be allowed down your drains. With a septic tank, too much use will mean more frequent pumping. Limit the amount of food, waste and even water that goes down your drains to keep maintenance and pumping frequency low.

Once you get an idea of how big your tank is and how quickly your family will fill it, you can get on a regular pumping schedule with your local septic company. They can help you determine the right frequency to avoid waiting too long between pumping intervals.

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