Table of Contents
Why Maintain Your Septic System?
Septic system upkeep is crucial for three reasons.
- The first reason has to do with money. Septic systems that fail are costly to maintain and restore, and insufficient homeowner care is a significant causative factor in system failure. In relation to the total of a new system, the septic system includes so little preventative maintenance.
- The wellness of your family, society, and surroundings is the second and most crucial reason to maintain your system properly. Poorly treated home wastewater is dumped into the environment whenever septic systems fail.
- Contact with untreated human feces can put people’s health in danger. Septic system failure can contaminate adjacent wells, groundwater, and drinking water sources.
- Chemicals that are incorrectly disposed of through a septic system might contaminate local water sources and cause an early system failure. As a result, homeowners should learn what may and cannot be disposed of through a septic system.
- The economic health of your community is a third reason to maintain your septic system. Property values can be affected by failing septic systems. Building permits for these properties are sometimes denied.
- Additionally, malfunctioning septic systems may lead to the contamination of local rivers, lakes, and shorelines used for commercial or recreational purposes in your town.
Saves You Money
Compared to the expense of repairing and maintaining a failing system, which might cost around $3,000 and $7,000 for conventional systems, routine maintenance charges of $250 to $500 per 3 to 5 years are an absolute bargain.
Alternative methods can be even more expensive than traditional methods. The number of people living in the residence and the capacity of the network measure the timing of pumping needed.
Protects the Value of Your Home
A septic system that is unworkable or in disrepair can reduce the value of your home and may expose you to a hefty legal risk.
Preserves the Health of you and your Neighbors
There are bacteria and viruses that can cause illness in household wastewater, in addition to high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus.
The majority of these pollutants can be removed by a well-maintained septic system. Water contamination caused by improperly handled sewerage from cesspools can lead to human and animal diseases.
Swimmers are at risk of contracting different infectious ailments, from eye and ear infections to acute gastrointestinal illness and hepatitis, if sewage is not properly cleaned.
The Ecosystem Is Safeguarded
Daily, more than four billion gallons of wastewater are buried below. If home wastewater is not properly handled, it can contaminate groundwater, which can be harmful to both drinking water and the environment.
Bacteria, viruses, and harmful substances are released into local waterways when septic systems fail. Pollutants leaked from the ground end up polluting local waterways and ecosystems by killing native plants as well as fish and shellfish.
Regularly Inspect and Maintain Your Septic System
Maintaining your septic system can extend its lifespan. On-site System Maintainers may inspect and monitor your septic system on a regular basis.
- Gravity systems: 3 years
- Systems for distributing pressure: Annually
- ATU, membrane bioreactor, drip irrigation, and other proprietary systems: Once a year, or more often if necessary by the manufacturer.
- It is recommended that you replace your mound or sand filtration system every year
Pump Your Septic Tank as Needed
It Depends on how much water is used in the family and/or company. Water flow increases as the number of individuals using your septic system increases.
Because of this, your septic tank will fill up quicker, necessitating additional pumping. Septic tank lids should be kept tightly closed and locked.
Unscrewed lids pose a safety threat! Unsecured tanks can cause someone to fall in. You should check that the tank access lids are not damaged or degraded to prevent any accidents.
Your septic system’s lifespan may be extended if you use less water. Too much water usage is a common cause of system failure. Land and roof drains should be diverted away from the drainage field It’s possible that this extra water will prohibit the drain field from working correctly as a result.
Landscape with Love
As far as septic tanks and drain fields are concerned, grass is the greatest choice. It is possible to employ other types of plants with shallow root systems as well for landscaping purposes.
Septic tank lids should always be within easy reach. Installation of “risers” will reduce the time and cost of septic tank pumping/monitoring. A “riser” also reduces the amount of mess and interruption in your yard when pumping and monitoring.
Use a Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals add particles and grease to your drain field, which may quickly pile up and plug it. If you really must use one, try to keep it to a minimum.
Nothing but toilet paper should be flushed into your septic system. Cleaning wipes, baby wipes, facial tissue, personal care items, and paper towels should not be flushed. Even wipes labeled as flushable or septic-safe should be thrown away.
Put Household Chemicals Down the Drain
Chemicals kill microorganisms that are needed to break down solids in your system. Long-term use of antibiotics, for example, can kill vital bacteria in your septic tank and drain field.
Vehicles should not be parked on your drain field, reserve space, or septic tank. Patios, carports, decks, storage facilities, sports courts, landscaping plastic, and grazing animals should also be kept away from the drain field and drain field reserve zones. This will keep soils from compacting and pipes from bursting.
Use Septic Tank Additives
These items may be hazardous to your drain field because they contribute more sediments to the system, which can block it. Groundwater and surface water can both be polluted by pollutants.
Water from Hot Tubs Should Be Drained into the Septic Tank
Large amounts of water can cause your drain field to ‘drown,’ and chlorine can kill essential microorganisms in your septic tank and drain field. Drain hot tubs, especially the drain field, from the system.
Maintaining Your Septic System
Pump Your Tank
According to the number of people living in your house and the size of your septic tank, we recommend inspecting your conventional tank every 3 to 5 years at the very least.
Every 1-2 years, a house may require more regular pumping. Waste water may be released without sufficient time for treatment and particle separation if the septic tank has not been drained out in five or more years.
Groundwater contamination or clogging of drain fields may result. The frequency of pumping will depend on whether you have a Best Available Technology (BAT) unit or not.
Add an Outlet Filter to the Septic Tank
To prevent scum and sludge from reaching your absorption area, insert filters in the exit baffle. The filter can be cleaned annually by a septic professional.
Fill Your Buried Manhole with a Riser
Pumping your tank through the manhole will be required by septic professionals. This is especially true if the manhole is buried. To make things easier for professionals and cheaper for you, we recommend installing a riser to allow access to the manhole from below the earth.
Don’t Flood Your System
To allow scum and sludge to settle, septic tanks must be left alone for a period of time. If you rush too much water through your tank, it won’t be able to accomplish its job properly.
Showers, laundry, and dishwashing should all be scheduled in advance to avoid flooding your tank. Any leaking faucets or toilets should be repaired as soon as possible.
Be Cautious About What You Flush Down Your Drains and Toilets
Consider flushing only water, human waste, and toilet paper down the toilet. Utilize your waste disposal sparingly. Don’t let your system be clogged with greasy substances like grease, feminine products, cigarettes, baby wipes, chemicals, or expired/unused medicine.
Even if a product claims to be flushable or biodegradable, that doesn’t apply to a septic tank system. Spend less money by eliminating the use of unnecessary additives in your septic system. All the helpful bacteria you need to maintain a healthy system can be found in regular flushing.
Inspect Your System for Signs of Trouble
- Explore your property and keep an eye out for
- Overflowing drain fields or wet regions
- Some sludge particles may have blocked the drain field, and tree roots or damaged pipes may be preventing the wastewater from spreading across the drain field as intended.
- The amount of water used in residence may have surpassed the system’s design capacity.
- Here, instead of moving through the soil as it should, waste water rises to the top, posing significant health risks and producing unpleasant odors.
- Water in the toilets is slowing down or clogging up.
- It is possible for the basement to be flooded with sewage in the worst situations.
- Congested sewage lines leading to the tank, a clogged inlet or exit pipe, a full septic tank, or an ineffective drain field might cause this.
- In the home, above the tank and drain field, or from the vent pipe, sewage scents are present.
- If the system is working properly, there shouldn’t be any smells. It’s possible that smells are an indication that the system is malfunctioning if they are present.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ):
How to Clean Septic Tank Naturally?
How much baking soda do I put in my septic tank? You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent. The baking soda will fizz up to help get the dirt and grime in your tub and drains.
How Much Does It Cost to Pump a Septic Tank?
The average cost to pump a septic tank is about $400, though the price can range between $225–$600 for most residential tanks.
How Much Does It Cost to Empty a Septic Tank?
On average, it costs $417 or between $287 and $555 to clean or pump a septic tank. Extremely large tanks can run $1,000 or more. Most tanks need pumping every three to five years.
How Much Does It Cost to Drain a Septic Tank?
$275–$580. The national average cost to clean and pump a septic tank is between $295 and $610 with most people spending around $375. Depending on the size of your septic tank, pumping could cost as low as $250 for a 750-gallon tank, or as high as $895 for a 1,250-gallon tank.
How Much Does It Cost to Clean a Septic Tank?
The national average cost to clean and pump a septic tank is between $295 and $610 with most people spending around $375. Depending on the size of your septic tank, pumping could cost as low as $250 for a 750-gallon tank, or as high as $895 for a 1,250-gallon tank. Get free estimates from septic professionals near you.
How Does a Septic Tank Work?
The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. Its job is to hold the wastewater long enough to allow solids to settle down to the bottom forming sludge, while the oil and grease floats to the top as scum.
How Does a Septic System Work?
In conventional, or soil-based systems, the liquid (known as effluent) is discharged from the septic tank into a series of perforated pipes buried in a leach field, chambers, or other special units designed to slowly release the effluent into the soil. This area is known as the drainfield.
How Does a Septic Tank System Work?
A septic tank system acts as a storage tank and treatment location for sewage. It consists of a holding tank, and a drain field. In the tank, enzymes work to naturally break down organic waste, while liquid wastewater from the tank is discharged slowly into the sediment of the drain field.
Septic Tank Maintenance Checklist
- Schedule a septic pumping every 2-3 years.
- Only flush things that are meant to be flushed.
- Keep cooking oil away from the garbage disposal.
- Save water.
- Watch the lawn.
- Dispose of household chemicals properly.
- Plant trees away from your drainfield.
Septic Tank Maintenance
- Pump the Septic Tank Regularly.
- Inspect the System for Leaks.
- Clearly Mark off and Maintain the Leach Field.
- Limit Water Usage and Household Waste.
- Use a Bacteria Additive.
- Install an Effluent Filter.
- Check the Leach Field for Clogs.
- Keep Accurate Maintenance Records.
Septic Tank Maintenance Tips
- Ask Questions.
- Test the System Every Year.
- Be Careful About What Goes Down the Drain.
- Avoid Using the Garbage Disposals.
- Keep the Lid on the System.
- Conserve Water.
- Protect the Drainfield.
- Protect the Well.
Tips for Maintaining Your Septic System in the USA
- Inspect and Pump Frequently.
- Use Water Efficiently.
- Properly Dispose of Waste.
- Maintain Your Drainfield.
Septic System Maintenance Checklist for Homeowners in the USA
- Inspect your septic system frequently.
- Pump the septic tank every 2 to 3 years.
- Repair leaky plumbing fixtures and drips.
- Conserve as much water as possible.
- Dispose of household chemicals properly.
- Keep grease and cooking oil away from your drains and garbage disposal.
Professional Septic System Maintenance Services in the USA
There are numerous professional septic system maintenance services available throughout the USA. While I can’t provide an exhaustive list, I can give you an overview of common services and steps you can take to find a reputable provider.
- Septic Tank Pumping: Regular septic tank pumping is crucial to prevent solids from accumulating and clogging the system. It’s typically recommended to pump every 3 to 5 years, depending on household size and water usage.
- Inspections and Maintenance: Professionals can perform routine inspections to check the overall condition of the septic system, including the tank, pipes, and drain field. They can identify any issues or potential problems and offer maintenance solutions.
- Septic Tank Cleaning: In addition to pumping, septic tank cleaning involves removing any sludge or buildup that may have accumulated over time. This process helps maintain the system’s efficiency.
- Drain Field Maintenance: The drain field is responsible for filtering and distributing wastewater into the soil. Regular maintenance ensures its proper functioning and longevity. Professionals can inspect and repair drain field issues if necessary.
To find professional septic system maintenance services, consider the following steps:
- Recommendations: Ask for referrals from friends, neighbors, or local community groups who have used septic services before.
- Online Directories: Utilize online directories specific to septic services, such as septic.com or HomeAdvisor, where you can search for local providers and read customer reviews.
- State or County Health Departments: Contact your local health department as they may have a list of certified septic system professionals in your area.
- Professional Associations: Look for septic system professional associations like the National Association of Wastewater Technicians (NAWT) or the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA). They often have directories of members who adhere to industry standards.
Benefits of Regular Septic System Maintenance in the USA
Household wastewater contains disease causing bacteria and viruses and high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. If a septic system is well-maintained and working properly, it will remove most of these pollutants.
Common Septic System Issues and How to Maintain Them in the USA
Septic systems can encounter various issues over time. Here are some common problems and tips for maintaining a septic system in the USA:
- Septic Tank Backup: A backup can occur when the septic tank becomes full or when there are blockages in the pipes. To prevent backups, have your septic tank pumped regularly as recommended by a professional. Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items, grease, or excessive chemicals down the drain.
- Drain Field Issues: The drain field can experience problems such as saturation, clogging, or damage. To maintain the drain field, divert excess water away from the area (e.g., rain gutters, sump pumps). Avoid parking or driving heavy vehicles on the drain field. Regular inspections and maintenance will help identify any drain field issues early.
- Odor Problems: Foul odors around the septic system or inside the house can indicate a problem. To prevent odors, ensure that all drains and toilets have water traps (P-traps) to prevent gases from entering the house. Avoid pouring harsh chemicals or excessive amounts of cleaners into the drains.
- Tree Root Intrusion: Tree roots can infiltrate septic system pipes, causing blockages and damage. Avoid planting trees with aggressive root systems near the septic system or regularly trim back existing trees to prevent root intrusion.
- Grease Buildup: Excessive grease or fats can accumulate in the septic tank and lead to clogs and reduced system efficiency. Dispose of grease properly by letting it cool and solidify, then placing it in the trash. Use drain screens or traps to prevent food scraps from entering the system.
What to Put in Septic Tank to Break Down Solids?
- Active Yeast. Add ¼ to ½ cup of active dry yeast to your toilet bowl and flush it down your toilet.
- Rotten Tomatoes.
- Hydrogen Peroxide.
- Inorganic Acids.
How to Clean Septic Tank Naturally?
First start by mixing a quarter of a cup of Baking soda with a half cup of vinegar and put directly into toilet. Then add two tablespoons of Lemon juice. The baking soda combined with the vinegar causes a chemical reaction that fizzles and helps break down grim and dirt.
How Often to Pump Septic Tank Family of 2?
Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year.
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