If you’ve recently purchased a home with a septic tank instead of a traditional plumbing system, you may be wondering about the right way to treat and maintain it. Septic tanks are not any more difficult to manage than any other plumbing system, but it helps to keep in mind some best practices to avoid any issues that could arise. We will outline some guidelines for how to understand and treat your septic tank system below.
HOW DO SEPTIC TANKS WORK?
A septic tank combines the effectiveness of plumbing with natural processes to get rid of the waste created in your home. When you create wastewater by flushing the toilet, taking a shower or washing dirty dishes, the water is sent into a tank under the surface of your yard. The water is held there, in an airtight container, until the sludge naturally separates from the liquid, which naturally rises to the top of the tank. The liquid is then released into the septic field, where it fertilizes the soil and is naturally absorbed. The waste that remains in the bottom of the tank has to be pumped out by a professional service on a regular basis to keep the system working properly. How often can depend based on the size of the tank as well as the size of your family.
WHY DO SOME HOMEOWNERS CHOOSE A SEPTIC SYSTEM?
Most times, homeowners choose a septic system because they do not have a choice to obtain the costly alternative or they may live rurally where city plumbing is available, or they may want to live off the grid and be independent of city plumbing services. If you’ve recently purchased a home and aren’t sure if it has a septic system, you can usually tell by checking your property’s site plan, asking the neighbors if they have one, or looking at the cost of your utility bills.
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A SEPTIC SYSTEM?
With proper preventative care and maintenance, septic tanks can be easy to maintain and work without issues for many years. To ensure your septic system stays in good shape, try doing the following things:
- Have the tank pumped regularly by a professional service
- Have a septic professional inspect the tank to avoid leaks and spot any problems before they become severe
- Avoid putting items in the drain that don’t belong there, such as paper products, leftover food scraps or cooking grease
- Keep the septic tank drain field clear of any obstructions or heavy items
If you spot a leak or issue with your septic tank, your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover the expenses associated with the repairs or damage caused.
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