Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their plumbing system. But if you have recently moved to a home with a septic system, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of how your new system operates so that you can help prevent problems and protect your financial investment. Read on to learn more about the different parts of a septic system and how they work.
Self-contained septic systems consist of a few basic parts: the tank, pipes, and drain field.
The tank is where your waste is routed by pipes coming from the house. The tank is buried in the ground and is usually made from sturdy material like fiberglass, concrete, or polyethylene. Wastewater runs into the tank where it is stored so that materials in the waste can separate.
Currently, over 20 percent of U.S. households depend on septic systems to treat their household wastewater. If your household is one of them, you should take the necessary steps to ensure that your septic system remains in tip-top shape at all times. If you don’t, you may wind up with a disaster on your hands — and no one wants that.
Here are a couple of things that you can do to protect your septic system.
Service Your Septic System Regularly
Regular septic pumping is essential to keep the septic tank empty and operational.
According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, over 60 million people in the US use septic systems. This shows that most homeowners treat their wastewater privately.
Septic tanks offer many benefits to property owners. Besides facilitating on-site wastewater treatment, they increase your property’s value, save you money, make your property eco-friendly, and protect your health. However, it is vital to be informed before installing septic systems. The following are key things to know about a septic tank.
1. You Must Have a Permit
The liquid waste you have in your home can make a big impact on the way your septic tank operates. Learn how various liquids can cause problems for your septic tank and learn about some alternative solutions for the waste.
Coffee grounds may make great fertilizer in a garden, but the grinds can cause major problems for a septic tank because they do not break down and can cause buildups over time. Additional problems can occur if you pour coffee directly down a drain.
The coffee’s high acidity can create major issues for a septic tank due to the pH levels of the coffee. A septic tank needs to maintain a proper pH balance so the bacteria can live, thrive, and break down elements. If the bacteria do not survive due to a pH imbalance, then the waste may not break down and the tank can overfill or clog.
If your home relies on a septic tank system to safely dispose of sewage and wastewater, it is probably buried beneath your property’s lawn. This is because lawns make highly effective drainfields, which prevent raw sewage and other contaminants from poisoning local groundwater supplies as they exit your tank.
If you’re not sure if your septic tank system is functioning properly, the grass growing directly over your system can help you better understand your system. Unusual grass growth can be an early warning sign of serious septic tank problems. Knowing what’s happening when you spot the following signs can potentially save you thousands of dollars in septic system repair bills.
The Grass Over a Septic Tank Is Dying
A septic tank is one of the most important installations in your property. The tank functions as an on-site sewage plant where domestic wastewater from the house passes through for treatment. However, septic leaks and structural issues are hazardous and can affect your property and the environment.
Therefore, you should be careful during the installation phase to avoid future complications. Here are factors to consider before you install a septic tank.
You must have a permit to install a septic tank on your property. This is because poor installation or waste treatment procedures will lower underground water quality and harm people who use it. Therefore, the government regulates the installation and use of septic tanks through licensing.
Contact a professional for more information about the permitting process.
Your septic system is designed to use bacteria and the filtering action of the earth’s soil to carry away your household’s wastewater, clean it, and return it to the ground. The process is, for the most part, a natural one, and can be sustainable and green as long as you take certain basic steps.
1. Understand Your Septic System
The more you know about how your septic system works and impacts the groundwater, the better you will be able to use and maintain it in an environmentally friendly manner. Your system consists of three major components:
Are you new to septic tank use? Do you need to know more about when to schedule a pumping service? If this is your first home with a septic system, take a look at the top tank pumping questions homeowners have.
What can and can’t you put in a septic tank? If you’re not sure what is safe to flush, take a look at the dos and don’ts of home septic tank use.
Do Use Single-Ply Toilet Paper
Even though thick, quilted, multiple-ply paper may seem like the most comfortable option, your septic tank won’t agree. Your tank needs paper that breaks down quickly — and double-ply options won’t. The thicker the paper, the longer it lingers in your home’s system.
Most homeowners use standard household cleaners without giving much thought to the way those cleaners can affect their home’s wastewater drainage system.
If you are a homeowner with a septic tank, however, you should be aware of the ways that cleaning products can disrupt the natural processes that take place in your septic tank. If you use the right cleaning products, you can protect your septic tank and promote optimal functionality. Here’s what you need to know.