Septic tanks are a mystery to many people who have never owned a home in the country. If you're currently building a home in a rural area and will be getting septic tank installation, it's important for you to understand how a septic tank works, how septic tanks are different from sewers and what you can do to maintain your septic tank.
Difference Between a Septic Tank and a Sewer
A sewer is a series of underground tunnels that collects waste water and delivers it to a water treatment facility. Sewers connect many houses together in one network.
Septic tanks, by contrast, typically only serve one house or structure. Septic tanks consist of an underground tank that collects waste water. When the waste water builds up too high in the tank, it runs out into the drain field and then is filtered through the soil.
Maintaining Your Septic Tank Over Time
Solid waste that enters the septic tank will be broken down by bacteria. However, over a period of a few years, some solid waste will build up in the bottom of the septic tank. When the solid waste builds up too high, this can cause clogs in the drain field, leading the septic tank to back up. To maintain your septic tank and prevent this from happening, have your septic tank professionally pumped once every 2 or 3 years.
Monitoring Your Septic Tank Usage
Septic tanks are sensitive systems and homeowners must carefully monitor what they flush down their drains. Allowing too much solid waste to enter the tank or allowing the wrong kind of solid waste to enter the tank can cause a backup. To avoid problems, follow these basic rules:
- Avoid flushing anti-bacterial chemicals down your drains. It's important to maintain bacteria of a certain type and in certain quantities in your septic tank. Avoid flushing anti-bacterial soaps, medicines and cleaning products (like bleach) down your drain.
- Avoid installing a garbage disposal. Garbage disposals send unmanageable amounts of solid waste down your home's drains. Avoid installing a garbage disposal, or if you do install a garbage disposal, install a septic-tank safe unit.
- Never flush anything down the drain that isn't human waste or water. To maintain the delicate balance, avoid flushing anything down the drain that isn't human waste or water.
Contact a Septic Tank Professional for Help
For more information about what you can do to maintain your septic tank, contact a septic tank pumping professional for help. Your septic tank professional can answer your questions and give you tips for maintaining your tank. Check out the site for more information.