Septic tank maintenance

Septic Tank Maintenance

Septic system preventive maintenance

This article will discuss the benefit of septic system preventive maintenance and how it can be practiced in every aspect of your life. Your preventive maintenance of leading a healthy lifestyle, taking supplements, and undergoing regular checkups give you a disease-free body. Reading and participating in discussions help you prevent your mind’s stagnation. Cooking a lot prevents your taste buds from being dull. Keeping your house clean and cared for prevents it from deteriorating especially during harsh weather. The same goes with your septic system. It needs preventive maintenance so that you will have a healthy and safe home for decades or even generations to come.

Since it is your own personal wastewater treatment facility, you have the responsibility of maintaining it so as to prevent malfunctions and failures. It is not a self-caring system. It needs you to make sure that it functions smoothly. Part of being a responsible homeowner is making sure that every component of the house works harmoniously with one another. If you fail to do this, then you would have to spend thousands of dollars in repair or replacement especially when you refer to the septic system.

Septic system preventive maintenance for your septic system should include the following practices of both you and your septic expert:

1. As much as possible, you should only dump biodegradable tissue paper and household wastewater into your septic system. You should keep away cigarette butts, car grease, kitchen grease, and feminine products from your system. Non-biodegradable materials are not broken down by the resident bacteria. They just stay in the septic tank to clog the system. This will eventually result to septic failure if not corrected immediately.

2. You should make sure that the fixtures are always inspected. Any leaks should be repaired immediately. Unrepaired leaks in the plumbing and septic system could cause backups in the system.  

3. You should not place heavy vehicles over your septic system. These cause soil compaction and physical damage to the septic components. You should know the exact location of your septic system so that you may not accidentally run it over or perhaps build any form of construction over the area. 

4. Be familiar with the exact location of your septic system so that you may have easy access to it during inspection and pump out treatments. You could ask the help of the department that issued the permit for your septic system’s construction and installation. But it would be faster if you trace the soggy or the dry grass on your lawn. These will let you know where the drain field and the septic tank are. Coordinating with your septic expert is also highly recommended to be sure but be ready for additional charges.

5. Have a septic expert perform the necessary steps before cleaning and pumping out:

a) A proper inspection will be conducted to see if there are hardwood plants over or around the septic system; if there are septic odors, pooling sewage water, and wet soil; if the sludge level is normal; and if there are damaged parts such as baffles.

6. Oxygen bleach (color safe) should be the only one used in the home and in washing laundry. 

7.  Maintain a schedule for your septic system preventive maintenance.

8. Have your septic expert apply septic treatments:

a) Porosity restorer to restore tanks, dry wells, and drain fields

b) Activator to restore the normal number of bacteria

c) Septic maintainer to protect drains, improve the function of the septic tank, control septic odors, and to quickly digest paper and detergents

d) Regular pump out treatments depending on the number of household members

Your septic system should have the need for septic system preventive maintenance on a regular basis so that it could reach its maximum lifespan. This way, you could also save a lot because you won’t have to buy another septic system or have your old one heavily restored.  Remember that your septic system could only function optimally with your diligence as a homeowner. Never rely on additives to do your responsibilities for you.

Septic Tank Maintenance

As with any technology, phasing out the older septic tank maintenance techniques to make way for the new always takes a bit of time. The technology of septic systems has improved drastically over the last century still many of us rely on the older design septic system to eliminate our ongoing waste. Luckily, maintaining your septic system is a lot easier that you may think and it does not have to put a drain on your finances.

Correct installation, overall system design and ongoing maintenance performed on your septic system will greatly extend the life and functionality of your homes onsite wastewater treatment center. Following theses prudent maintenance guidelines will be your first line of defense against overall system failure, odors, wet spots, gurgling sounds and early component breakage. Regular and frequent septic tank maintenance will help reduce the risk of well water contamination and can save you tens of thousands of dollars in potential repair costs.

In most septic systems, wastewater from toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, floor drains and basins flows through a maze of piping out to your tank or pit. The tank is usually constructed of cement or plastic in newer systems with either perforations within the tank itself or in lateral or field lines on the outflow side of the septic. As solids enter the system, they settle to the bottom of the septic while bacteria and enzymes decompose the material into water and gases. Fats, oils and grease float to the top of the tank and form a scum layer which generally breaks down more slowly. Restrictors or baffles prevent the scum layer from leaving the tank and clogging the drainage areas. The tank or pit will normally have access ports consisting of covers or clean out lines. Septic system pumpers remove undigested solids through these access lines and can perform a visual inspection through larger openings as part of a regular septic tank maintenance.

There are many septic system designs ranging from single unit perforated tanks to multi compartment pre treatment reservoirs. All of the systems generally rely on bacteria and enzymes to break down waste into a more manageable byproduct that the drainage area can more easily dispense of. With simple, bacteria rich waste entering the system, most skeptics’ provide many years of service and remain trouble free provided routine maintenance is adhered to. This optimal functionality may be idea but is often not the case in a real world environment. Most household cleaners comprising of laundry detergents, bleach, bath cleaners, kitchen cleaners, anti bacterial soaps and other common cleaners contain ingredients that are for the most part detrimental to the healthy bacteria life within the system itself. Newer, more bacteria friendly products are arriving on shelves regularly but are often times hard to find or simply do not perform as efficiently as their more harmful counterparts. While some systems allow this tainted or grey water to flow into a separate leaching area, many systems are designed so as to allow these harsh chemicals to enter directly into the septic system, killing off massive amounts of bacteria along the way.

If you are like many people, diverting your laundry and other grey water flow can pose a problem and is dependant upon whether or not you have a suitable location to do so and this rerouting is allowed by your local municipality. If you are in a position to reroute your grey water, typically a French drain or drywell system is employed to handle the waste. For the rest of us, working to increase the bacteria and enzyme counts within your system is the optimal approach to ensure system longevity and functionality. Cutting back on the use of, or trading out, harsh chemical cleaners is the first step to helping healthy bacteria flourish. Major retailers are now beginning to carry suitable lines of products that will effectively perform their function without killing off as much bacteria as their standard counterparts. Adding concentrated bacteria to your system is the premier method of assuring that bacteria colonies ado not be reduced to a non-performing state. Luckily, bacteria additives designed for septic tank maintenance and complete restoration from failure are readily available. Bacteria, added directly to the system in a stabilized form, can offset the destructive power of most chemicals and keep your bacteria life healthy and readily available to digest the waste within your system. Choosing a maintenance bacteria that is chemical resistant and contain a very high colony count is of the utmost importance since many over the counter products contain minimal amounts compared to commercial brands.

If you have a septic system and would like to assure that the entire system will perform at maximum capacity for the longest period of time possible, consider greening up your chemical use and utilize a regular septic tank maintenance product designed to maximize your colony counts. These two methods are the most important factors in maintaining any septic tank or pit type system.