Many of our clients have septic tanks as opposed to being on public sewer. A septic tank system requires prudent usage and maintenance to insure its best performance. If not maintained properly a septic tank can become an expensive liability. Here are some tips:
(1) Only household waste and toilet tissue should be disposed of in a septic tank system. Keep all kitchen and automotive greases, cigarette butts and feminine sanitary products out of the system.
(2) Any leaks that develop in the plumbing fixtures should be immediately corrected. A leaking faucet or toilet tank will eventually result in complete saturation and failure of the absorption field.
(3) A septic tank needs periodic cleaning or pumping out of the accumulated solids. If the solids are allowed to build up in the tank to a point that they begin to pass out of the tank into the soil absorption network, the soil will soon become clogged with the solids, resulting in failure of the system. If this happens, costly repairs will have to be made before the system will again function properly. It is generally recommended that residential tanks be pumped every 3 to 5 years.
(4) Automobiles and other heavy vehicles should not be allowed over the septic tank system. This causes excessive compaction and actual structural damage to septic tanks and the absorption field. A sketch of your septic tank can usually be obtained from your county health department to aid you in knowing the location of all parts of the system. This can be helpful in case of problems with the system or when the tank is cleaned.
(5) No presently known chemical, yeast, bacteria, enzyme or other additive product will improve the operation or life expectancy of a septic tank system.
Here’s what the inside typically looks like:
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