As a responsible homeowner, you must recognize the importance of maintaining your septic tank. Having it professionally cleaning by a septic tank cleaning company will help prevent future issues that may be costly to repair. Because your septic tank holds wastewater that separates the solids from the liquids, it will accumulate sludge that needs to be cleaned periodically. To keep your septic tank in functional condition, and to maintain public health and protect the environment, follow these 5 "Dos and Don'ts":
1. DO Recognize the Difference Between Septic Tank Cleaning and Septic Tank Pumping
Although you may have heard the two terms, "pumping" and "cleaning" used interchangeably when referring to a septic tank, both services differ somewhat. Pumping does a decent job of removing the liquid wastewater and sludge that floats atop of the tank. However, to remove all of the wastewater and accumulated semi-solid waste that has adhered to the bottom of the tank, you need to have your septic tank professionally cleaned.
To do so, your septic tank service company will use a truck with an industrial vacuum hose attached. This hose will draw out (suction) the grime and sludge deep inside the septic tank.
2. DON'T Wait Many Years to Have Your Septic Tank Cleaned
Understand that the longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to remove all of the waste from your septic tank. Ideally, a septic tank should be professionally cleaned every 3-5 years. For a tank that has not been cleaned or pumped for a much longer period of time, re-pumping the tank after about a year may be necessary. This may result in extra cost to you, so it makes sense not to wait to have your septic tank cleaned.
3. DO Replace Missing Components of the Septic Tank As Needed
The outlet cover and the baffle outlets should be in place. Risers and lids should also be in place. The drain field, sometimes referred to as a leach field, which should consist of crushed rock or gravel, is equally important. Be sure the crushed rock is in place and has not been washed away.
Non-perforated pipes and vent pipes should be inspected by the professionals and replaced if need be. Also, the concrete or fiberglass holding or distribution box of the tank should not be damaged or cracked. If it has become worn or cracked, it may need to be replaced. In addition, your professional septic tank cleaning service may replace or repair aerators if necessary.
4. DON'T Allow Tree Roots to Invade Your Septic Tank
If you are planting new trees, be sure they will not be grown in the nearby vicinity of the septic tank. Tree roots that grow into the tank may cause problems. When roots are not easily removed, it will be more difficult, or in some cases impossible, to get rid of the waste at the bottom of the septic tank. More work and effort, as well as your time and money, could be a major concern.
5. DO Insist on a Video Camera Inspection of Your Septic Tank
When hiring the professionals to pump and clean out your septic tank, it is a good idea to request a video camera inspection. Waterproof video cameras that utilize infrared technology can detect problems that may not be easily seen with the naked eye. The technicians will use a flexible rod-like device attached to the camera. This allows the camera to go deep down into the drain field and interior of the septic tank. Images will allow the professionals to diagnose potential problems, including corrosion, blockages and leaks within the system. As an added bonus, the video camera can locate lost jewelry that has been flushed out into sewer lines.