If you purchased a home that has a septic tank and you have never been around a septic tank you likely do not think about it much. That is until you start having problems with it. Fortunately, if you pay attention to your tank, you can prevent problems from happening. Below is more information about how a septic tank works, as well as why you need to pay attention to it.
The water that runs out from your house goes into your septic tank. The septic tank is buried and generally made of fiberglass or concrete and is watertight. When water enters the tank, solids settle at the bottom, while things like grease and oil float to the top. The bottom solids are known as sludge, and the top is known as scum. The scum exits the septic tank and travels through an outlet and then to the drainfield. The drainfield is the ground that is directly above the septic tank.
Reasons to Maintain Tank
You Will Have Backups
Over time the sludge becomes thicker and thicker and eventually reaches the scum area. When this happens, you will smell a foul odor around the septic tank area. Foul smelling wastewater will back up inside your home from your kitchen and bathroom drains. The drainfield will become muddy, and water will pool.
You can prevent these backups and odor from happening by having your septic tank pumped periodically. You could need to have it pumped every three years or every five years. This does depend on how many people live in your home. For example, if you have many people this results in more wastewater that goes into the tank and your pump would then need to be cleaned more often.
You Will Have an Unclean Septic Tank
The septic tank company will put live bacteria into the septic tank as another way to keep it clean. This bacterium helps prevent contaminated water by breaking down unnatural substances, like soap, detergents, tampons, and more, that may get into the septic tank. There are good bacteria in the tank at all times to prevent contamination. If you don't clean the tank, the bad bacterium will kill this good bacterium.
Your septic tank also has a filter that needs to be cleaned periodically. This filter is important as it blocks solids from getting into the drainfield. When the septic tank company pumps your system, they will also either clean or replace this filter. Doing this will keep your septic tank running smoothly and keep your pipes clean and free from odors.
Talk with a septic tank cleaning company in your area about this information, and they can give you many more details.