The septic system is an essential part of your property and it is important for Lilburn homeowners to have a comfortable understanding of how the septic system works, when it needs pumping, and why. In order to help keep your septic system functioning well for years to come, you will want to take all the necessary precautions and have a team of technicians you can trust. The highly skilled and certified team of technicians at Septic Masters, LLC is available 24/7 to help with regularly scheduled maintenance as well as emergencies. It is helpful to understand the basics of your septic system so you can keep your septic system healthy and know when to call in the professionals.
How Does a Septic System Work?
A septic system is made up of two parts: the septic tank and the drain field. All water and waste that leaves the home through a drain goes into the septic tank. This includes the kitchen and bathroom sinks, the showers, the toilets, and even the washing machine. These wastewaters flow through pipes and into the septic tank where they begin to separate. The solid wastes sink to the bottom of the tank, while the lighter solids float toward the top. Water and liquids also flow into the tank and then to the drain field. The septic tank itself is set up with a combination of bacteria that specifically break down common water waste solids to help keep the solids from building up too quickly inside the tank. When some solids are broken down, they can also exit the septic tank and flow into the drain field. Over time, the solid wastes do build up and require septic tank pumping so the septic tank does not overflow.
All aspects of the septic system generally function underground and away from the home. Drainage pipes allow for the water and broken-down waste to travel into the drain field, where the water filters into the soil. A septic system that is functioning at its best will only filter liquids into the drain field, which is made up of a series of perforated pipes that allow for that liquid to naturally flow into the soil underground. The surrounding soil has additional bacteria that continue to break down any harmful elements so the water can be reintroduced into the ecosystem. If there is a problem with the septic system it can lead to inappropriate and unhealthy waste leaching into the ground.
Why Does a Septic Tank Need Pumping?
In order for the septic tank to function at its best, it will require regular pumping. The solid wastes build up over time and will not process through to the drain field like other wastewaters. If the septic tank isn’t pumped regularly it can cause a number of problems, like an overflow of the septic tank or a buildup of solid waste in the pipes.
Regularly Scheduled Pumpings
The timing of regularly scheduled septic tank pumpings depends largely on the size of the septic tank and the number of people regularly in the home. In general, a rule of thumb for septic tank pumpings is every 3-5 years, though this will obviously vary based on additional factors. If you are unsure about the size of the septic tank for your home, a technician will be able to give you more information during an inspection for regularly scheduled maintenance. When you schedule a septic tank pumping with Septic Masters, LLC, you can also expect a system inspection by a certified technician who can assess the health and functioning of the system. This is a great time to learn more about the lifespan of the septic tank and to assess how well the pipes and plumbing are working, especially if you live in an older home.
Septic System Emergencies
Unfortunately, emergencies can happen with a septic system, which is why you want a team that you can reach, day or night. It also helps to have a history of regularly scheduled pumpings and maintenance with the same team so they better understand the system and can diagnose the problem faster. If you haven’t scheduled a septic tank pumping in more than 5 years then you could run the risk of a septic system emergency. The most obvious emergency reason for a septic tank pumping is an overflow you can see or smell. You may notice a pooling of water around where the septic tank sits in the yard, or even smell a strong odor outdoors. You could also see a significant slowdown in the drains of your sink or shower, or even notice a backup of fluids and other waste.
Tips for Taking Great Care of Your Septic Tank
Schedule regular inspections
This will help your septic tank to function at its best so that there is less risk of solid waste buildup that may lead to other problems. Regularly scheduled inspections also help support the lifespan of the septic tank so that it doesn’t become a financial burden. Regular inspections and septic tank pumpings are like getting regular oil changes for your car: it helps keep everything flowing smoothly and helps to catch any potential problems before they become a bigger issue.
Pay attention to water usage
In addition to being environmentally friendly, low-flow water systems for sinks, showers, and toilets can help decrease the amount of water moving from the home to the septic tank. The septic tank can only hold so much at a time, so if you have a sudden increase in the number of people in the home for an extended period of time then you may need to adjust your time table for the next septic tank pumping in order to keep things working well. There are small, simple changes you can make to your routine to help reduce water usage: use less sink water for washing dishes, turn the sink off while brushing your teeth, and opt for a bath if your showers tend to run over 20 minutes.
Don’t flush pet waste or litter
Septic tanks have bacteria in them that are specifically designed to break down human waste, not pet waste! In fact, pet waste and litter can actually negatively affect the bacteria levels. Pet waste will add to the solid waste layer, which builds up over time already. Cat litter is very damaging to the whole septic system and can cause clogs and backups that can be expensive to repair.
Only flush toilet paper
Toilet paper is the only safe product for your septic tank. You should never flush paper towels or wipes, even if they are marketed as safe for flushing. These items will not break down easily inside the septic tank and will instead contribute to the layer of solid waste buildup. They can also lead to clogs when you use large amounts.
Beware of garbage disposal usage
Garbage disposals are supposed to break down solids and flush those in with the wastewater into the septic tank. However, not all garbage disposals break down solids so well and this can lead to clogs and a buildup of solid waste materials in the tank. If you have a garbage disposal and a septic tank, talk to the technicians at Septic Masters, LLC about what they do and don’t recommend for your specific system.
Regular Septic Tank Pumping with Septic Masters
For septic tank services in Lilburn, call Septic Masters, LLC for all regularly scheduled and emergency septic tank pumping needs. The team of technicians at Septic Masters is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for immediate assistance and regularly scheduled septic tank pumping and inspections.