August 21, 2015 Guest Post
Your septic system is one of the most important (yet overlooked) utilities in your home. It is constantly working to treat and dispose of your household water waste, so it is important to maintain your system. A vital part of system maintenance is making sure your septic tank is not full. When your household water leaves your home for treatment, the first place it stops during the treatment process is the septic tank. Your septic tank must be properly maintained to work correctly. Many modern tanks come equipped with alarms and other technology to alert you when they are full. However, older standard models do not provide this luxury. Consider these tips to help keep your septic tank in top shape.
Wet or Soggy Areas Around Your Leach Fields
A leach field, also referred as a drain field, removes contaminants from the water waste that emerges from the septic tank. Often, you will experience soggy or wet areas around your leach field when it becomes clogged from backed-up sludge or other waste. This back-up prevents the water waste from moving through the soil like it should. This eventually creates soggy puddles, which is hazardous to your health and the environment.
A slow-running or backed-up toilet is often a sign that your septic tank needs pumping. But before you make this assumption, try to unclog it. If you can’t unclog it, then chances are your tank needs pumping.
One of the first signs that your septic tank needs pumping is a bad smell inside or outside of your home. This odor can smell like rotten eggs or raw sewage. Check to make certain there aren’t any broken lines. It is easy to mistake a break in the drain field for a full septic tank. If there aren’t any issues with the lines, but the smell is strong, there is a good chance that it is time to pump your tank.
It’s Time for Tank Maintenance
Regular maintenance is important for the health of your septic tank even if your tank is functioning well and shows no signs of issues. If you have not had your tank pumped in three to five years, then it’s time to consider maintenance. How often you will need to perform this maintenance greatly depends on the size of your tank, the number of people in your household, and the amount of solid build up. If you are unsure of the frequency, check your yearly rate of solid accumulation. If the sludge layer in your tank has reached 25 to 35 percent of the liquid capacity, then the tank needs pumping. There is also an estimated septic tank frequency chart that gives homeowners an idea of when a tank needs cleaning. For example, a 500-gallon tank with a household size of four should be cleaned every year.
It is important to clean your septic tank periodically to prevent waste from accumulating. How often it needs cleaning depends on many factors, such as how many people are using the system and its size. While it is recommended that system tanks may only need cleaning once every three to five years, keep an eye out for the signs of a full tank.
This article was written by Jared Miret, father and home handyman. He knows first-hand about septic, plastic tanks, plumbing and all things DIY and home improvement. He is happy to share his knowledge with you to shave your family time and money.