Septic Tank Cleaning
While urban sewer systems run wastewater into central drainage systems, septic tank service is designed on a house-by-house basis. The size of the house largely determines the capacity because, ultimately, septic systems are the destination for every type of wastewater from your home including the bathtub, sink, shower, dishwasher, washing machine, and more.
While each septic tank cleaning is different, most septic services rely on gravity to work properly. Your home or businesses wastewater will flow into the tank which is typically buried in the ground away from your home. Then ideally, the water layer is carried via drain pipes to your leach (or drainage) field where it can be safely distributed into the soil.
HOW THE SEPTIC TANK SERVICE WORKS
Once wastewater enters your septic tank, it naturally divides itself into three distinct parts:
- Solids quickly sink to the bottom of the septic tank and form a sludge-like layer
- Liquids stay in the middle of the tank and form a layer of mostly water
- Fat and Oils rise to the top along with any small debris to form a layer of scum
The liquid layer is the most cumbersome layer because it accounts for roughly 90% of your tank’s total capacity. This means excess water use can largely affect your septic tank’s performance over time and will require a more frequent septic system pumping to keep it performing optimally.
The sludge layer is what requires period septic system pumping or cleaning because even the strongest of bacteria cannot break down the organic material fully. If the interval at which you clean or pump the system is too great, then that sludge can begin to back up into the pipes and begin seeping into your leach field or your home’s pipes which can cause strong odors and can even cause your home’s pipes or septic tank to fail completely. What you think could be a require simply drain cleaning service could actually need septic pumping and repair.
SEPTIC TANK SERVICE BEST PRACTICES CHECKLIST
- An average septic tank should be pumped every two to three years to continue functioning properly. Otherwise, if not performed regularly a septic tank cleaning can turn into a septic system replacement which can cost up to $10,000 or more
- Check with your local regulatory agency or inspector if you have a garbage disposal to make sure your septic unit can handle this additional type of waste
- Check with the local health department before using commercial tank additives because they can be harmful when used in the wrong system
- Use high efficiency fixtures throughout the home to minimize the amount of wastewater entering the system
- Use mild detergents and cleaning supplies when possible to avoid damaging the septic system
- Keep records of each repair, inspection, permits issued, and septic tank cleaning so you can handover maintenance records to proper authorities or when selling your home or business
- Plant only grass near your septic tank because roots from shrubs and trees can easily clog the septic system and can damage the leach (drainage) field also
- Don’t put trash into the septic system such as feminine hygiene products, diapers, condoms, cotton swabs, paper towels, pesticides, paint, or other hazardous materials or chemicals because these can clog or severely damage your septic system
- Don’t park or drive vehicles over the buried septic tank or the drain field as this can damage the system components
WHO NEEDS SEPTIC TANK PUMPING SERVICES?
- Homeowners or tenants
- Business owners
- Remote industrial facilities