Keeping your septic system in working order is critical for the health of your family and your home’s surroundings. To ensure that your system is performing properly, it’s essential to regularly have a professional septic technician inspect your septic system. They’ll also identify when it’s time to perform a full cleaning of your tank.
The primary function of a septic system is to remove and treat waste from your household. This is done by a combination of technologies, including filtration, purification, and biological activity in the tank and drain field.
Filtration: During wastewater flow, waste solids settle to the bottom of the tank, where they are separated from the liquid effluent. The sludge is then pumped to a drain field.
Septic tanks have baffles that restrain and redirect the wastewater, preventing scum from clogging the inlet and outlet pipes. Damaged or missing baffles can lead to clogs, overflows, and backups, which is why it’s important for your tank to be inspected on a regular basis by a professional septic technician.
Soil Absorption: The final step in the treatment of septic tank wastewater is soil absorption, or leaching. In this process, the septic tank effluent is distributed through a watertight pipe to trenches in the drain field, which are filled with gravel. This allows the effluent to seep through the gravel into unsaturated soil, which helps break down and filter the waste material.
The sludge in the trenches forms a “biological mat” along the sides and the bottom of the trench, where it’s eaten by anaerobic microorganisms that live within the biomat. These microorganisms act as a physical, chemical and biological filter that removes pathogens and other materials in the effluent before it leaves the septic tank.
Performing this job correctly can reduce the number of septic tank repairs, and will increase your system’s lifespan. Having your tank pumped regularly can help keep your drain field free of sludge, which means that your septic system will work effectively and efficiently.
Cleaning: Septic tank cleaning is the best way to prevent scum buildup, which can cause the system to overflow and pollute groundwater. A septic professional will use a vacuum-powered tool to remove the sludge from your tank.
Septic tank filters: Several newer septic tank designs feature screens that trap and retain solids to enhance the bacterial action in your septic tank. These screens are usually installed when a septic tank is built, or can be retrofitted to older systems by using additional manhole openings.
Repairs: Septic tanks need to be pumped out on a regular basis, but they may need other types of repairs, as well. These may be minor or more complicated. The cost for these repairs will vary depending on the scope of the problem, and they’ll usually be done by a qualified professional.
If your septic system needs to be pumped, ask the service professional to also perform a leak inspection in the tank during the process. These professionals can identify potential leaking areas and can recommend the most effective way to fix them.