The Benefits of Routine Septic Maintenance
When properly designed, constructed, and maintained, your septic system can provide long-term, effective treatment of household wastewater.
They effectively reduce or eliminate most human health or environmental threats. It is likely one of the most underappreciated household systems – an average home can produce 250 to 300 gallons of wastewater per day! But even a well-constructed system and its components require some septic care and maintenance to prevent failure and maximize its useful life. Septic systems require periodic maintenance including pumping of the septic tank once every 3 to 5 years.
Other good reasons for safe treatment of sewage include preventing the spread of infection and disease and protecting water resources. If a septic system is working properly, it will effectively remove most of these pollutants. If your septic system isn’t maintained, it can easily become a neighborhood health hazard, contaminate ground and drinking water, and quickly become an expensive problem to repair or replace. If you sell your home, your septic system must be in good working order.
Being mindful about what you and your family put into your septic system can also extend its useful life.
It doesn’t take much to upset the delicate balance of bacteria within the tank. For more information on how to best maintain your septic system check out FloHawks Plumbing + Septic tips on the proper care and feeding of your septic tank. Improper maintenance is a common cause of early system failure.
Your Go-To Septic Care Pros
Proper operation and maintenance of your septic system are the single most important things that a homeowner can do to maximize the septic system’s lifespan and how well the septic system works. If you need help properly caring for and maintaining your individual septic system, contact the professionals at FloHawks Plumbing + Septic anytime to set an appointment that best fits your schedule. We don’t charge extra for weekends, holidays, or after-hours and are available 24/7.
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- Where is my septic tank located?
Your tank could be located anywhere around your home. It may be shown on an “as built” – a drawing of the septic system as it relates to your property. If you don’t have one of these drawings or are not sure, we can locate it for you by probing the ground with a bar or using an electronic locating device.
- What if my lid is deep or buried underground?
Our service technician can dig up the lid for you. If your lid is deep or takes some time to access, there can be extra charges for digging. If your lid is more than a few inches in the ground, we recommend installing a septic riser.
- What is a septic riser?
A septic riser is a heavy duty piece of either concrete or plastic pipe that brings the septic lid up to ground level for easy access. It will save you money on digging charges in the future and provide quick and easy access to your system for normal ongoing maintenance.
- What is a baffle? Is it important?
All septic tanks are equipped with an inlet baffle and an outlet baffle. The inlet baffle directs all wastewater downward as it runs into the middle area of the tank and makes sure that the wastewater does not disturb the scum layers. The outlet baffle is an important component and acts like a “splash guard” around the outlet pipe making sure to allow only the clear effluent from the middle layer to run out of the outlet pipe to the leaching system.
- What is the best toilet paper to use for my septic system?
There isn’t really just one… basically the kind that stays together is the best. If it completely disintegrates – then it ends up clogging the drain field. How do you know what kind of toilet paper you have? A simple test can help you determine. Take a square; put it in a bottle full of water. Go enjoy a cup of coffee and relax for 20 minutes while the toilet paper sits in the bottle. After it has sat for a while, shake it up and see what it looks like. If the water is milky white and toilet paper has disintegrated, it’s probably not the right type of toilet paper. If it has more or less stayed together and you can see through the water, then it’s probably better for your system. FloHawks does not endorse any particular brand or have any brand recommendations.
- What kind of detergents should I use? Powder or liquid?
The short answer is that there are advantages (and disadvantages) to both. Powder detergent does not always completely dissolve and has a chance of building up in both appliances and in the drainfield. Liquid detergent is oil based – which in itself is harmful to the drainfield. So, neither one is very good. But we have to use detergents to clean everything from dishes to clothes; so we recommend that you just use the minimal amount of detergent. You could probably use about half of what you are currently using and you will still have more than you need. This is true for both liquid and power types of detergents. Any appliance with low water use (such as a high efficiency (HE) front-loading washing machine) will be helpful as they use less water and are friendlier to your system.
- What is a septic tank alarm?
Some systems are equipped with a septic tank alarm or high level alarm. The purpose of the alarm is to warn you of a potential problem before wastewater backs up into the house. The alarm goes off when the liquid level in the pump chamber is either too high or too low, or an electrical problem exists in your system. The alarm is usually located in the basement, garage, or sometimes a closet.
If you have any questions on septic care or maintenance requests, call FloHawks Plumbing + Septic today!