Septic Tank Tips

A man pumps a septic tank

A septic tank is a huge tank of water that sits beneath your home, under the ground. Pretty much any water that you use for waste or cleaning purposes all flows to that tank. This includes water from toilets, sinks, showers, baths, and laundry machines. A septic tank is designed to eliminate waste by allowing bacteria to break down solid waste material to sludge. Despite the simplistic nature of how a septic tank works, there are times when certain materials will not decompose, and may cause problems. Here are some tips on how to care for a septic tank.

How to tell when to pump your septic tank

Because there are solid materials that won’t be decomposed by bacteria in a septic tank, there are going to be times when the tank is going to need to be pumped, in order to keep a functional septic tank. Annually, it’s a good idea to check to see if the tank needs to be pumped. You can tell this when the top layer of scum in a septic tank is only about 3 inches away from the tank’s outlet. Alternatively, when the sludge on the bottom of the tank is only about 12 inches away from the tank’s outlet, it’s time to pump.

Signs of damage

There are a few very distinct signs that will tell you if your septic tank has experienced damage. Due to the nature of what’s inside of a septic tank, you can see why this is a bad idea. Some signs of damage include foul odors that come from sewage drains, biological growth in a drain, water being backed up out of drains, bubbling noises in pipes, or drains that drain incredibly slowly. If you experience any of this signs, it’s probably a good idea to check for further damage or call an expert.

Septic tank inspections

To prevent a broken septic tank and to ensure that waste can be removed from your home, properly, it’s a good idea to have your septic system inspected by a professional every few years. If you know what to look for, doing a small inspection of your own each year can also be beneficial. After each inspection, go ahead and pump your septic tank to make sure that it doesn’t get neglected.