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Basic Information About Septic Systems

The use of a septic system is necessary when your home is located far away from a sewage treatment plant – or you are unwilling to utilize the services of one. Septic systems can treat the wastewaters created by your bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry. The wastewater from your home is polluted and can contain disease and toxins that must be cleansed to protect human habitation and the environment. Ordinarily, septic systems are a permanent alternative to a sewage treatment plant but must be watched over closely.

Septic systemFor general reference, a septic system is typically comprised of three main parts – the septic tank, a drain field, and the soil surrounding the area. A septic tank is a concrete box typically sized to hold a 1,000-gallon capacity or more, based on the number of bedrooms the household is supporting. Its purpose is to hold the solid waste and begins the process of cleansing to remove toxins and pollutants. The tank is connected to the drain field by means of a pipe and trench system and the wastewater is released around the area through filtration. Such a field is also known as an absorption or nitrification field. This field helps purify the wastewater as it sinks through the soil before it reaches groundwater or other bodies of water.

A septic system, the tank and the drain field with its depth of soil must be properly maintained in order to function properly. With normal maintenance, the system should service a property for years. Refrain from overfilling the tank at all times –average usage is around 50 gallons per individual in the household. Never put solid materials through a septic system. This includes cleaning chemicals, sanitary materials, applicators, or any other solid items you might consider flushing through your system. Because a septic system handles all liquid wastes from your household, you also need to refrain from overusing garbage disposals and emptying oils or grease through any household drains.

Other maintenance tips include properly maintaining the septic tank itself. You need to properly empty the solid waste from the tank periodically to avoid overfilling it. It is difficult to determine exactly when a tank should be pumped of solid waste. The more sludge or solid waste that is evacuated through a septic system, the more often you must pump out the external tank to avoid overflow or clogging. When you should clear your septic tank depends on three factors – tank size, volume of wastewater, and solid content in the wastewater. These factors change according to your individual’s household usage and together they determine the frequency of septic tank cleaning. On average, pumping a 1,000-gallon tank every other year is enough for a family of four. The household use of the septic system figures most prominently into the maintenance of the tank. Most systems include a watertight concrete riser to maintain easy access. Keep surface waters away from the tank.

For the drain field, maintenance includes refraining from driving heavy machines or automotive vehicles on top of the system.  You must keep the area clear at all times, keeping proper plant life above the field to maintain the soil.  Most drain fields are covered in lawn or groundcover. Building any sort of construction on the drainfield or septic tank should never occur. This includes driveways, pools, building add-ons, or any other type of construction. This protects the trench and draining system built into the drain field.

Maintenance of a septic system is necessary to avoid backflow and sewage overflow. This is both hazardous to your health and costly to properly fix. If the worst happens, contacting a professional water restoration company is often necessary. Make sure that you keep up on your maintenance to avoid having to take repair measures with your home. If sewage leaks into your home, don’t delay, call Restoration Local 24/7 at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate!

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