The wastewater stemming from your home’s plumbing system such as the toilet, bathrooms, kitchen drain, and laundry rooms exits your household via a specific pipe known as the inlet pipe into the septic tank. Once in the tank, the wastewater is stored temporarily and undergoes pretreatment before it is discharged via the outlet pipe (also known as drain field) to the soil and watercourses.
During the temporary storage in the septic tank, the wastewater will separate into three different layers.
– Top layer
– Middle layer
– Bottom layer
The top layer comprises oil and grease. This is called scum
The middle layer, also known as the liquid layer, accounts for ninety percent of the tank’s capacity.
The bottom layer consists of solid materials that are heavier than liquid. They form sludge.
However, only the content of the middle layer, which is the liquid fraction of the wastewater, can be channeled out of the tank after several days of temporary storage and treatment. While bacteria from wastewater breaks down the sludge formed at the bottom layer. This separates and enhances the draining of the liquid waste absorbed in the solid waste. The outlet pipes then channel the resulting liquid waste to the drainage field by distributing them into the soil.
The soil consists of microorganisms that can break down the end products of wastes fit to cause environmental pollution into none harmful components. Hence the septic system totally depends on the soil to function properly.
Furthermore, alternative systems make use of gravity whereby wastewater trickles the sand to neutralize it from pollutants.
The process that involves the removal of sludge from the bottom of a septic tank to avoid blockage of pipe inlet is known as septic tank pumping. If you rely upon bacteria to break down the sludge in your tank without periodically cleaning it, the solids will build up subtly, occupying the space meant for the liquid component of the wastewater, thereby causing blockage to your sewer system.
It would be best if you pumped your household septic tank every two to three years to keep it working efficiently and properly. The pumped sludge should be stored for its appropriate transport and disposition. Septic tank pumping will cost you fewer hundreds of dollars, which could increase to thousands of dollars as a result of a blockage that leads to septic replacement primarily due to refusal to clean your household septic tank. The average cost required for septic cleaning is about $400 (although most of the time it ranges from $300 to $500), while septic replacement costs about $5,000 to $10,000.
However, if you don’t want to do the cleaning yourself due to a tight schedule or you don’t want to keep your hands clean, you can hire professional septic tank cleaners. They usually come with a tank truck to pull your home’s septic tank out of its settlement, empty its content and transport it safely off your property.
Routine maintenance of a septic tank provides reliable service for many years and saves owners from costs that come from repairing damages. A damaged or malfunctioning septic system could subject living things at risk and also cause environmental pollution. Signs that indicate a damaged septic tank includes the following:
Repulsive odors around the septic tank
Damped spots near the septic tank
Water and sewage from plumbing pipes such as toilet and sink backing up into the home
However, these symptoms can be prevented by other methods apart from the regular pumping of the septic tank to avoid blockage and rupturing of your system.
By watching what you allow into your plumbing system:- Apart from fecal matters, urine, and water, things like paper towels and diapers can clog pipes and forestall the easy flow of what it is made to convey. In addition to this, you should be watchful of the kind of chemicals you send down the drain because harsh chemicals may eradicate the bacteria that help decompose sludge at the bottom of the tank, resulting in other risks of blockage.
Avoid the placing of huge structures like buildings or vehicles atop the septic tank region because it leads to the generation of pressures that can rupture the tank.
You should be aware of the proximity of your tank from your home and exactly where it is located; it helps in emergencies and makes you vigilant of what is atop it.
Several companies specialize in plumbing, but they all differ in the quality of work they offer; however, finding the company that provides a higher-quality job is a difficult task.
It would be wise of you if you consider price, but you should not be all about the price because several fly-by-night companies that offer special deals with a cheap cost of service may damage your septic tank while trying to drain it quickly.
It would be beneficial to hire a company that offers other services, such as tank maintenance to septic cleaning because they can identify problems such as wear and tear of your tank.
It is vital to maintain your septic tank by pumping it regularly and keeping watch of what you allow down the drain to keep it working efficiently and properly. The proper maintenance of your septic system will benefit you financially and healthily.