Tips For Managing Your Septic Tank Capacity

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Septic tanks provide waste water management for those homes not on municipal sewer service. If you're new to the world of septic tanks, it's important that you are aware of any trouble signs that could indicate a blocked or full tank. This guide will take you through the basics so you know when it's time to call a plumber or a septic service company.

How Do Blockages Occur?

A blockage, or full tank, is a natural occurrence in a septic tank. Basically, waste water passes into the tank and the solids and liquids separate. Liquids pass through and continue on to be purified and to reenter the water table. The solids remain in the tank, where microbial activity helps break them down. This can go on for many years unhindered if the system isn't heavily used and the microbe system remains healthy. Eventually, though, the solids (also called sludge) will build up to a level that blocks the drain vents for the liquids. When this occurs, you have a full tank that needs pumped.

What Are the Signs of a Full Tank?

Several signs will tell you that it's time for service, which include the following:

  • Water pooling on the drain field.

  • Drains backing up or moving slowly.

  • Foul smelling odors from drains inside the home, or from the drain field.

  • High nitrate levels in well water, as revealed by routine water testing.

Are There Ways to Slow Down This Process?

How often you should pump out your septic system depends on the size of your family, the size of the tank, and what exactly you put down your drains. For example, if you use a garbage disposal, your tank is likely to fill with sludge more quickly. There are charts available that can provide a guide for pumping frequency.

To slow down how quickly the tank fills, you need to manage what goes into the tank. Skipping the garbage disposal, for example, will keep a lot of potential sludge out of the system. It's also vital that you keep the microbial colony inside the tank healthy. Don't flush grease, tobacco products, or medications down the drains and into the tank. It's also a good idea to avoid filling up the tank with feminine hygiene products, hairballs, baby wipes and paper.

There are septic microbe products you can flush down the toilet on monthly basis. These replenish the microbial colony in the tank, so it remains healthy and can break down the sludge more readily.

For more information on septic systems, contact a company like B & B Drain Tech Inc.

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3 August 2015

Replacing an Older Plumbing System

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