Consequences of a Neglected Septic Tank

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Proper care and maintenance of your septic system will prevent costly repairs

Your home’s septic system is a vital part of its everyday operation. A neglected septic tank can fail, leading to costly repairs. The efficient system is responsible for treating wastewater from your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to realize the importance of regular septic tank maintenance until its too late and costly repairs are necessary. This post will cover the basic operation of a septic tank system, how to maintain it and the negative impacts of a neglected septic tank.

How it Works
Standard septic tank systems are designed to treat the effluent or wastewater from your home. Wastewater enters the tank through the inlet pipe and baffle. After entering the tank, bacteria and microorganisms consume some of the solid material with the remainder settling to the bottom. As new wastewater enters the tank, it pushes the treated wastewater out, through a baffle or effluent filters where it is dispersed in the drain or leach field.

When to Pump
As time passes, the solid materials, those not consumed by the microorganisms, build up on the bottom of the tank forming the sludge layer. Once the sludge layer reaches thirty percent of the tanks capacity, pumping or cleaning is necessary. For example, if your tank is 60-inches deep, it should be pumped when the sludge layer becomes approximately 20-inches thick. How often you pump your septic tank depends on several factors and is debatable among many sources. Households with many residents might need to pump their system more frequently while those with fewer inhabitants can stretch the time between cleanings.

Neglecting your Septic System
A neglected system or one that is not pumped regularly will eventually fail which leads to costly septic and home repairs. As the sludge layer grows, the tanks capacity to hold wastewater shrinks. This leads to premature evacuation of wastewater into the drainfield, which will contain higher concentrations of organic solids. Too many solids entering your drainfield reduce its absorption capabilities and slow or stop the flow of the septic system. If this happens, drainfield failure is imminent and you will be faced with a major, septic system repair.

Suggested Solution: Inspect your System Regularly
Septic systems are designed to last for twenty years or more with proper care and maintenance. You can avoid the costly septic repairs and potential home damage by scheduling an annual septic tank inspection with your local plumbing contractor. In addition, practicing strong record keeping that states the time between cleanings will provide you with a reasonable timetable for future cleanouts. Since septic tank systems contain toxic and deadly gases, only licensed and certified plumbing contractors should ever access your system.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

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