Q: How do septic systems work?
A: The septic tank system separates the heavier waste solids from the lighter solids and what’s in between is the wastewater (effluent). This flows into gravel-filled trenches via perforated pipes, which allow the the soil to naturally filter and treat the water.
The tank provides some biological treatment of the sludge (heavy material) and scum (lighter material) that collect in the tank. Without proper maintenance, the tank will fill up with sludge and the solids will be washed out into the drainfield or clog the filter, which will eventually lead to system failure.
Q: Why is it necessary to maintain my system?
A: It’s cheaper by far than repairs or replacement costs, which can run into the thousands of dollars
Untreated water can seep into the water supply and make your family and neighbors sick
Poor water quality also endangers recreational and shellfish, and it creates offensive odors, which can reduce property values.
Q: How do I maintain my system?
A: First, understand where it is on your property, and where the access port is.
Next, you should follow simple common steps, including minimizing what actually flows into your septic tank.
The most important thing you can do is to have your septic system inspected and pumped.
Q: Are there things I shouldn’t put in my septic tank?
A: Don’t use your toilet to dispose of anything that’s not toilet paper, water, and human waste.
Do NOT flush:
coffee grinds, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, cigarette butts, fats, grease or oil, paints, thinners, photographic solutions, antibiotics, dental floss, kitty litter, tampons, condoms, paper towels, varnishes, waste oils, pesticides
These things can either clog or destroy the bacteria that is breaking down the wastewater. Some, like paints, varnishes, thinners, waste oils, photographic solutions, and pesticides can contaminate surface and ground water.
Q: How often should I have my Septic Tank Pumped?
A: At least every 2-3 years, but if your drains start slowing down, this is a sign that you should have your septic system checked before the system has additional failure.