The size of your home's septic tank will depend on the number of bedrooms your home has. The average three-bedroom home will have a 1,250-gallon tank, and the more bedrooms your home has, the larger your tank will be. However, smaller homes or older homes may only have a 1,000-gallon tank.
What Happens When Water Enters the Tank?
Your septic system is designed to handle human waste and toilet paper, plus water from plumbing fixtures such as toilets, baths and sinks. Household cleaners, detergents and bleach will not damage your system if used in moderation. If you are putting anything else down the drain your septic system function may be impaired. Never pour oil, cooking grease, paint, medication or insecticides into your plumbing system. These items can inhibit the bacteria which are so critical to the proper functioning of your system or plug the pores of your system.
Non-degradable paper products, such as diapers, sanitary napkins or tampons, and paper towels are harmful to your system. Also refrain from introducing any other non-biodegradable substances such as condoms, plastic baggies or plastic film-warp, dental floss or cigarette butts. These items can cause serious clogging problems. A garbage disposal can be used if your septic system was designed for it, however, you should have your tank pumped more frequently.
Learn What Happens When Mistreatment Occurs
When too much solid material accumulates in the tank over a period of years, it begins to wash out of the tank and into the drainfield. The solids clog the drainfield so that not as much effluent can be absorbed. As more solids flow from the tank the drainfield will eventually not be able to absorb the liquid effluent and the drainfield will have failed.
Regular maintenance is critical to the life of your septic system. It is necessary to pump out your septic tank at least once every 3-5 years to ensure that it continues to function properly. As you use your septic system, solids build up in your septic tank. If these solids aren't cleaned out of your septic tank regularly they can clog the filter or cause sewage to back up into the house. Solids from a full septic tank can also flow into the drainfield. This is much like a heart attack for your septic system, and can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your drainfield. Regular pumping and maintenance of your septic system will extend its life and ensure that it keeps operating properly.
Why Should You Maintain Your Septic System?
Think of your home's septic system being just as important as your car's engine. If it doesn't work properly, everything is at a standstill. Keeping your home’s or business’s septic system running properly is important to the overall health of your property. There are three main reasons to be aware of your septic pumping and maintenance. They are:
Money: the longer you go without regular maintenance, the more likely you will need complete replacement services in the future
The health of your family and community: wastewater that isn't treated properly can lead to health risks and contaminate soil and groundwater
Property value: a failing or improperly maintained septic system can lead to devaluing of your property
How Much Water is Coming Out of Your House?
Your system is designed to handle certain volume of water. If you consistently overload your septic system you can cause premature failure. A frequent source of overload is leaking plumbing fixtures. This can amount to hundreds of extra gallons of water going into your septic system. Repair leaks immediately, especially running toilets.
Reduce the wastewater flow by installing water saving devices in your shower heads and faucets. Lower the amount of water hitting the system from the laundry by spreading your weekly washing over several days rather than doing it all on one day.
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