Your Ultimate Guide to Septic and Sewer System Maintenance

Many homes in the United States rely on septic systems for their home’s wastewater management. If yours is also one of them, it’s best that you learn all about sewer system maintenance so that you can take good care of yours. This should be done with the aim of ensuring that your needs are met efficiently and there’s no harm done to the environment. You can also save water by maintaining your sewer system well and keep your family in good health. Here’s a handy guide on sewer system maintenance to let you know all that you need to do so that you don’t leave out anything that you should do.

Have it Inspected Regularly

The first thing to understand about sewer system maintenance is that you should have it inspected on a regular basis. For this, you should enlist the services of the right septic companies in your area. You can find one by checking online or asking your friends and neighbors for recommendations as they may know a great one and save you the search. You can also find this information from a good real estate agent whom you know since they may know a few as a result of the time that they’ve spent in the industry. Yet another great way for you to find reliable septic tank service providers is by contacting an official body in your area, such as one that registers septic tank companies and licenses them.

Once you find a septic system and sewer company that you feel you can work with, do a background check to make sure that you’ve hired the right people. Ask to see licenses and qualifications so that you can be sure that the professional with whom you’re dealing has the training to do a professional job. You can also find out some details of the septic system maintenance and pumping processes so that you know what to ask during interviews. Only hire professionals who have insurance, which is meant to protect both you and them in this case.

Finally, ask the professionals that you find what services they have in their catalog. Hire those that offer the widest range of services, particularly everything that you may need help with. This will save you a lot of hassle if you’re ever in need of a professional’s assistance with your septic system. You may also be able to get a discount and save money over time if you work with the same experts for every issue that you get with the septic system.

Practice Efficient Use of Water

It’s important to know that your septic system is supported by the presence of bacteria in the tank. That said, if too much water gets into the tank at any point, it can dilute the bacteria and make the system less effective. This is going to bring forth a number of other issues such as making the system less efficient at breaking down solid waste. The process by which bacteria in the tank is replenished will also be negatively impacted when too much water ends up in the system. With this in mind, you should start to practice efficient use of water in your household.

You can start this by ensuring that there aren’t any leaks in or around the system, since leaks that leave the drain field soggy may lead to structural failure. This means that if the area holds pools of water whenever it rains, you need to address this by introducing measures that will improve yard drainage. By ensuring that there’s no excess water in the yard that’s above your septic system, you can more easily spot a possible issue and get it addressed. That said, start off by calling a plumber to do a thorough inspection of the system and make any necessary repairs. They suggest installing things like an adjustable hose clamp or a more efficient sprinkler system.

Once you know that there aren’t any issues with the plumbing, you can get started on general sewer system maintenance. The steps that you take from this point will be a lot more effective, making it a worthwhile detail to get out of the way. Conserve water in your home not just for the sake of your septic tank maintenance, but to make savings as well. Some tips to help you do this are installing toilets, showers, and faucets that are built with water-efficiency in mind. Installing low-flow taps in the kitchen and making sure that you never leave them running is another important step to take towards water efficiency.

Dispose of Waste the Right Way

A major part of sewer system maintenance is disposing of waste the right way. This way, you can keep your system safe from the effects of anything that could cause a decline of the bacteria in the system or cause a blockage. Good septic companies should give you guidelines about the things that you need to do to ensure that you’re disposing of waste properly. On this note, one of the main things to keep in mind is that it’s a good idea to limit or completely stop using the waste disposal system in your kitchen sink. Speaking of the kitchen sink, some of the things that you shouldn’t pour down there are oil or cooking grease, chemical drain openers for unclogging blockage, and oil-based paints and solvents.

The same rules that you use for the kitchen sink also apply to the toilet since all this waste ends up in the septic system. With this in mind, don’t flush things like wet wipes and feminine hygiene products. Other items that you shouldn’t flush are dental floss, coffee grounds, diapers, cigarette butts, pharmaceuticals, and cat litter. All these items can either fill the tank prematurely or interact negatively with the bio-organisms that support the tank.

To have the best outcome, make it practice to avoid putting anything other than human waste and toilet paper in the toilet. With time, you can make this a habit and improve the health and longevity of your septic system. This is an important step to take because it’s more of prevention, and as far as sewer system maintenance is concerned, this is the best approach that you can take.

Take Care of the Drain Field

The drain field shouldn’t be forgotten when talking about sewer system maintenance. This is the component of the system that removes contaminants from the liquid that comes out of the septic tank. If you have regular issues with it, you could ask professionals to do a soil absorption test so that they find out whether it plays a role in the issues that you’re dealing with. If the soil is an issue, they may suggest that you get soil injections done to improve the soil and the system as a whole.

Safeguard the physical condition of the drain field by avoiding parking or driving on it since this could cause a failure to the system underneath. You should also plant any trees that you want to plant at the right distance away from it so that roots don’t grow into the system. The right professional will let you know what this distance should be for your specific system since they need to evaluate the landscape as well as your specific septic system. Finally, avoid getting excess water on the area by keeping sump pumps, roof drains, and other systems for rainwater drainage away from it.

Understand What Septic Tank Pumping Entails

While you’ll typically call a professional for your sewer system maintenance, it’s a good idea for you to understand what septic tank pumping entails. For this process, there are three main steps, with the first one being locating the tanks. There are various methods that professionals can use to locate where the tank is buried on your property, including using a metal detector or probing. Correct location of the tank helps avoid your yard and underground utilities.

The next step is actually pumping the septic tank, which is done with a special truck that removes all the material inside the system. During this stage, thorough inspection is carried out to ensure that the tank is not damaged or compromised. If the tank and leach field are both in good working order, measures may be put in place to safeguard against possible issues, and then the lid fastened securely once again.

The final step is disposal of the waste, which is where the importance of using a licensed service comes in. The service should practise safe and responsible waste disposal and adhere to EPA regulations. These principals are in place to make sure that there’s no soil contamination, and the effluent is taken to approved landfills or a treatment facility. This is responsible sewer system maintenance and it helps keep the environment safe.

Find Out How Often You Need to Get the System Pumped

You should also know how often you need to get your septic system pumped, something that varies from one household to another. The professionals who do this could give you general advice on things like sump pump installation as well so that there’s no interference with the system at any point. As a homeowner, you should know some of the details that affect the frequency with which your specific system needs to be pumped.

The details that impact your system’s frequency of pumping include the size of your household, with a larger household typically needing more regular pumping since there’s a higher rate of waste production.The size of your tank in relation to the number of people in your home will also affect how often you need to get it pumped, in which case smaller tanks will need more frequent pump-outs as they fill up faster. Finally, your usage of the system affects the frequency of pumping that you’re going to need, which is why you should practice water-efficiency and proper waste disposal.

Learn About the Costs of Pumping and Maintenance

It’s good to know the costs and time that are associated with pumping and general sewer system maintenance. These will vary based on a number of factors, including the size of the tank, its accessibility, and the location of your home. Job complexity is also considered, so you may end up with a different cost from that of your neighbors’. The general approximation of the cost that you can expect to pay can fall anywhere from $400 to $700 for a single pump.

As for the sewer system maintenance itself, you should know that there are a number of details to consider. These include effluent filters, risers, and lids that may need repair or replacement. On average, the process of pumping and maintaining the tank may be about two hours, but there are factors that can impact this. That said, make sure to plan for pumping and maintenance in advance, allowing some extra time which may result from complexity and unforeseen discoveries during the process.

Find Out Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Last but not least, it’s important that you learn what signs you need to watch out for in order to know that you need to take immediate action. This can help you avoid a disaster and keep your septic system in good shape for a long time to come. One of these signs is slow-moving drains, which indicate that the septic system is full. Keep in mind that old, damaged pipes and scum could also contribute to slow drains, which is why you should perform regular maintenance in addition to making best practices a habit. Another sign that something may be wrong is unpleasant smells from the septic system, which may be a sign of leakage from the system.

If there are wet spots in your yard, this may be another sign of trouble, pointing towards an overflowing septic tank. This issue may come up before or after you carry out lawn care, and it may be evidenced by a lush growth of grass above the septic tank. It could also be as a result of having a high water table in your area, or inadequate drainage, both of which warrant sewer system maintenance to be planned as soon as possible.

Once you know these details of sewer system maintenance, you can take better care of your septic system. You’ll enjoy all the benefits that this has to offer, which includes keeping your home eco-friendly. Always call a professional whenever you’re unsure of something so that you don’t make a mistake that could cost you significantly.