Not maintaining your septic tank could be a costly — not to mention smelly — mistake. You might take your advanced waste system for granted, but don’t forget that a well-maintained home septic system keeps your house clean and dry, providing a healthy environment for up to 20 years. An overloaded, overworked septic system can become a homeowner’s No. 1 nightmare by leaking sewage into the home or yard, but not if you follow these tips.
Know Where the Tank is Located
You might be at a loss as to where the septic tank is in your yard or how to find it. If you have the initial plot drawings of your home, the location will be marked. To receive a copy of your home’s drawings, head to your town records office. If you have difficulty pinpointing the exact spot, a licensed plumber can find it using soil probes. It is vital to know where your tank is located so that you can protect it. You should never plant trees or large shrubs nearby, as growing roots can puncture the pipes or the tank. Never park your car or pave the ground near your septic tank, as pressure on the system’s drain field could cause backups and malfunctions.
Get a Tank Inspection
A plumbing inspector should examine your septic tank once every three years at the minimum, as suggested by the Environmental Protection Agency. A typical inspection involves measuring the levels of each type of wastewater in the tank. The inspector should also check all plumbing leading to the system, including the drain field and the tank itself. Never attempt to inspect your tank yourself — leave it to a licensed professional. Coming into contact with human waste is dangerous and the gases contained in septic tanks are lethal.
Regularly Have Your Tank Pumped
On average, septic tanks should be pumped once every three to five years. The thickest waste that settles at the bottom is called sludge. The oily top layer of waste is called scum. If the sludge level is at least one third of the total liquid in the tank, it should be pumped. Talk to your trusted local plumber to determine how often you should pump your tank, based on gallons in the tank and how many people live in your home.
Call the experts at Captain Plumbing if you are looking for thorough septic tank inspections and service. If you properly maintain your septic tank, one of the most important components of your home’s plumbing, that $7,000 septic system replacement might not have to happen for years, or even decades, to come.