A septic tank is an underground sedimentation structure used for wastewater treatment through organic decomposition and sewerage. It uses natural process and tried-and-tested technology to treat used water from household plumbing produced by the kitchen sink, bathroom, and laundry. Usually, a septic tank has a simple design that can be made of plastic, fiberglass, or concrete. It absorbs organic objects and segregates solids and floatable objects such as oils and grease. Soil-based structures release the liquid waste or effluent from the septic tank into a series of perforated drain pipes submerged in septic drain fields, chambers, or other units designed to gradually discharge the effluent into the soil.
The importance of having the septic tank inspected at least once a year is often overlooked. The sludge layer which is composed of solid materials and accumulated in the bottom should be eliminated regularly. On the other hand, the scum layer buildup also occurs, which can cause clogging. Therefore, it has to be checked every year.
Benefits of Regular Septic Tank Cleaning
Just like a car, the septic tank has its wear and tear also. Similarly, your home-ownership pieces like dryer vents and gutters should be properly maintained. Most people may not realize the benefits of regular tank cleaning. Depending on the number of household members and the size of the tank, cleaning may happen every one to three years. It can also show some signs that recommend maintenance is necessary. Be mindful of foul odors from toilets and sinks and drains that are running slow. These are signs of a clog in your system or sludge and scum buildup.
Regular Cleaning Eliminates Health Risks
If your septic system is not cleaned and properly maintained, it can cause severe problems. Common issues are stinky drains and mushy lawns. Household wastewater contains viruses and bacteria that can cause diseases. Phosphorous, nitrogen, coliform bacteria, ammonium nitrogen are common pathogens found in a septic tank and drain field. Once these toxic elements are disposed of in the system, they can diffuse in the drain field, wells, and groundwater. Thus, these pollutants can pose health threats to the household members and neighbors. Human illnesses associated with these contaminants may include cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and hepatitis. Aside from human health, pets, domestic livestock, and wildlife are also at risk. This is why septic tanks should be cleaned, pumped, and properly maintained.
Septic System Becomes Efficient and Effectively Treats the Wastewater
The purpose of the septic tank is to treat wastewater that flows out of every household. Over time, sludge and scum layers inside the tank grow faster than draining. The tank should be cleaned and maintained regularly to remove the sludge and scum buildup. Regular cleaning avoids sewer line blockage, enhances drain field filtration, and makes septic systems operate at optimal performance. Otherwise, the system won’t be able to treat the wastewater that runs through it.
Regular Cleaning and Inspection Protects Water quality
Any failure or defect in a wastewater system can make the groundwater susceptible to bacterial infection or contamination. Rivers, lakes, wetlands, and other surface waters are also prone to contamination. In an article published by Michigan University about Safe Food and Water, some rivers in the Lower Peninsula were tested positive for the presence of a human fecal substance. Experts theorized that the leaks in the septic system caused the contamination. For that matter, septic tanks require regular cleaning and maintenance.
Avoids Costly Repairs
Experts at septictank.com claim that all septic services like cleaning and pumping depend on two factors: the size of the tank and the number of household members. Given that periodic cleaning is done, the regular maintenance fees range from $200 to $500. However, replacing a malfunctioning system or repair is relatively expensive. It ranges from $3000 to $7000 depending on the factors mentioned earlier. If the drain field is damaged, the chances of having it repaired are very slim. Often the drain field is replaced. Regular cleaning saves money.
Removes Excess Buildup Within the Tank
Solid materials are culprits for clogged tanks. If the tank is functioning well, solids are retained and accumulated. Eventually, they must be removed. Regular cleaning allows solid materials to break down that prohibit potentially harmful substances to pass through the drain field. Once the holding capacity of the tank decreases, the solids will reach the pipes and cause clogging.
Increases Property Value
When the septic tank is clogged or overloaded, the untreated wastewater can penetrate your lawn and premises. It does not only pose serious health issues but also affects the value of your property. If you are planning to sell your property, a potential buyer is also interested in knowing how the septic system is maintained. A properly functioning septic tank is an extra feature that buyers will consider in making an offer. So, if you want to increase your property value make sure that your system is well taken care of and in good condition. Similarly, a deteriorating tank implies lower property value.
Protects the Environment
When septic systems are not properly functional, the chemicals, bacteria, and viruses they discharge can contaminate the surface waters. Hence, rivers, lakes, streams, and other bodies of water are directly affected, killing all living organisms. Consequently, human beings as part of the ecosystem are also at risk. It creates a domino effect!
There are so many ways of taking care of our septic tanks. However, the most recommended ones are periodic cleaning, proper maintenance, and inspection. Doing so provides several benefits for both the household members and the community. That includes preventing health illnesses, protecting the ecosystem, increasing the value of your property, among others. Regular cleaning can also save you from spending a hefty amount on repairs. We, as primary users, have a major role in keeping the septic system clean and safe. Let’s make proper disposal of the rubbish. Tissue, diapers, sanitary napkins, and other inappropriate items should not be flushed in the toilet. We have to avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach, fabric softener, and anything that contains hydrochloric and sulfuric acid as they can devastate the sewage-disposal tank. It’s better to be safe than sorry!