What Is A Septic Tank?
A septic tank is a concrete, fiberglass, or plastic subterranean single or dual chamber into which untreated wastewater flows for any necessary treatment. Instead of sending waste through sewer mains to a central sewage treatment plant, a septic system pumps any liquid, solid waste, and sludge accumulated over time from the residence into a drain field and underground septic tank. These tanks help to confine and manage wastewater from residential plumbing, such as kitchen drains, laundry, and toilets, using technology.
Septic tank pumps are small electrical water pumps that submerge in sewage. As the chamber fills with water, a float switch will turn the pump on and off. When the pump turns on, a miniature impeller spins to push water up via the pipes to which the pump is connected. Septic systems are likely to be installed in around one out of every four residences in the United States. They are especially common in rural regions without municipal sewage connections. However, in urban areas, pumping your septic tank should be part of your regular tank maintenance. Property owners will appreciate the significance of daily pumps if they understand how a septic tank operates.
How Do Septic Tanks Work?
The process of septic tank pumping is somewhat detailed. It is this way to make sure the tank does not back up into your house. A septic tank aims to help remove particles heavier than water. It helps them to settle to the tank floor hence forming the sludge layer. Whereas for particles lighter than water, septic tanks let them float to the surface and remain in the tank, thus creating a scum layer.
- The first step is to empty the tank of all liquid, solid waste, and sludge accumulated over time with the help of a vacuum. Over time, gunk builds up in the tank’s bottom.
- In an undrained and unpumped tank, it can be tough to remove sludge. To break it up, we may need to add more water or use a pressure nozzle.
- During the two to three days that wastewater remains in the septic tank, biodegradable organics in the septic tank assist in degrading into less complex organic compounds in the absence of oxygen. Seeing as septic tanks are as cold as the soil around them, anaerobic bacteria require higher temperatures to effectively decompose the organic material in the wastewater, reducing the biological oxygen demand of the wastewater; this decomposition process is slow and largely ineffective.
- Finally, the anaerobically treated wastewater is piped to additional treatment units or distributed to the soil absorption region after leaving the septic tank.
- The septic tank slowly fills with solids from the bottom-up and top-down by retaining the heavy (settleable) and lighter (floatable) wastes.
- When the septic tank meets the outer pipe, it directs it into the drain field. The position of this pipe should be near the top of the septic tank that connects to the drain field, which is a specific section of your yard. The dirt filters the water, preventing groundwater pollution in the area.
How Often Should You Pump Your Tank?
Most homeowners need to pump their septic tank every 3-5 years, depending on the size of the tank and the volume of wastewater created by the family. Plumbers look at the number of people living in the particular home to determine the size of the septic tank to install. Five years is usually sufficient for two people. It is advisable to get the tank pumped every three or four years for a family of three to four individuals. If you have a family of more than four individuals, you should have the tank drained every three years at the very least.
How To Know Your Septic Tank Needs Pumping?
- When you detect sewage in the vicinity of your drain field or septic tank, you have to get your septic tank pumped. Any septic tanks and septic drain fields should be odor-free, both outside and within your home. The odors you perceive are due to carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide, all of which are prevalent in household garbage.
- When you need to pump wastewater from a septic tank or sewage treatment facility to a higher level, you will have to get a septic tank pump.
- When bacteria can not break down all of the solid waste, it can cause an increase in a foul odor. Septic tanks are home to a wide range of bacteria that are potentially harmful to your health. It may be due to more filth flowing in than the bacteria can break down, resulting in a gradual build-up of excrement.
- If the final sewage disposal point is upslope from the septic tank outlet, preventing wastewater from flowing there by gravity.
- If the sludge is more than a third of the tank depth, call a plumber right away.
- If your sinks and bathtubs are not draining as they usually do, it is time to look into a septic tank service to clean up everything.
How To Take Care of Your Septic Tank?
After having the septic tank pumped, it is crucial to maintain its condition. Everything that goes down your drains, whether flushed, ground in the garbage disposal, or poured down the sink, shower, or bath, ends up in your septic system. The quality of your septic system is influenced by what goes down the drain. Your septic system is not a trash can. A simple rule to follow: make sure not to flush anything besides human waste and toilet paper.
Furthermore, In a typical single-family home, the average indoor water use per person per day is nearly 70 gallons. A single leaky or continuously running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. The septic system collects all of the water that a homeowner sends down its pipes. Less water enters the septic system when a home conserves water.
Lastly, when you contact a septic service company, they will inspect your septic tank for leaks and analyze the scum and sludge layers. It is a good idea to keep track of the work done on your septic tank. Electrical float switches, pumps, and mechanical components in alternative systems should be tested as frequently as possible, at least once a year.