3 Important Things To Know About Septic Tank Systems

Posted on: 9 April 2018


Have you recently moved to a home with a septic tank? Is this the first time that you've lived in a home with a septic tank? A septic tank is an essential part of your home's wastewater system when you don't live in an area where hookups to a city sewer system are possible. But if you've never had to deal with a septic tank in the past, the upkeep and maintenance can seem overwhelming at first. Fortunately, most things that need to be done are relatively simple and/or are common sense. The most important things to remember include.

1. Regular emptying: A septic tank will slowly fill up with sewage solids as it is used. How long it takes to become full will depend on the size of the tank and how many people there are in the home. A very small tank may need the services of a septic tank pumping company on a near-yearly basis while a big tank can often go three years or more between pumpings, even if you have a large family.

If you don't know how large your tank is, it's a good idea to have a septic tank pumping company come out to empty, clean, and inspect the tank. This will allow you to get an idea of the relative size of the tank as well as make sure that the tank itself is still in good condition.

2. No harsh chemicals: If you use antibacterial soap or drain opening chemicals while hooked up to a sewer system, this is often perfectly fine. However, using these types of chemicals with a septic tank can cause the beneficial bacteria and yeasts in the tank to die off. Without these microorganisms, the solids won't be broken down, and you'll need the services of a septic tank pumping company on a more frequent basis. 

3. Use beneficial additives: Your septic tank pumping company may try to sell you an additive of some sort that needs to be put down the drains every month or every other month. Contrary to what your initial impression might be, this is not a ploy to get more money out of you. These additives contain several different species of bacteria and/or yeasts that will help to break down sewage solids.

As careful as you might be about not putting too much oil or harsh chemicals down your drains, an excess of water or even a bit of weather that is a little too cold or too warm can sometimes cause an imbalance. Using recommended additives on a regular basis will help to keep your septic tank healthy and increase the time between pumping sessions.