When you think about it, the septic tank is a rather impressive device. It allows homes to function without being hooked up to a municipal sewer system. It can be very environmentally friendly. And it usually has a life service life with little maintenance.
The keyword there was “little” because there is some upkeep to ensure your septic tank is working properly. The main task is periodically pumping the tank.
Why a septic tank needs to be pumped
First, let’s understand how a septic tank works. Any water or waste that goes down a drain in your home is directed through an underground pipe into the septic tank that is located on your property. Once in the tank, the solids settle and organic material gets broken down by bacteria, while the liquid seeps out of the tank and is absorbed by the soil. If left unattended, eventually the solids will accumulate and fill the tank. If that happens, your septic system will get backed up, creating a mess and potential health hazard in your home.
The easy solution is to have the septic tank professionally pumped to remove most of the solids out of the tank. How often you need to have this done depends on the size of your tank, the number of people in your household, and your overall water and waste usage. As a general rule of thumb, a four-bedroom home with a 1200- to 1500-gallon tank should have the septic tank pumped every three to five years.
Smart usage for a septic system
To get the most use out of your septic system and to prevent the tank from filling up sooner than expected, it’s important to know the Dos and Don’ts of a septic system. Here are some tips and recommendations:
- Install low-flow toilet, faucets, and showerheads to reduce the amount of water going down the drain and into the tank
- Repair plumbing leaks that waste water
- Limit the use of a garbage disposal or install a unit designed for septic systems
- Use septic-friendly toilet paper
- Never flush other paper products down the toilet
- Keep records of your septic tank, including size, age, and maintenance appointments
- Look out for wet spots on your property along the line of the septic system – it may be a sign of a leak or backup
Scheduling professional septic tank pumping
The good news is that you’re not expected to pump the content of the septic tank yourself. That job is better left off to the professionals.
At Pratt Plumbing, we’ve been serving Amarillo, TX for 55 years and have all of your plumbing needs covered. To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced technicians, call (806) 373-7866 today.