A home septic system requires some basic knowledge as well as ongoing maintenance to run well. The following overview can help you better care for the system on your property.
Parts of the System
A septic system consists of three main components: the drain lines, tank system and leach field. The drain lines come in two parts. The first is the secondary lines that connect the fixture drains in your home to the second part, the main drain line, into the tank. The tank typically has two chambers, with most of the solids trapped and slowly broken down in the first chamber and the liquids flowing to the second for further filtering.
The final part is the leach field. All of the effluent from the tank eventually flows into the leach field. This is where the natural filtration process in the soil finishes the job of cleaning the effluent so that it can safely rejoin the water table.
Maintaining the home's septic system is relatively simple. Much of the maintenance is done within the home on a daily basis simply by implementing water conservation techniques and through the avoidance of putting items like grease and hygiene products down the drain. Outside the home, you can maintain the tank by ensuring that no trees or large shrubs take root near it or the leach field.
Professional maintenance is more periodic, with the frequency determined by your state or council rules along with the system size and your level of use. Every few years the tank will require a pump-out to remove the sludge that doesn't liquefy and pass out into the leach field. At this time the technician will also check your drains, tank baffles and leach field for any signs of trouble that may require a repair.
Another important responsibility for those with septic systems is to know the symptoms of a possible problem. The reason being that it is much easier and less costly to fix most troubles if they are attended to quickly rather than being allowed to worsen over time.
Slow drains or blocked drains are the most obvious and damaging problem that can happen. Foul odours from the drains, particularly if the drains are also slow to clear, are other major signs. You may also notice bad odours or soggy spots in the lawn near the septic system if trouble is developing.
Contact a septic tank service in your area if you need more help with the maintenance and care of your septic system.