Septic tanks are vital parts of a home plumbing system because they deal with waste management, which keeps us happy and healthy at the same time. As a homeowner, you may be intimidated by your septic tank responsibilities, especially when it comes time for it to be emptied. But there is no need to worry; these plumbing devices are easy to manage so long as you keep up your end of the effort. And you can feel better knowing that a septic tank doesn’t have to be emptied all that often.
Continue reading to learn more about your septic tank, including when to have it serviced.
For homes that cannot be connected to a centralized municipal sewer line, septic tanks are the practical solution. A septic tank is a component of plumbing that collects sewage and wastewater, and naturally decomposes them using a bacterial action. They are usually constructed of precast concrete, concrete blocks, or reinforced fiberglass, and buried in the ground somewhere on the property. All sewage matter and wastewater converge into one singular pipe that flows to the septic tank located underground.
Septic Tank Matter
Septic tanks collect 3 primary type of organic matter: scum, sludge, and liquid effluent. This is why the task of emptying a septic tank is sometimes referred to as de-sludging. Scum is generally the top layer of organic matter, consisting primarily of fats, oils, and proteins. This layer is known to cause clogs in the system if not managed properly. The second later is the liquid effluent, or wastewater, which travels through a filter that removes small particles, and then drains into a drainage field or soil absorption system (SAS). The heaviest later, called sludge, is at the bottom, and consists mostly of solid accumulations that take longer to decompose.
When to Service Your Septic Tank
The process of removing solids and sediments from a septic system is important because it promotes proper functioning and prevents potential mechanical problems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends having your septic tank inspected every three years by a licensed Indianapolis master plumber. They go on to suggest adhering to the professional advice and recommendations given by the plumbing contractor in regards to routine de-sludging.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 25% of North America relies on a septic tank for private sewage disposal. However, some homes use cesspools rather than septic systems, since both collect organic waste and decompose them naturally, but cesspools are a much older waste disposal technique compared to the modern-day septic tanks. The general rule of thumb is to have your septic tank inspected and serviced by a professional every 1 to 3 years. If you wait any longer, you risk clogging or backing up your system, which can lead to very filthy and messy conditions.