Maintaining Your Septic Tank

23 January 2015
 Categories: , Blog

If you own a septic tank, then it is critical that you understand the intricacies of its maintenance. Here is an introduction on the subject to help you get started:


Before you attempt to service your septic tank, it is important to understand how it functions.

A septic tank is a method of waste disposal that relies on pipes to gather waste from a small area, such as a house. The waste is stored in the septic tank itself, where it separates into several different layers based on weight. Solids sink to the bottom, while fats and oils rise to the top, with water settling somewhere in the middle.

Some septic systems will release the water from the septic tank as drainage water for surrounding crops. This water tends to be rich in nutrients due to the organic nature of the waste, which makes for excellent fertilizer.

Routine Disposal

Every septic tank will overflow eventually, given enough usage. Therefore, you must routinely empty its contents. However, it can be nearly impossible to determine how close your septic tank is to overflowing, so you will probably need to hire an expert to thoroughly inspect it on an annual basis.

They will be able to tell you exactly how full your septic tank is, the relative heights of each level, if your piping is accurate, and whether your irrigation is functioning properly. Your tank should not require cleaning more often than every other year, but the exact time will vary depending on your usage. Some tanks will require cleaning every five years, while others might need to be serviced as soon as three years. However, it is important to get your tank check out no less than every three years, for safety reasons.

Tips for Maintaining Your Septic Tank

There are quite a few small changes you can make in your daily routine that can help keep your septic tank as good as new.

Reduce Water Usage: whether it is taking shorter showers or replacing leaky faucets, the more you reduce water waste in your home, the longer it will take for your septic tank to fill up. 

Monitor Your Drains: try to limit all material that goes into your drains to organic material. Toilet paper is acceptable, but anything else can lead to either stoppages in your pipes or a buildup of non-degradable material in your septic tank.

Manage toxins: take care not to dump toxins, such as paints or strong cleaning solutions, into your drains if it is avoidable. These can kill the organisms in your septic tank which naturally filter the water. 

Talk to a septic tank service for more information.