Homeowners tend to overlook the septic system that runs in their homes.
After all, one doesn’t easily see this part of the house as it’s buried underground. However, you shouldn’t underestimate what a septic system does for you because without it, you’ll be perpetually flooded inside your house.
What to learn more about the septic system and how a septic tank works?
At the heart of every system is the septic tank. This is where the majority of the processes in the septic system occurs. It’s also the largest part of the septic system and it houses all of the wastewater that comes out of your house. This is also where the water is filtered and sludge comes out.
As it’s buried underneath, you barely have the chance to get a look at a septic tank. What exactly does it look like?
What Does it Look Like?
A septic tank is a large underground container that stores the water waste coming from your house. As per experts at septictank.com, there are above-ground septic tanks as well but some homes have the underground versions which are covered in cement.
The conventional underground tanks are harder to care for but they take up less space in the yard.
On the other hand, above-ground septic tanks can be cleaned easily but they are visible and take up space in your yard.
There are two types of septic tanks and what they look like varies one what you have currently. The first is the aerobic septic system This type of septic tank uses extra air added to the water which in turn speeds up the filtration process.
This form of septic tank turns the solid waste in your water into sludge much quicker.
Apart from the septic tank, aerobic septic systems also come with a means for oxygen to get pumped below. These are installed above ground and they are responsible for pumping oxygen into the tank. The pipes from the above-ground installation go directly below the wastewater so the oxygen pumps up from below.
As compared to a conventional septic system, an aerobic septic system features multiple chambers and more moving parts. It’s a more intricate system that is more efficient at dissolving waste.
The standard septic tank is only a huge compartment for wastewater and there are no above-ground installations. The solid waste in the wastewater will be dissolved via the bacteria colonies within the tank only. Grease and oil will also be set at the top of the wastewater and this is called scum.
Both forms of septic tanks come with access risers. This allows professionals to easily clean and pumps your septic system without having to dig them up from below the ground. The top of access risers is removable lids that are used to place pumps in.
How to Find the Septic Tank in Your Home?
Not every new homeowner knows where the septic tank is on their property. Keep in mind that septic tanks are installed in open areas so it’s most likely in the back or front yard.
According to the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA), you must know where the septic tank is so that you can have it properly maintained.
One of the easiest ways to find the septic tank is by looking for a lid or a small manhole cover within your property. This is most likely the access rise which helps others easily clean your tank.
If you are having trouble finding your septic tank, then you may refer to the blueprints of the house which you can request from who you bought it from. Alternatively, you can call a professional septic tank installation company to find the septic tank for you.
Why is it important to find your septic tank? Every few years, you’ll need to call a septic tank cleaning service to clean the system.
Keep in mind that the frequency of their visit will depend on the size of your tank. 1,000-gallon tanks take longer to fill up than 300-gallon ones. Of course, the larger tanks are more expensive to clean.
Ideally, you’d want to have your septic tank cleaned every 3-5 years. However, you should call for help immediately if the drains in the lower part of your house begin to clog and back up. By pumping the septic tank, your pipes will be much healthier and the water will go down the drain much easier as well.
You don’t have direct means to check if your septic tank is already full. However, some telltale signs help you understand the current status of your tank. Some of the signs you need to look for are:
- Full septic tanks result in pooling water over your backyard
- The drains inside your house – especially those in the lower parts of the house, function more slowly
- Your toilet begins to struggle when flushing
- Your lawn begins to smell of sewage and other foul odor
- Surprisingly, another sign of a full septic tank is that your lawn is unnaturally healthy
One of the ways you can take care of your septic tank is by making sure to not put any chemicals down your drain. These can kill the bacteria colonies within the tank. Moreover, it could cause the build of combustible gasses from within the tank.
Ideally, you also don’t want to have non-biodegradable items going to the tank. These can’t be dissolved and can cause clogs. Lastly, limit the amount of grease and oil that goes down the drain as these will eventually clog your pipes too.
Your septic tank is a vital part of the house that you need to check up on every once in a while. Ideally, you wouldn’t want to personally clean the tank as it requires specific equipment to fully pump your septic tank. The amount you spend if your septic tank gets severe issues will be much more as compared to just seeking professional help so act wisely.