Have you recently purchased your first home? Are you now wondering about the septic tank that your home is using instead of being hooked up to a city sewer system? Septic tanks are a fairly reliable way to dispose of your home's wastewater. But septic tanks are not mostly maintenance free, unlike the sewer system that you may be used to. In order to care for your septic system, here are some things that you should keep in mind:
Needs occasional cleaning: With a city sewer system, you can typically flush and forget. While you may have to deal with the occasional clogged toilet, you usually don't have to think about what happens to the wastewater after you've sent it down the drain. On the other hand, a septic tank needs to be cleaned out on a semi-regular basis. After you flush, the wastewater is sent to the septic tank where the solids will settle to the bottom of the tank and the liquids will be allowed to drain out of the tank. Eventually, your tank will fill with solids and will need to be cleaned out by a septic tank service. How often this will be required will depend on the size of your tank and how much water you use.
May require water usage change: When you're hooked up to the city sewer system, you can take baths, showers, and do laundry whenever you want. With a septic tank, you may need to alter how and when you use large amounts of water. The smaller your septic tank is, the more easily its balance can be disturbed by multiple loads of laundry at once. In order to function properly, a septic tank makes use of beneficial bacteria to clean and digest wastewater and wastewater contents.
If you do a half dozen loads of laundry at once while your family also takes several baths, this relatively clean water will flush out a large portion of the beneficial bacteria in your tank. Without enough bacteria to handle the waste, you may find yourself needing to call a septic tank service to clean it out more often. Instead of doing all of your laundry at once, try to spread it out over the course of the week. You should also consider switching to showers instead of baths whenever possible.
Shouldn't smell: For people who have never had a septic tank system before, there can be a misconception that they almost always have a foul odor. This is completely untrue. For most of the life of your septic tank, you shouldn't notice an odor at all. When a septic tank service like Kulp and Sons is pumping out and cleaning your tank, the smell won't be pleasant, but this is something that usually happens once a year, at most. If you notice a lingering smell at any other time, or the area around your septic tank is damp and doesn't dry out, this is an issue with the septic tank itself that should be corrected as soon as possible.