Owning a home that has its own septic tank brings with it some additional responsibilities. Here are some items you should know about your septic system so you can maintain and service this important home system properly and to help it keep working well and last as long as possible for your home's sewer needs.
Tank and Drain Field Location
Knowing the location of your septic system within your yard is important for several reasons. The drain field needs to be in a location where only specific types of vegetation can grow, due to the roots of many larger types of vegetation can disrupt the drain field's ability to function properly. It is a good idea to only plant grasses and other small vegetation over the drain field. Trees growing over the drain field and any other sections of your septic system, for that matter, are not recommended.
Experts recommend to not pour any concrete or install a shed or garage over the site of your septic system, as this can put excess pressure onto the system and cause damage. Then, if you ever need to replace the system, removing concrete or a structure will make the task more expensive and difficult.
It is also a good idea to know where your tank is located and its access hatch so you can get into the system to check the fluid, solids, and scum levels inside the tank. Easy access to the tank via its hatch is also recommended for any septic professional who needs to get to the tank for servicing.
The size of your septic tank is also a detail you should be aware of, as this can determine how much waste your system can handle and will also affect the frequency in which you will need to have your tank pumped. As the septic tank receives sewage from your home, the solids sink to the bottom of the tank and the scum or grease floats on the top while the waste water flows through the tank into the drain field. If you have a household with several people using the septic system, the solids and scum will collect more quickly and your tank will need to be pumped more frequently than if you only have one or two living in the home.
It is a good recommendation to have your tank pumped at least every couple years. Talk to your septic professional to recommend a more frequent servicing if, for example, your tank is smaller in capacity or you have a large number of household members.
It can also be helpful to know the type of tank material your septic system is made of. There are several different materials used for septic tanks and each one has a different life expectancy. For example, a concrete septic tank can last much longer than a steel septic tank. A septic professional can tell you what your tank is made of, if you are not sure. This information can help you determine if your tank is nearing the end of its life.
Contact a service, like Chuck Keene Septic Tank Pumping Service, for more help.