You may not know it, but you have one. A septic system is the lifeblood of any home that uses a sewage system. It can be compared to your veins and arteries transporting blood throughout your body. This article will explain what a septic system does for residents across America, how it works, and why so many homeowners are not concerned about its safety with hiring a proper septic system contractor.
The purpose of a septic system is simple: to move wastewater from your house to the sewer/treatment plant without contaminating anything. When you use water in your bathroom or kitchen sink, that water goes down your drains into the pipes that lead into your septic tank – this is where solids are separated from liquids. Once all of the liquid has passed through the tank, it is filtered through a layer of soil that acts as a natural filtration. This process is known as the septic system leach field, and it prevents solids from getting into our sewer systems. The solid waste becomes rich compost when it leaves the tank and passes through the drain field in your yard, which helps to support plant and tree growth.
While this may not sound like an incredibly complicated process, there are many factors at play: how much water you use per day, what kinds of food you eat (fats/oils/grease), how often you change out your holding tank – all these things can affect how often you need to pump out your septic tank. What’s more, because every home uses one, it is important that we do what we can to ensure our septic systems are pumping correctly and working efficiently.
One of the most common concerns you will hear about a septic system has to do with solids entering your leach field, which should not happen. An easy solution is for homeowners to add a layer of gravel or crushed stone at the bottom of their holding tanks, which should be between two and four feet deep (any more than this and your tank could overflow). If you notice an oily substance on top of the water in your holding tank, don’t worry – this is just soap buildup from your household cleaners and needs to either be scooped out or allowed to dissipate naturally. There may also be black sludge in the tank – this is a natural byproduct of decomposing bacteria in your septic system and can be scooped out when necessary.
Many homeowners worry about whether or not their leach field is full, especially if they have recently been pumping out their holding tanks more frequently than normal. In most cases, there will be no visible signs that your leach field has been infiltrated, but you may notice brown patches on your grass where vegetation has become stunted. A licensed septic contractor should be able to diagnose the situation with a camera inspection before beginning repair work. If you suspect that solids are infiltrating your leach field, it’s important to remain patient until the issue quickly resolves itself (this happens naturally when roots become blocked due to heavy rain/snow).
A septic system contractor is a huge investment, both in terms of money and time. However, if it is looked after correctly, your septic system should last you for years to come without any trouble. By educating yourself on what to expect from this vital part of the household plumbing system, you can rest assured that your wastewater will continue traveling through your home safely every day when you hire a proper septic system contractor.