A Back-to-School Guide to Septic Systems

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Septic Systems 101

Once a toilet is flushed, or shower water goes down the drain, most people don’t give it a second thought. In cities hooked up to sewage systems, there is no need to worry about it. However, nearly one in four homes in the US is not connected to a sewage system. This presents a problem with what they do with their sewage.

The answer is septic tanks. Septic tanks are mysteries to many homeowners, including those with septic tanks serving their property. Here is a quick guide to septic systems from local experts to help dispel the mystery.

What Is the Purpose of Septic Systems?

Most homes in urban and suburban environments are hooked up to municipal sewer systems. These systems handle waste from thousands of homes, but the infrastructure to install these systems means that they get less cost-efficient with more space between homes. At some point, it makes more financial sense to let homeowners deal with their sewage than the city. This is where septic tanks come into play.

Septic tanks are miniature sewage treatment facilities that allow human waste to break down and biological hazards to disappear before being released into the environment on the property. They accomplish this by having a large septic tank that receives waste and wastewater. Inside, bacteria go to work breaking down the waste. Once waste gets broken down, it flows out of the tank and is absorbed into the soil in a drain field or soil absorption field. Some systems use gravity to control the flow of effluent, while some systems use sprinklers to distribute the wastewater.

Septic System Failure Signs

septic failureWhen septic systems fail, the consequences can be serious. Until the problem is fixed, the family in a home has no way to safely dispose of sewage. Noticing the signs of septic system failure is crucial to preventing a total loss of plumbing in a home. To spot signs of a struggling or failing septic system, look for things like:

  • Backed up toilets
  • Drains that won’t drain, especially floor drains and showers on the lowest floor of the home
  • Wet spots on the lawn
  • Dense overgrowth of vegetation over the drain field or wet spots with no growth
  • Bad odors in the yard or leaching into the house

Maintenance Tips for Septic Systems

septic failureSeptic systems are very important to the families that have them and anyone that lives with one. They want to know how to protect it to prevent a loss of sewer service. Luckily there are some clear and easy maintenance steps that every homeowner can do to protect their septic tank.

First, professional maintenance can prevent problems like sediment clogging the septic tank and the lateral lines. Every year, a plumbing professional should be allowed to review the system and ensure the tank isn’t clogged by sediment.

Secondly, homeowners can change their habits to protect their septic tank by doing things like:

  • Using septic safe soaps and cleaners
  • Using biological agents to beef up bacterial action in the tank
  • Keep foreign objects out of the tank
  • Toss food waste and coffee grounds in the trash instead of down the drain

About All Pro Plumbing

All Pro Plumbing has been offering top-rated customer service to its customers in Lakeland, FL for over 25 years. Their expert technicians are always available for emergency plumbing services to keep families safe. Customers looking for plumbing contractors should contact their helpful customer service representatives for help with sewer line repair.

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