Taking Good Care of Your Septic System

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Taking Good Care of Your Septic System

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Most American houses and commercial buildings are connected to public utilities to receive fresh water and dispose of sewage, but around 25% of properties are too remote to access those public utilities. Instead, they will use septic tanks, drainage fields, and more to remove water waste. The homeowner is tasked, then, with finding septic tank repair services, and septic system repair is vital to keep the house’s sewage flowing smoothly. The homeowner can find these repair and cleaning services online, with a query such as “septic near me” or “cleaning for septic near me” and find some results. How does a septic system even work, and what will those repair crews typically do?

How a Septic System Operates

To begin with, once dirty water is flushed from the house, it will flow through pipes and reach a larger, underground septic tank on the property. Inside this tank, benign bacteria cultures will start breaking down solid waste, and the particles will settle at the bottom and form a thick sludge. Fats and oils, meanwhile, will float to the top, and relatively clean water is in between. After a few days of this, the relatively clean water will flow through a filter grate on the tank and enter a series of branching pipes that are just beneath the soil’s surface. The water, partially cleaned from that grate, will now leak through the pipes through a series of nozzles and holes, where loose soil, gravel, and bacteria in the ground will filter out and remove any remaining waste material in the water. Now, clean and safe water will filter into the natural water cycle, and the process is complete. The area where the water leaches into the ground is known as the drainage field.

Hiring Septic Services

A homeowner can measure the current state of their septic system, but actually repairing it usually calls for professionals on the job. Such workers can be found when the homeowner, as mentioned above, with a query such as “repair for septic near me” or “companies for septic near me repairs” or other combination of key words to find those repair crews. Often, repairing or cleaning a septic system means digging up the compromised hardware first.

What might go wrong? For one thing, the sludge that builds up in the septic tank has no means of leaving on its own, and will continue to build up. So, the property owner may use a long measuring stick (a “sludge judge”) and insert it into the tank to see how high the sludge level is. If that tank is one third to one half full, it is time to call upon septic pumping services, and a company will send a truck that mounts a large tank and pump. Once the septic tank is unearthed and its hatch opened, a wide hose is attached and all sludge is pumped right out. This may be done once every few years or so.

A very old septic tank may start leaking, and that is not acceptable. If a leakage is found, then that old tank can simply be dug up and removed entirely, and a leak-proof new one can be installed. A new septic tank might last for 20 years or so.

The tank’s filter screen may become damaged or clogged, and that can impede water flow. Rather than just removing the filter, the owner can clean it off or repair it, and then put it back in place to maintain proper levels of water filtering. And what about the pipes later in the system? Those pipes might get clogged on the inside, restricting water flow or even causing blockage. Should that happen, the pipes can be dug up, and workers may scour the insides with pressurized water to blast out any grime or debris. Also, it should be noted that driving motor vehicles across the drainage field will compress the earth and gravel, making filtering too difficult for the septic system. Vehicles should stay clear. And finally, the homeowner should refrain from flushing items down the toilet that the tank cannot break down, such as tobacco, baby diapers, or moisturized hand towels. Otherwise, such items can block the septic system at some point.

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