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Septic Tank System Care & Maintenance

Septic Tank System How To Ensure Proper Maintenance

The septic tank system is installed under the ground and it is thus easy to forget about it and its need for regular maintenance. The bacteria present within the septic tank prevent any problems from occurring initially. But gradually as the tank fills up and the whole system undergoes the usual wear and tear, problems start cropping up in the form of:

  • Bad odour,
  • Cracks leading to leakage of waste water,
  • Overflow of sewage,
  • Backflow in extreme cases etc.

But all of these problems associated with the septic system are preventable. Regular maintenance of the system coupled with inspections and cleaning not only ensure longevity of the system but also make for a stress-free life with regards to the septic system. 

In fact the process that needs to be followed is neither complicated nor is it expensive. It just involves a simple procedure made up of four key steps. These steps are:

  • Inspection and frequent pumping: It is mandatory for a professional septic tank service like http://diamondseptic.com/faq/ to inspect the whole septic system atleast once in every 3 years.  The tank needs to be scrutinised for cracks and leaks, performance of the different components, the level of scum and sledge generated etc. Pumping of the septic to enable complete removal of accumulated sludge should also be done every 3 to 5 years depending on:
    • The size of the household,
    • The total generation of wastewater,
    • The present volume of solids in the waste water and
    • The capacity of the septic tank.
  • Efficient use of water: It has been seen that a single-family household requires nearly 70gallons of water on a daily basis. But the presence of a leaky toilet or a leaky sink has the potency to waste around 200gallongs of water. All this water which is consumed or wasted on a daily basis ultimately finds its way into the septic tank. Hence the water consumption of a household needs to be reduced so that less amount of water enters the septic tank thereby:
    • Improving the working of the septic system and
    • Reducing risk of failure of the whole system.

Efficient consumption of water can be done by using water efficient products like:

  • High-efficiency toilets help reduce the amount of water used per flush from 3.5 to 5 gallons to about 1.6gallons or even less,
  • Faucet aerators,
  • High-efficiency shower heads and restrictors to reduce shower flow,
  • Washing machines which need to be programmed with the correct washing and drying cycles associated with the amount and type of clothes put into it.
  • Proper waste disposal:  More often than not people use toilets as trash cans. In fact anything and everything that is put into the toilet, sink, bath or shower, drains etc., all end up in the septic tank. Hence it is important to ensure that:
    • Only human waste is flushed into the toilet along with toilet paper,
    • Non bio-degradable things like cooking oil, feminine hygiene products, flushable wipes, condoms, dental floss, diapers, cigarette buts, pharmaceuticals etc., are not thrown into the drains or the septic water system,
    • No toxins and chemicals should be allowed to go down the drain to enter the septic tank since the bacteria which actually helps to break down the septic tank waste will get destroyed and hamper the working of the septic system.
  • Maintenance of the drain field: This is a very important part of the septic system since it helps in the leaching of the effluents emerging from the septic tank through the perforated pipes.  Thus it needs to be maintained properly by ensuring that:
    • No parking of cars and other vehicles is ever done on it,
    • Trees should always be planted at a distance from the drain fields so that the roots do not grow into the pipes, drains and septic tank walls thereby:
      • Causing them to get cracked and 
      • Obstruct the path of the flow of the sewage and water into and from the septic tank.
  • Excess water should not be allowed to enter the drain field and hence roof drains, rainwater drainage systems, sump pump etc., should be kept as far away from the drain field as possible.

Other ways which when adopted as part of the daily life also helps to maintain the septic system and keep it in order are:

  • Have a thorough understanding of the septic tank,
  • Protecting the tank by keeping heavy objects away from it,
  • Flushing a litre of spoiled buttermilk down the drain adds bacteria into the septic tank for the decomposition of wastes,
  • Using septic-tank safe products etc.

Maintaining the septic tank actually increases its longevity and thus should be taken care of with sincerity, honesty and timely work. If the above parameters are kept in order and the above procedures are followed, the septic tank will continue to give service for many years to come.

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