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How Long Does a Septic System Last?

On average, a septic system will last 20 to 30 years. If you take excellent care of the system, you may even get 40 or 50 years out of it. The key here is that you must take care of the system in order to ensure that you get the maximum amount of life out of it.

Your septic system is made up of a few components that treat your household waste. Your household plumbing routes to a main septic line that moves the waste and wastewater into the septic tank. The solid waste sinks to the bottom of the tank where it is stored.

After resting in the tank for 24 hours, the wastewater moves into the drain field to be treated and discarded. Once the wastewater is safe for entry into the groundwater system, the drain field releases it. This is an amazing and environmentally-friendly system.

Damage to the System

One thing that will shorten the life of your septic system is damage to the septic system. You can damage the system, especially the tank, by parking a heavy vehicle on it. You should never park a vehicle on top of the septic tank or the drain field.

You can also damage the system by flushing things down the toilets and drains that should not be introduced into the system. Basically, this means everything other than water, human waste, and septic-safe toilet paper. Nothing else should go into the system.

Overloading the System

You can also reduce the lifespan that you get out of your septic system if you overload the system. One example of overloading the system is doing several loads of laundry in one day. The drain field does not have time to drain when you do numerous loads of laundry.

As we mentioned above, the septic tank hangs onto the water for approximately 24 hours. The reason it does this is to give the drain field time to treat the water that is currently in the field. Avoid overloading the system by sending too much water to it at once.

Failing to Maintain the System

Finally, as we mentioned above, you need to maintain your septic system to get the best life out of it. This does not mean flushing septic system additives down the toilet every month. In fact, these additives are actually not good for your septic system.

Rather, call us annually to come and inspect your septic system. This gives us the opportunity to pump the tank before it overflows and check the drain field for damage.

Photo by ligonography from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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