Common in rural areas where public sewers aren’t available to distribute waste, septic systems provide a safe alternative. Anyone who relies on a septic tank system for waste disposal should understand these key factors about its function and maintenance.
The Parts of a Septic System
Modern septic systems consist of four major parts: a pipe (leading from the house to the tank); septic tank, drain field (sometimes called a leach field), and the soil surrounding the drain field. The pipe’s job is to deliver wastewater from your house to the tank, wherein the water gets treated and contaminates removed. At this point, the cleaned liquid goes one way (into the drain field) and wastewater contaminates another (into the surrounding soil).
Making Your Septic System Last
Like other essential household features, septic systems require attention and maintenance to stay healthy and perform at peak levels. Here are a few tips for a long-lasting system:
- Stay on top of routine maintenance – Having a reputable service company routinely examine and pump the tank (at least every three years depending on use) will help avoid damage and ensure it does its job for many years.
- Be mindful of what you put into the system – Some cleaning agents and materials can build up and clog your pipes, leading to an embarrassing and expensive mess. To prevent such catastrophes, be careful to only put water and waste into the tank.
- Avoid building over any part of the system – All system components should be easily accessible so crews can perform necessary maintenance tasks. Not only could a structure block access, any weight on top of a leach field can interfere with proper absorption and strain a vital part of this system. In fact, even landscaping near the area can negatively impact its performance (certain root systems can overtake the underground area and compromise the leach field).
- Avoid excessive usage if possible – The more a septic tank gets used, the faster it will burn out, so designing ways to reduce its workload can go a long way to increasing its lifespan.
- Pay attention to abnormal system behavior- Watch out for signs of septic system distress, including strong odors, slow drains, and excess water around the tank or drain field. If you notice any of these indicators, have the system serviced immediately to avoid further damage.
For help installing, maintaining, or repairing your septic system in the Greenville, Anderson and Spartanburg areas, remember to contact Express Septic Services at 864-303-0337.