Home Home Improvement Septic Tanks: How Do They Work and When Should You Empty Them?

Septic Tanks: How Do They Work and When Should You Empty Them?

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More than one in five households in the U.S. has a septic tank. Do you wonder how do septic tanks work? If you currently have or have used public sewer systems, you may not understand much about septic tanks.

These tanks are buried and you may not know the difference between septic and sewer when using them. However, without septic tank cleaning Brookline NH, you can find yourself in a lot of trouble. Keep reading our guide to septic tanks to learn about them and get some advice on septic tanks.

What Is a Septic Tank?

A septic tank is an underwater tank for wastewater treatment. It uses biological decomposition and drainage. This is where your household plumbing fixtures send water from your toilets, laundry machines, shower, etc.

First, the solids settle in your septic tank. Then, the wastewater goes to the soil through a drain field. 

The septic tank system is a simple design. It has an underground container that is watertight made of either concrete, fiberglass, or plastic. The septic tank is typically T-shaped with an outlet to prevent all the scum and sludge from leaving the tank and going into your drain field.

These systems are typically in more rural areas to help remove wastewater safely from the home if it cannot connect to a sewer system.

How Do Septic Tanks Work?

The septic tank digests the organic matter and then separates the solids from the wastewater. This also includes floatable matter like grease and oil.

The septic tank has two pipes—one for the inlet and one for the outlet. The inlet pipe transports the wastewater from the home to go into the septic tank. The solids and liquids separate inside the tank. The outlet pipe is also known as the drain field because it moves the wastewater from the septic tank and spreads it out in the soil evenly.

Inside the tank, bacteria break down the solid waste. This allows the liquids to separate and drain more easily. What is left at the bottom of the tank needs to be removed periodically as part of regular maintenance. 

How Often Should You Empty a Septic Tank?

Generally, you should empty your septic tank about once every three to five years. This can vary based on the size of your tank, your usage, and what you flush down your toilets. It’s important to be careful what you flush down your toilet because this can cause clogs in your septic tank.

If you take care of your septic tank, it should last a long time. This involves regular cleaning to avoid expensive and gross septic system failures. You can hire a company, like Goebel Septic, to do septic tank pumping richmond, va.

You should watch out for signs that your septic tank is full and address them immediately. These signs include:

  • Pooling water
  • Odors
  • Slow drains
  • Extra green grass (this should be a sudden change)
  • Sewer backup

If you see any of these signs, call a professional immediately and reduce the amount of water you use in your home.

Protect Your Home

Now that you know the answer to “how do septic tanks work,” you know just how important it is to complete regular maintenance and cleaning. If you don’t have the solid part of your waste (or scum) removed, you can have some major smelly issues to deal with. If you have a septic tank, be sure to get it pumped every three to five years.

Looking for more great home advice? Keep checking out our site today.

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