How to Care For a Septic System

The very concept of plumbing is an old one, seeing as the ancient Romans used lead-coated pipes to provide running water to homes, and their famed bath houses also had running water. Today, of course, plumbing and water cleaning services are much more advanced. Most properties are connected to public utilities and sewage treatment plants, though around 25% of all American homes make use of septic systems instead. Often remote rural properties, these homes are too far away to connect to public utilities, so they use self-sufficient septic tanks and sewage disposal systems right there on the property. These septic systems operate by themselves, but sometimes, septic cleaning or septic tank repair needs to be done. A homeowner can look up “septic cleaning near me” when their tank is getting full, and have professionals visit to help out.

How a Septic System Operates

How does a septic system function? To begin with, all dirty water is flushed down from the house and through pipes that all lead to a large underground septic tank on the property. Inside this huge tank, which can hold a few days’ worth of water at once, bacteria colonies will get to work. These bacteria break down organic solids, and particles will settle at the tank’s bottom to form a slick sludge. Fats and oils will float to the top, and this leaves relatively clean water in between. This process may take two or three days to complete before the water is ready to move on.

The relatively clean water will pass through a filter grate for further cleaning, and the partially clean water will go deeper into the system and flow through branching pipes that are just below the soil’s surface. These pipes, located in the leaching field, allow water to leak right out through holes and nozzles, and the water is cleaned as it goes through loose soil, gravel, and bacteria. Now, the safely cleaned water can re-enter the natural water system, and the process is complete. Now, what might go wrong with this system so the owner needs septic tank treatment, or look up “septic cleaning near me”?

Cleaning and Fixing a Septic System

A property’s septic system works automatically from start to finish without needing any human input, but sometimes, the system is dirty or damaged and needs help, such as the tank itself. Take note that the tank’s sludge has no way to leave, and it will continue to build up over time as the tank is used. So, the homeowner can insert a long stick (known as a sludge judge) into the tank and measure how full it is. Once the tank is one third to one half full, it is time to look up “septic cleaning near me” or similar services.

Looking up “septic cleaning near me” can show a homeowner a variety of local companies to choose from, and once a crew is requested, they will arrive with a large truck that features pumps and a storage tank. The crews will dig up the tank and open its hatch, then place a wide hose over it and draw up all material inside with pumps. This will empty out the septic tank, and the truck will then leave. This may be done once every few years or so. But if a septic tank is very old (such as 20 years old or more) and is leaking, then it needs to be replaced at once. Crews can unearth the old tank and replace it, and the new tank can be an even larger model if the homeowner wants one.

Meanwhile, the filter grate in the tank may end up clogged or damaged, and this will interfere with water flow and filtration at this point in the system. So, a dirty grate can be removed, cleaned off, and put back, and a damaged grate can be replaced with a new one. Also, the pipes in the drainage field may end up caked with hardened grime on the inside, which restricts water flow. Crews can be asked to dig up those pipes and scour their insides clean with pressurized water, and the pipe can be repaired or replaced if need be.

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