When a Septic Tank Needs Cleaning or Repair

The idea of plumbing is not a recent one; the ancient Romans used lead-coated pipes to deliver fresh water to buildings, and their famed bath houses also had running water. By now, modern plumbing and sewage treatment plants allow for safe drinking water and easy sewage disposal for most properties, which are connected to public utilities. Still, some properties are too remote to connect, so they make use of septic tanks and septic systems to dispose of their waste water. Around 25% of American homes are connected to septic systems like these, which are self-sufficient and don’t even require human input to operate. This is quite convenient, although septic tank services may sometimes be called over for septic tank repair or pipe cleaning. When should a homeowner look up a local septic tank service and get help? And how do these systems work, anyway?

How a Septic System Operates

The septic cleaning process begins as the house flushes its dirty, used water through a series of pipes, which all deposit the material into a large, underground septic tank. Septic tanks can carry a few days’ worth of water at once, and inside this tank, bacteria colonies will start breaking down organic wastes and solids in the water. This causes particles to settle to the tank’s bottom and form a thick sludge, and fats oils will float to the water’s top. After two or three days of this, the relatively clean water in between those layers is ready to move on. That water will pass through a filter grate for further scrubbing, and go deeper into the system.

Now, the water flows through a series of pipes that are found just under the soil’s surface, and the water is able to leach right out through pipes and nozzles. The water is further cleaned as it leaks through loose gravel, soil, and bacteria, and by now, that water is safe enough to re-enter the natural water cycle and the septic system is complete. Why might a homeowner need to call upon septic tank services to fix this hardware, though? What might go wrong with it?

Routine Cleaning and Repair Work

Often, septic tank services are called for a mundane but vital reason; to empty out the septic tank. Bear in mind that the tank will continue to fill with sludge over time, since that sludge has no means of leaving the tank on its own. So, a homeowner may insert a long stick known as a “sludge judge” to measure the tank’s sludge level. Once the septic tank is one third to halfway full, it is time to call upon septic tank services to help, and these companies can be found online. Once a homeowner compares a few septic tank services and hires one, the workers will arrive on the client’s property with a large truck and unearth the tank’s hatch. Once that hatch is opened and a wide hose is attached, the truck’s pumps will draw up all waste matter inside and collect it in a large storage tank on the truck’s bed. Once the septic tank is emptied out, the hatch is closed again and buried, and the truck leaves. This may be done once every few years.

Meanwhile, a very old septic tank, such as one that is 20 years old or more, may wear out and start leaking, so septic tank services can be hired to remove it and install a new model, which may be larger if the homeowner so desires. The tank’s filter grate may also need attention: if dirty or clogged, it should be cleaned, and if damaged, it should be replaced. This ensures that water is properly filtered and cleaned during the septic process.

Even the pipes in the drainage field may need some help, such as if they are damaged or if they get caked with grime on the inside and suffer restricted water flow. Workers can fix or replace damaged pipes, and dirty ones can be dug up and have their insides scoured with pressurized water. Also, take note that no motor vehicles should be allowed to drive across the drainage field, since that vehicle’s weight will compress the soil and gravel and thus block water flow.

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