What You Might Not Know about your Septic System

Have you recently moved into a home with a septic system? If you don’t have any experience with septic, there are a few things you need to know. Understanding your septic system and knowing how to maintain it can save you a world of trouble and a lot of expense.  

  • First, it’s good to know how the system works. Typically, a septic system has four components: a pipe from the house, a tank, a drainfield, and soil. The pipe from the house transports all of your household wastewater from you’re your home into the septic tank. Once in the tank, the water stays there long enough for the solids to settle out, forming sludge, and oil and grease to float to the surface, becoming scum. The tank is designed to let the water out into the drainfield while keeping the sludge and scum in the tank. The water travels to the drainfield, where it’s treated by microbes in the soil. In most states, a reserve drainfield is required in case your current drainfield fails. Percolating into the soil, the wastewater is cleansed of harmful bacteria and viruses, as well as nutrients, so suitable soil is necessary for successful wastewater treatment.  
  • Proper maintenance is vital for a septic system. Typically, the septic system should be inspected, and the tank pumped by a professional, every three to five years. Systems that have electric float switches, pumps, or mechanical components will probably need to be inspected more often than that, possibly even once a year. The frequency that your tank needs to be pumped will also be affected by the number of people in your household, the amount of wastewater generated, the amount of solid material in your wastewater, and the size of the tank. If you’re not sure about the specifics of your system, you may want to have an inspection to make sure everything is working as it should. When you do, the inspector will be able to make recommendations on caring for your system.  
  • For best results with your septic system, use water efficiently. Fix leaks promptly, install high-efficiency toilets and showerheads, and faucet aerators, and wash your clothes on the proper load setting. You might also consider buying a washing machine with an Energy Star label because those models use up to fifty percent less water than standard washers.  
  • Be careful about what goes down your drains. Whether flushed, washed down the shower drain, or ground up in the disposal, all your wastewater goes to your septic tank. Be careful what you put into it, only flushing human waste and toilet paper down the toilet, and keeping things like cooking grease, chemicals, and paint out of your drains.  
  • Mind the drainfield. Never park on your drainfield, and don’t plant trees too near it, because you don’t want roots growing into your septic system. Keep downspouts and anything else that’s carrying water away from your home pointed away from you drainfield as well.  

If you need someone to take a look at your septic system, call Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating. At Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating, we are passionate in our pursuit of safety, professionalism, and excellence in caring for our customers, co-workers, and community. That’s why this family-owned business has been around for 30 years, consistently delivering the customer satisfaction that’s earned us our superb reputation. A full-service plumbing company, we provide a wide range of services which include expert repairs to existing plumbing, water, gas, and sewage systems, copper piping, water main replacements, trenchless sewer replacements, and water heater installations. We also provide renovation services for kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms, to update the design or upgrade the energy efficiency. Contact us through our website or call 510-843-6904 for more information on all we can do for you.

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