Homeowners give thought to having their chimney cleaned to avoid a fire. They give thought to having an annual furnace checkup and new filters put in to make sure it is running efficiently. They winterize their home to save money. But oftentimes, what could arguably be their most important utility goes unchecked- their septic system. It's likely an out-of-sight, out-of-mind matter, but this can be a dangerous habit to fall into. Here is what you need to know about your septic system care and maintenance.
What Can Happen If You Forget About Your Septic System?
Contamination of the groundwater can be the most serious result of failing to care for your septic system. If your septic system fails, untreated waste can reach the groundwater. This is particularly bad if you and your neighbors rely on wells, springs, or cisterns for your water supply. Viruses and bacteria in your drinking water can lead to outbreaks of diseases like dysentery, hepatitis, E. coli, and typhoid. Untreated waste that reaches the groundwater will also eventually make its way to creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes. This can contaminate the water, causing an algae bloom, which depletes the oxygen in a water source, killing fish and other aquatic life. As you can see, it is extremely important every septic system owner do their part to protect the community from a breeched system. You may also end up with a soggy lawn as stinky, raw sewage permeates your yard.
What Is required For Septic Tank Maintenance?
Your septic system should get an annual fitness checkup just like you get a yearly physically. Call a professional septic tank service company to come and do the job for you; it's easier and the fee is relatively inexpensive.
The service will come and locate the cap to your septic system. If it is buried, they will unearth it and map it for future visits. They will then check all the connections by flushing toilets, running the water, and starting a washing machine cycle. This is to ensure all of the piping and connections to the septic system are working as they should and the wastewater is making into to the septic tank. They will then check the sludge layer on the bottom of the tank. This is the layer of the solid wastes that have collected. It the sludge layer takes up more than one-third of the tank, it is time to pump it. The service will also check to ensure the system hasn't become cracked and is leeching waste into the surrounding soil.