Machines & Maintenance

Septic Tank Basics

If you’ve never owned a home with a septic tank, it can feel like a daunting task. As long as you have a good system and follow some basic guidelines, maintaining the septic tank will not be difficult. There may be some bad habits you will have to break, and you may have some uncomfortable conversations with guests, but overall these systems are easy and efficient. 

Pump Routinely

Basic household septic tanks should be pumped out every three to five years. If you have a smaller tank, then don’t go longer than three years. For standard size tanks, the frequency has to do with the amount of waste that goes into the septic system. Large families should have it pumped out more frequently, and smaller families or couples can wait the five years. This is true as long as your system is functioning correctly. Do not try to pump the septic tank yourself. Hire a septic service Woodstock GA to pump and dispose of the sludge. The material that comes out of your tank needs to be disposed of in an environmentally safe way. 

Be Careful With the Drain

You need to be careful with what you put down the drain or flush down the toilet. Unfortunately, garbage disposals are not recommended in homes with septic tanks. Food can not go into the tank at all. Cleaning products with bleach should not go into the system on a regular basis. Bleach kills the good bacteria that break down waste in the tank. Dumping cooking grease down the drain is also a bad idea. Instead, collect it in a container and then toss it in the trash. 

Septic safe toilet paper is the only item you should flush down the toilet. Wipes, tissues, paper towels and feminine hygiene products should never be flushed, even if the package says it is septic safe. Those products do not break down easily and can cause a clog. 

Monitor Your Yard

There are certain signs that a septic tank is not functioning properly. This could be because there is a clog in the system, or could mean it needs to be pumped. As soon as you see these signs, call a professional. If the tank has a problem, you may notice a soggy backyard. Wastewater will seep up from the tank instead of draining out through the drainage field. You may also notice a foul smell. This is a sign that materials are not breaking down as they should. You may also see signs in your home, like gurgling from the toilets. This usually means there is a backup somewhere in the system.