A few weeks ago, my husband and I met with a general contractor. We talked with this professional about building an addition onto our small home. At this time, he informed us about a problem with our septic tank. We learned we would have to relocate a couple of septic lines before construction could begin on our home. Are you considering building an addition onto your house or business? Before you get too far along in this complex process, think about consulting with someone from a reputable septic service in your area. An expert from a septic service can inform you if your current septic tank will be large enough to accommodate the addition. On this blog, I hope you will discover the most common tasks performed by septic services. Enjoy!
If you follow EPA guidelines, you should pump your septic tank roughly every 3-5 years. The EPA-recommended schedule isn't perfect and won't apply to all situations, but it does provide a relatively good range for most homes. However, needing to pump your tank slightly more or less often doesn't necessarily indicate an underlying issue with your septic system.
However, you may have an issue if you must schedule tank cleanings significantly more often than every three years. Here are three possible reasons you may notice the signs of an overflowing septic tank long before you hit the three mark.
1. You're Using Your System Improperly
From inside your house, the difference between a municipal sewer hookup and a septic system may not seem all that drastic. After all, you can flush the waste down your drains, where it vanishes out of sight and mind. Unfortunately, that waste can come back to haunt you. Any form of solid waste or grease will sit in your tank, where it will remain until you schedule a septic tank pumping.
Knowing what to flush down your drains is critical to maintaining your system. The wrong items can clog up your tank or disrupt the microfauna inside, preventing them from managing solid waste levels. If you consistently use your tank improperly, grease and solid levels can quickly get out of control, forcing you to schedule more frequent tank pumping.
2. You've Previously Deferred Maintenance
Waiting too long to pump your septic tank can have serious consequences. If you're lucky, you might clog your tank's inlet side. This situation can lead to a smelly sewage backup into your home, but it won't cause much permanent damage once you clear the obstruction. On the other hand, an overfilled tank can also cause waste to travel into your drainfield.
If waste reaches your drainfield, it can clog your drain tiles or affect the field's ability to drain effluent. These problems can reduce the overall efficiency of your septic system, requiring you to pump the tank more frequently to prevent backups. The best resolution will involve inspecting your drainfield and ensuring you stick to a regular pumping schedule once you address the underlying problem.
3. You've Increased Your Usage
Your septic system is a small, on-site waste treatment plant with a specific maximum throughput based on your household size. The septic tank holds solid waste and grease, and effluent slowly flows through the system until it reaches the drainfield. The system's throughput depends on the ability of the drainfield to filter and disperse liquid effluent into the surrounding environment.
Increased usage, such as due to long-term guests or a new addition to your family, can stress your system. The extra waste will fill your tank more quickly, and the drainfield's limited throughput can quickly cause backups once your tank fills. If you can't reduce your usage, you must pump your tank more frequently until you eventually replace and upgrade the system.
Contact a septic tank service to find out more.