The septic tank. It’s one of your home’s most essential pieces of equipment – and one of the most mysterious.
It can be difficult to understand something that you can’t see, but knowing about your septic tank and its functions are crucial. The septic tank is where the wastewater from your home ends up, kitchens, bathrooms – and even laundry rooms.
Below, we’ve given a brief overview of the functionality of your septic system, as well as a few tips on keeping it working properly.
How does it work?
The septic system has two main components: the tank itself and the drain field.
The wastewater from your home only reaches the septic tank. Solid components make their way into the tank and are separated into two classifications: scum and sludge. Heavier waste (sludge) sinks to the bottom of the tank, while lighter waste (scum), like grease, makes its way to the top. Bacteria within the tank breaks down both scum and sludge, while the separated water passes through filters and into the drain field.
The drain field consists of multiple chlorinated pipes that continue to filter the water while releasing it into the soil, stone, and sand above and below the pipes, as well as to water cleaning facilities for further decontamination.
Tips for a healthy septic system
Minimize water usage
A septic system is capable of receiving a certain amount of wastewater each day. Too much water flowing into the system can result in contaminated water leaving the tank and entering the drain field. It is important to keep water usage to a minimum as your septic tank can only take so much!
70 gallons: a shocking, but true reality of how much water a single person uses on a daily basis. One might scratch their head attempting to comprehend how one person can use a total of 70 gallons of water every day, but when we look at where this usage is coming from, it can be easier to understand.
- Toilets: of all the water that a household uses, 25-30% comes from the toilet. Newer toilets use less water than old ones. Give us a call today if your house has dated toilets! Your septic system will thank you in the long-run.
- Sinks: think of all the unused water that goes down your sink every day. It is common for homeowners to leave their water running either while doing dishes, washing their hands, or brushing their teeth. Don’t be afraid to make a change! Use your sink’s water only when you need it.
Watch what you put in your drains
It is important to be smart about what goes into your drains. If you find yourself second-guessing an item, chances are it is not supposed to enter your drain.
- Grease: while grease might seem like an O.K. option to put down your drain, don’t do it! Grease has the potential to clog up your pipes and your drain field! It sounds like a nightmare.
- Tissues or wet wipes: since we are so used to flushing toilet paper down our toilets, we have a tendency to think that similar products are fine to flush as well. The bacteria within your septic tank cannot break down these items and they will likely remain floating in your tank.
Get a routine checkup
1,000-gallon septic tanks need to be maintenanced every five years or less.
Call us at 804-758-4314 to have a Miller’s professional take care of your septic tank!