Maintaining Your Septic Tank and Sewage Pump

by on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 9:00:00 AM
Maintaining Your Septic Tank and Sewage Pump

Routine septic tank maintenance can sustain and lengthen the lifetime and durability of your septic tank. Along with presenting health and environmental benefits, regular septic tank maintenance is cost effective and easy to perform. Upkeep comes down to just four key elements: caring for your drainage, performing proper waste disposal practices, efficiently consuming water, and regularly inspecting and pumping your septic tank.

What Does Your Septic Tank and Your Sewage Pump Do?

Septic tanks are the large concrete, polyethylene, or fiberglass watertight boxes buried in the ground that work as your home or businesses’ sewage system. The automatic sewage pump is a part of the septic system that transports the waste and waste water from a home and into the septic tank. Organic solid matter floats to the top of the tank, while the inorganic non-biodegradable solids sink below, and the water remains in between. When full, the waste water flows out of the septic tank and into the drain field. At this point, you must consult a professional to pump out the solids. Improper septic tank maintenance may cause solids to overflow and clog the soil pores.

Tips on Maintaining Your Septic Tank and Your Sewage Pump

Drainage Care: Drains are not alternative disposal units, and they should not be treated as such. Avoid pouring cooking and/or motor oils and grease down your drains. Not only could these clog up your drainages, but they could also harm your septic system by clogging up your sewage pumps and your drain fields. Paints, solvents, toxic cleaners, chemical openers, and other types of chemicals are also quite harmful to the bacteria tasked with digesting organic waste inside your septic tanks.

Practice Proper Waste Disposal: Do not use your toilet to dispose of tampons, condoms, diapers, cigarette butts, coffee grinds, cat litter, disposal wipes and pharmaceuticals. While some product packaging may suggest that it is okay to flush some materials down the toilet after use, and while it may seem convenient to do so, this could potentially cause damage to both your septic tank and your sewage pump in the long run. As a general rule of thumb, do not flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper.

Water Consumption: The water that flows down your pipes ultimately travels into your septic tank and out into the drain field. If extremely high water levels travel into your tank, it could disrupt both the solids from separating from the waste water and the bacteria from treating the waste. This could result in untreated waste water spilling into the drain field, posing hazards to your environment and to your community’s health. Take care when consuming water as reducing water can greatly improve the operation of your septic system. The following several steps can drastically reduce your home’s water usage without disrupting your daily routine:

  • Install high efficiency toilets to reduce your water usage per flush
  • Wash smaller laundry loads, and install faucet aerators and high efficiency showerheads to reduce the volume of water flowing into your septic tank.

Conduct Regular Inspections and Pump Your Septic Tank When Needed: A basic and yet fundamental requirement of keeping your tank in good condition is conducting regular annual inspections. Regular checkups will alert you on when you need to pump your tank. Damaged sewage pumps and septic tanks could result in waste backup into your home or leakages into the environment. The cost of an annual inspection ranges from $100 to $300. This is rather cost efficient when compared to the $3000 to $7000 cost of repair for a damaged tank.

Some Appliances That May Disrupt Your Septic System

Hot Tubs: This modern day appliance can overload your septic tank and your sewage pump with its large volume of additional water usage. Hot tub water should be cooled off then drained outside of your home and away from your drain field.

Garbage Disposal: The use of a garbage disposal may overload your sewage pump and your septic tank with solids, causing more of a buildup in your tank and risking waste to backup into your home. Try to limit or entirely avoid your use of this appliance.

A dysfunctional septic system devalues the cost of your property and poses a risk to the ecosystem, to your community, and to your health. The health hazards associated with damaged septic tanks are quite vast and severe. An easy way to become more eco-friendly is to ensure that your septic tank is always in perfect working condition.

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