A septic tank is a key part of your home’s wastewater management system, and it is important to keep it in good working order.
A septic tank is a large container that holds solid waste material and wastewater from the home. They are typically made of concrete or fiberglass and are buried somewhere on the property between the house and drainfield.
Septic tanks come in different sizes; this is determined by several factors, including the amount of wastewater generated by the household, soil type, landscape, and local regulations. The most common sizes for residential septic tanks range from 750 to 1,250 gallons.
Once wastewater from the home enters the septic tank, it separates wastewater into liquid and solid components. The liquid then flows out of the tank, through pipes into a drain field. Meanwhile, the solids settle in the bottom of the tank where they are broken down by bacteria. Regular septic maintenance is essential to ensure that the septic tank remains working correctly.
Is Your Septic Tank Healthy?
Here are a few signs that your septic tank is healthy and functioning properly:
- One of the most obvious signs of a malfunctioning septic system is that there is sewage backing up into the home. A healthy septic tank should be able to process the wastewater from the home efficiently, without ever experiencing a backup of sewage.
- The grass is green and healthy over the septic tank, but not noticeably different than the rest of the yard. If you notice that the grass over your septic tank is greener than in other parts of your yard, this could be an indication of a leak in the tank.
- There is no foul odor coming from the tank or drain field. Foul odors could indicate a clog or blockage in the pipes that could lead to a sewage backup.
- The tank appears to be level and not sinking or shifting. If your septic tank is no longer level, it may indicate an issue with the ground settling, which can cause problems with how the system operates.
- The septic drain field is draining properly. If you notice pools of water near or in the drain field, there could be a problem with the pipes or filters, or the septic tank may be backing up due to a clog.
- There are no wet spots in the yard, particularly in the area of the septic tank, which could indicate that water is leaking out in the area of the tank. This could be a sign of a cracked or damaged septic tank.
- Tank levels remain where they should be, not overflowing or too low. If the water levels are too low, it could mean there is an issue with the inlet or outlet pipes. If the water levels are too high, it could indicate that solids are not breaking down properly in the tank.
- There are no gurgling sounds coming from the drains, which might suggest that pipes are clogged or that the septic tank is too full to process the wastewater.
- The quickness of drain time remains consistent. If water seems to drain slowly, it could be because the septic tank has an issue.
How to Ensure That Your Septic System Stays Healthy
The best way to ensure that your septic system remains healthy is to have it inspected and pumped regularly, and to address any minor issues before they become more serious. This will help to prevent any issues with the tank before they become serious.
Have the inspector assess the tank for signs of wear and tear. The inspector will look for signs of damage, such as cracked pipes, deteriorated walls, and tree roots that have grown into the tank. They can also estimate how much remaining life the tank has left before it needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Regular inspections are essential for keeping your septic tank in good condition. These should be completed annually at least, and allow for any potential problems to be identified quickly so that they can be addressed before they become serious issues.
It is also important to follow the general guidelines for maintaining a well-functioning septic system:
- Only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Do not flush items like paper towels, diapers, sanitary wipes, cigarette butts, condoms, or any other non-biodegradable materials, as these can clog up the septic system.
- Conserve water in your home by limiting the time spent in showers and only washing dishes or laundry when there is a full load.
- Install low-flow toilets and water-saving faucets and shower heads.
- Limit the use of household cleaners that contain harsh chemicals, since these can harm the beneficial bacteria in the septic tank.
- Do not drive or park on or near the septic tank, as this can cause the septic tank to crack.
- Likewise, do not drive or park on or near the septic drain field. This can cause the soil to become compacted, limiting the ability of the drainfield to effectively process the effluent.
- Do not build structures or plant trees or deep-rooted plants near the septic tank or drain field.
What to Do if You Are Worried About Your Septic Tank
The first thing you should do if you have concerns that your septic tank may not be functioning properly is to contact a licensed septic tank inspector or professional. It is important to hire an experienced septic company that has the knowledge and expertise to properly identify potential issues with your septic tank. They will be able to provide you with an accurate assessment of the health of your tank, as well as advice on what course of action may be necessary.
Septic Company In & Near Lakeland
When you need septic service in and near Lakeland, the septic professionals at Septic & Drainfield Depot are here to help. From installation to repairs and service, we offer a complete range of septic tank services for homeowners and business owners in Polk County and throughout central Florida.
Contact us for a free septic estimate today!