The Homeowner’s Guide to Septic Systems

As a homeowner, you are responsible for understanding and maintaining your septic system. This easy list will help you keep track of everything you need to know to keep your septic system healthy. Plus, if you make sure to keep track of these items, you will pay less in repair or replacement costs for your system. A little knowledge and work now is less stress for your future.


Understanding What a Septic System Is

The first step to owning a septic system is understanding what it is and what it does for your home. Septic systems are underground wastewater treatment structures, commonly used in rural areas without centralized sewer systems. Septic systems treat wastewater from household plumbing produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry.


Understanding the Parts of a Septic System

The next step in learning about your septic system is knowing what its components are.  A typical septic system consists of a septic tank and a drainfield or soil absorption field. The septic tank processes organic matter and separates floatable matter. The drainfield or soil absorption field is where the liquid from the septic tank is discharged to.

Understanding How Your Septic System Works

Know that you know what a septic system is and what components it has, you need to learn how a septic system works. The first step in the septic system is when the water runs out of your house through a drainage pipe.  Then, the water runs to the septic tank where it holds and separates the wastewater.  Then, the wastewater from the septic tank goes into the drainfield. Lastly, the wastewater filters slowly into the soil, where it goes to work naturally removing harmful bacteria and viruses.


Locating Your Septic System

Once you have determined that you have a septic system, there are a few ways that you can find it.  You can find it by looking on the drawing of your home and looking in the backyard area to see where it is buried. You can also look for it by checking your backyard for lid and manhole covers.


When to Pump Your Septic System

Septic system pumping is very important. You should be getting your household septic system inspected by a professional every three years and you should get your tank pumped every three to five years. A professional will inspect for leaks and examine the scum and sludge layers in your septic tank and then determine if the system needs to be pumped. If the system does need to be pumped, there are many pumping services that will fit your needs. Be sure to contact a professional if it is time for septic system pumping. If you have further questions about septic tank pumping, be sure to check out frequently asked questions here.


How to Maintain Your Septic System

There are a few things you can do on a daily basis to maintain your septic system.  You need to know that everything you put down your drain goes into your septic system.  If you carelessly put things like wipes, food, oil, or chemicals down your drain on a daily basis, they can have a negative impact on your septic system by clogging your pipes.  A simple rule of thumb to keep in mind is to only put human waste, toilet paper, soaps, or water down your drain.


Know When to Seek Assistance

One of the key things to keep in the back of your mind when owning a septic system is knowing when to contact a professional if you have any questions or concerns about your septic system. If there is anything you feel uncomfortable exploring or repairing, be sure to seek professional assistance.

This homeowner’s guide to septic systems will keep you in check for maintaining your septic system so you don’t experience any additional costs or stresses.