Caring for your septic tank is not only a necessity for the safety of your house, but also for the health of your family and surrounding households. If not adequately cared for, your system could create hazardous pollution as well as costly property damage. Its underground location makes it even more crucial that you frequently check on the system to avoid issues you may not even know are unfolding.

At Apex Plumbing Solutions in Danville, we offer all the service you need on your septic tank problems. To decrease the likelihood of a septic tank failure and to protect water quality, though, there are steps you can take. Continue reading to learn more about septic tank maintenance.

How Your Septic Tank Works

To ensure you properly maintain your system, it’s important to actually understand a septic tank’s process. The tank collects all of your home’s wastewater from the toilet, bath, kitchen and laundry. Materials inside the tank separate into solids, scum, and liquid waste, called effluent. The solids sink to the bottom of the tank while scum floats to the top.

Bacteria inside the tank breaks down decomposable solids into liquid waste which is then funneled into the drain field. This is where the final disposal of septic tank effluent occurs as a network of perforated pipes in the drain field allows the liquid to trickle into the soil where it is naturally cleaned and deposited into the ground. 

But not everything that goes into a septic tank makes its way out naturally. Some solids that are unable to breakdown —  Diapers, coffee grounds, and cigarette butts, to name a few — cause problems when the septic tank becomes too full. This is why frequent and thorough inspection of your system is required. But what are the steps you need to follow?

Yearly Inspection

It is crucial that you get ahead of build ups inside your septic tank before they become too much of a problem. If your tank is too full of scum, sludge, or solids, it will eventually overflow into the drain field and cause extensive damage to both your system on the environment.

The best way to inspect your tank is through Apex Plumbing Solutions. Our experts have the experience, equipment, and knowledge to safely and accurately judge your sludge and scum level so you can pump out your system. Here are two tell-tale signs it’s time to pump your septic tank:

  1. When the bottom of the scum layer is within 3 inches of the bottom outlet
  2. When the top of the sludge layer is within 1 foot of the bottom outlet

While it is possible for homeowners to do this themselves, the easiest way to ensure your septic tank maintenance is by having one of our septic and plumbing technicians come out to your house.

How To Care For Your Septic System

There are many factors that affect the health of your entire septic system, including household size, total wastewater generated, volume of solids in wastewater and septic tank size. Most of those factors are controllable, though, which means you can begin taking steps to keep your septic system healthy immediately. Here are some easy tips to follow to limit costly septic tank maintenance costs.

Efficient water use

One of the biggest factors determining how often you need to pump your septic tank is how much water your household uses. Since all wastewater from your house goes into the tank, it can fill up much quicker than you might anticipate. Simple fixes like shortening your showers, fixing leaky faucets, and being smart about washing machine and dishwasher usage add up over time to create a massive impact on water usage.

Think before you flush

Solids are flushed down the toilet far too often for septic tanks to keep up. When those solids accumulate in the tank, it forces you to pump more often to avoid severe system damage. Remember to never flush these harmful products:

  • Diapers
  • Dental floss
  • Feminie hygiene products
  • Cigarette butts
  • Paper towels
  • Cat litter

Go easy on the garbage disposal

It might seem easy to push everything down your sink drain and trust the garbage disposal to do the rest. But this can hurt your septic system in more ways than one. When putting grease and oils down your garbage disposal, those accumulate immediately at the layer of scum at the top of the tank. The more scum in the tank, the more frequently you are forced to pump your tank. 

Also, if chemical cleaners go through your garbage disposal too often, they begin to impact the natural bacteria in the septic tank. The bacteria are a crucial part in decomposing solids to encourage a tank that functions at capacity.

Septic tank maintenance can be daunting if you let it get out of hand. But by following these precautions and and trusting the septic services at Apex Plumbing Solutions, you can avoid costly and frustrating fixes. Call us today to make sure your septic tank is in pristine condition!