If you’re buying a home with a septic system, you may have concerns about how a septic system works. If you’re considering purchasing a home with a septic system or have recently purchased a home with a septic tank, here are a few things you should know that will help you understand how your septic system works and how to keep your septic tank operating it’s best.
What is a Septic System?
A septic tank is part of a home’s wastewater system. Homes with a septic tank are not part of a city’s sewer system. To treat and dispose of wastewater, a septic system acts as an independent system to treat and dispose of wastewater.
The septic tank is located underground in your yard and receives wastewater from your home through a pipeline connected to your home and the septic tank. While the septic tank requires very little physical maintenance, what you dispose of in your toilets and sinks will have a massive impact on the longevity and efficiency of your septic tank. Proper maintenance of your septic tank means proper care.
The Importance of Septic Tank Maintenance
Proper septic tank maintenance will make the difference in how well your septic system performs and how long it will last. According to the EPA, you should have your septic tank pumped or emptied every three to five years. However, the size of your tank and how much wastewater is generated by your household will also influence how often you should have the tank pumped.
To avoid clogs and damage to your septic system, you should have it inspected regularly to ensure there are no leaks or clogs in the system. You should also avoid using your toilets and sinks as garbage cans. Never put cat litter, grease, fat, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, paint, or chemicals into sinks or toilets.
How to Keep Your Septic Tank Working Properly
A septic tank separates solid waste from floatable waste. The solid waste sits at the bottom of the tank and is also known as sludge. Between the floatable waste and solid waste is the liquid wastewater known as effluent. The effluent empties into a drain field buried in your yard where it disperses into the soil. To keep your septic system working properly, add an effluent filter to keep outlet pipes from getting clogged and solid waste from entering the drain field.
If you’re going to buy a home with a septic tank, make sure to have it inspected before title transfer. Replacing a septic tank can be very costly, so proper septic tank maintenance and care are essential if you want to avoid high repair costs or damage to your yard.