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Septic Systems 101: Homeowner's Guide to Septic Tanks

Septic System Overview

When homeowners flush the toilet, take a bath, wash clothes, or use the sink, the plumbing drains empty the wastewater into either a city sewer or a septic system. Septic tanks are commonly used in rural areas that do not connect to a sewer line. Homeowners who do not pay for sewer on their water bills or have well water most likely have a septic system.

Homeowners should know whether they have a septic tank or if their house uses the city sewer. Septic systems need different maintenance and upkeep. The city is responsible for maintaining the sewer line, but the homeowner is responsible for taking care of their septic tank. Having a basic knowledge of how septic tanks work, spot septic tank problems, and do septic tank maintenance will help homeowners prevent plumbing disasters.

How Do Septic Tanks Work

Septic systems comprise two main parts: the septic tank and the drain field. The tank is usually a large container made out of concrete or another durable, waterproof material. The septic tank is located underground somewhere on the property. All of the drains in the home will lead to the septic tank to dispose of wastewater.

Once the water reaches the septic tank, the solid waste begins to sink to the bottom while any oils and grease rise to the bottom. The liquid that is left, called effluent, can then be disposed of by releasing it slowly into the soil absorption field. Part of the septic system process involves neutralizing any contaminants in the water, such as human pathogens, before it is slowly released into the soil to evaporate.

Septic Systems Repair or Replacement

yard floodHomeowners should be on the lookout for signs of a failing septic system. A malfunctioning septic tank can be a costly and smelly problem for homeowners. Knowing what signs to look out for can help to prevent a septic tank disaster.

When the septic tank is not working properly, it can cause wastewater to flow back into the house via the drains. This usually is accompanied by foul smells that can make it difficult to even be indoors. Wastewater backflow can be dangerous for human health; one should never ignore this problem.

Other signs of septic tank damage include wet patches in the grass on the lawn around the septic tank. A septic tank leak underground could cause muddy pools of water on the lawn and soften the soil around it. It is important to call a qualified professional as soon as these issues are noticed to prevent the damage from worsening. The longer the septic tank is left in a state of disrepair, the more expensive the septic tank repairs may be.

Septic Tank Maintenance

septic maintenanceHomeowners should inspect the septic system for signs of damage and repair any small problems to prevent them from worsening. Professional maintenance is recommended because working on septic tanks can be dangerous. Homeowners could injure themselves or permanently damage their septic system with amateur maintenance or repairs.

Septic tanks need to be pumped every once in a while to keep them working efficiently. Other tips for taking care of septic tanks include keeping the septic tank lids firmly secured, being mindful of what gets flushed down the drains, and being careful about what plants are growing around the septic tank. Tree roots and other plant roots could impact the underground septic system.

About Capital Plumbing Contractors

Capital Plumbing Contractors is a proud provider of outstanding plumbing services for their neighbors in Tallahassee, FL. This local plumbing company is known in their community as a trustworthy and reliable plumber to call. Homeowners can depend on the team at Capital Plumbing Contractors to get the job done right. Call them today for septic system maintenance in Tallahassee, FL!