Finding Solutions for Your Septic Tank Problems

Annual Maintenance For Your Septic System

by Senanur Norder

Septic systems can be finicky, but when properly maintained, they can last for decades without requiring any major maintenance apart from the occasional pumping. To help make sure that every part of your septic system is running smoothly, you should give it an inspection about once a year. Some of this inspection will require the help of a professional, but there are a number of things you can do yourself.

Investigate The Grounds

Your septic system covers a lot of area underground. Apart from your tank, there is also the leach field which is responsible for letting liquids get absorbed into the surrounding soil. If these are broken, blocked or malfunctioning, your tank could fill up much more quickly.

Start by looking for any signs of damp earth or increased weed growth. This often means an influx of water brought on by a full tank, a clog or a broken pipe. While liquids should be absorbed into the soil, there shouldn't be so much liquid that it attracts an abundance of plant growth.

If everything looks okay, next clear away any plant growth from where your tank or leach field is located. Roots from nearby plants can penetrate the leach field, breaking the pipes and blocking the flow of liquid.

Check Your Connections

Major leaks are generally noticed quickly, but once a year, you should make it a point to use every water-using appliance in your home to make sure that your connections are secure and that the water is all going to the right place. Outside your house connected to the outflow pipe is a pipe that rises vertically and opens just above ground. If you look down into it, you can see water as it drains into your septic tank. As you use your toilets, sinks, tubs, washing machine and dishwasher, have someone supervise this pipe to make sure the water flows into the tank. Look for evidence of clogs, such as weak water flow or a long delay between the draining of water from indoors and when it shows up in the pipe.

Look Over Your Maintenance Records

Keeping detailed maintenance records is good for multiple reasons; apart from proving your purchase of services, it also helps you keep track of trends in your water use and can help you find problems in your system that might not be visible. For example, do you typically get the tank pumped every four years, but the interval has recently gotten shorter? There may be an issue with your scum and sludge levels, your distribution box or your pump, if applicable.

You can also keep notes of where in your yard every important component to your system is located. This helps you find everything during maintenance and helps professionals locate your tank when necessary.

Have An Annual Inspection

You shouldn't only have professionals over when it's time for your tank to be pumped. An inspection can catch many problems before they get serious; an inspector will investigate your tank, fluid levels, your distribution box, and your leach field. A professional will open the tank itself for the inspection, which is something you probably don't want to do (and often shouldn't for safety reasons).

Having an annual inspection is preventative spending, but repair costs for septic systems can get very high very fast, so it's worth the price.

For professional septic tank service, contact a company such as Linn Septic Service.