A regular septic tank cleaning is important to maintain the health of your tank and field. An annual septic tank cleaning will go along way saving you thousands of dollars in repairs and labour to your tank and field before problems arise. Need a septic inspection? We work with realtors & home owners to provide written septic inspections reports. Call today 403-328-2460
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How does the septic system work?
A septic system is fairly simple and operates well. All drains in the home join into to a single pipe that leads to the septic tank buried outside. When the waste water from your toilet, shower, sinks and washing machine leave your house, it’s combined. When it hits the septic tank, however, it begins to separate. The heaviest particulate matter in the waste, called sludge, sinks to the bottom. At the top of the tank, fats, oils and proteins form the floating scum layer. In the middle is the comparatively clear liquid layer called effluent or gray water. Combined, these components are called septage.
Septic systems are designed so that only the effluent is discharged from the tank into the drain field (also called the leach field). This is simply a set of pipes with holes drilled into them that release the effluent below ground (but above the water table). The effluent is degraded enough to be well-filtered by good soil. There’s plenty of organic material left in the effluent, though, which acts as fertilizer. This is why the drain field usually boasts the healthiest segment of the yard above it.
Simple as their design may be, septic systems require the homeowner to monitor them before problems arise. Usually, once a problem becomes obvious, it’s too late for any simple solution.
Signs of a failing septic system?
1. Wastewater backing into the household drains
2. Bright green, spongy grass on the drain field, even during dry weather
3. Pooling water or muddy soil around the septic system or in the basement
4. A strong odor around the septic tank and drain field.
How often should we pump out our tank?
We highly recommend having your tank maintained yearly, at the very most every two years. Even with a healthy microbial ecosystem breaking down the septic, sludge and a hard crust layer will start to form. This build up is hard on the tank and can cause blockages in the field. This is why it is important to have your tank regularly cleaned and checked. Many try to leave the tank too long as a result the system can overflow, which can even back into the house and yard. This is a messy undertaken and not safe as the sewage could seep into nearby water bodies contaminating the water and leaving harmful bacteria in your home leading to diseases such as hepatitis.
Why should I pump my septic tank regularly?
Besides avoiding have a septic backup or clogged lines; If you pump your tank on a regular basis it is possible to enhance the effectiveness of your entire onlot wastewater disposal system. Research at Penn State has shown that your soil absorption system will benefit from periodic resting (a period during which no wastewater is added to the system). To get the greatest benefit from pumping your septic tank, it is recommended that you have your septic tank pumped every two years at the most. It’s highly recommended to your tank pumped before you leave for your summer vacation. This allows the whole system (especially the soil absorption area) to have the opportunity to dry out letting any partially decomposed organic waste quickly decompose in the absence of water. Before leaving on vacation in the winter months, be sure to have your tank pumped as the water in the tank freezes without the daily usage (heat from the bacteria breaking down with constant usage).