Septic Tank Care

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Homes with septic tanks require home owners to provide routine maintenance in order to keep things flowing, so to speak. Septic tanks are located underground and are fairly large in size. Waste from inside your home passes through a series of pipes that include field lines as it is transported in and out of the septic tank. When inside your septic tank, solid waste begins to decompose naturally at the hands of anaerobic bacteria while water is passed through field lines and into soil.

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In order to care for a septic tank you must first know where to find it. Septic tanks are usually close to the house and buried underground, but there are several ways you can go about locating it if it the location is currently unknown. The easiest way is to contact your country environmental office which can provide documentation of where the septic tank is in your yard. You can also locate the general vicinity by tracking the lushest grass in the yard, which grows that way as a result of being watered by water from field lines. Probing can be done as well, provided it is done carefully, or you can insert a camera into your drain to track waste, but few of us have capable equipment for this task and paying to have it done could get expensive. When the location of your septic tank becomes known to you, be sure to make a note of its location for future reference.

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Once you've located your septic tank, you may wish to consider having it pumped. This is a task that should be done about every 3-5 years depending on how well drainage is operating as well as how many people live in the home it serves. If drains are slow and toilets frequently back up, a pumping is likely in order. There are some steps you can take to keep your septic tank in good working order in addition to regular pumping, such as:

  • Have regular inspections conducted.
  • Reducing water consumption in sinks, showers, and toilets.
  • Using biodegradable toilet paper which will decompose at a fast rate than standard paper.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals in your drains, such as bleach, paint, gasoline, and drain cleaning agents.
  • Do not pour grease into drains.
  • Avoid flushing feminine hygiene products, diapers, cigarettes, etc.
  • Always call a reputable septic tank service company at the first sign of problems.

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Even though a septic tank does require periodic maintenance, as a whole it is generally a cooperative piece of equipment that can go on operating for years without a hiccup. That, of course, requires some effort from you and your family which mainly comes in the form of not flushing foreign objects or chemicals that can compromise your septic system. Be sure to teach children what is and is not appropriate to flush and close the lid when your toilet is not in use to prevent anything from accidentally falling inside. For your septic tank and system to serve you well, all you have to do in exchange is perform minor maintenance tasks to keep things moving as they should.

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