A Few Basics About Septic Tanks

Three people in one home will produce at least 85,000 gallons each year of wastewater. Many homes use various septic tank systems albuquerque nm to process this wastewater. A septic system is essentially a living filter that separates solids from scum and water. The wastewater is then drained out to the drain field of a home after being pretreated. This process takes about a day or two and even the best systems need to be properly maintained in order to keep healthy conditions. If these systems aren’t taken care of, it could cause pollution in the area from the untreated waste that could leak onto your property and beyond.

Your septic tank itself is completely underground and is supposed to be watertight. If it isn’t watertight, it needs to be repaired for the safety and health of you and your family. The wastewater that collects in the septic tank includes all water that goes down the drain in your home including the kitchen, washing machine, bathrooms, and more. Heavier solids like waste will sink to the bottom of the tank while things like grease and scum go to the top of the tank. The solids in the tank need to be pumped out periodically to prevent problems with the septic system that can cause a lot of property damage. It’s suggested to have your tank pumped at least every 5 years.

Your drain field is the biggest part of your septic system. It can extend a good amount into your yard. The drain field is a series of pipes surrounded by gravel that are buried throughout the yard extending from your septic tank. When water leaves the septic tank it is known as effluent and is already partially filtered. When the effluent passes through the perforated pipes and into the gravel, it disperses through the surrounding oil and continues to be filtered.

When You Should Pump

Even if your tank doesn’t need to be pumped this year, it’s still a good idea to have basic maintenance performed every year. You can either do this yourself or call a professional for a more intensive inspection. You will need to check the levels of the tank itself as well as the drain fields in your yard. If you notice that the field smells or is soggy, your septic tank might need to be pumped.

If there is an overgrowth of scum that is within 3″ of the outlet device’s bottom, it needs to be pumped. Many people measure the scum level themselves by nailing a 3″ block to a pole and using it to measure the scum layer in their tank. Many people would rather leave this job to a professional as it’s generally not a pleasant thing to do.

On the bottom of the tank, a layer of sludge accumulates. This measurement can also be done by yourself, but it’s not something that most people prefer to do. If the sludge layer is approaching the outlet’s bottom by less than 12″, the tank should be pumped by a professional.