Your septic tank is the large underground, watertight container where all your wastewater flows from your toilet, bath, and kitchen sink. Solids settle to the bottom of the tank where bacteria reduce them to sludge and gases. When this layer of accumulated waste becomes too thick to drain, it will need to be pumped out periodically.
If you’re a homeowner, you likely know the importance of caring for your septic system. Not only does it prevent problems in the long run, but it also helps to preserve the value of your home. Proper care of your septic system includes knowing the proper time to pump your tank and keeping it clean. You’ll want to have it pumped out every three to five years, but your local health department may recommend a longer or shorter period. Ideally, you’ll have the septic tank pumped out before it reaches a high sludge and scum level. This is because sludge and scum can damage the drain field and cause a problem.
Proper feeding is important for a healthy septic system. It’s not good for your septic tank or septic drain field to pour down grease, cooking fats, chemical drain openers, paint, varnishes, solvents, fuels, waste oil, photographic solutions, pesticides, or any other chemicals that disrupt the natural bacteria in the septic tank. It is also not good to flush down anything other than toilet paper and human waste. Things like hair, coffee grounds, cat litter, paper towels, pasta, flour, tampons, diapers, condoms, and cigarette butts will clog the toilet and fill the tank. In a short amount of time, these materials could clog the septic tank and cause it to need pumping.
Basins are a critical part of any wastewater (sewage, effluent, sump) system. They are designed to hold and collect wastewater before it is removed by way of a submersible sewage pump. Some basins can be paired with more than one type of sewage pump while others are designed expressly to work with a certain pump. It’s a good idea to be familiar with the sewage pump you are going to use before purchasing a basin.
Your drainfield is a vital part of your septic system that removes and disposes of wastewater. Without a drainfield, your septic tank would overflow, causing runoff and sewage backups in your yard. The drainfield is a shallow, covered excavation made in unsaturated soil that accepts and treats pretreated waste from your septic tank. Natural bacteria and microbes then break down the effluent as it passes through the soil. This process helps prevent bacterial overgrowth that could cause a bad smell and odor in your home and your yard. It also helps to remove coliform bacteria, which can lead to disease and other health problems.