One of the most essential parts of any plumbing system is the waste removal system. A septic system provides homeowners with an affordable and convenient way of clearing away wastewater. However, to maintain it properly, you need to understand how a septic system works. Explore this guide to learn more about them and how to care for your septic system properly.

1. Septic Systems Provide On-Site Wastewater Filtration

If you’ve only used a sewer system before, septic systems can be a bit of a surprise. These waste management systems do not remove all the wastewater from your property. Instead, they clean and filter wastewater for you.

When waste exits your home, it flows into a large tank divided into compartments and filled with beneficial bacteria. The tank’s design separates solids while letting water seep out into the soil of a septic field. Once it’s released, the water gradually filters through the soil until it’s fully clean again.

2. You Need to Empty a Septic Tank Regularly

Septic tanks do a great job of releasing pure water into the wild. However, they hold onto all solid material to avoid contaminating your property. The beneficial bacteria in the tank help to break down this material and prevent smells, but this doesn’t mean you can ignore your tank forever.

To keep it working properly, you need to occasionally open up the tank and remove any debris that is sitting in it. Usually, homeowners need to schedule a professional septic pumping every three to five years. During this maintenance, your septic technicians will vacuum up solids from your tank and then take them to a waste disposal site for you.

3. Septic Systems Can Only Handle Certain Substances

A septic system puts you in control of your wastewater removal, but this also means you have to be more proactive. Instead of just flushing anything you like and letting your sewer company deal with it, you have to manage the system carefully. Putting the wrong thing down the drain can clog the filtration system or kill the bacteria that help to process waste.

Usually, the rule of thumb for septic tanks is that they’re only built to handle water, toilet paper, and bodily waste. You can end up harming your tank if any of these items go down your drain:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Paper towels
  • Paint
  • Gasoline
  • Weed killers
  • Chlorine-based cleaners
  • Foaming cleaners
  • Cat litter
  • Oil and grease
  • Tampons and sanitary napkins
  • Dental floss
  • Flushable wipes

4. There Are Different Types of Septic Systems

Septic systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and different designs work better in different situations. The most common type of system is a conventional one. These consist of a tank that connects to a gravel-lined drain field. They work well in even small yards, but they can take a lot of effort to install.

Chamber septic systems are an alternative if you cannot dig the deep trenches required for a traditional drain field. They have a set of open chambers that gradually leach water into the soil, so they’re ideal for areas with a high water table. Another useful option is a drip system that slowly drips water from tubes into a small drain field. They help to prevent some issues like overflowing drain fields, but they require more maintenance.

5. Septic Tanks Provide Many Advantages

Despite requiring a little more maintenance, septic systems are so popular that one in five homes have them. The main benefit of a septic system is its affordability. Since you aren’t connected to a municipal sewer, you pay less taxes and fees each year. If you live in a rural area, installing a septic system is a lot more affordable than a sewer connection.

Many homeowners also like septic systems because they’re environmentally friendly. It processes wastewater with bacteria instead of chemicals, and your recycled water ends up nourishing the plant life near your home.

For more help with your septic system, or if you are looking for a septic service cleaning, turn to Salina Septic Service. Our team is happy to explain how your system works and help you maintain it. We also provide a lot of other septic services throughout Salina including portable restroom rentals and septic installations. Contact us now to learn more.

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