Frequently Asked Questions About Septic Tanks

What Is a Septic Tank? 

Septic tanks play a critical role in the plumbing system’s operations. But what do these components do? A septic tank exists to treat and manage the wastewater from toilets, sinks, and other fixtures. A properly maintained septic tank system effectively treats and disposes of household wastewater, preventing contamination of the environment and ensuring the safe, responsible management of sewage. A problematic septic tank will cause many problems, from backed-up toilets to foul odors. 

Below are some frequently asked questions homeowners have about these components and what goes into septic tank plumbing. 

How Often Do Septic Tanks Need Maintenance? 

septic tankLike the plumbing system, septic tanks should be inspected at least once a year. One may also consult a professional when the septic tank is one-third full; whichever comes first. When a septic tank service professional inspects the system, they will: 

  • Check for leaks 
  • Remove any fatbergs (another word for congealed fats, oils, and grease
  • Replace any worn-out components 
  • Treat wastewater with various chemicals 
  • Determine whether other plumbing fixtures need immediate attention 

Septic tanks usually don’t pose problems overnight. There are generally a few signs leading up to an issue before it becomes a massive problem. To spare themselves plumbing inconveniences and unexpected out-of-pocket expenses, homeowners should regularly consult with septic tank professionals. 

How Can Homeowners Prevent Septic Tank Problems? 

Aside from scheduling annual plumbing maintenance visits, homeowners can prevent septic tank problems by: 

  • Being mindful of what they flush. Homeowners should only flush toilet paper and human waste. Anything else, like paper towels, baby wipes, and cotton balls, could build up in the septic system and cause serious clogs.
  • Refraining from planting shrubs with deep roots. Root intrusion can pose a serious problem to some septic tanks. Plant matter inside the plumbing system can cause leaks, instructions, and other problems. So, homeowners should know where their septic tanks are buried before planting anything with long roots. 
  • Being mindful of water consumption. Conserving water benefits the environment and reduces the strain on the septic system. Fix any leaky faucets or toilets promptly and consider installing low-flow fixtures. Limiting excessive water use helps prevent system overload and prolongs the time between necessary pump-outs.

What Are Some Signs That a Septic Tank Needs Servicing? 

backyard It might be time to call a septic tank cleaning service if a homeowner notices the signs of a malfunctioning septic tank. Some indicators include: 

  • Foul odors coming from sinks. This could mean the decomposing matter is stuck inside the septic tank, emitting nasty smells. This could lead to drain flies and other infestations if not promptly addressed. 
  • Low water pressure. Low water pressure could indicate a clog within the plumbing system. It could also mean that the septic tank is too full and cannot process any more matter. A plumber can pump out the waste or employ other matters to address this issue. 

If toilets or sinks back up, this could also mean that the septic tank needs servicing. 

About Capital City Septic Services 

If one can’t remember the last time they had their septic tank serviced, there’s no getting around it: it’s time to schedule a plumbing maintenance visit. Capital City Septic Services is a family-owned company that offers personalized solutions, weekend services, and upfront pricing. Residents of Tallahassee, FL, can call today to learn more. 

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Septic Tanks: How They Work and What They Do For a Home

What Is a Septic Tank?

For about one-quarter of US homes, their homeowners know exactly what a septic system is. For the rest of the population, septic tanks can be a mystery. Estimates are that 60 million people in the US are hooked up to a septic tank instead of a sewer and most of these homes are in rural and suburban areas, so it makes sense that most city-dwellers don’t know the facts. 

Septic tanks are an alternative to being hooked up to municipal sewer lines, and they are primarily used in locations where running sewer lines isn’t possible or cost-efficient. A septic tank collects all of the sewage and waste from a home and processes it so that it isn’t harmful. The processed effluent is then released safely into the environment. 

How Do Septic Tanks Work?

Septic tanks use natural processes to dispose of greywater and human waste. First, waste is collected in a large tank with several baffles that prevent solids from flowing through. Bacterial action breaks down waste in the tank and renders it safe from infectious diseases. As more water and waste flow through, the processed waste is carried away to soak into the ground away from structures and water sources. 

A septic system consists of a tank and long lateral lines that allow water to absorb into a leach field. These lines are buried pipes with perforations that allow water to leach into the surrounding soil. They attach to the septic tank’s outlet and allow gravity to do the rest of the work carrying away the processed wastewater. 

Septic Tank Maintenancemaintenance

Septic tank owners love septic systems because they are reliable and low maintenance. However, low maintenance doesn’t mean that no maintenance is required. Maintenance is recommended every two to five years to keep septic systems reliable and prevent the loss of plumbing and sewer services to a home. 

Septic tank maintenance should include a septic system inspected every three years. At this time, the septic tank maintenance technician can recommend when to have the tank pumped out. Over time, solids can build up in the tank to the point that volume is reduced. Pumping the septic tank removes these solids and gives the tank a fresh start. Often this service is only required every five years or so. 


Septic Tank Benefits

The biggest reason septic tank owners love their septic systems is because it allows them the freedom to live outside the city limits. Septic tanks are a great option when sewer service is too far away, but people want to live away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

In addition to living almost anywhere with safe sewer service, septic tanks are cheap and environmentally friendly. Using naturally-occurring bacteria to handle waste, nutrient-rich water is constantly returned safely to the environment with no energy inputs. What better way to celebrate living in the country than by keeping it green!

About Capital City Septic Services

Capital City Septic Services is the local septic tank expert. Their experts always offer personalized solutions to fit every home and family’s needs. Call today for competitive pricing or emergency septic service in Tallahassee, FL.