Advice on Understanding and Caring for Your Septic System

Understanding and Caring for Your Septic System

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septic tank services

Septic systems are great for safely treating household sewage from toilets, showers, and drains. However, a septic system failure can cause disasters inside and outside of your house. Sewage backup in your home and standing water in your yard are sure signs that your septic system is failing. If your septic system is not operating correctly, turn to FreeFlow Environmental. Our certified wastewater treatment professionals can inspect your septic system, repair problems within the system and give you peace of mind in the process. If you want a company that provides exceptional septic tank services and more, call FreeFlow Environmental today.

How Your Septic Tank Works

A central feature of your septic system is the septic tank buried underground in your yard. A pipe connected to your house carries wastewater from your kitchen, bathroom and laundry room into the septic tank. Solid waste and liquid waste are separated inside the septic tank where:

• Solid waste, called sludge, settles at the bottom of the tank where it decomposes over time.

• Liquid waste, called scum, floats to the top of the septic tank.

The treated wastewater passes from the septic tank and into a series of connected pipes called a “leach field.” The wastewater is discharged and absorbs naturally into the soil.

Septic tanks require pumping at least every three years to remove the buildup of sludge and scum, which consists mainly of oil and grease. Your septic tank may need pumping out more frequently depending on the size of your tank and the size of your household. Getting periodic septic tank services is important since scum and sludge buildup can stop wastewater from flowing.

Do You Smell Something?

A septic system has an unpleasant way of letting you know when you may need to have the system checked. Foul odors from raw sewage around your septic tank or odors coming from your leach field indicate possible septic system failure. Besides awful smells, you may experience other signs of septic tank or septic system failure such as:

• Slow draining of your shower and sinks in your bathroom, laundry room and kitchen

• Gurgling sounds in household pipes after running water or flushing the toilet

• Puddles of standing water near the septic tank or the leach field

• Green, lush grass growing near the septic tank or the leach field

• Pollution of ponds or other bodies of water near your house

If you see raw sewage from your toilets, sinks or drains backing up into your home, take action quickly and get your septic tank pumped out. Raw sewage, whether inside or outside of your house, contain dangerous bacteria and other contaminants that can cause sickness—and even death.

Reasons for Septic Tank Failure

Septic tank failures can occur at any time and for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons for your septic tank to stop working properly include the following:

Using harsh household cleaning chemicals

Cleaning your house with bleach, ammonia and other disinfecting cleaners might kill germs, but it can also kill the natural bacteria in your septic tank. Natural bacteria and enzymes help to break down untreated solid waste in the septic tank. If untreated solid waste escapes the septic tank, it can clog pipes in the leach field.

Clogged pipes

The pipe that runs from your house to the septic tank can become clogged with items that get flushed down your drain. While septic-safe toilet paper usually does not pose a problem, other paper products such as paper towel, flushable wipes, flushable diapers, and diaper liners can clog up the pipe over time. Non-paper items such as cigarettes, small children’s toys flushed down the toilet, and excess kitchen grease can also clog up the system.

Excessive water use

Washing several loads of laundry in one day, continually using the dishwasher, taking extra showers or baths each day and leaky faucets can take its toll on your septic tank. Although septic tanks are designed to handle water-related activities, excess water interferes with the septic tank’s ability to break down solid waste. Solid material that passes through the septic tank can block pipes in the leach field.

Following safe septic system practices and pumping your septic tank regularly may keep your system running for years to come.

We Can Help with All of Your Septic System Needs

FreeFlow Environmental can handle all types of septic system problems. We not only provide septic tank services, such as repairs and cleaning, we can also design and install new septic systems. When you have a problem, we can help. If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment, contact FreeFlow Environmental today to learn more about how we can help you keep your septic system healthy.