Every home has its own septic system and it is the homeowner’s responsibility to conduct regular maintenance and inspection of the system. The septic system consists of a drainfield, septic tank and distribution box. These are connected by pipes. All household wastewater goes into the septic tank where it gets partially treated and separated from the heavy solids. The partially treated wastewater flows into a distribution box. From there it drains into gravel trenches and then seeps slowly into the drainfield where it gets further purified.
Dangers Of An Abused Or Neglected Septic System
When a septic system is working properly, the wastewater gets fully treated and purified in the drainfield and it does not pollute the groundwater. However, if it malfunctions or fails, it can create a plethora of problems, from creating a toxic environment for your family and neighbors to reducing the value of your property and polluting the public water supply.
Tips For Caring For Your Septic System
Here are a few things you can do to care for your septic system and keep it working efficiently:
Do not throw large solid items, especially nondegradables such as pampers or sanitary napkins down the toilet.
Get a licensed septic contractor to inspect the system and pump the tank out at least once in three to five years.
Practice water conservation by using the dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load.
Fix all leaking toilets and dripping faucets.
Try to leave the area over the drainfield undisturbed. Regularly parking your vehicle or driving over the drainfield can compact the soil in the area, and damage drain lines. Also, when the soil is compacted, tree roots may force entry into the drain pipes, cracking them in the process and blocking the free flow of waste water through the drains. This is one of the most common reasons why sewage gets backed up.
Warning Signs Of A Failing Septic System
Sometimes, despite taking all precautions, the septic system may still fail. Recognizing the early signs is important so that you can avert a full-fledged disaster. These signs call for emergency action:
• Sewage has started backing up in the house
• There is a lush, green growth over the drainfield area
• The toilets, bath tub and sinks are draining out very slowly
• Sewage has started surfacing over the drainfield
• There are toxic odors emanating from outside the house
If you notice any of these signs, it calls for immediate action. Sewage problems never get sorted out by itself. When left untreated, the problem will only get worse.