Septic tanks are an important component of the home. Every time we turn on a tap, use a clothes- or dishwasher, take a shower, or flush the toilet, we’re creating wastewater. Since all this water needs to go somewhere, every property needs to have some kind of plumbing system in place. Most of our homes and businesses are connected to a centralized wastewater treatment facility, but for those ‘off the grid’ structures, permanent on-site systems, or septic tanks, are installed.
These concrete, fiberglass, and plastic tanks are carefully sized for the volume and type of materials they’ll be receiving, which depends on the sinks, appliances, and activities in your home or business. They are situated a few feet beneath the earth and at least five feet from your home, in a spot where a crew can easily access them when necessary. They’re ideally positioned to drain down and away from your home (and any wells) into what’s called the drainage field, which itself should be free of rain water to avoid any saturation.
How Does A Septic Tank Work?
Our wastewater contains organic matter, solid particles, and harmful pathogens and nutrients that can’t simply be dumped into the ground; if they were, the groundwater would become contaminated and public and environmental health would be a major concern. When wastewater reaches the sealed septic tank, solid elements either sink to the bottom or float to the surface.
They then decompose, becoming a kind of sludge that needs to be removed (usually sucked out of the tank) every once in a while. Harmful elements are either removed or absorbed through pre-treatment — through aeration chambers and microbial processes — effluent filters, and (eventually) by the surrounding soil. The process of removing harmful pathogens and organisms can take several stages before cleaner water can be released into the soil.
Having Septic Tank Problems?
When you have a faulty septic system, its symptoms can vary widely. It might take a long time for water to empty down your shower bathtub drains, or your toilet might overflow frequently. Toilets in your home may make a gurgling sound when they’re flushed, or they might take a long time to empty. You may detect foul odours emanating from your drains or in your yard near the tank or drainage field. In some cases, you could see vibrantly green-coloured grass, or completely dead spots or areas of your lawn near the system. Dark wet spots or surfacing pools of sludgy water are also indicators that something’s amiss.
Many people immediately panic and think that if their septic system is acting up, they’ve got to replace it entirely and spend thousands of dollars in the process. Please don’t do this! First give us a call to come inspect your property, septic tank, and sewer lines. It may just need a small repair, a partial replacement, or a correction in your piping — or you may need some quick lessons on proper maintenance. In any case, regardless of how things progress, we’re here to help you out of the worst septic messes and have your fields clean, dry, and fresh smelling again!