Ideally, septic system maintenance should be done on a consistent schedule, such as every two years. The technicians pump the tank and then inspect the empty container and equipment connected to it. Not having this work completed on time can cause a sewer backup if the tank gets too full. Homeowners definitely should call for service when certain signs indicate that a backup could be imminent.
How It Works
When toilets are flushed and water goes down drains, the liquid and other materials travel to the septic tank. The liquid gradually drains into a leach field. Solids sink to the bottom. When too many solids accumulate, the liquid cannot drain slowly.
At this point, waste might back up into the home when someone runs a load of laundry, flushes a toilet, or showers. Even worse, solids might travel the other direction and end up in the leach field. This pollutes the soil and can ruin that part of the system.
When one drain is sluggish, it probably has a clog. However, slow drains throughout the building indicate a problem with the home's private sewer system. People showering might end up standing in a puddle. The kitchen and bathroom sinks drain slowly. Water in toilets swirls around languidly several times before finally gurgling down. These are signs that the tank should be pumped promptly.
Technicians immediately see if the liquid level is higher than it should be after lifting the lid. Two reasons can account for this situation.
The first is not having the tank pumped frequently enough. The second is flushing things that shouldn't be sent to the tank. Tampons and other menstrual hygiene products usually cause the most problems because they biodegrade very slowly, if at all. The products also are designed to expand when wet, making them even bigger inside the tank.
Some other items are less of a problem but should still not be flushed. Paper towels, cigarette butts, sanitary wipes, dental floss, and hair don't dissolve. These materials can plug up filters and travel to the drain field if they float on top of the liquid.
Scheduling maintenance as recommended prevents problems with the system. Nobody wants to need emergency service because sewage or even laundry water has backed up into the building. Septic service workers can provide advice to keep everything working properly and how often maintenance should be done.
Contact a company like Linn Septic Service to learn more.