If you have a septic tank for your home or business, then you need to have that system regularly cleaned and pumped to prevent any potential problems for your property or the surrounding environment. However, maintaining septic systems can be dangerous work, with exposure to toxic fumes and diseases like hepatitis and diphtheria. So, although understanding how your system works and the importance of cleaning can help you maintain it over time, it’s best to find a reliable septic service with professionally-trained sewage workers to help keep your system in good shape.
How Septic Systems Work
In general, a septic system collects sewage and wastewater from a home or business that is not connected to a main sewer. It consists of two chambers through which both flow: one where solids settle to decompose and another where suspended solids settle to separate from wastewater. After moving through these chambers, wastewater moves into a drainage field or soakaway system where it is gradually filtered into the surrounding environment so that it will dissipate over time. Problems can arise when such systems experience greater than normal use, heavy rains, or seasonal flooding. Such occurrences risk the pollution of the surrounding environment and the connected home or business.
The Need to Clean
Accordingly, it’s essential to plan ahead and schedule regular maintenance for septic systems. In particular, delaying or ignoring regular cleaning and pumping of your system risks blockage of outlets within the system that can lead to sewage backing up into your property and potentially spilling into the local environment. This can further lead to the additional difficulties of fines from prosecution by the Environment Agency for such pollution.
However, attempting to perform such maintenance on your own is not a good idea, especially not alone. While even opening the septic tank lid can be dangerous due to the gases held within, trying to clean or pump your septic system will likely result in exposure to dangerous bacteria as detailed above. Ensuring regular maintenance by sewage professionals will avoid such risks, as well as the difficult financial and environmental costs of harming local wildlife, plant-life, and property.
How to Maintain Septic Systems
Some basic tips for keeping your septic system in good condition are to avoid flushing facial or baby wipes and to use biologically friendly household products. More importantly, the two key steps for septic maintenance are regular system cleaning and tank pumping. Septic cleaning should be performed once every three years in order to ensure that the septic tank and system are in good condition. A professional cleaning should include inspection and maintenance of the chambers, filters, drainage field or soakaway system, and ‘T’ or dip pipe that prevents floating solids from entering the drainage field.
On the other hand, tank pumping and emptying should be performed approximately once every six months, although heavier or lighter usage will change that period somewhat. Emptying the tank after any flooding has dissipated will also help remove any built-up debris, silt, or blockages while simultaneously easing the inspection process. Tank pumping, however, requires specific tools, namely a vacuum tanker or other vehicle to ensure fast and efficient maintenance, and specific limitations, such as narrow lanes or remote systems, may require professionals with specific types of machinery.
Every septic field requires regular maintenance, so you should contact a qualified service professional, like Cmdenvironmental.ie, to start getting your home or business on the right track. Not only are such businesses and their employees trained to carry out septic tank emptying quickly and safety, they also bring a wealth of experience with servicing sewage systems while delivering high-quality customer service for all your septic system needs.