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Why should I maintain my septic system?

Why should I maintain my septic system?

Posted on 07 Apr 2015 by Fabian Belin

Why should I maintain my septic system?

Septic systems are often taken for granted the reason is, that they are out of sight and thus out of mind. Properly operating and maintaining your septic tank will save you money as well as protect your family’s health.

It is agreed that failing septic systems can be expensive to repair or replace.  Poor maintenance is often the main cause. Having your septic system inspected regularly will make you save money when you consider the cost of replacing the entire septic system.

If you have to replace your entire septic system, then consider the BIOROCK “RETROFIT” installation and use of BIOROCK® sewage plants after your existing septic tank. Indeed, the BIOROCK® sewage treatment plant can be easily retrofitted onto a septic tank already installed in the ground: your actual septic tank is transformed into the primary tank of the new BIOROCK® sewage treatment system.

Your system will generally need pumping every 3 to 5 years depending on how many people use the septic system and the size of the septic tank. An unusable septic system will lower your property value while eventually posing a legal liability.

Health protection

When septic systems fail, household sewage water is released into the environment and may contaminate nearby wells, causing groundwater and drinking water sources pollution. This pollution from household wastewater can cause human diseases.

Watershed protection

A “watershed” is an area of land that water flows across such as a stream, river, lake, or coast. Many people live in a watershed and human actions affect the health of the watershed. Remember that a septic system uses the environment to treat sewage water. Failing septic tanks may release untreated wastewater containing nutrients such as nitrates or phosphates responsible for lakes, streams, and shorelines degradations while contaminating drinking water supplies.

To understand risks linked to septic tank failures, you have to understand how a septic system works: Microbes in the soil digest and remove most contaminants from wastewater before it reaches groundwater tables. A typical septic system has four main components:

  • A pipe from the home,
  • A septic tank,
  • A drain field
  • The soil.

The septic tank is a buried, normally watertight container (old brick tanks are very often porous and leaking in the ground) typically made of concrete, fiberglass, or ideally polyethylene. The septic tank holds the wastewater, allowing solids to settle and forming sludge while oil and greases float to the surface as scum. Septic tanks also allow partial decomposition of the “solid materials”. In most cases, compartments coupled with a T-shaped outlet in the septic tank prevent the sludge from leaving the tank and leaking into the drain field area. Filers are recommended to keep solids from entering the drain field. The wastewater exits the septic tank before being discharged into the drain field for further treatment by the soil.

The BIOROCK primary tank acts as a septic tank before the BIOROCK treatment unit. The wastewater exits the primary tank (preliminary equipped with a filter brush) before being discharged into the BIOROCK treatment unit for further treatment by the BIOROCK media.

How do I maintain my septic system?

Any typical septic system should be inspected at least every 2 to 3 years by a professional. Septic tanks or sewage treatment primary tanks should be pumped as recommended by the manufacturer. Alternative, old-style systems with electrical float switches, pumps, and mechanical components need to be inspected much more regularly.

Use water efficiently

Average indoor water use in the typical single-family home in the United Kingdom is approximately 150 liters per person per day. Please remember that:

  • Dripping taps can waste up to 100 liters of water daily.
  • Leaky toilets can waste as much as 25 to 40 liters each hour.

Of course, the more water a household saves, the less water enters the septic system!

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