Septic Tanks and Care
There are many things that you should educate yourself on when you decide to install a septic tank system on your property. Properly installed septic tanks are a very safe and effective way of providing a healthy environment when properly maintained. Whether you are new to septic tanks or you are familiar with and already have one in place, you should be educated on the dos and don’ts to keep them running effectively and to their optimum capacity.
Septic systems use bacteria to digest solid human waste and protect us from diseases such as dysentery and hepatitis and are more common in country rural settings. These systems are built in such a way to safely get rid of solid waste and convert it into effluent. The typical septic system is comprised of two parts, the tank and the drain pipes. Waste water runs through the pipes and into the septic tank. Solid wastes are accumulated in the septic tank area where bacteria start the digestion process. It can take a number of days, but the solid waste will biodegrade due to the hungry human generated bacteria which naturally exist in the septic tank environment. To maintain a healthy septic system environment, you can add natural septic tank bacterial products to your septic tank which contain good healthy bacteria. They will then multiply in your septic tank and aid in the digestion of solids and bad odor causing waste.
There are three layers in the layout of a septic tank. Fats, oils and greases or impurities lie on the surface of the first layer. Underneath this top layer is waste water that has been treated halfway. Solid waste sinks to the bottom and forms sludge. It takes one to two days for the water that has been partly treated to flow through drain pipes linked together beneath the surface of the soil that form the drain field. They lie between channels packed with gravel and sand. The pipes have tiny punctures or perforations in them which allow water to pass through the sand and soil. This is where the digested effluent completes the biodegrade process. Oxygen naturally exists in the soil and sand also aids the good bacteria in the digestion of toxic wastes.
A septic contractor will typically use the services of a engineer to design the septic system and will be sure to install a septic tank that is the appropriate size for your home or building. If the tank isn’t big enough, the water will leave the tank without fully digesting the solid wastes into effluent. Solids will them migrate out to the drain field where they will coagulate and form a black tar like substance commonly referred to as bio mat. If this occurs, the gravel around the perforated pipe will clog up and cause serious problems like waste surfacing in your soil causing a horrible smell to permeate into the air. This isn’t healthy for you or to the environment. Tank size will depend on how many people you have living in your home and or bed rooms in the house. Another factor is the number of sinks and bathrooms installed throughout your home.
A very important fact for you and your whole family to be cognizant of is what you are putting in your septic tank system. Anti-bacterial hand soaps and harsh chemicals found in everyday cleaning products destroy the good bacteria that break down solid wastes in your septic system. Also, have your septic system pumped out every 3 year. This combined with proper maintenance will ensure that you have a septic system that operates to the best of its ability giving you years of maintenance free service.
By: Bradley Skierkowski