Anytime Septic Services in Douglasville GA
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Most homeowners don’t think too much about what happens to their waste when it is flushed down the drain. Septic systems can work properly for decades. Even if little maintenance is performed on septic tanks, they can still go quite a while without causing any noticeable problems. It is important, however, to both understand your septic pumping system and maintain it properly in order to protect your family’s health, prevent unwanted odors, and maximize your septic tank’s lifespan.
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Many homes in larger cities or towns have their waste drain to a citywide sewage system, run by a city department. In return for the convenience of having someone else worry about maintaining that system and managing their wastewater, homeowners in these areas are required to pay a fee for those services. Residences that are in more rural areas or that are farther apart may instead rely on a self-contained waste management system, called a septic system. A septic system holds and breaks down the waste.
If you have a septic system, when water or waste goes down the drain, it is taken into a septic tank that is part of the system. There, it settles and is broken down. Solids sink down to the bottom, and lighter particles, grease, and liquid float to the top creating a sheet of scum. The bottom layer of sludge will be broken down over time by bacteria in the tank. The liquid will typically stay in the septic tank in your home for about a day before leaving it. When it leaves, it heads to a drain field, while the scum and sludge stay behind. Although the bacteria in the tank do a good job of breaking down the solid sludge layer, for a septic tank to work optimally, that sludge must be pumped out periodically.
During a pumping, the contractor will locate your pump underground, open the manhole, and insert a vacuum that will clean out all liquids and solids from the tank. Once everything is out, they will spray it with water and a cleaner to ensure it is completely clean. They will also inspect the septic tank to make sure no other work needs to be done before covering it up again.
When maintained properly, septic systems can be a great option for homeowners. They require little attention most of the time and save costs on utilities since you are not paying the city to take care of your waste water. It is important to perform maintenance and avoid things that can overwork your septic system, however, if you want to keep it working in top condition and prevent costly repairs.
Proper maintenance of your septic system is vital to make sure it continues to function at its best. You should have your septic tank evaluated by a professional around once a year to detect any problems and to do a general check. During an inspection, Anytime Septic will locate your system, uncover the manhole on top of the tank, check out the appliances (toilet, washing machine, tec.) that lead to the septic tank, measure the layers of scum, sludge, and liquid, and inspect the parts inside and out of the tank. Septic contractors will also generally test out the systems in your home that use water to make sure the waste water is being handled as it should as it enters the system.
During the inspection, if it is determined that the layer of sludge is equal or greater than one-third of the depth of the liquid layer, then it is time that your system be pumped. Based on what else is found, other steps may need to be taken in order to keep your system healthy. Sometimes, changes must be made, or work must be done on appliances leading to the tank.
In between annual septic system checks, you as the homeowner can play a big part in the maintenance of your septic tank by taking special care and avoiding certain actions. Because a septic tank utilizes natural bacteria to break down organic substances, you should be sure never to flush anything down the drain that won’t break down easily. If you flush things like heavy paper or cardboard, or anything else that would otherwise go in the garbage, they will settle in the bottom layer of sludge and cause the system to need to be pumped more often. In the worst-case scenario, they can even cause a backup that will require serious work to fix the problem. Certain household cleaners can also cause problems if flushed in excess—they interrupt the bacteria and cause waste breakdown to slow down or stop.
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You should also be mindful of what appliances you use that lead to your septic tank. Hot tubs, water softeners, and garbage disposals can all adversely affect a septic system if used improperly. Hot tubs can cause an overload of hot water to rush into the system and stir the sludge layer into the others, causing sludge to overflow into the drain field. Even though they grind up food waste before that waste enters the septic tank, garbage tanks still add a significant amount of solids to the system that will accumulate and make more frequent pumping necessary. Water softeners also add excess amounts of water to a septic tank that interrupts the bacteria there.
If you don’t take steps to maintain your septic system and to get annual checkups from a professional, you could really pay for it down the line. Regular minor maintenance costs will be far less expensive than a complete overhaul of your septic system.