A Homeowner’s Guide for Maintaining the Septic System
Whether you live in an urban or rural area, you may use a septic system. To the uninitiated, maintaining a septic system may seem daunting. However, it can be simple with a little knowledge. Maintenance is relatively low cost for homeowners.
How a Septic System Works
One of the most important elements of a septic system is the septic tank. This large, underground, watertight container holds water waste from the toilet, bath, laundry, and kitchen. The solid waste settles at the bottom of the tank where bacteria turns it into sludge and gas. Undissolved waste remains in the tank. Periodic pumping (every 2-3 years) is required to prevent accumulation of solid waste and the overflow of water.
Septic System Maintenance Rules
By following three crucial rules, you can keep a septic system odourless and in good condition. Your system may remain trouble-free for many years:
- The average household needs to have the septic system inspected by a septic service professional at least every three years. It is important to pump out the septic tank every 3-5 years. Septic systems with electric float switches, pumps, or mechanical components need to be inspected once a year. Keep track of the maintenance record performed on your septic system. Write down the level of sludge and scum, repairs made, and the condition of the system, so you know when to call for service.
The frequency of septic pumping depends on four major factors:
– Household size
– Septic tank size
– Volume of undissolved solid waste
– Total wastewater generated
- Typically, an average-sized family uses nearly 70 gallons of water every day. However, a leaky faucet or running toilet can increase the water usage to 200 gallons of water per day. Clean or unclean, this wasted water can run directly to the septic tank, increasing its water level and the risk of overflowing.
- Proper disposal of waste also helps maintain a good septic system. Keep in mind that your toilet and sink are not garbage cans where you can throw trash. Whatever particles or debris you flush or pour down a sink will run directly into the septic system.
By maintaining your septic system, addressing leaks in the home, and following a few simple guidelines, you can save on water bills and repairs.
If your septic tank is showing signs of overflowing or problems in draining, please call Plumbing Authority at (647) 992-PIPE (7473) to discuss solutions.