Septic tanks require regular cleaning, maintenance, and pumping services to operate correctly. Consistent maintenance provides the added benefits of keeping your home environment healthy and helping to conserve property value. It is hard to understate the importance of septic tanks as waste management systems.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 60 million people in the country use septic systems. Moreover, one in four homes rely on septic tanks. For these families, any breakdowns in the septic system could have catastrophic health and infrastructure consequences. Even if you already have some knowledge about plumbing and piping, a professional septic services company has the resources necessary for accurate repair. A look at the benefits of using an expert septic service can help you make an informed decision for your home.
How Do Septic Systems Work?
A septic system is a sewage management system designed to treat wastewater on-site. It is usually an alternative to using municipal or city sewers. Other names for a septic system include domestic wastewater system, residential wastewater treatment system, on-site wastewater disposal system, or subsurface sewage disposal system. The typical septic system consists of a septic tank, several underground filters, and a drain field or soil absorption field. These components work by collecting waste from your home, retaining the solids, and removing wastewater pollutants. This system then releases the treated effluent water back into your property’s soil or into the nearby environment.
The nucleus of this system is the septic tank. A septic tank is a large underground chamber made of concrete, fiberglass, or hard plastic. The chamber also has inlet and outlet baffles through which wastewater flows in and out. Waste enters the septic tank as either “blackwater” from the toilet or “graywater” from the showers, sinks, washing machine, or dishwasher. Solid waste sinks to the bottom of the tank and creates sludge. Fats, oils, and grease float to the top of the tank and create scum. Within the tank, natural anaerobic bacteria help break down any organic pollutants. The remaining liquid passes through an effluent filter, and aerobic bacteria break down the remaining contaminants. Eventually, the treated water naturally absorbs back into the ground.
What Problems Can Occur Within Septic Systems?
In processing wastewater, septic systems produce by-products called sludge and scum. These substances stay inside septic tanks until cleaned. If too much sludge or excess scum accumulates inside of a system, this buildup can damage the drain or leach fields or break the septic tank itself. Professional septic companies can conduct routine cleaning, and you can also contact a septic surface if you suspect that scum or sludge has already begun to damage your tank.
Other problems can occur when a septic system accepts waste products that are unsuitable for its original design. Septic systems can properly dispose of human waste as well as products that dissolve like toilet paper. However, septic systems experience problems when people use them to dispose of items like dental floss, paper towels, feminine products, or baby wipes. These products can result in clogs. The pressure of too much water against a blockage can even cause cracks in the system design. It is important to contact a professional service if you suspect a blockage in your system. Delaying repairs can worsen the problem over time and can create environmental hazards or cause structural damage to your property.
Can You Fix Your Own Septic System?
As you can see, the septic system is not just a big box sitting underground. It is a complex network complete with a chamber, pipes, advanced bacteria, and filters all designed to process human waste. For this reason, you should never attempt to manage a septic tank on your own. Attempting a quick do-it-yourself approach can damage underground infrastructure, disrupt healthy bacteria ecosystems, and expose your family to biohazards. And without the heavy equipment needed to remove scum and sludge, most homemade fixes are ineffective. It is best to contact professionals who thoroughly understand septic systems and who can help prevent future issues. Consider some of the most important reasons for seeking professional septic services below.
Health and Safety
Environmental health and personal safety are among the most important reasons for seeking professional help with your septic tank. By design, septic tanks are breeding grounds for anaerobic and aerobic bacteria. While the bacteria are necessary for breaking down harmful waste, exposure to these microorganisms can cause life-threatening illnesses. For example, airborne versions of the bacteria can cause respiratory and sinus problems. Contact exposure to the microorganisms can cause bacterial diarrhea, infectious disease, or even death. In addition to bacteria, opening a septic tank can release fumes like methane gas and hydrogen sulfide. These toxins can cause illnesses and contaminate the local environment.
Septic professionals have experience with handling sewage water while avoiding direct contact, and these individuals can bring the right equipment and gear to keep themselves and the environment safe from bacteria and gas. For example, technicians usually know how to handle high concentrations of methane or hydrogen sulfide that can harm the average person when opening the lid of a septic tank. Professionals also have the right testing equipment to recognize everything from fungi to protozoa that the layperson would miss.
Pumping and cleaning a septic system is a massive undertaking that requires specialized equipment. For example, your septic tank service may bring along pumping trucks, sewer jets, commercial vacuum cleaners, test tubes, and video inspection equipment. Attempting to buy or rent these items yourself is expensive, and it is unlikely that you could obtain them all at the same time. It is better to contact a service that has all of the equipment and works with it on a regular basis.
Professional services are also adept at septic inspection, diagnosing and treating specific issues. For example, you may suspect that you have a clog or blockage. But a professional company can use custom equipment to determine whether the issue is a tree root that could potentially damage the sewer line. The company could then use hydro-jetting to safely remove the root from your system. Numerous other techniques such as air injection or leach field drainage require commercial companies to perform effectively and correctly.
Save Time and Money
Septic system problems cause more than a mere stink in the home. These issues eventually strain pipes and other plumbing components in the home, and resolving these plumbing problems can cost thousands in repairs. Left untreated, septic problems can lead to cracks or breakage within the tank itself. It can also cause drain field failure. At the very least, you would need to replace the tank. But a damaged tank can also lead to problems with your groundwater, landscaping, or even your home foundation. Getting help from a professional service helps you protect your home investment by fixing moderate problems before they become major ones. And if you do have a major problem on your hands, a septic service company can correct it before it damages other parts of your home.
Contact Us Today
Fixing a septic system is so much more than opening the lid of a tank or pouring some store-bought cleaner down the drain. To protect your family and complete the task correctly, it is best to contact the experts. Express Septic Pumping provides septic system repair services for properties in Nampa, Caldwell, and surrounding areas. Our preventative maintenance services include inspection, testing, and pumping. We also offer repair services for any septic issues. Contact Express Septic Pumping today for the best in waste management care.