How Septic Tanks Work

How Septic Tanks Work

If you’ve never lived in a home with a septic tank, or have just never come across one before, the terms “septic tank, septic system or cesspit” may confuse you. Regardless of how septic tanks have become relevant in your life, you’ve landed on this article for one reason, you’re trying to find out what septic tanks are and if they’re important. As a leading expert in the industry, D.C. Merrett will provide an informed view on the matter & will discuss whether or not septic tanks are important & why they might or might not matter.

Put; septic tanks are large tanks plumbed up to a property collecting wastewater from all connected drains & toilets. The tank itself is split up into two chambers (generally). The treatment chamber is the first “filter” the wastewater goes through as it treats the sewage before it’s discharged. The liquid waste is vented into a “drain field” or “leach field.” Drain fields discharge waste liquids from the tank, allowing more waste to be stored. If a septic tank didn’t discharge the liquid waste, the tank would fill up in no time.

The drain field is usually located in an open space beneath the top surface, allowing liquid waste to be absorbed into the surrounding dirt & soil. An appropriate location must be designed for your drain field if your home has installed a septic tank. For those worried about dirty liquid waste spoiling their land, special measures are taken to ensure that no foul smells or waste ends up on top of your land. With most septic tank installations, Gravel is placed around the drain field pipes, allowing water to flow into the soil. The mix of water, Gravel & oxygen allows the bacteria in the Gravel and the soil to decompose the waste in the water.

What are septic tanks made of?

Septic tanks can be made from a range of materials—these range from concrete tanks to fibreglass or industrial plastic. The type of septic tank that you’ll use will most likely be affected by your needs & requirements. There is a range of tank sizes, which will also be affected by how much you use the septic tank.

How often should my septic tank be emptied?

Septic tanks should be emptied at least annually, depending on how often it’s used. It also depends on how many people are living in your home. The number of people reflects how fast the tank will fill up. There are also regulations in your local area that are bound to affect your options.

You should aim to have your tank de-sludged every year or so. This will depend on how many people are using the septic tank. The best way to use a septic tank is not to abuse the water in your home. Septic tanks aren’t designed to cope with huge amounts of liquids/waste. This is why it’s important to consider your water usage. Using your appliances several times a day will strain your septic tank. It’s advised you moderate your use of water-heavy appliances.

Should septic tanks be emptied?

Septic tanks need emptying to ensure proper function. If a septic tank isn’t emptied, it can lead to blockages, leakages & build-up. Septic systems aren’t made to cope with pressures from blockages and overfilling. This is why overfilling results in damage to the tank. If you want to avoid expensive repair costs, we advise emptying your septic tank!

Will vinegar damage the septic tank?

Vinegar isn’t strong enough to damage or kill the bacteria in the septic tank. Many “homebrew” cleaning recipes call for using vinegar, so you can rest easy knowing that vinegar won’t cause any damage to your septic tank.

How do I care for my septic system?

We’ve written a few helpful tips if you are looking for ways to care for your septic system. Following these steps can be very useful as they prevent unnecessary stress on the septic system, giving it the best chance to last for years.

A septic tank is an expensive but ultimately worthwhile investment. Tank maintenance, however, should not be taken lightly, as the correct maintenance needs to happen to remain functional. Septic tank cleaning is a vital process you need to arrange for your tank if you’ve had it over a few years. Sludge will build up to the point it blocks important pipes, damaging the tank’s internals. Any professional provider like D.C. Merrett can do de-sludging.

Knowing what you’re flushing down the toilet/putting down the sink is also vital since grease, oils, and other chemicals are a big no-no for septic tank disposal.

If septic tanks fill up over time, do they need to be emptied?

Septic tanks release liquid waste, ensuring it doesn’t fill up too quickly. However, this means that solid waste kept in the tank will eventually fill up. Special bacteria & treatments are added & carried out to your septic tank, which allows the solid waste to be decomposed/eaten so that you’ll get a longer life out of your septic tank before emptying it. However, it is a good idea to have your septic tank emptied regularly to ensure that you aren’t experiencing any issues with your tank. Septic tank damage can lead to huge costs in repairs & environmental issues since thousands of gallons worth of waste could end up leaking out of the tank.

Tanks that need to be emptied can end up being huge problems. Overfilled tanks can end up ruining the land and your property by spewing waste onto the surface of your land. This is an extreme consequence, but it could be a reality for those who don’t take care of their septic systems. You can take various measures to ensure your tank is kept in good condition. Regular servicing & emptying is one of them!

A septic system is an amazing invention that handles waste as well as it needs to. That being said, septic tanks must be taken care of & emptied regularly. Sludge & other debris that collects over time can damage your tank, making it essential for the property owner to have the tank emptied regularly.

If you need professional septic pumping services in Gloucestershire or any other septic services, for that matter, give D.C. Merrett a call! We are leading experts in the field and have provided professional septic services for decades. Call the number on our homepage to speak to a team member!