-What makes up a septic system?
A septic system is composed of a collection system (e.g. septic tank) and a disposal system (e.g. drainfield). Some systems may also include a pump tank and distribution component to distribute effluent more efficiently. Some advanced systems may include pretreatment components to boost treatment capacities of the system.
The modern septic tank is a watertight box usually made of precast concrete, concrete blocks, or reinforced fiberglass. When household waste enters the septic tank several things occur:
Bacteria must be present to digest the scum. If not digested, the scum will accumulate until it overflows, clogging the soil absorption area.
The sludge in the septic tank - inorganic and inert material - is not biodegradable and will not decompose. If not removed, the sludge will accumulate until it eventually overflows, again clogging the soil absorption area.
-Important hints for a healthy septic system.
- Do not put kitchen grease down the drain.
- Do not flush cigarettes, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, or other inorganic materials down the toilet.
- Do not put gasoline, anti-freeze, paint thinner, pesticides, etc. down the drain.
- Use garbage disposal sparingly or increase septic system maintenance schedule.
- Check all plumbing fixtures for leaks.
- Ask your contractor if you think that roots are clogging your pipes.
- It is recommended that water softeners do not discharge into the septic system. If they do, homeowners should consider switching from a sodium based salt to a potassium based salt
-How often should I get my septic tank pumped?
Every system is different, but the table below will provide an estimate to how often to pump a system based on size of the septic tank and number of occupants.
-What kind of landscaping can I perform near my drainfield?
Using shallow rooted, low maintenance, low water plants is the key to planting over a drainfield and near your septic system. Grass provides ideal year-round cover for drainfields. Ornamental grasses and herbaceous species can be planted as well.