Cleaning your septic tank might be an unwelcome chore, but doing so can help you avoid having problems with your immediate home environment. Take this quiz and learn how to make your life easier when the time comes.
Not really. The drain, with normal usage, is something that just works without too much trouble.
According to the American Ground Water Trust, about a third.
It is a tank buried outside the home that stores sewage.
There are three layers: sludge on the bottom, effluent in the middle and scum (oils, fats and protein) on top.
These are called septage.
It is a set of pipes with holes drilled into them that release the effluent below ground.
Good soil will filter the effluent.
This is usually the healthiest area, because of the organic material in the effluent that acts as fertilizer.
Although the design is simple, septic tank problems can cause serious repair costs, which are avoidable by basic monitoring.
It needs to be pumped out by a company offering that service.
Check to see the level of the floating scum layer.
When the level of the scum layer is within 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) of the outlet pipe would be a good time.
A septic tank should be checked annually.
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) every one to three years.
Not advisable. These chemicals could cause a harmful imbalance in the ecosystem that develops in the septic tank.
This would not be pleasant. Toilets and drains could disgorge what you would prefer to stay in the septic tank.
Waste water could contaminate groundwater and eventually the water you drink.
Waste entering the water supply can carry diseases like hepatitis.
The contents of the septic tank are usually taken to some form of commercial or public waste treatment facility.
Methane, a waste product in the breakdown of sewage, can be used to generate electricity.