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Go Back to School with Septic Systems 101

Septic Tanks for Beginners

Not everyone is built for big city living. For those who aren’t, the only answer is to move outside the city limits to wider spaces and a slower pace of life. One of the logistical problems that can be presented when people move outside of larger cities is where to dispose of human waste and wastewater from a home’s plumbing system if there isn’t a city sewer around. Septic tanks are the answer.

For many people, septic tanks are a total mystery. But, septic systems are simple and reliable if homeowners know about and understand them. Here is a quick guide to septic systems from local experts.

What are Septic Systems?

A septic tank is a miniaturized sewer treatment facility designed for a family instead of a city. In a septic system, bacterial action naturally breaks down waste and toilet paper into dissolved solids that can be safely absorbed into the surrounding environment. Every septic system starts where the sewer main of a home empties into a large tank. Inside the tank, baffles prevent solids from exiting the tank too early so that bacteria can break them down into effluent.

As more water and waste are discharged into the system, the tank slowly allows extra water and treated waste to move through the tank and out into a drain field. The drain field allows for the slow absorption of wastewater into the ground through lateral lines. Effluent can also be pumped into a soil absorption field through sprinklers.

Signs of Septic System Problems

wet spots on lawnSeptic systems are very reliable, but when they have problems, they can get serious quickly. Some of the signs that septic systems are having trouble are:

  • Sewage backing up into the home
  • Slow draining of toilets and tubs
  • Bad odors near the tank or the drain field
  • Wet spots on the lawn
  • Overgrowth over the lateral lines
  • Blocked sprinkler heads or high water alarms

When these signs are noticed, call a professional immediately to restore sewer service to the home.

Septic System Maintenance

pump septic tankFor best results on a septic system, a few guidelines should be followed that are different for homeowners hooked up to a municipal sewer system. Some of the things that homeowners can do to protect their septic system are:

  • Use septic-safe soaps and detergents
  • Discard food waste in the trash to keep grease out of the septic tank
  • Don’t discard household chemicals down the drain as they can upset the bacterial action in the septic tank
  • Only plant grass over the soil absorption field
  • Schedule maintenance and inspections annually for most systems
  • Pump the septic tank out when recommended by septic system inspectors

Septic systems can be convenient and just as reliable as a city’s sewer system when cared for properly. Always choose plumbers that are qualified to perform septic system maintenance and repair. Establishing a long-term relationship with a plumbing company will help the septic system stay reliable.

About Lodder Brothers Limited

Lodder Brothers Limited has over four decades of experience serving the residents of Guelph, ON, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, comprehensive solutions, and 24/7 support. Call them today for septic tank services in Guelph, ON.

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