All posts by goredshift

I Just Purchased A Home with a Septic Tank

If you are new to the septic tank community, there are several things to know that will be beneficial to you:

  1. Know your tank location! You do not want to build decks, pour patios, pave driveways or run sprinkler lines and/or electrical lines over any part of your tank.
  2. If you plant any trees or bushes over the lids, they will have to be dug up in order to access your tank, unless you have risers.
  3. Do not flush any non-biodegradable items (adult wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, etc.) as they do not break down and could require cleaning more frequently than normal.
  4. Do not pour chemicals, grease, oils or paint down your drains. Not only could these clog the lines (especially grease), but chemicals could kill bacteria and enzymes in the tank and render the normal breakdown process nonexistent.
  5. Using a garbage disposal will also require the tank to be cleaned more often as the food bits will not break down.
  6. Using septic tank additives, while not harmful, do not prevent tanks from the need of being cleaned on a regular basis and they create a needless expense.
  7. For a family of four, the health department recommends having your tank cleaned every 3 to 5 years. If you live alone, you may go 9 to 10 years between cleanings. If you have a family of 6, it may need to be cleaned every 2 years. Just remember, cleaning on a regular basis is much cheaper than redoing your bathroom from a backup or replacing your field lines.
  8. Try to keep trees or bushes away from the inlet line. This will typically be a straight line from the inside of your house where the down-pipe goes through the wall to the inlet side of your septic tank. If the pipe has any cracks or open joints, roots will seek out the water in the line and could eventually cause a blockage which could allow sewage to back up into your house.
  9. Some septic tanks have a filter on the outlet tee. They are designed to prevent solids from getting into the field lines which could require expensive repairs. If you have a filter on your outlet, we suggest having it cleaned annually.
  10. Some septic tanks have a cleanout on the PVC line going to the tank. We cannot clean out a tank through this, as they are typically only 4” diameter, but it will allow a plumber to snake the line if there is a blockage.
  11. If you have 2 green lids in your yard, that means you have risers. Typically, they are installed because the tank is deep and it makes it easier and quicker to clean the tank out as there is no digging required. We just unscrew the lids and drop the hose in. They also mean you will get a discount from us since there is no digging required. There will be a lid on the inlet side and a lid on the outlet side of the tank. The lids will be about 20” in diameter.