People produce waste in various forms. You are probably aware of this, but have you ever thought about what happens to the waste that is taken away?
For those who are not part of a larger sewage management system, a septic system is the only viable option. It takes care of the waste that you produce. This simplified explanation paves the way for more details that will show you just how important a septic system is in your life.
The Natural Way
Septic systems are a natural way to deal with household waste. Your household waste has to go somewhere to be dealt with. In its preliminary form, it can prove harmful to its surroundings. It has to somehow be transformed into another form that will not be harmful to anyone or anything.
Because of the massive amounts of waste of this type that are produced by society as a whole, they cannot merely be sealed up in a container and discarded. They must be handled and dealt with through other means. One of the natural means is a septic tank.
How A Septic System Works
Once waste is entered into the septic system then the water and other materials begin to separate. Once these substances begin to separate then they begin the process of decomposition right there in the septic tank. One thing that you need to be aware of is that bacteria are naturally planted so that they will live in septic systems.
The bacteria actually feed off the solid waste that has accumulated toward the bottom of the tank. The bacteria, through this feeding process, transform up to half of this solid waste into a gaseous or liquid form.
As these liquids accumulate, the level of fluids in the tank continues to rise until it reaches the level of the drainage pipe. Once the liquids reach that level then some of the liquid by-product of bacterial feeding pours into the drainage system.
From here, the liquid is dispersed through the drain field into a network of pipes that are placed below the ground. The process is completed as these liquids are allowed to flow into the soil where the microbes within the soil complete the process of breaking these liquids down. After the soil breaks the liquids down then they are harmless.
How Do You Know The Bacteria Are Alive And Hungry?
The simple answer is you cannot. Materials that enter into the system would not be broken down without bacteria, and the process would be halted. The easy solution to this dilemma is that you can use septic tank additives to safely keep the process going.
Even if your bacteria have not completely died off then these additives can keep your system functioning at peak efficiency. You do not want to see what happens when your system backs up and the waste starts coming back from where you sent it.
You need a septic system because waste has to be handled. It may not be the most pleasant topic, but it does a great deal of good for everyone. Knowing why you need it and how to keep it working well will keep you from having to face what will happen if it stops working.
You may not know how your septic system works, but you should. Using an out of sight out of mind approach is a sure way to risk disaster.
By knowing how your septic system works, you can understand why it is so important that you maintain it and what you can do to maintain it. It does not take much to ward off septic system disaster.
What It Is and What It Does
When you dispose of human waste and the like then it does down the toilet, but that is not the end of it. The waste is then piped down to your septic tank.
The tank is just as it sounds. It is a large tank used basically for temporary storage of waste products. As the waste sits, it begins to separate. The solid, heavier material sinks to the bottom while the lighter liquids rise to the top.
Bacteria are placed in this tank for good reason. They eat the waste. While that may sound unappealing, it is the cornerstone of how a septic system works. The bacteria, in the course of eating, change up to half of the solid waste into liquid and gaseous forms. The gas rises on its own in the tank as do the liquids.
When the liquid level gets to the same height as a drainage pipe then the liquid flows out into an underground network of pipes. These pipes then carry this liquid out so that is can be absorbed into the soil. Microbes in the soil complete the process of breaking down this liquid form and render it safe for the environment.
The Necessary Element
For all these steps to take place in one continuous cycle, the bacteria have to do their job. They are the active ingredient and allow for the waste to be transformed into a substance that can be handled by the environment.
The problem is that you are not sure how much of your bacteria are alive at any point in time. It is always possible that some of them have died off. In extreme cases all of them may have died off.
If this happens then the waste would just accumulate in the tank until it began backing up and possibly re-entering your house and even flooding your property. This is, to say the least, terribly unclean and very expensive to handle.
The way to prevent this is to use septic tank additives. Septic tank treatment products can contain enzymes and bacteria that are specifically formulated to keep your septic tank working perfectly. The bacteria work through waste, and it is properly disposed of through this now uninterrupted process. All you have to do is periodically use septic tank additives as your insurance policy against waste backing up and overrunning your life.
Knowing how a septic system works allows you to see just how important this system is. It also allows you to see how one part of this process not working properly could result in big problems for you. Luckily, knowing how septic systems work allows you to keep them working so you never have to give them a second thought.
You want to keep your septic tank and septic system working as long as possible. Even if you do not reach the point of complete septic system failure, replacing your septic system is an ordeal. It will cost you a great deal of money, it will be a hassle, and you have to wait for your new septic system to regain full use of your bathroom facilities. The easier option is learning to extend the life of your septic tank and septic system s you do not have to.
Limit The Water Drainage Into The Septic System Area
Having too much water draining into your septic system may overtax it. You will want to make sure that you do all that you can to limit the amount of water that enters the system.
Too much water entering the system can agitate the solid waste to the point where they are carried out into the drain field before they are broken down properly. This means that you will have solid waste in your drain field, and that is clearly a problem.
Limit or Avoid Harsh Chemical Cleaning Products
Chemical cleaning products can damage your septic system. They can actually start to kill of the bacteria in your septic tank that break down the solid waste. This can impede the process of waste being converted into a harmless substance. This may only slow the conversion, or it may go as far as to stop the process by killing off all the bacteria.
When the process is slowed or stopped then the solid waste accumulates until it finally backs up and starts coming out any way it can. This means back into your house and into your drainage field. This is why you have to be careful about the chemicals you use that end up in your septic system.
Septic Tank Additives
This tip also applies to the previous one. If you have already dumped cleaning products into your septic tank system then what do you do? Your bacteria may have already diminished to the point where they are not effective enough o keep up with your waste production.
Septic tank treatments may vary, but some can replace the bacteria that may have been killed off in your septic tank. This way you can be sure that your tank always has an ample supply of bacteria to deal with your solid waste.
Without it, you are only hoping that you have enough bacteria still active to keep up with the demand. This simple measure allows you to replenish the bacteria count in your tank in a quick and easy way while helping to avoid the possibility of your septic system backing up.
Knowing how to extend the life of your septic tank and septic system is important. It is easy to get distracted by all your other obligations in life, but proper septic system maintenance can ensure that you are never forced to stop everything to deal with septic tank failure.
You hope that you never have to replace your septic system, but if you get to the point where it is necessary then you have no choice. The cost to rectify the situation and to ultimately replace your septic system is great and goes far beyond money. Take a look at the cost so you will have a better idea of why you should never let it go that far.
The Danger To Your Health
If the problem has gotten to the point where your septic system has failed then waste is seeping into the ground around your home. At this point you need to contact the health department. They will need to assess the situation and will be able to give you advice as to what else to do.
Waste that has not yet been properly treated may escape a failed system which can spread serious diseases. Dysentery and hepatitis are two examples of conditions that can be spread by untreated waste material.
If you have used chemical cleaning products that have made their way down into your septic tank then those harmful chemicals may also enter the environment. These chemicals could be hazardous to people, to any pets in the area, and to the surrounding wildlife.
Waste In Your Home
That is another cost. You will have harmful waste making its way into the drainage field and possibly even backing up into your home. Surely, you can imagine what it would be like to have waste making its way back up the pipes that it went down. Your home would no longer be a pleasant place to live.
The cleanup alone for this type of backup would be quite a chore and an unpleasant chore at that. In the meantime, you would not have a septic system. You would have to go through the hassle of the cleanup and the replacement while going without the usage of a functioning septic system.
Having It Pumped
You will probably also have to have your system pumped which is a costly procedure. This should help to keep the problem from getting worse because it will be reducing the amount of waste in your septic tank. That way it should stop overflowing and spreading into your drainage field and possibly your home.
This could all have been prevented if the septic system had been able to handle the amount of waste that it was receiving. The reasons for such a backup are plentiful, but one common and avoidable cause is a shortage of bacteria. The bacteria eat the solid waste and convert it into a form that can then be released into the soil in a harmless fashion. Septic additive treatments are available so that you can reintroduce bacteria into your septic system so that waste can be converted and this entire problem can be averted.
The cost of replacing a septic system goes beyond money. True, it will cost a lot of money. On top of that it can be hazardous to living things, it can create one big mess, and it can even spread disease. Now that you know the cost of replacing a septic system, make sure you never have to pay it.
Maintaining your septic tank is an unfortunate chore, but it does not have to be. You may not realize that you have options in this matter, but realizing that you do can save you both time and money. Dealing with your septic tank can happen on your terms, or it can happen when the problem has turned into one giant mess.
Pumping It All Out
This is the direction that many people have taken to deal with their septic tank problems. It has often been thought to be the only option which is why it has been so popular in the past.
Depending on the size of your septic tank and the number of occupants in your household, you may have to have your tank pumped more or less frequently. If you utilize a garbage disposal then you may have to increase the frequency of your tank pumping further.
Having your tank pumped is one way to extend the life of your septic system, but it is a costly one. You are probably aware that having your septic tank pumped does not come cheap. Each time you have it done you will have to pay a substantial amount for this service, but that is only if you choose to go with the tank pumping option.
You will also have to set aside time to schedule the pumping process. This method can be very effective which is why so many people choose it. It is NOT however, your only option.
Bacteria and Enzymes
Bacteria and enzymes are the stars of the show in your septic tank. They do the work of breaking down the solid waste so that it can be safely released into the environment. Without bacteria, the waste would stay in the form that you flushed it down in and would remain harmful to people and animals alike.
The problem comes in when you are not sure about the activity of the bacteria in your septic tank. Are they digesting enough of the solid waste? Are the bacteria in the tank even still alive?
Harsh chemicals that you use to clean your toilets or other chemicals that make their way into your septic system can prove fatal for your bacteria. If you have used these chemicals then your number of active bacteria could be greatly reduced or even eliminated. This slows the process of solid waste breaking down.
The way to guarantee that you have enough healthy, active bacteria is to use septic tank additives that renew your septic tank’s supply of enzymes and bacteria. With a fresh supply, you can feel secure knowing that your septic system is working its way through the waste that it receives in an expedient manner.
Septic tank bacteria and enzymes are the essential parts of the septic system process. Without them, you would basically be storing waste until someone could come and pump it out for you. Sadly, this is what many people do. Knowing that you can, for a lot less money, effectively handle the solid waste yourself through simple septic tank additives allows you to bypass unnecessary septic tank pumping and the cost that it incurs.