The purpose of a septic tank or system is to treat the wastewater that accumulates at a home or business. The average setup is a combination of a tank for solids and a drain field. The drain field removes the contaminants from the liquid waste that is brought to the septic tank. The tank and drain field, coupled with the associated piping, make up a complete septic system.
If you're buying a home with a septic system in place, an escrow inspection may very well be in order. Contrary to popular belief, a septic tank will normally remain quite full. Servicing of tanks is meant to be utilized in the prevention of buildup or sludge in the tank. Typically, septic tanks are inspected every three years
by a septic specialist. Your septic specialist can recommend how often your tank needs servicing by septic tank contractors, though there are some warning signs to keep in mind:
- Slow flow or sluggishness when the toilet is flushed
- A gurgling noise emanating from the plumbing
- Strikingly greener grass that is faster growing in a single area
- Unpleasant or unbearable odors
In general, there are a few things you can do to help ensure your septic system operates as efficiently as possible. You should never place any large plants near your drain field. The root systems of larger plants can work their way inside of your septic system and will cause blockage. Never flush anything down your toilet other than toilet tissue, including paper towels or rags.
If you've noticed an odor or it's been upwards of three years since your system has been serviced, we recommend you reach out to a septic specialist for a septic system inspection.