Here’s the thing with the ever elusive septic system, you know it’s there but you don’t ever really deal with it. Until you have to.
Hey Siri, define septic system:
n. a septic system is a common method of treating and disposing of wastewater from homes that are not connected to a public sewer system; an underground wastewater system that consists of a septic tank, a drain field, and a distribution system.
Right. And how does it work?
Well, when wastewater (from your sinks, toilets, shower and tub drains, dishwasher and washing machine) is drained out of the house, it heads to the septic tank. There, it is naturally separated into three layers – solids that sink to the bottom, oils and grease that rise to the top and clear water in the middle. The water is then drained out into “the fields.” The drain fields are made up of perforated pipes that are buried in a bed of gravel. The wastewater is then filtered through the soil and is eventually absorbed into the groundwater.
The End. Now you know. Another notch on your Empowered Homeowner belt.
And now that the elusive septic system is not so elusive anymore, here is your reminder to properly maintain it! It’s essential for the longevity and efficiency of a septic system (and most importantly, to avoid sewage backing up into your home #ew)
Do what restaurant bathrooms do: Do not flush items such as wipes, feminine hygiene products, or cooking grease down the toilet, as these items can and will clog your system.
Be conservative: Excessive water usage can overwhelm your septic system and cause it to fail. To avoid this, limit your water usage and fix any leaks in your plumbing.
Have the septic tank pumped (regularly): Depending on the size of your tank and the amount of wastewater generated, pump every 2 years for a four person family, every year for larger households.
Have the system inspected regularly: A professional inspector should examine your system once every three years to make sure it is functioning properly and to identify any potential issues.
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