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Why You Should Have Your Septic Tank Cleaned (Part 1)

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All too often we receive calls from homeowners who have never pumped their septic tank and are dealing with backup into their house due to a failing septic system. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done! Sometimes roto-rootering or hydro-jetting the drainfield lines provides temporary relief, but once the sludge clogs up the drainfield, the only permanent remedy to the problem is installing a new system.

Cleaning your septic tank is the key to the life of your septic system.

The purpose of the septic tank is to separate the wastewater from the solid waste and allow only the wastewater to enter the soil absorption field — heavier solid waste settles to the bottom of the tank and become sludge, the lighter waste settles to the top and becomes scum. The wastewater is drawn from the middle of these two layers.

Over time these layers thicken to the point where they come together. Once this occurs, sludge and scum leave the tank and enter the soil absorption field, which causes your soil and drainfield to clog. Click on the diagram to the right to see a diagram of what this looks like.

This is usually a slow process, and you won’t know it’s happening until your drainfield clogs to the point of failure and begins to backup. After this point, cleaning the septic tank usually does not solve the problem and a new system may have to be installed.

Septic tanks should be cleaned every 3 to 5 years, depending on the size of the tank and the number of occupants in the home. Don’t wait until its too late!

Stay tuned for part two of this series, which explains the things that should be checked when your tank is pumped.

Need help with your septic system? Call us or contact us online today to set up an appointment.


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