Are you moving into a new home with a septic system? Or building a house that will utilize a septic system? Then chances are you have a number of questions if you’ve never had a septic system before.
What you already might know is that it’s certainly a subtle part of your home, and it’s a feature you want to hide.
Yet your septic system is instrumental in how your home functions in a number of ways. It allows you to use water throughout the house, and then ensures what goes down the drain doesn’t affect your immediate environment. Hence your septic system has a key role to play when it comes to making sure that everything runs smoothly for your home, inside and out.
Are you brand new to septic systems, and want a better handle of the basics? Then review these FAQs which will outline everything you need to know about your new wastewater management system.
Septic System FAQs for Beginners
How does a septic system work?
Basically, all of the drains and pipes in your home connect with a septic tank, where all of your wastewater is directed – from toilets, to sinks, to your washing machine.
Once in the tank, the waste is broken down and filtered, with the help of naturally occurring bacteria. It is then safely released into your immediate environment through your drainage field.
In this way, septic systems tend to be better for the environment than sewer systems, which require treatment plants, and do not filter the wastewater as smoothly.
Do I share my septic system with neighbors or a community?
Typically, each home has an individual septic system, which is owned and maintained by the homeowner.
Is my septic system connecting to my drinking water?
No. Your drinking water comes from a different source, such as a well or even a municipal water supply. That said, any water you pour down the drain will end up in your septic system.
How much does a septic system cost?
If you are installing a brand new septic system, the cost can vary widely. Traditionally, only concrete septic tanks were available to new homeowners, which were expensive to transport and install. Today, lightweight yet durable poly tanks are available as well, which puts a big dent in upfront installation and transportation expenses. See our new line of septic tanks here.
Depending on the age of your septic tank, your long-term costs are minimal as well. You’ll likely need to pump and inspect your tank every 2-5 years or so, (again, depending on the age). And this typically costs a couple hundred dollars for each service.
How do I keep my septic tank functioning properly?
The best thing homeowners can do when it comes to septic tank maintenance is to watch what they put down the drain.
Even biodegradable materials, like food waste and paper products, can alter the delicate balance of bacteria in your tank, and can lead to clogging and ensuing issues.
Stick to flushing nothing but toilet tissue down the drain whenever possible, and you’ll enjoy years of stress-free use.
How do I know if there’s a problem?
There are a few telltale signs of an issue with your septic tank.
Keep a lookout for:
- A foul smell
- Leakage near the lid of your septic tank
- Lush and vibrantly growing weeds or grasses close to the tank and over the drainage field.
This is especially true if you utilize a concrete tank, (versus a poly tank), which is more conducive to leaks, cracks, and corrosion.
To avoid problems, check out this recent post!
If there is a problem, what can I do?
A plumber will likely be your first call if you suspect an issue with your septic tank, especially if you notice a backing up of wastewater in one, some, or all of your drains.
From there, you may be referred to a septic company or specialist. They can literally dig deeper to find the root cause of the problem.
What if I need a brand new septic system?
The good news is that when it comes to replacing a septic system, the endeavor is no longer as costly as it used to be. Our new septic tank designs utilize modern materials, making them easy to build, transport, and install. So replacing an outdated septic tank doesn’t have to be an insurmountable expense.
Simply put, a septic system is relatively easy to use and maintain, regardless of the size of your home, your location, or your family size. Considering that septic systems are known for their reliability – especially our newer models – disposing of wastewater is one aspect of a house that new homeowners should not have to worry about.