Septic Tank Maintenance: 2 Myths About Septic Tank Pumping

The large majority of rural households depend on septic systems for waste treatment and disposal. Improper function of the system can cause a serious health hazard, pollute underground water sources and cause odors and waste backups that can be a real nuisance. The best way to ensure your septic system is working properly is to have it pumped and cleaned regularly, and to prevent the abuse of the system.

For most homeowners, their septic system is a mystery shrouded in myths that often result in neglect and premature failure. This is why it is important to demystify some of the common misconceptions about a septic system so as to best understand how to maintain it. Here is a look at 2 common septic tank myths and the truths behind them.

Additives will eliminate the need for septic pumping

There are many products that claim to eliminate septic tank backups without the need for regular maintenance or pumping. This is misleading, as there can be no substitute for regular tank maintenance if you want it to function properly.

While bacteria additives do help to break down solids as well as supplement the volume of bacteria in the tank, they do not eliminate solid sediments. Regular tank inspection and pumping is the only viable way to prevent tank clogging and eventual system failure.

Contrary to popular belief, bacteria additives are not always necessary. Human waste contains a large volume of enzymes from the metabolic process. These enzymes find their way into the septic tank, where they actively break down solid waste, eliminating the need for any additives. Additives may only be necessary when the system is being overloaded, or when detergents have depleted the volume of bacteria in the system.

Tank pumping will eliminate all existing problems

Many homeowners wait until their pipes start clogging before scheduling a tank pumping and cleaning. This is not a good decision, as gradual damage to the drain pipes, tank and drain field can occur without any red flags coming up. This is why regular septic inspection and maintenance is recommended, even when the system is seemingly functional.

If clogging does occur, a good old septic tank pumping will eliminate solid waste such as soap crystals and grease that are most likely responsible. Pumping and cleaning also allows contractors to locate broken tank baffles and crushed drain pipes.

Unfortunately, problems with a clogged drain field cannot be resolved by pumping the septic tank. Once soil in the drain field is clogged by solid particles from an overflowing septic tank, the only remedy is to have a new one built. Therefore, the true value of regular septic tank pumping is to prevent permanent damage to your drain field. Talk to a company like McDermott Septic Tank Pumping to find out how often you should have your tank pumped.