Everything that you dispose down the drains of your house ultimately ends up in your septic system. In a common man’s perspective, a septic system is a large, water tight tank that is used for the initial treatment of wastewater discharged by a household. This process involves wastewater disposal after the interception of organic matters and solids. Substances like oil, fats, grease etc. are lighter than water and form a floating scum layer at the top surface of the tank. The floating solids are digested by aerobic bacteria. The floating solids are digested here by aerobic bacteria. The heavier substances like food particles, bones, grit, soil, etc. form a layer of sludge at the bottom of the tank. Organic materials present in the sludge are consumed anaerobic bacteria. The clarified wastewater between the scum and sludge layer is known as the effluent, and it flows directly to the drain field via outlet.
Continuous use for several years can lead to reduction in effective capacity of the tank due to settled sludge and floating scum. As a result of this, the drain field pipes gets plugged by the solids as waste water passes through the septic system too quickly. The problem intensifies further when untreated effluent overflows the drain field and creates back ups in the drains inside your house.
Early detection of problems in a septic system can really avoid these problems. However, these symptoms are often ignored by homeowners. The most obvious symptom is slow or inadequate drainage from your septic system. Does your yard remain wet consistently? It may happen due to a septic system that has been overflowing since some time. Bad odor is another sign of an improperly functioning septic system. As a result of back ups in toilets and drains, you may also observe a dark liquid in the sinks of your bathroom, kitchen, and toilet. Houses with a lake or water body near them may see formation of excess algae in the lake.
Use of effluent filters is the most efficient alternative to avoid septic system related problems. The function of effluent filter is to filter out larger solid particles and keep the system functional. It is also useful to minimize the flow of water into the septic tank. You may protect your septic system from excess water by avoiding frequent laundry. It also helps to use low flow showers. Keep your kitchen waste out of your septic tank, as much as possible. Also, never flush any non biodegradable substance through your toilet.
You may face difficulties with your septic system even after following all these preventive measures. In that case, call as experienced plumber without wasting any time.