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Let's Start Learning About Your Septic System

Protecting your home in every way possible is something that homeowners think about every day. But it’s about more than keeping your yard tended, or the structure of your home safe. It involves more than appliance safety and the visible areas. 

To keep your home truly safe and functional, you need to consider the hidden parts, too.

That includes your home’s septic system – particularly the septic tank.

The goal of SepticTank.com is to help guide you through the different aspects of owning and maintaining a septic system within your home.

This site will guide you when it comes to: 

– Finding nearby septic tank installation and maintenance professionals

– Choosing the right septic products and services for your needs

– Repairing, replacing and upgrading the components of your septic system

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to your home’s septic tank, so take the time to learn everything you can.

For those considering buying a home that features a septic tank – meaning that you’ll own one for the very first time, this site’s for you, too.

From start to finish, we’re focused on teaching you everything you need to know about yout septic tank and everything that goes along with it. Pay close attention – and never let your septic system get to the point you see in pictures and videos showcasing horror stories of cracks, leaks and complete system failures. 

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What is a Septic Tank?

In simple terms, a septic tank is the system within the home that is responsible for filtering and “cleaning” wastewater before returning it into nature. Want to know how a septic tank works? Read on!

Whether it’s an above ground septic tank or a concrete septic tank buried in the ground, the function is the same. But how does a septic tank work?

Wastewater enters the tank through the home’s pipes. As soon as it’s inside the tank’s chambers, the filtration process begins. With the help of bacteria colonies within the septic tank, solids are broken down over time. The heaviest solids sink to the bottom, turning into sludge, but the majority of them don’t do this – leading to much of the substance introduced into the system exiting through the filter and into the septic tank drainfield.

Types of Septic Tanks

There are two main types of septic tank systems. Anaerobic septic tanks do not use oxygen to break down the solids introduced into the system. They rely solely on bacteria and time. This is what a typical RV septic tank consists of. This is one version of a portable septic tank used by people that may or may not have concrete or fiberglass septic tanks on their

What does a septic tank look like?

There are two main types of septic tank systems. Anaerobic septic tanks do not use oxygen to break down the solids introduced into the system. They rely solely on bacteria and time. This is what a typical RV septic tank consists of. This is one version of a portable septic tank used by people that may or may not have concrete or fiberglass septic tanks on their home property.

This depends wholly on the type of tank you choose. Each of the following types of septic tanks has a different septic tank cleaning cost as well as a specific septic tank price list, too. The more you know about the systems available (search ‘septic tanks for sale near me’ to get a better idea of this), the better prepared you are to make a decision for your property.

An anaerobic septic system often uses a multi-chamber method to treat water, and features more moving parts than a conventional septic tank. While septic tank companies will be able to give you more information about the types of tanks available as well as septic tank cost, and a current septic tank diagram to show you different options, the following is a list of the different types of septic systems people may choose to install.

Find a local septic provider

Conventional Septic System

This system features a tank and an underground drainfield filled with gravel. It’s used for small businesses and on home properties. Due to the large size of this septic tank drain field layout and the care that goes into constructing them, the septic tank isn’t the ideal choice for all situations.

Find a local septic provider

Chamber System

This system features a tank and an underground drainfield filled with gravel. It’s used for small businesses and on home properties. Due to the large size of this septic tank drain field layout and the care that goes into constructing them, the septic tank isn’t the ideal choice for all situations.

Find a local septic provider

Drip Distribution System

Instead of relying on large pipes of gravel to release the treated wastewater back into the ground, this type is one of the septic tanks for sale that isn’t deeply buried. It utilizes electricity and may require more frequent septic tank inspection or septic tank repair, since it’s more intricate than a traditional system.

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Mound System

Much like the other options for home septic tanks, the mound system relies on a timed release of the treated water back into the ground. This septic system type utilizes a mound of sand, which is the final stage of filtration for the treated water. This type of septic tank requires a great deal of room on your property, whether it’s a 500 gallon septic tank or a 1500 gallon septic tank.

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Recirculating Sand Filter Septic System

This type of septic tank may be above or below the ground. It requires the use of a pump as well as a sand filter chamber to treat the water before releasing it into the drainfield. Septic tank installation cost for this type of system is often high, because additional resources (a pump, sand) are necessary.

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Evapotranspiration System

This system’s unique property is that instead of draining into the ground, the tank’s water is released into the air. Instead of a buried drainfield, this uses an open-air tank as the final step in the process. It requires hot, dry conditions to function properly.

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Constructed Wetland System

Exactly as it sounds, this type of septic tank utilizes an exposed but contained section of plants, water, gravel and sand to treat it. The wastewater is treated within the contained underground tank to remove large solids, and then flows into the simulated wetland. While not all of the water is treated here (some continues to flow into an adjacent drainfield), the majority is. A septic tank pump out for this type of system is a different endeavor than usual, because when it “flushes” the system, it impacts the plants, too.

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Community/ Cluster System

This type of septic system may utilize any of the above options for septic services, but instead of only serving one building at a time, this larger system is responsible for treating water from multiple dwellings at once. Each home may have their own individual septic tank, but the septic tank field lines are connected, meaning that everything drains to one area and through one final septic tank distribution box.

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FAQ

You can look for your home’s septic tank via a few methods. First, check your home’s building plans. It will show you exact locations of all on-property structures. Knowing how to find septic tanks on property is sometimes as simple as looking for concrete septic tank lids or vents.

If neither of these methods work, search for ‘septic tank companies near me’, and schedule an at-home visit.

Yes. Every few years, you need to have a septic tank cleaning service come to your property and clean out the system. This service is necessary to prevent septic tank backup whether you have a 1000 gallon concrete septic tank or a smaller 300 gallon septic tank.

This depends on a few factors, but the general rule for most septic tank pump out schedules is every 3-5 years. Larger households with a small septic tank may need to be pumped more often. Alternatively, a smaller household with larger septic tank size won’t need to do it as often.

When you look up “septic tank pumping services near me” in your favorite search engine, the results may surprise you. Costs fluctuate based on 

  • The size of your septic tank
  • The location of the tank
  • The age of the tank
  • Whether or not the tank needs parts repaired or replaced

Asking how much to pump a septic tank will always have a base cost as the answer – but it may not remain that basic cost once the professionals are on site and ready to perform the service. To find a reputable local company, try searching for terms like “septic tank pumping near me” or “septic tank cleaning near me”. 

If you’re unsure about whether or not your septic tank is full, the following list may help answer your septic tank treatment questions.

  1. A full septic tank commonly results in pooling water and sewer backup.
  2. Slow drains, gurgling pipes and trouble flushing usually indicate the need for septic tank service.
  3. Septic tank cleanout is often necessary when you smell an odor (inside or out) and your lawn seems unnaturally healthy.

Knowing where to search for septic tank repair near me is necessary for emergencies – but also for routine maintenance.

Poop – and all other organic solids – that enter into a septic holding tank go through a process that breaks them down over time. After being introduced into the system, the bacteria within the septic tank immediately begins this process. 

With a septic tank aerator, the process speeds up with added oxygen and agitation. Otherwise, the waste is naturally broken down, moving through the different parts of the tank – and finally, to the septic tank drain field. 

Natural products are best for the septic tank. This means only putting “approved” additives and chemicals into it, and following the recommendations from employees of septic tank pumping companies. This doesn’t only apply to additives, either. Be mindful of the waste that you introduce, too. 

If you have a septic tank, using chlorine bleach in large amounts is not recommended. Septic tank maintenance professionals will tell you that it’s best to use natural chemicals or ones labeled “septic safe” when your home relies on a septic tank. 

Try to stick with biodegradable chemicals, and if this isn’t possible, use only small amounts of cleaning products.

No. Hair does not dissolve in a septic tank. Other items that also do not dissolve and may lead to the need for septic tank pumping include: 

  • Grease
  • Medicine
  • Pet waste
  • Kitchen waste
  • Chemicals
  • Bathroom or other trash

You can use regular toilet paper within your septic system, but there are three options for septic tank toilet paper that septic tank service professionals recommend to keep your system functioning smoothly. 

Biodegradable toilet paper requires less water and time before breaking down. This means less strain on your septic tank and septic tank filter. 

Recycled toilet paper features shorter fibers that break apart more easily. It contains fewer chemicals and dissolves quickly in water.

Septic-safe toilet paper dissolves rapidly, no matter the septic tank design. Look for a toilet paper that has been certified by the National Sanitation Foundation for best results within your septic tank system.

Your septic tank is designed to clean itself over time. This happens when the system breaks down the waste introduced into it, but there are also septic tank additives available for homeowners between septic tank pumping services appointments. 

The best way to clean your septic tank naturally is to be mindful of how you use it – and what you put into it daily. 

In theory, septic tank cleaning additives are meant to reduce the amount of sludge within the system. The septic tank pumping cost is much higher than the price of these additives, which are used between scheduled septic tank maintenance appointments. 

The best septic tank treatments improve the health of bacterial colonies within the septic tank, and that’s why some of them introduce yeast in septic tanks. 

Experts differ on this answer, but the best septic tank treatment is one that promotes the health of your septic tank without disrupting it. Be sure that the additives used don’t damage the interior parts of the tank like the septic tank filter or the septic tank baffle. Proper septic tank drainage depends on the contents of the system just as much as the condition of the tank itself. 

Most septic tanks are designed to last for many years. The better you maintain your tank, the longer it lasts. Knowing how to install a septic tank and having it done properly also contribute to the longevity of your system. 

Septic tank purchase and installation costs vary depending on different factors. As mentioned above, the type of septic tank is the first variable. The size is the second. The 1000 gallon septic tank dimensions are very different from those of a smaller tank. This means that the space needed to house it – and the work that goes into installing it – is not the same. 

The cost to install a septic tank and leach field or the cost to replace a septic tank and drain field are things you need to discuss with the pros. They’ll provide you with exact numbers and product recommendations.

Again, this depends on the type of septic system you install and own. Some of them are closer to the surface so that their components can utilize the air and sunlight. Some are completely buried. Some even feature totally above ground tanks.

A septic tank riser kit allows you to create easy access to your septic tank for inspections. One of the most commonly installed systems that use risers are infiltrator septic tanks – made of durable, watertight plastic.