Septic System Maintenance in the Indianapolis Area
The U.S. Government Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Public Health Service says, "A septic tank system will serve a home satisfactorily only if it is properly designed, installed, and adequately maintained. Even a good system which does not have proper care and attention may become a nuisance, and burdensome expense."
Septic system maintenance means two simple things. First, sludge that accumulates in the bottom of the tank must be pumped out periodically. How frequently depends on the size of the tank, the use it gets, and the condition of the system. There is no additive that you can put in the tank that will deal with the sludge. IT MUST BE PUMPED OUT. If not pumped out, the sludge will eventually overflow into the soil absorption area. This will clog the system, and it will need to be replaced, at enormous expense and inconvenience.
The second part of septic system maintenance involves the bacteria necessary for solids digestion. If bacteria-killing products are used in the home - as they usually are - the bacteria should be replenished. If the bacteria level is too low, the solids may not be digested properly. The solids can build up too much and overflow into the soil absorption area. This again can clog the system, requiring major repair or replacement.
Your septic tank could be overflowing solid material RIGHT NOW, and you won't know it until it blocks the soil absorption system so badly that no more drainage is possible. This blockage takes varying lengths of time. But this is fact: a neglected system WILL get blocked; it WILL overflow; it WILL have an obnoxious odor; it WILL contaminate and pollute. It may also require repair or even replacement. The first septic system "emergency" – a backup or overflow - often marks the beginning of a failing trend. Replacement costs vary, but they can be very, very expensive – especially if contaminated material needs to be removed.