Maintenance & Care
Septic system maintenance addresses two simple things.
First, sludge that accummulates at the bottom of the septic tank must be
pumped out periodically. The frequency of pumping depends on the size of the
septic tank, the use it gets, and the condition of the septic 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 septic system and it will need to be
replaced at enourmous expense and inconvienience.
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 to ensure the health of
the system. If the bacteria level is too low, the solids may not be digested
properly. Then solids can build up too much and overflow into the soil
absorption area. This again can clog the septic system, requiring major
repair or replacement.
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.
If not maintained, your septic system will eventually fail, requiring
excavation, repair and/or replacement. You will have to endure the expense
of this work, as well as the aggravation of trucks and equipment on your
property and the disruption of your yard.