Septic tank treatment is not the most interesting part of caring for a home. But it’s important to learn that you control where everything ends up. This is not a small job and every caretaker needs to know the basics.
Because of this, learning what you can about septic tanks and septic tank treatments is important. Because believe it or not, anyone can clean their septic tanks and speed up efficiency from the inside of their home.
What Is A Septic Tank Treatment?
A septic tank is a type of sewage disposal system where domestic water flows through. Many private homes have septic tanks as they aren’t usually large enough to accommodate more than one home at a time.
A septic tank treatment is a treatment that can help break down bacteria and solids in your septic tank to help you avoid problems with it and your toilet. Using a treatment regularly is a great way to prolong the life of your septic tank.
How Often Should I Empty My Septic Tank?
Emptying your septic system is the first step in caring for it. Though you don’t have to do it yourself, you do need to hire someone to come and empty it whenever it is getting full, or else you’ll have a big problem on your hand.
The average household septic system should be inspected about every three years by a professional. That’s when the professional can check to see if it needs to be pumped. They’ll also let you know if it needs to wait.
They will usually either pump it or let you know they will come back in a year or two. Any electrical parts or systems need to be inspected at least once a year to check for any safety issues or for any parts that need to be replaced.
You probably don’t want to check this yourself but a good rule of thumb is this: if the bottom of the scum layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, it needs to be emptied. Or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet, your tank needs to be pumped.
Always write down anytime anyone, including yourself, checks the tank. Write down the levels and any details that can help the next person who checks it. This can save you the trouble of getting it checked again too soon.
How To Use Water Efficiently
The second thing you need to do to ensure that your septic lives a long and healthy life is to use your water efficiently. Along with not putting anything down the drain aside from toilet paper, this is the other thing you can do.
Most people use about 70 gallons of water in one day. Even one leak can waste three times this each day, so it really isn’t as much as you’d think. However, there are things you can do to use less water.
- Eco-Toilets – you can get high-efficiency toilets that will use less water per flush. Most newer toilets will have a 50-200% smaller water reserve than older toilets. So updating your toilet is a great step.
- Shower Heads And Faucets – the same goes for this type of item. You can switch out your shower head, faucet, and more in order to use less water. Check out eco-showerheads and more for good buys.
- Use Washer Efficiently – don’t use your washer every day, don’t do large loads, and don’t wash laundry with too much grease in your washer. This can use way too much water and won’t get you anywhere.
- Check For Energy Star – the Energy Star label usually means that the washer, dishwasher, etc. uses less water than usual. Look for it and look into the facts about labels you see such as this one.
Types Of Septic Systems
A traditional septic tank isn’t the only type of septic system that is used for homes. Although most septic systems use a septic tank, the way the water is redirected and even repurposed is different. Let’s go over each of them now.
This is a tank buried under the ground and sealed. Solids sink and other items float while the wastewater is discharged to the drainfield. This is by far the simplest and cheapest type of septic system you can get.
This is a wastewater treatment system that includes a septic tank and a trench that acts as a drainfield. The drainfield is similar to a French drain that redirects the water that exits the septic tank. This system needs plenty of room to expand.
The chamber system doesn’t use gravel like a French drain in a conventional system does. Instead, it uses larger chamber pipes to carry the water. These pipes won’t be perforated and direct the water efficiently.
Drip Distribution System
The drip distribution system is a type of electrical dispersal system used for the small space it takes up while still allowing enough pipe to reduce bacteria. The pupe is buried shallow and follows a serpent pattern.
Aerobic Treatment Unit
Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) work a lot like a municipal sewage plant. It injects oxygen into the septic tank to increase natural bacterial activity that helps with the disinfecting process of the system.
Mound systems are great if you have shallow soil depth. It works by building up in a way you would with land berms to create a place to install the new pipes. This type of system needs more maintenance than others.
Recirculating Sand Filter System
A recirculating sand filter uses both a septic tank and a pump tank. Water flows from the septic tank to the pump chamber. It is a very safe method that goes through three boxes before entering the ground.
Evapotranspiration systems, as expected, allow water to evaporate into the air. The water never enters the ground and doesn’t contaminate the area. However, they aren’t ideal for all climates as they can easily fail.
Constructed Wetland System
A constructed wetland is a way for the septic system to mimic the wetlands and disperse the water as it would in nature. Water exits the septic tank and enters a drainage system before entering further wastewater treatment in the third step.
A community system gives each house its own septic tank. Each septic tank goes to the same drain field and the water is all dispersed in the same area. This is perfect for those living near each other.
Types Of Septic System Treatments
There are only four different types of septic system treatments you’ll see regularly.
- Pods – think Tide Pods, yes. They are popular because they are so easy! Just drop the pod into the toilet and flush. It is a clean and worry-free method because they are easy to store and dissolve in the tank.
- Tablets – tablets are like pods but don’t have a protective layer. This is similar to the way Tums are made as opposed to a pill with a capsule and the powder inside of it. Tablets take longer than pods to work.
- Powders – powders need to be measured, so they are more difficult to use than other methods, but they work quite quickly. They also need to settle before flushing so this can be a hassle if you’re in a hurry.
- Liquids – liquids need to be poured in but can usually be flushed right away. Getting the right amount is crucial. Most people with kids don’t get liquids due to accidents and the difficulty to store them easily.
Five Septic Tank Treatments You Can Buy Online
If you’re looking for the perfect, affordable treatment for your septic system, you don’t even need to leave your house. You can clean your system by dropping one of these down the toilet once a month.
Some claim to have avoided ever having to have their septic pumped after, even after a decade, when using Cabin Obsession. This consists of pods that you simply flush down your toilet once every month or so.
If you are looking for a liquid treatment, this is probably your best bet. RID-X is already a trusted brand so it is an easy choice. Each bottle comes with a six-month supply so you only need to buy it twice a year.
If you want something that lasts a long time, these pods by Walex come with a 0ne-year supply. You drop them in once a month and forget about it. Though it isn’t as popular as Cabin Obsession, it is still a solid choice.
Green Gobbler may sound like a fun name, but this is a serious brand. They are also pods that work quickly, effectively, and last about a month before you need to drop one in again. You won’t find a better price either.
Green Pig is simply another wonderful choice if you have it available to you. Sometimes, it will be available at smaller stores where the others aren’t, so don’t be afraid to choose it because it works well.
Hiring A Professional
I like to recommend hiring a professional whenever you can. Primarily for one reason: it’s much safer than doing things yourself. But when it comes to using septic treatments or using less water, that’s something you will do yourself.
When it comes to actually emptying your tank. Well, if it comes to that, you will need to hire a professional. Since it doesn’t need to be done very often, the price is quite affordable. Just make sure you get an estimate before they arrive!