Homeowners must install septic tanks on their properties in areas without access to public sewers in order to treat and dispose of wastewater. Septic tanks are underground chambers made of solid material through which wastewater flows and is disposed of; they are a type of domestic wastewater disposal system. Septic tank systems come in various designs; selecting the right one for your home requires some knowledge about the types of septic tanks, materials, pros and cons of the various materials, how to choose the size of the tank, etc. Additionally, you must consider and plan for the means of transportation, installation, care, and maintenance.

Septic tanks are made of different materials – steel, concrete, pre-cast concrete, plastic, and fiberglass. Each material has its own pros and cons, but concrete and plastic tanks are the most popular choices. However, besides the material, tanks differ in construction.

As the homeowner, you are responsible for the care and maintenance of your septic system. If properly designed, constructed, and maintained, your septic system can provide long-term effective treatment of household wastewater.

Protect your Septic System

Your septic system has a limited life expectancy which can be drastically shortened by improper use and care. Management is the key to a lasting system. Remember these 4 steps:

1. Pump your Septic Tank

One of the most important things you can do for your system is to have the tank pumped every 3-5 years by a licensed pumper.

2. Use Water Efficiently

Using more water than the soil can absorb is the most common reason for system failure. Efficient water use can improve the operation of your septic system and reduce the risk of failure. Be sure to install low-flow fixtures, repair leaky faucets and run the dishwasher and clothes washer only when full.

3. Watch what goes down the drain

Your septic system is not a trash can. Never pour grease or oils down your drains; garbage disposals cause a rapid overload of the system; and dispose of non-biodegradable items in the trash.

4. Care for your drain field

Your drain field is an important part of your septic system. Never plant trees or gardens, or drive or park on top of the drain field. Direct water from downspouts and the sump pump away from the drain field.

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