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Pumping Basics

Pumping Basics

DrainsThe primary problems with septic systems is no one has ever found a way to make them last indefinitely. From the moment the tank is built, and there are few things more inconvenient than having your bathroom out of order! But if it's built correctly, drained properly and used with a certain amount of gentle attention, your septic system should last for decades with only minimal maintenance.

Most homeowners should have their tanks pumped at least every five years. The septic system is the digestive tract of your home: water leaches out through special perforated pipes into the drain or leach field, which prevents the tank from filling up too quickly. The right balance of bacteria in the septic tank means that solids are broken down even further and turned into liquids, with the solids remaining significantly diminished in size. If you use a bacterial cleaner on a regular basis, the billions of bacteria added to the tank will keep diminishing the solids in the tank keeping your septic tank running smoothly.

The septic leach field, or drain field, also needs attention for your septic system to remain virtually maintenance free for long periods of time. The perforated pipes (leach lines) that send water into the leach field can become clogged with material over time, which prevents water from moving out of the septic tank and into the drain field. When this happens, the tank fills up very quickly because the water has nowhere to go and must sit in the tank. If you put a bacterial drain cleaner into your septic system once a week, the bacteria continue to live in the water that enters the tank, and as the water moves out through the leach lines, the bacteria take up residence along the length of the pipe and in the holes. With the bacteria digesting the solid waste that would otherwise plug the holes, your leach lines remain free and clear, allowing water to move out into the drain field where it percolates through the soil and returns to the water table as pure water.  If water starts surfacing in your drainfield or leachfield area, it may be time to flush and clean your drainfield.

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