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Do you know what a septic system is? Do you know what comprises your system? And, most importantly, do you know how to use and maintain it? Here is a brief explanation of your system and a few points to remember about it.

A septic system processes waste materials and waste water from your house. It is an underground system that has a large tank that is buried on your property. Plumbing runs from your house to the underground tank and through those plumbing lines flow the waste water and material that is either flushed or sent down the drains of your home.


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The tank is designed to allow the solid material to settle to the bottom while the liquid remains on top. The liquid is pumped out of the tank into a drain field. The bacteria are filtered out of the liquid by layers of rock and soil. Eventually, the clean water is re-absorbed by the ground.

Your septic system must be maintained for it to work properly. If it doesn’t work properly, you will likely find a waste material backup somewhere in your house, around your septic tank or around your drain field. Moist and soggy soil over the tank or the drain field can signal trouble that, if not addressed in a timely manner, could cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars to repair or replace your system.


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Locate a reputable service company in your local area and have your system inspected regularly. The tank will require emptying periodically depending on the size of it and the overall waste water usage of your household. Don’t overlook those valuable routine inspections.

Make repairs as soon as possible when faulty parts of the system are identified. The old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” truly applies here. If you make the necessary repairs sooner rather than later, then your expenditure will be less than the larger repairs and the backup cleanup that will likely follow before you know it.,-116290527,4950&tbm=lcl&tbs=lrf:!2m1!1e2!2m1!1e3!3sEAE,lf:1,lf_ui:2

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Locate your underground tank and the drain field. Avoid parking vehicles or placing heavy objects over these components. Do not pave over them. Use care when digging and planning any landscaping around your home. Don’t ignore abnormally wet areas around the outside of your home. They could be the result of a malfunctioning part of your system.

Do you know people who have had to spend thousands of dollars for the repair or replacement of their septic systems? How about the expense of cleaning up or repairing the house and yard from damage caused by septic backup?

Septic system backups create unhealthy and very unpleasant smelling conditions on your property, both inside the house as well as outside the house. If you have a septic system on your property, septic tank pumping should be a very high priority and concern.

All septic tanks need to be pumped out (emptied) and the system inspected periodically. How often should you have your system pumped and inspected? Most septic service companies in Molalla recommend septic tank pumping is done every 3 to 5 years, depending on several variables.

Those variables are septic tank size, number of people in the household and the amount of water going into the system.

The size of tank is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a small tank, it follows that it will need emptying more often. But how do you know how large your tank is? Your local septic tank service company can help you locate your tank in the ground and help determine the size of it.

The amount of water going into the tank is determined how many people are living in the house and how much water is used. Toilet flushing probably accounts for the largest percentage of waste water used in most homes.

If you live in an older style home and you have the original bathroom fixtures, you will likely have an older style toilet that requires 3 to 5 gallons (or more) of water per flush. Newer toilet designs decrease the water needed per flush to approximately 1.5 or so gallons.

There are also inserts that can be placed into the toilet tank that “dam” the water so that less water is needed per flush. These inserts can help you make your older toilet more water efficient.

Having your septic system inspected can save money in costly repairs or replacement. Your local septic service company can inspect the valves, drain field, water inlet and outlets and the general condition of your tank to catch problems before they become a costly repair.

Most septic tank pumping and service companies will be able to make the repairs or replacements. Your local septic service company can also recommend additives to your tank to help control the sludge and scum that can be part of that expensive septic system failure that you want to avoid.

Most of us pay ample value to the interiors of our homes, but often, we intentionally or unintentionally choose to avoid things that need attention like proper septic tank installation and maintenance. No matter where you have your home, having the right kind of septic tank installed and ensuring its maintenance is one aspect that you just cannot ignore. Before going in the details of how to choose a company, it is essential to understand the need to invest in such maintenance costs.

Avoid health hazards and damage to environment: In the case of septic tank failure, the local environment can be largely affected. This can lead to further health related hazards for your family and those families living nearby. This is a condition can often be immensely dangerous, and the effects can be there even after a long time.

Avoid the repair costs: Most people don’t realize the simple fact that septic tank service is easy on the pocket rather than repairs. In fact, repairs can run in thousands of dollars, and in an unfortunate event where reinstallation is required, you are in for big troubles.

Rather than investing so much in a single payment, hiring the services of a professional for cleaning, pumping and maintenance is a safer and better option any day.

Apart from the damage mentioned above, you can also face damage to the property values. If you are really concerned about your home and want to fetch a good resale value at a later stage, maintenance and upkeep of septic tank is something you just cannot ignore. Property evaluators may not consider your home to be worth of what you ask if there is any damage related to septic tank.

The main question lies in how to select the right company for septic tank cleaning, pumping and maintenance. It is obvious that a local company must be selected, but make sure that you take a look at the traits given below before choosing one.

Look for a construction company: Rather than looking for company that can offer maintenance, it is essential that you look for a company that is well versed with installation, repairs and other tasks. This will not only bring you the best expertise, but at the same time, you can get emergency services when required.

Look for costs: The costs of annual septic tank maintenance contracts can vary from one company to another, and this is also large dependent on the tank type you have. While looking for hiring a company, ask for quote and compare the same with others.

Look for experience: Always choose a licensed company over a company that is still looking for it. It is important that your company has the right experience to handle repairs, pumping, cleaning and maintenance, and when required, they must be available for service. A reputed company should good at commercial and residential sites alike.

To understand what is involved in septic tank pumping, it is first important to understand what a septic system is, what it does and how it works. A septic system is, very simply, an underground treatment system for household sewage.

A typical septic system consists of 4 components: the pipe from the house, the septic tank, a drain field and the soil. Damage or malfunction of any of these components can cause the system to fail which can result in soil and drinking water contamination and costly repairs or replacements by the homeowner.

A very basic explanation of how the system works begins with waste water leaving the house through the plumbing network inside the house to the pipe leading to the septic tank. The tank is buried underground and is usually constructed in a water tight manner of concrete, fiberglass or polyethylene.

It is intended to hold the waste water long enough to allow the solids to settle to the bottom (to form sludge) and the oils to float to the top (to form scum). Some of the solid waste decomposes as well.

There are compartments and a “t” shaped outlet from the septic tank that prevents the sludge and scum from leaving the tank to travel to the drain fields. Once the liquid enters the drain field, it is filtered through the several layers of soil for the final treatment by removal of harmful bacteria, viruses and nutrients.

Septic tank pumping is required periodically to remove the sludge and scum from the tank. If the sludge and scum is allowed to build up in the tank, it can clog the drainage from the septic tank and the drain field.

Your local septic service company can provide periodic inspections as well as pumping and cleaning of your tank to keep everything working as it was designed.

The process of septic tank pumping involves the use of a large tank truck with suction pumps and hoses. The hoses are inserted into the manhole opening at the ground level to remove the scum and sludge accumulation. The sludge and scum are sucked into the tank on the truck and it is later disposed of in an approved manner and place.

The septic service companies will inspect the tank, valves and the ground around the system to assess for leaks or clogged areas. Areas needing attention will be brought to the attention of the homeowner and an appropriate resolution suggested.

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