4 Potentially Dangerous Septic Tank Myths

If you're the owner of a septic tank, chances are you completely forget about the system until it's time to have the tank pumped or something goes horribly wrong. Caring for a septic tank is very simple, but there are still steps that need to be taken to ensure the system runs smoothly. Don't fall victim to one of these common septic tank myths, because you might wind up damaging the system or, worse, harming your family or the environment:

My System Doesn't Require Regular Maintenance

Many homeowners only assume their septic system needs to be maintained if there is a noticeable problem, or if it's time to have the tank pumped. However, if you only pay attention to your tank when it's time to have it pumped, you might be missing a serious problem.

It's best to err on the side of caution and have the system examined by a professional at least once a year. During this inspection, the professional looks for any signs of damage and makes sure there aren't any other potentially devastating issues present.

Not only will having your system inspected regularly help prevent a potential issue, but it will also extend the life of the tank. Having your tank pumped as needed is also critical. There are several factors that will determine how often your septic tank will need to be emptied. This includes the size of the tank and the number of people in your household.

However, no matter what the size is of your tank or the number of people in your household, Maryland's Anne Arundel County Department of Health recommends having your tank pumped at least every three years.

If I Use Additives, I Don't Need to Have My Tank Pumped

From yeast to commercial products, there are several septic tank additives available. Before considering utilizing any additives, it is important to understand how your septic system works. Whenever waste water from your home is flushed down the drain or through a pipe, it winds up in the septic tank. The bacteria naturally found in the wastewater helps breakdown the solids into liquids and gas.

Septic additives work by increasing the decomposition rate of the solids found in the tank. While this might seem like a good idea, it is important to use these additives cautiously and to keep a regular septic tank maintenance schedule.

Speak with your septic system maintenance professional and ask them to recommend an additive. In some cases, additives can be effective, but they will not completely put an end to the need to have the tank pumped on a regular basis.

My Septic Tank Never Needs Replacement

Finally, even if you have your septic system pumped on a regular schedule and have it inspected by professional every year, your tank won't last forever. According to House Logic, the typical septic system lasts anywhere between 25 and 30 years.

If you're not sure how old your septic system is, there are still signs that it is time to have one of the main components or the whole system completely replaced. For example, during an inspection, if the technician finds serious damage to the tank itself or if there are nasty odors in your home or yard that simply won't go away, it might be time to have the system replaced.

Your technician will help determine the best way to go forward and often give advice to help you purchase and install a new system that is right for your needs and budget.

Many homeowners with a septic tank don't understand the intricacies of their system or how to care for it properly. If you're a septic system owner, don't fall victim to these three common myths. 

Talk with septic tank repair and installation professionals or click for more information.