Septic tanks can be great replacements for traditional plumbing systems. But in order for your septic tank to receive and remove waste from your home, it must be able to separate waste properly. If your tank can't separate waste, it will affect your home, family, and wallet. Learn what happens if your septic tank can't separate waste below.
What Happens If Your Septic Tank Can't Separate Waste?
Your septic tank contains three layers of waste: a scum layer, a sludge layer, and an affluent layer. The scum layer floats along the top of the tank while the sludge layer covers the very bottom of the tank. The affluent layer, or liquid, settles in the middle of the tank. Each layer makes it easier for the tank to process and break down the waste leaving your home.
If your septic tank doesn't work properly, it can't place each type of waste into the right layer. For example, sludge may settle inside the affluent layer instead of sinking to the bottom of the tank. Scum may sink to the bottom of the tank instead of remaining near the surface of it. The waste may also enter and block the inlet and outlet baffles inside the tank, or it may push back inside your plumbing pipes.
If you don't take action today, all of the potential septic tank problems above can damage the system over time.
How Do You Check Your Septic Tank?
Have a plumber carefully examine the layers inside your septic tank. If a plumber doesn't detect or see three distinct layers of waste inside the tank, they'll do one or more things:
- check the inlet and outlet baffles for clogs or blockages
- check the tank for sediment and waste buildup
- check the plumbing pipes for cracks, clogs, or other issues
If a contractor notates any of the things above, they'll:
- clear the inlet and outlet baffles
- clean or pump the entire tank
- clear out or repair the plumbing pipes
A plumber may also check the drain field near the tank during the visit. An overabundance of bacteria and affluent inside the drain field can disrupt the tank's functions as well. The debris may travel back into the septic tank and clog it.
If you have other pressing problems with your septic tank, a contractor will go over the most effective ways to solve them.
Learn more about the layers inside your septic tank by contacting a septic tank service today.