Your septic system is the silent hero of your property, discreetly processing and storing solid waste. It’s easy to forget that such an important feature exists on your Briarcliff Manor, NY, property—until it stops functioning, that is. However, by keeping your septic system in mind and arranging its annual inspection and maintenance, you can keep it in good shape and prevent the need for a costly septic system replacement.
Repairing small-scale problems on a yearly basis will turn out to be more cost-effective than investing in an entirely new septic tank to replace one that has been debilitated by years of negligence. Here are a few common issues that can be spotted and addressed by a professional inspector:
The Failure of Solid Waste Breakdown
There are various reasons why the solid waste in your septic tank may not be breaking down. This organic process is naturally gradual but can be further hindered by burdening the tank with excess wastewater and non-biodegradable products. Homeowners who don’t use water efficiently overfill their septic tanks, causing the water level to rise to the point where solid waste moves into distribution tubes and blocks them. Non-biodegradable products will never break down in a septic tank and instead serve to fill it up, raising the water level and hindering the breakdown of organic solids.
An annual inspection will bring an overfilled septic tank to light so that its problems may be addressed. An aerobic treatment unit, for example, facilitates the decomposition of organic waste by aerating a septic tank. The professional conducting the inspection and repair is also likely to offer advice regarding how to prevent the same issue in future.
The formation of puddles on the lawn and changes in the health of the surrounding grass indicate the presence of standing water between the tank and drain field. While these signs may suggest that a septic system requires replacement, it can also be the result of minor mechanical damage that can easily be fixed. A broken pipe may be the culprit, for example, if not damage caused by the extension of tree roots. A professional inspector will be able to pinpoint the cause of the problem and repair it before it advances and demands replacement of the tank.
An Imbalanced Ecosystem
The bacteria and enzymes in your septic tank convert organic solids into liquids and, therefore, play a large role in the main function of the entire septic system. There are various chemicals like detergents, motor oil, and paint thinners that destroy the essential bacteria in a septic tank. As a result, organic waste takes longer to break down and the system can become backed up. A professional inspector will be able to identify an imbalance in the number of microorganisms within a septic tank and take measures to correct this imbalance. Toxic chemicals that enter the septic system can also be distributed into the surrounding soil, polluting the water table and harming plant life.
The Need for Pumping
Regular pumping is required to optimize the lifespan of a septic tank as it removes solid waste and prevents the tank from becoming overfilled. Due to the typical accumulation of grease and chemicals within septic tanks, it is recommended that pumping be done every two years. Annual inspection of your septic tank will enable a professional to determine whether more frequent pumping is necessary and to act accordingly.