If you talk to enough people and even an inexperienced septic contractor or two, there is no doubt you are going to hear a few whoppers in terms of how to care for your septic system. If you follow their advice, there is a good chance you will waste money or end up with septic failure, which costs even more. Here are a few septic myths that your reliable septic contractor is happy to debunk so you can enjoy a long and efficient life from your system:
- Myth #1 – You don’t need to have your septic tank pumped and cleaned until it is full. The truth of the matter is that your septic tank is always full. Even after it is pumped out, it fills up quickly. With normal use it fills with both solids and fluids, but it is the solids you need to be concerned about. As for the solids, you are running many risks if you wait till you realize it is full. The better course of action is to have it pumped if the scum plus sludge layer reaches 1/3 of the tank, the bottom outlet baffle has less than three inches of remaining clearance from the bottom or six inches from the top of the scum layer. Your septic contractor can provide a schedule for inspection and pumping that fits your family’s usage.
- Myth #2 – If you are having problems with the tank or drainfield, you can fix it with additives and chemicals. The truth is that these will not only not fix a problem but could cause more damage. If you use a product that froths, it could push solids into your drain field, resulting in complete failure, as well as soil and groundwater contamination. A healthy system does not need additives provided you are attentive to not destroy the necessary bacteria by using anti-bacterial cleaners and products.
- Myth #3 – If you have an old septic system, it does not ever need to be pumped or cleaned. There has never been a septic system installed that can go forever without maintenance. It will fail. Even if you are buying a home where one person has lived for years and there are no signs of trouble, you should have the system checked before closing as it could be on the precipice of failure.
- Myth #4 – When you have the tank pumped out, the septic contractor should leave a bit of the solids so that bacteria is kept in place. There are only two reasons why a septic contractor would tell you this – they want to save themselves money disposing of the waste and they want you to need their services sooner. This is a sign of a company you don’t want to do business with. There is absolutely no reason not to fully clean out the tank and that should include using a tool to scrape the denser material off the bottom and sides, so it can also be removed.
When you want a septic contractor with the experience and integrity to take good care of your septic needs, give us a call at Lee Kirk & Sons Septic. We do things the right way and even go above and beyond by doing a free filter cleaning on septic tanks we pump (where applicable).