If you're buying or building a house in the country, the house will probably be hooked up to a septic system rather than connected to a city sewer line. That means you'll need to maintain the septic tank, drainfield, and sewer lines yourself. If you hire a contractor to do the work, however, as long as you keep up with maintenance, you should have very few troubles with your system. Here are a few things to know about owning a septic tank.
Tanks Are Made From Different Materials
A common material for septic tanks is concrete. The tank is usually precast and delivered to your property ready to go in the ground. Many locations require concrete, so it's a good choice to go with. In locations where other types of tanks are permitted, fiberglass and plastic are available options. The advantage of fiberglass and plastic tanks is that they are light and easier to work with. However, that is also a disadvantage, since being lightweight, they can shift during a flood.
Tree Roots Can Invade A Tank
Tree roots are a common problem for sewer lines and septic tanks. A tree can send roots in the tank where they grow undisturbed and start clogging up the tank. This is one reason it's important to have your tank checked and cleaned regularly. During this process, the contractor looks inside the tank for cracks and roots so the problems can be dealt with before they get too big to handle.
Garbage Disposal Use Fills The Tank Faster
If your house has a garbage disposal, you might need to empty your tank quicker than you calculate. Different factors affect how fast a tank fills up, and waste from a garbage disposal is one of them since certain types of food don't decompose quickly enough. You consider the number of people living in your house when calculating how often to pump the tank or when determining the size of a new septic tank, and you should count a garbage disposal as another person.
The Type Of Toilet Tissue You Use Matters
Another thing that can cause your septic tank to fill up too fast is flushing wet wipes or thick paper down the toilet. You may even want to test the toilet paper you buy by putting it in a glass of water to see how quickly it dissolves. Paper that dissolves quickly is best for your tank, and it's a good choice if you want to reduce the risk of your tank getting too full between cleanings.