Whether you flush it down the toilet, grind it in the garbage disposal, or pour it down the sink, everything that goes down your drain ends up in your septic system. What goes down the drain affects how well your septic system works.
There are many items that will not break down, clog your line, or destroy important microbes in your system.
1) Non-biodegradable items
Never put non-biodegradable items like paper towels, cigarette butts, disposable diapers, feminine hygiene products, hair, coffee, paper towels or bandages in your sink or toilet.
Fats, oils and grease put a burden on your septic system. Your system is not designed to break them down and they can clog your lines. The best thing to do is throw these substances away in the trash.
Paint of any sort can clog your lines and kill beneficial microbes in your system. Never clean paint brushes in a sink inside your home.
4) Chicken Bones
Your garbage disposal should be used sparingly. You should dispose of food waste in the trash can, not in the sink.
Ground bones, grease, and other items burden your septic system, requiring more frequent servicing.
5) Household Chemicals
Again, anything that kills helpful microbes creates havoc in your septic system. Never pour bleach, strong disinfectants, or laundry products (like Lysol, Pine-sol, or Tidy Bowl). Strong medicines, antibiotics, and anti-bacterial soaps should be avoided.
Septic systems need bacteria to work properly.
Recommended cleaning products should be non-chlorine, biodegradable and non-toxic.
What to do next
You should have your septic system inspected on a regular basis and pumped every 3-5 years. Contact us if you have any questions.
How much will it cost to have my septic/aerobic system serviced?
This is one of the most common questions asked by new customers.
The answer is...it depends!
We're not trying to "pull a fast one", but it truly does depend on many factors.
-What type of system you do you have?
Aerobic system, conventional septic, number and size of tanks. These all play a part in the price of the service call.
-Is there easy access to your tank/tanks?
If your tank lids are not easily accessible, there may be additional digging fees involved in your service call.
-Are there any other service problems?
Many people believe the only service involved in an OSSF (On Site Sewage Facility) is regular pumping. You may have other service issues like broken sprinklers or an aerator that needs to be replaced. These repairs will add to the total cost.
The best thing to do is to call our office at 903-643-7585 and talk to a customer service pro. The call is FREE and they can evaluate your situation to give you a better idea of prices for different service calls.
This is how a conventional septic system works:
There are two main septic system types, conventional and aerobic. Both systems produce the same result by different methods. Here is a summary of how these systems work and how a homeowner can identify each system.
Conventional Septic System
All water runs out of your house from one main drainage pipe into a septic tank. Solids settle down to the bottom, while oil and grease floats to the top. The liquid wastewater then exits the tank into the drainfield where the soil naturally filters harmful substances.
A conventional septic tank is located at least 5 feet from your house and should follow the main drain pipe out. There are no sprinklers.
Aerobic Septic Systems
Aerobic systems typically involve three compartments: a trash tank, treatment tank and pump tank. Water enters the trash tank and settles into layers, just like conventional septic systems.
Wastewater travels to the treatment tank, where an aerator circulates oxygen bubbles throughout. The added oxygen is necessary for aerobic microbes, which break down waste fast and effectively.
Then the wastewater travels into the pump tank for one last treatment with some form of disinfectant to eliminate remaining pathogens. From here, it is pumped through a sprinkler system on your property.
An aerobic system can be identified by three tanks and a sprinkler system.
Natural disasters are unpredictable, but sure to happen at some point.
What do you do about your septic system if you have flooding on your property?
1) If possible, don't use the system if the soil is saturated and flooded.
The wastewater will not be treated and will become a source of pollution. Conserve water as much as possible while the system restores itself and the water table fails.
2) Examine all electrical connections for damage BEFORE restoring electricity.
Electricity in water could cause electrical shock and serious injury.
3) Pump the septic system as soon as possible AFTER the flood.
Pumping your system while the ground is still saturated can cause the tank to float out of the ground and may damage the inlet and outlet pipes.
4) Have your septic tank professionally inspected and serviced if you suspect damage. Most septic tanks are not damaged by flooding since they are below ground and completely covered. However, septic tanks and pump chambers can fill with silt and debris, and must be professionally cleaned.
For more information, send us a message or call us at 903-643-7585
All septic systems will need maintenance or repair during their lifetime.
Some maintenance may be performed by the homeowner for certain systems, but many county and local municipalities have adopted more stringent requirements which may require homeowner training or even prohibit homeowner maintenance.
Here in East Texas, counties like Gregg and Harrison require all homeowners with an OSSF (On Site Sewage Facility or "septic system") to be inspected at least 3 times a year by a TCEQ registered maintenance company.
Edward's Septic is a TCEQ registered maintenance company. We offer Service Maintenance Agreements for homes and businesses across East Texas. SMA's are an affordable way to make sure your system is working properly and to keep you in compliance with local governing agencies.
How often should I have my septic system pumped?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we hear from homeowners. Having your system pumped is an important part of your maintenance program.
How often your system gets pumped depends on the size of your tank, the number of people living in your home and the habits of your particular household
After your wastewater is processed, solid materials settle to the bottom of the tank, forming a sludge layer. This sludge needs to be pumped out for your system to work correctly.
It is generally recommended to have your septic system pumped every 3-5 years under typical circumstances.
In this chart, a household of 3 with a 1,000 gallon tank is recommended for pumping every 3.7 years. If you use a garbage disposal, that frequency may need be increased.
A word about garbage disposals
Garbage disposals can increase the amount of solids in your tank and should be used sparingly. The best thing to do is throw away solid food items in the garbage.
Eliminating a garbage disposal can greatly reduce the amount of grease and solids that enter your system. A disposal grinds kitchen scraps into small pieces that must be pumped out of the tank.
If it's time to have your system pumped or you have any questions, please contact us.
Servicing septic systems and grease traps throughout all East Texas