Septic tanks are chambers designed to provide primary treatment to wastewater from kitchen drains and bathrooms, being usually installed in rural areas that do not have centralized sewer systems. They have different forms and sizes, being made of either, PVC, fiberglass or plastic. Besides the septic tank, a common system also includes either a soil absorption field or a drain field, and the tanks can also be coupled with an onsite wastewater treatment unit.
The tank ensures the separation of oils and grease from the wastewater, and it also digests organic matter. The water runs out of the house through a main pipe into the septic tank, and the tank is designed in such a way as to hold the wastewater long enough for the oil and grease to rise to the top while the wastewater is settling down. After the wastewater settles, forming sludge, the liquid runs out of the tank into the drain field, which is a small excavation made in the soil. The soil treats the wastewater and then disperses it, but if problems occur and the drain field gets overloaded, it can lead to sewage flowing to the ground surface. After the wastewater percolates in the soil, all the harmful bacteria and viruses get removed.
Due to the fact that sludge tends to accumulate fast, sometimes not allowing enough time for decomposition, it must be removed from time to time, which is a task usually done with the aid of a vacuum truck. A vacuum truck, also known as a vacuum tanker, is designed to suck the sludge from underground, afterwards transporting it either for treatment at a specially designed sewage treatment plant, or for disposal. Vacuum trucks usually transport septage, but they are also designed to aid the transportation of industrial liquid or animal waste.
While septic tanks have certain advantages, they also need to be properly maintained. Cleaning needs to be done, either every 1 to 3 years, or every 3 to 5 years, depending on the size of the septic tank, how often it gets used and by how many people. Cleaning the septic tank is not a difficult task but it should be done preferably by trained individuals. With a price range of $75 to $200, and going as high as $300, many companies offer their services, making it easy for clients to get rid of the sludge building up in their tanks. A simple online search, for example a septic tank cleaning puyallup wa company can provide potential customers with a long list of companies that take on such tasks.
Thorough research needs to be done before any maintenance work, and in case of warning signs, owners should acquire the services of a professional who can help them assess the situation. If wastewater is backing up in household drains, if the soil is muddy around the septic system or if there is a strong odor around the tank then a septic professional needs to be called immediately. The professional can take the right course of action in order to fix the issues.