5 Myths About Septic Tanks

October 02 2022

5 Myths About Septic Tanks

If you have a septic system, chances are you’ve received misinformation about it. Here is a list of some common myths about septic tanks that simply aren’t true.

Myth 1: Septic Tanks Take Care of Themselves

With simple biological processes and gravity, septic systems do most of the work without intervention. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t need assistance. The best and most cost-effective way to maintain your septic system is to have it pumped every two to three years. Companies that sell septic additives are the source of the no-pump myth. The premise of the claim is that the addition of secret microbes and enzymes to the system can promote complete sewage digestion, reducing the frequency with which the tank is pumped. How will we know for certain that additives will eliminate everything inside the septic tank though? The claim is just not believable, so be sure to call Septic Blue for routine septic tank pumping.

Myth 2: You Can Send Anything Down Your Drain

What you put in a septic system actually plays a big role. Putting poisons like drain cleaner, disinfectants, and solvents down your drain will reduce or eliminate the microbes that digest sewage, increasing the risk of system failure, despite the fact that septic systems can be quite reliable and easy to maintain. Bleach, coffee grounds, and many other substances that should not be entering your septic tank can cause a great risk of septic failure. The only things that should be entering your septic tank are waste and toilet paper.

Myth 3: Septic Systems Don’t Last Over 20 Years

This doesn’t apply to every septic system out there, so it is false. Truth is, the lifespan of a septic system relies more on maintenance rather than expectations. To increase your septic system’s chances of a longer lifespan, have a septic company perform septic tank pumping every three to four years and follow other maintenance guidelines as well.

Myth 4: You Have to Replace Clogged Systems

You can actually restore clogged systems with maintenance and help from a septic company. Solid waste entering the drain field, scum and grease blocking the exit outlets in the septic tank, and tree roots clogging up pipes are some common ways a septic system can be clogged. Other than having your tank pumped, jetting can be a way to clear out hard clogs. Jetting involves placing access ports on the end of pipes and sending pressurized water into the pipes to clear out debris that has built up inside. This is an effective way to clear out most clogs and will save you from having to replace your system.

Myth 5: Building Over the Drain Field is Acceptable if not Permanent

Numerous issues can result from any structure built or placed over the tank or drain field. Accessibility during pumping is the most common and most expensive. If your tank can't be easily serviced, pumping it will cost more, and most likely the removal or destruction of anything built on top of it. To maintain a healthy system balance and save you time and money in the future, the drain field should remain open and be able to receive sufficient oxygen from the ground.