Septic System 101: Septic Tank Pumping Maintenance And Protection | Chattanooga, TN

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If you live in a rural area of Chattanooga, TN, there is a good chance that you have a septic system, which is independent of the city’s sewer system. A septic system consists of a septic tank, underground pipes, and a leach or drainage field.

When the water goes down the drain, or you flush the toilet, the water waste will travel through the underground pipes into the drainage field. The solid waste will go into the septic tank. Over time, the septic tank’s waste will build up, which will require you to have your septic tank pumped.

If you recently moved into your Chattanooga, TN home, and it is your first time having a septic system, it is essential that you can recognize the signs that it is time to call for septic tank pumping. If you don’t recognize the signs or if you ignore them, you can damage your septic tank or end up with a nasty mess inside your home or in your yard.

Signs That You Need To Call For Septic Tank Pumping

#1 It Has Been a While

The best thing you can do for your septic system is to have it pumped on time before any of the telltale signs arise.

It is recommended that you have your septic tank pumped every three to five years. Whether you have your call for a septic tank pumping closer to three years or closer to five years would depend on the number of people living in your home. If there are just two or three of you living in the home, you can have your tank pumped closer to three years because your water use is less, and your toilet isn’t being flushed as often. If you have several people living in your home, you should call for a pumping closer to three years because, with all the people living in your home, your septic tank will fill up faster.

#2 Slow Drains Or Sluggish Toilets

If just one drain is slow or one toilet is sluggish, the problem is likely with the drain or pipes to the sink or toilet that is causing the problem. If multiple drains are clogged or if all of the toilets are sluggish, it is a sign that it is time to call for septic tank pumping.

This is an obvious sign that you need to have your septic tank pump. If you notice these issues early, you should consider yourself lucky because you can nip the problem in the bud by calling for pumping. This will give you a chance to call for pumping before something more serious occurs, and you have a nasty mess on your hands.

#3 Foul Odors In Or Around the House

When your septic tank is full, the odor-causing gasses will have no place to go except out through the drains, the toilets, or into the air around the drain field or septic tank. These glasses can cause your entire home and property to smell awful.

If you smell rotten eggs or any other foul stench, you should call for a septic tank pumping immediately. The longer you wait, the higher the chances are that you will have a septic tank overflow in the yard or out your drains and toilets.

#4 Lush Green Grass Over the Drainage Field

Every Chattanooga, TN homeowner wants to have lush green grass in their yard. When your grass looks great, it adds curb appeal to your home.

While lush green grass is great, if you have gorgeous grass only around your drainage field and not the rest of the yard, it means that it is time to have your septic tank pumped.

When the septic tank is full, the waste can end up in the drainage field, which acts as a fertilizer, which is why the grass is so green.

If you don’t call for pumping right away, you could end up with a nasty septic tank overflow in your yard or inside your home.

#5 Standing Water In the Yard

It is not uncommon for water to pool around your Chattanooga, TN property after a rainstorm. If you notice pools of standing water around your property and it hasn’t rained recently, there is a good chance that it is time to call for septic tank pumping.

When the septic tank is full, and there is nowhere for the waste to go, it will overflow into the yard near the septic tank or in the drainage field. This is an emergency situation, which would require you to call for septic tank pumping immediately. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will become.

#6 Sewage Backup

Of all the signs that it is time for a septic tank pumping, this is the last one that you want to experience. If you have been ignoring every other sign that you need to have your septic tank pumped, you are going to end up with raw sewage backing up into your Chattanooga, TN home. This is a very serious and disgusting issue.

As soon as you notice that there is a sewage backup in your home, you need to call for an emergency septic tank pumping. Because raw sewage can be very hazardous to your health, you need to get the area cleaned up as quickly as possible. The best way to prevent a sewage backup from occurring is to have your septic tank properly and to be able to recognize the signs that you need to call for septic tank pumping.

Protecting the Health Of Your Septic Tank

There is more to keeping your septic tank healthy than simply having it pumped regularly. There are several tips that you should follow to ensure the health and functionality of your septic system.

#1 Don’t Use Flushable Wipes

Just because the package reads, “flushable wipe,” it doesn’t mean that you should flush them down the toilet. These wipes can be harmful to both your plumbing system and your septic system.

When you flush a wipe down the toilet, it can get caught up on the pipes and trapped inside. If you keep flushing the wipes, they will get built up inside the pipes until they cause a major clog.

Also, flushable wipes don’t break down like toilet paper, and they will just sit in the septic tank. If you use flushable wipes frequently, they will build up in the septic tank, and you will need to call for septic tank pumping much more frequently. If you insist on using any type of wipes, the safest way to dispose of them is in the trash.

#2 Be Careful About What Goes Down Your Kitchen Drain

Your septic system relies on naturally occurring bacteria to break down the waste products in the septic tank. If you are putting food or grease down the drain, or if you are using too much detergent on your dishes, it will end up in the septic tank, which will overburden the bacteria in the septic tank, and it won’t be able to do its job. When this happens, your septic system will start to function poorly, and you will need to call for septic tank pumping more frequently. Over time, being careless about what you put down the drain can be damaging to your septic system, and it would require expensive maintenance and repairs.

#3 Don’t Pour Chlorine Bleach Based Products Down the Drain Or Toilet

Many Chattanooga, TN homeowners use bleach-based products to clean the house because they are great at killing bacteria from your floors, surfaces, and appliances. Unfortunately, bleach’s antibacterial properties can be very harmful to your septic system.

Your septic system relies on naturally occurring bacteria to break down the waste in the tank. If you are pouring antibacterial bleach down the toilet or sink, it will end up in the septic tank, wreaking havoc on the bacteria that is necessary to break down the waste.

It is best to use environmentally friendly cleaning products. If you insist on using bleach-based products, pour the waste outside rather than down the drain or toilet.

#4 Conserve Water

Most Chattanooga, TN homeowners who try to conserve water do so to reduce their water bill and protect the environment. If you have a septic system, you should be conserving water to protect your septic system.

If you are irresponsible with your water usage, you will need to call for septic tank pumping much sooner than you would if you had been limiting your water use inside the home.

There are a few things that you can do to conserve water:

  • Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth.
  • Don’t let the water run longer than necessary.
  • If your faucet is dripping, call a plumber immediately.
  • If your toilet is constantly running, call a plumber immediately.
  • Set your water-based appliances on the “eco” cycle.

When you start working at conserving water, you will notice that you don’t need to call for septic tank pumping as frequently as you did in the past.

#5 Be Careful With What You Plant Around the Septic Tank

Plants are trees that can be good for the septic tank because they can regulate the ground moisture and reduce soil erosion. Before planning anything near the septic tank, you need to make sure that it is septic tank friendly. You can find plenty of information online regarding septic tank friendly plants, or ask someone at your local garden center.

#6 Keep Heavy Objects Away From the Septic Tank and Drainfield

You should never put anything heavy over the septic tank or drainage field. Vehicles, swimming pools, outdoor sheds, and children’s playhouses can all cause serious damage to the septic tank, which is a very expensive fix.

#7 Plan the Setup Of Your Yard Carefully

When planning the setup of the yard, you need to keep your septic system in mind. As mentioned above, you never want to place anything heavy over the septic tank or in the drainage field. You also want to make sure that there is easy access to the service hatch. When you call for regular septic tank pumping, the tech will need to reach the access hatch to pump out the tank easily. If they cannot reach the access hatch because you have things in the way, it can make septic tank pumping challenging and even impossible.

Why Choose Metro Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning?

When it is time for your regular septic tank pumping, contact Metro Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning. We have been providing plumbing, heating, and air conditioning services to residential and business customers in Chattanooga, TN, Cleveland, and North Georgia since 1989.

We are a family-owned and operated company, and we take great pride in providing our customers with excellent service. We have an excellent reputation and are members of several prestigious associations, including:

  • The Better Business Bureau
  • The Tennessee Association of Utility Districts
  • The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce
  • The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC)

We do more than just septic tank pumping and maintenance. We are a full-service plumbing company and can handle any issue you have, regardless of how big or small. We are also a full-service HVAC company, so we can handle just about any issue in your home.

The professionals at Metro Plumbing, Heating, Air and Septic understand that septic tank issues, plumbing issues, and HVAC issues can arise at any time of the day or night. This is why we offer 24/7 emergency service. We will be here to repair your issue during regular business hours, on the weekends, or in the middle of the night.

If you need septic tank pumping or any other plumbing, heating, or cooling problem, you can be sure that the tech who arrives at your home will be professional, highly trained, and highly skilled. This will ensure that we can resolve your problem quickly and correctly.

To schedule an appointment, give us a call today.