Home 5 Plumbing 5 Understanding Your Septic Tank Plumbing | Chattanooga, TN

Understanding Your Septic Tank Plumbing | Chattanooga, TN

Understanding Your Septic Tank Plumbing   Chattanooga TN
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If you’ve recently purchased a Chattanooga, TN, home with a septic system, you may be a little bit confused about the differences between that and a regular plumbing system. The truth is, most things don’t change when you have a septic system. However, there are some things you need to know about septic tank plumbing if you want to keep your septic system in working order year after year. If you’re looking for a quick rundown of everything you need to know about your septic system and how you can take care of it, we’ve got all the information you need right here.


One of the most important things to understand about septic tank plumbing is that you have to be a little more careful when it comes to what you flush. While you should always try to only flush toilet paper down your toilet, that’s simply not realistic for a lot of homeowners. However, you have to be particularly careful when it comes to flushing things like cleaners and feminine products.

In addition to clogging up your drains, flushing the wrong things can upset the balance of bacteria in your septic system. Your septic tank relies on certain types of bacteria to break down all the waste that runs through it. When you flush the wrong things down your toilet, it upsets that balance of bacteria and makes it tougher for organic material to break down in your septic tank. For the best results, you should stick to flushing toilet paper down your toilet and throwing everything else in the garbage or disposing of it some other way. Flushing the wrong stuff down your toilet almost guarantees that you’ll have to put in a call to a plumbing company.

Drain Field

Since your septic tank isn’t hooked up to the city sewers, it needs another way to get rid of all the excess water from the waste that runs through it. Your septic system works by using bacteria to break down waste into two layers. In between these two layers is a layer of water, which is periodically pumped out into what’s called the drain field to make room for more waste water.

Make sure you know where your drain field is. Regularly inspecting your drain field is an important part of taking care of your septic tank plumbing system. You should walk around on the drain field and make note of the way it feels. If the drain field feels muddy or soft, your septic tank might be overflowing. Keep in mind that this doesn’t apply if it’s been raining recently.

Another thing to keep in mind is what your drain field can tell you about your detergent usage. Since water from your washing machine and dishwasher are pumped out to the septic tank, bubbles forming in your drain field could be a sign of detergent overuse. However, you should have a septic tank plumbing company make sure the problem isn’t being caused by a septic tank overflow.

Trees and Foliage

In order for your septic tank to receive all the waste water from your Chattanooga, TN, home and process it, it needs to connect to your home via waste lines. These pipes are run underground between your home and your septic tank. Because of this, there’s always a chance that roots from trees and foliage could cause a septic tank plumbing problem.

If you’ve got large trees growing around your home or your septic tank (or in the area between the two), you might want to consider having them removed. While it’s nice to have big, tall trees in your yard so you have a little privacy and a nice view, that can come at the cost of serious damage to your septic tank. Roots that grow into pipes can cause clogs, leaks and big messes.

The only trees that are safe to plant near septic tanks are those with non-invasive roots that don’t grow too deep into the ground. You can find out more about which trees fall under this category by doing some research or talking to a septic tank plumbing professional.


Perhaps the most important thing you need to know about your septic tank is that it’s not a maintenance-free system when it comes to getting rid of waste. While your septic tank is very efficient when it comes to separating waste from water and disposing of the water, that waste stays in the tank in the form of scum and sludge. The only way to get that waste out of your septic system is to have a septic tank plumbing company remove it manually.

Every three to five years, you should have a plumbing company pump your septic tank to get all the waste and moisture out of it. This doesn’t take long and it gets rid of all the solid waste that’s building up in your septic tank. If you don’t have your septic tank pumped on a regular basis, it will eventually build up to the point that it overflows.

Keep in mind that you may need to pump your septic tank more often if you use it a lot or have a larger family. For more advice on how often you should have your septic tank pumped, consult a septic tank plumbing company.

The Smart Homeowner

You have a lot to learn if you want to be a responsible homeowner and keep everything in your home in great shape. The good news is, there are professionals out there who can help you take care of your home.

If you’re just learning the ins and outs of the septic tank plumbing system at your home, Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air can help. Not only can we help maintain your septic system, we can fix it if anything goes wrong in the future. To find out more, call Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air at (423) 668-0507 today.

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