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What to Do After My Septic Tank Is Cleaned

What to Do After My Septic Tank Is Cleaned

Septic tank woes have you concerned about the longevity of your system. Maybe it's time to get your tank pumped. Most tanks should be pumped every three to five years, and a pumped septic tank is a fairly straightforward thing to do. 

However, many homeowners aren't sure what to do after the fact. While many simply leave things alone and let nature take its course, others will take a page straight out of a sort of mythical septic book of shadows. They may pepper in some home-brewed enzymes or even drop in a dead animal to get the bacteria started back up. (Don't ask.)

The reality is most people are unsure as to what to do after their septic tank is pumped and cleaned out. In this blog, we get to work de-mystifying what happens to the ecosystem that is inside of your septic tank, and how to keep it healthy so that it can continue to take care of the waste as it leaves your home.

Your Septic System - The Ecosystem of Waste

A little-known fact about your septic system is that it is full of living creatures (i.e., bacteria) that live, eat, and breathe, breaking down waste. Septic systems are a type of wastewater treatment system that replaces the need to be tied into a centralized sewer system. 

Waste enters the system through your plumbing and enters into a tank. Once in the tank, liquids, and solids are separated into a sludge layer and a scum layer, respectively. The middle layer, which is mostly clear water, flows into an outlet pipe that ends in the drain field. 

Throughout the system, waste is broken down by microorganisms. These microorganisms form a complex ecosystem that helps to break down and remove harmful bacteria, viruses, and nutrients from the wastewater, making it safe to return to the environment.

How Is My Tank Cleaned?

To keep the ecosystem happy and healthy, your septic tank needs to be cleaned every once in a while. The recommended time frame between cleanings is roughly three to five years; however, that may need to be adjusted depending on the level of use and abuse your plumbing goes through, as well as other environmental factors. 

Septic tank cleaning is a process that typically involves pumping out the accumulated solid waste and sludge from your septic tank using a specialized vacuum truck. This process is carried out by a licensed septic service professional who will locate the access point to the tank and insert a hose into the tank to begin the pumping process.

The service professional will then use a series of high-pressure hoses to flush out any remaining debris and clean the tank thoroughly. It is recommended to have your septic tank cleaned every three to five years, depending on the size of the tank and the number of people using it.

Regular maintenance is important to prevent the buildup of solids in the tank, which can lead to clogging, overflow, and even system failure. By keeping up with regular cleaning and maintenance, you can help ensure that your septic system runs smoothly and effectively for years to come.

What Happens After?

Once your tank has been pumped, we recommend that you take a few steps to ensure that your system stays in tip-top shape between cleanings.

1. Avoid Draining Additional Water Into Your Drainfield

The more liquid your drain field takes on, the more strain the ecosystem below experiences. A few ways to ensure that your drain field does not take on more water than it can handle include:

  • Create alternative routes for runoff.
  • Don’t dump excessive amounts of liquid in the drain-field area.
  • Consider using a French drain to divert water away from your leech system.

2. Get Your Septic Tank Inspected Annually

It is always a good idea to have a septic system professional inspect your septic tank once a year. These inspections can provide valuable information regarding the health of your system. To learn more about our septic system inspection program, you can check out our service page.

3. Conserve Water

Septic systems are designed to treat and dispose of a specific amount of wastewater, and when too much water enters the system, it can exceed its capacity to treat the wastewater properly. This can lead to a variety of problems, including backups, blockages, and even system failure.

By conserving water, you can reduce the amount of wastewater that enters the system, allowing it to function properly and prolonging its lifespan. Some ways to conserve water include fixing leaks, using low-flow fixtures, taking shorter showers, and running full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine.

4. Don’t Introduce Additives

It is generally not recommended to use additives with a septic system because they can disrupt the natural balance of microorganisms that are essential for the system to function properly. Septic systems rely on a delicate ecosystem of beneficial bacteria and enzymes to break down and decompose organic matter in the wastewater.

However, the use of additives, such as chemicals or enzymes, can upset this delicate balance by either killing off the beneficial bacteria or introducing new strains that are not well-suited to the system. This can lead to a variety of problems, including clogs, backups, and system failure. 

In addition, many additives claim to improve the performance of septic systems or prolong their lifespan, but there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.

Ultimately, the best way to maintain a healthy and functional septic system is to practice regular maintenance and avoid using additives that could potentially cause harm.

Viking Septic Services - Your Septic Tank Cleaning Solution

We know how important it is for your septic system to be in working order year-round.  At Viking Septic Services, we take great pride in our quick turnaround times and excellent customer service. We are aware of how upsetting it can be to return home to a smelly yard and be baffled as to what went wrong. Any septic problems you might have can be resolved by working with us.

Contact us to schedule your septic tank cleaning today.