It’s important to take good care of your septic and waste water system to ensure it’s working efficiently.
How to Care for your Tank
A lot of us would rather put our tank in the ground and forget about it, poo isn’t very sexy, but it’s important to look after your system so that it doesn’t end up full of solids that our crust buster then has to tackle. Taking care of your septic tank is the best way to keep your trenches healthy, stop smells and make sure it remains trouble free for a long time to come. Depending on the size of your household and your tank we recommend cleaning your tank every 3 – 5 years, this will extend the life of your trenches and keep your whole system in good nick.
How Does My Tank Work?
A septic tank has what is known as retention time. This works on an average family using around 1000 litres of water a day combined with how large your tank is. If your tank holds 3000 litres, then when your tank is empty you have a retention time of 3 days.
As the tank fills with sludge the retention time reduces. Then the waste that is going into the tank has less time to settle because the tank has sludge in it. For example, after 3 years if you have 2000 litres of accumulated sludge so you are down to one day of retention time which means a lower quality effluent is being discharged to land.
At this point, the quality of the water coming from the tank is not as good as previously, because the sludge has not had time to settle. This results in a shortened life for the trenches.
Tips and Tricks
Check out our top tips for keeping your system in good working order.
How often should I clean my tank?
We recommend every 3-5 years depending on how many people are in your household and the size of your system. Regular cleaning will keep the effluent trenches healthy, which in turn prolongs the life of the effluent fields and stops them getting clogged. It will also help stop the tank and fields smelling.
Can I use an insinkerator?
Unless you want to clean your tank very regularly and more than likely have a smelly system, the contents of your tank should go through you first. It is a septic tank not a composting facility and if you do use one you will fill the system up a lot faster with solids.
What products should I use in my system?
Do use Eco Store products or other Eco friendly products. They are made with septic tanks and the health of the soil in mind. Eco Store and similar products are kinder to the good bugs in your system and will help stop your tank smelling. Many products that claim to kill bugs will also kill the good bugs in your tank and throw out the balance. We have found Eco-Store products to be equally as effective as some of the harsher ones on the market.
How do I maintain lots of good bugs in my system?
For optimum health, the good organisms need to stay in the tank. When you’re using a lot of water, perhaps you have a family all showering at once and the washing machine and dishwasher going too, this flushes the tank.
This tends to be a problem more in aeration systems, but when your tank has first been cleaned give it a chance to develop a new colony of organisms. If you don’t it will emit an unhealthy smell until it gets a chance to get going.
So try to limit the amount of water going through your tank at any one time and don’t use harsh detergents and chemicals that could kill the bugs.
Tank Giving You Trouble?
If you have cleaned your tank and you are sure it is not a blocked drain, check the following points.
If you have a 2 chamber primary treatment system:
- Is the pump working?
- Is the power turned on?
- Is the pump chamber full or empty. If it is empty, there is no problem with your pump.
- If you have a filter in the outlet pipe, have you taken this out and cleaned it?
- Do you have a filter between the two chambers and have you cleaned that?
If you have a secondary treatment system like an Enviroflow, Airtech 9000 or Oasis you probably have a service contract, your first enquiry should be the manufacturer’s website and helplines. You should be able to find an answer for most common questions, if you can’t, just give us a call – we are happy to help.
Remember that having a septic tank is like having a car, they require maintenance to stay working effectively. This includes servicing, de-sludging and cleaning your filters. Modern tanks have a high level alarm, so when it sounds don’t just turn the alarm off. Check all of the points listed above and if it’s still not working then call us.