Homes that aren’t connected to public septic lines have to treat their own household waste. The most common method is a septic system. The home’s internal plumbing connects the toilets, showers, faucets, dishwasher and washing machine to the septic tank. Once the wastewater enters the septic tank, bacteria begin to break it down. The solids sink to the bottom of the tank and the liquids divide into water and a heavier grease layer. When the upper layers of waste are high enough in the tank they flow out through pipes into the leaching field. The pipes have small holes in them so as the effluent runs through them, it gradually sinks back into the ground.
The leaching field is as important as the septic tank in treating the effluent. Prior to construction the soil is tested to determine how quickly the effluent would run through it. This is called the percolation rate. If the soil is made of clay, which would hold the water in and not allow it flow through the soil, a large layer of gravel has to be added. The pipes are placed two to three feet below the top of the soil. It’s important that the area above the leaching field be kept clear. Rain has to be allowed to seep into this area. This water helps mix with the waste and cleanse it.
Septic pumping in Fort Myers Florida is also an important part of septic system maintenance. If the sludge in the bottom of the tank is allowed to get too high, it will attempt to flow out of the pipes meant for the wastewater. It will then block the pipes. The homeowner won’t know that this has happened until their toilet and sinks back up with wastewater. By that time, the pipes will have become hopelessly clogged. While pumping out the septic tank will reduce the sewage back-up in the home, this is a temporary fix.
The pipes will have to be dug up and replaced. This is an expensive and disruptive repair. The best way to avoid this is to have a professional septic system maintenance company review the household size, it’s water usage, and septic system. They will recommend a pumping schedule.