Does your house run on a septic system? Perhaps you’re not sure. Although septic systems are an important part of the larger plumbing industry, it is not uncommon for homeowners to know very little about this equipment. Keep reading for everything you need to know about septic systems, and contact our Las Vegas plumbers at Lange Plumbing & Fire Protection for more information anytime.
Septic Systems 101
Approximately 25% of all American households use a septic system. While these systems are sometimes connected to multiple houses, or a greater septic system network entirely, they are found attached to many different homes. Although septic systems have traditionally been more common in rural regions, they are sometimes found in cities and suburban communities, too.
Septic systems are made up of pipe drains that bring wastewater from your home to a secure underground water tank. Solids, known as “sludge,” sink to the bottom of this tank, whereas floatable materials, aka “scum,” remain at the top. The sludge and scum from the tank are pumped out occasionally by a septic service technician, while the middle lawyer of wastewater, which is called “effluent,” drains from your tank into a drain field in your yard, where it is then redistributed into the soil. Although this may initially sound unsanitary, the soil in your yard naturally gets rid of wastewater contaminants, while converting the good bacteria in the water to fertilizer. At no point in the septic system process does your wastewater come in contact with your drinkable, or “potable” water, which usually comes from a well or municipal waterline.
How Do I Know If I Have a Septic System?
Once again, if you live in a city or suburb, it is less likely you have a septic system, though it is not impossible. To determine whether your home has one, you can go outside in your yard (assuming you have a yard) and look for a large bulge coming from the ground on one side of your house. If you find this kind of mass in your yard, chances are you’ve located your septic tank.
If your home gets water from a well rather than a municipal water system, it is also more likely that your plumbing is attached to a septic system, as homes with waterlines are more likely to dispose of waste through a city sewer system. Other signs that your home uses a septic system include your waterline not having a meter, a $0 sewer charge on your monthly water bill, and a lack of manholes and sewer covers in your neighborhood.
If you are moving into a new home, a few good ways to find out whether your household runs on a septic system is to ask the realtor, call the city, or talk to your neighbors. Some places also require you to get a professional inspection before buying a home with a septic system.
Septic System Maintenance
Most septic systems are all the same, although some homes have larger drain fields than others. If your drain field is not large enough, or you live in an area where the soil is rich in clay, it is important to be careful not to flush non-biodegradable materials, as this can overload your septic system and cause problems for the drain field.
As mentioned above, a professional will periodically come by to pump your septic system tank. How often this happens may depend on how large the tank is, and how much waste your house generates. If you notice bad smells in your yard, slow drains, or gurgling in your fixtures, it is possible you may have a septic tank leak, and you should call a professional immediately.
Lange Plumbing & Fire Protection Is Here for You
Whether your home runs on a septic system or not, Lange Plumbing & Fire Protection offers a range of services to keep your pipes and drains flowing and your family healthy and happy year-round. Call our Las Vegas plumbers now for information about specials. Remember: We are available 24/7 for emergencies!
To schedule your next septic tank or plumbing service, dial (702) 500-0936.