Septic tanks? Who even uses them anymore?
You’d be surprised!
While the vast majority of Melbourne homes and businesses are connected to the sewer system, not all of them are – look hard enough, and you can still find some holdouts here and there still using good old-fashioned septic systems.
Are you moving to a property that uses a septic tank in place of a sewer connection?
If so, it’s probably a new experience to you, and you likely don’t have any idea what you need to do to keep your septic system clean, or how it even works.
Luckily, our Bayside plumbers are here to explain!
Septic tanks: what are they, and how do they work?
Before sewage became the norm, there were septic tanks.
Essentially, these are big tanks located underneath the property. Instead of going down a sewer, all wastewater goes to this tank.
Of course, it doesn’t just sit there and build up – over time, the idea is that the waste will either settle down at the bottom of the tank, or float to the top (becoming what we refer to as “sludge” or “scum” respectively – that’s where those words come from!)
That leaves (relatively) clean water in the middle. While it isn’t drinkable, this water is clean enough to be sent to a treatment system or more commonly, to a leach field where it disperses into the soil (or sometimes, to help irrigate crops and gardens).
The problem with septic systems: how do you care for a septic tank system?
As with all things plumbing related, ongoing maintenance as well as some TLC are essential in keeping your septic system in good working order.
Failing to look after a septic tank won’t do you any good, especially if it results in your system not working properly as it should.
This is why septic tank maintenance is one important area in your home that needs to be added in your checklist, helping you avoid any of the following scenarios such as:
- Bad odours
- Gurgling sounds
- Slow drains
- Waste water buildup
Just one question: what does caring for a septic system look like?
The most important part: keeping your home’s septic system clean and healthy
Like we mentioned before, the septic tank separates the waste from the water – but what happens to all of the sludge and scum left behind?
This nasty stuff doesn’t get cycled out of your system – rather, it stays.
That’s why it’s so important that you clean out your septic tank on a regular basis.
Fail to clean out your tank, and you could run into a host of problems – most importantly, it could lead to your system filling up to the point where it clogs with sludge and slime, causing the whole thing to back up.
Unfortunately, this is a job that requires powerful vacuums and other special tools. In other words, it’s something that our local Brighton plumbers can’t help out with – you’ll need to call a septic tank specialist.
Be mindful what goes down in your sink
This is good advice, regardless of whether or not the property has a sewer connection or a septic tank!
Just like with a sewer system, pouring the wrong things down your sink or toilet can cause dirt, debris and other particles to build up in your septic system.
All this does is speed up how long it takes for your septic tank to fill up and clog. And that in turn means that you’ll need to get your septic tank pumped more frequently – a cost that can quickly add up!
Whether it’s tissues, cooking crease or wet wipes, whatever you do, resist the urge to flush them or toss them down the drain.
Avoid using harsh chemicals
You might think that harsh chemicals will break down waste in your septic tank, and decide to pour bleach down the drain to “speed things up”.
This is a bad idea.
We mentioned above that septic systems separate waste from wastewater on their own. This is all thanks to the bacteria that live in your tank.
Strong and harsh chemicals are bad for your septic tank system as they can kill these all-important bacteria, stopping your septic tank system from doing its job.
Not to mention, these harsh chemicals may also mix in with the water and be carried out to your drain field – not a good outcome if you’re using your drain field to help water your garden!
Use water efficiently
Saving water saves money, and not just by cutting down your power bill – it also helps push back your next required septic tank cleaning, saving you quite a bit of cash that way.
Given how drought-prone our continent is, this is a good habit to get into regardless!
Part of this involves changing your habits – another way is by calling a St Kilda plumber to help out.
Our plumbing team can fit your home or business out with water-saving appliances like taps, toilets and showerheads, bringing down your water usage (and your water bill!)
While our Bayside plumbers may not be able to pump your septic tank, there’s plenty more we can do
Namely, we can connect your property to the sewer system!
While there are still some properties throughout Melbourne that use septic systems, the vast majority of the city is serviced by sewers.
If you want to join them, you’re going to need a professional plumber on your side.
Our Bayside plumbers can connect your home or business’ drains to a sewer system, helping you enjoy the convenience of modern sewage.
Of course, our work doesn’t just include “big” jobs like that – we can also take care of all the “little” plumbing maintenance and repair jobs that inevitably pop up at your property.
No matter what you our plumbers in Bayside for, you can be confident that you’re going to get the exact same:
- Quality workmanship
- Polite and punctual service
- Guarantees and warranties
You can also visit us for plumbers in Melbourne: pop into our headquarters at 9/22 George St Sandringham, VIC 3191, if you prefer a more hands-on approach.