Did you know that as a homeowner (or soon to be homeowner) maintaining a septic system will be your sole responsibility—as well as handling any repercussions of failing to maintain your system?

There is nothing worse than having to clean up backflow from a poorly maintained septic system—and depending on your insurance coverage, damage to your personal belongings or other property may not be covered.

Whether you have been taking measures to keep your septic system in functioning order or haven’t been keeping up with care, the best way to know for sure how well your septic system is holding up is to request a septic inspection from a professional.

There are a few pieces of information we can provide on the care and maintenance of your system that you can implement between septic inspections.

How A Septic Tank Works

A septic system receives, “treats,” and disposes of unwanted wastewater and solids from a home’s plumbing system. Solids are partially broken down into sludge within the septic tank becoming separated from the effluent (water) and scum (fat, oil and grease). Effluent regularly exits the tank into a drain field where it is naturally filtered by bacteria and soil. Scum and sludge remain in the tank and should be pumped periodically to prevent risk of backflow (reentering the home). At home treatment products may be used to further break down scum and sludge and prolong time between septic pumping. Check with your septic professional before using any such product to ensure it is safe and effective.

How Often Should A Septic Tank Be Inspected?

Prior to purchasing a home with a septic tank, we recommend a separate septic tank inspection to ensure the septic system is in good working order. Once you purchase the home, you absorb all responsibility for the maintenance, upkeep, and repair to the system.

Other than when purchasing a home, you should have your septic system inspected every three years per the EPA to ensure all components are working efficiently and to determine if emptying of your system is needed.