Septic System Lifespan: How Long Do They Last?

septic system lifespanDo you know your septic system’s date of installation? Many homeowners wonder about their septic system’s lifespan. Others assume it will last as long as their house remains standing. Are septic systems durable enough to last a generation or a single occupant’s lifetime?

The Typical Lifespan of a Septic System

We can’t really give you a solid figure regarding a system’s longevity because so many variables come into play. If we had to give you a number, we would say about 25 years, plus or minus 10 years. This is based on the factors we describe below.

Septic System Lifespan Factors

Septic systems undergo different degrees of stress, depending on the household activity. Do you regularly use the garbage disposal? How often do you do the laundry? A full family with multiple kids will subject a system to more stress than, say, a retired couple of two. Continue Reading →

Can You Clean Your Own Grease Trap?

clean grease trapTo keep your grease trap functioning at its peak, you need to empty it every now and then. Can restaurant owners clean their own grease traps, or does this type of cleaning require a professional? We can’t provide a straight “yes” or “no” answer, because you must consider multiple variables.

Cleaning Your Own Grease Trap

First, you need to know what kind of grease trap you own. Larger dining establishments and cafeterias usually have units which process between 500 and 2,500 gallons. You will find these outside and right below a manhole cover on the company’s premises. Do you have the manpower, time, and resources necessary for cleaning out a grease trap of this monstrous size? In this scenario, you almost definitely need to hire a professional service company.

Smaller establishments may have smaller units located inside the shop. DIY cleaning for these traps is far more manageable. However, even if you decide to go the DIY route, your county may require licensure. King County, for example, requires owners to have a Certificate of Competency. Some states require a septage hauler’s license. Continue Reading →

What Are the Advantages of Septic System Pumping and Maintenance?

septic pumping advantagesWhen was the last time you scheduled a septic pumping, if ever? Neglecting routine maintenance can cause problems down the road. As you will see, the advantages of septic pumping go well beyond clog prevention.

Septic Pumping Benefits at a Glance

With respect to septic upkeep, homeowners tend to have an ‘out-of-sight-out-of-mind’ mentality. This attitude may keep you from experiencing the advantages of an annual cleaning. Regular pumping keeps the water clean. A backed-up septic could potentially contaminate the freshwater supply. Maintenance ensures bacteria and other harmful effluent stay out of the water the household uses on a daily basis. Thus you benefit by staying healthy.

Prevents Odors

A properly running septic system disposes wastewater into the leach/drain field. A backup can cause the waste to overflow into the soil, creating boggy and unsanitary areas. This also leads to foul odors similar to rotten eggs and sewage. It can also create a miasma known as sewer gas, which consists of methane and ammonia gas from household waste. The smell is not unlike sour mayo and is quite puke-inducing. Continue Reading →

Septic System Do’s and Don’ts

septic system do’s and don’tsUsing your septic system correctly is an important part of keeping your home running smoothly. When it’s working properly, the septic system runs in the background, so you probably don’t give it much thought. If it backs up, though, no one in your household is going to be happy until the problem is fixed. Knowledge of a few critical do’s and don’ts will help you keep your septic system working properly.

Do’s and Don’ts for Your Septic System

Do familiarize yourself about the location of your septic system and the drain field. Either make a sketch or take photos of it when you have it pumped out.

Don’t plant anything over or close to the septic system or the drain field, except grass. Tree and shrub roots can migrate over to the drain lines, potentially leading to clogs and damage. Continue Reading →