The importance of keeping a healthy septic is to the benefit for the homeowner. Look at it as preventative maintenance, to avoid future troubles and cost before problems arise. If your leech field is not in good working order or sewer backs up in the toilets or even worse your basement, replacing a septic tank or leech field can be very expensive. Not to mention the cost of cleaning and replacing items in your basement if sewage were to flood into your home!
A septic tank collects all waste from your home through a drain system. The inlet has a baffle that pushes the solids down allowing the water to stay at the top. Each flush the water rises going into what is called the drain or leach field, which also has a baffle. After time the bacteria in your septic tank cannot keep up with the solids, this is when you require a septic cleaning. The average family of 4 should get their septic pumped every 4 to 5 years as a general rule of thumb. There are many things that should not go down the drain system: Wet wipes or baby wipes, excess of bacteria soap or Clorox, women hygeine products, paper towels, and anything that cannot biodegrade. If you don't flush these items, then your drain or leach field should work properly.
Once in the tank, the heaviest matter in the waste settles to the bottom as sludge, while oil and fats float to the top as a filmy substance. The middle layer or effluent is released into the leech field where the soil filters the water and the organic matter fertilizes the yard. However, over time, the sludge accumulates because the bacteria cannot decompose the sand, grit, plastic, and other inorganic matter that also forms part of the sludge. This can only be removed by septic tank pumping and cleaning so that it can receive more sewage from the home.