What a Septic System Is and Does?
Personally, I did not think much of septic systems or even what we should or should not flush down the toilet. My sister, Daniela Marsh eloquently put it as "until I met my husband Andrew, I realized the importance of taking care of my septic system" and not until I started working in the industry, did it bring awareness of essential home components.
In simple terms, a septic system is composed of a tank connected to a drain field with the sole purpose to collect and treat wastewater from your home (PremierTECH, 2023). This collection of wastewater includes, solid materials/waste, pollutants, and anything that is collected through your homes drainage. This is not limited to just what we flush down the toilet, but also bathtubs, sinks, washing machines, and even the dishwasher.
In general, the septic system collects the wastewater/pollutants and processes it by sinking solids to the bottom of the tank (sludge), raising fats, oils, and grease at the top (scum) and liquid wastewater in the middle which gets processed/filtered into the drain/leach field (PremierTECH, 2023). This always amazes me because essentially all of our processed "crap" is filtered into non harmful material/contaminants which evidently end up in nearby streams, rivers, lakes, etc.
As a homeowner it is crucial to know key preventive measures and maintenance to avoid very expensive and messy headaches down the road.
Depending on the kind of tank, system, and size of the home, replacing portions or entire systems can cost an average between $3,000 - $15,000 (Grupa, 2023).
So show some love and care to your septic system! Some of the items listed in the image sum up key products/materials that should NOT be flushed down the toilet. For instance, cigarette butts are non-biodegradable which can clog or even damage pipes within the system.
Also, using certain chemical drain cleaners to rid of clogged pipes can kill the natural bacteria a septic tank needs to decompose waste, resulting in further system issues. Alternatively, using hot water, a plumbing snake, or even vinegar with baking soda, can provide results with minimal damage to your septic system components.
Septic Pumping Schedules
Pumping is essential to maintain and prolong the life of your septic system. In general, septic systems should be pumped every 3 to 5 years depending on the size of the household, the size of the tank, and local/state regulations. For instances, in Massachusetts it is recommended that septic systems be pumped every 3 years unless the homes garbage disposal is connected to the septic system (yes some of them do) in which case it is to be pumped once a year (massDEP, 2023).
Again, this is specific to Massachusetts standards but even local town regulations can differentiate factors like minimum size of tanks required which all ultimately affect how often the system should be pumped. We highly encourage you to look up your States septic regulations, Title V codes, or local town regulations. Either way, with over 14 years of industry experience, we are confident to help anyone with questions regarding their septic system.
Conclusion/Septic System Services
Whether you just realized you have a septic tank system OR you are a new homeowner in 2023, you should take into consideration the tips provided here and ensure that you're taking good care of your system. However, if you do come across issues or concerns about your septic system don't hesitate to contact Andrew 978 580 8432 or Luis at 978 649 4041 and we would be delighted to assist you.
Although our services mainly focus on installing new septic systems, replacing and repairing current ones, we do have a network of contractors that we can recommend for other service aspects like pumping, inspections, and more.
Learn more about our septic and other essential services we offer in "our services"
Grupa, T. (2023, February 10). Septic tank system cost. Homeguide. https://homeguide.com/costs/septic-tank-system-cost#replacement
MassDEP. (2023). Caring for your septic system. https://www.mass.gov/guides/caring-for-your-septic-system#-how-often-should-i-pump-out-my-septic-system?-
PremierTECH. (2023). What is a septic system and how does it work? https://www.premiertechaqua.com/en-us/wastewater/what-is-septic-system