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Cherry Hill Plumbing: Article About Septic Tank Tips

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If you are among the 25 percent of homeowners in the U.S. with a septic system, you share a personal responsibility for maintaining your septic facilities in good working order. When you suspect a problem, your Cherry Hill plumbing experts are ready to help.

You should know what type of septic equipment you have. Standard systems consist of an underground holding tank and a drain field with two to six perforated pipes laid in gravel trenches and then covered with soil. Typically, gravity is the engine that drives household waste into the tank and wastewater through the drain field. However, some home systems are equipped with pumps or pressure manifolds that move the effluent along. Some are setup for aerobic treatment. Many states have separate requirements that address each of these variations.

If you don't know where your septic tank and drain field are located, find out. The previous resident of the home, your plumber, a local septic service or the builder is likely to have that information. You can find out on your own with a bit of sleuthing. Look in your basement or crawlspace to locate your main drainage pipe. Note the direction it is headed as it goes underground. Approximately 10 feet in this direction from the exterior of your home, probe for the tank by inserting a piece of steel rebar straight down through the soil. Do not attempt this if buried gas or power lines may be nearby.

A plumber from Filan & Conner of Cherry Hill NJ would be happy to answer any questions you have about leaky faucets and fixtures or plumbing pipe repairs.

Usually, you can identify an adjacent drain field as a flat area where grass or vegetation is lush.

Find out the age of your septic system; your plumber or septic service may have this information. Your county records office should have a copy of your home's original building permit and subsequent home improvement permits. Find out when the septic tank was last pumped. If you purchased your home from another homeowner, he or she should have had the tank pumped prior to closing the sale. Under normal conditions, your tank can process three to five years' worth of household waste. After this point, the sludge layer of solids on the bottom of the tank must be cleared out to keep the system operating properly.

With judicious management and periodic pumping, your septic system is likely to operate with little trouble. Daily management includes not exceeding reasonable water usage as most drain fields can efficiently handle up to 120 gallons per number of bedrooms in your home. Practice good disposal habits on a daily basis. Do not discard tissues, sanitary products, coffee grounds or diapers into your septic system. Also, do not dispose of toxins like pesticides, herbicides, solvents or motor oil in your septic system. They kill useful bacteria that break down waste in your tank, and eventually they seep through your drain field into your groundwater.

Because your septic system is an important part of your household that takes care of essential tasks, learn all you can about its location, operation and history. Practice wise habits daily that promote the efficacy and longevity of your septic equipment.

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