Septic 101

A septic tank, as defined by Webster’s, is “an underground tank in which waste matter is decomposed through bacterial action.” If there is too much solid material in your septic tank, the “bacterial action” is not taking place properly. Why? Not enough bacteria.

Q: What is the proper maintenance of my septic system?

A: Septic system maintenance means two simple things. First, the sludge that accumulates in the bottom of the tank must be pumped out periodically. There is no additive that can be introduced into the septic tank to rid the tank of the sludge that settles to the bottom of the tank. It must be pumped out! If not pumped out, it will eventually overflow into the absorption area, again causing the system to fail.

Q: Why do I have to add bacteria to my septic tank?

A: Bacteria must be present in the septic tank to digest the organic solids. No bacteria, no digestion – it’s as simple as that.