If you own a home, you most likely also own a septic tank system. Staying informed about issues with your system and how to care for it are important to help prevent major inconveniences or costly repairs. So here are our most common septic FAQs and answers!
Common Septic FAQs
What is the best toilet paper for a septic tank?
Using the right kind of toilet paper is important to keep your septic tank in the best shape possible. You need toilet paper that breaks down quickly and completely so it doesn’t accumulate and clog your system. However, you also want toilet paper that is strong (doesn’t rip easily when wiping) and pleasant to use (soft and non-abrasive).
Our top five recommendations for the best toilet paper for a septic tank include:
- Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare
- Angel Soft
- Seventh Generation
- Scott Raid Dissolving
- Charmin Ultra Strong
What size septic tank do I need?
To determine the septic tank size needed for your property, the most important question you have to consider is: how many people live in my home? The number of people in your home determines your water usage (including showers, laundry, and toilets). If you have more people living in your home, you need a larger septic tank to hold the wastewater because you don’t want your system to clog or overflow.
The easiest way to recommend the size of your septic tank is based on the number of bedrooms in your home:
- A 1-2-bedroom house requires a 750-gallon septic tank.
- A 3-bedroom house requires a 1000-gallon septic tank.
- A 4-bedroom house requires a 1200-gallon septic tank.
- A 5-6-bedroom house requires a 1500-gallon septic tank.
Bear in mind that these are just general guidelines. You need a professional septic company to examine your property and recommend the best-size septic tank.
What does a septic tank look like?
A septic tank is a large, rectangular container buried 4 inches to 4 feet underground. Residential septic tanks start at about 5 feet by 8 feet long and about 30-40 square feet. They tend to be made of concrete, plastic and fiberglass, or steel.
Walking your property, you won’t be able to immediately identify the location of your septic tank because it is underground. If you need to locate your septic tank, look for a capped piece of white PVC or a cane-shaped pipe in your yard.
What is a saturated leach field?
A saturated leach field means your septic tank is not fully treating your wastewater, creating a backup in the tank and overflow into the leach field. As this happens, wastewater rises to the surface and pools above the drain field.
Signs You Have a Saturated Leach Field
- Wet, soggy areas above your drain field
- Bright green grass only in one area of your yard
- Odors near the tank or drain field
If you notice any of the above issues above your drain field, call quickly for a septic system inspection. A professional can determine if you have a saturated leach field and recommend the best next steps for your property.
What are the signs that your septic tank is full?
- Pooling water in your yard
- Slow drains in your bathroom and kitchen
- Foul odors from your drains or above your drain field
- Sewer backup in showers or sinks
- Trouble flushing the toilet
- Gurgling pipes
How often should you have your septic system pumped?
Septic tanks need to be pumped every 3-5 years because solids that don’t decompose sit in the bottom of the tank. If these are not removed, they will continue to accumulate until your septic tank overflows into the drain field. It is also recommended that you have your septic system inspected every 2-3 years.
What’s the difference between a lift station and a pump station?
The difference between a lift station and a pump station is the material they move. Lift stations are designed to move wastewater and sewage, while pump stations move water that is free of sewage and solids. Both of these systems move material from a residential or commercial property to a water treatment plant so it can be purified and recirculated.
Learn more about the differences between lift stations and pump stations with our blog, Lift Station vs. Pumping Station.
Why do lift stations have two pumps?
Lift stations usually have two pumps so that they have their own check valve and shut-off valve. Lift stations are constructed in different ways, but a lift station with two pumps does a better job of keeping up with daily flow requirements.
Have More Questions About Your Septic System?
Do you have more questions than what was in our septic FAQs? Bynum Septic Services has the answers! We are a local septic company in Lawrenceville and Lilburn, GA, offering residential and commercial septic services. We would love to answer your questions about septic tanks, lift stations, and more. Give us a call to book your appointment today.