When shopping for a new home, many people believe they should run when they hear the words “septic tank system.” However, we’re here to tell you that septic tanks are nothing to worry about. In fact, they can last decades with proper care. Many homes in rural areas throughout Middle Tennessee have these systems, so don’t let common misconceptions scare you away from your dream home. So, how does a septic tank work? Keep reading to find out.

Understanding Your Septic Tank System

Septic tanks are underground wastewater systems commonly found in homes that do not have access to public sewers. They are also more environmentally-friendly and affordable to maintain than sewer lines. These systems work by collecting water waste from your sink, toilet, shower, bathtub, drains, and other appliances through your pipes. From there, solids and liquids separate in the tank over time, and the remaining wastewater travels to the drain field for final disposal into the soil. 

Common Septic Tank Misconceptions

Septic tanks are designed to provide long-term effectiveness. However, without consistent cleaning and routine maintenance, they can cause plumbing problems and fail prematurely, explaining their unfortunate reputation. To clear up common myths about septic tanks, let’s play a round of true or false. 

True or False: Septic Tank Systems…

1. Don’t last over five years

False. Many people want to know how long septic tanks last before investing in a home that has one. The good news is they should function for over 25 years when used appropriately. Be careful to never send paint, coffee grounds, feminine products, diapers, cat litter, pesticides, or disinfecting wipes through your pipes. Also, keep chemical and biological additives out of your system. It already contains naturally occurring bacteria needed for optimal performance, and additives can unnecessarily alter proper functioning. 

2. Require regular maintenance

True. You can easily make sure your septic tank lasts as long as possible by following the guidelines above as well as scheduling professional septic tank services every couple of years, such as septic tank pumping. We also recommend contacting a pro as soon as possible if you detect an issue. Discovering the problem early usually results in a cheaper fix! 

3. Affect indoor plumbing 

True. Your septic tank and indoor plumbing go hand in hand as the indication of a problem will typically first show up inside. This can range from bad smells, gurgling sounds from drains, clogged drains, sewage backup in the home, or lush vegetation growth over the drain field. Of course, no one wants to deal with any of these plumbing annoyances, but appropriate septic tank maintenance is all it takes to avoid them.

4. Produce foul odors

False. Septic tanks should never emit foul odors inside or outside the home. If they do, this means there is a malfunction that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, and you may need septic tank pumping or an inspection.

5. Are a thing of the past 

False. Some think that septic tank systems are outdated or no longer exist. However, over one in five United States homeowners have one, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

What to Know When Scheduling A Septic Tank Inspection

If you’re interested in purchasing a home with a septic tank, it is essential that you schedule an inspection to find out if it is in working order. Replacing a faulty septic tank is extremely costly and not something that you want to discover right after moving in. Also, regular home inspections usually do not include septic tank examination, so you’ll need to schedule this separately. A professional septic service company will check for safety, deterioration, holes, cracks, correct water levels, and overall condition. 

Contact Our Local Plumbing Contractors

If you’re experiencing indoor plumbing or septic tank issues, Jack Ward & Sons Plumbing Company is here to help. We’re available 24/7 to check out any of your residential plumbing problems and identify if your septic tank is the root cause. If we determine that you should contact a specialist for septic tank cleaning, inspection, or other services, we will happily provide you with reliable recommendations in your area. Get in touch with us t