A septic tank outside a house in Eagle County.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Septic Systems

It’s common for homeowners not to know whether their home has a septic system at all. It’s simple to understand. You are likely to have a septic system if the water line coming into your house doesn’t carry a meter, you’re using well water, and if you’re sure that your neighbors have a septic system.

You can look for the system by requesting the local health department to hand you an ‘as built’ sketch of the septic system. If you’re unable to get your hands on the drawing, get the seller, realtor, or the septic system provider to help you locate the system. You can also get the yard inspected for any manhole covers, caps, and lids.

What Is The Purpose Of A Septic System?

The septic is a water-tight container made up of polyethylene, fiberglass, or concrete, and buried underneath the ground that holds wastewater. Water from all drainage pipes of your house eventually makes its way to the septic tank. The tank’s job is to water long enough, so the solids settle to the bottom, while any oils, grease, and fats float on the surface. In most septic systems, the wastewater is spread throughout the drain field.

A typical system has four main parts:

  •  A septic tank
  • A pipe from the home
  • The soil
  • The drain field

Naturally-occurring microbes in the soil digest the contaminants in the wastewater so that none of it reaches the groundwater. Other than that, partial decomposition of the wastewater also takes place in the tank itself. There is a T-shaped outlet in the tank that prevents the solids and the scum from exiting the tank and mixing with the drain field.

A septic tank outside a house in Garfield County.

Septic System Repairs and Upkeep

Just like any other fixture at your home, the septic system needs to be maintained too. The best way to keep it in good condition is to get the system inspected, especially before buying a new house. The inspector will look for any leaks, signs of backup, and inspect the mechanical parts. If your septic system is malfunctioning, the wastewater could mix with your drinking water and contaminate it. Not keeping up with septic tank maintenance also means that you might have to replace it. This could cost you thousands of dollars!

The EPA recommends getting the system inspected every three years, and the tank pumped every three to five years. Other than that, your water usage also makes a difference. Use it efficiently and responsibly. Get dripping faucets and leaky toilets fixed as soon as possible. Don’t flush cat litter, cotton swabs, coffee grounds, diapers, condom, and paper towels down the drain. It won’t just clog them but will also damage the septic system parts.

Septic System Services in Colorado

Poorly designed, installed, or constructed septic tanks frequently break down, result in hefty expenses, and can be hazardous for the environment. Altitude Septic LLC has over twenty years of experience in helping the residents of Eagle County, Pitkin County, and Garfield County keep up with their septic system maintenance companies and upkeep! Request an appointment by calling (970) 471-0913.

Find out more about septic tank repair Edwards here.