Answering Some Commonly Asked Questions About a Septic System on Your Property

Posted on: 27 February 2017

Having a septic system on your property can be the solution needed when your home is not connected to the city sewer lines or if there are constant interruptions to the line, such as in areas with frequent storms and floods. Whatever your reasons for considering a septic system, note a few questions you might have about it on your property and then you can determine if it's the right choice for you.

What is a septic treatment system?

This is a type of filter or other similar equipment that is connected to your home's septic tank that then automatically adds materials to help break down solid waste and destroy bacteria in the tank. A treatment system may be connected to your home's plumbing pipes or it may be connected to the septic tank itself, and these systems work in a few different ways. They may add sand to the tank and circulate it in order to filter microbes, or the treatment system may circulate salt or other such materials to help break down solid wastes.

Does a tank still need to be emptied if a treatment system is installed?

A septic tank needs to be emptied and cleaned regularly; this may be every few months or every few years, depending on the size of the tank and your everyday use. A treatment system may prolong the time needed between cleanings and will certainly keep the system functioning properly, but it's not a substitute for actual emptying and cleaning of the tank. Your septic system installer can tell you how often it's recommended that you have the tank emptied even with your particular type of treatment system installed.

What are the risks that a septic system would overflow?

You may be worried about having a tank of sewage on your property and the risk that it would overflow, but a quality tank will be properly sealed against such risk. An older tank that isn't made from one solid piece and which might have loose connectors may be more likely to leak, and if you were to damage the riser that allows access to the tank such as by hitting it with your lawnmower, this can also increase that risk. However, a quality tank with a treatment system that breaks down waste and is emptied and cleaned as needed should never overflow, release foul odours, or otherwise be a nuisance on your property.