Maintain Your Septic Tank by Being Mindful of all Components

septic tank cover

There may not be as many moving or individual parts within a septic tank as there are in something like a car, truck or other appliance, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t responsible for doing just as much. 

A septic tank only works when all of the individual parts are functioning properly. This isn’t hard to understand, but what can be difficult to learn is how the different parts work – and what they do. The more you know, the likelier it is that you will notice problems or issues as soon as they happen, instead of much later on down the line.

What Makes Up a Septic Tank? 

While there are a few different builds for septic tanks, there is some consistency when it comes to the way they are constructed. 

All septic tanks have septic holding tanks. This is where the liquids and solids go as they leave your home. This tank is where the “treatment” takes place, and where the solids are broken down. Common issues in this portion of the tank include cracks, breaks, and general wearing down.

Within the holding tank, aerobic septic systems contain a septic tank aerator. This is the part responsible for agitating the liquid, introducing more oxygen, and promoting bacterial growth. This part is constantly moving, which means that it will wear down. Examples of problems here are solids becoming entangled, the aerator motor breaking or seizing, or loss of power. 

The septic tank baffle (or septic tank filter) is also located in this main chamber. It keeps the water flowing in the right direction, as well as keeps larger solids from going where they are not supposed to. Issues with the baffle often include getting jammed, blocked, or simply breaking. 

There Are Parts Outside of the Septic Tank, Too

Most of your septic system is hidden beneath the ground, but there are some parts and pieces that are visible. 

This includes the septic tank lids and risers, and in some cases, septic tank covers, too. Concrete septic tank lids are designed to withstand the elements over long periods of time, but they aren’t the only option. Septic lids are also constructed of heavy-duty plastic. Issues with the lids and risers include cracking, breaking, becoming loose or getting damaged. 

Choosing the right options for your tank often depends on the location of it, your climate, and the length of time you want it to last. This is where talking to professionals comes in handy. 

Learning What to Look For With Your Septic Tank 

For new homeowners, it might seem overwhelming to have another thing to consider the status of, but over time, being mindful of your septic system becomes second nature. 

If you don’t know where to start, consider asking a pro, or someone that also owns a septic tank. Pointers, tips, warning signs and even suggestions for taking action differ depending on who you talk to and what kind of system you have, but any information helps. 

Don’t hesitate when it comes to learning – it’s a necessary part of owning a home with a septic tank. 

The Steps Necessary for Septic Tank Installation and Maintenance

septic tank installation

What is septic tank installation? 

If you’re moving into a new home – and it contains a septic tank on property – you’ll need to think about septic tank installation at some point. Though the systems are designed to last for decades at a time with maintenance and upkeep, sometimes things happen. The need to replace a septic tank isn’t something that homeowners look forward to, but it’s a definite reality in many cases. 

Here are a few things that you need to know about septic tanks and installing a completely new one 

Septic Tank Size 

While you can’t choose the size of an existing tank, you can decide how large you want the next one to be. It’s never a good idea  to go too small, but it is possible to increase the size of your septic tank. Septic tank size depends on a lot of factors, but most notably on the overall size of the home – and the predicted volume of water. For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank is better suited for a larger home than a 500 gallon septic tank. You want your tank to withstand the daily use and for the included parts to not be overworked. 

How much is a septic tank?

As with other purchases, the larger a septic tank is, the more it will cost. Assessing septic tank cost – and finding septic tanks for sale – aren’t difficult tasks, but they can be a little difficult to understand at first. There’s more than the cost of the tank and components to consider. You’ll also have to think about preparing the land, removing the old tank and components, and any upgrades or additions you need to make over time. 

How do I maintain my septic tank? 

Septic tank maintenance needs to be done. You home’s septic tank is not only essential, it’s an investment for the future, too. Taking care of it now – scheduling pumping and clean out, using septic tank treatment products, monitoring the function of your tank’s components like the aerator, pump, and septic tank lids and risers  – these are all important. Overlooking one thing, or pushing it off til later might not seem like a big deal, but it can turn into one very quickly. 

Everything begins when the septic tank installation is done, but owning a septic tank is much different than using one. For the most part, you can simply use it as necessary, but every now and then, you’ll have to pay attention to it. Don’t let your septic tank go unwatched for long – especially if it’s one that’s newly installed. Yes, it’s meant to last a long time, but this is only possible with careful and complete monitoring by you – and your septic tank services professionals. 

What is involved on your septic tank maintenance checklist?

septic tank products
Having a list of all the septic tank products you’ll need helps take the stress out of septic tank maintenance.

When trying to keep your septic tank in fully functional condition, there are some things to remember. The most important is to stick to a schedule for septic tank services. Even though it might not seem like a big deal to skip out on an inspection or a pumping, or to put them off for a little while… this doesn’t always turn out the way homeowners hope that it will. 

The following steps are some of the most important things to keep in mind when you own a home that features a septic system. 

Septic Tank Maintenance: A Guide

  • Keep the septic system protected
    1. Do not park on top of the septic tank or drainfield. Though buried, the tank and pipes are still fragile, and the excess weight of vehicles presents a danger to them.
    2. Avoid building anything – barns, sheds, pouring concrete – over the tank. The same idea of excess weight applies here. 
    3. Watch what you plant near your system and drain field. Tree roots grow fast and can present issues if they reach your pipes – or even the tank itself, causing cracks and leaks. 
  • Ensure that your drain field is adequately located
    1. If this area doesn’t drain properly from rain or snowmelt, it won’t drain properly when your tank empties out into it. Soggy, damp ground isn’t going to make the work your septic tank does any easier. Avoid it whenever possible. 
  • Routine maintenance for your septic system is necessary
    1. Whether it’s quick visual inspection or a thorough full inspection and pump out, utilizing the septic tank services provided near you are a lifesaver. These visits to your home will give you an idea of what’s going on with your tank – and what needs to be done. 
    2. Septic tank products are available to promote bacterial growth and encourage faster and more thorough treatment of the wastewater. Learn more about it here
    3. Be mindful of the condition of different components. Septic tank lids crack and warp in some cases, the pipes wear down, and motors in aeration septic systems sometimes burn out. Don’t make your system work harder than it has to. A septic tank lid replacement is not as expensive as you may think. 
  • Treat your toilets and drains like they matter
    1. The health of your septic tank depends on what you put into it. Avoid pouring chemicals down the drains of your sink and tub whenever possible. Don’t let lots of solids like hair enter the system. Be careful about plastic, cloth, or paper going down the drain. 
    2. Avoid pouring grease down the drain whenever possible. 
    3. Many homes with a septic system do not feature garbage disposals, but if yours does, be careful about the types of food scraps you introduce. 

The more you know about your system, the better you can protect it. Check in with septic services professionals, and only use products from trusted and reputable suppliers. Treat your septic system as if it’s the most important part of your home – because in many ways, it is. 

Septic Tank Services Often Include a Thorough Inspection of Each Part of a System

Scheduling Septic Tank Services 

Whether it’s a regular, “on schedule” inspection or the result of believing that there is something wrong with your septic tank system, having a septic inspection completed doesn’t need to be a difficult or time consuming process. Although the appointment itself can take a few hours, this is a small amount of time to invest in ensuring that the septic system that keeps your home’s wastewater flowing smoothly is fully operational. 

To begin the process of having this inspection done, start by contacting septic services providers near you. Using these professionals will ensure that when your inspection is completed, it’s done as it needs to be – and done thoroughly. These services can be scheduled year round, and often without even speaking to a professional over the phone; many septic services providers offer clients the ability to schedule through web clients. 

After you’ve got your appointment made, it’s time to wait for your visit. But what can you expect during the inspection? Read on! 

Solutions Will Be Offered During Septic Tank Services 

When your septic inspector arrives, they’ll spend a great deal of time looking over the different components of your septic system. This includes septic tank lids, your septic pump, the different tanks, your aerator… even the drainage field will be assessed. Each of these different parts is vital to the overall function of your home’s septic system, and needs to be working properly. In most cases, your inspection will result in typical results – nothing specific needing to be done in order to keep things running smoothly, but in some situations, your inspector will deliver the news that you need to replace parts or pieces – or add in special chemicals that help improve function. 

Septic tank services that result in the need for replacing or repairing parts don’t always need to be overly costly, because there are many options for replacement parts out there. For example, has many different options for things like septic tank lids, tank cleaning and treatment supplies, pumps and other accessories. These products are suitable for a wide variety of septic systems, and can easily be installed. The overall goal is for these products and solutions to help you maintain your system, and when discussing them, your septic services professional will be candid with you about what they do and why they are needed – after all, it’s their job to do so. 

The more you know about your septic system and what it needs to run properly, the more you’ll be able to stay on top of things when you need to the most. Having scheduled inspections and doing everything necessary to care for your system will help many homeowners avoid the most costly repair of all: a full septic tank replacement. 

Reasons to Consider a Septic System Upgrade

What do you really know about your septic system?  

Let’s start with some basics.  

If you own any type of residential or commercial property, you may or may not have a septic system.  Properties in highly developed municipalities are often serviced by a communal system that treats wastewater coming from all properties within that municipality for a monthly fee.  These fees can get pretty pricey. In any case, you likely know whether you pay a monthly “water and sewer bill” or not. Properties located in rural areas and less-developed municipalities will be required to have a system to treat the wastewater that is offloaded from any occupied structures.  It is essentially a miniature version of the community wastewater treatment plants located in developed municipalities, and is called an “in home septic system”. It will need attention and maintenance. From time to time, it might even need to be upgraded.  

Do You Need an Aeration Septic System?

Installing septic tank aerators is probably the major way that most people upgrade their systems.  Does that sound complex and confusing? It doesn’t need to be. Here are the basics:

  • There are two basic kinds of residential and commercial septic systems:  aeration septic systems and systems without aeration.  The systems with aeration have multiple wastewater holding tanks and a mechanical pump that introduces oxygen into one of the tanks.  The oxygen contains additional bacteria that work on the solid wastes present in the water, breaking them down quickly and effectively.  Systems without aeration still break down the solids. It just takes a longer time for them to do so using these other types of septic pumps.
  • Increased usage of the occupied structures on your property is one of the major reasons to upgrade the septic system to a hiblow model motor and aerator septic system.  Most structures are zoned for only a certain number of people with regard to occupancy, so if the occupancy increases, it may be necessary to change the configuration of the wastewater disposal system to accommodate a greater output.  This is particularly true if you are remodeling a structure to facilitate a greater capacity. It is also true if you are changing the way you utilize water on your property in a way that subsequently offloads more waste. In these cases, upgrading to an aeration system that breaks down solids more efficiently might be a reasonable choice.
  • Some people are very concerned about the environment.  This may be another reason to upgrade to a more efficient septic system.  No matter how carefully we treat our wastewater, it is eventually returned to the environment.  Wastewater that is full of chemicals and other additives can negatively impact the environmental balance of flora and fauna in a myriad of ways.  There are arguments to be made that upgrading to a more efficient septic system can minimize the environmental impact of your property or business.
  • Sometimes, opportunities for improvements just present themselves, seemingly out of nowhere.  We are all familiar with a story about someone who has had a major issue with their septic system resulting in an ugly and expensive excavation.  If you are in this situation, it is a great time to evaluate whether you want to upgrade.

Choosing the right septic pump and system for your home

septic tank lids and risers

A septic system can come in different sizes and it is important that you choose the system that is right for you.  The main consideration when choosing your septic system is the size of the tank and drain field, but you also want to ensure that other components such as pipes, valves and septic tank lids and covers are the proper size and type.

Septic tank size

The size of your septic tank should be determined by the amount of water that is expected to be run through it daily.  This can be estimated by the size of your home and the number of people in it. Your septic tank installers can also do a test called a hydraulic load test.  This test runs the estimated daily water through the system to determine how well it works and the dispersal area.

Septic system drain field

The amount of water that your septic system is expected to handle on a daily basis is also an important factor when determining the size of your drain field, but there are other things to consider as well.  The drain field is where wastewater goes after solids are separated in the septic tank. It is made up of rows of perforated pipes buried underground. These pipes allow the water to seep out so it can be filtered naturally by the soil.  Soil in some areas filters better than soil in other areas, so the best size and location of your drain field can depend on your soil. When you have your septic tank installation, they will also consider the water table on your property when planning your drain field.  The water table is the depth at which the ground is saturated with water.

Septic system type

Another consideration when choosing the right septic system for your home is choosing between a standard system and a septic system that includes a septic tank aerator.  Septic systems rely on bacteria in the tank to help break down solids. In a standard septic system, these bacteria operate anaerobically, meaning they use very little oxygen.  In a septic system that includes a septic aerator, air is added to the chamber in the tank. This can help bacteria grow and function more efficiently. Generally, waste water from a system with a septic aerator is cleaner when it is released into the soil than from an anaerobic system.

Septic tank lids and covers and other components

Your septic system will include many other components as well including pipes, valves, septic tank lids, and possibly a septic tank riser.  Pipes need to be the right size to handle the water load. Proper septic tank lids and riser can be important because they are what allows access to your septic tank so septic tank service providers can do regular maintenance to keep your system working properly.  Professionals at can help you determine the best septic system for your home, as well as answer any other additional questions that you may have.