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. 

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.