Water entering the septic tank is full of a myriad of solids and chemicals. Aerobic bacteria in the tank decompose as much of the solids as they can; the rest sink to the bottom forming a thick layer of septic sludge. Sludge buildup in the tank can lead to some serious problems.
The problem with too much sludge.
Septic sludge is normal for any septic tank. The aerobic bacteria aren’t able to decompose every solid waste that enters the system. This leads to layers of sludge on the tank floor. As time progresses, the sludge layer will continue to get deeper and deeper until it eventually overflows.
“If not removed, the sludge will accumulate until it eventually overflows, again clogging the soil absorption area.” ~Septic Online
Septic waste clogging the drain field prevents water from draining into the soil and filtering naturally. With nowhere to go, the water will continue to rise and flood the drainage area.
An ounce of maintenance is always best.
The sludge at the bottom of the tank will remain until pumped out and removed. How often should a tank be pumped to prevent dangerous sludge buildup? There are several ways to determine the frequency of maintenance: measuring the sludge depth with a do-it-yourself tool, estimate the depth based upon the number of people using the system, and ask the professionals. The easiest and most precise way is to have the tank pumped and ask the technician when it will need to be done next.
Keeping the sludge down with added bacteria.
The best way to keep septic sludge under control between cleanings is to use a bacterial additive in the tank. Bacterial additives give the tanks a healthy dose of extra aerobic bacteria that decompose solid wastes. The hard-working bacteria prevent sludge levels from rising too quickly and causing problems.
Contact us for more information about preventing sludge overflow and septic maintenance schedules.