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Your house’s plumbing is very dependent upon the health of your septic system. We all know how easy it can be to neglect or overlook what you can’t see. Out of sight, out of mind, right? While you may be using your bathroom and kitchen drains daily, you are probably like most of us and you do not give much thought to the structure of pipes that run underground.

If you rely on a septic system to remove waste from your home, then you need to start thinking about getting your septic system cleaned regularly rather than simply having it pumped every few years.

Septic tank cleaning is a highly effective drain-cleaning technique that uses high-pressure water streams to remove stubborn clogs and debris from your sewer lines and pipes.

Below, we detail what this service is and how you can benefit from regular septic cleaning.


Septic Tank Pumping vs. Cleaning: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to septic tanks, the words “pumping” and “cleaning” are often used interchangeably, even though they mean slightly different things: pumping means removing liquid and some floating solids/sludge, while cleaning means removing all the water and compacted sludge from the bottom of the tank.

While this difference might seem small, it can actually make a big impact on your septic system’s performance. All septic pumping companies remove sludge from your septic tank using a vacuum truck — but how thorough of a job they do depends on whether they “pump” or “clean” the septic tank.

Some companies insert their vacuum hose in the tank and only suck out the liquids (pumping). But the correct way is to remove all the liquids and solids in the tank (cleaning).


Signs that Your Septic Tank Needs Cleaning

When you notice any sign of a fault in your plumbing system, do not ignore it. Instead, contact your residential plumber to have a look at your septic system. As you may end up making your family sick.

Some of the signs that indicate your septic system needs immediate attention include:

  • A foul odor emanating from your drains
  • Clogging of sinks and toilets
  • The septic tank location has wet sewage covering the top
  • Septic tank alarm goes off
  • Slow drains if there are several drains
  • Presence of raw sewage in your drains
  • Sinks draining back up or gurgle when you flush your toilet


Benefits of Routine Septic Tank Cleaning

To keep your septic tank in good working order, you should have it cleaned regularly as part of your regular home maintenance routine. The following are some benefits of consistent septic tank cleaning.


Avoid Drain Backup

Regular septic tank pumping is the best way to avoid unsightly drain backup. When drains start to back up, it is a warning sign that should not be ignored because there might be a problem with the septic system. Contact West Coast Sanitation immediately.


Prevent Water Contamination

The liquid matter in a septic tank eventually makes its way to the drainfield. The solid matter in the tank turns into a sludge substance that prevents the passage of liquids. Over time, the liquids, which can be hazardous matter, will stagnate. The stagnated liquid can pollute the groundwater in your area, potentially harming important water sources.

Regular septic tank cleaning prevents the liquids from sitting stagnant and causing damage to your groundwater. The liquid instead drains into the drainfield and keeps everything clean and healthy.


Prevent Future Blockages

Septic tank cleaning helps prevent future blockages in your drainpipes. Any buildup or debris that could lead to clogs down the line is thoroughly eliminated using high-powered steam. The equipment professionals use is able to power through thick sludge and tree roots. A cable snake may be used to dislodge tough clogs first before feeding a hose through the sewer line. This deep cleaning means less frequent plumbing repairs and fewer expenses in the long run.


Protect the Surrounding Environment and Water Source

If you provide routine care and service for your septic system, there is little chance for it to develop problems or damage that will cause it to leak or overflow. And that is a great help to your local environment and water table. Each time there is a leak or overflow, your septic tank contaminates the soil and groundwater with human waste from the sludge that should be pumped from the tank.

If sewage escapes from the septic tank and reaches nearby ponds or lakes, algal blooms can happen which is toxic to wildlife and humans. Other signs that sewage is affecting the environment are if the grass around the septic drain field grows greener or faster than the rest of the lawn which indicates that it is fertilizing the grass.

Watch out for standing water or damp spots around the septic tank or drain field. Wet spots are primarily caused by the excessive buildup of grease and oil in the tank which affects the flow of water and pushes it up. These septic tank problems need to be fixed immediately as they are hazardous to the environment.


Prevent Sulfuric, Foul Odors

If your tank becomes clogged, this can also lead to other issues. Waste exits your septic tank through a drain that flows into a leach field. As a blocked tank fills, there is only one place for waste to go — back up through the pipes leading to your house. The first sign you’ll notice is a foul waste odor in your sinks and showers. If the clog becomes serious, the smell will spread through your entire house. Cleanings can prevent unpleasant odors from coming into your home.


Increased Lifespan of Your Pipes

A septic system can continue to provide reliable service for many decades with proper care and cleaning. But when you neglect that small amount of service and maintenance, you are taking years off the system’s life. The routine cleaning of the system removes solid waste that will eventually create clogs. Also, cleaning the pipes helps to increase the soil absorption for better performance of the septic system.

Just like your sinks or toilets, septic systems can become clogged while working to remove solid waste from water that comes from your home. By having routine cleaning, you can protect the soil absorption area from becoming clogged and, ultimately, keep your septic tank in good condition.


Improved Efficiency

Just like a tune-up for your car’s engine, a little service from time to time will keep your septic system operating more efficiently. A system cleaning and service keeps everything working at its peak by removing partial clogs and foreign objects. And when everything is working correctly, you know that you will not be making any emergency calls in the middle of the night when you have sewage backing up into your home.


Saves Money

Preventative care is a wise investment in most of the systems of your home. But none might be as crucial as your septic system. When it fails, you face a repair bill and, in most cases, some severe decontamination and cleaning costs. Most homeowners are happier to spend the smaller, scheduled amount on preventing a mess than the sudden and unexpected expense to repair and clean up the mess.


What Happens When A Septic Tank Is Not Cleaned Regularly?

Calling West Coast Sanitation for septic tank cleaning can help you avoid a whole host of issues both for your home and the surrounding areas.


Health Hazards

Along with the health hazards posed by attempting to clean a septic tank yourself, not cleaning the tank is problematic for occupants of the home or business. The fumes and gases released by a septic system may cause bacterial and respiratory infections if inhaled over a prolonged period of time.


Environmental & Water Pollution

A septic tank that hasn’t been maintained properly can also allow bacteria to seep out into the soil surrounding the tank. The bacteria eventually finds its way into your groundwater supply, contaminating your family’s drinking water.

The best way to prevent bacteria from negatively affecting your property is to maintain your septic tank on a regular basis. A septic tank that is in good condition will keep all sewer fumes and waste safely contained, ensuring that bacterial contamination doesn’t negatively affect your family’s health in the future.

If you want to protect your family against the harmful effects of exposure to sewer gases and bacteria, then you need to invest in routine maintenance. Septic tank inspections and draining allow experienced professionals to evaluate the condition of your septic system and make any repair needed to prevent potential failure.


Potential Plumbing Problems

Blockages and clogs do more than create a stink in the home or business. They also strain the pipes and other plumbing components, setting the stage for a possible cracked and/or burst pipe. If this happens, a home or business owner faces the expense of repairing or replacing the septic system along with any affected plumbing components.


Call West Coast Sanitation Today!

Like everything else, your septic system requires regular maintenance. Have it inspected by a septic company near you at least once every year. During a maintenance session, your contractor will pump your septic system, conduct a drain test, and look for & rectify issues.

Depending on the size of your family and the size of your tank, you may need to have a cleaning procedure done every one to three years. Additionally, you should always be on the lookout for signs that may indicate that you need maintenance soon, such as your toilets and drains running slow or unusual odors around these fixtures.

At West Coast Sanitation, we know that you don’t have time to deal with septic problems. If you think that your system has reached capacity, please give us a call right away. We have professionals ready to answer your questions and get your system working properly again.