Septic Systems 101: A Look at Some Common Questions From Curious Homeowners

For the most part, you never really talk about what happens to all that stuff that gets flushed out of your home through the toilet unless there is a problem. However, that doesn't mean that you don't get curious as a homeowner about septic systems in general. So when a septic tank pumping truck pulls up at your home, you may be tempted to ask the service provider a few questions. Here is a look at some of the most common questions curious homeowners tend to have about septic systems and septic system pumping. 

How many houses in the US use septic systems instead of public sewer systems?

The number of homes that use septic systems varies wildly from one place to the next, with more homes in the southern states having septic systems. However, as of 2007, roughly 20 percent of housing units in the country were serviced by septic tanks or systems. Throughout the years, reliance on septic systems has risen partly due to the spread of housing out to more rural areas that are farther away from localized sewer systems. 

What happens to the waste that is removed during septic tank pumping?

All of the material that is in a septic tank must be removed on a regular basis to keep your septic system flowing and functioning as it should, which means your tank will have to be pumped by a professional. This service professional will show up at your home with a vacuum pump and a tank to house the waste collected, but where does all that go once it is removed? In most cases, septic tank pumping services have contracts with the local wastewater facilities to dispose of the effluent that is pumped from your septic tank. 

What are the weirdest things ever found in a septic tank?

When you think about how many tanks have been pumped by the average pumping pro, you probably start wondering what all they've seen in the span of their career, especially where septic tank contents are concerned. The fact is, a lot of things get flushed down the toilet and end up in the septic tank that really shouldn't be there, so your servicing professional may have seen a great deal. One boy helping his older brother on the job found a working Timex watch and wore the thing for three years. There've been cell phones found in septic systems, baseballs, dentures, and even live frogs.

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