Your septic system does an important job: transforming waste into clean water that’s suitable for reentering the groundwater system. Some septic systems, however, need a little help. Do you know whether your septic system needs a pump, or if you can rely on good old gravity to help treat your water? Here’s how to find out if you need to add a septic pump to your system or invest in septic pump replacement.
Who needs a septic pump?
If your septic tank is above ground, you probably won’t need a septic pump—gravity will help do the job. Not every septic tank uses a pump, but some require it. Generally, if you need to pump wastewater up from a lower level in order for it to the drain field, you’ll need one.
Septic pumps are often required when your drain field is at a higher elevation than your tank—for example, if your drain field is on a hill or upslope.
Where is a pump installed?
Your septic pump can either be installed in the pump itself, or after the tank in a pump station. If you only have a single-chamber septic tank, it’s advisable that you install the pump after the tank. Otherwise, you risk pumping those settled solids out of the tank. Those should be removed by regular septic tank pumping—they don’t belong in your drain field. You can install your pump in a separate chamber.
If you decide to install a septic tank pump, please note that adding a septic tank alarm is always a good idea. Your septic pump contractor will install a float switch to sound an alarm if the pump fails. That will save your household from unpleasant sewage backups, both indoors and outdoors.
What kind of septic pump issues should you watch for?
Your entire septic system needs maintenance, including your septic pump. Generally, you should keep an eye or ear out for strange noises coming from the septic chamber. You might also notice leaks in the drain field or your yard, which might manifest as suspiciously green or stinky patches in the lawn.
When it comes to septic pumps, there may also be an issue with the float or a burned-out motor. Your septic tank won’t be able to push out the effluent, so it may back up into your drains or in the drain field. If you see any of these signs, make sure to contact your septic contractor as soon as possible.
Keeping your septic tank running
The best way to keep your tank and pump running properly is to treat it right. Remember, you should never flush anything other than human waste and water down the drain. Avoid flushing baby wipes, menstrual products, kitty litter and cooking oils—they’ll just end up in your septic tank, and will create more problems later.
If you need a septic pump replacement, system maintenance or other septic services, get in touch with Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services today to schedule an appointment.