When septic system technicians arrive at a residential property to do tank pumping and septic inspection
, they open the lid to the tank and can quickly identify problems resulting from behavior of people in the house. There are many things people aren't supposed to flush, but commonly do anyway. This may be a carryover from when they lived in a municipality and assumed it was OK to flush practically anything down the toilet.
These behaviors often are a mystery to septic technicians, who have given sewer systems more thought than the average individual does. For example, why does someone put a strainer device over the shower drain to catch hair, then remove the hair and flush it down the toilet? The hair still goes to the same place: the sewer pipe and out into the septic tank or to the municipal sewage treatment facility.
Technicians from a company such as OZ Sanitation may see an excessive amount of grease in the tank when they open the lid. During inspection, they may find hardened grease in pipes and filters, and in other components. Pouring cooking oil down sink drains and routinely cleaning greasy pans in a sink without wiping them out first can lead to these circumstances.
Some behaviors aren't as obvious as these, and septic tank pumping
may not see much evidence when they open the lid. Nevertheless, large amounts of various products shouldn't be sent to the septic tank, as they can interfere with the action of friendly bacteria in the tank and can also seep out into the drain field. For example, a small amount of bleach infrequently used in the laundry shouldn't cause problems. However, routinely adding chlorine bleach to wash loads every week can kill off friendly bacteria. Other harsh chemicals, such as ammonia and liquid drain cleaners, also can harm those microorganisms.
Some face and body cleansing products contain tiny plastic beads that do not biodegrade. They also may not sink to the bottom of the septic tank with other solid waste materials. Instead, they may stay in the liquid portion of the tank and clog up filters. If enough of these beads escape to the leach field, they can damage the sensitive earth-based filtration system