Buying a Home with a Septic Tank? Two Questions You May Have

If you are buying a home that has a septic tank, and you have never used one in the past, it is normal to have questions about how they work. Having a septic tank is quite different from using traditional city sewage system for waste disposal, and it will cause you to think about your water waste in new ways. Here are two questions you may have about using a septic tank.

Can You Have a Garbage Disposal with Your Septic Tank?

One of the warnings you often hear about septic tanks is to be careful when it comes to what goes down any drain in your home. This includes the use of anti-bacterial soaps, cleaning products, and even cat litter, for those people that are used to flushing it down the toilet. A common misconception is that food waste shouldn't go down a kitchen drain and that it is not possible to have both a septic tank and a garbage disposal.

However, your garbage disposal may improve how your septic tank functions. It does this by breaking down your food waste into tiny pieces. The pieces will have no problems going down your drain, and the food waste will contribute to breaking down waste inside the septic tank.

The reason why you often hear not to put food down a drain is that large food pieces can become problematic. They won't break down as easily, and they will eventually turn to sludge that collects along the very bottom of a septic tank. As long as the garbage disposal is in proper working order and chops of the food into tiny pieces, there should be no problem with having one in the kitchen.

Does Your Septic Tank Need to Be Pumped Often?

An additional thing you'll need to consider is how full the septic tank is, and you'll have to get it pumped when necessary to remove the excess waste in the tank. Unfortunately, there's no guaranteed answer when it comes to how often a septic tank needs to be pumped.

The big factors that determine the frequency that the tank needs to be pumped include how many people live in your home, the septic tank's size, and the type of waste that goes into it. You can use a pumping schedule to guide how often you need to have the tank pumped, but keep in mind that the real schedule you will need could be different depending on actual use.

If you still have questions about your septic tank, speak with a septic-tank service company such as Southern Sanitary Systems Inc in your area.