A residential septic system is a good choice for homes that are not connected to a city sewer system, such as very rural cottages or farm homes. They're also good if your home's connection to the city sewer system is often interrupted, such as by floods or frozen pipes. Whatever your reasons for considering a septic system for the home, you want to ensure you care for it properly and don't confuse misconception or assumption with fact; note a few considerations about such a system, and discuss these with an installer as needed.
How a septic tank fills
You may think that a septic tank just fills up when you flush the toilet or turn on a sink; however, if this were the case, that tank would get filled within a matter of weeks, if not even days! A septic system's pipes bring water and solid waste into the tank, where it is broken down and filtered, and then liquid waste continues through another series of pipes to what is called a drain field. Only a certain amount of sludge that cannot be broken down is caught in the tank, so that it may take several years for it to fill and need emptying; this depends on the number of persons in the home, how often they use the toilets, how often they use the sinks and showers, and so on.
Because solid waste gets broken down and drained, you might assume that it's good to use chemicals that clear bathroom clogs in your septic tank, reasoning that these additives will help to break down that solid waste. In truth, these chemicals will usually just damage the tank and its pipes. There are some additives meant specifically for septic tanks, but use these only as instructed by the tank manufacturer, so you don't ruin any of its components.
Alarm and emptying
Most septic tanks are equipped with an alarm that alerts when the water levels in the tank reach a particular level. This can be caused by a blockage in the pipes that move liquid to a drain field, or if the pump in the tank begins to malfunction, and not necessarily because it's time to empty the tank.
Also, you need to ensure you're consistently having the septic tank cleaned, by a company like Able Liquid Waste Pty Ltd, and emptied as recommended by the manufacturer; don't wait for an alarm or other reminder to schedule this work, as a clean septic tank will last longer before it needs repairs and is less likely to overflow or clog.