6 Crazy and Interesting Facts About Septic Systems

You probably don’t think much about your septic system because it’s underground and out of sight. These systems, however, are more than just a tank in the ground, so for your reading pleasure, we’ve compiled a list of facts about septic systems that we think you’ll find surprising and informative. Enjoy!

They Can Blow Up… Yep.

Methane forms when the waste in your septic tank gets broken down by bacteria. This gas is VERY flammable. If enough of it builds up in your septic tank (due to bad ventilation) and it gets exposed to some sort of flame: KABOOM. Your septic system could explode under these conditions, so it’s always a good idea to keep them properly maintained.

The Average Family In The U.S. Uses 300+ Gallons of Water A Day

The average family uses more than 300 gallons of water daily. Just flushing the toilet can use up to 7 gallons of water per flush, and that’s not even taking into account showers, dishes, and laundry. Here’s a little breakdown of how this water is used:

  • Flushing the toilet: 18 – 24 gallons 
  • Showering: 20 gallons 
  • Washing machine: 15 gallons
  • Dishwasher: 4 – 10 gallons
  • Hygiene: 2.5 gallons

The Size of A Tank Isn’t Based on The Size of A House

Instead, the size is based on the number of bedrooms you have. Check out the numbers below to get an idea of what size home should have what size tank.

  • 1 – 3 bedroom house: 1,000-gallon tank 
  • 4 bedroom house: 1,200-gallon tank
  • 5 bedroom home: 1,500-gallon tank
  • 6 bedroom home: 1,750-gallon tank

Septic Tanks Can Affect Groundwater 

145 million Americans drink groundwater via wells and pumps. Groundwater also leads into the water, where people swim, fish, etc. Sometimes, septic tanks are installed above places with groundwater. 
If a septic tank ever cracks or the drain field (where your liquids are dispersed) becomes overloaded, waste can leak into groundwater and contaminate it. 

The Stuff Inside Your Tank Can Give You Clues About Your Lifestyle

It’s strange to think about someone pumping out the contents in your septic tank and then knowing something about you. But, your technician can tell what kind of pet you have, the sort of toilet paper you favor, and even what you eat and drink. Like we said: strange. 

The Gas In Your Tank Is Deadly

Besides methane, the breakdown of waste in your tank also forms hydrogen sulfide (a colorless poisonous gas that smells like rotten eggs). It would cause asphyxiation (loss of oxygen) if someone breathed it in. This could lead to them becoming unconscious in minutes or dying instantly. So always call a pro if you think your tank needs looking at. 

With some of these facts, we hope you see that installing, maintaining, and repairing a septic system requires special knowledge and training. So if you notice signs that make you think you need professionals to come out and look over your system, contact BBB Septic and Portable Toilets. Get in touch with us by clicking here

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