Septic Surprise

So here at the Dacha we have a septic system. As we were planning to have a number of guests for the weekend we decided to check it out. The person who installed our septic predicted that we would need to pump it out after all this time (about 3 years) but we weren’t so sure, so we uncovered the tank…

There are two parts of the septic tank. The first section is where everything including solid waste goes. The idea is that it breaks down into a liquid and then enters the second section. If the tank it full of solids to the very bottom then you may need to pump it out. This is what we saw (please prepare yourself):

What we’re doing is poking a stick into the tank to see whether we have solid matter or fluid. What we found was that there was only a bit of solids on the top but liquid all the way to the bottom. This is a good sign – it means things are breaking down.

Then we checked the second tank. Here you should find all liquid and nothing that can clog the system. You don’t want too much water going into the system because then it pushes matter that has not broken down into the second tank and can clog it. But we were all good in this department. We called our septic guy and told him what we saw. He was surprised and could not believe it. Oh yeah.

How have we maintained such a good system, you ask? Well, firstly, we have low flush toilets so that helps us not have too much water going through. Secondly, we try not to put any chemicals into our drains – this is key because chemicals such as bleach kill off the bacteria that break down the waste. The septic really needs that bacteria to do the work. Other methods such as saving the water from washing dishes to water the plants can help, too. We are very proud, and so is the septic guy.

In other news, we recently built this cute outdoor sink for washing vegetables. Love it – every homestead should have one.