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A septic tank is a buried, water-tight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass or polyethylene. Its job is to hold the wastewater long enough to allow solids to settle down to the bottom forming sludge, while the oil and grease float to the top. Compartments in a T-shaped outlet prevent the sludge and scum from leaving the tank and traveling into the drain field area. Here is a brief overview of how a septic system works:
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A malfunctioning septic system can be costly to repair. On average the cost to repair or replace a septic system can range between $3,000 and $7,000. The cost to maintain your septic system is approximately $250 to $500 every 3 to 5 years.
Septic systems should be inspected at least every 3 years by a licensed contractor and your tank should be pumped generally every three to five years or as recommended by the inspector.