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The Ultimate Septic Tank Cleaning Quiz
by Staff
Cleaning your septic tank might be an unwelcome chore, but doing so can help you avoid having problems with your immediate home environment. Take this quiz and learn how to make your life easier when the time comes.

Is a drain something that needs daily maintenance?

  • Check the drainage traps every day.
  • A cup of caustic soda a day is essential.
  • Not really, just look for signs of trouble.

How many American homes have a septic system?

  • a third
  • a quarter
  • an eighth

What is a septic system?

  • a ceramic coated water tower
  • a large filter system connected to the local sewer system
  • an underground tank for wastage collection

Into how many layers, if any, is the waste water divided in the septic tank?

  • one layer
  • three
  • five layers

What is the term used for the components of the septic tank?

  • septage
  • effluence
  • septic waste

How would you describe a leach field?

  • a collection of earthworms
  • stainless steel filter
  • a set of pipes with holes

What filters the effluent?

  • a leach field
  • good soil
  • thick vegetation

What do you think happens to growths above the drain field?

  • nothing can grow
  • growths flourishes
  • discoloring by the waste material

Because of their relatively simplicity, do you think septic tanks require constant maintenance?

  • regularly monitor
  • constant maintenance
  • wait for a problem

How do you empty a septic tank?

  • open release valve
  • no need - nature take care of it
  • pump it

What is the best way to tell when a tank needs to be pumped?

  • Wait for a bad smell.
  • Check the level.
  • No need, it's automatic.

When should you have the septic tank pumped.

  • once it begins to overflow
  • when the scum layer just covers the outlet pipe
  • when the scum layer is within 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) of the outlet pipe

How often is it recommended to have your septic tank checked?

  • every year
  • every six months
  • once a month

How often does an average septic tank need to be pumped?

  • six to ten months
  • one to three years
  • three to four years

There are products available designed to prolong periods between pumpings. Is it a good idea to use them?

  • only if they smell good
  • anything to avoid going near the septic tank
  • not a good idea

What is the worst that can happen in your house if the septic tank overflows?

  • drainage waste flowing out of the toilets and drains
  • bad odors from the drains
  • decreased drainage flow

Could there be problems below ground?

  • No, the waste would flow upward.
  • The water you drink could become contaminated.
  • Not at all, the soil will filter any contaminants.

Are there any serious health hazards that could result from a septic tank overflow?

  • influenza
  • nausea
  • hepatitis

Okay, once you have had your septic tank pumped, where does that delightful load go?

  • waste treatment facility
  • landfill
  • dumped at sea

Is there any practical non-controversial use for septage?

  • It is impractical to collect it.
  • Helps create artificial hills for movie sets.
  • It can help generate electricity.