If you’re looking for tips on how to properly care for your home’s septic system, you’re in the right place! A septic system is a convenient and cost-effective way to manage your household waste, but it does require some special care to ensure that it is functioning properly and avoid costly repairs to your septic system. Here are some key tips for maintaining your septic system:
- Use water efficiently: One of the most important things you can do to care for your septic system is to be mindful of your water usage. Install low-flow toilets and showerheads. Avoid letting the faucet run unnecessarily, and fix any leaks or drips as soon as possible. Use water-efficient washing machines, and or spread out the loads when washing to avoid overworking the septic system. Additionally, avoid sending too much water down the system when it is raining or when the ground is saturated to prevent potential drainage issues, especially if you live in an area with heavy clay soils.
- Pump your septic tank regularly: It’s essential to have your septic tank pumped regularly to remove any solid waste that has accumulated. The frequency of your septic tank pumping will depend on the size of your tank and the number of people in your household. A general rule of thumb is to have your tank pumped every 3-5 years.
- Protect the drain field: The drain field is a crucial part of your septic system as it is responsible for filtering and treating the wastewater before it is released back into the environment. To safeguard your drain field, avoid driving or parking heavy vehicles or equipment on it, and keep trees and large shrubs away from the area.
- Use septic-safe products: To keep your septic system functioning optimally, it’s essential to use products that are safe for septic systems. Look for products labeled as “septic safe” or “biodegradable,” and avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can kill the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank that helps to break down waste.
- Have your septic system inspected regularly: It’s a good idea to have your septic system inspected by a professional at least once a year to ensure that it is functioning properly. An inspection can help identify any potential problems before they become major issues.
- Do not use a garbage disposal with a septic system: Using a garbage disposal can add a significant amount of solids to your septic tank, which can lead to clogs and other issues to the drain field. Instead, dispose of food waste in the trash or compost it.
- Avoid running grease down the drain: Pouring grease down the drain can clog your septic system and cause other problems. When the grease cools, it solidifies and can stick to the sides of your septic tank and drain pipes leading to blockages. Instead, dispose of grease in a sealed container and throw it in the trash. You should also avoid flushing items like bones and oil.
- Keep trees and large shrubs away from your septic tank and drain field: Trees and large shrubs can cause damage to your septic system in a few different ways. The roots of these plants can grow into and damage your septic tank or drain pipes, leading to leaks and other issues. Additionally, the weight of the tree or shrub itself can cause the ground above your septic system to sink, leading to costly repairs. When the trees get large, a fallen tree can damage the system by busting the tank or destroying the drain field. To avoid these problems, it’s important to keep trees and large shrubs away from your septic tank and drain field.
- Avoid driving or parking heavy vehicles or equipment over your septic tank and drain field: The weight of heavy vehicles or equipment can cause damage to your septic system. Driving or parking these types of vehicles or equipment over your septic tank or drain field can cause the ground to sink, leading to leaks and other problems, especially in the drain field. To protect your septic system, avoid driving or parking heavy vehicles or equipment over your septic tank and drain field.
- Poorly designed (or modified) septic systems are more prone to failure: A poorly designed septic system can lead to a variety of problems, including clogs, leaks, and overall inefficiency. For example, if the drain field is not properly sized for the amount of wastewater it needs to treat, it can become overwhelmed and fail. Similarly, if the septic tank is too small for the household it is serving, it will not be able to effectively treat and filter the wastewater, leading to problems. To avoid these issues, it’s important to ensure that your septic system is properly designed for your home and your wastewater needs and meets local building codes.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your septic system is functioning efficiently and avoid any costly repairs or replacements in the future.
In closing, “Don’t be a poop-tastrophe! Flush only the three P’s: pee, poop, and toilet paper.” This rule of thumb is a humorous way to remember that it’s important to only flush biodegradable waste down the toilet when you have a septic system. Flushing items like wipes, feminine hygiene products, and non-biodegradable paper towels can clog your septic system and cause very costly problems. Stick to the three P’s and you’ll avoid any “poop-tastrophes”!
If your drain field gets destroyed, the cost of replacement can be up to $10,000 depending on the size of the system, if not more.