Your septic system is very important. If something goes wrong with your septic system, you may not be able to use the bathrooms in your house, or wash clothes or dishes, or do any other household chore that requires water. The septic system disposes of waste water from the house, and if it gets backed up, it could cause major problems. Here are a few tips on how to keep your septic system up and running smoothly. But remember: most septic system maintenance should be handled by a professional.
● Divert Rainwater From the Septic Drain Area
- If the drain area becomes soggy it won’t absorb and neutralize waste water. You may want to have gutters installed to divert rainwater from going to the septic drain area.
● Do Not Overload the Septic Tank and Drain Area
- Check faucets and toilets for leaks.
- To help lower the amount of water used, you may want to use aerators on faucets and flow reducer nozzles on showers.
- Reduce water levels for small loads of laundry.
- Wait until the dishwasher is full to run it.
- Use a displacer to reduce the amount of water needed to flush the toilet.
● Keep Trees Away from Septic Systems
- Trees should be kept about 100 feet away from the septic system
- Some types of trees need to be kept even farther away
● Your Toilet Is Not a Garbage Disposal
- DO NOT flush cat litter, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, facial tissues, coffee grounds, or cigarette butts and filters.
● Use Garbage Disposals Wisely
- A garbage disposal can double the amount of solids added to a septic tank, which can cause problems.
- Choose a garbage disposal unit that grinds food into tiny particles that are easier for a septic system to digest.
● Minimize the Use of Heavy Duty Cleaners
- Overuse of heavy cleaners can kill beneficial bacteria in the septic tank, which can cause solids to not break down as well as they should.
● Do Not Pour Grease Down the Drain
- Grease can clog the septic drain field, which can make it impossible for the soil to absorb liquids. If the drain field becomes clogged you will have to replace it, which is a considerable expense.
● Avoid Hazardous Chemicals
- Varnish, paint thinners, motor oils, gasoline and other similar chemicals can ruin your system and are a hazard to groundwater. Make sure that you dispose of them properly.
● Protect the System from Damage
- Do not drive over the drainfield. Excessive weight can cause the drainage structures to collapse, effectively “killing” your field.
- Do not build a structure on top of it, or cover it with concrete or asphalt to “protect it”. Drainage fields need to get rid of the waste water, and paving impedes evaporation.
- Plant grass on the drain field to minimize soil erosion.
● Perform Regular Maintenance
- Solids must eventually be pumped from the tank. Many experts advise a family of four with a 1,000 gallon septic tank to have the tank pumped after 3-5 years of full time use.
● Never Attempt to Open a Septic Tank Yourself.
- Gases and bacteria in the septic tank are dangerous.
- Have a professional do this for you. They know what to do to stay safe from the gases and bacteria.
So if you are having trouble with your septic system, or just need a checkup to make sure it is running as it should, call the professionals at My Plumber today.