Septic System Best Practices – What to Do and Why
As a full-service septic servicing company, we get a lot of questions about how to maintain a septic system, particularly after a home or business owner has had a septic tank or drain field emergency. Like most things around your home, it’s normal to not think about how it works until it doesn’t, but keeping your septic system running is actually simple, just follow these septic best practices.
Get your tank pumped regularly
Firstly, it is important to get your septic tank pumped regularly. Most tanks need to be pumped every 2-3 years, depending on the size of the tank and the number of people using the septic system regularly.
Don’t flush specific materials down the drain
Avoid flushing or disposal of an inorganic material such as lint from laundry machines, flushable wipes, sanitary products, diapers, cigarettes, etc. The bacteria in your septic tank will not be able to degrade these materials effectively and they can make their way into the drain field, causing permanent clogs and expensive repairs.
Use caution and try to avoid overuse
Modern conveniences like garbage disposals and automatic toilet bowl cleaners are great inventions but can cause serious problems for your septic system. Even organic material through the garbage disposal can clog your drain field or overload your tank, so use caution and try to avoid overuse. Most flush-activated toilet cleaners contain bleach, which kills the beneficial bacteria you want in your septic system.
Be aware of any household leaks
While no one likes leaks, dripping faucets or running toilets can be very damaging to your septic system. Septic systems are designed to “rest” when you do and give the land an opportunity to “recharge” and avoid over-saturation. Therefore, keep your appliances and fixtures well-maintained, and avoid running appliances such as dishwashers and laundry machines overnight.
Avoid strong chemicals and cleaners
Avoid bleach and antibacterial soaps for cleaning or hand-washing, if possible. These strong chemicals can kill important bacteria in your septic tank, which keeps the tank from performing as it should. This can cause solid waste to flow into the drain field, and create excessive biomass growth.
Finally, conserve water. It’s not only good for the planet, but it’s good for your septic system, too. Be mindful of how much you use your shower, dishwasher, and other fixtures, and try to cut back when and where you can. The less you tax your septic system, the better it will perform for you and will stay in good shape for many years to come.