Septic Tank Maintenance: How to Care for Your Septic System
Septic system maintenance does not need to be complicated or expensive. Taking care of your septic tank comes down to just a few key things:
- Properly Dispose of Waste
- Use Water Efficiently
- Maintain Your Drainfield
- Inspect and Pump Often
1. Properly Dispose of Waste
Whether you flush it down the toilet, grind it in the garbage disposal, or pour it down the sink, shower, or bath, everything that goes down your drains ends up in your septic system affects how well it works.
It’s important to remember that toilets are not trash cans. Do not flush anything besides human waste and toilet paper if you want to keep your septic tank working properly.
Your septic system also contains billions of living organisms that digest and treat household waste. Pouring toxins down your drain can kill these organisms and harm your septic system.
Whether you are at the kitchen sink, bathtub, or utility sink: Avoid chemical drain openers for a clogged drain. Instead, use boiling water or a drain snake.
2. Use Water Efficiently
Implementing a mindful use of water can completely transform the amount of water used each day. Most people aren’t aware of just how much water the average person uses every day. The average indoor water use is nearly 70 gallons per person, per day and a single leaky or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water per day.
All of the water a household uses ends up in its septic system. The more water a household saves, the less water enters the septic system. Efficient water use improves the operation and extends the life of a septic system.
Some ways to conserve water is to utilize high-efficiency toilets, washing machines and showerheads, and faucet aerators.
3. Maintain Your Drainfield
A drain field is a component of your septic system that removes contaminants from the liquid that emerges from your septic tank and is very important. In order to maintain your drain field, you can follow a few simple things. First, never park or drive on your drain field. Second, make sure to plant trees the appropriate distance from your drain field to keep roots from disturbing the pipes. Last, keep roof drains, sump pumps, and other rainwater drainage systems away from your drain field area. Excess water in the area will slow down or stop the wastewater treatment process.
4. Inspect and Pump Often:
The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years and alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected once a year.