Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Caring for your Septic System 101

Your septic system, specifically a septic tank, must be cared for if it is to work trouble free. When trouble does arise it does so in a very expensive and ugly way. Mistreatment of your tank can lead to a very costly replacement tank, a torn up yard and destroyed lawn. When a tank goes bad the first signs are subtle, drains move more slowly, toilets don't completely flush and your yard gets soggy where the tank has been overflowing underground. Put these tips to use for a clean and trouble-free septic system.

Don't Overload the Septic Tank and Drain field

* Check faucets and toilets for leaks; make repairs if necessary.
* Use aerators and flow reducer nozzles on showers to lower water consumption.
* 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 the Septic System

* Keep trees and roots at least 100 feet away from the septic system.
* Trees with very aggressive roots should be even farther away from the system.

The Toilet Isn't a Garbage Disposal

* Never flush cat litter, disposable diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, facial tissues, coffee grounds, or cigarette butts and filters. They'll clog your septic tank in less time than you might imagine.

Use Garbage Disposals Wisely - I don't think they should be paired at all!

Minimize Heavy Duty Cleaners - they can and will kill useful bacteria needed!

Do Not Pour Grease Down the Drain - it will clog your drain field and fail!

Perform Regular Maintenance - have it pumped every 3-5 years depending on the number of people living in the house. The fewer people the longer you can go.

Never attempt to open a septic tank yourself. Gases and bacteria in it are dangerous.

1 comment:

Angie said...

Ahh... lovely topic... but one that has to be dealt with if you have a septic tank. We do and for the most part, it's been no trouble. We did have to have it pumped out after about 10 years because it got clogged (we'd had company and they apparently used 1/2 a roll to wipe with) and so when they said it was about 3/4 full we had that done in addition to clearing the clog. It was great when I found that toliet paper was spewing into my landscaping from the overflow! :)