Steps To Maintaining An Effective Septic System

A properly maintained septic system is unlikely to give homeowners any unpleasant headaches. Septic tank malfunctions cause cumbersome problems and interfere with the proper functioning of a home's plumbing system. If you want to be sure that your septic system will remain in working order, keep the following tips in mind:

Know how your tank works

Understanding how your tank operates is the first step to properly maintaining your septic system. In any septic system, solid waste will naturally settle to the bottom of the tank over time while scum and liquids rises up above. Bacteria is exploited in the tank to help break down the solid waste. 

Save water as much as possible

A septic tank is limited in terms of how much water it can handle at any given moment. It's important to conserve water if you want to place lower demands on your septic system. When water and waste is put down your drains, your septic tank needs time to separate the solids from the liquids. 

Protect your septic tank

You need to know exactly where your septic tank is located in your yard. Putting heavy objects above your septic tank can put pressure on the tank and potentially cause damage. You also need to protect your tank by not flushing potentially harmful items down into your system. Potentially harmful items include a wide variety of chemicals and garbage such as dental floss, cigarette butts, and diapers. 

Minimize garbage disposal use

Ideally, you should avoid having a garbage disposal at all if you have a septic tank system. Garbage disposals generally place unnecessary demands on a septic system by increasing the amount of liquid and solid waste that is put down the drains into the system.

Pay attention to whether products are septic-safe or not

Those with septic systems need to be extra careful what they're putting down their drains. Use environmentally friendly soaps and cleaners if you want to avoid harming your tank. Some authorities recommend putting a septic tank treatment solution down into the septic system on occasion to help prevent clogs and buildup. 

Keep the area around your tank clear

It's a good idea to keep shrubbery and vegetation trimmed back around the septic tank area in your yard. Keeping trees trimmed back is especially important, because roots under the ground can burrow into a septic tank and cause damage. 

Have your tank pumped regularly

Having a septic tank pumped regularly is important to keeping the system clean and preventing a tank that is too full. Some authorities recommend pumping once every three years. However, homes with garbage disposals may need to have their septic tanks pumped more often. For more information, contact a plumber like Lowry Services: Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.


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