Septic System Care

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If you live in a rural area or have vacation property in a remote area, you’re no doubt familiar with the purpose of a septic system. This wonders allow homes to be off the sewage waste grid but function just like a home attached to a sewer line.  A septic system is your very own onsite sewage treatment facility – the systems are out of sight and odorless unless a problem arises.  Constant foul odor, slow drains or drains that back up are all telltale signs that your septic tank needs pumping. THis is best left to the pros.

A septic system is reasonably maintenance-free and could last indefinitely if maintained properly. Be mindful about what you and your family put into your septic system. It doesn’t take much to upset the delicate biological balance within the tank. By watching everything that’s introduced to the system you can greatly extend the life of the tank.

Following a few simple rules listed below can preserve your system but remember that the septic tank will need to be cleaned out when too many solids build up – there is no way around this issue.

The following tips should be followed to care correctly for your septic system:

  • Too much water can upset the delicate biological balance within the tank, thus defeating its ability to work wonders. Moreover, discharging more water into the system than it can handle can cause it to back up — not a desirable occurrence.

  • Don’t use excessive amounts of any household chemicals. You can use normal amounts of household detergents, bleaches, drain cleaners, and other household chemicals without stopping the bacterial action in the septic tank. But, for example, don’t dump cleaning water for latex paintbrushes and cans into the house sewer.

  • Don’t deposit coffee grounds, cooking fats, wet-strength towels (paper towels that don’t dissolve easily, like the heavy-duty kind), disposable diapers, facial tissues, cigarette butts, and other non-decomposable materials into the house sewer. These materials won’t decompose, will fill the septic tank and will plug the system.

    Use a high-quality toilet tissue that breaks up easily when wet. One way to find out if your toilet paper fits this description is to put a handful of toilet tissue in a fruit jar half-full of water. Shake the jar, and if the tissue breaks up easily, the product is suitable for the septic tank.

  • Avoid dumping grease down the drain. It may plug sewer pipes or build up in the septic tank and plug the inlet. Keep a separate container for waste grease and throw it out with the garbage.

You need to have your septic tank pumped and cleaned by a professional every one to three years. A septic tank in a northern climate will need to have the solids removed more often than a tank farther south. (This geographic variance is primarily because cooler temperatures inhibit bacterial action and provide less decomposition of the sewage solids.) How often you need to have your septic tank pumped also depends on the size of the tank, the volume of wastewater, and how many solids go into it.

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