Taking care of your septic system doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. It comes down to scheduling maintenance, using water efficiently, disposing of waste correctly, and maintaining the drain field. The following tips will help with proper septic tank maintenance.
Regularly Inspect and Pump
Bring in a septic service professional to inspect your system every three years. On average, the tank should be pumped every three to five years. How often you have the tank pumped depends on several factors including the amount of wastewater generated, how many people are in your household, and the size of the septic tank.
Septic Tank Maintenance: Using Water Efficiently
Most families use somewhere around 70 gallons of water per person, per day. It’s possible for one running toilet to waste up to 200 gallons of water every day. Your septic system will be more effective if you conserve water. All water used by your family makes its way into the septic system through the home’s plumbing. Here are some tips for using water more efficiently:
- Use high-efficiency showerheads and faucet aerators. These devices help reduce how much overall water enters the septic system.
- Only run the dishwasher with a full load.
- Efficiently use your washing machine. For example, don’t use the large cycle setting while washing small loads of laundry. This wastes energy and water. Select the correct load size for the amount of laundry you are washing. An EnergyStar certified machine will save water.
- Install high-efficiency toilets. Up to 30% of all household water use comes from the toilets. High-efficiency toilets only use about 1.5 gallons of water with each flush, while older toilets that use up to 5 gallons per flush. Reduce the amount of water entering the septic system with each flush.
Dispose of Waste Correctly
Anything you put into a household drain ends up in the septic system. This includes shower, bath, and sink drains. Items from the garbage disposal also flow into the septic system. Only toilet paper and waste should end up in the septic system. Don’t use your drains or toilets to flush things like dental floss, cooking oil, baby wipes, coffee grounds, paper towels, or cat litter. Solid foods, fats, and grease shouldn’t go through the garbage disposal. If a drain becomes clogged, try using a drain snake and boiling water before pouring chemical drain cleaners into the pipes.
Maintain the Drain Field for Good Septic Tank Maintenance
Your septic tank also has a drain field that is part of the system. Don’t plant trees too close to the drain field as the roots can disturb it. Don’t park vehicles directly on top of the drain field.
By taking these precautions regarding your septic tank, you will reduce the likelihood of serious problems that cost a lot of money to fix.