Septic System Maintenance: Understanding the Do’s and Don’ts
Septic system maintenance is critical when it comes to extending the lifespan of your system. Along with getting an inspection at least once every 3 years by a certified professional, consider these dos and don’ts:
Do: Pump Your System Every 3-5 Years
The frequency that you have your septic tank pumped really relies on the amount of water you use. This will vary depending on how many people are in your household. The more people using the septic system, the more frequently it will need to be pumped.
The size of the tank also makes a big difference in how often it should be emptied; the bigger the tank, the more it will hold. For example, a 4-person family should consider septic tank pumping in Covington, GA, for a 1,000-gallon tank about every 3 years, whereas a 4-person family with a 2,000-gallon tank needs this service about every 6 years.
Don’t: Use Septic Tank Additives
While you might think using retail products will help lengthen your pumping timetable, adding them could hurt your septic system. The extra solids could clog your drainfield, and the chemicals can also pollute surface and groundwater. Use only approved additives recommended by licensed septic professionals.
Do: Be Cautious What You Put Down the Drain
Garbage disposals might seem convenient, but they’re really bad for septic systems. They add solids and grease that quickly accumulate and choke your drainfield. If it’s an appliance you can’t live without, try to limit use.
Flush only toilet paper in the bathroom, never kitchen scraps, feminine hygiene products, baby care items, or grease and oil. Also, avoid chemicals, as certain ones can destroy the bacteria in your system, which is required to break down solids. If you’re unsure whether or not you should flush it, don’t. Throw it in the garbage instead.
Don’t: Block Your Septic Tank
Parking cars or trucks on your drainfield is a bad idea. In addition, avoid patios, carports, decks, and sheds in the area as well. Blocking it allows soil to get packed down and can break your pipes.
Do: Design Landscape Strategically
Direct drain water from land and the roof away from the drainfield. The excess water can impact the septic system functionality.
In terms of landscaping, grass is the greatest cover, but you can also consider plants with shallow roots. You want the septic tank lid to be easily accessible, as this, along with risers, keep the costs down when it comes to pumping and monitoring. It also leaves less of a mess in your yard when service is required.
Do: Conserve Water
Water conservation is important, generally, but it’s especially important for your septic system. Using less will help it last longer. In fact, excessive water use is a leading cause of failed systems.
Here are some quick water-saving tips:
- Turn off faucets. This one seems like common sense, but there are many opportunities to shorten water run time outside of shorter showers. For instance, don’t let it flow freely as you wash your hands, brush your teeth, or shave.
- Stop that leak. Your leaky faucet is more than a dripping annoyance. It’s also a huge water waster. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day! Repair any leaks as soon as they’re visible.
- Dip your dishes. When you’re washing and rinsing dishes, don’t do it with running water. Instead, fill up your sink. This is super easy if you have two sinks. Fill one with hot, soapy water to wash and the other with cold, clear water to rinse.
- Run only full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine. It might be tempting to do a quick wash, but you waste a lot of water when you don’t completely fill these machines before turning them on.
Call APump Away Environmental at (770) 922-4358 for septic service in Covington, GA. Along with emergency service, they can also set you up with regular inspections and maintenance to extend the life of your septic system.