If your home runs on a septic system rather than the municipal sewer system, it’s important that you take proper care of it to ensure the system lasts long into the future. The good news is that it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to keep your septic system in good condition. Some basic preventative septic maintenance and an understanding of how to properly use the system will go a long way.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the best septic maintenance strategies you can employ to maintain the long-term health of your septic system:
- Stay on top of pumping: Most septic systems will need to be pumped every three to five years on average. The frequency with which you have your tank pumped will depend on the size of the tank and the usage level of your household. For example, if you have six people in your household, the tank will probably need to be pumped more frequently than if you only have two people in your household. Hold on to all pumping records so you can keep an accurate log of when you had septic maintenance performed.
- Be careful with what you put down the drains: Always be careful with what you flush down the drains of your septic system. The only thing that should go down a toilet is human waste and toilet paper, and at the kitchen sink, remember that the garbage disposal is not a substitute for a garbage can. The disposal is only meant to grind up small pieces of waste, not large chunks, and there are certain items that should never be sent down a disposal, such as cooking oils, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals: Certain types of chemicals used in cleaning can be overly harsh for use in a septic system and could kill off some of the beneficial bacteria that exist in the septic system to keep it functioning properly. Look for cleaning products that are natural or plant-based, or that are labeled as being safe for septic systems.
- Spread out water usage: For your water-based appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines, try to spread out their usage throughout the week. Rather than having a designated day on which you’ll do all your loads of laundry, you could do a single load each day. The same is true with dishwashers—you’re likely to use your dishwasher more frequently than your laundry machines, but at the very least you should try to avoid running it at the same time as your washing machine.
- Don’t forget your drain field: The drain field is an important part of your septic system, so it’s important to protect that area as well as the pump and pipes! Keep gutters and sump pump outputs away from the drain field to avoid flooding it, and make sure trees and shrubs do not grow too close so they don’t interfere with drainage.
For more information about some of the best tactics for septic system maintenance, contact the team at Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services.