Five Simple Tips to Extend the Life of a Septic System
On this blog, we’ve talked a lot about the need to maintain, clean, pump, and eventually properly replace your septic tank and system. While we recommend calling our offices with any questions or concerns with your septic system, it’s also obviously wise to have some best practices in your back pocket, in order to easily and efficiently extend the life and health of both your septic tank and your septic system.
Here are five things to keep in mind, as you maintain your septic system. These five best practices are easy to do but will pay off in the efficiency, lifespan, and overall health of your septic system.
1. Avoid Draining Water Into Your Drainfield.
This might seem obvious, but the more liquid flows into your drain field, the more strain you put on your leech system and your drain field health in general. Combat this easily by creating alternative routes for runoff, rain management, and home or animal water management. Only have water from the home or business septic system in your drain field, if at all possible!
2. Conduct Annual Septic Tank Inspections.
Have a professional come out at least once a year and inspect your septic system. This might include a tank or drain test, or it might be as simple as a visual inspection of key septic pieces. Regardless, a professional can ease your mind about the health of your septic system and catch small problems before they become big hassles.
3. Conserve Water in Your Home.
This is similar to #1 but slightly different. It’s important to conserve water in all circumstances, but especially on a septic system when excess water can overload the drain field or tank. Try to avoid excessively long showers, and remind children to turn off the sink when not in use (while brushing teeth, for instance). It can also help to give your system “rest times” throughout the day when there is no water running to the system. We suggest not running dishwashers or washing machines overnight for this reason.
4. Follow the Pumping Schedule.
We know, we know, we say this all the time. But it’s important – septic tanks need to be pumped out regularly! Check your homeownership records and make sure that your tank has been pumped and cleaned in the last 5 years – if not – you need to call us and schedule this service. Trust us: regular septic pumping is the difference between a healthy, working system and failing plumbing.
5. Watch What You Flush
This is common sense, but harsh chemicals such as bleach can kill the healthy bacteria hard at work in your septic tank, so be sure to use septic-safe cleaners on your toilets and drains. Also, things like feminine products, trash, non-biodegradable wipes, and other detritus can cause serious and unpleasant backups in your septic system. When it doubt – don’t flush it – throw it in the trash!