A septic tank is absolutely essential for homeowners who are not hooked up to a municipal sewer system. Although these containers typically work well for many years, you will need to do some maintenance to make certain they perform at an optimal level. This article offers some key tips for the care and maintenance of your septic tank and septic system.
What to Do
If you do not have a working knowledge of how your septic system operates, do some research and find out because this could help you keep the tank and other components of the system in good shape. One of the best things you can do to maintain your septic tank and good repair is to make efficient use of your household water.
For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you spread your washing machine use out over several days of the week. If you wash all of your household laundry at one time, the tank might not be able to handle the excess water. The EPA also recommends that you invest in a high-efficiency toilet to reduce the amount of wastewater coming into the tank. Installing high-efficiency showerheads can help as well.
Also, make sure to pump out the tank every three to five years.
What not to Do
Perhaps the worst thing you can do to your septic tank is treat it like a trash can. Only human waste and toilet paper should ever enter the tank. Items such as tissues, diapers, dental floss, etc. should be disposed of elsewhere. As tempting as it might be, do not allow cooking grease or oil to get into the tank. Never use drain cleaners because they can damage the tank. Use a plunger or drain auger instead.
Signs of Failure
Watch for signs that your septic tank and system could be failing and in need of repairs. Toilet, drain, and sink backups are common signs that something has gone wrong. Strong odors around the tank typically indicate problems as well. If you notice grass over or around the tank that is especially lush or spongy, this often indicates that there is a problem that must be addressed. Girling sounds coming from your plumbing pipes may also be a sign of trouble.
To prevent issues with the tank and spot minor problems before they become major problems and require expensive repairs, have your septic and system inspected by a professional at least once every three years. If your system does need any repairs, let a septic tank repair service handle the job.