Septic Tank System: How to Reduce the Stress

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Practice safe septic tank habits to protect your system from failure

Your septic tank system is a vital component of your home’s plumbing system. Many people, especially in rural parts of the country, depend on private septic systems to handle the solid waste and effluent—grey water—produced by their homes each day. However, many homeowners are unaware of the added stress they can inadvertently cause to their systems. The following post will outline how you can reduce unnecessary stress on your septic tank system.

Think Before You Flush

With a blind eye turned toward the consequences, many folks use their toilet as a garbage can. They may not know the damage they can cause to the delicate ecosystem within their septic tank when they flush inert materials or worse, household chemicals down the drain. The following materials should never be flushed.

  • Diapers
  • Feminine products
  • Chemicals
  • Harsh household cleaners
  • Dental floss
  • Hair
  • Cigarette butts
  • Cosmetics
  • Flammable liquids
  • Cat litter
  • Pet feces
  • Food
  • Medicines

Put simply, aside from bathroom tissue, if it does not come out of your body, it should not be flushed.

Think Before You Rinse

While kitchen garbage disposals provide a convenient way to eliminate unwanted kitchen waste such leftovers and food scraps, septic tank owners should use them sparingly. Too much food introduced into the septic system can lead to increased septic pumping/cleaning necessary to remove the solids. If your tank is not pumped regularly—at minimum every three years—you could face costly septic tank/drainfield repairs in the future.

Conserve Water

You might ask how water can harm a septic tank system. The answer is simple; too much water can stress the microorganism balance within the system. If they become stressed, they can die, which will lead to a total system failure. You can help to prevent this by fixing leaky faucets and toilets, using the dishwasher sparingly and spreading out your laundry duties throughout the week instead of doing it all on one day. This will limit the amount of water, as well as detergents, that enter your system.

Don’t Stress Your Drainfield

Avoid parking cars or heavy machinery on your septic drainfield. Their weight can compact the drainfield soils, thus reducing their ability to absorb the effluent. In addition, you should not install any landscaping over your septic tank and adjoining drainfield. Tree, shrub and plant roots will wreak havoc on your drainfield system by invading/clogging the drainpipes, the surrounding soil and thereby reducing absorption rates.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

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