Do’s and Don’ts When Caring For Your Septic Tank
May, 31st, 2016
You can think of your septic tank as being a little bit like the water filters many people use in their homes today. They basically separate solids and scum from wastewater and pretreat it before it flows out into the drain field for final purification. This process can take between 1 to 2 days, and any system that isn’t properly cared for could rapidly become a health hazard to both your home and neighborhood.
Rather than facing illnesses, fines, or even worse as a result of improper care and treatment of your septic tank, we have some tips on how to maintain its performance.
When you’re looking to keep your septic tank in great working condition, there are a few definite steps you’ll want to make sure you’re taking. These steps include:
- DO: Inspect your system annually. While septic tanks don’t need to be pumped that often, it’s still important to make sure you’re checking for issues that might arise in the interim.
- DO: Have your system pumped every three to five years. This will help prevent the buildup of solids, which can cause a clog or even for your septic system to be unusable until repaired.
- DO: Maintain accurate records. Keep a diagram of what your system looks like, and be sure to have it updated if you should change your septic system in any way or upgrade it. Should you require repair work, you will need to be able to give them an accurate understanding of your system.
- DO: Reduce your water use. The less wastewater you have flowing through your system, the better it will be able to handle what you’re asking it to do. Be conservative with your water use and you may find yourself saving money by not needing to have your septic tank pumped as often, as well as the overall system lasting longer.
- DO: Call for help if you have a question or a concern. Septic tanks can be complex, so if you’re concerned about an issue such as slow draining or improper function, give a certified plumber a call to come out and take a look.
There are also some actions you definitely don’t want to take when it comes to caring for your septic system, such as:
- DON’T: Use your septic tank like a trash can. Don’t add improper solids like coffee grounds, grease (which will harden into a solid as it cools), motor oil, sanitary products, paper towels, rags, paint, or household chemicals. We cannot stress this enough. Any or all of these could cause serious damage to your septic tank or cause it to stop functioning entirely!
- DON’T: Encourage traffic in your drain field. If you keep livestock or allow heavy vehicles or machinery to drive across it, you increase the likelihood of soil compression and pipe damage. You don’t want to use it as storage, either — just let grass grow freely. Oxygen is required to reach your pipes in order for your septic tank to work properly.
- DON’T: Poison the tank. Household chemicals, drain cleaners, paint solvents, or any chemical can cause the balance of good bacteria in your tank to get thrown off, leading to incredibly unpleasant smells at best and a broken-down septic system at worse.
- DON’T: Enter the tank. Whatever you do, do not attempt to enter your septic tank for any reason. It could cause serious injury or even death to do so. Please, please don’t try and enter the septic tank.
- DON’T: DIY repairs. While working on a septic tank can sometimes look pretty simple, the entire system works on a pretty delicate balance. DIY repairs should be avoided. Instead, call out a certified professional when you need help.
If you keep these do’s and don’ts in mind, you should be able to maintain your septic tank at peak working capacity for years to come.
Have a Septic Tank Question or Concern? Call Corley!
Whether you’re in need of immediate repair, are dealing with a clog or improper draining issue, or just need some answers on how septic systems work, Corley is here to help. We provide septic tank service and repair here in Upstate South Carolina, centered in and around the Greenville area. We also provide electrical, heating and cooling, and other plumbing services whenever you need us, day or night. To schedule service, just give us a call at (864) 416-7492 or contact us online at any time!