What You Can Do To Maintain Your Septic System (Besides Having It Pumped)

When you bought the house you live in now, you were told that your septic system requires no maintenance except for the occasional pumping, which you do at the recommended intervals. In truth, your septic system changes with the activities of your household, and you can influence the internal environment of the septic system. These tips will help you passively maintain your septic system, by simply managing your water usage and developing smart habits in your home.

Practice Smart Water Management

The more water you use in your house, the more water enters the septic tank, stirring up the solids in the bottom and flooding the drainfield. Excess water in the system is bad for a number of reasons. To begin with, your septic tank maintains a careful balance between the solids (sludge), liquids and scum. Solids are always settling to the bottom of the tank. When excess water enters the system, this can disrupt the settling process and cause the solids to enter the drainfield, leading to clogs. The excessive water filtering through the drain system can also reduce the filtering abilities of the soil in the drainfield.

You can prevent this from occurring by controlling the amount the amount of water that your house flushes down the drain. Using water-efficient appliances and limiting your shower usage to once per person per day will help you control the amount of water that your household flushes on a regular basis. Also important is to avoid draining extra large quantities of water all in one day. For example, don't empty your hot tub into your septic system, as this will flood the tank and stir up trouble. Avoid the establishment of a "laundry day" habit, which can flood the tank on a regular basis.

Watch What You Flush

Human waste is the only solid that should go down into your septic tank. A good rule of thumb to follow is this: if you can throw it away, do so. The garbage disposal is the enemy of your septic tank because it fills the tank with solids too quickly. Do not install a garbage disposal in your home if you have a septic tank, and if you already have a garbage disposal, don't use it much (or at all). 

Even some products that are specifically labeled as "flushable" are not appropriate for your septic tank. Adult wipes and tampons are common examples of household products that are commonly labeled flushable but really aren't.

You can have a direct impact on the functionality of your septic system by altering your habits at home. For more information about how to maintain your septic system, both passively and directly, get in contact with a business like Linn Septic Service.