Many of the functional parts of your home are out of sight and out of mind, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. A perfect example of that is the septic system. For homes that don’t have access to a municipal sewer, a good septic system is key to keeping the home safe and healthy without harming the environment. To keep the system in good working order, follow these tips for septic tank maintenance.
Pump Regularly for Good Septic Tank Maintenance
Septic tanks are designed to break down organic materials over time. Eventually, the solids left behind form a layer on the bottom of the tank. If it becomes too deep, it can begin to overflow into the discharge pipe and into the leach field, potentially ruining the entire system.
The EPA recommends pumping out those solids every three to five years. The exact frequency will be determined by the size of your tank and the number of people in your home. With each pumping, ask the technician to tell you whether you waited too long or not long enough. Write down the date the tank was pumped for your records and to help calculate the next date.
Know Your Yard
Septic systems are constructed for proper movement of water and waste. If anything interferes with the pitch of the lines, the system will not work and backups will result. Good septic tank maintenance involves keeping that flow moving.
One of the most common sources of problems with septic system flow is vehicles in the yard. If vehicles must be in your yard for deliveries, construction, utility repair, or other purposes, make sure that you know the location of the tank, distribution box, and leach bed, and keep vehicles away from that area.
Good Septic Tank Maintenance Means Keeping Debris Out
Septic systems break down organic materials. Anything that won’t biodegrade will remain in the tank, and may or may not be picked up by pumping. Over time, materials build up and reduce the tank’s capacity.
For good septic tank maintenance, make sure that only appropriate household waste is flushed down drains. Plastics, metals, and other materials must be kept out of the system. Make sure your kids know to keep toys and other items out of the toilet.
Your septic tank is as permanent as the home itself. No matter what else may change, your septic system will be in place. Good septic tank maintenance is important for as long as you own the home.
A common problem with septic systems is tree roots invading the lines. As you choose plants for your landscaping, take into account the distance their roots will travel. Allow plenty of space between the roots and all parts of the septic system.
Septic system failure is an expensive and destructive problem. The repairs needed to the system can add up to thousands of dollars; plus, you’ll have to deal with the inconvenience of an unexpected problem.
Good septic tank maintenance keeps your system clean and trouble-free. Be alert to your system’s performance and focus on preventing problems instead of correcting them.