Preventative Maintenance Tips For Your Septic Tank

Keeping your septic tank healthy is part of proper home maintenance.  So what can we do to keep our septic tanks working properly?  First of all, let’s talk about how a septic tank works.  A septic tank operates on the basic premises of the decomposition of organic material by bacteria.  When you introduce chemicals into this mix, it can hinder this natural process.  The offenders of this natural process usually are chlorine bleach and other harsh anti-bacterial products.   Check your detergents and cleaning products to make certain they do not contain anti-bacterial agents. 

Limit the amount of trash that enters your septic tank.  Using a garbage disposal on a septic system is not recommended, and don’t pour leftover cooking oils down your drain.  Also, don’t flush sanitary napkins, baby wipes or other items down your toilet.  These items can cause blockages and imbalance the bacterium ecosystem within the tank.  If your drains do get clogged and need a drain cleaner, make certain the cleaner is not anti-bacterial or chemically caustic. 

Try to spread out your water usage so that you do not overload your septic tank with too much water.  Flooding the system with excessive water in a short period does not allow your septic tank to work as your system should optimally work.

The drain field is a vital part of you septic system, as well as the tank itself.  Think of it as an extension of your septic tank.  Excess water flows through the drain field, so it is crucial not to block or damage the pipes.  Invasive plant roots can clog or even damage the drain field, so make certain to only plant grass near the septic tank, and of course remember to make sure and not drive or park on the septic system.

Perform a proper inspection of your septic tank at least every 3 years and seek a qualified septic tank pumping professional if you have any questions about the operation of your system.    

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