How to Properly Care for Your Septic System

How to Properly Care for Your Septic System

Most homes in the United States are connected to a municipal sewer system, but for those who aren’t, they most likely depend on a septic system to get rid of their waste water. Septic systems are similar to a sewer, only instead of guiding all of the waste water into a large collection that then flows out to a designated disposal and treatment site, the water then flows into an individual tank that’s buried underground and supports your home. Septic tanks are generally large and can function for years before a major maintenance and pumping treatment, but they do require some extra attention on your end.

Here are a few septic tank maintenance tips that you should keep in mind.

Inspect & Pump Frequently

The average household tank should be inspected at least every three years, and it’s preferred that you have it checked every two in order to make sure everything is still working in optimal condition. An inspection will generally tell you what your sludge levels are currently sitting at, whether there are any treatment options you need to consider, and about how long you have before you’ll need to have your tank pumped.

A pump service empties your septic tank and hauls away all of the accumulated sludge and wastewater to a treatment and recycling facility where it can be properly disposed of. Generally, the average household will need to have their septic tank pumped every three to five years, depending on factors such as tank size, household size, and plumbing use. The more solids are put into your tank, the more often you’ll need to have your tank pumped.

Your Septic Tank is Not a Trash Can

Unlike sewer-connected homes where everything is supposed to flow out from your home and into a main sewer system, essentially meaning it flows away from your home, everything you put down the drain in a septic-system home stays in your septic tank until removed. That means you need to be careful about everything that gets put down the drain: cooking grease or oil, diapers, cigarette butts, garbage disposal waste, paper towels, and much more are all things people choose to flush away, and when they flush them away, they wind up in the septic tank, where they can stay for years.

Be careful what you put down the drain, and only put down the sink what you’re absolutely supposed to. Never pour oil-based substances down the drain as they can solidify in your pipes or in your tank itself, increasing solid levels. And likewise, never use liquid drain cleaners that can eat away at the metal lining of your pipes: it can and will do the same thing to your septic tank’s walls.

Be Water Wise

All of the household water that goes down your pipes will end up in your septic tank system, which means the more water your household conserves, the less your tank will need maintained. Consider installing high-efficiency toilets and low-flow showerheads that can give you better water consumption while remaining comfortable and convenient. Also, make sure you select the water level in your washing machine that’s appropriate for the amount of clothes that you’re washing: washing too small of a load on a large setting wastes water. As a best practice, only wash full loads of laundry if you can prevent it.

If you need your household plumbing inspected or repaired, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Bartlett Plumber from Smith’s Plumbing Services! Call us today at (901) 290-1110 to request a service estimate or to make an appointment!
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