Last time we talked a bit about what you can do to increase the lifespan of your septic system. We explored the water saving advantages of ENERGY STAR appliances, the fact that garbage disposals are terrible for your septic system, and how using low flow water faucets and toilets will save water. This time we wanted to talk a bit about more tips and tricks to keep your septic system in the best possible shape for years to come. At Willey & Co we are your local septic system installation specialists and we know what it takes to install or repair a septic system. We have seen first hand the amount of damage that can occur to a system that has been either neglected or over taxed.
Don’t Flush, Throw It In the Trash
When you use the toilet, chances are you are not flushing random items down with the rest of it. Or are you? One of the major causes of septic system failure is items that may be flushed down the toilet, either inadvertently or on purpose. Things like floss, cotton swabs, diapers, coffee grounds, and feminine hygiene products should be disposed of in the trash. One of the big ones are those flushable wipes that have become so popular these days. They are one of the worst culprits for clogs in septic systems and plumbing in general. While they may break down, they usually do not make it all the way to the tank and will cause clogs if they get anywhere near the drain field.
Lay Off The Chemicals
In the home there are many different types of chemicals used in cleaning and general maintenance of the home. Since your septic system is essentially a biological process, the introduction of harsh cleaners and other toxic chemicals can damage the delicate balance in the septic system. There are some cleaners on the market that are antibacterial in nature, and while these are great for getting rid of disease, they can do the same to your septic system. Solids in your septic system are broken down by a special form of bacteria that, if killed by household cleaners, can cause the process to stop completely. This will lead to clogs and potential leaks.
Go Easy On The Grease
When you are frying up the bacon, do you generally dump it down the drain or set it aside to be thrown away? While it may be unavoidable to get some grease down the drain, dumping any grease in the drain is one of the worst things you can do for your septic system. Grease is one of the most egregious pipe cloggers that you can put down your drain. Not only does it clog your septic system, but it can literally become so caked inside your plumbing that it can close off pipes altogether. Once in your septic system grease will float on top and could make it way to the drain field where it will plug up the outlet pipes and back up the whole system.
Regular Cleanings Are The Key
No matter what you put down your drain, and we have seen it all, you will never limit all of the bad things that will make their way into the system. The best practice for keeping your septic system in good condition is to have it cleaned regularly by a certified septic pumping company. When you have your septic system pumped and cleaned the company should remove all of the liquid and solids from the tank itself and pressure wash the inside. They should change all of the filters, check all of the alarms and related items, and evaluate the effectiveness of the drain field. A cleaning should only need to be done every five to seven years but if something goes wrong, pumping will need to be done more often.
If you are considering a septic system, don’t let the maintenance scare you off, most of the time all it takes is a little awareness about what you are putting in your drain. At Willey & Co. we are the most trusted septic system installer in Sussex County, so whether you need a new system or are needing to replace your old system, please give us a call and let our 40 years of experience work for you.