Care for your septic system should be a relatively straightforward process, but there are tips and tricks to extending the life of your tank that not everyone takes into account. The basic factors that contribute to your recommended frequency include household size, your septic tank size, the amount of wastewater your household generates, and the amount of solid waste that goes into the system. How can you get the best and longest life from your septic system?
1. Schedule a septic pumping every 2-3 years.
Above anything else a household can do for their septic system, regular septic tank inspection and maintenance are the top way to make sure that your tank is in good working condition. The state of Georgia recommends a pumping at least every 2-3 years for all septic tank owners, and with good reason. Routinely emptying your septic tank keeps it clean and prevents costly damage down the line. If you’re not sure exactly when your tank needs to be emptied, an inspection from a qualified plumber will give you an idea of the timeline to expect with your system and household size.
2. Only flush things that are meant to be flushed.
Flushing cotton swabs, baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, dental floss, cigarette butts or other inorganic items down the toilet will all lead to accelerated dysfunction of a septic system. (The same is true of sewer systems, too!) This can be an especially tricky thing to control with small children in the house, but the more appropriately the toilet is used, the longer the septic system will remain in good repair.
3. Keep cooking oil away from the garbage disposal.
The kitchen sink is the next danger zone when it comes to abuse of the septic system. When cooking oils, excessive grease, and other lipid-heavy food waste goes down the garbage disposal, it can cause the inlet drains to block. Because oils and grease don’t degrade like other organic materials, they can make your periodic septic pumping more difficult. If you have a septic system, it’s best to use your garbage disposal sparingly.
4. Save water.
Make as efficient use of your household’s water as possible. Not only will you save on your water bill, it causes less wear and tear on your septic system and help increase the useful life of your tank between pumpings. This means fixing leaky toilets and sinks as soon as they become a problem and switching to water-efficient appliances whenever possible. Other easy ways to save water include always washing full loads of laundry and selecting the correct setting on your washing machine for the load size, replacing your standard shower head with a high-efficiency shower head, and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth. The more efficiently your household uses water, the less water enters your septic system.
5. Watch the lawn.
If the grass above your septic tank seems to be greener and healthier than the rest of your lawn, that’s a sign that this area is getting more fertilizer than the rest of the yard… And that means trouble around your septic tank. If it’s not taken care of quickly, it can mean a more expensive repair than a standard pumping. If you suspect that this part of your lawn might be a little “too” healthy, call an inspector immediately.
6. Dispose of household chemicals properly
Certain household hazardous products will interfere with the natural biodegradation process inside of a septic system by killing beneficial bacteria, resulting in an improperly working septic tank. Not only that, but these chemicals can easily contaminate your groundwater. That’s why it’s imperative that household paint, automotive fluids, and lawn pesticides be disposed of at a facility equipped to handle them properly. Never put household hazardous products down the drain.
7. Plant trees away from your drainfield.
An inspector can give you recommendations on where to plant trees and shrubs so that their roots don’t run the risk of interfering with your septic tank.
A qualified inspector can help you extend the life of your septic system. Call Bynum & Sons Plumbing, Inc. today at 770-736-8283 to schedule a service!