Exploring Emergency Plumbing Services

The Dos and Don'ts of Your Septic System

by April Rivera

As a homeowner, you know it is imperative to keep your septic system it working condition. Knowing what to do as well as what to avoid can help you with that task.

Do: Pump the Tank

A septic tank doesn't process all the waste that goes into it. Some of it sticks around in the form of sludge, which must be manually pumped out and disposed of by a service. How often you pump depends on your household water use and tank size. A pumping service will help you develop the most effective schedule, which generally means scheduling pumping every one to three years.

Don't: Overload the System

You can reduce the need for frequent pumping as well as minimize stress on the system by not overloading it. For example, never put grease, diapers, or hygiene items down the drain, as these will clog your pipes and fill the tank more quickly. Further, reduce water usage, perhaps with the installation of water-saving appliances.

Do: Monitor the Drain Field

The drainfield is an important part of your septic system that is often overlooked. By catching problems early, like standing water or effluent on the surface, your septic service can do repairs before the field suffers permanent damage. Further, always know the location of the drain field so you don't inadvertently drive on it or park heavy equipment on it.

Don't: Plant Nearby

Tree roots endanger both your drain field and your septic system. Roots can invade the sewer lines that lead into your tank, leading to backups. Roots are even more devastating to drain fields, as they clog and compress the soil in the field so that the effluent can no longer filter through properly. Remove any trees that are growing near your sewer line, tank, or the drain field. Stick to grasses and shallow-rooted herbaceous plants in these areas.

Do: Schedule Regular Inspections

Regular inspection of your entire septic system catches small issues before they become major problems. Septic repair services can check for broken lines, loose fittings, cracks in the tank, signs of drain field failure, and effluent pump malfunctions. They will also perform any needed maintenance or repairs, such as replacing seals or lubricating pump mechanisms.

Don't: Try DIY Treatments

It can be tempting to try and put off a service visit with the use of DIY remedies, such as septic treatments that are poured down the drain. Unfortunately, many of these treatments are ineffective at best or they cause damage by throwing off the microbial balance in the tank at worst. If you are having trouble with your septic system, you need to bring in a reputable repair person. Only use DIY treatments if they are recommended by your service tech.

Contact septic tank pumping and repair service if you have problems with your system.