The Care and Maintenance of a Septic System

Maintaining a septic tank is not just for those who live on a farm. You might be surprised to learn how many city dwellers need septic tank maintenance as well. Septic systems are in use across the nation, even among rural residents who typically have no sewer connection.

It’s not hard to maintain your septic system, because even upgraded systems function efficiently when you follow a few basic guidelines. 

Installing properly

Install your septic system properly to avoid problems down the road. You will be asked to conduct a soil and percolation test when you apply for a building permit to verify that your site is suitable for a sewage system.

Your building site will also be inspected by inspectors to ensure that the property meets the requirements for a non-problematic septic system.

Keep it from getting overloaded

Septic tanks and systems can be kept in good shape by performing a few regular maintenance procedures. Make sure the toilet and faucets are not leaking and that any necessary repairs are made. Look for additional leaks by crawling under your house periodically or by checking your basement, if you have one.

Utilize aerators on faucets, flow-reducing showerheads, and reduce the amount of laundry you do by lowering the water level. In addition, you might want to buy energy-efficient appliances. When running your dishwasher, wait until it is full or do a shorter cycle to use less water.

You can reduce the water required to flush the toilet by using a displacer, such as a brick. Alternatively, upgrade the toilet to a modern low-flow model.

Garbage should be disposed of properly

Garbage disposals can double the number of solids added to a septic tank. Do you really need garbage disposal? To scrape plates into a plastic bag, tie it up, and throw it outside is not much more difficult or time-consuming. Replace your disposal with a top-of-the-line unit that grinds food into smaller particles that are easier for your septic system to digest.

Reduce the use of heavy-duty cleaners

When heavy-duty cleaners are used unnecessarily, they kill the beneficial bacteria in a septic tank, so there is less breakdown of solids. It is best to avoid them or use them as little as possible.

Make sure the system is protected

Do not drive over the drain field, build a structure on top of it, cover it in concrete or asphalt, or allow livestock to roam over it. It should be planted with grass. Soil erosion will be minimized.

Keep trees at least 100 feet away from septic systems to prevent root damage. Willows, for example, have very aggressive roots and should be placed even farther from the system.

Liquid waste won’t be neutralized by a soggy drain field either. It’s important to plan landscaping, roof gutters, and foundation drains in such a way that excess water is diverted from the septic field.

Maintain your equipment regularly

Septic Service Tulsa OK is a prime example where the old saying that prevention is better than cure is particularly relevant. Pump your lungs regularly.

There will always be a time when solids must be pumped from the tank. A family of four with a 1,000-gallon septic tank is advised to pump the tank after three to five years of full-time use. Don’t rely solely on the calendar to decide when to pump. Other experts suggest you can wait months between pumping operations.

It’s time to clean when the bottom of the scum begins to collect within three to twelve inches of the outlet. Ensure the situation is checked once a year at the very least.

What to do if there is a problem

Even if you put in diligent care and efforts, your system might still go toes up. It’s pretty hard to ignore the signs. Observe the drain field and keep your nose to the ground. Whenever there is sewage bubbling up, you will definitely smell it. There is no need to be repulsed by all signs of system failure. There may also be something wrong if your grass and weeds are suddenly growing like crazy.

Of course, you’ll know there’s a problem if you experience plumbing backup. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a complete logjam, either. A slowdown in draining and gurgling sounds can be clues, too. Keep accurate records of each time you have your system serviced and when there’s a problem. It will come in very handy the next time you have to call a professional for help.

Never attempt to open a septic tank yourself if this isn’t your area of expertise. It contains dangerous gases and bacteria.

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