Your septic system is designed to use bacteria and the filtering action of the earth’s soil to carry away your household’s wastewater, clean it, and return it to the ground. The process is, for the most part, a natural one, and can be sustainable and green as long as you take certain basic steps.
1. Understand Your Septic System
The more you know about how your septic system works and impacts the groundwater, the better you will be able to use and maintain it in an environmentally friendly manner. Your system consists of three major components:
Are you new to septic tank use? Do you need to know more about when to schedule a pumping service? If this is your first home with a septic system, take a look at the top tank pumping questions homeowners have.
What can and can’t you put in a septic tank? If you’re not sure what is safe to flush, take a look at the dos and don’ts of home septic tank use.
Do Use Single-Ply Toilet Paper
Even though thick, quilted, multiple-ply paper may seem like the most comfortable option, your septic tank won’t agree. Your tank needs paper that breaks down quickly — and double-ply options won’t. The thicker the paper, the longer it lingers in your home’s system.
Most homeowners use standard household cleaners without giving much thought to the way those cleaners can affect their home’s wastewater drainage system.
If you are a homeowner with a septic tank, however, you should be aware of the ways that cleaning products can disrupt the natural processes that take place in your septic tank. If you use the right cleaning products, you can protect your septic tank and promote optimal functionality. Here’s what you need to know.
You may have growing children or decide to rent out part of the property to a couple. No matter the reason, every new person adds strain to your septic system. At some point, you may need to consider upgrading your septic system to accommodate your household growth. Here is how you can tell when it’s time to make a change.
Pay Attention to the Signs from Your Septic Tank
Your septic system will let you know of abuse or overuse in a few ways. Generally, any increase in septic tank problems can indicate your household has grown too large for your current septic tank solution. Some examples of this include:
If you have a septic tank in your yard, then you need to ensure you are taking every step that you can take to preserve the integrity of your septic system drain field. A typical septic system drain field can last 20 years or longer without needing replacement.
However, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) reports that over half of all septic systems fail before they reach this age, often due to problems with the drain field. Read on to learn three common septic tank drain field problems and how to prevent each one.
Septic tanks are large underground tanks that fill up with household wastewater slowly over many months. When a septic tank fills up with enough water, that wastewater filters into the soil, where it is naturally cleaned and reintroduced into the groundwater supply.
Septic tanks need special care compared to sewers. Some things that have no effect on sewers can have a big effect on septic tanks. If you are new to septic tank ownership and used to having a sewer, this information can help you avoid a clog or serious septic tank damage. Here is what you need to know.
Many of the homes sold each year have a private septic system. In fact, according to the United States Bureau of the Census, more than 60 million Americans utilize private septic systems, instead of public sewer systems.
Even though these numbers show how common private septic systems are in homes, first-time homeowners may still experience some confusion about their role in maintaining one. If you are one of these homeowners, the following tips will offer you a basic guide to help you become competent and proficient in your new role as septic system owner.
Septic systems are an important part of many rural homes and some not-so-rural homes. If you are a homeowner with a septic system, knowing your septic system’s various parts can help you prevent problems. Knowing the anatomy of your septic system and how it works can also help you identify when something goes wrong.
Main Line to the Tank
The journey from the home to the septic tank takes place in a pipe called the main line. Like a sewer line, the main line is a pipe that carries waste from the house directly into the septic tank. Typically, all wastewater pipes in the home feed into the main line.
Warmer temperatures are finally here, which means that it’s time to fill the swimming pool, pull out the lawn chairs, and enjoy long days relaxing with friends and family. If you have a septic system, chances are that the last thing you are concerned about is avoiding septic backups, clogs, and other disasters. Unfortunately, increased water usage and more guests at the house can equal a septic catastrophe.
Follow these simple tips during the warmer months to protect your septic system.
Contact a Professional
Depending on the size of your tank and the number of people in your household, you should have your septic tank pumped every three to five years. However, if you use more water or produce more waste, your tank will fill more quickly and should be pumped more often. Contact a professional to have your septic system inspected — and, potentially your septic tank pumped — before the summer.