The working septic system handles a household’s waste—quietly and with dignity. It is critically important in any home, yet is overlooked until the day septic system repair is required. Many homeowners, as a result, are unsure of how to keep it running efficiently. Here are a few basic points that every homeowner should be aware of regarding their septic system:
What You Put in Matters
Flushing or disposing of certain substances via your drains can wreak havoc on your septic system. While some items can clog your septic system at various times, certain chemicals can eradicate the good bacteria in your system that are meant to decompose solids. Regardless of how many products are deemed “flushable,” experts recommend not flushing anything but toilet paper. Disposable diapers, flushable cat litters, and feminine hygiene products should be disposed by other means. Grease is also a common culprit when clogged drains and plumbing backlogs are found. The drain fields of your septic system should never have a bubbling appearance, as this indicates that your laundry habits are detrimental to the health of the system. Bleach and the fillers in powdered laundry detergent may be what’s causing the problem.
Know the Warning Signs of Failure
The prompt identification and repair of issues, as they arise, can improve the overall longevity of a septic system. The need for septic system replacement can, therefore, be avoided by keeping an eye out for the warning signs of system failure. Take a stroll outside every so often to take a look at the drain field. A soft and muddy drain field, despite no signs of recent rain, is a red flag that calls for professional inspection. Lush green grass may look attractive, but if the grass over your septic system is thriving better than the rest of your lawn, it could indicate that underlying issues are present.
Keeping Up with Maintenance
The maintenance of a septic system includes looking out for warning signs of failure and arranging annual inspections. It is also imperative that your septic system is pumped regularly enough and not only when issues arise. Pumping a septic tank is a protective measure that optimizes its efficiency and longevity. This should be done every three to five years. Signs that your septic system needs pumping include backed up drains that emanate gurgling sounds.
Winter Can Be Troublesome
Components of your septic system are at risk of freezing during winter. Not only can this obstruct the system, but it can also prevent the aerobic decomposition of solids by microorganisms. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to prevent this issue. Running water through your drains every day during winter can flush them and help to prevent freezing. It is also important to avoid compressing the soil above the septic tank with cars or foot traffic, as compressed soil is less efficient at insulating a system. An insulating cover or plenty of vegetation can help to insulate your system throughout winter. Taking good care of your septic system in winter, and repairing any issues before the cold sets in, can prevent having to struggle to access the system under feet of frozen ground.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by the Halstead Media Group. Led by husband and wife team, Anna and Corey, Halstead Media brings an incredibly effective balance of landscape industry background, small business knowledge and Fortune/Global 500 experience to landscape architecture firms, landscape design/builds and building products manufacturers.
April 20, 2019