The arrival of summer marks the arrival of family vacations, more frequent get-togethers, and more time outdoors. To avoid any dampers on your summer fun, take the time to properly maintain your septic system during the summer months.
Below are some recommendations for keeping your septic system, and your summer plans, running smoothly.
Inform Guests About Using Your Septic System Properly
You may entertain guests more frequently during the summer than during other parts of the year. Whether your guests are just for the evening, or family who are vacationing in your home, be proactive about letting them know that you are on a septic system, and what that means for them. You might even consider one of the decorative signs available that you can hang in a prominent place in your bathroom to remind guests what is and is not appropriate to flush.
For longer staying guests, let them know the appropriate way to use your washing machine and garbage disposal, as well.
Keep Heavy Equipment Off of Your Septic System
Having more guests can mean having to situate more vehicles on your property. To avoid damaging your septic system, it is crucial to keep vehicles off of your drainfield. The weight of a vehicle can compact the dirt of your drainfield, preventing it from properly draining the wastewater that is released into it. Besides vehicles, it is important to keep anything else of significant weight, such as riding lawn mowers or above ground pools, off of your drainfield.
Use Caution When Landscaping
Summer is often a time when you might tackle a big home project you’ve been planning. If one of those projects is changing the landscaping around your home, take the time to plan it out carefully to avoid doing anything that might cause damage to your septic system. Here are a few things to consider:
Choose plants and grasses that have short roots to avoid damaging your pipes.
If you plan to plant trees or shrubs with long roots, make sure they are at least 30 feet away from your septic system.
Do not plant edible plants near your septic system, as your septic system could contaminate them.
Be Mindful of Your Water Usage
People tend to use more water during the summer months than the other parts of the year. To avoid overwhelming your septic system, be mindful to use your water as evenly throughout the day as you can, so that your system does not have to process all of the water at one time. As often as you can, reduce the amount of water you’re using
If you have a swimming pool or hot tub, be sure it is far enough from the drainfield that any spillage will not affect the drainfield. Excess water could stress the drainfield and prevent it from working properly.
Have Your Septic System Inspected and/or Pumped
Summertime is one of the best times to schedule your regular septic tank pumping and inspection because the weather is usually more favorable than other times of the year. You do not have to worry about freezing water in your pipes, etc. Also, it makes sense to have your septic system checked before you have an influx of guests, that way any problems can be dealt with beforehand, not in the middle of your family get-together.
It is also advisable to have your system serviced before you leave for an extended period of time. It would be awful to return from your fabulous vacation to find that your property was damaged by a leaking septic system that could have been fixed prior to your trip.