“Out of sight, out of mind” applies to many things, but for most homeowners, it is especially true of septic tanks. Since your septic tank plays such an important role in the functioning of your overall septic system, maintenance matters. To keep everything running smoothly and to avoid costly repairs, here is what you need to know about septic tank maintenance.
Do’s and Don’t’s of Septic Tank Maintenance
While maintaining your septic tank is not necessarily difficult, it does require commitment. The best way to avoid costly repairs or replacements is to employ preventative maintenance techniques. We recommend that you adhere to the following list of septic tank do’s and don’t’s.
- Visually inspect your tank on a monthly basis.
It’s a good idea to lay eyes on each part of your septic system every month or two. This alerts you to any cracks, rust, leaks, overflows, etc.
- Secure your septic tank lid.
To prevent flooding, as well as for the safety of small animals and children, make sure your septic lid is secure. If your septic lid is located underground, don’t worry about this step. However, if it sticks out above ground, definitely check it regularly.
- Pump your septic tank on schedule.
Most septic tanks require professional pumpings every 3-5 years, depending on the number of household residents. Septic tanks under a heavy workload might need to be pumped more often than that.
- Ensure your drain field works properly.
Your drain field should be angled downward, away from both your home and your septic tank. Water draining from the tank should slowly enter the drain field to be treated by the soil.
- Manually break up the sludge.
Periodically using a stick or tool to break up the sludge in your septic tank makes pumpings go smoother. If left alone for too long, sludge can become hard and compact, making it difficult for pumps to break it loose.
- Limit the use of your garbage disposal.
Scrape old food into the trash whenever possible. Never put grease down your drain.
- Flush non-flushable items.
The only non-waste item you should place in your toilet is toilet paper. Paper towels, feminine products, diapers, wipes, tissues, etc. are not septic-safe and will clog your pipes or your tank.
- Use harsh septic tank additives.
Many septic tank additives not only break down the bacteria in waste but also the good bacteria from the septic tank. Never use an additive unless it has been approved by your septic system professional.
- Wash household cleaners down the drain.
Likewise, harsh, toxic chemicals in cleaners can break down good bacteria. Choose your toilet bowl cleaner with care.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep your septic tank in working order is to schedule routine tune-ups. Although you can inspect your tank yourself, a professional serviceman can spot problems early and nip them in the bud. Not only does this save you money, it increases the overall lifespan of your system. If it’s been a long time since your last septic tank pumping, make sure you contact a professional to schedule an inspection.
How Can Norway Septic Help?
Norway Septic Inc. is a service-oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area. We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. If you need a new effluent filter or if you would like to schedule a septic tank cleaning by one of our professionals, call us today.