Caring For A Septic System
Maintenance begins with sound water use and waste disposal habits. Here is a partial list of the items to keep OUT of your system. Do not introduce any of the following: Grease or Cooking Oils, Plastics, Disposable Diapers, Cat Litter, Feminine Hygiene Products, Latex Paint, Pesticides, or any Hazardous Chemicals, Any Latex Products, Water Purification Back Flush, Paper Towels. Ask your septic contractor for a complete list of prohibited items for your custom system.
Many homes have garbage disposals to help manage food waste. Excessive use of a garbage disposal may introduce a high level of unwanted solids into your system. Many experts do not recommend the use of garbage disposals, you might consider composting as an option to handle vegetable waste.
Avoid putting too much water into the septic system. Excess water puts too much strain on the decomposition process and can cause problems. Maximum water use should be about 50 gallons per day for each person in the family.
Do not use harsh drain openers for a clogged drain and use mild or natural cleaners for your bathroom and kitchen. They should either be approved for use in septic systems, “septic-safe” or marked biodegradable. Be aware that excessive use of bleaches and antibacterial soaps can inhibit the enzymatic action necessary to help bacteria break down the solids in the tank.
Have the solids pumped out of the septic tank on a regular basis.
Did you know that septic systems that have not been regularly maintained average less than 20 years life and in many cases, much less? Engineers, Scientists and Field Professors alike conclude that with the proper maintenance, a septic system will last indefinitely, without costing an exuberant amount of money.
Neglect or Abuse To Your System Can Cause It Fail! Failing Systems Can: Cause serious health risks to your family and neighbors; Degrade the environment, especially lakes, streams and groundwater; Reduce the value of your property; Cost THOUSANDS of dollars to repair.
A major reason to maintain your septic system is to save money. Failing systems are expensive to repair or replace, and poor maintenance is often the culprit. Preventive maintenance is a whole lot cheaper than repair or replacement. For example, it could cost up to $40,000 or more to replace a failing system with a new one, compared to approximately $200 to $400 to have a system inspected, and $150 to $350 to have it pumped. Maintaining a septic system is like maintaining a car. A small effort on a regular basis can save a lot of money and significantly prolong the life of the system.